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Posts tagged ‘pâtisseries’

No. 136-137: Gâteaux et Tartes

I don’t know how many different types of cakes and tarts there are in France, but since there are over 350 different varieties of cheese available here, I’m wagering there has to be at least that many possibilities for decadent dessert.

Gâteau Saint Honoré

Gâteau Saint Honoré

Gâteau au chocolat

Gâteau au chocolat

Charlotte Mont-Blanc…biscuit cuillère, crème vanille, chantilly, marron glacés et crème de marrons...

Charlotte Mont-Blanc…biscuit cuillère, crème vanille, chantilly, marron glacés et crème de marrons…

En France, I have never met a gâteau or tarte I don’t care for, and this being a birthday weekend chez nous, I thought I’d share a few pictures of some of my favorites I’ve indulged in either in reality or in my dreams.

Even when I’m being good (which is most of the time), I’m lucky to be surrounded by this dazzling eye candy. Not only are they delicious on the taste buds, but they are also exquisite works of art.

 Tarte au citron, c'est notre préféré...


Tarte au citron, c’est notre préféré…

Tarte

tarte aux pommes

tarte aux pommes

Gâteaux

Bonne dégustation!

 

Vocabulaire

Bonne dégustation! Enjoy! (literally good tasting)

c’est notre préféré: it’s our favorite

chez nous: at our house

gâteau au chocolat: chocolate cake

gâteau or tarte: cake or tart

tarte aux pommes: apple tart

tarte au citron: lemon tart

No. 129-130: Becoming a Fabophile and One Last Kings’ Cake

I told you if I had grown up in France, I would probably be one of those crazy cat ladies, who instead of collecting cats, would be an extreme collector of fèves. Alas, just look at me now with my first real Galette des Rois season officially winding down, not only did I manage to share seven cakes this month, approximately one every 4 days, I also found the fève four times, and got to be queen for the day, or at least the evening, once a week.

féves

I consider this my first real Galette des Rois season, because prior to this January, I had no idea there was such a thing as a fabophile, or that there were entire websites and conventions devoted to this hobby. I come by this predilection honestly. My father, aka, the Grand Poobah, was a rabid collector of toys, and lived by the slogan, “The One with the Most Toys, Wins”. I think my maman would have been much happier if he only collected fèves. They take up a lot less room.

The Grand Poobah (and collector) with Kitcat, 1995

The Grand Poobah (and collector) with Kitcat, 1995

On top of the four fèves I won fair and square, I may also have purchased just a few (and been given some super tacky ones as a gift).

tacky féves

Okay. I’ll come clean. I spent 3 hours on a lovely, albeit, slightly fanatical, woman’s website exchanging franglaise messages about her collection. Obsessed with French pastries and pâtisseries, I finally decided on this delectable assortment of teeny tiny pastries. I paid a bit more than I should have, but my new friend, I reasoned, needed the money for a better set of fèves for herself.

féves pastries

They arrived tout de suite with a nice hand written note, and an extra surprise collection.

So, with one official fève season under my belt, I already have 20 little beans to use for my homemade Galette des Rois next year, as, bien sûr, I took another Galette des Rois cooking course last week.

féves

This time we learned to make it with frangipane cream: almond cream plus pastry cream. It was the best galette I’ve had to date, better than the bakers, and a heck of a lot cheaper.

…the last Galette des Rois of the season...

…the last Galette des Rois of the season…

The only snag with this fine homespun galette was that we forgot to put a fève in it. Drat! It’s decidedly likely I would have come away with one last treasure to add to my burgeoning collection.

(Please check back in a couple of days for one last recipe for one last Kings’ Cake.)

Vocabulaire:

fabophile: collector of fèves

fève: fève bean, broad bean; the prize inside the Galette des Rois

franglaise: French and English mixed

Galette des Rois: Kings’ Cake, eaten on Epiphany and throughout January.

pâtisseries: pastry shops

tout de suite: immediately