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The biscuit rose de Reims is a twice-baked cookie produced in the Reims region of France. It was created in the late 17th century and started to be mass produced in the late 18th century by a commercial company. These biscuits became a commercially produced product whose authentic recipe has never been released by the companies that produce it. The cookie is very crisp and has a distinctive pink color that distinguishes it from other types of French sponge cookies. Traditionally, it is served along with champagne that is intended to be used for dipping, although any beverage can be substituted.
Even though the biscuit rose de Reims was produced commercially, it was a product that quickly integrated itself into French culture. The city of Reims, where the biscuit originated and was largely produced, is in the center of the valley where authentic champagne is produced. This caused the biscuit to become closely associated with the region and its champagne. It came to be served with champagne at social functions, where the tradition was to dip the cookie into the drink so it would soften a little and enhance the flavor.
The reason for dipping the biscuit rose de Reims is that the cookie itself has very little developed flavor on its own. The ingredients are known to be just a small amount of sugar, eggs, flour and vanilla that are then baked twice in the same fashion as biscotti. Without any additional flavors, the biscuit has an unremarkable taste, although it acts as a very solid base for accompaniments such as red wine, coffee or milk.
The resilience of the biscuit rose de Reims is well known. The double baking of the cookie allows it to be submerged in a liquid and absorb it into the pastry without causing the biscuit to become soft or soggy or to fall apart. This has lead to the creation of different recipes that use this method to enhance the flavors of sweet desserts.
One popular use for the biscuit rose de Reims is in a classic French cake known as a charlotte. A charlotte consists of a creamy custard filling that can have fruit, chocolate or any flavoring mixed into it. The custard is kept in place by a wall of biscuit rose de Reims that stands along the edge. The cake is then chilled so it sets in this way before being served.
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