[April showers – Flaky sugar brioches]
Today, it hailed three times. Rained once. And snowed twice. With the sun being at its brightest in between. Yes, I think April showers take a whole new meaning here.
Some other things do too.
In fact, I started this post in my head – perhaps yesterday, or even the day before – by telling you how busy this week has been. But as I’m writing this now – dressed with wool from head to toes, and sitting at the little wooden table that stands by the stacked firewood; hot chocolate in one hand, computer in the other, pink sunset and all – I’m forced to re-evaluate my Swedish version of busy.
Especially when, just a few months ago, busy meant an eighteen-hour day on a three-hour night. A few hundreds of covers and the mise-en-place to match.
These days, busy has been more like taking walks and pictures. An occasional visit to the city we’ll call home from this Monday. Perhaps, a batch of croissants; twelve of them. Or some choux, with a vanilla cream just so. A few hours spent unpacking the boxes we brought from London. And packing the essentials again. A loaf of bread; a large one mind you, but still: one. Uploading all my recipes (well, as of now, I’m about one percent into the process) to – what I think is going to be – the best/easiest/cleanest recipe database ever.
Some stories don’t need words. But let me tell you a little about this one.
It’s a story of the recent past; of a wonderful day. One by the lake and the forest. One when Kalle caught a rainbow trout. And we took it hot, carefully placed on top of his waders in the boot of our car. We cleaned it with water from the well. And covered it in a moutain of coarse salt.
A few days later, Svante heated the smoker over a fire. With wood chips and branches.
Perhaps, I’ve forgotten their name. It might have been Äl, if that’s even a tree. But I remember the heat; the perfumes.
Yes, some things can only be felt.
“I can count on one hand the things that make me as happy as seeing the man I love doing what he loves.”
Oh, and I turned this story into a steller tale too. It’s called HOT SMOKED. I don’t post very often over there. No matter how much I love it. Maybe I should do more. Maybe.
More often than not, I always share tips and techniques in my posts. Why clingfilm to the touch, how to fold cream when making a mousse, how to get a neat crack on top of a loaf, how to blindbake tarts, and so on.
But since so many of you requested, I thought I’d start a new feature* where I give you not-so-secret tips from a pastry chef. I’ve found over the years, that it – almost always – gets down to these little things. Yes, they usually make all the difference.
Today, as I was rolling some craquelin (a thick dough made of butter, demerara sugar and flour; and used to top choux before baking – but more on that soon!) I realised there is one thing I always do when rolling dough; and yet, I haven’t told you about it before. Read more…