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Saturday, October 15, 2005
Happy birthday Aida

Yesterday night we have celebrated my little sister 12th birthday. I already had in mind what i wanted to make : a kind of mezze with a dip or two, polpette (meatballs) and blinis with caviar and creme fraiche and for la piece de resistance, i thought a piece montee would be quite impressive.
For the mezze i made :
blinis with caviar -
i love my recipe for blinis; they're soft, dense and light at the same time. Just one tip, i always add 2 tbsp of creme fraiche in the batter (for approx. 25 mini blinis).
aubergine, yogurt and mint dip - i used a recipe from the great Nigella's Feast. It's really good. I'll definitely make this again. The pinenuts really adds something
polpette (meat balls) - the recipe is from Feast -again- "aromatic lamb meatballs", but as i don't like lamb i used beef and the result was great. I think this are good with some bitter leaves like cresson alienois.

The piece montee
Actually i had never made choux buns before but i thought it would be easy - just follow the recipe. I had three recipes : one from Feast, another from my chocolate desserts from Pierre Herme and the last from a french pastry book of mine. These three recipes were identic so i used Pierre Herme's. But for my first attempt, i didn't read the recipe till its end: i added the flour off the heat and ended up with a liquid batter; so i put my pan back on the heat while stirring. I got a nice smooth batter. The choux buns were right, but as i thought they weren't i just throw away the excess batter and whipped up another - this time following closely the recipe. But the result was awful; if my buns rose high in the oven they took less than 1 minutes to fall once out of the oven. I was dissapointed. But my dad told me tu ne devrais pas rester sur un echec (you must keep going and try to do another batch); and so i did. I made another batch of buns. OK, my choux buns aren't that high, but they're good. I'll try again when i'll be a little more relaxed.
For the toffee sauce i prefered to make a soft caramel rather than an hard one. I think the toffee-ish side of the caramel brings lusciousness to this already luscious pudding.
Just one more thing : the filling is a simple vanilla creme patissiere.

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4 sweets:
Blogger Aude said something sweet:

Hello Fanny,
Your choux à la crème look wonderful and yummy whatever their shape. And the toffee sauce, umm!
How did you put the crème patissière in? Did you make a little hole underneath?

16 October, 2005 16:36 

Blogger Mona said something sweet:

Those pictures are amazin! You need to be a pastry chef, perhaps you are going to become one? I've never seen a more amazing birthday spread, makes the one I made for my dad look very boring :)

16 October, 2005 20:24 

Blogger *fanny* said something sweet:

Hi Aude, to fill the choux i used a plain piping nozzle.
It was very easy indeed.
And the piece montee was actually delicious - despite the awful-looking buns...

Hi Mona, thank you so much, but i think these pix aren't as good as you may think. But i'd love to be a pastry chef. I'm currently studying to be an ingeneer but my secret wish is to become a food writer. I think i may go to a culinary school in NYC when my french studies will be completed.

Love to you

16 October, 2005 20:37 

Blogger Mona said something sweet:

Give me a call, I want to be a food writer too and I know the French Culinary Institute has a great program. They're offering a class taught by Alan Richman in the spring. I really wanna take it!

17 October, 2005 20:38 

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