Friday, 29 January 2010

Carrot Cake - Teamwork! - Travail d'équipe!

We both made a carrot cake...
Nous avons fait un "carrot cake" (je rassure les sceptiques, ça n'a pas un goût de légumes...)

But not the same one!
Mais pas les mêmes! 

Mine was made in miniature, with Fimo, and completely inedible...
Le mien était miniature, en fimo, inmangeable comme il se doit...

And Neil's was real, perfectly edible and absolutely delicious, it's one of his specialities.  Yes, I  found myself one of Her Majesty's subjects who knows his way around an's like a dream! ;-)

Et Neil en a fait un vrai,  parfaitement comestible et absolument délicieux, une de ses spécialités, eh oui, j'ai déniché un sujet de sa Majesté efficace aux fourneaux.... On croit rêver ;-)

Thursday, 21 January 2010


We've just added a few new pieces to our Etsy store including some pretty pink pastries, flowers, and a decidedly Parisian cupcake!

However, my favourite piece from today is a Paris-Brest which to be honest, when Neil showed me the close up photo, I couldn't believe was my miniature and not a real one!  (I'm not being big-headed when I say that - we have photos of nearly everything we eat!)

Click on the photo to see a larger version...

On vient juste de finir quelques bricoles, et je me suis fait avoir moi même quand Neil m'a montré le gros plan, j'ai pensé que c'était un vrai......mais il faut dire qu'on fait aussi beaucoup de photos de tout ce qu'on mange, ça aurait été très possible!
Bon, j'arrête de me jeter des fleurs ;-)

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Making Macaroons / Macarons

A little while back we had a hankering for some macaroons, so we decided to have another go at making some at home.  After all, the last lot turned out well (you can see them here)!

Coucou les gens!
...Ca ne pouvait plus attendre, il a bien fallu se mettre aux fourneaux, car vous connaissez le fameux proverbe "si tu veux des macarons Ladurée, t'as qu'à les faire toi même!"

It would be quicker (and warmer!) than going all the way to Ladurée and there would be more of them (even if it meant foregoing a pretty box!).

Ben oui, ça va plus vite que d'aller à Paris, et question quantité...y en a plus (même s'il n'y a pas de jolie boîte)!!!

This time I wanted to make them in "winter" flavours - chestnut (left) and gingerbread ganache (right), hoping to rediscover the the gingerbread ganache flavour that my favourite chocolatier Deneuville ( no longer makes :-(

Cette fois je les ai déclinés en parfums hivernaux, à savoir marron à gauche et ganache au pain d'épices à droite, en caressant l'espoir de retrouver le goût des ganaches pain d'épices que Deneuville, mon chocolatier préféré ne fait plus :-(

I had infused a slice of gingerbread in the cream, but that didn't give enough flavour, so I added some "4 spices" and cinnamon; lots of cinnamon, 'cos we love it!

Et ça a marché!
J'avais infusé une tranche de pain d 'épices dans la crème, mais c'était trop léger, il a fallu rallonger à coup de quatre-épices et cannelle, et pas qu'un peu, car la cannelle on adore, il n'y en jamais trop!

...and before you ask, there are none left! pas la peine de demander: y en a plus!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Galette des Rois - French Epiphany Pastry

Since before Christmas, nearly all of our local bakeries have been offering their "Galettes des Rois" alongside their usual bakery goods.  This delicious frangipane-filled puff pastry cake is traditionally made for Epiphany (6th of January), but their appearance seems to come earlier each year...

The cake contains a lucky charm (une fève) which originally was a bean, a symbol of fertility. Whoever found the charm in their slice of cake, became King or Queen and had to buy a round of drinks for all their companions. This sometimes resulted in stingy behaviour and to avoid buying a round of drinks, the potential King or Queen very often swallowed the bean! This is why towards the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, the lucky charm started being made of china. The charm can take any shape or form and can either be very plain or more sophisticated (glazed or handpainted). It sometimes represents a religious figure such as the baby Jesus, but it can be virtually anything. Little horseshoe shapes are popular as they are thought to bring luck. These china charms have become a collectable item.

The modern Galette des Rois is made of puff pastry and can be plain or filled with frangipane, an almond-flavoured paste. It is sold in all French bakeries and eating the galette at the beginning of January is still a very popular tradition and an opportunity for families and friends to gather around the table. The youngest person in the room (usually a child) hides under the table and shouts out which guest each slice of cake should be given to. The person who finds the fève in their slice of galette becomes the King or Queen and is given a golden paper crown. The King or Queen then has to choose his Queen or her King, by dropping the lucky charm in their glass.

We've made a couple in miniature to mark the occasion - head over to our Etsy store to see more photos!

.....euh, les gens, vous voulez vraiment que je vous donne une leçon de galette des rois, ou ça ira comme ça?!  Pour voir les versions miniatures, cest là, bon app'!!!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Only 359 Days Until Christmas!! Plus que 359 jours avant Noël!!

A Happy New Year to everyone!  So it's taken us nearly a week (in France you have the whole of January to exchange New Year's wishes), and although it's been very nice to spend that time relaxing, the Christmas tree and decorations have now been taken down (boohoo!) and idle fingers are aching to re-establish contact with clay.

Bonne année, les gens!
Eh oui, ça nous a pris presque une semaine.....mais si je ne m'abuse, en France, on a tout le mois de Janvier pour présenter ses vœux (ou bien était-ce une coutume familiale en forme de bonne excuse?!)
Il y avait encore le sapin hier :-(
Ca sent presque encore la dinde....

Regular followers will probably remember the Chanel Shopping set  that we sold on eBay at the end of November.  Well, it's back!  Literally.  We posted it off to the buyer and soon realised that the buyer had thought they'd bought a real Chanel bag.  So after a quick hop across the English Channel and back, like a fashionable pink homing pigeon, it's come back home to roost...  he must have thought he scored the bargain of the century!

You can add that to the other "mistake stories" about the person who wanted us to make a pièce montée for 20 people for a real wedding, someone who wanted to order several hundred toffee apples to sell on a the beach and the French tourist office at New York who found our miniature Paris-Brest looked nicer than real ones!

Tiens, mais c'est le sac Chanel, que revoici, me direz-vous...en effet , et il revient de loin...enfin, d'Angleterre, en fait...
Ça n'était pas arrivé depuis un moment, mais il a été pris pour la vraie chose, et le monsieur comptait l'offrir à sa dame pour Noël (même d'occasion, c'eût été l'affaire du siècle!)
A notre palmarès également: une commande de pièce montée pour 20 personne, "quelques centaines" de pommes d'amour à revendre sur la plage, et l'office du tourisme Français à New-York qui trouvait que notre Paris-Brest était plus beau que les vrais!

We've relisted it on Etsy - and so just to be sure (even if it's obvious!)'s made from Fimo and is very small - you couldn't fit your cellphone in it!  See it here. (Edit: now sold)

Donc il est en FIMO, il est très petit, c'est une miniature pour poupée, nous sommes bien d'accord?!  Il tient dans un téléphone portable, pas le contraire!

We took the opportunity to add a few new items on Etsy, including macaroons, cookies, truffles, doughnuts, cake and more!  Below are a couple of photos.  Head over to our Etsy store to see the rest of the new pieces...

Donc pendant qu'on y était, nous avons listé quelques bricoles, macarons, donuts et autres truffes roses, qui se trouvent ici.