A few weeks ago, I was sitting in a lovely park with some French friends, eating lunch and enjoying the early Spring feeling. The topic of conversation turned to what I was going to do with myself whilst living in France.
“Umm, learn to speak French?” That was my hesitant answer, as I honestly haven’t got a plan and blurted out the first thing that came to mind – what I needed to do was learn to speak the language.
But what was it that I actually wanted to achieve here? What could I do that I could take away from this experience when I returned to my homeland?
This is what my French girlfriends said, “You should learn to be a pastry chef. Learn to make French pastry, then go back to your country and set up a business.”
I laughed at this idea, because I, for one, have a real problem with self-restraint around food! And I have a feeling that being in a kitchen with French pastry is a recipe for disaster where my waist is concerned! So I passed it off. Maybe, I said.
But then last week, another of my lovely friends tells me that she wants to find the perfect madeleine recipe. A madeleine is a classic fluted cake, dainty and elegant. Often flavoured with lemon and containing little surprises, such as chocolate chips. As I am always one for a challenge, I decided I would embark upon this mission with her (and I’ve never even tasted a madeleine before!! Ha!). But the curiosity within me was aroused and before long, I was the owner of a few shiny new madeleine trays and some other little gadgets for the kitchen and I was away!
A few batches later, all with different recipes, I am finding myself LOVING baking in my French kitchen. Perhaps my French friends were onto something when they suggested learning the art of pastry making? What do you think?