For those who eat with their eyes, Gourmet Temptations, a pastry boutique in Surfside with decor worthy of a Parisian postcard, is a charming destination for sugar-coated delights.
Odile N'Guessan, an Ivory Coast native who grew up and trained in Paris, is the owner and pastry chef. Fascinated by the visuals of pastries, the self-declared chocoholic loves to spend her days in the kitchen, where she practices the alchemy of exact measurements that result in unique, edible works of art.
N'Guessan likens her creations to French fashion. "My pastries are like jewelry — small, attractive, and very precious," she says.
Flavors aren't masked by copious amounts of sugar in the treats she calls "temptations" ($7 each), injected with blends such as vanilla-strawberry and chocolate-caramel. The shop also offers mini tarts in flavors such as white raspberry and
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The shop's cozy lounge and French café music offer a sweet respite to savor macarons ($2.50 each) filled with a choice of several flavors, including pistachio, black currant, and caramel, and sipping hot chocolate made with Valrhona cocoa ($7.50). Other drinks include fresh orange juice and Dammann Frères tea ($4). Marshmallows and caramel bags of a dozen cost $5.
The mother of four says she's constantly devising new aesthetics and techniques to make her gluten-free birthday cakes, special versions of the bûche de Noël (yule log), and other artistic desserts she customizes for clients. This month, Gourmet Temptations launched a series of classes for those who want to learn the authentic art of French patisserie.
Gourmet Temptations. 9573 Harding Ave., Surfside; 305-397-8197; gourmet-temptations.com. Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.