Sunday, 31 August 2008
you know. i never say no when offered an éclair. i just dont. no matter what time of the day or year - i truly believe there is little out there in the world that i like more than a decent éclair. all crisp and gooey at the same time. oh my, whoever invented it - i owe him big time.
so when this month's recipe for the daring bakers was out, i was all over the place. i mean out of joy. baking éclaires, mais bien sur! there was only such a thing as a big trip abroad in the month august - meaning: little time to bake. so while i was packing up all my stuff, doing laundry, hoovering the apartment and doing last calls i did this with chocolate-smeared fingers. chocolate on my forehead, on my hipps, on that white t-shirt i wanted to pack... so basically i did it all wrong, cos i did it in such a rush it should be simply forbidden for such a nice little dessert. éclaires need time. and love. and care. especially if it's from pierre hermé, aka sugar daddy.
so sugar daddy does some fancy recipes as our queen bee tartelette proves every now and then on her fabulous blog. this months recipe wasn't too complicated if you follow it step by step. make sure you dont do this in a rush... you want those little cream puffs to rise and shine in the oven... that kinky chocolate glaze to be all smooth and shiny. takes time. i agree.
i went all chocolate with the filling and glaze - of course there is about a gazillion ways to do this: mocca, vanilla, a french pastry cream infused with rosebuds, with cinnamon - oh the list goes on and on.
just make sure you assemble it last minute - or it might go all soggy.
i'll dash if you dont mind. got about 20 éclairs in the kitchen. and an empty belly. and i jeans i need to fit in tomorrow. somehow...
before i leave, i'd like to put my hands up for this month's host meeta and tony. great job, thanks guys!
PS: i hope you dont mind if i am not posting the recipe here, as it is very long. head over to meeta or tony to get the full list or simply check out pierre hermé's book.
Sunday, 10 August 2008
while summer is still here... why not celebrate? those warm nights... that golden light... the days where you wake up and go to bed in a bikini? jumps into the lake... swimming in the river and then see the sun go down? - worth celebrating, isnt it?
and while everybody is busy with sunbathing / swimming / laughing / glaring at the sun / singing on a bike /... that party should be easy and quick to prepare.
how about you put on the grill, buy some very, very good sausages, bake a bread and that's pretty much it? (overachievers will make a salad, too).
cutlery and plates made out of wood or dried palm leaves are ok-presentable, cheap and save you time (no dishes to do, just chuck it!). to make it just a little more presentable, simply wrap some decorative paper around 3 empty tins, put forks, knives and spoons into each and put on table. oh, and dont forget some matching paper-napkins.
another way to serve your sausages is a simple sandwich bag (keeps all the greasy stuff inside). to glam it up a bit, simply stamp a decorative sujet onto the bag. sausage in a bag - makes everybody happy.
ok, light is an important thing cos sooner or later the sun will go down. plus: everybody looks beautiful in candlelight. an easy but fun idea is to fill buckets with water, put some small flower buds and something green like ivy or some clematis into water, then add swimming candles. will light up your party at night. just be careful the flowers dont catch fire.
so we said we are not gonna hang out in the kitchen for ever. it's not about showing off. its about having a good time. sausages are on the grill... takes no time. still we wanna serve it with something special. why not offer a selection of mustard? from sweet to spicy, from a mild basil-mustard to this very, very hot little number.
everybody loves a brownie. and a party without a brownie is not a real party. if you got the time bake a small selection: a cream cheese brownie, a ricotta browie, a blondie..... or simply use the naughtiest recipe you have.
ok. so you might invest 5 or 10 minutes in deco. simple and cheap (and cheesy as some might say) are those colourful paper-flags. good thing: mine are still hanging there and make my balcony look all summery and colourful.
now get your bikinis & grills on & celebrate!