The Writing Fork: where the book lover and the food enthusiast meet.

 

THE WHITE CATHEDRAL  from The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo“The White Cathedral was a cavern of alabaster quartz…. Its walls were damp and bloomed with mushrooms, salt lilies, toadstools shaped like stars. It was buried deep beneath Ravka…” SIEGE and STORM by Leigh Bardugo p.427   “…in the White Cathedral, people were careful not to stray too far from the passage that curled around the main caverns. Strange sounds echoed through the dim warren of tunnels, groans and unexplained rumblings. RUIN and RISING by Leigh Bardugo p.1 
Dish: Croquembouche made with “cavernous” and filled cream puffs. Filling: fig crème patissière, rose crème patissière, almond crème patissière.
PASTRY PUFFS 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter6 eggs (large)1 teaspoon sugar1/4 teaspoon salt1 1/2 cups flourPreheat oven to 425 degrees.In a medium saucepan, melt butter in 1 1/2 cups water with sugar and salt.Add flour and mix vigorously for about 3 minutes- best with a wooden spoon untilthe dough is homogenous (a light film should form on the bottom and the side of the pan.) Remove from the heat. Add 6 eggs, one at a time, and beat until perfectlyincorporated.Use a pastry bag to pipe out the dough in mounds (about 1 inch high and wide) on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with egg glaze (1 egg beaten with some water). Smooth the tops (with a wet finger.) Bake for about 20 minutes – until puffs are puffed and golden. Let completely cool before filling with cream.
BASIC PASTRY CREAM6 large egg yolks1/2 cup sugar1/2 cup flour3 tablespoons unsalted butter2 cups milkWhisk together egg yolks and sugar until mixture is thick and pale yellow. Add the flour. Continue whisking. Add hot milk and melted butter. Place mixture in a saucepan and over high heat. Stir until mixture boils and thickens. Continue stirring until homogeneous. Remove from heat. Let cool completely before piping it in the puffs.For chocolate pastry cream: add 2 ounces of melted chocolate to the mixture.For other flavors: add about 2 teaspoons of a chosen extract (lemon, almond, lavender…) CARAMEL2 cups sugar 2 tablespoons corn syrupCombine the sugar, corn syrup, and 2/3 cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover pan (do not stir) and boil until any crystals are dissolved. Uncover. Boil a few more minutes - until syrup is amber brown. Remove from heat. Use immediately.
ASSEMBLY OF THE CROQUEMBOUCHEPipe the pastry cream in the puffs. Dip the bottom of each puff into the caramel and “glue” together in a pyramid. 

THE WHITE CATHEDRAL  from The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
“The White Cathedral was a cavern of alabaster quartz…. Its walls were damp and bloomed with mushrooms, salt lilies, toadstools shaped like stars. It was buried deep beneath Ravka…” SIEGE and STORM by Leigh Bardugo p.427   “…in the White Cathedral, people were careful not to stray too far from the passage that curled around the main caverns. Strange sounds echoed through the dim warren of tunnels, groans and unexplained rumblings. RUIN and RISING by Leigh Bardugo p.1 


Dish: Croquembouche made with “cavernous” and filled cream puffs. Filling: fig crème patissière, rose crème patissière, almond crème patissière.

PASTRY PUFFS 
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
6 eggs (large)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a medium saucepan, melt butter in 1 1/2 cups water with sugar and salt.
Add flour and mix vigorously for about 3 minutes- best with a wooden spoon until
the dough is homogenous (a light film should form on the bottom and the side of the 
pan.) Remove from the heat. Add 6 eggs, one at a time, and beat until perfectly
incorporated.
Use a pastry bag to pipe out the dough in mounds (about 1 inch high and wide) on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with egg glaze (1 egg beaten with some water). Smooth the tops (with a wet finger.) Bake for about 20 minutes – until puffs are puffed and golden. Let completely cool before filling with cream.

BASIC PASTRY CREAM
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups milk
Whisk together egg yolks and sugar until mixture is thick and pale yellow. Add the flour. Continue whisking. Add hot milk and melted butter. Place mixture in a saucepan and over high heat. Stir until mixture boils and thickens. Continue stirring until homogeneous. Remove from heat. Let cool completely before piping it in the puffs.
For chocolate pastry cream: add 2 ounces of melted chocolate to the mixture.
For other flavors: add about 2 teaspoons of a chosen extract (lemon, almond, lavender…)
 
CARAMEL
2 cups sugar 
2 tablespoons corn syrup
Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and 2/3 cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover pan (do not stir) and boil until any crystals are dissolved. Uncover. Boil a few more minutes - until syrup is amber brown. Remove from heat. Use immediately.


ASSEMBLY OF THE CROQUEMBOUCHE
Pipe the pastry cream in the puffs. Dip the bottom of each puff into the caramel and “glue” together in a pyramid.
 

I spy with my little eyes
Something beginning with P.
It could be traditional
With apples and double crust
Or with blueberries oozing
Through a spongy crumble top
But the one I crave and see
S’made with dark and sweet cherries
 
Cherry Pie
Pie crust dough (homemade or store bought- pate brisee best) – enough to make two 9-inch-crust pies (1 for the bottom crust, 1 for the top or lattice)
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 pounds fresh sweet cherries (pitted) or 1 3/4 pounds frozen cherries (partially thawed)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter  (soften)          
Filling: In a bowl, combine sugar + cornstarch + salt + vanilla + butter + cherries.
Pour mixture in crust-lined pan. Then, cover with second crust or lattice.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 1h 30.

I spy with my little eyes

Something beginning with P.

It could be traditional

With apples and double crust

Or with blueberries oozing

Through a spongy crumble top

But the one I crave and see

S’made with dark and sweet cherries

 

Cherry Pie

Pie crust dough (homemade or store bought- pate brisee best) – enough to make two 9-inch-crust pies (1 for the bottom crust, 1 for the top or lattice)

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

2 pounds fresh sweet cherries (pitted) or 1 3/4 pounds frozen cherries (partially thawed)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter (soften)         

Filling: In a bowl, combine sugar + cornstarch + salt + vanilla + butter + cherries.

Pour mixture in crust-lined pan. Then, cover with second crust or lattice.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 1h 30.

Lilly sneaked out the window and stepped on the frigid platform of the fire escape. She climbed up the stairs, cautiously but quickly, leaving behind the prints of her small soles and toes in the April snow. The roof was empty but for a green house made out of plastic bags and dry-cleaner hangers under which Lilly had planted a few seeds that had sprouted and grown. A few blocks away, the sharp glass building dominating the urban landscape came to life, jutting out of the darkness. A bright digital ribbon displayed the time in flashing green digits. 5:48. Lilly was just in time. She lifted the fragile plastic curtain, exposing the growing zucchini plants to the rising sun and watched its delicate yellow flowers open up in a slow graceful show. Lilly stayed there, seated under the humble tent of her vegetable garden, smiling and grateful to be alive in this ruthless world. Because for a few minutes a day, Lilly felt like she had it all. Stuffed zucchinisZucchinis, seasoned minced meat (sausage without casing), onion, garlic, fine bread crumbs, olive oil, fresh herb, salt and pepper. Scoop the flesh out of the raw zucchinis (as if carving canoes). Chop finely all the other ingredients (including the zucchini’s scooped out flesh). Fill “canoes” with mix. Dress with a few drops of olive oil and bake at a 350 degree-oven.
(Text and picture by Elle Jauffret)

Lilly sneaked out the window and stepped on the frigid platform of the fire escape. She climbed up the stairs, cautiously but quickly, leaving behind the prints of her small soles and toes in the April snow. The roof was empty but for a green house made out of plastic bags and dry-cleaner hangers under which Lilly had planted a few seeds that had sprouted and grown. A few blocks away, the sharp glass building dominating the urban landscape came to life, jutting out of the darkness. A bright digital ribbon displayed the time in flashing green digits. 5:48. Lilly was just in time. She lifted the fragile plastic curtain, exposing the growing zucchini plants to the rising sun and watched its delicate yellow flowers open up in a slow graceful show. Lilly stayed there, seated under the humble tent of her vegetable garden, smiling and grateful to be alive in this ruthless world. Because for a few minutes a day, Lilly felt like she had it all. 

Stuffed zucchinis
Zucchinis, seasoned minced meat (sausage without casing), onion, garlic, fine bread crumbs, olive oil, fresh herb, salt and pepper. Scoop the flesh out of the raw zucchinis (as if carving canoes). Chop finely all the other ingredients (including the zucchini’s scooped out flesh). Fill “canoes” with mix. Dress with a few drops of olive oil and bake at a 350 degree-oven.

(Text and picture by Elle Jauffret)

She cried the tears of a mermaidLonging to see the sunFrightened by the likely burnHis heart: the goal of her crusadeOpening every shellFrom oysters to musselsHaunted by the comforting tasteOf his dried giving lipsReaching as high and farFrom down deep and belowGathering all her strengthForgetting her fresh scarHis soul she breathed, her core he touchedDespite the forbiddenand the impossibleBy the rock of love: crushed.O mermaid, can’t you see?A fantasy you areNo right man could love youRelease his memoryWith white wine and black podsSucculent bright orangeMore than a mere mortal, attractAll of the oceans’ Gods.
(Picture and text by Elle Jauffret)
(Mussels cooked in white wine)

She cried the tears of a mermaid
Longing to see the sun
Frightened by the likely burn
His heart: the goal of her crusade

Opening every shell
From oysters to mussels
Haunted by the comforting taste
Of his dried giving lips

Reaching as high and far
From down deep and below
Gathering all her strength
Forgetting her fresh scar

His soul she breathed, her core he touched
Despite the forbidden
and the impossible
By the rock of love: crushed.

O mermaid, can’t you see?
A fantasy you are
No right man could love you
Release his memory

With white wine and black pods
Succulent bright orange
More than a mere mortal, attract
All of the oceans’ Gods.

(Picture and text by Elle Jauffret)


(Mussels cooked in white wine)

(Source: ellejauffret.com)

"La Fête de la Musique" (the worldwide celebration of music) takes place on June 21st, the first day of summer. So here is my summer culinary and musical contribution.     
Eclectic
I want you to seduce me, 
Languorously wrap me with sultry Jazz, 
Captivate me with your deep crooner voice 
Hypnotize me with your eyes. 
 
In English, French, or Spanish 
Whisper softly to me Soul and Ballads, 
Serenade me under veiled moonlight, 
Then embrace me in a Waltz. 
 
But, please, love me in silence, 
Your breath’s rhythm entangled with mine. 
African drums of the rising heat, 
Mighty jolt of Latin beat. 
 
In your arms, I feel no Blues 
No Heavy Metal, Punk Rock kind of stress 
In my mind, joyful Pop and Bagatelle 
How to rock my world you knew. 
 
Hold me tight, never let go, 
Savor our Love song a little longer 
‘Till the marche funèbre’s doom, at the door 
Knocks a little louder. 
 
(Picture and text by Elle Jauffret)

Recipe: beignets de courgettes/ fried zucchini.
For the batter: 3 eggs, 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of milk, salt, chopped fresh parsley.
Slice zucchini, dip in batter, and fry in vegetable oil.

"La Fête de la Musique" (the worldwide celebration of music) takes place on June 21st, the first day of summer. So here is my summer culinary and musical contribution.     

Eclectic

I want you to seduce me,

Languorously wrap me with sultry Jazz,

Captivate me with your deep crooner voice

Hypnotize me with your eyes.

 

In English, French, or Spanish

Whisper softly to me Soul and Ballads,

Serenade me under veiled moonlight,

Then embrace me in a Waltz.

 

But, please, love me in silence,

Your breath’s rhythm entangled with mine.

African drums of the rising heat,

Mighty jolt of Latin beat.

 

In your arms, I feel no Blues

No Heavy Metal, Punk Rock kind of stress

In my mind, joyful Pop and Bagatelle

How to rock my world you knew.

 

Hold me tight, never let go,

Savor our Love song a little longer

‘Till the marche funèbre’s doom, at the door

Knocks a little louder.

 

(Picture and text by Elle Jauffret)

Recipe: beignets de courgettes/ fried zucchini.

For the batter: 3 eggs, 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of milk, salt, chopped fresh parsley.

Slice zucchini, dip in batter, and fry in vegetable oil.

(Source: ellejauffret.com)

A meal from SIEGE AND STORM: Brandied Cuckoo, Mushrooms Baked In Cream, Honey Mousse  (SIEGE AND STORM by Leigh Bardugo - Hardcover p.196-197)
Mushrooms Baked In Cream  (Hardcover p.196)
1 lb mushrooms (baby portabella best) 
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion (finely diced)
3 garlic gloves (finely chopped)
1 tbsp flour (all-purpose flour)
1 cup sour cream
¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp nutmeg
salt and ground pepper (to taste)
Wash and dry mushrooms. Slice in half or quarter (depending on size- but not too small). In frying pan, melt the butter with the olive oil. Sauté the mushrooms until golden and tender (about 5 minutes. Add the onion and the garlic. Cover and cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Add flour, paprika, nutmeg, salt, pepper and heavy cream. Stir and pour in a shallow dish. Bake in a 350 degree-oven for 10 minutes
 
Honey Mousse  (Hardcover p.197)
6 egg yolk
3/4 cup of honey  (130 ml)
1 ½ cup heavy cream   (250 ml)

Beat the honey with the egg yolks until very thick and pale (about 10 minutes). Set aside. Beat the heavy cream to soft peaks. Add to the honey mixture and fold gently until well combined. Pour into small cups. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or freeze for 2 hours depending on desired consistency).

A meal from SIEGE AND STORM: Brandied Cuckoo, Mushrooms Baked In Cream, Honey Mousse  (SIEGE AND STORM by Leigh Bardugo - Hardcover p.196-197)

Mushrooms Baked In Cream  (Hardcover p.196)

1 lb mushrooms (baby portabella best)

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 medium onion (finely diced)

3 garlic gloves (finely chopped)

1 tbsp flour (all-purpose flour)

1 cup sour cream

¼ tsp paprika

¼ tsp nutmeg

salt and ground pepper (to taste)

Wash and dry mushrooms. Slice in half or quarter (depending on size- but not too small). In frying pan, melt the butter with the olive oil. Sauté the mushrooms until golden and tender (about 5 minutes. Add the onion and the garlic. Cover and cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Add flour, paprika, nutmeg, salt, pepper and heavy cream. Stir and pour in a shallow dish. Bake in a 350 degree-oven for 10 minutes

 

Honey Mousse  (Hardcover p.197)

6 egg yolk

3/4 cup of honey  (130 ml)

1 ½ cup heavy cream   (250 ml)

Beat the honey with the egg yolks until very thick and pale (about 10 minutes). Set aside. Beat the heavy cream to soft peaks. Add to the honey mixture and fold gently until well combined. Pour into small cups. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or freeze for 2 hours depending on desired consistency).

(Source: ellejauffret.com)

"Cinder bit the corner of her cheek. Neither of them had ever sampled the acclaimed sweet of the market bakery. Iko didn’t have taste buds, and Chang Sacha didn’t serve cyborg."
(Cinder by Marissa Meyer - Chapter Two)

MARKET BAKERY ALMOND ROLLS

Ingredients
Lowfat milk: 2/3 cup
Eggs: 3
Unsalted butter at room temperature: 6 tbsp
Granulated sugar: ½ cup
Salt: 1 tsp
Vanilla extract: 1 ½ tsp
Flour: 4 cups
Cornstarch: 2/3 cup
Yeast, active dry: 2 1/4

Filling
Almond mill
Granulated sugar

Unsalted butter (soft)

"Cinder bit the corner of her cheek. Neither of them had ever sampled the acclaimed sweet of the market bakery. Iko didn’t have taste buds, and Chang Sacha didn’t serve cyborg."

(Cinder by Marissa Meyer - Chapter Two)

MARKET BAKERY ALMOND ROLLS

Ingredients

Lowfat milk: 2/3 cup

Eggs: 3

Unsalted butter at room temperature: 6 tbsp

Granulated sugar: ½ cup

Salt: 1 tsp

Vanilla extract: 1 ½ tsp

Flour: 4 cups

Cornstarch: 2/3 cup

Yeast, active dry: 2 1/4

Filling

Almond mill

Granulated sugar

Unsalted butter (soft)