Odds and Ends

Further French Fancies

French Fancies in tricolor letters

After Cinta and Sara had settled in they were joined by Damien and Guillaume from Pas-de-Calais. When not taking part in lessons or visiting sites of interest they played tennis on the courts at the end of the road.

Clearly this was an activity that they shared and were keen on so obviously it had to be the subject of a cake for them, as they had seen and shared in the Catalonian Cat Cake.

Unfortunately they were in the house at the time that I made up the cake so it was a bit of a rush and I had to hide it. The natural place for me to put it was on top of a cupboard in the kitchen. As can be seen, I made up the cake on the lid of a cake tin, as it makes it easier to handle the cake. Later that evening, just before I went to bed, I glanced up and noticed that the tin was still there, but the right way up, meaning that the cake was à l'envers! Someone taller than I had been checking out the snacks. He knows who he is! (He did own up too).

brown iced cake decorated as a clay tennis court
Tennis Court Cake on the lid of the tin

As the boys were getting ready to return home the next day there was a call to say that two new girls were waiting at the airport. Unfortunately the alerting email from a parent had managed to mix the day and the date so they weren't expected until the day after. Fortunately Lise and Justine from Nord-Pas-de-Calais didn't panic and the 'domestic' staff rushed to cope.

Somehow I think it would have taken a lot more than that to upset this fun-loving pair. Perhaps their attitude was summed up by the T-shirt that one of them wore?

T-shirt decorated with macarons and optimistic message

"Some of the most beautiful things we have in life come from changes we do. Life is so sweet as you and me and our history will never die."

The English is a bit peculiar but I guess the sentiments are clear(?)

Did this mean that they were fans of French macaroons too? Apparently the wearer of the T-shirt had never tasted them! Were they better than the almond macaroons, with rice paper bases, that we had as children? Well I had to try.

plate of blue and red macarons with white filling

Once again I was in a rush. The blue food colouring struggled to overcome the yellow of the ground almonds and running two colours is a lot of trouble for small quantities, (using just one forcing bag meant that two macaroons were probably lost on the changeover). Nevertheless they seemed reasonable when they came out of the oven - only to collapse a few minutes later! I used whipped cream to make the 'white' of the Tricolore.

I think almond macaroons are easier to make and don't have the 'need' for artificial colours, let alone flavouring.

To send Lise and Justine off with full stomachs, (and to use up the cream), I made up a victoria sponge, with the top and bottom layers coated with 'Strawberry Syrup', (Jim Jam that didn't set, as I followed the Certo recipe rather than my own feelings), sandwiching a thick layer of cream. Actually it might be worth making 'Strawberry Syrup' just for this purpose as it soaks into the sponge!

sad model bear with hankerchief and two leaves

It must have worked as they each had a 'sufficient' piece then finished off the cake by having 'enough'(!), (a word that all(?) our French youngsters don't seem to know). They weren't even put off by the sad bear on top, holding two leaves - 'It is unbearably sad two leaf (to leave) you'!