Happy Easter (Joyeuses Pâques)

Easter is without doubt one of my favourite times of the year and with the holiday falling early this year, there is nothing stopping our plans for chocolate related indulgence.

For a couple of weeks now the Sarlat Master Choclatiers have been showcasing their immense talent with window displays to die for.

EasterBernard Decaix offers a mouth watering display of eggs, ducks, fish, rabbits and bells.

 

DSCN1188Mertz Roland Patisserie Chocolatier is amazing.

 

DSCN1190With large chocolate crackers, truffles, fish and eggs, rabbits in all sizes made with milk, white or dark chocolate or all three and eggs made with peanut brittle, it was so difficult to choose which ones we would buy.

 

DSCN1221But after a few “wow look at these” we were extremely restrained and decided on two Easter eggs and two bells. They all have chocolate or sweet surprises inside. The difficulty is waiting until Easter Sunday before we start to eat them.

 

Events:- Daglan

Another joy this Easter is the opening of Fabrice’s new restaurant in Daglan. Check out his website at Fabrice le chef for the menus, they look delicious.

DSCN1213

 

Le Thé Vert will be opening for the summer season on 30th April, however this Good Friday Le Thé Vert will be hosting a fish and chip night. You need to book in advance to eat in or take away. For more details visit the website at Le The Vert or phone (+33)5 53 30 47 94

Le Thé Vert

 

Event:- Sarlat.

Each year on the Monday directly following Easter the town hosts an egg hunt. Around the historical area of Sarlat, twenty council workers hide two thousand coloured eggs. Each area has different coloured eggs; blue, yellow, green, red and orange which will guide the children from one area to the next. Each child needs to find five eggs of different colours and then they can exchange these for chocolates. If they find a golden egg they will receive a gourmand Easter egg and free cinema tickets. Five of the golden eggs have a silver strip, if they are found they will have a chocolate surprise and a free ride in the Saint Marie Panoramic lift.

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Spring Festival (Fête du Printemps)

To celebrate the first day of spring our Mairie organised a Spring Festival in and around La Place De La Liberté, which extended down the main road and the many side streets of Daglan. This is the first Spring Festival and what a success it has been. Paul and I bought flowers for our balcony, veranda and our petit garden, plus mint and tomato plants.

There was also a five course luncheon held at the Salle des Fetes for about one hundred and forty people, which unfortunately we could not attend, my fault for being a vegetarian, but the menu looked excellent and I am very sure tasted superb.

 

Spring FestivalView from our balcony

 

DSCN1206Le Lavoir, which was decorated with dragon fly’s made by the children in the local primary school.

 

DSCN1208Totting up the bill, Paul buying pansies not all of them on show but nearly, with tomato plants and mint.

 

DSCN1210There was even major garden equipment for sale.

 

DSCN1211We had never seen these Japanese trees before.

 

DSCN1216Cactus plants, daffodils, roses, alpines etc anything that you would want to buy for the garden was on display.

 

DSCN1217Including ready made topiary – I was tempted but did not buy.

 

Madeleines Cakes

This is my first attempt at making Madeleines, we have eaten them many times from supermarkets but I have never made them. So as a surprise for Paul I thought that I would have a go, and I am glad to say they were delicious.

Madeleine’s are small shell shaped cakes originally from Lorraine and traditionally baked in a special tin with shell shaped cups, which were made famous by Marcel Proust. They are best eaten on the day they are made, fresh from the oven, no problem there.

MadeleinesMade with the grated rind of two small oranges and their juice.

Makes about 12

165g of plain flour
5ml/1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
85g icing sugar
Grated rind of 1 lemon or orange
15ml lemon or orange juice
85g unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

1 Preheat the oven to 190C/375F Gas 5. Generously butter a 12
cup Madeleine tin or use a non stick tin.
2 Sift together the flour and baking powder.
3 Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and icing sugar for about ten minutes
until it is thick and creamy and the mixture forms a ribbon when the beaters
are lifted.
4 Gently fold in the lemon or orange rind and the juice. Alternately fold
in the flour and the melted butter in four batches.
5 Let the mixture stand for about ten minutes, then carefully spoon into
the shell like cups. Tap gently to release any air bubbles.
6 Bake the Madeleines for 12-15 minutes, rotating the tin halfway through
cooking, until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
7 Tap out onto a wire rack to cool a little before eating.

Event :-

Sarlat 20th March from 2 o’clock Carnival of Fantasy in the Medieval Quarter.

Truffle Update

Paul and I went to a Truffle Festival earlier in the year, (you can read about out trip here); it was wonderful seeing all of the truffles and an insight in how to cook with them.

trufflesThis is our tiny truffle on a teaspoon.

Our first meal was an omelette made with eggs that were infused overnight with truffle aroma, which was delicious. At the truffle festival I saw quite a few stalls that had truffles placed inside a jar of rice. We tried it, pop the truffle into a jar of rice and leave for about a week. It works wonderfully; the truffle aroma permeates the rice, which we had with a Thai curry, also gorgeous.

IMG_20160206_163841Our last truffle meal was grated truffle sprinkled on top of pasta with a cream sauce, awesome.

Not bad, one tiny truffle made three outstanding meals and as a bonus, the jar with the rice still has that distinctive truffle aroma so it’s been topped up to absorb the distinctive flavour.


Events:-

Cenac Carnival 5th March – Carnival at two o’clock, food and drink from seven o’clock.

Sarlat Chocolate Festival

This was the first time that Sarlat have organised a Chocolate Festival, thanks to the Rotary Club and what a success it was. Masterpieces on the theme of Sarlat created by ten Master Chocolatiers were placed onto a long table for people to admire and to choose which they thought was the best one. Your name, and phone number is placed onto a small card with the number of your chosen masterpiece. The judges then pick the winner, then they pick out one of the cards with the winning number on it, I am keeping my fingers crossed because the winner takes home the chocolate masterpiece.
 
Chocolate Festival The Tourist Office next to the Chocolate exhibition, where there was a display of chocolates, moulds and cookery books.
 
DSCN1153Each Master Chocolatiers presented a piece of unique work of art just for the Festival. It was terribly difficult to pick just one, but I thought that the one on the left of the picture depicted Sarlat the best.
 
DSCN1155Paul picked the one on the right of the picture which is a pond with lilies, frogs etc all made from chocolate, gorgeous.
 
DSCN1156I also liked the one on the left, so you can see how difficult it was to choose.
 
DSCN1157The duck on top of the eggs brought laughter to everyone and how they got the duck to balance like that I do not know.

At the top of the staircase stands of treats welcomed everyone, where Master Chocolatiers from all over the Perigord gave away samples and sold smaller examples of the art of chocolate to take home. I adore chocolate so we had to walk around the stands quite a few times before I could pick what I wanted to take home.
 
DSCN1164This is just a small example of what you could buy.
 
DSCN1162So cute
 
DSCN1165“Minions” and Easter treats.
 
There were also workshops were you could learn how to make your own masterpiece, and a stand for crepes filled with, what else but, chocolate and other chocolate delicacies.

So in short well worth a visit and let’s hope that this is the first of an annual event in Sarlat.