Avec amour de France

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for all of Paris is a moveable feast” – Ernest Hemingway 

Atout France (French tourism) along with Bonne Maman and the FBAI recently opened its doors via Pooja Dhingra’s Studio 15, to the art of French patisserie.

My earliest memory of Bonne Maman is as a child, sinfully lathering the fresh fruit preserve on buttery croissants whilst on vacation. I’m terribly glad that it has made its way to the Indian market and is available easily at Nature’s Basket and other supermarkets. Seeing as they are gluten & GMO free, I urge you to pick up your stock at the earliest. The preserve can be used to make a gorgeous breakfast, tea time cookies, tea time cakes, dessert, whatever suits your palate.

Chef Pooja and Chef Pablo decided to treat us to Thumbprint jam cookies and Matcha Apricot Financiers. Thumbprint jam cookies are literally, exactly what the name suggests whilst financiers are light, moist, almost two bite pastries that are great to go with tea. Oh and also, super easy to make. Unfortunately they were both made with eggs, so I cannot share the recipes but I’d definitely like to try making their eggless versions.


Thumbprint jam cookies

For these, we used Bonne Maman’s strawberry preserve. The Matcha Green Tea financiers were piped with the apricot preserve.

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Matcha Apricot Financiers

By the way, for those of you wondering what the difference between jams and preserves is, it is that jam is a mix of crushed, preserved fruit and sugar, sometimes with pectin (a substance found in fruits such as apples and berries. When heated with sugar, it causes a thickening characteristic) depending on the pectin content of the fruit. Preserves means that the fruit is not altered and is cooked in the same way. The fruit is allowed to remain chunky unlike in jams where it is generally smooth.

Sheetal Munshaw, Director, Atout France wants to change the way Indian travellers are visiting France. She wishes for them to view France through all its wonderful gastronomical and wine delights that it has to offer, besides the usual local sight seeing. She is also keen on promoting all the vegetarian delights that France has to offer. This most definitely makes me want to revisit France and view it for all the wine, pastry, cheese, crepes, vineyards, even its cobbled streets and so much more that it has to offer.

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With Chef Pooja and Chef Pablo

It was an absolutely wonderful Friday evening (minus the traffic of course), meeting fellow bloggers, learning a thing or two about France, French baking, meeting Chef Pooja and Chef Pablo of course and reviving old memories with Bonne Maman 🙂


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