Eat This: The Salted Caramel Peanut Tart at Tout Suite

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Before Tout Suite opened in East Downtown, I knew the cafe would be serving incredible desserts and pastries, like those delicate macarons and beautiful cupcakes sold at the sister bakery, Sweet in CityCentre, along with a savory menu served throughout the day. But, the tarts and treats were a surprise.

As I stared at the gorgeous display of bright yellow mango passion tart cakes, matcha green tea chiffon cakes and lemon yuzu tarts, one of the employees approached me asking if I had any questions about the offerings at Tout Suite. I told him I was interested in purchasing the "Paris Houston," a chocolate almond cake with a fruit filling and a generous topping of swirled frosting, but he advised me to choose a different pastry, the Salted Caramel Peanut Tart.

He said it is one of the best offerings in the display case, and that he was one of the chefs who makes the pastries at Tout Suite.

The Salted Caramel Peanut Tart is a complex treat, just as the name implies. The base is a made of a Breton cookie, aka a French butter cookie. It's firm; it has a nice crunch as a fork or knife goes through it; it crumbles easily; and it melts in your mouth.

It is layered with a smooth, whipped chocolate mousse topped with a creamy caramel custard and a thin topping of chocolate ganache. The cookie tart base looks like it's topped with a chocolate-glazed doughnut, as the layers of ganache, mousse and custard create a perfect circle with a cut-out center encasing a chocolate-peanut butter spread. But, slice a knife through the tart and discover the "doughnut" is actually layers of soft and creamy pastry components.

The contrast of textures from the jiggly custard, airy mousse and crumbly Breton cookie crust is enhanced by the exterior coating of crunchy, crushed praline candy that looks like shimmering pieces of gold foil. Flavors of saltiness from the custard and candied praline candy pieces combined with the richness of the chocolate-peanut butter spread and refreshingly sweet chocolate mousse are all brought together by the buttery Breton cookie crust.

This particular tart is unique to Tout Suite (unique as in not sold at Sweet) and served just about every day of the week. There's also a variety of morning sweets, such as a powdered sugar-dusted almond croissant; a pungent lemon-blueberry scone completely covered in sugar crystals; and a moist comforting miniature pumpkin loaf.

Order a Caesar salad or banh mi sandwich for lunch or a Farm Fresh Pick bowl with a choice of protein, starch and vegetable for dinner, then stick around inside the expansive warehouse over a cup of coffee while surfing the Internet thanks to complimentary Wi-Fi.

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