Sunday, November 29, 2009

Birthday lunch number...uhmmm

My dear friend Bee had been planning this outing for such a long time so it was quite exciting when the day finally arrived and I turned up at Newtown station on a really hot day to be met by an exotic looking Bee dressed for the occasion in a Hawaiian shirt! We headed straight for Christopher The's Black Star Pastry to pick up lunch.

Bee had a lamb shank pie (unfortunately, since he was unused to eating with food bloggers, he was mostly done with it by the time I got my camera out!) and the spinach and pinenut pithivier, both of which were rich and tasty (well, at least the initial allow-the-foodblogger-to-taste training took, hehe)!

I selected the serrano ham and basil in an olive roll. It was crusty and chewey and the fragrance of the fresh basil leaves enhanced the saltiness of the ham.

It was almost too much for one person but I managed to finish it knowing that dessert was nearby.
Let me introduce you to my new friends:

Rhubarb and Apple Crumble
Canneles de Bordeaux
Passionfruit and Coconut Macaron
Plum, Fig and Orange Cake
I loved them all, particularly the canneles (can-nu-lay is the way the French speaking Bee pronounces it) which I'd never tried before. According to the Food Network and the Worldwide Gourmet, this little cake has an ancient history but the most interesting part is how particular the recipe is in creating what turns out to be a crunchy, gooey toffee skin covering a creamy custardy interior. Apparently, fluted copper tins and coating the inside of the tins with beeswax (food grade I hope!) is what makes these pastries unique. My favourite of the day however was the orange cake with such a pretty topping, deliciously moist but not too sweet.
And the special cup of Earl Grey tea served up by Bee in gorgeous gold leaf cups inherited from his father. I felt rather privileged to be using this service and Bee went to the effort of getting the tablecloth matching the cup and saucer sets too!
But wait, there's more! Not only did Bee supply a wonderful lunch in the most elegant surroundings, afterwards he presented me with a very heavy parcel which turned out to be a Gateau Breton made to Nigella's own recipe. How lucky can a girl get?
Having read so much about this (and drooled over the photo in my copy of How to be a Domestic Goddess) I am now in possession of one! I couldn't wait to get home and open it up, it's a recipe that I don't think I'll ever make for myself, just reading the ingredients is probably raising my cholesterol level already, so how thoughtful of Bee to give me a little of the experience without the massive guilt, hehe! It was delicious by the way, crumbly and buttery and to be enjoyed a little at a time SLOWLY.

And after lunch, Bee organised a showing of finely bound artists books put together by a private collector.
Food and art, thanks for a gorgeous day Bee, hope your year is turning out to be just as good!


  1. What a lovely gift! I adore gateau Breton and have used Nigella's recipe for it which works so well! :D

  2. Look at that passionfruit and coconut macaron! Delicious. :-)