petite four sec

The Inquisition Walks into a Pastry Shop

Dorian orders a Tosca. Shortbread crust, a paper thin layer of raspberry jam, frangipane and topped with caramel almond florentine. He eats it way too fast and wishes he had another, but will never go back in for seconds.

The Iron Bull gets himself a slice of chocolate cake. It’s a Jewish bakery in New York type of chocolate cake, towering 8 inches high, six layers, impossibly rich. He eats it in three bites.

Cole wants a mazerine. It’s a simple pastry, shortbread crust with frangipane, topped with a thin layer of apricot glaze. It sits off to the side of the case, and the shop doesn’t sell many, so he gets one so they don’t feel bad.

Leliana gets a slice of linzer torte. The crust has so many almonds in it, it falls apart the moment her fork touches it, the seedy raspberry jam barely holding together. She eats it with her eyes closed, remembering.

Cullen gets a big fat wedge of apple pie. Then he orders a second, claiming it’s for later. It’s not for later, it’s for right now.

Josephine loves crème brulee and eats it so slowly, you wonder how it doesn’t spoil before she finishes it.

Blackwall likes a slab of Tres Leches, soft and milky and far too sweet. The creamy drops stick to his mustache and beard. He saves the single underripe strawberry for last, dragging it through the wet crumbs.

Vivienne gets a single scoop of gelato, perched in a glass bowl. Peach is her favorite. If it’s a special day, she’ll crumble an ameretti on top, smiling after every spoonful.

Solas gets a petit four. He picks a single one, perhaps an Opera cake, or maybe a petit four sec, a crispy, buttery pastry with sugar baked into the top. He eats it, waiting for about ten minutes before ordering two more. The chestnut puzzle pastries are his favorite, especially in Orlais, where they spin sugar into elaborate loops, decorating the top.

Dagna goes for a bowl of Korean Pat Bing Su. Shaved milk ice, red beans, cubed mochi, condensed milk, and a scoop of green tea ice cream in the middle. She never stops smiling as she digs in.

Harding always orders a palmier. Puff pastry, rolled and rolled in sugar, folded and sliced, baked until the sugar caramelizes and browns, the butter puffing out the layers. She always wants to get the rainbow cake, but she puts it off, always waiting for a special occasion that never arrives.

Cassandra picks up a passionfruit tart. She selects it, blushing. The tart is simple, a chocolate crust filled with passionfruit curd. She eats it while reading her favorite story, the one where the villan finally gets what’s coming to him. She doesn’t notice that she licks the spoon as she reads.

Varric loves donuts, especially Orlesian crullers. He gets about six at a time, telling himself it’s because the shop is so far away, he has to be sure to stock up. Never mind that the crullers don’t keep. He eats them all in one sitting, always swearing he’s not going to do this next time.

Sera walks in the shop, past the case of cookies, moving beyond the muffins and scones, pushing past the cases of petit fours and gets herself a hand pie. It’s filled with blackberries, gooey and sweet. She holds it in both hands, remembering when she was younger and bought pies just like this from a friendly seller in Denerim.