Friday, 29 January 2010

Galette des rois

Sorry if I haven't been posting for a while, I have quite a lot of things I'd like to write about but can't seem to find the time. I have been so busy dealing with trying to sort out my car. I say trying, because it's far from being sorted out. If you think getting British nationality is hard, let me tell you one thing: getting your car to become British is much harder!!

Because the UK is so much different from the continent (and that is one of the reason why I moved- and stayed here) nothing is ever really straight-forward. I have this lovely old French car that was never manufactured for the British market. The DVLA is asking me to change my speedometer so that it displays the speed in miles per hour- amongst other numerous changes that I have done already and that have seriously dented my bank balance. I would love to change my speedometer (although after 8 years driving in km/h I would probably be a bit lost and be even more dangerous). But speedometers for my car are not programmed to display the speed in miles per hour. The engineers thought "Hey, why bother adding on a setting so that the speed is displayed in miles per hour for our friends around the world using the Imperial system? Nobody will ever need this!" And then they probably went for a coffee (or on strike- well it's a French car after all!)

Anyway, now I am stuck with a car that is half British, half French. All the lights have been changed so that they don't blind the drivers on the opposite side of the road, so I can't even bring it back to France to sell it, unless I fork out another £200 to get the lights back to what they were at first. My car is like me: not really French anymore, and certainly not British yet (I still don't get most jokes, apart from Penguin ones- and I find them hilarious).

Enough talking about cars! I have now a few crafty projects, mainly knitting that are in progress. I'm knitting myself a snood very similar to the one Kookai was selling this winter for 50 euros. A few sets of instructions have appeared on the net, just google "knit a snood". When it comes to knitting I revert back to French so I googled "tricoter un snood SIMPLE" because I'm still a beginner. I did very well on the first week-end and now I feel like it's endless... I get easily bored so I started a stripy purse for my sister. I was my first attempt at stripes and it didn't go too bad! I will post some pics once its finished- honest!

Apart from that I have tried baking my first galette des rois, a bit later than the tradition but hey we're in the UK. It was great!! The only problem was trying to find some real, 100% butter pastry. Here is the recipe if you fancy trying it out, it's really easy and anyone who likes almonds should enjoy it.

You will need:

1 and 1/2 block all butter puff pastry, rolled

150g ground almonds

100g sugar

2 eggs

75g of butter at room temperature

a few drops of almond extract

1 egg yolk mixed with water to give it a golden glow!

We also put a feve in it- which is a little character about 1 inch. The person who finds it is declared King/Queen and gets to wear a paper crown. That probably wouldn't go down well with all Health and safety regulations over here though (only joking!)

Roll your pastry so that it gives you 2 circles. Put the first circle of pastry in a round dish (well you won't put a circle in a square will you?). In a bowl, mix the almonds, almond extract, sugar, butter and eggs until it look like a smooth paste. Spread it on your pastry, cover with the second circle and stick the sides together (a bit like a pie). With a cooking brush, spread some egg yolk diluted with water on the top and pierce little holes, put it in the oven for about 35 minutes gas mark 7. Voila!!

Well I think that's it for now!

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