From a mourning Paris I’ll just quickly give you the cake run-down first. The day before leaving for Paris I made a heavenly Raspberry, goats cheese and fig pavlova. The topping is easy and delicious and if you haven’t discovered pavlovas yet then do consider them, even if you make a smaller one for fewer calories! I’ll be posting the recipe soon. So with happy stomach and tingling taste buds Friday November 13 I set off for Paris, where a dark and dramatic event awaited. We’re all shocked by the deaths and injuries in the shootings and bombs that day and perhaps now feel the need to live life to the full. So despite stunned lethargy and sadness I set about readying myself for the course ahead. Perhaps I haven’t told you about it yet?
Le Cordon Bleu
Well, tomorrow I start my Cordon Bleu Intensive Intermediate Pâtisserie course. It lasts around 5 weeks. So on my weekly update I’ll be sharing the cakes, desserts and chocolates I make on the course! And then next year I’ll pick out favourites then develop and post recipes for them. So please tell me which you’d like to see posted!
As you can imagine I’m looking forward to the course but I’m not at my most cheerful and reality is hitting hard watching the news on TV and reading the papers. Might be less teary-eyed by tomorrow but at 12 noon there’ll be a minute of silence to mourn the dead when I’ll also be thinking of those all over the world, not just Paris. But we’ll be very busy, with less time to think during the full day baking from 8.30am to 8.30pm with two demonstrations and two practicals. I’m taking my superfood bread but coming home with two or three cakes! What can I say… more of my balancing act between healthy and not-so-healthy food. Behind my bread ready to go in the oven you can see the pink pâtisserie on the corner, glistening and beckoning.
A balanced diet?
Going back to my first day in Paris, I couldn’t resist doing cake research. In other words I bought a couple of cakes in the local pâtisserie recommended by the owner of the flat I’m renting. He’s a real sweetie and greeted me with bottles of champagne, wine, juice and water and 6 delicious macarons. Love him. Hugged him immediately. And the lady in the recommended pâtisserie was lovely and slightly batty. My favourite combination. Her recommendation of Chestnut millefeuille and raspberry macaronné were inspiring and almost made me give up baking. When you can buy such treasures… But as you can see in the photo there are also some hastily concocted goldenberry versions of date and cranberry bliss balls. I didn’t have the ground almonds, matcha, spirulina or food processor but added sunflower and pumpkin seeds so they were a bit loose and kept threatening to fall apart. Still delicious though and they made me feel better about eating those delicious cakes hovering behind them on the plate! Lol. I also picked up some healthier low-sugar cakes from Eugène pâtisserie. Very light and tasty.
Yesterday afternoon I queued with the masses who’d finally made it out to do some Saturday shopping in a calm subdued atmosphere. I love my area in the 15th arrondissement where the people are invariably kind and now even gentler.
Then today I picked up the Cordon Bleu uniforms my cousin has been storing for me from last year. At her workplace entrance near la Place de la République I was stopped by two security guards, one clearly showing the gun slung about him. The security was new I commented and one of the guards confirmed things have changed since recent events. He also said people are scared. Yet they were still walking about the centre in the sun, cautiously having a Sunday out. Later I suppose we were all quietly pleased upon arriving safely home. But the idea is not to be intimidated into staying in, as witnessed by the growing number of people taking part in tributes on the street.
Back to the cakes. In the run-up to Christmas I’ll still be posting one or two weekly recipes for stuff I made before coming to Paris. And I hope you’ll enjoy seeing my Cordon Bleu efforts and attempts at healthy snacking in between! 🙂 Come along and see how it all goes sweet reader. I’ll be glad for the company.
Wishing you a lovely week ahead living and enjoying your life, appreciating all the great things around. Amidst the sadness may you have some happy baking and eating! 🙂 x