It isn’t often that I put desserts on a silver platter. When these freshly baked bouchons au chocolat were delivered to my office in Cebu minutes before I hopped onto a flight to Manila, I popped one into my mouth in the airport departure lounge, I was instantly smitten. By the time I managed to take this photo, on a silver platter, only 5 out of the 8 pieces in the package remained! Bouchons are a more rustic french bistro dessert, hence the name of Thomas Keller’s more casual restaurant, Bouchon. They are relatively simple to make, and if done well, have all the hallmarks of serious simple comfort food.
There is a post on Keller’s version in the archives, and they were superb. But if you don’t feel like baking them from scratch, and you have access to these Sweet Melissa chocolate bouchons, I highly recommend them. Bouchons are meant to look like bottle corks, and these certainly do. And I understand there is an amusing story trying to find the right molds locally, but I will keep that story a secret. Make sure you get the bouchons fresh, and when you get home, either zap them in the microwave for 10-12 seconds (not more) or stick them in a hot oven for a few minutes to heat them up. Then serve them with a creme anglaise or some good vanilla ice cream and you have a fantastic dessert. They are very chocolately and if warmed, they are soft and luscious. They do have a tendency to dry out, so don’t keep them around for more than a day or two.
At PHP200 for 8 pieces, I also think they are very well priced. I would be surprised if a restaurant or two or three in Cebu don’t put these on their dessert menus in the near future. Meanwhile, if you live or travel to Cebu, call 032-516-7406 or 0928-984-3609 to see where you can buy them. Thanks Artisan for sending these over, you have managed to foil my attempts at losing weight yet again.