SEPTEMBER 2016 – FRANCE THEME

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BREAD

1. CHESTNUT PAIN DE CAMPAIGNE   This bread is a sourdough, meaning that no yeast has been added to the dough. The  name means ‘country bread’  and was traditionally baked in communal ovens in a  round or miche.It is fermented and risen over three days giving it the charistically  strong flavour and chewy texture. We have added cooked chestnuts to the dough  which gives it a nutty flavour and soft, creamy texture.

2. GOATS CHEESE, RED ONION & THYME FOUGASSE  This is a classic French bread that is either made plain (as we do daily) or flavoured  as tonight’s is. It is made from our Overnight White dough and is shaped and cut with  a scraper before being proved, baked and coated in olive oil. An amazing snack!

3. BAGUETTE The most iconic of all French breads! Despite this the name ‘baguette’ didn’t become  common until the 1920’s. It is derived from the Italian bacchetta meaning ‘wand’.  This is made over 2 days with a poolish (one third of the total flour and water and a  small amount of yeast) fermenting for 14-­15 hours in the fridge. In the morning this is  then added to the remaining dough ingredients, proved, shaped and baked. This is  the bread that takes us the longest to make, being the first thing mixed and the last  out of the oven. If it weren’t for this dough we could get out of bed later!!

4. POILANE­STYLE SOURDOUGH   Lionel Poilâne is a French artisan baker famed for his 2kg miche loaves that are now  exported all over the world. He was a champion of traditionally made, sourdough  breads and the bakery, now run by his daughter, still trains bakers in the traditional  methods of production. The Poilâne miche is made from 85% extraction flour, also  called ‘grey flour’ which we buy from Yorkshire Organic Millers and spelt flour.   This is our version.

5. UK APPLE TART TATIN  We are celebrating the first of the UK apples by making another French Classic.   The tart is thought to have originated in the Hotel Tatin south of Paris. We have  made puff pastry but layering Lescure butter (a French butter with a high butter­fat  content) with pastry dough. Apples are sliced and layered into a mold with butter and  sugar then the pastry is laid on top. This is all baked and then inverted. Perfect with  the apple based Calvados and Cidre.

CHEESE

Comté

From the Jura mountain region comes one of France’s favourite cheeses – this one is made by Marcel Petite. Smooth, mellow, nutty and with a long finish.

Epoisses

Burgundy’s most pungent cheese and its most famous. It is powerful, luscious and a real cheese connoisseurs’ choice. Full flavoured, with a soft, oozy texture.

Morbier

A semi-soft cows’ milk cheese of France named after the small village of Morbier in Franche-Comté. It is ivory coloured, soft and slightly elastic with a thin black layer separating it horizontally in the middle. It has a rind that is yellowish, moist, and leathery.

Traditionally, the cheese consists of a layer of morning milk and a layer of evening milk. When making Comté, cheesemakers would end the day with leftover curd that was not enough for an entire cheese so they would press the remaining evening curd into a mould, and spread ash over it to protect it overnight. The following morning, the cheese would be topped up with morning milk. Nowadays, the cheese is usually made from a single milking with the traditional ash line replaced by vegetable dye. The aroma of Morbier can be strong and the flavour is rich and creamy, with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Chevre Goats’ Cheese log

This is the classic, white mould rind goat log.

Fourme  d’Ambert

A succulent and classic blue from the Auvergne. The cheese is aged for ten weeks by affineur Xavier Morin, to create the richest creamiest texture. Fourme d’Ambert has a delicate blue flavour, and is soft and smooth.

WINE

NOIX DE LA SAINT JEAN

From the Forcalquier distillery in Provence and a delicious way to start the evening with this stunning walnut aperitif. Dauphine Green Walnuts are harvested whilst still unripe and before the shells begin to harden, this must happen before or on the 24th June, which is known as St. Jeans Day (or better known to us as John the Baptist) and which gives this drink its name. To enhance the flavour of the walnuts the distillery combines them with nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves to give the aperitif its spicy, fruity flavours. This should complement the chestnut bread and the Comte perfectly, enhancing the nut flavours of this serve.

St.Veran Cuvee Tradition Doamine Thomas

This family run estate has developed during the past three generations with Lucien now in charge with the support of his father. The Chardonnay is the all important component here as it is throughout the Maconnaise. The fruit displays a crispness on the opening followed by good depth of flavours. As the lemony tones fade the peachy notes are apparent. With the fullness of the cheese the wine develops and keeps the palate interested.

Chereau Carre Muscadet ‘Sur Lie ‘

With the vineyards situated near Nantes on the Brittany coast, the Atlantic ocean does play a part in the character of the wine. Cooling breezes in the summer are helpful so not to stress the ripening grapes. The ripened Melon de Bourgogne grapes are harvested in parcels from mid September. Sur lie refers to the wine being left on the dead yeast cells to add character and depth. Muscadet is not just for seafood and salad.Using it here with the Goats cheese log I am looking to balance the acidity of the cheese and the ripe grapey wine.The red onion  and thyme is refreshed by the dryness of the Muscadet.
Maison Nicolas Perrin Syrah

The northern Rhone provides some fantastic Syrah .This is a collaboration between two well respected families. The Nicolas is Jaboulet and the Perrin is Mark. The grapes provide crunchy dark berry fruits with a hint of black pepper spice.The wines is made in steel vats and a part is moved to large oak barrels for a short 4/5 month rest before rejoining the rest for bottling. A juicy and fruity Rhone red works well with the creamy delicate nature of the blue cheese.

DROUIN CALVADOS AND CIDRE

Christian Drouin was an Industrialist when he bought a farm in Gonneville in the 1960s. His aim was simple: to produce a top quality spirit using the farms orchard apples. He passed this passion down to his son (also Christian) and now the company is in the third generation of Drouin. In 1995 the whole estate was recognised by the European Prestige Grand Prix Award, representing the quintessence of calvados.

The orchard of the « COEUR DE LION » estate is a traditional orchard of tall standards. It was planted and grafted between 1991 and 1993. For the making of Calvados, approximately 30 varieties of apples are used. Harvesting is carried out by shaking the branches of the trees; the apples fall onto tarpaulins spread out below the trees where they are gathered by hand and placed in sacks. The fruit that is to be used for bottled sparkling cider is stored for several weeks in the apple loft above the press in order to ripen fully. Apples to be used for Calvados are stored on a cement floor, piled to a height of about 70cm

 

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