Yesterday we had a day out and what a fabulous day it was. We visited the water lily gardens that inspired Claude Monet to purchase some plants and go on to paint his famous water lily paintings.
We are lucky that the gardens are only a 45 minute drive away and May is the perfect month to visit as this is the month when they start to bloom...
Such a beautiful and tranquil place, it is as if you are magically transported to another world.
The gardens are classified as they are an important part of France's history. You can read about that history here.
The gardens also contain a lovely lake and a rose covered walk way which was heavenly as all of the roses were in bloom.
I could have spent the day here just wandering around and taking photos. Unfortunately I took so many photos of the water lilies that my phone battery ran flat which meant that I could not take photos of our lunch at a nearby restaurant.
Note it is possible to eat at the gardens and our guests ate there yesterday and were most impressed. We will leave this for our next visit as we chose to eat in a restaurant in a nearby village that is normally always full so jumped at the chance to get a table at just short notice.
A fabulous day out and a must do if you are ever in the area....
The photo above is one of my favourites and the flower is such a fabulous colour.
You can see why my phone battery ran flat as everywhere you looked there were so many beautiful flowers...
As I write this, I am about to get my Cannelés mixture out of the fridge and attempt at making some more. For those of you that want to give them a try, here is the recipe that I am using...
500 mls milk
2 egg yolks
25 g butter (diced)
200g (1 cup)sugar
100g (1 cup) plain flour
3 tbs rum
1 vanilla pod
The day before
Split the vanilla pod lengthways, scrape the seeds out and put
everything (seeds and pod) into a saucepan with the milk and butter
Heat it until it simmers and then remove from the heat and let it cool down a bit
In a bowl whisk the eggs and egg yolks together with the sugar, add the flour and mix
Strain the milk into the egg mixture and stir until the batter looks almost like crêpe batter
Let it cool completely and add the rum to the mixture
Refrigerate the batter for at least 24 hours (be patient!)
The day you want to bake the cannelés, stir the batter and fill the moulds to 3/4.
Preheat the oven to 240C
Bake for 15 minutes at 240C, lower the heat to 180C and bake for another
40 to 60 minutes depending if you like them golden or very dark.
Take the silicon moulds out of the oven, leave them for about 10 min and
then take off the cannelés from the moulds, leave them to cool down
completely on cooling a rack.
Bonjour mes belles, Yesterday was the day to make mini Cannelés. Not as hard as you would expect but it is a matter of getting the cooking time right and a couple of minutes makes all the difference as I found out.
End result 60 minutes is simply too much, 30 minutes is not enough and around 45 minutes is perfect but a lot depends on what size mould you have, type of oven and if you like them well done or just cooked.I will share the recipe with you on Friday so that you can have a try....
Today I am linking up to An Accidental blog written by the fabulous Paulita who is busy planning a move to SW France. One of my favorite books based in France It is called La Belle Season and is written by Patricia Atkinson who I have mentioned before as being a very inspiring woman who despite the odds took over a local vineyard and went on to make some of the best wine in our area. It is a remarkable book and a must for any woman contemplating a move to France. You can read more about the book here. This post is a bit shorter than I would have liked but I have not yet started dinner and French Boyfriend will be arriving any minute so I must love you and leave you...
This week's recipe is an easy one, well easy for those of you that love making soufflés...
Hot chocolate soufflé
serves: 6 preparation time: 15 mins cooking time: 10 mins
Unsalted butter, for greasing
dark chocolate, rouhly chopped
dark rum (optional)
eggs, separated, plus 2 egg whites
Pinch of salt
Icing sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to
200°C/gas mark 6 and grease six ramekin dishes. Melt the chocolate in a
heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making
sure the surface of the water does not touch the bowl. Stir in the rum,
if using. Remove from the heat and add the crème fraîche, then the egg
In a large, clean, dry
bowl, whisk all the egg whites and the salt to soft peaks. Fold
one-quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in
the remaining whites.
Fill the prepared
ramekins to the top with the mixture, then clean the rims using your
finger and thumb. Place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10 to
12 minutes, or until nicely risen. Dust with icing sugar and serve
immediately. For a delicious party trick, serve your soufflés with an
Before you make the
soufflés, scoop out six balls of good-quality vanilla ice cream and
place on a freezer-proof plate. Keep in the freezer until ready to
serve. When serving the soufflés at the table, drop an ice-cream ball
into each soufflé.