January 4, 2011

Air-flown French pastries

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I organized a little afternoon tea party today, with the generous help of a friend who lent us her conference room for a couple of hours.

On Sunday I had managed to pick up a galette de roi from Sadaharu Aoki in Taipei.  It looked good enough and I was curious to see how well the pastry chef in Taipei could execute this.  I carefully hand-carried the precious cargo back to Hong Kong, only to have the box fall from atop my rolling suitcase and drop sideways on the floor...  Fortunately as my friends predicted, the puff pastry nature of the thing meant it was very likely to survive such a fall.  In fact there wasn't even a single dent!

Even though the galette was square, we decided to cut slices of it radially, carefully trying not to damage the feve that was meant to be hidden inside.  Tradition dictates that whoever finds the feve in his/her slice would be "king for a day", and our agreement was that the "king" would be buying the next dinner for the whole group.

The galette was delicious.  Layers of yummy puff pastry with a nice frangipane filling.  Much, much better than the galette we got from the Press Room last year, which used filo pastry for reasons completely foreign to us.

I also told the gang that I would be bringing a surprise.  I had asked a friend to bring me a box of seasonal macarons from Pierre Hermé - made with foie gras.  I picked them up today and brought them along to share.  The macarons didn't travel well in checked luggage and some had crumbled, but we didn't mind.  The box contained two different flavors:

Églantine, Figue & Foie Gras - these beige-colored macarons blended the savory, fatty and buttery flavors of foie gras with the sweet taste of figs, and the crunchy fig seeds inside the creamy ganache were particularly interesting.  The scent and taste of wild Eglantine rose hips were pretty delicate and took a bit of concentration to distinguish from the stronger, primary ingredients.

Chocolat & Foie Gras - the taste of chocolate was immediately identifiable, and the taste of foie seemed a little more prominent here, too.

I think everyone was pretty happy.  Getting a taste of the foie gras macarons was certainly a treat, and I wish I had more to share with other friends.  The only damper was that after going through the whole galette, I realized that the feve was not actually baked into the thing!  They had given me a little feve separately in a plastic bag, but I honestly thought they would follow tradition and let us find one in the galette!  Boo!!!

2 comments:

HK Epicurus said...

Dear Peech,

Have you tried the Galette de Rois from HK Robuchon Salon de The? I never knew they made one, until I saw a sign this year and they start selling from the 3rd of Jan onwards.

Haven't tried the Monsieur Chatte or Press Room version either - no one wants to pay and share it from my side :S

Lacie said...

Com'on real men don't use rolling suitcases, not even a Rimowa.

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