Monday, 4 January 2010

Surprise test

I have been set a SURPRISE TEST by my brain twin, who I unwisely told I didn't think I would blog tonight.

My task is to write a paragraph about the following (they are very Paris-centric, apologies):

1. Caramel au beurre salé

2. Sandro v Maje

3. Frozen dog shit - blessing or danger?

4. La galette des rois, for or against?

5. Shoe shape for 2010

I have 30 minutes. She's fucking scary. I like a challenge. Ready? Go.

1. Caramel au beurre salé

I spent much of the last few days perving about salted butter caramel products, egged on by various enabling co-dependent caramelophiles. Initially triggered by a Pierre Marcolini eclair in early December, my current binge/rampage has encompassed salted almond cardamom fudge, salted caramel milk chocolate with a crackly nougatine bottom, green tea salted caramel truffles, and a salted caramel tart. The last three were all courtesy of uber Japanese patissier Sadaharu Aoki, who is a god among bakers and may find himself sequestered in my basement as my caramel producing slave for all eternity. Salted butter caramel is the reason I am currently wearing my emergency wardrobe of forgiving A-line dresses.

2. Sandro v Maje

Sandro & Maje are near-identical twin Paris clothing labels, both doing eminently wearable black sacklike dresses of the kind I espouse wholeheartedly. Sandro tends more towards sequins and leather than I generally like. Maje is more dépouilllé, pared down (some might say boring). Sandro is easier to pronounce than Maje. Is the final e silent? I think so, but noone really knows. Ok, the employees presumably know. Whatever.

This, I think, must be the picture round. I don't have much time so there will be minimal artistry.

First, Sandro:

Wow. Never realised quite how unflattering this was. Sack-u-like.

Next, Maje:

Fabulous, sacklike, black AND recognised by the doorbitch at Thoumieux on Saturday night.

Maje wins. Easy.

3. Frozen dog shit - danger or blessing

Surely a blessing, as easier to pick up, less offensive, unlikely to be trodden in? Apparently there is some risk of slipping, but frankly I think it's negligable and I refuse to waste any more time on a non issue.


4. Galette des Rois - for or against?

The galette des rois is an epiphany tradition in France. A big fuck off wheel of puff pastry filled with dry, boring frangipane, in which is concealed a "fève", a dried bean back in the day, now more likely to be a made in Taiwan figurine of a popular cartoon character. The galette is chopped into slices and the youngest participant is sent under the table to say who should get which slice. The person who gets the slice with the fève - almost inevitably an adult, who will lose a crown or crack a filling in the process - is the king or queen and can wear a Pixar themed paper crown for the day. The rest of the party can proceed to whine, sulk or throw tantrums about not getting the fève. Generally children will poke about in the galette to look for the fève before throwing a howling tantrum and not eating any, leaving adults who are already filled with salted caramel products to mechanically 'tidy up' approximately a kilo of puff pastry and dry, boring almond paste.

Can you guess which way this is going? AGAINST.

5. Shoe shape for 2010

I'm going with exceptionally stompy.

Finished, pencil down, pointless post finished.


Lisa-Marie said...

I enjoyed this! Salted Caramel Tart is wonderful. I think the first dress is very cute! Who really cares about dog shit? We had galette de rois when i was in France for New years one year, it was not good, and I love frangipane. My shoes for the year will more than likely be what the always are, Converse shaped.

M. said...


I've located my red pen. Let us begin.

1. Pupil Waffle has shown good initiative in the location and dispatch of salted caramel by-products. However, although Sensei Aoki has clear competence in the subject, Pupil Waffle's research would have benefitted from a wider, more varied range of sources. Points must also be deducted for the abandon of salted cardamom fudge (aka crack) on the corrector's coffee table. However the corrector, having eaten most of the bag, is feeling uncharacteristically lenient tonight. 15/20

2. Correct answer, but poor use of circumstantial evidence. Could try harder. 11/20

3. Does Pupil Waffle want to fall backwards into a trail of slippery, squishy dog poop? Well, does she? 0/20

4. Pupil Waffle shows a poor understanding of the importance of naff, heathenish customs. She has also omitted to mention how very shiny those cardboard crowns are, and that if you are chosen as King (or Queen), you are called upon to choose a consort. For SNOGGING.

5. Excellent mastery of the shoe shape. 20/20

Moyenne: 9.2/20.

(wv: winge. You don't say)

Jaywalker said...

M - I told you this would only amuse the two of us, didn't I? Well, pace Lis-Marie who is just being kind.

soleils said...

Brain twins, chapeau bas, but really. This test-surprise should supplant the baccalauréat sharpish, c'est clair.
1. Caramel au beurre salé, delicious yes, but a fad, methinks.
2. Maje vastly superior to Sandro, though I know of one sequined marinière by the latter which made more than one friend go into a trance and sold out in around 4 seconds. Now available at grossly inflated prices on eBay, bien sûr. I didn't like it a bit. Maje, magique.
3. Dog shit... errr... hello? I don't care if it is frozen, baked or presented with son caramel au beurre salé jus (huh? No, I don't know either). But thanks for asking.
4. Galette des rois - love love love them. It's like a second round of not-so-great sweet stuff after Christmas, plus I'm sorry, but the prospect of getting the fève is just too exciting (I am no longer a child, so I will pretend to be cool not getting it, but will sulk inside). I hate frangipane, yet love the galette des rois.
5. Shoe shape - I will shout LA LA LA over the fashion gurus who predict the return of the kitten heel, because that is just too horrendous an idea. Let's see... I go for see-through wedges. Pourquoi pas?
Chère Waffle (and brain twin), thanks for this. VW: orinati, faux-Italian for what The Waffle's funny clever musings bring me close to doing.

Jane said...

I have never read such an accurate description of the whole galette du rois shenanigans.
But you have omitted to mention the additional horrific fact that any maternelle aged child will bring home 'galette' themed art works throughout the whole of January....

Jaywalker said...

And the singing Jane. Don't forget the singing.

La galette est-elle bien ronde??? OUI
La galette est-elle bien cuite???

J'aime la galette, savez vous comment?

Etc etc etc etc until you can feel your brain liquefying in your skull.

Jo said...

This is my 2nd Epiphany in France. I have no kids but I do have an amazing baker and this year I have given in and bought only 2 slices for fear I will eat the whole galette. LOVE LOVE LOVE. There's a piece sitting in the kitchen for my husband and I to share later (saddos), and I've only once today shaved off a tiny bit so that he won't notice.

Shoes - pah - my newly acquired plantar fasciitis (a real afliction, I swear) means I have to wear nerdy shoes for the forseeable future, so my 2010 looks like Timberland (my best compromise.) I can't fit into either of the fashion labels but I do look in the window of Maje and I likey. Lots. As for dog shit - frozen all the way for me, baby.
Finally, where where where do you get salted almond cardamom fudge?? Where?! All CBS products are amazing. I have ice cream and chocolate respectively in my freezer and fridge. The ice cream's marginally better than the chocolate but goes really well with warm honey waffle thingies.

redfox said...

Salted caramel everything will always have a place in my heart, faddish or non. Indeed, salty sweets all around. I have some spectacularly good chocolate with almonds salé in my treat drawer at the moment, for example. Someone is going to have to cough up the recipe for the salted cardamom crack sometime soon, I hope, or things will get ugly.

Red Shoes said...

Good GOD, woman. Your cleavage in the Maje is BLINDING!

I realize that between this comment and the last one I left, it may appear that I am flirting with you. I'm not, I swear. Unless you particularly like it and then, maybe just a tiny bit. But mostly, I'm not. Just terribly envious.

Jaywalker said...

Red Shoes - You know what that cleavage is, don't you? It's 95% salted butter caramel. Also, whether flirting or not, I am happy to bask in compliments on my caramel enhanced embonpoint.

redfox - It's @JosaYoung on Twitter's recipe. Nag her.

Fabhat said...

I am too lazy to answer all the questios - but here goes:

salted caramel - yes -can I have some now please?

dress - maje - mmmm

frozen dog shit - one christmas eve my dad and i went out to a road notorious for being a dogshit mine field and sprayed all the dogshit gold, in a festive way. It sank in to the fresher ones, and I think frozen dogshit would have taken the paint much better. So frozen is better.

I'll go back to gestating and pretending I'm going to do my tax return before the bay arrives now...

the polish chick said...

i like both dresses, actually, but being a colour freak, i tend to like the first better.

also, i have just had some news last night that has turned my lie upside down and i may never speak to anyone again. i am broken. this, of course, has nothing to do with anything but since we're on this semi-dialogue thing, i thought you ought to know.

yesterday at this time all was well. sweet fuck, how easily things get broken. but the dress IS nice.

the polish chick said...

life, not lie. but whatever.

Simon said...

Yay for Aoki patisserie. I had these in his café in Tokyo and it was quite an experience.