I love France and visit at least twice a year, usually cycling in Brittany or Normandy but back in June we went to the Provence and cycled up Mount Ventoux. It’s beautiful there and I just love the food. So I was really pleased when Bonjour French Food kindly sent us a box which contained this month’s selection of French goodies. It’s a little like the Graze box which I receive each week as in you don’t know what you’re going to receive so it’s exciting, although Bonjour is sent once a month. We weren’t disappointed. Here’s what we received –
- Préparation pour Pain de Campagne by Marlette – All I needed to make this lovely farmhouse bread was some warm water, sea salt and some strong biceps – only kidding. Marlette also have preparations for other breads, cakes, pastries and snacks, all organic.
- Tapenade Noire by Aix & Terra – Tapenade is a typical Provençal dish made from finely chopped olives, capers and olive oil. I looked on Aix & Terra’s site and they do lots of wonderful products including rose, violet, poppy and lavender jams!
- Tomatine de Tomate by Marc Peyrey – This is a thick spread made from sun-dried tomatoes with basil.
- Petit-beurres au Comté et au Poivre by Michel et Augustin – Savoury biscuits with no additives. Michel et Augustin do a wide range of tasty products.
- Terrine de Caille aux Cèpes by Comtesse du Barry – Tasty chunks of quail meat without any additives. Comtesse du Barry have a large variety of products including terrines, cavier, truffles and lots, lots more.
- Compote Pomme-Caramel Beurre Salé by Favols – The sauce I used on the base of my apple tart, which is salted butter caramel so it wasn’t too sweet. Favols also have a wide range of lovely fruity products.
Included in the box was a little magazine with news from the Bonjour team, where the products came from and what they could be used for, plus a recipe for the tart – I quickly rushed out to buy some apples. There were some hints on places to eat in Paris and London and some London shops where these products can be bought. We have a French shop here on the south coast which I shall be making a trip to this week I think, see if they have any of these products or one’s similar at least.
I set aside Thursday to do some baking, luckily the instructions on how to bake the bread were also in English as I’m not sure my school-girl French would have sufficed. So, here goes, first the bread….
The bread can be made in a bread maker or by hand. As I haven’t got a bread maker I gave my biceps a good workout. After 3 minutes I thought that 10 minutes must be up but I was wrong. Funnily enough once you get into it it’s quite therapeutic and I was a little sad when the 10 minutes came to an end. Pop it into a warm place for an hour and wait.
The result is fantastically tasting bread, quite bouncy and light. For supper that evening I put a little tomatine de tomate and topped that with the tapenade noire on the freshly baked bread and it was very tasty. Another slice I put the terrine de caille aux cèpes on which was also very nice. On the side of my plate I added a few petit-beurre au Comté et au poivre biscuits, they give out a slightly warm taste in the mouth, presumably the pepper but you can also taste the butter and cheese, they were lovely. They inspired me to buy some Comté cheese when I was next in the supermarket.
The tart needed a sweet pastry which had to be put into the fridge for a while and pressed into the dish. It then had to be baked for a few minutes without the filling so it didn’t swell. Next I spread the Favols Pomme Caramel sauce over the base and lay the sliced apple decoratively then a sprinkle of brown sugar and baked it in the oven.
The tart was really delicious and the pastry was divine – the recipe of which I will definitely use again – and the sauce added something different, it wasn’t too sweet and went really well with the pastry and dessert apples I used.
This would make an excellent gift at Christmas for someone who seems to ‘have everything’ and who never know what they want. Bonjour delivers all over the UK and subscriptions start from £29 and you can also order one box as a gift for £31. You receive 5 – 7 French treats, along with the magazine thankfully explaining how to use the products if you don’t happen to be French and haven’t a clue what to do with them. I think that’s sometimes the problem in supermarkets where you see foreign products, there’s not always anything explaining how to eat them or what with. Bonjour give you the products that go together beautifully.
Living life, loving Bonjour French Food