Soirée Musicale at Café de la Fleur

Last Saturday evening we enjoyed a musical evening with friends from our village. The band, Gizah, where really good, playing a mixture of jazz and Latin. But it was the unexpected extra entertainment that was so fascinating. The band had set up to play in front of the toilet which for me, who absolutely loves people watching, became even more of a place of interest. Diners had to negotiate around or through the band, stepping over cables to get to the toilet and back. A mixture of Yoga, Limbo dancing and moves which I had never seen before were performed to a high standard, all taken with great amusement.

Gizah
jazz and LatinGizah played a mixture of jazz and Latin.
 

In with the price was a three course meal with a vegetarian option brilliant.

Special menu for the evening was:-
Jazz soup or vegetable soup with home made bread.
Roast beef or vegetable steak with Rosti apples, Salad and Garlic Sauce.
House gâteau with ice cream and cream.

 

Half way through the meal most of the restaurant lights went out but it was no problem at all, Robin the owner rushed around placing more candles onto each table and everyone carried on eating and enjoying themselves in the glow of the candle light.

Friends enjoying the evening
at Café de la FleurEnjoying the evening by candle light.
 

La Vie en RoséOur first bottle of this vintage, very nice.

Thank you Robin and Charlotte for a wonderful night, see you soon.
 

 

Events:-

Sarlat : Chocolate Festival this weekend.

Daglan : Spring Festival 19th March
Daglan Spring Festival 19th March

 

 

Now for something yummy.

The Newly decorated and renamed Pâtisserie Massoulier (ex Roland Mertz ) is to be found at 33 Rue de la République in Sarlat. It is the kind of shop that you just have to stop and take pictures, the window display is always a cake lovers artistry and everything they sell is so delicious I could buy the lot but my waist band and my bank account would not allow it.
 

Pâtisserie MassoulierSo yummy

 

dscn2343Rows and rows of hand made chocolates for every occasion
 

dscn2342Sorry I think that I got a little side tracked, here is a little of the new décor, furniture and fittings.
 

dscn2340Just about to eat breakfast. Besides wonderful gateau they also serve excellent coffee, a wide variety of teas, real hot chocolate, fresh squeezed orange juice and of course, delicious pastries.
 
 

Wow… This is my time of year

Sarlat Chocolate FestivalChocolate Festival in Sarlat on 11 and 12th March, at the Ancien Evêché, next to the tourist office on Place du Payrou.
 
 

The Three Musketeers.

Last Sunday we were invited to the general assembly of the Club de L’Amitie Daglanaise, which incorporated the Annual General Meeting followed by a luncheon.

Each year there are celebrations and presents for any member of the Club de L’Amitie Daglanaise who’s birthday ends in a zero or a five. Our village Musketeers who are all boules champions and who have great tales to tell of their life experiences look happy indeed.

The Three MusketeersHappy trio.

I must say that the French know how to enjoy their food, three hours of eating, drinking and being a little merry is the norm, wonderful.

Menu

Aperitif
Kir and bowels of snacks

Soup
Pearls of Japan carcass broth (not for me being a vegetarian) but Paul thought it was delicious

Starter
Bites of seafood (this did look good, pastry filled with sea food) Could not eat due to animal fat in the pastry so I had smoked trout with salad which was gorgeous

Main Dish
Supreme of guinea fowl with sauce, peas and gratin dauphinois
My main was fish cooked to perfection, with the peas and gratin dauphinois. It was so filling that I could not eat it all.

Cheese
Green salad with three different cheeses

Dessert
Caramel cream, raspberry tiramisu, chocolate cake, wow delicious.

All the above served with white or red wine

Coffee

Our presidentOur president of the Club, Lydie Pasquet.

Suck a lemonSucking a lemon! No just pulling a face at Paul

Quite a gatheringIt was great to meet new people and to catch up with others that we have met previously at the club.

Events :-

Château de Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, re-opens after its winter break for a guided tour on the theme of a fortified castle under attack on 5th March.

Daglan, holds its Second Spring Festival on 19th March

Party time at Café de la Fleur.

Robin and Charlotte have worked wonders on this property, transforming a neglected bistro into something quite special. They have worked extremely hard to renovate the first floor bar area/restaurant and the second floor which is now open for Birthdays, Anniversaries, Party’s etc. Most of the village attended the grand official opening last Saturday night.
 

dscn2301 Robin and Charlotte.
 

dscn2299Everyone was given a warm welcome with free wine and party food.
 
Gorgeous oak beams and interesting wallpaper made from newspaper and magazine cuttings.

dscn2298and a very welcoming fire on a cold evening.
 

dscn2303All girls together. I am the Hobbit size person wearing the Doctor Who scarf.
 

dscn2307Bonne Chance Robin, Charlotte and Café de la Fleur.

 

Event:- I am so excited, towards the end of last year I was asked to write a article for French Property News magazine about our buying experience, the renovation of our property, our village and the area in general. I can not tell you how nervous I was after sending the article to the editor but she loved it and a few days ago I was sent a copy to read complete with our pictures. Wow, the article is in the March issue.

Truffle Festival

This is undoubtedly the highlight of January, Sarlat Truffle Festival which ran for two days last weekend. There are not many things that would entice me to leave the warmth of a log fire when the temperature outside is -2 and I have a bad cold but the prospect of buying a truffle wins every time.

At up to one thousand euros a kilo the fusty, musty, heady truffle is among the worlds most expensive foods, comparable to caviar that is a similar price.

You can find truffles used in moose, macerons, chocolate, and thinly sliced on top or in various meat and vegetarian dishes. When Paul and I had a holiday in Umbria many years ago we were introduced to truffle ice cream, sounds a bit icky but it was so delicious.

Due to the fact that it can be used to flavour foods before you actually use the truffle it can be quite economical. Dropped in with other foods such as eggs, pasta, chicken or rice so the truffle aroma and taste will permeate most food products you can make a small truffle last for several meals.
 

Medieval Quarter in Sarlat Medieval Quarter in Sarlat where truffle hunters and Chiefs from all over the Perigord Black sell their truffles and truffle creations.

There have always been truffles in the Perigord Black but due to the First and Second World Wars, the nurture of the truffle went into decline, on one hand due to the loss of the smallholders and on the other hand the shrinking forests due to changes of land use and the exhaustion of truffle friendly trees. Across France in the 1930’s, the truffle harvest was roughly 1000 tons. During the 1960’s replanting of trees such as the French Oak was introduced plus other trees to test the growth of truffles. Now however is the constant threat of climate change. Hotter Summers and less rainfalls in other parts of France is reducing the growth of the truffle. So as the harvest starts to decline so the price increases. Today in sharp contrast it is only about 50 tons.
 

Truffles on displayVery proud owners of the truffle selling their finds at various weights and quality.
 

Truffle mooseTruffles made into moose with grated truffle on top, or thinly sliced between pate.
 

Two young Chiefs Two young Chiefs competing for the best truffle macerons. We did buy two macerons from them and ate them while the Chiefs waited for our response. Truly delicious boys.
 

Truffle maceronsOf course we had to buy two large macerons from another Chief to take home with us. You can not beat coffee or chocolate macerons made with truffles, the flavour is magnificent.
 

Our little truffleOur little prize along side a dessert spoon, we only paid fifteen euros so a really good price. We placed the truffle on top of eggs and left them over night. The truffle had permeated the egg shell by the morning giving the scrambled eggs the luxury flavour of truffle. Now the truffle is sitting in the rice container to flavour the rice.

A pig or a dog is usually used to sniff and find truffles in the forests, however I think that we may have the first truffle cat! Our kitten Cleo loves the smell of truffle.
 

Events:-

Castelnaud-la-Chapelle 28th and 29th January for the International Céou Canoe Race.

Daglan 19th March for the Second Spring Festival of Flowers.

Cafe de la Fleur.

A new Cafe in Daglan Village opened last night. Paul and I went out this morning to check it out. It replaces the Brasserie le Bistroquet which has been closed and for sale for a few years so it was great to hear the welcome news that it had been bought by a couple from Denmark who have opened as Cafe de la Fleur. They have plans to further develop the large property to include a restaurant, apartments or bed and breakfast when the renovation work is completed.

Cafe de la FleurLooking good with the tables set in pretty gingham table cloths.
 

Menu
Cafe de la Flour is open for business seven days a week. They sell various types of burgers or you can have a set menu which changes daily for the excellent price of fifteen euros. They also have steak, chicken etc. for a slightly more expensive meal of around twenty two euros.

Unfortunately, they do not have any vegetarian meals on the menu at the moment but they will change the menu on a regular basis according to the customers taste so fish and vegetarian options are to come at a later stage.
 

Morning CoffeeWe popped in to introduce ourselves to find the Maire and various other people from our village sipping a morning coffee. We were made to feel very welcome by the owners who took time out to talk to Paul and myself about the Cafe.
 

Comforting interiorIt looks great inside and they sell good coffee and aperitifs etc.
 

Charlotte and RobinBonne Chance to Charlotte and Robin and all the best in your new venture.

 

Gâteau au Chocolate.

I made this as our New Year treat. However, I did point out to Paul that this was my first attempt at making this gâteau so it may not turn out right, in fact he may not see it at all. I’m glad to say the gâteau did cook perfectly it looked and tasted good and tasted a lot lighter than I expected for a dense chocolate gâteau.

Gâteau au Chocolate

Ingredients:

150g (5oz) caster sugar, plus some for sprinkling.
275g (10oz) plain chocolate, chopped, try and use the most expensive chocolate at about 70%.
175g (6oz) unsalted butter cut into pieces.
10ml (2tsp) vanilla essence or 3tsp walnut liqueur.
5 eggs – separated.
40g (2oz) plain flour, sifted with a pinch of salt.

Optional, I also used 50g chopped walnuts.

Icing sugar for dusting.

Sweetened whipped cream for serving.

Preparation:

1 Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3. Generously butter a 24cm/9 or 10in spring base tin, then sprinkle the tin with a little sugar and tap out the excess.

2 Set aside 45ml/3 tbsp of sugar. Place the chocolate, butter and remaining sugar in a heavy saucepan and cook over a low heat until the chocolate and butter have melted and the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the vanilla essence or walnut liqueur and leave the mixture to cool slightly.

3 Beat the egg yolks into the chocolate mixture, then add the flour (and walnuts if you are using them).

4 In a mixer beat the egg whites slowly until frothy. Increase the speed, add the salt and continue beating until soft peaks form. Sprinkle the reserved sugar and beat until stiff and glossy. Beat one third of the whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remaining whites.

5 Carefully pour the mixture into the tin and tap the tin gently to release any air bubbles.

6 Bake the gâteau for about thirty five to forty five minutes until well risen and the top springs back when touched lightly with a fingertip. If the gâteau appears to rise unevenly, rotate after about the first twenty minutes of cooking. Transfer the cake to a wire rack, remove the sides of the tin and leave to cool. Remove the tin base, dust the cake with icing sugar and transfer to a serving plate.

Serve with whipped cream.

Bon Appetit.