Posts Tagged ‘Easter’
There was a time when any trip to Paris meant rushing to the nearest Pierre Hermé boutique to try the latest limited edition. Then, in 2010, the Picasso of pastry finally opened in Selfridges. Macaron addicts – those with a love for the perfect crunchiness and refined creativity – sighed in delight. No need to jump on the Eurostar. Neat rows of colourful macarons, the very best, just there, on our way back home (even if it meant a detour). On 11th April, the small counter will be replaced by a more luxurious space, still in the food court. There will be more treats – jams, pound cakes, chocolate, tea and even scented candles.
Pierre Hermé, yes, Pierre Hermé will be there. So grab your recipe books – he will be signing them. From 17:00 to 18:00. It’s quite a rare occasion to see him in London so don’t miss it. I had met him a few years back – if you do read French, have a look. You can read Pierre Hermé’s interview here!
Take the time to have a look at his Easter collection, by the way. There is an Oeuf Galet, a tribute to the Pure Origine Pérou chocolate (a slightly lemony cacao), decorated with disks of different ganaches (yuzu, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, vanilla, salted caramel). At its core, you will find small chocolate eggs too (hazelnut, croquant nougatine…). It’s like an exquisite edible piñata! Just as elegant is the Oeuf Dentelle with its lace of intense Grand Cru Caraïbes 66%, filled with rich mini-eggs (Intense, Infiniment Praliné Noisette, Mathilda, Corso). Or would you prefer a family of chocolate rabbits?
On the dessert side, Satine is queen this season. Just imagine a beautiful unctuousness, cream-cheese-like with exotic passion fruit and zesty orange. A sunshine explosion, both fruity and with a slight acidity. Pierre Hermé has reinvented it in 9 recipes for the UK (he had done the same for his Infiniment Café collection, remember?): macaron, bonbon, nougatine, cake, calisson, pâte de fruits, nougat, jam and tea. Oh, your bag is sure to be much heavier on your way back home…
London W1A 1AB
Easter, in my family, is quite unique. When I was a child, we spent a couple of years in Mauritania. A stork stopped by – this fired my imagination and voilà, the Easter bells were replaced by the Easter stork. The story remained and each year, we would prepare fancy nests and place them in the garden, ready for sweets.
And so I kept a love for slightly different celebrations and a certain mise en scène. The kids get a mix of sugary treats, books, little treasures. I much prefer to choose one good quality egg than 10 supermarket ones: it’s never to early to educate the tastebuds. This season, I have fallen for Carluccios’ dark chocolate version. Nice crunchy shell and then overwhelming, voluptuous dark chocolate, melting very slowly. Like super-luxurious smarties, concluded my 8 year-old daughter, stealing what I’m sure was originally my candy. Look at these pastel colours, aren’t they splendid? You could easily think they’re real. They make a gorgeous effect on a table with a simple arrangement. Go on. Go crazy.
And to compensate for the chocolate feast, why not try a Paloma Cake? This dove shaped dessert is the Easter equivalent of the pannetone. You will find the same brioche texture, a specific tenderness only egg yolks can bring, candied orange peels. The tops remind me of a nice meringue, sprinkled with crunchy almonds and sugar confetti. It’s simply perfect for a festive breakfast or teatime. I wrongly thought this would work well for French toast… There wasn’t a crumb left after a few hours!
Ah, Easter, the best excuse to eat chocolate, guilt-free. It is a seasonal product, surely that makes it right? Well, you can add a extra dose of pleasure this week-end with Millie’s Cookies adorable bites, disguised as sweet nests. Forget cupcakes, this are actually made of cookie dough, so much more satisfying. A melt-in-the-mouth icing, crunchy eggs and voilà: perfect minutes of happiness…
Or go for the upgraded version of the greetings card: the edible one, a giant cookie that can be shared around a creamy hot chocolate. We love the idea, makes it more memorable and certainly more original than a bunch of flowers.
But, ah, nothing’s better than a pile of their cookie collection - chocolate, toffee, raisins, raspberry-white chocolate, chocolate-orange, brownie… I put them 30 seconds in the oven, so that the chips are mellow again and the kitchen filled with a sugary aroma. How can you resist that? By the way, isn’t it tea time, mmh?
What a dream, it does feel like summer ! T-shirts and beach dresses are out. You’d better eat those Easter chocolates quick or they’ll melt before the hunt has begun…
Put that suncream in your bag and pick a few ideas:
* Are flashmobs dead? Not at all! Meet tomorrow (Thursday, April 21) at Pierre Garroudi‘s gallery at 16.00. Him and his 20 models wearing bright red creations will take London streets as an amzing catwalk stage. Arrival planned at Trafalgar Square between 17.00 and 18.00.
* Southbank opens on Friday a huge festival, inspired by the 1951 and meant to celebrate the British culture. Over the next 4 months there will be a beach atmosphere, Indian street food, a fun fair and each week-end will provide animations on different themes…
* Every year, the British Museum and Kew Gardens work together on a themed garden. Australia is the new guest of honour.
* St Georges Day may not bring an extra day off but it is no reason not to celebrate!
* Blue sky and bright sun usually mean great thirst. Why not cheer the weather with a royal pub crawl? Alternativerly, get a beard and a toge, it’s all for a good cause and your pint will taste even better for it.
* Trafalgar Square is so trendy that even Jesus will stop there this week-end. No kidding.
* Do you live in east London? There’s plenty of chocolate your way.
* Don’t forget your camera on Sunday: Easter Bunnies will be skating through Hyde Park!
* Royal wedding cakes are all the craze. Go and see this free exhibition that recreates the most amazing ones, including a Buckingham Palace made of sugar.
* Discover the keys ceremony at the London Tower.
* Hendrick’s will mix new cocktails at Selfridges, served in teapots: gin-champagne-elderflower liqueur. Cheers, my dear!
* You can now enjoy Pimm’s on the London Eye.
What about you? London or countryside escape?
Tick-tock, tick-tock, the countdown to the week-end has begun…
* Stop by the Scoop, the Open Air theatre close to London Bridge, for a dose of modernised Shakespeare. It’s free, every evening till April 18.
* Saturday is Queen’s day in Holland - a national public holiday. Trafalgar Square will have a dedicated market with music and the National Gallery proposes to discover the masters of this colourful country.
* The artist Chantal Powel got inspired by Alice in Wonderland and is recreating this magic on Saturday. Come and have a look – there will even be a Mad Hatter Party!
* Flutter by the Natural History Museum – the Butterfly House is back for the summer!
* Easter’s just arounf the corner. Come and make your own gourmet chocolate eggs and enjoy a cocktail.
* Go ad-Mire the colourful Miro exhibition at the Tate.
*Uniform is all the chic at Selfridges.
* You know summer’s just around the corner when open air cinemas start popping up again…
* Get some fresh air and have a walk in the Lea valley.
The Real food Festival regularly brings a highlight to Southbank. It may not be very big but the stalls gather all kind of savoury and sweet crafts that are worth discovering.
Themes vary, of course - this week-end is chocolatey, Easter being so close. And yes, you can lick your lips in anticipation!
A few things to try:
- Niko B‘s creations: fig, lemon-ginger-pepper, burnt caramel-lemon, mint-raspberry, chai, tyme-lime…
- Cocoa Magic‘s lovely alliances: coconut-cherry, chilli-mint, cardamom-pistachio…
- Beautiful jewels, as if handpainted by Baruzzo…
- Mexican dishes with a chocolate twist…
- Café On‘s 20 different macaroons – they will also propose today macarons and ice-cream sandwiches!
- The amazing cheesecake collection by The Sweet Tooth Factory – they had a Toblerone one yesterday, yummy…
- Absolutely anything/everything from The Choc Star Van, from brownies to ice-cream. We’re big fans of Petra.
- Hotel Chocolat and William Curley (and so many more!) also present their collections.
Too hot for truffles and cakes? try this:
- We fell in love with Jaz & Jul’s pinachocalada – chocolate and pineapple: a match in heaven. They also do a range of flavoured iced chocolates.
- Choccy Woccy also proposes Snickers, Mars or Bounty milkshakes. And cocktails! Chili-mint-vodka-Bayley’s, rum-butterscotch schnapps-chocolate or vodka-coffee liquor-chocolate. Hips!
- Discover The Meantime Brewery‘s very refreshing beers. (Although for the chocolate one, walk a bit further on Southbank and prefer the Double Chocolate stout at the Founders Arms. Sunny terrace included!)
And if you are not totally saturated yet, go for a chocolate lunch at The Rabot Estate in Borough Market – savoury and sweet adventures to be had there!