Mon Paris Pâtisserie: Christmas Chocolates

Max says: It’s been three years since I ran my own cat-focused chocolate business. I’d been a huge fan of truffles and bonbons ever since I found that birthday box of luxury confections hidden in a cupboard. Naturally, I curled around it like a Roman emperor indulging in a bacchanalian revelry of delirious nibbling.

 

Getting caught was the problem, of course. The treats weren’t mine. And although, I loudly yowled my innocence, I was betrayed (yet again) by my whiskers: they were speckled with ganache, dripping with butterscotch and baubled with several shiny glacé cherries.

 

From that point on, I determined to make my own sweet delicacies. Training in Paris (by hiding in a cooking school kitchen and honing my cat-friendly recipes after-dark), I eventually returned to Vancouver as a self-proclaimed Master Feline Chocolatier (MFC). Success came swiftly and I soon had a hungry clutter of tail-twitching customers.

 

Pilchard-flavoured pralines, bars filled with chicken cream and caramels crusted with catnip and kibble dust­­––plus my specialty: crunchy white chocolate mice (made with real mice)––were all rapturously received. Sadly, though, my sugar-high triumph was short-lived.

 

No one had told me that chocolate is toxic to cats. I’m clearly some kind of sweet-fanged anomaly because I’ve never worried about snacking on Coffee Crisps and Skor Bars. Countless lawsuits from itchy felines soon rolled in (along with one from a rival purveyor that didn't like me using the business name Purrdy’s).

 

I was forced to close my kitchen. But just because I can’t make my own chocolate, doesn't mean I can’t find someone else to make it for me. I spent weeks taste-testing every local producer I could find before finally discovering a true artiste who reminded me of myself at the top of my game. It was a revelation.

 

Mon Paris Pâtisserie is now my go-to sweet spot for every occasion (not that I ever need an occasion). Owner Chef Elena Krasnova even trained at the same Paris school as me: Ferrandie École de Gastronomie. And while locals love her perfect pastries, decadent cakes and delicious chocolates all year long, it’s at Christmastime when her sparkling creativity really shines.

 

From exquisite Yule logs (pistachio/raspberry recommended) to amazing Christmas trees and flower-potted poinsettias that are made from cleverly-coloured chocolate, everything is a festive delight here. I especially like the milk chocolate Rudolph and the filigree choccie Christmas ornament that contains melt-in-your mouth truffles.

 

But whatever Mon Paris Pâtisserie delicacies you choose for your treat-craving loved ones, make sure you add a chocolate box of individual treats for yourself as well. Christmas shopping is hard and you deserve your own a reward. From glittery truffle balls to red-hued domes that resemble mini Santa hats, you won’t find a single kibble-dusted bonbon between them.

Rating:

Prices: Chocolate Rudolph $18; Chocolate Ornament $14.50; Chocolate Box $16.50-$29.50

Where to buy: You can visit Mon Paris Pâtisserie at 4396 Beresford Street, Burnaby or order online for delivery from the store’s official website.

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