Tuesday, February 9, 2016

My adventure at a Parisian market


Prior to arriving in Paris, I'd had my heart set on attending the Paris flea markets over the weekend. But as you'll know from my earlier Paris posts, we arrived in Paris on the day of the terror attacks (Nov 13 2015) and many public events such as the markets were closed, so for the weekend we were in Paris I missed out on them. However all was not lost, we had a fabulous time. And the photos from the small market we did attend (Thursday 19th November) bring back some pretty happy memories. Marche Bastille is open Thursdays and Sundays. It stretches between the Bastille and Richard Lenoir metro stations. The metro will pop you out right in the middle of the market. (7am-2.30pm)


I just love art nouveau and snapped the photo of this patisserie en route from our apartment in the Marais. It was just a short walk - but still dark at 7.30am. It was incredibly painful walking around the markets knowing I couldn't buy it all and take it home, as we were leaving the next day.


Apple juices of every variety



Seafood abounded



Even the chickens had me wanting one for dinner


Mushrooms galore


It was a little quiet when we first arrived but soon got much busier.


Every vege stall had lovely presentation


It was a little too early for wine tasting at 8am, but the price had me impressed


I was in pain, knowing I couldn't have fresh pasta to go home - I love pasta!


Everywhere we looked was amazing deli selections


Meats & cheeses



Salads & salts (I did bring some pretty great salt home to NZ)



Eggs galore!


Looking out of one end of the market to the traffic


More wonderful chickens


Deli meats and yet more pasta



This seller had a wide variety of mushrooms


Yet more seafood






Even flowers!


And more of my favourite CHEESE!



Sweeties anyone?


Fast food for breakfast was chorizo sausage galette and freshly squeezed orange juice. No processed food in sight.



Monday, December 21, 2015

Bakels white & chocolate truffle perfect for drip/drizzle effect cakes


The white or chocolate truffle available from Kiwicakes is great to use as a ganache layer under fondant. It can be coloured to use as a cake covering. And it drizzles straight from the bottle for drip effect cakes. At 15.95 for a 1kg bottle it's great value compared to the time and expense of making ganache. It's also great for dipping strawberries.


For the covering of your cake. You can go for a fully covered look like photo #1 or using a wide scraper - scrape some back off. To achieve the look in this photo.


When using it as a cake covering I cut the top off the bottle and microwave like this. You can add colouring once melted if required. And left overs can be put in another container or simply glad wrap top of cut container.


I added pinky/red colouring to white truffle for this cake. By squirting melted chocolate truffle on to a cooled cake. You can complete the drip effect in under two minutes. Having it in the bottle is so handy. Use only as much as you need. Then simply put the bottle back in the cupboard till next time. So no waste.


I used more chocolate truffle to stick the raspberries and chocolate balls to the cake.





New sprinkle medleys available from Kiwicakes




These lovely new sprinkle medleys are available now at Kiwicakes. Just perfect for sprinkling on your drip or drizzle effect cakes. Click here to view $8.95 for 150g

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Parisian Chocolate tour


My first tour in France, was the day after the Paris terror attacks, I was surprised to find the tour was still on, and our guide was happy to meet us as planned. Adeline was a wealth of knowledge regarding all things chocolate and Paris. She did tell me her tour had been altered slightly, as some of the stores, we'd usually go to were closed (in the days following the attacks many business and public places were closed).


Our first store was Patrick Roger. See his list of addresses in Paris here. Patrick himself was actually in the store when we arrived. The windows are filled with amazing chocolate sculptures (he has an agreement with the Musee Rodin and actually sculpts some of Rodin's works in chocolate)


Every customer is given an amazing book/catalogue which shows not only the truffles and bon bons available. But also his metalwork sculptures as well. I had to do a double take at times, to work out what was sculpted in chocolate and what was sculpted in metal.


It's true of every chocolate shop in Paris, but the smell in store is amazing!. And the attention to details of the packaging and tasting cards is like nothing I've seen anywhere else in the world.


It was a very busy store, yet the servers took time to chat with us, and give us free samples.


As our guide Adeline was so knowledgeable, we took her recommendation on which chocolate to taste (something to eat at each stop formed part of the tour I signed up for) 


My amazing chocolate came in a box that looked like it belonged in a jewellery store. I asked our guide Adeline how much a chocolate like this cost, she said 4.00 Euro. As we opened the boxes, she explained there is a special way to eat them. We must place them on our tongues and then push the dome in to the roof of our mouths with our tongues.  Thankfully Adeline gave us a heads up on how to eat this beauty - as the thin disk on the bottom gave way with virtually no pressure exploding the caramel/lime in to our mouth. Without this bit of advice, I can imagine the wonderful filling of my 4.00 Euro chocolate exploding all over my face as I bit down on it.


Our Next stop was Pierre Herme, I was told by Adeline (and subsequently another tour guide, Pierre Herme macarons are hands down better than Laduree, which they both felt had become too commercialised). There are stores all over Paris we went to the one at 39 Avenue de l'Opera.


It was incredibly difficult chosing just one to eat


So many choices!. Again I took Adeline's recommendation of passionfruit chocolate. (but I got a box of 7 to take home too!




Vaughan took her other reccomendation of Fois Gras & Fig. Apparently this flavour is a seasonal macaron, that customers queue down the street for Christmas Eve, so as to have them for their Christmas table the following day.


The man himself.


The sales staff were again incredibly helpful and attentive. I thanked the lady that had been helping me, her reply "but of course, I am here for you!"


Our Next stop was Angelina at 226 Rue de Rivoli. We enetered the pastry shop side of the premises, as the lines for sitting down in the tea room were down the street (apparently the line can be hours long). Angelina has been in business for over a century and is still the place to be seen. Coco Chanel lived in a hotel down the street - this was one of her favourite haunts.


The Mont blanc dessert at right is a famous and iconic dessert (made of meringue, whipped cream and chestnut cream)


All of the other pastries were equally delightful



Each a work of art.


At Angelina Adeline told us she was giving us their famous hot chocolate. We had it "to-go" and whilst only in a regular sized cup, I struggled to get to the bottom. Not because I didn't like it, in fact I LOVED IT. Molten liquid chocolate who wouldn't?


The delicatessen shelves were stocked with take home goods. These can be found around Paris in the major department stores. And if you're worried about the weight of your luggage checking in at the airport. Do what I did, once you're through check-in. Grab it at duty free, then you can load up your carry on - it's already been weighed at this stage.



In the week after we got back to NZ, and were lamenting the fact we were no longer in Paris. It was lovely to heat up our hot chocolate and indulge.



Vaughan added it to his espresso also


Pierre Marcolini was one of Adeline's favourite stops, sadly it was closed, so we grabbed some photos of the delightful window display - which reminded me of spaceships.






Our next stop was Jean Paul Hevin they have locations all over Paris The displays in store were amazing


Chocolate sculptures were everywhere



The butter caramels were amazing. From here I brought home some, for all my Kiwicakes staff hard at work in my absence.


These truffles under magnifying classes made a great wall display




Our last stop was Michel Cluizel - again they've stores all over Paris. This amazing store has a running chocolate waterfall running non stop on the wall.


This was our last stop, and I was feeling a little chocolated out! - so in making my selections at this store, Vaughan and I took them home, to eat after dinner. I was a little sneaky, choosing one of the mushrooms chocolates, as the stalk is a different flavour to the cap of the mushroom - meaning I got two chocolates.


Our chocolate tour was an amazing experience after having arrived in Paris only 24 hours before, it was a great way to get accustomed to a part of Paris with the help of our local guide. In hindsight I only wish I'd tried more - not that I could've managed eating them, I think in packing for France, I should've packed an extra dessert stomach.

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