Alors, j’taime Paris… My love affair with France dates back from when I was a little kid. My parents always went to France on holidays. When we were big enough to ‘survive’ the long trip from our home to Bretagne, we went there every year. I must have been 13 or 14 when I entered for the very first time. We went to places like St. Malo or Boules (it was called differently but can’t think of the actual name now!) as long as it was close to anything resembling water. My nickname in those days was ‘waterrat’; if there was water around, you would find me in it. So any camping we would go to would have to be by the seaside or a large lake (we went to the Dordogne a couple of times too)
In fact, I received my very first kiss in France. I was 15 years old, very tall and very slim (tall I still am, but not sure where the slimness went..lol) and very blond. We went on holiday that year with friends from my parents who had two kids (they had more kids, but only two came on that particular holiday) and both of them were boys. The youngest of the two was my little sisters age but the oldest of the two, R. was a little older then me and quite handsome too.
I was already feeling those famous butterflies in my stomach every time he walked close to me. At some point we were visiting rather boring caves somewhere close to Paris and R. and I stayed a little bit behind. He suddenly grabbed my arm and pulled me close. “Have you ever kissed?” He asked me. I squeaked something that must have sounded like ‘no’. ‘Would you like me to show you how to kiss?’ He proceeded asking, at which I squeaked ‘yes’ and that’s how it happened. I received my very first French kiss in France. How fitting! I can’t say I totally enjoyed the experience but we got to practice that entire holiday so we did get quite good at it.
Of course we never wanted our parents to find out what was going on, so we had a lot of fun hiding our ‘activities’ from our folks. I’m pretty sure that they knew what we were doing behind the tents but at the time we were totally convinced we were being secretive and no one knew we ‘were in love’. It was fun while it lasted and it was really only a holiday fling, but fun non the less.
The theme of this months Monthly Mingle brought back all those memories from years past. Made me think about how I love Paris and France in general. Yes, the french can be obnoxious and arrogant at times, but quite honestly I’ve never had a lot of trouble with that. O I now remember a funny story about my Parisian boyfriend too! I’ll save that for another day!
This months mingle is hosted by my dear friend and fabulous writer Jamie from Lifes a Feast. She is an American but has been living in France for a rather long time, so this theme could have come from no other then her! Check out her post about the Mingle and her own entry here, which looks pretty amazing too. The Monthly Mingle is an invention from my other friend Meeta from What’s for Lunch Honey, where a new theme is picked every month. it’s been too long since I last participated as I love the mingle, but couldn’t skip this one, now could I?
To fit the theme I chose rhubarb and blackberry souffles with a crumble on top. I originally saw this recipe made during an episode of Masterchef Australia and was planning to make it. So when I saw this months theme I just knew it had to be these babies. What can I say? Totally delicious, fluffy and worth making! I was a little afraid the mixture might be too liquid but it worked brilliantly. I didn’t have icecream and whipping cream but that would be fantastic with this dessert.
Rhubarb and blackberry souffle with crumble
- 500g rhubarb (cut into 2 cm pieces)
- 140g sugar
- 150g black berries
- 4 egg whites
- 75g sugar
- 75g flour
- 50g butter
- 50g brown sugar
- pinch salt
- 50g rolled oats
- 50g hazelnuts (roughly chopped)
|Preheat the oven to 200 C.
Put the rhubarb with the 140 gr of sugar in a pan, add a splash of water, cover the pan and let it simmer on low heat for a while.
|Make a crumble by adding the ingredients together in a bowl and mix it with your fingers till it resembles a rough crumble. Put the crumble on a baking tray, spread it out and bake for about 5 minutes until light golden brown.|
|Butter your ramekins twice. Butter once and then put in the fridge for 5 minutes, butter again and put a tsp of sugar in the ramekin. Turn it around so the sugar coats all the sides of the ramekin well and tap out the excess sugar. Put aside until ready to use.|
|Once the rhubarb is cooked but still has some chunky bits in it, add the blackberries. You can use frozen blackberries if you cannot find fresh. Add a bit of lemon zest in the pan as well. Put some cornflour in a small bowl, add water and whisk until smooth. Add this bit by bit to your fruit mixture until it is thick enough. It should become a thick puree. Leave to boil for another 1,5 minute to cook the cornflour. Then put your fruit puree into another bowl and stir to cool it down for at least five minutes.|
|Take 4 eggwhites and add about 1 tbsp of sugar to it and start whisking until it becomes soft and glossy. Add 75 gr of sugar and whisk until it forms soft peaks. Don't overwhisk it.|
|Put 1/3 of your fruitpuree in a bowl and add about the same amount of eggwhites to it and carefully fold until combined. Repeat this until it's all incorporated.
Take your ramekins and with spoon pointing downwards fill all your ramekins up till the rim. Smooth the top with a knife and run a finger along the side of the ramekin to make sure nothing sticks at the sides as that will prevent your souffle from rising.
|Put the ramekins in the oven for 6-7 minutes, take them out (they should have risen about 1-2 cm at that stage) and add some crumble on top. Not too much as that will weigh it down but just eough to give it a bit extra. Bake for another 3 minutes and you're done.|
Recipe from masterchef Australia