For many people, the starter and main course of any meal are simply the precursors to a far more important event, namely the dessert. Indeed, for some, dessert IS the meal, and who are we to argue with that. So it’s important for any restaurant to take as much care with its desserts as with any of its more extravagant meat and fish dishes. Which, as a glance at the Topaz menu will tell you, is exactly what we do. As a French restaurant, we naturally focus on French classics, such as our Soufflé au Grand Marnier Flambé or Crêpes Suzette Flambées. But one of France’s most iconic desserts has to be the Profiterole with Cream and Chocolate Sauce, perfected by none other than the legendary pâtissier Marie-Antoine Câreme.
Profiteroles are little balls of airy pastry that can be filled with sweet or savoury delicacies that were first created by one of Catherine de Medici’s chefs a few years after she and her entourage decamped to France in 1533. Chef Panterelli’s original recipe was modified over the years, and its name changed too, before settling on ‘profiteroles’ which is thought to indicate a small tip given to servants. But it was Câreme who developed the recipe for the dough as we know it today, and who came up with the idea of filling the featherlight balls with cream and topping them with rich chocolate sauce.
We’ve taken that idea even further by filling our profiteroles with luscious vanilla ice cream, and encasing them in a smooth chocolate cylinder. But that is just the start. The joy really begins when your server pours a warm flow of hot chocolate over the cylinder, creating a double dose of velvety, chocolatey delight that blends magically with the pastry puffs and smooth ice cream.
With Easter just around the corner, this is one of our favourite ways of indulging in a little, light chocolate relief, albeit without a rabbit in sight.