A lovely teacher invited me and a few others to her home for tea. She happens to be the daughter of a pastry maker, and was kind enough to make several French classics that are typically enjoyed at tea.
Also, she informed me that the mille-feuille that I tried was a poorly-made mille-feuille. I'm so glad because I was starting think that French patisserie was made to be seen and not eaten! Now I understand that not all pastry is created equally. The quality of ingredients greatly affects the outcome.
I had never had Madelines before. They are extremely popular, and I've see them for sale at pretty much every Starbuck's in the U.S. The shell-shaped tea cakes were absolutely de-licious!!! I seriously had to exert some self-control to keep myself from eating them ALL.
In addition to Madelines, we had Chouquettes and Cake marbré. Everything was wonderfully delicious. Chouquettes are made from choux pastry and are topped with giant granules of sugar. Cake marbré is a little like pound cake swirled with chocolate.
The only thing better than the petits gateaux was the company :)