Wednesday, August 1, 2012

the sweet life in Paris

Later this summer, I'm going to Paris for the first time. I feel as though I've been preparing for this visit my whole life. It began with Madeline, Eloise in Paris, and The Red Ballon, and it's only gotten worse since then. If an amazing book or movie doesn't take place in New York City or London, then it's got to be Paris: Funny Face (and a whole other pile of Audrey Hepburn movies), The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Ratatouille, Amelie, Moulin Rouge, La Vie en Rose, Eugene Atget's photography, the lithographies of Alphonse Mucha, Midnight in Paris, Aristocats, water lilies by Monet, cafes painted by Van Gogh, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Before Sunset and Before Sunrise. 

Here's what Paris looks like in my brain:

Not very realistic? Oh well, I know I'm going to fall in love. It seems everyone likes to stare pensively at the skyline, whether you're Audrey Hepburn, Duchess and O'Malley or Remy, and I look forward to joining them in the pensive staring.

On a culinary level, here's my two most recent Paris reads: My life in France by Julia Child and The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz. Both are from the viewpoint of an American, moving to (and falling in love with) Paris.

Here's a recipe from The Sweet Life in Paris. These are tiny, little chocolate cakes - naturally gluten-free because of the almonds. Great with afternoon coffee, they keep at room temperature in a sealed container for about a week.

Chocolate Financiers
from David Lebovitz's Sweet Life in Paris, via gluten-free girl

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup almonds
4 tablespoons Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup egg whites

Preheat the oven to 425°. Lightly butter a mini-muffin tin. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and set it aside until room temperature. In a food processor or blender, grind the almond with the cocoa, salt, and powdered sugar. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Stir the egg whites in the ground almond mixture, then gradually stir in the melted butter until incorporated and smooth.

Spoon the batter into the molds, filling them 3/4 full. Bake for ten to fifteen minutes, until slightly puffed and springy to the touch. Remove from oven and cool completely before removing from molds.

Makes about 15, one-inch financiers.

(Nope, not a picture of the financiers. Instead, KITTENS! This is Dill and Pickle, my friend's new kittens. How can I write blog posts with these guys around?)

Finally, this will be my last post for a while. Right now, I'm in Prince Edward County at my lovely friend's farm, hanging out with kittens, cooking delicious food, and swimming at Sandbanks. Next, I'll be heading to camp, where I'll live in a castle with a bunch of girls, in the style of an Enid Blyton novel. Then I'm off to Paris and London for a vacation with my boyfriend, and finally back to the County for a very exciting wedding!

Sometimes it's great to step back from technology for a while, cook recipes without writing them down and photographing them, and just take time off. That said, I can't completely leave the technology behind, so if you want to see some photos of my adventures, check out my instagram feed. I'll be back in September with photos, travel stories, and recipes galore. Bon Appetit!

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