What a month this has been! There's so much to tell you. First, I'll tell you the really big news. Early this Spring, I presented a book proposal to a publisher who loved it! We've signed the contract so in 2014 I'll have a cookbook. The book will have the recipes I teach here at The Little French Bakery with many others. I'll be doing the photography and adding stories with the recipes. As the writing and editing progresses, I'll keep you posted with details of the book's release. It's incredibly exciting. It will be published by Skyhorse Publishing, New York.
What else? Recently, we were in France, on a barge with friends cruising on the Canal du Midi. Our barge was named Emma. The hosts, crew and views were wonderful. I'll be writing more on the barge life in a future post. I had every intention of blogging on our trip but due to technical difficulties, (a brain cramp on my part) I couldn't get to my blog to write using my Ipad. I debated about bringing my laptop and didn't. Big mistake. I've missed writing, but I have so much to show and tell. Our trip also included a weekend in Bruge, Belgium and several days in Paris before and after the barge trip. We had time to walk the streets and take it all in. There are so many great places I've wanted to tell you about, and now I have photos to help.
Here are just a few of my favorite sights from Paris. My postcard to you.
Cafes. I love the chairs, tables, place settings, and ambiance. The streets were lined with tables filled with Parisians and tourists soaking up the sunshine.
A Fromagerie. Cheese as far as you can see. The smells are incredible (as long as you like cheese!) We had just come off the barge where we enjoyed many great cheeses. It was a treat to look in the case and recognize some of the names of cheeses that were new to us. A new favorite, Mimolette. Bright orange, sharp and crumbly. It looks like of like a cantaloupe. It's in some cheese shops. I highly suggest picking up a small piece. to try. I can't write about cheese without mentioning Morbier. A beautiful semi-soft cheese with an ash layer separating and layers of cheese.
And of course, the Tour Eiffel. When we checked into the hotel for part deux, the receptionist at the Madeleine Hotel asked if we would like to be on the floor that views the Eiffel Tour. She didn't have to ask twice. The third frame is the view out our window at dusk. When we got back to our room after dinner, I sat on the edge of the bed with my camera for a least an hour watching the color of the sky change and took too many photos of this view- if that's possible. I woke up in the middle of the night and looked back out again for a few minutes. It's a view that I never tire of. Gorgeous.
And who can get tired of seeing and tasting macarons? Not me! Our friend stopped by a patisserie and picked an an assortment for the train ride. Here they are. So pretty and so delicious. Did you know that only the middle of a macaron has the flavor? The color is just for suggestion (except for the chocolate ones). These were especially colorful.
One of the highlights of our time in Paris was a meal at Benoit, an Alain Ducasse restaurant. We went to lunch and had great cassoulet, a delicious bean and meat stew. It's the best I've ever had. Okay, I say that every time we go there. After the meal, as we were having coffee, our waiter stopped by with the tray of just-out-of-the-oven Madeleines. They were perfect. It was so fun taking them from the pan tray rather than having them served on a plate. It was like sneaking them from the kitchen before they were ready to be served. Here's my quick snap shot.
Now you can make Madeleines too. I like them left out overnight so they're crunchy. Others like them soft, right from the oven. I think the second bite is always the best. If you need a mold, check with a local kitchen shop. Most stock them. Just ask for a Madeleine pan.
To print this recipe, click HERE
- 200 g melted butter (14 Tbsp) (cool and allow solids to settle )
- 4 eggs
- 170 gm granulated sugar (3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp)
- 1 pinch salt
- 10 gm honey (1 Tbsp)
- 5 gm baking powder (1 tsp)
- 180 gm flour (1 3/4 cups plus 1 Tbsp.)
Melt butter and cool.
Sift flour with baking powder. Mix sugar and eggs to near ribbon stage. Add vanilla, lemon/orange zest. Add flour. Fold into egg/sugar mixture. Add honey. Add butter, leaving milk solids in container. After mixing, place in refrigerator to cool slightly/stiffen. Butter molds well, then flour. Place molds in refrigerator to firm butter if necessary. Use a pastry bag if needed to fill molds about 2/3 full in an oval top to bottom in the center of the mold. Bake at 350 for about 6 minutes or until puffed and golden. Immediately tap/rap on counter to knock madeleines out of pans and cool on wire rack. 1 recipe fills 2 molds.
If you're heading to Paris, be sure to check out my Paris Notebook. There are suggestions on places to go, eat and help with shopping for cooking equipment and more. I'll be adding more info and photos our most recent adventures.
Be kind, and enjoy!