Financiers are little gold almond ingots of sweetness that in my eyes are as valuable as any bullion. These small, dense bars of cake evolved from the clever idea of a patissier called Mr Lasne in the 1890s to revive and repackage an old cake recipe, visitandine, invented by an order of nuns of the same name and baked since the 17th century. Continue reading “Financiers”
I don’t usually have a habit of taking biscuit men on a promenade to church. But on this particular day I had a rendevous with french history, thanks to this little biscuit fellow. On this type of occasion I throw reason straight out the window and am motivated to do things I ordinarily wouldn’t do. Continue reading “Le Suisse of Valence”
Situated slightly north of the southern french city of Valence, in the department of the Drome is the commune of Tain l’Hermitage. This small township is home to one of this country’s most revered food products – the factory for Valrhona chocolate. Continue reading “Valrhona: The ‘black gold’ of the Drome”
Why shouldn’t I name my daughter after a cake? Why would association to a flower or a saint be a better choice? In my world there is no higher honor! Continue reading “Rose madeleines for my Rose-Madeleine”
When my husband was very small and their family still lived in an apartment, his mother extended an invitation to an elderly gentleman neighbour to get to know him over a cherry clafoutis. A rich egg, crepe-like batter poured over fresh cherries and baked in the oven until golden; the man was dead the next day. Continue reading “Clafoutis pas comme ma belle-mere”
Retracing our route away from Yenne that late winter afternoon the car hugged close again to the river Rhone. Only one day earlier, having admired this spectacular river amidst the man-made beauty of Geneva, Switzerland, that Saturday we saw instead a breathtaking natural tableau. Continue reading “Gateau de Savoie, a cake and a journey cut in two halves: Part Two”
I have always encouraged my husband to drive for miles, for hours if necessary, on quests for a certain speciality or the place of origin of a recipe. My 15 year old son says I am obsessed but I prefer to think of myself as passionate. He sits beside me laughing now, ‘oh mum’s trying to put a spin on our crazy trips’. I hope one day when he is finally spat out at the other end of adolescence that he will understand – either that or as an adult he will run in horror from the glimpse of any similar outing. I prefer to take the risk of scarring the kids for life against sorties gourmande* if there is even a slight possibility that they will one day have a precious declique themselves. I can concede that my excursions can be fairly batty sorts of affairs and that plenty of people may not understand. But they have come to represent the richest experiences in my french life. Continue reading “Le Gateau de Savoie, a cake and a journey cut in two halves: Part One”
Little girls giggling and running from the school gates at home time singing out Macaron pour president!..again and again, laughing at their play on words. Hearing ten year olds talking of their parents wanting to move abroad if the opponent to Macron should win. Fear has blown in gusts about us for two weeks now, and disbelief at the close proximity of the alternate party. Today my husband spent the day in the garage, anxious, needing to occupy himself rather than think about the election.
Now the country has spoken and we can celebrate and support a man who speaks with positivity and reason. Keeping europe together, rather than ripping people apart.
Emmanuel Macron gives us hope and here in our home we are truly joyful at his election.