August 15, 2008

Merienda à la française

I went to my bank a few days ago and noticed a Délifrance bakery in the building. Until now i was never attracted inside such franchise bakeries, but I was craving for something sweet so i gave it a try. Lying on the bottom shelf, almost on the floor, i found a plastic box with 6 dark, moist-looking, shell-shaped mini cakes. Omg, chocolate madeleines! Flour, sugar, butter, eggs and chocolate. Simple ingredients that bring back sweet childhood memories. My mom used to bake madeleines and when i would come home from school I'd know they'd be ready on the dining table, the air filled with the "fresh-of-the-oven" smell. In a French household, merienda (or goûter as they say in France) is a sweet snack at around 4pm and it was a constant fixture growing up. When my mom didn't bake madeleines, i would get a warm sliced piece of fresh baguette and would stuff a chocolate bar in it. When i would bite in the crusty bread, i would anticipate the soft richness of the chocolate inside.

Moving to Manila, i lost the habit of "goûter" and i never got quite used to the pancit canton (stir fried noodles) in mid-afternoon. So imagine my delight when i found the most delish madeleines at a reasonable price without having to order them days in advance from a pastry chef. I didn't have high expectations, as nothing beats home-made, but i was surprised to taste chocolaty, moist and buttery madeleines. D says they look like ipis (filipino cockroaches), but truth is he nearly finished the box. This is the perfect quick fix to remind me of my merienda française. I'll try the plain madeleines next time and maybe i should go look for some fresh baguette!

1 comment:

cd said...

You must have had an interesting childhood! I'm looking forward to more posts from you! =)


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