Okay, so I am running a bit behind this race – I’ve been dropped by the peloton but as we head into the mountains perhaps I’ll be able to make up some ground … maybe.
Anyway, tonight I am back tracking to Stage 8 in Renne with a traditional treat from the bakers of Brittany, the Kouign Amann. Yep – I tried to make a laminated pastry (like a croissant) and I think I succeeded. They are flakey and taste delicious. So now you know, if I can do it, so can you! Click the link, check out the recipe and have a go yourself!
Tonight, we are showcasing the best of Normandy with an authentic French dessert made from Apples, Calvados, butter, cream and eggs. It is an absolutely delicious dessert that reminds me how the French enjoy a little of everything with an easy notion of restraint. This is a fabulous dessert, easy to make, delicious to eat, but devastatingly rich. Go easy, enjoy a little and love it a lot!
Still in catchup mode – tonight we are baking from the recipe book of Picardy. Le gateaux battu Picardie(or ‘beat cake’) is a specialty of the Somme area of France, and more specifically, Abbeville. It is basically a yeast cake, rich in butter and eggs. It is traditionally hand beaten and baked in a tall fluted metal mould that resembles a chefs hat. The end result, when baked in the correct mould, is a cake that I think most closely resembles the Italian panettone in shape and an airy brioche in texture. This cake is traditionally served either for breakfast with jam or for goûter – the almost universally observed French ‘afternoon tea’. A tradition worth adopting, I think!
Today’s recipe showcases a traditional Flemish Yeast Dough Summer Berry Tart courtesy of Ruth Van Waerebeek and her cookbook ‘Everybody Eats Well in Belgium’. I’ve made a few adaptations – used a food processor for example – but otherwise have remained true to her traditional Flemish yeast dough.
I must admit that leaving a tart case to ‘rise’ was a new experience, but the result was a lovely, almost cakey cradle for the summer fruit and red currant glaze. Well worth the extra hour proving time, as they say the proof is in the pudding …let’s see how long this tart lasts in the office tomorrow!