Happy Bastille Day!

Posted on July 14, 2012 by LISA KUNIZAKI | 0 Comments

We’re on a celebratory buzz.

We celebrated Bastille Day the only way one can: full fat. And we have so many leftovers, we’ve decided that, this year, Bastille Day is not enough. We’re celebrating for a week.

With that in mind, we’d like to share a few thoughts and recipes.W

We’re fond of Aix-en-Provençe – the views, the cafés, the food market in the square . . . We always come back with good French lavender. Some of the lavender lands in sachets, some in potpourri, some in shortbread, and some in tea.

Our executive director, Lisa Kunizaki, has won us over to Earl Grey with lavender.

For those who are living where it’s hot, Earl Grey and lavender ice cream makes a fabulous cool-down. Ignore the rules about never mixing Earl Grey with cream. You’ll want to scoop this up. The tea adds a savory flavor, and the lavender’s almost as refreshing as a weekend in Provençe.

If you’re feeling more “slice” than “scoop”, bake an Earl Grey lavender cake. We make extra Earl Grey lavender syrup. It’s beautiful drizzled over sorbet or gelato, or used in cocktails.

If you like your Earl Grey pure, try these beautiful Earl Grey macarons. Lisa found that recipe a few months ago, and we haven’t stopped making it since.

You know one of our addictions (and we have inedible news about it below). e’re not alone in liking macarons. However far north, south, east or west you go, everybody appreciates the delicately little rounds. WLucky people Down Under find their ways to Adriano Zumbo’s patisseries. If you can’t travel to Australia to try them, then you might try your hand at making one of his daring recipes at home. The musk and rose macarons are utterly romantic. (At Christmas, he makes candy cane macarons. You can’t hang them on a tree, but they make neat treats and gifts.

We’re delighted to see that people are playing with sweet and savory in macarons. A beet macaron recipe comes with dark chocolate ganache or smoked salmon filling. Lightly curried macarons are filled with chicken purée.

When we’re too lazy to bake, we go to the Macaron Parlour on Hester Street. The candied bacon and maple cream cheese macarons could tempt a vegetarian to stray. The Earl Grey macarons tend to disappear from our office – but so do the peanut butter cup, the pistachio, the caramel fleur de sel, and the Nutella.

For classics, we stop by Bouchon and appreciate Sebastien Rouxel’s impeccable seasonal selection.

We save Ladurée for when we have time to sit and linger. Put tea and macarons on the table, and an hour becomes a Parisian holiday.

Everybody should be so lucky: kitchens where we can make macarons, excellent bakeries where we can buy them, and places where we can indulge with a friend – and friends who share our indulgences.

We love finger food, but we’re not entirely focused on sweets. We do love gougères. Those little puffs, hot out of the oven, rich with Gruyère . . . Oh, and crêpes, and paté, and soufflé, and baked Brie . . . Instead of a green tea crêpe cake, we could make one with Grand Marnier . . . It all goes perfectly with champagne.

A week might not be long enough

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