I made scones today. Twice, because two seems to be a trending number these days. Same recipe, except for five extra grams of milk.
And somehow, no matter how long I have been a pastry chef for, I’m still amazed by how details matter.
The end. Of this, that is.
I was writing when the timer went off. Upstairs, sitting cross-legged in front of my laptop.
It wasn’t as cold as the outdoors would suggest.
[Hello March, goodbye March]
I’ve felt raindrops running through my hair; and my dress too. I’ve made a cake. And another one too.
I’ve seen blossoms on every tree. I’ve walked in empty avenues, with my eyes closed and his hand on mine.
[Chocolate eclairs, almost like Fauchon's]
When trees are shaped like hearts; and breakfast means just-brewed coffee slash bike ride slash jonchée eaten as soon as I’ve taken my gum boots off.
And we run barefoot in fields of frost.
A friend, of the dear-to-my-heart kind, made this cake today. A few thousands of kilometres away. And I did too. In ten minutes, from cupboards to oven*.
It was eaten on the couch.
I started collecting objects, to make up for memories I forgot. A blue pool ball, a broken cigarette, a plastic table number.
I read words. Most of the time, at night.
[Olive oil jelly]
In autumn, with figs, a young brillat-savarin curd, and a warm sponge so full of vanilla seeds it’s almost grey. Perhaps, a few toasted and salted almonds for crunch.
In winter, with caramelised apples, a white chocolate granita – not unlike snow, crystallised rosemary, and fresh apple bubbles.
It’s hard to play favourite with vanilla.
Tahitian vanilla (or for the geeks out there, and that includes me, Vanilla tahitensis) is a bit of a outsider – considered its the only vanilla to contain heliotropin – with its floral burst and nutty undertones.
Is it just me, or do you also feel like that – more than any other month – tarts belong to November?
It usually happens without a warning. And without a calendar.
[And pieces of tree would fall from the sky - The ultimate quadruple chocolate loaf cake]
I plan to spend this autumn collecting dead leaves and horse-chestnuts, drinking coffees with warm mittens on, drawing the nights away, and day-dreaming about je ne sais quoi.
[The ultimate chocolate fondant]
In London, we’ve had winter in July. Air damp with rain. Kitchens warm with soup on the stove. Oven smelling like chocolate cake.
And now, in the south of France, we’re having summer in September.
[Little poundcakes, with chocolate or not]
It smells like the week-end around here. Actually, it’s been smelling like it for a week now.
And boy, week-end does smell good. Just-brewed coffee and toasted baguettes.
It was a day at the end of September. A couple of years ago. I put on my pied-de-poule trousers for the first time since the internship I had done the summer before at Pierre Hermé.
[Japanese-style milk buns]
It was a night of early winter, I think. It was possibly raining. And dark.
I can’t remember for sure, but it seems right.
I weighed flour and water in a pan.
[Roadtrips and other stories - A cornbread just like at Caravan]
Sometimes, all I want is to put my warmest boots on, and escape to a place outside of time. I would drive there for hours.