8.06.2017

MAÎTRE CHOUX

Two years ago the award-winning pastry chef Joakim Prat opened Maître Choux in South Kensington on Harrington Road. 
Maître Choux is a little bakery that exclusively sells éclairs, chouxs and chouquettes. 

Maître Choux respects the classic recipe of the éclair, an oblong pastry made with choux dough filled with cream and topped with icing. However, don’t expect to find classic flavours or irregular shapes here. 
Maître Choux’s éclair concept is based on designing exact, bright and bold éclairs with original flavours such as raspberry and rose water, Tahitian vanilla and roasted pecans and lemon & bergamot just to name a few.  



The éclair originated during the nineteenth century in France and was called "pain à la Duchesse’’ and ‘’petite duchesse”. Joakim Prat refers to petite duchesse in the name of some of his éclairs.

When I visited recently it was almost impossible to pick only one éclair as they all look stunning and all the flavours sound delicious. The decision was too hard, so instead of picking one my partner and I settled for a box of 4 éclairs to try different flavours.   



At around £5 for an éclair here are slightly more expensive than the éclair you can buy in France which are usually priced between 1.80€ and 4.90€, but they totally worth it! There are not just a pastry, but a beautiful little piece of art. 
Their éclairs can be kept in the fridge for 2 days but are better served at room temperature.

We opted for the hazelnut & milk chocolate treasure, the salted butter with homemade caramel, the Spanish raspberry pink and the Tahitian vanilla & pecan. 
Each éclair was perfectly filled with the a very tasteful cream. 

My favourite éclair was the hazelnut & milk chocolate treasure, follow by the Tahitian vanilla & pecan, then the salted butter with homemade caramel. The Spanish raspberry pink was probably my favourite in terms of design, but last in terms of taste. However it was my boyfriend’s favourite. 


Spanish raspberry pink
Hazelnut & milk chocolate treasure
Tahitian vanilla & pecan
Salted butter with homemade caramel

I have never been a big fan of sweets or cakes because I always find the crème patissiere sickeningly. But this time it was different, the crème patissiere was light and so easy to eat. Thanks to Maître Choux, I can say that I like crème patissiere…or at least their crème patissiere! 

Maître Choux is opening this October on Dean Street in Soho, so be ready for another storm of éclairs on your social media channels. This second shop will offer tea, coffee, and thick hot chocolate made from a Basque recipe from Prat’s grandmother, alongside the hand-crafted designs éclairs, choux and chouquettes. 

10/10

Maître Choux
15 Harrington Road
London SW7 3ES
Twitter: @maitrechoux
Maitre Choux Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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7.23.2017

FLOWER MARKETS IN LONDON

One of the greatest benefits of living in London is getting to spend weekends walking around food, farmer and flower markets. 

I have always had a big interest in flowers and loved gardening. My interest has grown even more since living in the UK. I have totally fallen under the floral spell and this is why I started #JanouFlowers to share my passion. I love creating bouquets for my flat most weekends as I can’t live in a flat without flowers or plants. 

When I arrived in London I was living 10 minutes away from Columbia Road market, this is when I started every Sunday buying flowers to decorate my flat. 

Despite living on the other side of the Thames now, in Oval, I still go to Columbia road sometimes in the early morning as I love the vibe, the colourful stalls and the local shops on the side streets. 

Next to my flat, between Vauxhall and Battersea Park I also have the New Covent Garden Flower Market. I heard a lot about it but it’s only in the last month I’ve started going regularly. The first time I went there, I thought I’d arrived in heaven! 

Every Sunday from 8am to 3pm the quiet street of Columbia Road fills up with stalls selling fresh flowers and plants, and a lots of people!

I recommend to go between 8am and 10am as it tends to get crowded later on. I like early morning in Columbia Road because it’s peaceful, you can walk at your rhythm and you are not pushed by the crowd. You can also  pick the most beautiful  flowers and as a plus you get to listen the chant of ‘’Everthin’ a fiver!” from the stallsholders when they still have a good voice. 

Each season the stalls are different due to the seasonal fresh flowers.  
Spring: hyacint, mimosas, tulips, daffodils, ranunculus, roses.
Summer: peonies, sunflowers, roses, hydrangeas
Autumn: hydrangeas, lavender, roses
Winter: mistletoe, holly wreaths, thistle, eucalyptus, brassica, roses





Open Monday to Saturday from 4am to 10am just down Nine Elms Lane SW8 5BH, New Covent Garden is composed of 21 wholesalers and 10 florists.
They have the widest selection of foliage, fresh flowers, plants and sundries. 

My favourite stand so far are David Gibbs, Bloomfield and Goochild. All the stands are cheap, but be careful, they are all wholesale price, so make sure you anticipate the VAT on top. 

It costs £5 to enter the site with a car, but it’ also well connected with buses from Vauxhall.


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7.02.2017

CARPACCIO & NICOLAS FEUILLATE GRAPHIC ICE


The British Summer might not be the best, but on a hot day I like to make simple recipes such as carpaccio. Give me a mandolin and I could slice pretty much anything you give me. 

Recently I made two kinds of carpaccio, one savoury and one sweet. Both recipes are very quick to do and are very refreshing during this summer heat. I like to add a twist to my BBQ with original sides or desserts such as the following recipes.

Beetroot & ricotta carpaccio - serves 2 people


Ingredients:
- 2 medium beetroots (different colour)
- 50g of ricotta
- herbs of provence
- balsamic glaze
- olive oil
-salt
-pepper

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Wash the beetroot and place them still damp into some tin foil and close the foil tight. Place in a baking dish and bake them for 30-40minutes. They are ready when they are 'fork-tender'. Remove them and let them cool down.
You can prepare the beetroots a day prior to your meal and keep them in the fridge.
 
Slice the beetroot with your mandolin and arrange in different layers on a plate. Mix the 50g of ricotta with some herbs of Provence and sprinkle on top of the beetroot layers.
Seasoned the dish with olive oil, balsamic glaze, salt and pepper and store in the fridge and serve it chilled.


Orange, cinnamon and chocolate carpaccio - serves 2 people

Ingredients:
- 3 medium oranges
- cinnamon
- 2 chocolate cubes

Peel two oranges and slice them using a mandolin or a knife into thin slices.
Place the slices on a plate in layers. 
Sprinkle some cinnamon and grate the chocolate cubes on top. 
Squeeze the remaining orange and use the juice for extra flavour. 
This carpaccio can be served chilled or at room temperature.

I paired on this occasion the orange, cinnamon and chocolate carpaccio with the new Nicolas Feuillate Graphic Ice Rose Champagne Ice Rosé. 
Usually this Champagne should be served on ice, but I just served it very chilled as I do not like the taste of melted ice cube/ water in my Champagne. 
This demi-sec coral pink coloured Graphic Ice Rosé has black cherry and Summer berry fruits aromas and hints of raspberry on the palate with a smooth pleasing finish. It complemented very well the fresh orange carpaccio.


Nicolas Feuillate Graphic Ice Rosé is available to purchase for £32 at John Lewis. They also have a Pale gold coloured Graphic Ice available for £30.
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