When we moved to St. Paul, Minnesota some 26+ years ago, there was a French bakery in our neighborhood named Napolean's. It was good. Really good. Actually, no...I'd have to say it was exceptional. So exceptional, that even though it's been gone now for some 20 years, I still think about it whenever I pass by its incarnation (of which there have been many). To this day, there has not been a bakery in St. Paul that even comes close to producing the same quality of French pastries.
One winter when my daughter was about 4 years old, we had a huge snow storm. Suffering some cabin fever, I was desperate to get out and decided to go to Napolean's for a cappuccino and a treat, with promises to my daughter of hot chocolate. Of course, with the heavy snows, there was no way I was going to get in a car and drive. The chances of getting stuck were too great. I bundled up my daughter and myself, put her on a sled, and pulled her the approximate mile to Napolean's. After trudging through knee-deep snow with frigid, whipping winds, we arrived, only to find that it was closed -- due to the weather. (It never occurred to me to call first... duh!) The pastries and coffees served at Napolean's were worth risking life and limb (or at least frostbite).
One thing I always purchased on a visit to Napolean's was a cappuccino. But the cappuccino made there didn't consist of just espresso and steamed milk. There also happened to be a big chunk of chocolate at the bottom of the cup; plus... whipped cream on top! A café mocha, actually. And, it was divine!
It's what I've been making recently at home. Not every day, of course. Only when I feel I need a little treat.
• double-shot of espresso
• hot steamed milk
• sweetened, whipped heavy cream
Serve with croissant aux amandes if possible
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