Éclairs au chocolat

[Chocolate eclairs] When trees are shaped like hearts; and breakfast means just-brewed coffee slash bike ride slash jonchée eaten as soon as I’ve taken my gum boots off. And we run barefoot in fields of frost. And the grass glows to the moonlight in a way only gems can. With la grande ourse [the great bear] and a feral cat as our only companions for ...

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Chewy flapjacks

I started collecting objects, to make up for memories I forgot. A blue pool ball, a broken cigarette, a plastic table number. I read words. Most of the time, at night. Yes, all it took was a few words. Perhaps, a bad google translation too. In fact, some words don’t translate well into French. But it was cute. And it made me miss him even ...

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Une maryse

I got quite a few emails regarding the word maryse. One of you even wrote a kinky poem, because – yes – Maryse, is also a French name. It involved some whipping and folding too… So well, I’m launching yet another category: le kitchenware. This is what happens when I’ve od’ed on holidays. A maryse, pronounced MAH-REESE, is – what chefs call – a rubber ...

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Mastering crème pâtissière, step by step

It was a day at the end of September. A couple of years ago. I put on my pied-de-poule trousers for the first time since the internship I had done the summer before at Pierre Hermé. I walked up the stairs, to the biggest, most beautiful kitchen I had ever seen, with the aim to make my biggest, most beautiful dream come true. A dream ...

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PS. Une brioche avec un peu plus de beurre

[PS. A brioche with a tad more butter] London, sometime in April. I made a brioche. In five minutes; and five days. We woke up early to shape and proof the dough. Well, I did. A couple of hours later, we sat at the table, with our eyes still plein de sommeil [full of sleep]. And we had a slice each. With plenty of strawberry ...

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Chouquettes

[Sugar choux puffs] I could tell you how my dad would take me to the boulangerie after school, as I was smaller than the smallest tree of your garden. In fact, I could barely walk. But making my way to the bottom of the crumpled paper bag handed to me by the lady at the counter seemed easy. That paper bag could hold a dozen ...

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Five-minute brioche

When I mentioned the five-minute brioche, I forgot to say it’s more of a five-minute and five-day brioche. Five days where the blossoms turned into snow. Five days where I got less sleep than what a normal night means to you. Five days where everytime I came home, I opened the fridge to imagine that bubbly dough turn into brioche. And then on the night ...

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Spinach and cheddar muffins

There are things you can never ignore. At times, you wish you’d forgotten; crab hunting, kissing in the wind, eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, drinking beer by the bottle, killing flies, licking icy popsicles. Other times, you’re simply happy to remember; stepping into Pierre Hermé’s kitchen, signing my apprenticeship contract, taking a plane to a new life, biting into a perfectly chewy spinach and ...

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Brioches marbrées au thé matcha

[Marbled matcha brioches] With no rational reason except that those brioches looked terribly good, I decided to venture into the realm of feuilletage; once again. Although, this time, my kitchen did not come with a rolling pin. I could have bought one on my recent visit to Pages. I almost did in fact. But eventually got out from the shop carrying many cercles [rings], a ...

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Charlotte au fromage blanc et aux framboises

[Fromage blanc and raspberry charlotte] I haven’t spent much time in a home kitchen – let alone made pastries in a home kitchen – for the past eleven months. That’s what a pastry apprenticeship does to you! And really I must admit I feel a bit lost when all I have on hands are a couple of Pyrex bowls, a hand-held mixer, and an oven. ...

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S’more cupcakes

I came across S’mores quite late in life. A Michael Recchiuti book. A tiny note at the bottom of a page. S’mores. A piece of chocolate and a marshmallow, sandwiched together in crisp graham crackers. After a quick moment in the oven, the chocolate and marshmallow melt into each others, making for the most delicious sandwich ever. Yet, I’ve never had the chance to taste ...

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Mastering focaccia, step by step

By now, you guys should be aware that to me, Dan Lepard is to bread-making what Pierre Hermé is to pastry. My icon and absolute role model. I never really used to make bread, except for the occasional pizza dough; but since I’ve discovered Dan’s take on bread making I’ve literally been unstoppable. Fresh yeast has become a staple in my fridge and I’m known ...

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