French Food Friday, and the Big Freeze

Running a bit behind with French Food Friday this week, but better late than never. The featured food today is Palets de Pleyben, a biscuit from Brittany. There was a pack of these in our Christmas food hamper, and I’d never come across them before. I’ve done some looking but disappointingly there’s very little to find out about them other than that they were invented by Pleybennois baker Louis le Seac’h who started a biscuit factory in 1920.

palets

Essentially they’re shortbread but with added egg yolk. They’re very crunchy and not too sweet. Here’s a recipe for them:

2 egg yolks, 75g sugar, 80g butter, 140g plain flour, 6g of baking powder, 2 sachets of vanilla sugar OR few drops vanilla essence and another teaspoon of sugar

Cream the butter then add the other ingredients, not forgetting to put flour in before the egg yolks so there’s no curdling. Knead with your hands to finish then roll the dough into a cylinder, wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for 2 hours. Cut it into thickish slices, about 1 cm, then cook those 15mins at 170 degrees.

The packet we have contains eight small biscuits with a total weight of 125g, that’s 5 ounces! It hardly seems worth selling them in such small quantities. When I make shortbread, I produce a kilo of it at a time and it still doesn’t last very long! Maybe we’re just greedy.

In other news France has been hit by a ‘vague de froid’, a wave of cold. It’s been the coldest since 2012 when we had a whole February of glacial temperatures. The lakes have frozen hard, the first time in five years, enough so that we can skate and walk around on them. I’m tempted to try an end to end on Alder Lake…

stephice

It’s taken extra work but we’ve kept the animals snug and warm. I’ve moved the fluffy Silkies into the stable temporarily, and the guinea-pig has been insulated with bubble wrap. Well, her cage has! The pigs don’t like the hard ground at all. They’re being spoiled with warm piggy porridge in the morning and buckets of warm water during the day. Here’s Rosie waiting for Oberon to hurry and finish his drink.

pigs

The dogs aren’t particularly bothered but the cats have certainly been a lot keener to sneak indoors whenever they get the chance. Tobi loves fetching her stick off the icy lake. She was very cautious at first but now ploughs onto it without a second thought. We hope she’ll notice when the ice thaws, although that’s not likely to be for another week or so. The daytime temperatures are rising, but the nights are still we into the minuses.

tobi

Roll on spring!