Sunday, July 17, 2011

What I've Been Up To

I would first and foremost like to apologize for my long hiatus which I am about to break.  A lot has gone on during my absence that I am very excited to share:

Say hello to Nikita Victoria Belykh, my baby sister, born June 09, 2011. ! Ever since she came into our family, life had not been the same.  She is truly the most precious and innocent little gift.

Right after exams, I was lucky enough to have my parents fulfill my childhood dream to visit Paris !!! I've been planning for months for this trip and surely had the time of my life once my dad and I arrived.  And oh my god, the food was simply heavenly.   My dad and I had determined the smell by which we define Paris - an overwhelmingly mindsweepingly amazing mix of cigarette smoke, Arabica coffee, and yeast risen breads and pastries from the multitude of boulangeries entering your nostrils early in the morning. Crusty ficelles and adorable pains sucrés dans la vitrine, people digging into their charming salades composés with their perfectly poached eggs on top, tantilizing baguettes farcies layed out like eyecandy on every block, the whip of galettes being prepared before your very own eyes... Ah, c'était une expérience inoubliable

I came back to see the world in different colours, bearing the wish that I will one day live in Paris and bake with their irresistable high-quality Echiré butter, have fresh, light, featherweight croissants every morning, stock up on salted butter caramels and read in the comfort of the Luxembourg gardens on my free afternoons with one--no, two, PH's macarons in hand.  Yes, yes, that is how I envision my ideal future.

I have done a lot of baking since I had returned, some being inspirations from France while other creations were meant for accompaniment to celebrations such as Nikita's first birthday.  I baked a simple Genoise Cake, layered it between Whipped cream frosting and layered on Buttercream Frosting on the sides and top of the cake. As for the mini madeleines, here is the simple, fail-proof recipe for those that are interested: