Dear French Market Shoppers,
Now that the hectic festivities are over, life is slowly getting back to normal again in Cape Town. We still have plenty of visitors from overseas enjoying our beautiful summer weather. This includes the surprise arrival of my beautiful daughter from New York. After 3 days of catching up on some of our favourite eating places such as the Foodbarn in Noordhoek, The Living room at Quartier in Franschhoek and Bistro Bizerca in the city centre I feel I need a light break of salad leaves for a couple of days. I must say how incredibly proud I am of the continued high standard of food served at these amazing restaurants in Cape Town, it is certainly on a par with top restaurants around the globe.
I know that the secret of their success is in the passion of these chefs for creating fine food with the best quality ingredients. This is the same reason that my cheeses have been so successful, because the French cheesemakers are also passionate about maintaining the standards of their produce. I have had many clients returning this season to say how wonderful their cheeses tasted, it gives me a great feeling of satisfaction and makes my job so rewarding.
Something new in the store in the last couple of weeks is the Ducs de Gascogne Duck confit a l’Orange product. This speciality from the South West of France is made from slow cooked Duck thighs in an orange sauce with chunks of orange. All you have to do is to heat it up and serve it. A really delicious products.
Now is the time for outdoor picnics and alfresco lunches in the shade of leafy trees. I have lots of delicious cheeses in stock, ripe and creamy Bries and Camemberts, smelly Epoisses from Burgundy, smooth Comte from the Jura, smokey Morbier and decadent Delice triple cream, to mention a few. We also have a range of terrines which are all great for picnic baskets.
One of my favourite small sweet dishes to finish off a dinner is Petit four (a small cake or sweet) made from marzipan, or “Marcepain” to give it the ancient French name. These little, almond paste sweetmeats, can be made without additional flavouring or can be coloured and shaped into the shape of fruits. For my recipe this week I made some marzipan to which I added some Crème de Peche de vigne, (wild peach liqueur from Alsace) which enhanced the flavour. I then added a small filling of Crème de Marron, (sweetened chestnut cream). These Petit four were so easy to make and are a change from traditional after-dinner sweets such as chocolates. They are delicious served with a cup of coffee at the end of a dinner. They can be made beforehand and kept up to a week in the fridge. I suggest serving them with a glass of ice cold Massenez Eau-de-Vie Vieux Kirsch (Dark cherry Schnapps) from Alsace and an espresso. You can see the recipe on my website at http://frenchmarket.co.za/french-recipes/all-recipes-in-2014/suzannes-recipe-1-2015-petit-four-de-marcepain-et-creme-de-marron/
I hope you have a wonderful weekend and look forward to seeing you again soon in my shop.