Love chocolate? Love pâte de fruit? Love cassis (black currant)? Chocolatier Michael Recchiuti combines them all to create the February 2008 “Flavor of the Month,” Cassis Strata.
It’s a layer of cassis gelée atop a layer of silky Madagascar single origin ganache, enrobed in pure bittersweet chocolate. Nibble a piece as you sip some creme de cassis…or add the cassis to a moderately-good Champagne (never a great bottle, where you’ll want to enjoy all of the flavor nuances and not cover them up with external flavors) to make a Kir Royale).
The Kir was named after Félix Kir (1876-1968), a mayor of the city of Dijon in Burgundy (the same city of mustard fame). He added a splash of cassis to white Burgundy and it became a popular drink, named in his honor.
The Kir led to the Kir Royale, substituting Champagne for the still wine. You can use any sparkling wine for a similar effect…and you can substitute framboise or Chambord [raspberry liqueurs] for the cassis.
RECIPE: KIR ROYALE
1. POUR about an inch of cassis in the bottom of a flute or tulip Champagne glass.
2. ADD the Champagne, slowly pouring down the side of the glass. Stirring breaks the bubbles in the Champagne, so the better option is not to stir (if you must, stir once, very gently).
An alternate technique is pour in the Champagne first, then tilt the glass and pour the cassis down the side.
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