Dear French Market friends,
Today is the 1st of September, which always signifies to me the change of the seasons in Cape Town. Last weekend the temperature was 8C degrees, during the week it shot up to 29C degrees and all the beautiful flowers on the mountainside opened up their little faces to bathe in the warmth of the sun. Like most of us here in this beautiful city, I love the warmth of summer and struggle to get through the winter so I always celebrate today as the beginning of Spring. Happy Springtime!
To celebrate Spring, I am starting a new line at my French Market shop. I am launching a new Patisserie range at the shop. I have a selection of small pastries and cakes made by the best French pastry chef in Cape Town Cedric Touzard. Cedric trained at the top gastronomy school in France, Le Notre, brought his skills to Cape Town and is well known in the French community. He supplies the pastries for the main French events when I supply the French cheeses.
I have made a selection of typical small pastries and cakes that you would find in the bakeries in France, such as Madeleines, Financiers, Canelé, Macarons, Tartlets, Profiteroles, and quiches. I am starting with a small selection of bite sized pieces to see how my clients respond. Do let me know if you have favourite pastries that I can organise for you to try. I can also have individual small and large cakes, pastries plus cocktail sized pastries made for you on a pre-order basis, do message me for more details.
Last month I introduced the amazing sour dough baguettes from Woodstock Bakery with a great response from clients. One client told me she thinks it’s the best sour dough baguette in Cape Town. Therefore, youwill continue to see these freshly baked crusty baguettes in the morning at the shop. If you want to be sure of getting one, please pre-order with me and I will reserve for you as we sell out most days, especially on the weekends.
Apart from these exciting new arrivals, we have our wonderful range of French cheese in stock. Ranging from creamy Delice, Vacherousse, Camembert and Brie de Meaux to the firm textured mountain cheeses from the Savoie and Jura. In our blue cheese range, the Fourme d’Ambert is one of the oldest cheeses made in France. It was already being made when the Romans invaded France. The shape is cylindrical as it was originally made in wooden buckets. The texture is dense and rich, the flavour is mouth filling without being as intense as Roquefort.
In our fresh farm produce range, we have received a fresh stock of violet artichokes, they are more tender than the harder globe artichokes. Our farm eggs from a farm outside of Worcester where the chickens wander happily amongst the fields, are receiving great reviews from clients. I am often asked if they are duck eggs as they are so large. The yolks are a bright yellow and frequently double. It is really important to me to find the right quality of each product that I select for the shop, and I enjoy getting your feedback.
A reminder to all the Rugby fans, the opening World Cup Match on 8th of September will be screened live at the Alliance Francaise du Cap from 19h30, located at 155 Loop Street. Please wear berets and Bleu/blanc/rouge for France or Green for the Bokke. I will be helping behind the bar with other volunteers from the Alliance Francaise Committee we will have some French wines, saucisson sec and snacks during the event (and the following events) it should be a lot of fun. I can forward the poster for you to circulate to your friends.
For my recipe this week I decided to make a spring salad with our French Benedicta Mayonnaise. Made with Dijon mustard and fresh egg yolks, you can taste the difference. This recipe is very simple and is one of my favourite salads. Select some plump pink prawns, boil some fresh farm eggs, pile on the mayonnaise and top with some Black lumpfish roe from Iceland. It is quick to make and looks attractive. As we go into warmer days this is an ideal dish to serve as a starter or as a main dish. See recipe below.
I hope you have a great weekend full of treats.