One of my favorite ways to stay cool during this past summer’s heatwave is with this Vietnamese basil seed and malva nut drink. The basil seeds (hột é) look very similar to chia seeds, but they are slightly smaller and don’t need to soak for as long. The seeds are often paired with malva nuts (đười ươi), which puffs into an algae-looking blob. It, too, has a slightly gelatinous texture and imparts a subtly earthy flavor. Both seeds have a very mild flavor, so the drink needs a little bit of sugar to give it more body.
Chouquettes are a choux pastry without any filling and adorned by sucre perlé (pearl sugar). This quintessential French snack is often enjoyed by children and adults alike. The light and airy puff will have you reaching for one after another!
These ginger and clove madeleines are a simple twist on French MOF President Philippe Urraca’s recipe from his most recently published opus. The recipe yields madeleines with a perfectly rounded dome. These madeleines will surely indulge your sweet tooth and may even elicit a Proustian moment of nostalgia.
Mass hordes of people and the incessant noise pollution that come with living in a densely populated metropolitan area can eventually fray one’s nerves.
New Orleans was my hometown during my early childhood. We only lived there until I was six years old, so my recollections of life in the Big Easy have faded into fragmented blurs. One of the few things that I do remember about Louisiana is eating king cake during the mardi gras festivities, which is as ubiquitous as strings of beads during that time of year. I actually wasn’t particularly fond of eating the cake, which was often topped too generously with icing and colored sugars. I was only interested in finding the tiny plastic baby buried within the cake, because whoever found the prized baby would be crowned king for a day.
Japanese fraisier is a much lighter take on the traditional French fraisier. It is composed of a couple layers of genoise, whipped cream, and of course, strawberries, whereas the French version is filled with a mousseline cream (pastry cream + butter). Check out this recipe from the 2015 issue of Fou de Pâtisserie.