Friday afternoon.... The weather is getting very cold and I have a serious belly ache from all the sour gummy bears I have eaten today at work. I think I am missing celebrating Halloween because bad for you, e-numbered filled candy has never tasted so good.
Friday, October 27, 2006
The clocks go back this weekend and I although I am really happy to have the extra hour in bed (I feel so sleep deprived this week!) I am not really looking forward to the near constant darkness it will bring. I am very lucky that I don't suffer any horrible SAD but the tendancy to curl up with the duvet, sleep longer, hug the cat for warmth, make hot chocolate, rent DVD's, drink red wine, bake cupcakes all whilst wearing flannel pajamas and cashmere socks sets in firmly. I am meant to stop by the pool for a quick swim tonight on my way home, but I can feel a chill in my bones at the very thought!
However, on the domestic front I have big plans for the weekend! My lovely friend and ex-neighbour Mrs. S is coming round to my flat for a baking lesson tomorrow. She lived in Paris for many years and is one of the only other people I know who goes into immediate, rapturous excitement at the mere mention of the really good pastry shops in Paris.
She's an éclair fan and has tried to make them herself since moving back to jolly-old England but like most people, finds pâte à choux very hard to get right. I am going to do my best to teach her to do it properly, as so much of the success is in visually knowing when to stop adding eggs and that is something that the cookery books can't really tell you for sure. Pastry is very precise and scientific I hear you say, and it is very true. But don't get me into a discussion about how humidty effects how much liquid flour can absorb on your chosen baking day or we will be here for hours! Pâte à choux is very sensitive to this so it's difficult reputation is well deserved.
Admittedly I haven't had to make éclairs very often and it has been awhile, but hey... it's all for fun and we are certainly going to enjoy eating them however they turn out. I have ordered all the right ingredients from France (which arrived on Monday) so add a little Edith Piaf background music and we will be in French pastry heaven!
My plan for tomorrow is this:
Whip up some lovely, lovely Earl Grey Madelienes and little sandwiches to keep us sustained through our lesson.
Make éclairs in both Chocolate and Coffee flavour.
Have Mr. H and Mr. S over for a taste test and some nice tea.
I will post a full report on the lesson including: (hopefully) helpful hints, photos and recipes to be posted after!
Bonne weekend mes amies!