Thursday, July 19, 2012

flo braker's pain d'amande

After I got back from my vacation last week, I promptly came down with a cold and spent several days sniffling into Kleenexes and drinking lots of herbal tea. However, come Saturday I felt well enough to have a few friends over for a small Bastille Day themed supper. 

Basically it's become an annual tradition that I use Bastille Day as an opportunity to cook French food and drink an excessive amount of champagne. This year was no exception. We dined on pâté de campagne, rillettes de porc, salade de carottes râpées, gratin de courgettes, frisée aux lardons, and a savory tarte aux quetsches. We also would have had gougeres, but I left them too long in the oven and they burnt to a crisp. As I mentioned, there was a good deal of champagne.

After dinner we had lavender honey ice cream and pain d'amande

The ice cream was good, if a bit strongly flavored, but the pain d'amande was a revelation- crisp, buttery and subtly nutty. Pure genius.  So much so that I just baked another batch to eat with salted butter caramel ice cream at a dinner party tomorrow night. I followed the recipe (something I usually try to do the first time I try out a new recipe) and it was delicious just as it is, but I can imagine taking it in a number of directions. Making it without the cinnamon. Adding vanilla, perhaps. Or lemon zest. Possibilities, yo.

Anyway, it was a delightful evening. I'm very happy to be continuing a tradition of festive Bastille Days, even here in California. Vive la France!

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