During December and the Christmas holidays, as in many families across the world, I like baking with the girls.
So, Christmas is the perfect time to talk to you about a cooking book I really like called “The Fairy Tales Recipes” by Charley Fouquet and Chloé Saada.
While I have bought this book a couple of years ago, every time Christmas is approaching, I feel the need to dig into my library to find it.
As soon as we open it, we are transported into a magical world.
What I like is that each recipe is linked to a fairy tale and inspired by "what the story doesn't tell", in a fun and creative way. It is also illustrated by a beautiful picture evoking the fairy tale and the recipe, and by an excerpt of the original fairy tale itself as well. Before we start cooking, we read those words about the fairy tale!
Beyond the fact that the recipes are really good, everyone can have their own interpretation of what this could mean to them.
For me, it makes the full experience more than just baking because fairy tales speak to the inner child still living inside of me and thus it brings me back to my sweet childhood memories, especially the ones linked to Christmas, when for example my grandmother and mom would bake some of those recipes. I like sharing them with my daughters!
Among all the great recipes, I have selected 2 of them to share with you, very French sweet treats which I hope will bring you back to your own sweet memories in this merry Christmas time.
...is that the fairies loved chouquettes so much that the great feast organized by the king was a buffet of chouquettes. They ate them all! For this reason, the old fairy was very angry and cast a bad spell on little Aurore, because her as well was fond of chouquettes.
100g of butter / 250 ml of water / 150g of flour / half a tea spoon of baking powder / 1 little bag of vanilla sugar / 3 eggs / "Chouquettes" sugar (to put on top) / food coloring
1-Preheat the oven at 338F.
2-In a saucepan, melt the butter over low heat with a little water.
3-In a salad bowl, pour the flour and the yeast, then add the melted butter, the vanilla sugar and the eggs one by one, mixing well each time.
4-Roll small pieces of dough between your hands, like snowballs, and place them on the baking sheet, covered with parchment paper, leaving enough space between the chouquettes.
Add grains of sugar to each chouquette by pressing them lightly and bake for about 10 minutes.
Add food coloring with the tip of a knife at the time of preparation.
"It was winter, a queen was sewing, seated near a window, whose frame was made of ebony wood, while large snow flakes were falling. While sewing, the queen pricked her finger and a few drops of blood fell on the snow. The contrast between the red blood, the color of the window and the whiteness of the snow was so beautiful that she said to herself: I would like to have a little girl, who has white skin like this snow, red lips like this blood , eyes and black hair as the frames of this window."
What the story doesn’t say...
250g of icing sugar / 4 egg white / 1 little bag of vanilla sugar / 1 pinch of salt
1-Preheat the oven at 194F
2-In a bowl, break the eggs, separating the yolks from the whites. Whisk the whites with an electric whisk with a pinch of salt to make them rise faster and incorporate the icing sugar little by little. Once the whites are firm, add the remaining icing sugar and the vanilla sugar packet. Mix gently with a spoon until you get the consistency of a thick cream.
3- Place parchment paper on the oven tray. Using a pastry bag, form the meringues one by one. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
In our French home, we also really like dressing the table to enjoy those little sweet gems for a nice Christmas goûter with friends and family.
To dress a wonderful magical Christmas goûter table, first we like dressing the table with a nice tablecloth. This season, we love the nude pink or china blue embroidered ones.
Then, we make sure that we dispose and arrange our sweet treats in nice plates at the center of the table.
For kids and big kids, we prepare tasteful hot chocolates and coffees, without forgetting home-made juices and limonades for those who would prefer cold beverages.
We are now ready to bite into those magical cookies
Bon Goûter and “Joyeux Noël”!
You can find the book “Les recettes des contes de fée here.