TOUR DE FRANCE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

The Christmas season is fast approaching and with it some beautiful lights displays. We select for you some of the best Christmas lights displays in France this year. 

1- Aix-en-Provence

@ Guillaume RUOPPOLO

@ Guillaume RUOPPOLO

2- Montpellier

@ JM Mart

@ JM Mart

 

3- Nimes

RVF Christmas lights France 2015 - Nimes

 

4- Strasbourg

RVF Christmas lights in France 2015: Strasbourg

5- Toulouse

@ Patrice Nin

@ Patrice Nin

6- Paris

RVF Christmas lights in France: Champs-Elysees, Paris

7- Clermont-Ferrand

@ SC

@ SC

8- Colmar

@ Mathias GUILLAUME

@ Mathias GUILLAUME

9- Bordeaux

RVF Chrismas lights in France 2015: Bordeaux

10- Montbelliard

→ Like to learn French and have fun doing it? Contact Sandrine for more info

 

 

 

CANELES: THE PASTRY TREASURE FROM BORDEAUX

When I visit family and friends in Bordeaux, canelés are often offered and served with dark coffee or desert wine. I’m actually not leaving town without a box of those little pastry treats. I love everything about them: their little squat fluted column shapes, their caramelised crusts and their delicious custardy interior with vanilla and rum! The ingredients are very similar to those of a crêpe, but the preparation and cooking is very different. I never thought baking it myself, thinking it was too difficult and only professional could perfect it, until I come across this recipe from my favorite food blogger Mimi Thorisson‘s recipe book, “A Kitchen in France”. My first batch was just perfect and it is since my favourite to bake when I want to impress some special guests! 

RVF_CanelesBordeaux3

There are many recipes around and I leave most to professional or perfectionists. Some “patissiers” even line the copper mould with bee-wax to obtain the perfect canelé. I’m not a fan of silicone mould and couldn’t find a cooper one in Sydney, so I used this great heavy steel mould from Masterclass that I find at Accoutrement in Mosman. But leave the mould in the cupboard for today, as you won’t need it. Today, you are only making the batter. So, if you are planning to offer those little treats for tea, remember to plan ahead. Most recipes leave the batter 24h in the fridge, but some recommend even to leave it 48h for an even better result! At the end, your canelés should be almost black, dark brown with a dense custard inside. 

RVF_CanelesBordeaux4

Best addresses in France:

Balllardran – 263 rue Judaïque, 33000, Bordeaux, France

La Toque Cuivrée – 126 Boulevard Jean Jacques Bosc, 33800 Bègles, France

As for here, in Sydney, I still haven’t find any French patisserie with canelés. I wish I lived in Melbourne where some cafes served the delicious cakes supplied by Gracious and delicious in the Melbourne region! Happy to hear your feedback if you already had the pleasure to taste some. 

Happy baking!

Isabelle 

 

Canelés de Bordeaux by Mimi Thorisson
Yields 16
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Cook Time
55 min
Cook Time
55 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons of milk/ 500ml
  2. 1 vanilla bean, split lenghtwise, seed scarped and reserved
  3. 1 cup/200g sugar
  4. 1 cup/120g plain flour, sifted
  5. 3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  6. 2 tbs/30g of melted butter
  7. 1/4 cup/60ml of rum
Instructions
  1. 1- In a medium saucepan, whisk the milk with the vanilla seeds. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat and set aside for 5min and then transfer to a bowl.
  2. 2- Whisk in the sugar and flour (try to avoid lumps, if any, strain the batter thought sieve).
  3. 3- Add the egg yolks one by one, stirring gently then add the butter.
  4. 4- Finally, add the rum and whisk until smooth. The batter should look like a crepe batter, a bit thicker.
  5. 5- Cover and refrigerate for 24 hour.
  6. 6- Preheat the oven to 230˚C
  7. 7- Fill in the mould, two-third full. Bake for 5 minutes only then lower the oven temperature to 180˚C for an additional 50 minutes or until your canelés are dark brown.
  8. 8- Let the canelés cool in the moulds for 5mins, then unmould them on a wire rack.
  9. The canelés will keep for several days in a sealed container at room temperature.
Rendez-vous en français http://www.rendezvousenfrancais.com/

NEW SUMMER STOCK FROM FRANCE + GIVEAWAY COMPETITION

Bonjour!

We are please to announced that our new stock from France has just arrived and available in our boutique, French collective. For this upcoming season, our heritage from the South of France is our inspiration. Our purpose is to bring you some authentic and original products. 

We have vivid memories of our childhood helping our grand-mother at the market, carrying around a couple of mesh bags full of fresh fruits and vegetables, or going to our dad’s home town in the Basque region every Summer to buy new pair of espadrilles from the local factory.

To our great pleasure, even if fashion and interests have evolved, the mesh bag or in French, “filet à provisions”, and the espadrilles are now back in fashion.
 
We also feel very passionate about the indispensable soaps from Provence, with a range of gorgeous fragrances packed in unique gift sets.

We hope you enjoy our selection. 

To celebrate we are giving away a mesh bag and a luxury guest soap gift set (Value $50). To participate, it is quite easy. Visit our RVF Facebook page and simply like our post. The lucky winner will be chosen randomly on Thursday 12th November. Competition closes Wednesday 11th November, 8pm. (* see Terms and conditions of participation below). 

Isabelle & Sandrine x

Frenchcollective_FrenchMeshbags

The mesh shopping bag is back! Our grand-mothers favourite has made a come-back in France, very popular at the beach or at the local markets! Available in a palette of fun colours.

 

Frenchcollective_AuthenticEspadrilles

This old time classic espadrille has regained international appeal in the last couple of years. This fashion item originating from the Basque region has now reclaimed its place in our shoe rack! Our espadrilles are 100% Basque and hand-made. We have selected an exclusive range of classic models as well as stylish prints.

 

Frenchcollective_ProvenceSoaps

This little soap factory in Provence has stunned us by the quality of its soaps. Gentle on the skin, with no chemicals and no animal testing. From personal experience, a pure pleasure for everyday use. Check our range of gift set options just in time for Christmas!

 

 

*Giveaway/contest terms and conditions: The winner will be announce on Facebook and notified by email on Thursday 12 of November. If the winner cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 14 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from winner and pick a replacement winner. By entering the competition, the entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions. This competition does not have a connection with Facebook in any way and is not sponsored, supported or organised by Facebook. The recipient of the information provided by you is not Facebook but Rendez-vous en Francais.

10 MUST-SEE IN MY NEXT TRIPS TO FRANCE

Mont Saint-Michel

France cultural and natural diversity is amazing. I’ve traveled and visited a lots of places in France but there are still so many I would love to see or revisit. Since I live in Australia, I don’t have the opportunity to go back as often as I wish but at every trip back home, I make sure that after visiting family and friends, I allow some time in my trip to visit some amazing new places. 

If I have to choose, the following 10 places are on my priority list so far! Continue Reading

CLASSIC FRENCH MADELEINES RECIPE

This classic French biscuit is perfect with a cup of tea or coffee or for your kids’ snacks. You can find a lot of recipes on the net, with or without butter, with honey, chocolate, lemon or vanilla. As for me, I will follow my grand-mother recipe with butter and lemon. Easy and quick to bake, it is the family favourite biscuit. Warning! A madeleine without the hump is not a madeleine; follow carefully the baking instructions to get the perfect soft and round shaped madeleines.

Les madeleines sont parfaites pour accompagner une tasse de thé ou de café ou pour le gouter des enfants. On trouve sur le net beaucoup de versions différentes, avec ou sans beurre, avec miel, chocoalt, citron ou vanille. Pour ma part, je reste fidèle à la recette de ma grand-mère, madeleines faites avec beurre et zeste de citron. Facile et rapide à faire, c’est le biscuit favori de toute la famille. Attention, une madeleine sans bosse, n’est pas une madeleine, suivez-donc les conseils de cuisson pour avoir de bonnes madeleines bossues et bien moelleuses. 

Lemon madeleines - Madeleines au citron
Yields 24
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Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 eggs / 3 oeufs
  2. 100g of sugar / 100g de sucre
  3. 200g of flour / 200g de farine
  4. 2 tsp of baking powder / 2 cc de levure.
  5. 100g melted butter / 100g de beurre fondu
  6. 50g milk/ 50g de lait
  7. 1 lemon zested / Zeste d'un citron entier
  8. Juice of 1/2 a lemon / jus d'un demi-citron
Instructions
  1. Pour the eggs over the sugar and whisk until they ribbon / Verser les oeufs sur le sucre et faire blanchir la preparation.
  2. Add the zested lemon, the juice then the milk and mix well / Ajouter le zeste du citron, le jus d'un 1/2 citron puis le lait. Bien remuer.
  3. Sift the flour with the baking powder and slowly add it to the mix /Tamiser la farine et la levure et verser lentemement dans la preparation en remuant.
  4. Add the melted butter (cool down) and mix well / Ajouter le beurre fondu et remuer bien.
  5. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for at least two hours / couvrez le bol et le mettre au frigo pendant deux petites heures.
  6. Preheat the oven to 240˚C before taking the batter out / Préchauffer le four à 240 degrés avant de sortir la préparation.
  7. Butter the madeleines pans and fill in each mould with 1 tablespoon of batter (the batter should be quite hard). Beurrez les moules et remplissez les plaques, environ une cuillère à soupe.
  8. Bake the madeleines for 5 min at 240˚C then change the oven temperature to 200 ˚C for the remaining 7/8 minutes until slightly golden. Enfourner et laisser cuire 5 min a 240 ˚C puis baisser le four à 200 ˚C pendant les 7/8 dernières minutes, jusqu’à qu’elles soient bien dorées.
  9. Remove from oven and let it cooled down 5 min then gently loosen the madeleines out of the moulds / Entendre 5 min avant de démouler.
Rendez-vous en français http://www.rendezvousenfrancais.com/

Classic French madeleines recipe

Bon appétit !