All posts tagged: French

Black Sesame Orange Tart

What better to do with a Saturday afternoon than to hole up in your kitchen for several hours experimenting? It all started with my relatively simple idea to actually practice some of what I learn in school on my own time and in my own kitchen, but then as all ideas I have tend to do, it quickly snowballed as it encountered the semi-jilted feeling I had of not having my recommendation to use black sesame in an entremets be well received. One thought led to another, and before I knew it I was dragging three bags of groceries home filled with more butter and eggs than any normal person would consume in an entire week, and I was ready to go. Even when I started baking though, I can’t say that I really knew what it was that I would be making. I knew the elements and I thought of ways I might combine and shape them into creating one dessert…but it wasn’t until about an hour into the process that I had an ‘ah …

Yam’tcha Lunch

Have you ever watched Chef’s Table or the more recent Chef’s Table France on Netflix? Well, then you may very well recognize the chef to the right of this photo: That’s right, while on an epic pastry tour in Paris, Babette and I were more than fortunate enough to get a reservation one day during lunch hours at Yam’tcha, Adeline Grattard’s Michelin starred restaurant. And from start to finish, it was one of the most beautiful lunch experiences of my life. If you read my last michelin restaurant related post, I have some criteria that I will tell you about before getting into all the pictures and specifics of what we ate–so feel free to keep scrolling til you get to that, or keep reading as you like. Ambiance: 4.5/5 It was a lovely and comfortable space, with beautiful walls, decorations and seating. However it was still within the bounds of an ‘expected’ level of comfort for me, which is why I didn’t give it the full marks. Taste: 5/5 Constantly amazed and unexpectedly the …

Studying French: Language Interference 

Another day, another blogging-in-a-train-station experience as I am once again too early to go through security. I had every intention of studying French yesterday. I really did. But then it somehow devolved into daydreaming in the foreign language section of my brain. I packed up my French textbook, my study packets, my flashcards, my notebooks–everything–and I went a few blocks down the street from my hotel in London to find a cafe that was suitable enough for studying at. (The struggle is so real in Europe to find a place that isn’t solely for drinking espresso, and it continues to be one of my biggest areas of culture shock). Obviously I also brought a book and my baking idea notebook, because what if I finished studying and had nothing left to do? So I ordered some juice, laid all my belongings out on the table in front of me….And then just stared at them for about five minutes. French is hard. When I finally made myself start working, I only got through about one exercise …

Gourmandaise Constellation

Sometimes I get so in to making cakes that I forget that other kinds of desserts exist. Or if I happen to remember I scare myself away because I am so much more comfortable making layer cakes–and that comfort has come by enough experience to know when a recipe is going south or when I am experiencing beginners luck. Its scary to go out into the wider world of pastry, away from my safety bubble of cake! But it is recipes like this one, Pierre Herme’s Gourmandaise Constellation, that remind me why I should venture outside my bubble more often. Because it is delicious. And fun. And did I mention delicious? Who knew so many flavors could come in this small a package?! Besides the whole never-made-this-before-and-was-using-a-Korean-recipe and failing epically the first time trying to make the choux pastry because I didn’t know that I was supposed to stop adding eggs when the consistency was right (even though the recipe only said to add four eggs, one at a time T_T) I was able to …

Tiramisu Façon Charlotte (aka Charlotte-Style Tiramisu)

Is it possible to be addicted to the start of new things, or is that just the human condition? Whether it is new books, new languages, new friends, new adventures….there is something exciting and thrilling about beginning something unknown. I think it is partially because the end of whatever it is is unknown–leaving the possibility for it to become a wonderful and meaningful something in your life. Okay, maybe that is too philosophical for tiny new beginnings like new recipes, but for this recipe it felt like an important–and addicting–start to something. Because this recipe was not only new, it was from a new cookbook AND in a new language. A trifecta of newness. 😀 You may remember me buying this book in France a few weeks ago–it is a fantastic little book called Atelier Patisserie: Chez les blogueuses. Basically it is a single cookbook that is a compilation of recipes from 10 different French bloggers, allowing you to find different kinds of recipes and styles within one book. Speaking of new things though, it …

Vocabulary Acquisition: Creating Scaffolding with French Books

Learning any language can be tough, particularly when you are trying to do it entirely on your own or at least enhance your learning outside the classroom without guidance. There are many ways to help make this easier and go smoother for a person, but the thing I want to focus on today is building your vocabulary through reading. When I was in Japan, I knew that I wanted to build my vocabulary and I knew it would be a good idea to do so through reading, but I didn’t really know where to begin, so I bought and read books aimlessly–which did not help my language acquisition as much as it could have. Because of that I want to share my experiences and knowledge, and hopefully help others in their language learning journey–as well as receive feedback on my own language learning journey. One thing that a teacher does in a language classroom is create scaffolding. No, not actual physical scaffolding like what is used when building a building, but imaginary scaffolding that works …