My Lovely Paris

I just fell in love with those original pictures of Paris. What a beautiful idea from Bekka Palmer !

Have you ever been to Paris ? I know that you dream of going one day ! Who doesn’t ? Me, maybe, since this is where I live. It is always funny to discover how people picture Paris from the outside. One thing is sure : I am very lucky to live in such a beautiful city !

When will you come and visit me ?

Boutique Carabine

I love and admire creators’ work. I love spending time on websites such as Etsy, Dawanda, A Little Market to discover the latest handmade trends. I really encourage people to buy handmade, it is so much more worthy to have something unique and made with love.

Today I would like to present you the work of a French creator called Elisa Quirin. She designs and creates beautiful and elegant purses for her boutique Carabine. I think they are the perfect accessories for a chic and romantic day or night out. All the purses are made of high quality leather and fabric and they all hide a colorful lining which I love !

Are you, as well, completely in love with Elisa’s work ?

{Recipe} The French Macarons

There’s nothing like the French macarons to give you a delightful taste of Paris. This delicious sophisticated treat is quite difficult to make but there is nothing better to impress your guests. After about 3 dozens of trials (yeah that’s a lot of macarons) I am now really proud to master the art of the French macarons. I am even requested by my friends to make some for the special events !

To begin this French inspiration blog, I thought there would be no better post than the recipe of our favorite treat. I have tried some in Australia and my favorite place is Shocolate in Melbourne. But be careful, some macarons only taste like sugar whereas the French recipe has a strong almond taste. So don’t be fooled!

Here is the recipe :

You need, for about 15 macarons :

1 egg white, room temperature

15 g superfine sugar

40 g almond powder

65 g icing sugar

1/ Put your baking tray in your fridge. It has to be cold when it enters the oven.

2/ Your egg white must be at the room temperature. If it is not, make it warm a couple of minutes in a bain marie.

3/ Put the icing powder and the almond powder into the food processor until combined. It has to be as fine as possible to obtain beautiful homogeneous macarons.

4/ Whisk your egg white with a mixer on speed 1. When it foams, add the superfine sugar and put speed 2 and whisk until stiff peaks form. Then add the coloring and whisk with speed 1 again until it is homogeneous.

5/ Now comes the most important part of the French macaron recipe: the “macaronage”, or macarooning. It is this part which makes the macaron perfect. Little by little, you will have to add  the mixture of sugar/almond powder to the egg white and stir with a flexible spatula following a very precise movement. You will have to lift the mixture in a slow circular movement and end by pressing it to the edges of the bowl. Since it is easier to watch it than explain it, here is a little video of how to do it (in French !). When finished, put some mixture on your spatula, it has to form a continuous dense ribbon, like on the video.

6/ I admit, I never use a piping bag to form my macarons, just two teaspoons and that’s it ! But you can transfer the batter to a pastry bag and pipe lines of rounds on parchment-lined baking sheets. Tap the bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let the macarons stand at room temperature for at least 45 minutes. It is really important because they will dry and harden.

7/ Pre-heat your oven to 160°C (320 F). Take your cold baking tray out of the fridge and put your macarons on. Bake one sheet at a time for 10 minutes then reduce the temperature to 140°C (284 F) for 3 minutes. Your macarons will be crisp and firm. Repeat the process for each baking sheet and don’t forget to put your baking tray in the fridge or freezer to make it cold !

8/ Let the macarons cool on the sheet for 5 minutes. They should be easy to remove. If they are sticky, spray water underneath the  parchment on hot sheet. The steam will help release macarons.

9/Sandwich two same-size macarons with a teaspoon filling. You can be creative with the filling : peanut butter, nutella, jam, melted chocolate, caramel, it can be anything ! I like melting all sorts of chocolates with a little bit of liquid cream and add some extras like coconut to have a unique sort of macarons !

10/ TIP : if you have baked your macarons for too long and they are too crispy, don’t panic ! Just put them in a box or jar for 1 hour and they will be soft and delicious !

It is better to eat them the day after. You can keep them in the fridge and if you want to make the pleasure last longer, you can put them in the freezer for days !

Enjoy !

One of my favorite recipe of macarons can be viewed in video just here.

Want some French inspiration ?

Hello world !

I am really happy to start this new adventure with this brand new English blog. My name is Anouk, I am French and I live in the beautiful city of Paris. 7 months ago, I left my hometown to live and study in Melbourne, Australia. I am used to travelling around the globe, but it is only in Australia that I discovered how people were passionate about the French culture.

I already have a French blog called Sunshine of Mine, but I have always been a bit sad when my international friends asked for it and realised they could not understand a thing since they could not read French. So instead of translating each of the 250 posts of my blog, I decided to enter the English blogosphere in order to give you guys some French inspiration.

In this blog, you will find a lot of inspiration made in France, all the secrets about the French lifestyle, some creative ideas and heaps of tips to live a life full of happiness.

After all, what is happiness without French desserts ?

Discover more about me here.