My nicknames ranged from "Flea" to "Fly's leg"
In museums, ski resorts and theme parks, I enjoyed the special fare for "Under 7" until I was at least 13 which was great.
What was less great was trying to get into a night club at 17 (legal age is 18 in France), knowing that I looked 14.
When I turned 20, I thought that I had probably caught up with it and looked like my age.
At 27, when I got introduced to an important business partner, I was confident. Wearing a suit, smiling (but not too much to keep a serious face), I approached him to shake his hand, and he said "Oh god... she is so young!"
Well, only few year later, I'm finally convinced that it's probably a good thing that I look a bit younger than I am ;-)
A French wintery twist on a Pavlova
Well, even if summer never comes, that won't prevent us from enjoying summer desserts, will it?
I took a great British classic (which actually comes from Australia, inspired by a Russian ballerina...that's what we call an international pudding!) and gave it a wintery French twist.
The result is delicious, and makes for the quickest dessert ever.
Perfect for a dinner party when you don't have more than 5 mins to spend on pulling together a dessert!
The star ingredient is one of my all time favourites: chestnut spread. With its smooth texture and its disctinctive taste, this French speciality brings a nice touch to this British traditional dessert!
You can find the very good Clement Faugier brand in most big supermarkets (in the "international food aisle"), or if you want something extra special : find the Comtés de Provence spread. It has small pieces of chestnut in it and the spread is lighter ; a real treat (available from Borough Market in London)
Ingredients, for 4 mini pavlovas:
Mini meringue nests (I bought them from M&S)
4 big tbsp of chestnut spread
Greek style yoghurt (I use my favourite: Fage Total 0%)
1 Marron glacé (glacé chestnut)
Make the Pavlovas:
1/ In a baking tray, toast the whole hazelnuts until golden (it will take approx 5 min) at 180deg C. Roughly crush them, and leave to cool.
2/ Top each mini meringue with a good dollop of chestnut spread, then a good dollop of greek yoghurt, and decorate with hazelnuts pieces and marron glacé pieces.
How to use your leftover chestnus spread?
In France, we love it on pancakes, or chocolate cakes, on warm toasted bread, with plain yoghurt...or directly from the pot with a big spoon!