I won’t say we were fighting over dessert, but our spoons were definitely clacking in an otherwise silent race to the finish. The deepness of its deliciousness just took us by surprise — after all, the mille feuille looked to have just two ingredients: puff pastry and whipped cream. Therein lies its magic. “The pastry was inspired by baklava,” chef Philippe Gauthier explains. “It’s actually layers of phyllo that we get from a Montreal bakery, with some almond flour, maple syrup and maple sugar, and of course butter!”
The Year’s Bests
Dessert of the Year
Bonheur d’occasion’s maple and sweet clover mille feuille is a crispy, creamy dream of phyllo layered with almond flour, butter and crème légère.
The natural dark aroma of the Grade A amber syrup and maple sugar, sourced directly from the Quebec Maple Syrup Producers — regulated like an AOC for champagne or DOP for Parmesan cheese — has a gorgeous sheen and flavour. The cream is no ordinary cream either. First, they get sweet clover from their foragers in Ontario to create an extract. Then, the extract is infused into 100–proof alcohol to keep it fresh all year. (Fragrant and versatile, it’s used in cocktails too.) The crème légère is made by folding clover–infused pastry cream into a good amount of heavy whipping cream from Saguenay–Lac–Saint–Jean, where the cows graze exclusively north of the 48th Parallel. “So, the cream tastes very grassy!” Gauthier notes. The whole combination tastes like the essence of the Quebec countryside in a bowl — or porcelain plate. “It’s imported from Egypt by a friend,” Gauthier says. “It’s very delicate so it is the perfect dish for this dessert as it evokes the same qualities.”