August Foodie Catch Up …

August has been a busy month food wise. Spending two wonderful weeks on holiday in France gave us ample opportunity to savour some delicious meals.
First of all however I’m going to focus on my parents-in-law’s Golden wedding anniversary which was last week. We went out for a lovely meal (starter and main course) and then returned home for their special cake:

The cake itself was a straightforward Victoria Sponge Cake but the icing was Champagne Buttercream. This was icing unlike any I have ever made before. It was made with egg yolks, a hot sugar syrup and soft butter. To this combination, Champagne was added. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t realise that adding the alcohol would cause the icing to curdle completely! Before panicking and throwing it all away, I turned to google. It quickly became apparent that this is very common and that with a further 5 minutes or so of beating, the icing should return to its proper consistency. Good old google, it really saved the day!
The icing itself was much lighter than traditional buttercream and the Champagne really gave it a boost.
Alongside the sponge cake, I made some cupcakes which I filled with raspberry jam before topping with some of the Champagne icing.
The cakes all went down very well – the leftovers still taste good several days later!

And so to France. It wouldn’t have been a proper French holiday without a galette or two:

We tried both sweet and savoury and thoroughly enjoyed them all!

Tonight, I made us some galettes of our own, I stuck to the very reliable combination of ham and cheese and served them with a potato salad and some steamed broccoli:

My husband’s favourite dessert whilst we were away was ‘Ile Flottant’ or ‘Floating island’. He was amazed at how tasty it was and so I decided to have a go myself. I added a few fresh raspberries to the custard and we had 2 islands each. When poaching the meringue islands, they grew an incredible amount, as soon as I removed them they seemed to deflate, much to my frustration. My husband assured me that they tasted just as good as those he had eaten in France, praise indeed!

Other delicious French food included a shellfish and seafood creation with puff pastry:

an ‘Atlantic Plate’ of salmon, scallops and shrimps:

and desserts that my children chose one evening, one had a Normandy yogurt with caramelised apples and a salted caramel sauce, the other had a panna cotta topped with popcorn:

All in all it’s been a fab foodie month, holiday food always tastes great! What are your favourite holiday foodie treats?

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Francophile Fabric …

I decided against the baking route today – there will be more of that this weekend – and instead focussed on sewing. I found some lovely ‘francophile’ fabric yesterday and have used a small amount to make a ‘wall hanging desk tidy’ – as you do !! I’ll nip in to work tomorrow to make sure it works but it should end up with various pens, rulers, pencils, glue sticks, stickers, post-it notes etc inside:

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The backing material is lovely linen and I really like the quirky style of the French inspired fabric.

Some of the stitching wouldn’t pass close inspection and the pockets are not all completely level however, I am really pleased with the end result and my desk should be a lot tidier for it.

Madelaines …

We’ve just returned from a wonderful holiday in France, to make that holiday feeling last just a little bit longer I made some madelaines – any excuse !
The recipe was from Rachel Khoo’s ‘Little Paris Kitchen’ and included the addition of a raspberry into each madelaine plus some home made lemon curd once the cakes had been removed from the oven:

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It took several attempts to get the quantity of batter right – I kept putting way too much in and the cakes overflowed their moulds – I got it just about right in the end though.

These tasted lovely and light, still warm from the oven.
I wonder what I can cook tomorrow to extend that holiday feeling !