Friday, October 14, 2005

Galettes à l’Orange


I’ll be the first to admit that I eat with my eyes first. What this also means is that I gravitate towards recipes with a pretty picture attached, particularly when it comes to desserts. The process of reproducing or tweaking the look of a cake, say, as captured in a book’s pictures gives me as much pleasure as recreating its taste, as captured in the book’s words. On the rare occasion that I do decide to try something based on the author’s persuasive prose alone, however, I am reminded that judging a recipe by its photograph (or lack thereof) is as silly as judging a book by its cover – I am overlooking a potential goldmine of in-all-likelihood fantastic recipes right under my nose.

Paris Sweets by Dorie Greenspan is a book I know I should use more often – of the recipes I’ve tried, most have turned out well. While there’s nary a glossy picture in sight, it is charmingly illustrated by Florine Asch, whose watercolours have been commissioned by even the likes of Hermès. Then there’s Ms. Greenspan’s wit and style, rendering photographs virtually redundant in this special instance.

The Galettes à l’Orange are her adaptation of a signature sweet by Eric Kayser. While best known as a boulangerie, Maison Kayser turns out a simple selection of sweets possibly every bit as splendid as their Monge baguette or Le Tourte. Described as "an orange meringue tart masquerading as a cookie", a flaky butter cookie base is spread with a layer of apricot jam spiked with Grand Marnier before being topped by a fat swirl of hazelnut meringue, which bakes up crisp-yet-chewy. This is one teatime treat I plan to revisit.

17 Comments:

Blogger Alanna said...

Oops. Must admit it was the photo that first got my attention! Lovely!

9:47 pm, October 14, 2005  
Blogger Nicholas said...

Well said! II eat with my eyes first, and then taste, after.

Delicious photos, as always. It's a shame I can't eat your entries!

12:50 am, October 15, 2005  
Blogger Cathy said...

Hi Jocelyn! Those sound so good (and, of course, another perfect photo)! The book sounds great too - just popped a copy in my amazon shopping cart!

7:54 am, October 15, 2005  
Blogger Nic said...

I have the same problem: if there are photos, I am far more likely to try those recipes. My Maida Heatter books have no illustrations, but her descriptions are quick and to the point: "Make these." Without photos to go on, I simply have to do as she says!

8:28 am, October 15, 2005  
Blogger Reid said...

Hi J,

I eat with my eyes too. I usually follow that up with some real food and end up gaining weight too quickly!

This "cookie" sounds sinfully delicious and I can imagine how wonderful the hazelnut meringue must taste alongside the apricot jam. mmmm!

6:14 pm, October 15, 2005  
Anonymous Melissa said...

I'm just like you - I get so sad when I have a book full of great recipes but no photos. I read something recently that I found very intriguing, apparently a single glossy photo in a cookbook runs upwards of $1000 to produce, so having 20 photos in a book costs the publishers $20,000. I guess that's why many books go without...

Those galettes look spectacular. I think Dorie should contact you to shoot her next book - I'm sure you'd charge less than $1000 a picture! :)

12:43 am, October 16, 2005  
Blogger Santos said...

j, don't you dare consider taking a photo shoot involving a major publisher for less than $1000! your photos are so good that in this particular photo, for more than a second, i thought the napkin was the galette.

10:42 am, October 16, 2005  
Blogger Clare Eats said...

J
that is the cutest ost perfect looking mouthfull I have seen WOW :)

I agree.... so when are you changing careers?

How do you have soooo many lovely acoutriments though *sigh*

7:34 pm, October 16, 2005  
Blogger eatzycath said...

when I see photos like yours, what else can I do but to feast with the eyes.... sigh!

12:55 pm, October 17, 2005  
Blogger babe_kl said...

eatzycath, me too!!!

3:04 pm, October 17, 2005  
Blogger Vivilicious said...

Jocelyn, you are truly talented! I love food photography and am considering taking a class on it. But only if they can guarantee me results like yours! What kind of camera do you use by the way? And as clare eats said, how do you have so many lovely things like the daisy napkin, teacup, etc? I am green with envy!

6:38 pm, October 17, 2005  
Blogger deborah said...

mmmm, a wonderful combination! i was thinking of doing something with orange and ricotta the other day... and i think i will use your creation as inspiration. if you dont mind ;)

7:16 am, October 18, 2005  
Anonymous Alice said...

Like so many others have said...your photos alone speak mountains...I've wanted to make nearly everything I've seen pictured on your site!

4:50 am, October 19, 2005  
Anonymous Midge said...

Hi, J. That's a very lovely picture! I just got myself a copy of Paris Sweets. Now, I can't wait to try it out!

12:18 pm, October 20, 2005  
Blogger Michèle said...

Hi J, I think I want to head on over to Eric Kayser and try everything that you mentioned, especially their Galettes, since yours look so darn good!

12:45 am, October 21, 2005  
Blogger J said...

hi ak and nicholas, thanks...the irony is killing me ;)

hi cathy, thanks...i have a feeling you will enjoy the book...

hi nic, maida heatter rocks ;)

hi reid, i have a recently acquired fixation with meringue and this recipe simply fitted the bill perfectly...i just had to try it!

hi melissa, it's such a shame tho';i just know i am missing out on lots of terrific recipes/books...this will sound strange, but i am rather shy about whipping out my camera anywhere beyond the confines of home...

hi santos, ;D you're just the sweetest...

hi clare, thanks...dorie greenspan describes them perfectly as being tarts-masquerading-as-cookies...w is rather resigned to the fact that there will never be enough storage space for all my junk...

hi eatzycath & babekl, thanks :)

hi vivilicious, you are so lucky! i wish someone here would offer food photography classes - i would take them for sure...re:bits and pieces...i am a hoarder by nature ;)

hi saffron, thanks...orange and ricotta already sounds like a lovely match...

hi alice, thanks...really glad you like the pictures...

hi midge, thank you! it's a charming book, isn't it?

hi michele, we are all eating vicariously through your delicious posts about all that paris has to offer - can't wait to see what else you try from kayser (their baguette really is pretty peerless)!

9:17 am, October 24, 2005  
Blogger Sarah said...

J- I am so glad that I discovered your site. I am making a plum galette tonight and was doing a little googling to find out about galettes and your site came up. Lovely site. I recently started my own "food blog," where I hopoe to post quite soon about my adventures with a certain plum galette, which will be a different sort of creature from your pictured galette a l'orange, but, with hope, just as enticing.

6:52 am, June 16, 2006  

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