Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Raspberrry Financiers

One thing I have learned in France is, when invited to a dinner party you don't just graciously accept and then think about what to gift your hostess. Oh no! It seems the polite thing to do is to ask "what can I bring?" That doesn't always mean your offer is taken, but sometimes it is and so today I am preparing a little dessert for six people to take along to an invitation tonight. Crème de Citron and Financiers aux Framboises it will be, elegant bite sized (oaky, two bites) petit fours that, as long as you have some frozen raspberries at hand are a cinch to make.
All you need is 110 g powdered sugar, 3 eggwhites, 55 g almond flour (ground almonds), 35 g flour,  100 g butter and a handful of raspberries.
With a wodden spoon, stir all ingredients except for the butter together. Melt the butter and let cook for a few minutes so its color changes to a nutty light brown. Let the melted butter cool down, then mix into the batter. Fill into a financier baking form (you could also use a madeleine form or miniature cupcake forms), push two frozen rasperries into each financier and bake at 180C/350F for 20 minutes.
Rasperry financiers in their baking form

Tonight's Dessert

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Primeur Beaumes de Venise - the new wine of 2014

 Primeur 2014
Last night we were among the first to taste this year's "Primeur" - the new wine of the prestigious Beaumes de Venise wine cooperative. Beaumes de Venise is famous for its fortified sweet Muscat wine that often accompanies foie gras dishes. Although grown for more than 2000 years in and around Beaumes, Muscat only celebrated its 70 birthday as an AOC (controlled designation of origin) wine last year.
But Beaumes de Venise also produces wonderful red wines which became "cru" - the highest order of wines in the Rhone Valley in 2005.
Now you cannot just go and have a taste of a new AOC wine whenever you feel like it. There are strict rules and regulations to obey: the Primeurs, the new AOC wines, are only allowed to be sold after the third Thursday in November, which means this year from Thursday, November 20th after 12 am. So we were lucky to have a taste but also couldn't buy any. Too bad, because the red and the rosé are very nice even drunk this young and the vintners are more than  happy with their new vintage. Which means we better go back this Friday and stock up, not forgetting a bottle of Muscat or two!

But savour we could: the beautiful halls of the Beaumes de Venise Cave

and a scrumptious buffet the wine growers treated us to

 Great wine, delicious food

 The famous Muscat
Professional tasters: the owners of the Vaison restaurant "L'Epicurien"