Happy Bastille Day!

Today, July 14th, is “Bastille Day” in France! France’s national holiday celebrates a mob breaking into an 18th century Parisian prison. Akin to the United State’s 4th of July, the date marks the beginning of republican democracy and the end of tyrannical rule. The Bastille, a medieval fortress and prison, was a symbol of tyrannical Bourbon authority in central Paris and had held many political dissidents. Ironically, at the time the prison was stormed, there were only seven elderly prisoners.

Like Independence Day in the United States, the French celebrate all things that symbolize France. Rather than celebrate the storming of the Bastille itself, it is a day to celebrate the three tenets of the republican national motto: “liberty, equality, and fraternity”.

 

 

How is this holiday celebrated…typically with an abundance of fireworks, communal eating and parades, much like our 4th of July celebration.

Along the Champs-Elysee avenue, a military parade takes place where French troops march, ride and drive with world leaders in attendance. It is the oldest military parade in the world, having first taken place on Bastille Day in 1880.

In honor of Bastille Day we thought we would introduce and share one of our favorite French (well sort of) folks, David Lebovitz! He’s not really French, but we won’t dwell on that!

David is an expat living in Paris after having lived an accomplished life as a chef working alongside Alice Waters at Chez Panisse in Berkely, as well as many stints in other acclaimed kitchens.  David is also a talented pastry chef! David has been featured in Bon Appetit, Chocolatier, Cooking Light, Food+Wine, Cook’s Illustrated, The Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Travel and Leisure, The New York Times, People, Saveur, Sunset and USA Today….phew he’s a busy, talented fellow!

David has written many books, one of which we are currently featuring in The Marketplace, titled “My Paris Kitchen”. This latest book is a compendium of savory and sweet recipes and stories, cultivated from years of shopping, baking and cooking in Paris and has been named “Best Cookbook of the Year” by Amazon among others.

 

 

“Opening this beautiful book is like opening the door to David’s Paris. Of course, you get great recipes, but you also get to wander the world’s most delicious city with a friend who knows it well and is excited to share it with you. A treat for those of us who love French home cooking, Paris, and David’s take on it all.”
-Dorie Greenspan, author of Around My French Table

This book is filled with sumptuous food photos and recipes that will send you straight to the kitchen! So let’s celebrate Bastille Day! We’d like to share one of David’s recipes with you….a dessert recipe that will top off any celebratory dinner with a spark, “Salted Butter Caramel-Chocolate Mousse”….brace yourself!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbs. salted butter, cubed
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 6 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • Rounded 1/4 tsp. flaky sea salt, preferably fleur de sel

Preparation

  • Spread the sugar evenly over the bottom of a wide saucepan. Heat the sugar over medium heat. As it begins to liquefy at the edges, use a heatproof spatula to very gently drag the liquefied sugar toward the center. Watch carefully, as once the edges start to darken, the sugar is in danger of burning. Continue to cook, stirring very gently, until all the sugar is melted and begins to caramelize.
  • When the caramel is a deep amber color and starts to smoke, wait a moment for it to smell just slightly burnt, then remove it from the heat and quickly whisk in the butter, stirring until melted. Gradually whisk in the cream and stir until the little bits of caramel are completely melted. (A few can be stubborn, so be patient. You can strain the mixture if they simply refuse to budge.)
  • Once smooth, add the chocolate, stirring gently until it’s melted and smooth. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl and let it sit until it’s at room temperature. Once it’s no longer warm, whisk in the egg yolks.
  • In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff. Fold 1/3 of the whipped whites into the chocolate mixture, sprinkling in the flaky salt. Fold in the remaining beaten egg whites just until no streaks of white remain. Divide the mousse into serving glasses, or transfer it to a decorative serving bowl, and chill for at least 8 hours. While it might be tempting to serve this with whipped cream, I prefer to serve it pure, straight up with just a spoon.

We invite you to channel your inner Francophile and celebrate Bastille Day with us. And remember…..Arcadia Farms is always at the ready with daily baked croissants,  quiche, croque monsieur, tuna niçoise salads and many other treats to celebrate with every day of the week!  Bon Appetit!

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