I am in love with these lemon cream tartlets, a kind of love which is pure and almost childish, a love that catches you unprepared and gives you heart-shaped eyes, butterflies in your belly and a significant appetite, I should add. The truth is, behind all this there is a love for elegance and simplicity, a mixture of attraction and admiration for the perfection of simple things, round, voluptuous and once again…very French.
Sometimes I get fixated, especially when it comes to food. A few years ago I entered the lady’s kisses tunnel; I used to eat plenty of them when I was a student, working part-time in a seriously elegant restaurant in my city. The chef (who had studied in Lenôtre in Paris…), at coffee time, used to prepare, on beautiful silver cake stands, the so-called Friandises, minute pastries capable of overshadowing even the deer’s antlers of St. Hubertus. There were the “bruti ma buoni” (literally, “ugly but good”), the cantucci and, of course, the little Baci di dama or Piedmont Lady’s kisses. So much minute perfection.
A Coconut cake recipe …in my opinion, the one that better brings out the qualities of this fruit and its creamy notes: a perfect gluten free semifreddo.
April is almost over, flip flops are still in their storage cabinet and people get out wearing their coat and then come back home with a sweating forehead…but the desire to smell the scent of sunscreen, of iodine, of lime and barbecue is strong. So, what should I do? Wait for the first dinner in the garden to experience all this? Maybe not, considering I haven’t a clue when the garden will be ready: at the moment it’s nothing short of a lunar landscape.
I discovered the dark chocolate and sea salt tender cookies (flower of salt) the first time I entered in Pierre Hermé boutique in rue Bonaparte in Paris.
I was soaking wet due to torrential rain.
It may have been because of the soft, stylish colours of the shop window, which displayed pyramids of pastel-coloured macarons, or because of the elegant environment, or due to the gracefulness of the young women, wrapping goods as if they were precious jewels…that I did not hesitate to queue along the golden barriers (something not stylish at all, but essential not to lose patience) and I expectantly waited my turn, while my fellow travellers were looking at me over the queue with commiseration. Continue Reading…
The dark chocolate tart originated from a mistake and in the baking world, on average, mistakes are expensive.
No, it’s not a failed attempt to replicate the dark chocolate tart of Martha Stewart and it’s even less the personal interpretation of Knamm’s chocolate tart.
I had decided to attempt a cake with a Madeleine biscuit base and passion fruit cream, covered with chocolate Chantilly. I was going to look after the 3D pink bunnies and the golden decorative mushrooms at a later stage, duly observing the classic “business before pleasure”.
Ok, I know, maybe you’re pulling a face because at first it may look like something thrown together and not living up to expectations…but honestly, it’s not the case.
What is the infinity? Please, don’t ask me, I get a headache every time I allow myself to entertain this type of thoughts. And afterwards, I get really anxious and end up weeping quietly.
I am only human – after all – very human, and I am not worthy, I am not very profound and I am not wise.
Yes, I Think, but Descartes would say that this only means that I exist, not that I know what I am talking about.
I am pragmatic, fast and careful, which isn’t much; therefore, to shake off the discontent, I add frequent doses of obsession and precision, often unnerving for the next person. The sum is gratifying and makes me feel at peace with my conscience and…let’s say that for me this is plenty. Continue Reading…
How to dress up a cake for a party…and not any party: the festival of people in love, also known as the occasion to buy, like there’s no tomorrow, inflatable hearts, mugs littered with cupids, underpants burdened by uncomfortable and improbable laces. Oh, and apparently it’s also the opportunity to celebrate Love.
During the years in which I had filed away “The NeverEnding Story”, substituted by “The Party” as favourite movie, these types of gifts were abundant in my bedroom shelves. They weren’t necessarily gifts from the “Philippe” of the moment, but rather little somethings carefully sought just for you – only for you and only for today – from the best friend, the sister, the classmate. Continue Reading…
They say that Christmas brings, on top of tonnes of food, a pacifying power, and this year in particular I couldn’t agree more with it. It may be that, with age, one has less energies to spend living in conflict, or perhaps there is a stronger awareness that free time should only be spent in what we find salvific, positive and satisfactory.
2016 has demanded a lot of effort and commitment, for the most part channelled into what is represented by Duty. Pleasure, limited to small cut-outs, daily or seasonal, has been sought with difficulty and great pathos, and sometimes I could not enjoy it at all. It is difficult to clarify this concept but let’s say, if I dare to compare…what use can a really expensive leather armchair be for someone who doesn’t have food or a roof over his head?
Don’t worry, I still have a few panettoni in the cupboard, and not just those. I did say I was daring to compare.
I’ll explain better. Continue Reading…
Perfect cookies. Too many times I’ve typed these two words into Google search bar, only to land on the usual cookies with a thousand variations, intriguing-but-heavy. I was always looking for something totally different: the crumbly cookie, the fragrant and buttery shortbread, the citrus fruity biscuit, the spicy cookie.
Dream Lucia, dream. Cookies with a capital C are a technical and artistic manifestation, not something for amateurs, and while I write this I think of Mrs Bettina, who managed to turn this art into business (Biscotteria Bettina), a gem for my city.
There are only a handful of days left before 2017 and this post has been on the launch pad for about 4 weeks now.
I was lingering due to lack of contents, or at least I convinced myself of this. When I was reading again the method, the recipe seemed “so much” to me, that any introduction appeared inadequate and simplistic in comparison. Therefore, in the past month I turned on the pc at least every 2 days, looking at the pictures only to turn it off again without concluding anything. Continue Reading…