19 February 2012

Fabulous Food Finds

I have the same problem with pizza as I do with Nutella. If either are in the vicinity, c'est fini. I cannot control myself. Seriously, my satiation sensor takes a nap and I continue to eat, and eat, and eat... So très unladylike, and definitely unacceptable Parisienne behavior. Now that I've shared la faute contrôle des portions in my character, take a look at the following délices (deliciousness) I've discovered: 

Truffle Pizza

Truffle Pizza

This pizza alone is reason enough to jump on a plane.
The truffle : It’s a precious black diamond that all too rarely delights our taste buds. It’s the almost invisible, yet unmistakable star of any dish it is part of, whether it’s pasta, omelet or now even pizza.Pizza à la truffe is the specialty of Al Taglio, one of the best pizza places in the city. The finest selection of ingredients fresh from Italy are combined with a light, crispy dough. The pizza is served as the Romans do: by the weight. 
If you’re not in an exclusively truffle mood, you can mix and match your pizza order, choosing a 200g Truffle cream pizza, plus a 100g Pancetta and Pumpkin cream pizza plus a 150g Buffala and basil pizza. 
If you're in Paris, this pizza can be delivered straight to your doorstep if you ever feel like impressing your blasé friends. Or eating an extra 100g (3.5 oz). 

Pizza by weight and by piece
28 rue Neuve Popincourt - 11th
Metro Parmentier
Tel 00 33 1 43 38 12 00
Open from Tuesday to Thursday, noon-11 pm. Friday and Saturday noon-midnight.
Deliveries inside Paris for a minimum extra large pan serving 8 to 10 people: starting at 30€ (Pizza Margherita) to 50€( Potato and truffle pizza) 
Orders have to be placed at least 24 hours in advance

Chocolate orgasm 

Chocolate Orgasm

Wonder if I can pull this off (the recipe that is ;-). The ingredient list is raisonnable (reasonable), but there are many steps to follow. Mais, I do actually have ramekins!
The secret? A luscious blend of chocolate, pepper and ginger for a pleasure in two stages: the ginger arouses your desire and excites your taste buds, while the pepper provokes an internal fire. You can’t help asking for more…Here is the fatally attractive recipe (for two):
- 100 g (3,5 ounces) of very dark chocolate- 40 g (1,4 ounces) butter- 30 g (1/4 cup) flour- 2 eggs- 2 tablespoons milk- 2 teaspoons freshly minced ginger- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper- Powdered sugar- Salt
Preheat oven at 220°C. Butter and sugar two individual ramekins and save them in the fridge. Cut the chocolate into squares. Keep 8 pieces on the side. In a small pan, melt the butter and all the chocolate except for the 8 pieces. Let sit.
Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Whip the egg whites in a mixer until light and fluffy.
Mix the egg yolks with 2 teaspoons sugar until they whiten. Add the milk, the flour, a pinch of salt and the melted chocolate. Then delicately blend in the whipped egg whites.
In another small pan, heat ¾ cup of water, the ginger, pepper and a tablespoon of sugar until you obtain syrup. Let the syrup cool down. Once the syrup has cooled down, add the 8 remaining pieces of chocolate and mix until the mixture is smooth. If needed, you can put the pan back on the fire to melt the chocolate completely. Be careful not to add the chocolate to the hot syrup… it will burn!
Distribute half the chocolate mix into the ramekins. Then delicately pour the spice syrup so that it is at the center of the ramekins, and then top it off with the rest of the chocolate mix.
Cook for 10 minutes until the surface of the cakes starts cracking. Eat warm.
This recipe is taken from the book: “480 pages de douceurs dans un monde de brutes” Chez Tana Editions, Collection Mon grain de sel ©Raphaële Vidaling 

Gastrically Challenged?


Living Gluten and Dairy-Free with French Gourmet Food
Special presentation by Chef Braux of his latest work in English
Alain Braux is an Austin-based award-winning Executive Chef, Nutritherapist, author, speaker and consultant. With 40 years of experience in the food industry as a chef and 10 years as a nutritherapist, Chef Braux is the Executive Chef at People's Pharmacy where he focuses on the creation of gluten/dairy-free and low-sugar dishes for clients with specific conditions such as Celiac disease, ADD/ADHD, and assorted food allergies.

    Voodoo Chocolate (This is ingenious)

The man to forget 
L'homme à oublier   The man to forget
Vincent ne vous a jamais rappelé.
David s'est taillé dans la nature.
Paul, lui, vous aimait. Autant que sa femme.

Les lâches, les coureurs, les petits hommes cruels qui vous ont blessé ne méritent qu'une chose : que vous les mangiez.
Pour les oublier, faites-les fondre dans votre tasse de thé avec cette sucette vaudou au chocolat. Un crunch pour oublier le son de sa voix. Un crunch pour effacer son numéro de votre téléphone. Un crunch pour le faire disparaitre complètement de votre mémoire. Mais qui, au fait ? Vous ne vous souvenez plus.
Vincent you never called.
David has carved out* in nature.
Paul, He loved you. As far as his wife.
The cowards, runners, small cruel men who have hurt you deserve one thing that you eat.
To forget them, let them melt in your cup of tea with this voodoo chocolate lollipop. A crunch to forget the sound of his voice. A crunch to erase his number from your phone. A crunch to make it disappear completely from your memory. But, anyway? You do not remember.
* if anyone has a better translation for taille dans, please share.
 Lollipop Chocoubli, 5 € On sale at Puerto Cacao,2 rue Théophile Roussel, 75012Tel: 01 43 47 58 60 More on the site Puerto Cacao A friend to console? Send them this e- card  (I love this website!)

I wonder if I shall still enjoy fried egg sandwiches when living in Paris. Bet you euros to beignets that egg sandwiches in Paris are beaucoup plus fabuleuse.

Paris is a good cause right?
A few folks have suggested that I should add a donation button to my blog. It seems like a logical step in getting me to Paris. However, I am afraid that if no one is moved to donate, it will hurt my feelings and I shall be très triste (quite sad). Suppose I'll never know unless I give it try. Opinions?

13 February 2012

Now That's a French Kiss!

Well, I didn't get my espresso chocolate macaron today as planned; quite disappointing. Malheureusement, La Patisserie is closed on Mondays. My friend Meg suggested I go to Le Boite instead. Well, I didn't make it there either. I spent  my lunch hour having two engine filters replaced in my car. On the plus side, I had a really good stretch of uninterrupted reading time. I'm reading Sleeping With Paris by Juliette Sobanet. She has a blog called Chocolate for Writers. It's fun to read, especially if you have a fondness for France. I'm nearing the end of the book and I'm not ready. I've become attached to the characters and don't want to say goodbye. Her newest book, Kissed in Paris just came out and I can't wait to read it.

You can get Sleeping With Paris free from Amazon through Valentine's Day! No need for a Kindle - you can download the Kindle app on your phone or PC. How fabulous is that? 

I don't know why I was so anxious to post this extra bit; it may be because of this delightful picture I came across today. You may not be able to tell, but their ages are decades apart. What an embrace - so passionate, so French.

photo - Richard Neham  Eye Prefer Paris

I hope to get my hands on un macaron, une truffe, or other such chocolaty goodness tomorrow. I'll let you know...

12 February 2012

Bonne Saint Valentin!

Le Ponts des Arts, the most romantic bridge in Paris. There are close to 2000 different "love locks" from all over the world attached to the bridge. Lovers fastened their lock to the bridge and throw the key in the Seine. *sigh*

The Mayor's office thinks the "love locks" are an eyesore.  Absurdité

I'll be spending Valentine's Day with les chats, but it could be much worse. I could be alone in Paris on the most romantic day of the year. Can you imagine?  No matter. Here in Austin, I shall dine on various chocolates, heart-shaped candies, and red & pink pastries. What do you have planned?

Speaking of chocolat, my professeur de française brought treats to class last night in honor of Valentine's Day. Both chocolate bars originated in France, but one was made with beans from Venezuela and the other from Madagascar. Très bonne! Don't you agree that dark chocolate is the best? It was a fun class - we started a new dossier on les animaux!

Let's review the history of Saint Valentine while we're here. 

The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. 
Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first "valentine" greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl--possibly his jailer's daughter--who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed "From your Valentine," an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and--most importantly--romantic figure. By the Middle Ages, perhaps thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France. 
I suppose we'll never know the true history of this romantic priest.

La Patisserie

I almost forgot! These are also on my list of things to eat on this most caloric of holidays. There is a quaint patisserie right around the corner from me and I've yet to try it. I'm heading over there Monday at lunch to treat myself to les macarons Valentin.

J'aime Parisians; they are romantic, and their displays of public affection do not offend, but are rather heart warming and sweet. Hmmm - just like Valentine's Day.