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Elle Jauffret

Writer ~ Science Enthusiast ~ Fork Handler

Blog posts : "elle jauffret"

Ghosts from the Titanic: the Captain and his Bride

To a spooky party we go. (I always knew I would get to wear my wedding dress more than once.)

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(Cover reveal and) Raisin Cinnamon Scones from INCONCEIVABLE! by Tegan Wren (Fiction)

(Cover Reveal and) Raisin Cinnamon Scones from INCONCEIVABLE! by Tegan Wren.

The story: A romance with a modern medical twist which follows Hatty Brunelle (a Missouri Ozarks native and journalism student at Toulene’s Royal University) and John Meinrad (the dreamy Prince of Toulene, a small European country), their romance, courtship, marriage, and struggles with infertility. European/international settings and characters guaranteed.

"There were scone crumbs scattered on my notes; the taste of cinnamon hovered in my mouth. Because I ran out of time and din't get to eat at the palace. [...] I was in the throes of committing a cardinal sin for a journalist: I was crushing on him. [...] ...though I know a tailor in Paris who'd love to help you with both your wedding dress and your dress for Winter's Feast." - INCONCEIVABLE! by Tegan Wren (eBook p. 63, 64, 282)

Raisin Cinnamon Scones:

4 ½ cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 pinch of salt, 16 tablespoons unsalted butter (cut in small pieces), 1 cup raisins (soaked overnight in 3 tablespoons of vanilla extract or Grand-Marnier), about 1 ½ cups heavy cream, egg wash (1 egg beaten with ¼ cup milk)

Mix all dry ingredients. Add butter and mix (in food processor or with your hands) until the mixture resembles thick sand or coarse meal. Add the drained raisins. Mix all with fingers while adding just enough heavy cream for the dough to hold together. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out dough and cut scones of any shapes, but no thicker than ½ inch thick. Place on cooking sheet (best if on parchment paper), brush with egg wash and bake in a 375 degree-oven for about 15 minutes (until scones are puffed and golden brown). Let cool before serving.

 

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Apple strudel from THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI by Helene Wecker (Fiction/literary)

Apple strudel from THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI by Helene Wecker.

The story: the separate journeys of a Golem and a Jinni who discover New York in 1899 and cross paths.

"The Golem went to the Rabbi’s that night carrying an apple strudel carefully, wrapped. She walked with long strides, stretching her legs, feeling the cold night air settle into her body. Lamps glowed in the windows as she passed.     […] She went to the kitchen, set down the strudel, and lit a lamp, her anxiety growing." Excerpt from THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI by Helene Wecker (First Harper Perennial Edition p.168-169)

 

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The Log

The log was the gift of a complete stranger, the boy discovered in the snow, at his little brother’s feet, upon waking up from their cold-induced nap.

“‘must be from Santa!” his brother said. But Thomas knew it wasn’t. He had stopped believing in Father Christmas the year his parents died, leaving him and his little brother behind, in the urban jungle of wintery London. He had lost faith in God and humanity, until that very day when a log the size of large ham  stood next to their empty penny-pan.

The night was falling as steadily as the snow when the boys retreated to their shelter in the back alley of a toy store. From there, they could see the ornate Christmas tree, wrapped presents and a multitude of toys through the store’s window, giving them the illusion of owning them all. Thomas dragged the heavy log to their corner and hoisted it into the wire burn barrel he had found in the city dumpster a week before. He covered the log with old newspapers and pamphlets, like it was the most precious item he had ever owned, and  lit the paper mount with his lighter – the only inheritance he had received from his father.

There was something magic in watching the flames devour the paper, consuming it with red and blue hues.  Something magic in watching yellow flames flicker, splashing glitter in the air, filling their hopeless eyes with temporary sparkles. Something magic about feeling the radiating heat warm there freezing bodies.

Thomas tucked his brother in, under the stained and ripped blankets that had been their bed for the past 30 days. He slid next to him and held him close, hoping the log was big enough to last 5 more hours- time after which they had been guaranteed admission in the city's orphanage.

He fell asleep, his head filled with prayers that they would make it to the next day alive. Christmas was the season of giving and that log had been all he had hoped for.

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Christmas Log/Bûche de Noël: chocolate cake filled with chocolate-orange blossom mousse, covered with with white chocolate swiss meringue icing. 

 

 

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Clueless meets Friday-the-13th

Text message: 

O-M-G! Jason Voorhees-Lecter asked me to go to the lake with his family this weekend! I so can’t believe it! I know you think he’s creepy because he wears his hockey mask all the time. But FYI, guys love sports as much as girls love shopping! (hint on why you are single). BTW, Jason has a KILLER body. Have you ever seen him swim? Drooling! I can’t believe he asked me out again. Our first kiss was so awkward. And so was the 2nd and the others after that. I still can’t figure out why my lips bled every time… must be my stupid braces! But tonight’s going to be different.You know what? Jason’s going to take me to dinner at CANNIBAL, his mom’s avant-garde restaurant where they serve the best Cajun stew EVER. And who cares if it’s Friday the 13th? Oh, I almost forgot. Jason wants us to get matching tattoos. He’s got all the knives and needles to do it at the lake. That’s going to be EPIC!
Happy Friggatriskaidekaphobia! Love you!

 

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The White Cathedral from The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

“The White Cathedral was a cavern of alabaster quartz…. Its walls were damp and bloomed with mushrooms, salt lilies, toadstools shaped like stars. It was buried deep beneath Ravka...” SIEGE and STORM by Leigh Bardugo p.427.  “…in the White Cathedral, people were careful not to stray too far from the passage that curled around the main caverns. Strange sounds echoed through the dim warren of tunnels, groans and unexplained rumblings. RUIN and RISING by Leigh Bardugo p.1

 

Dish: Croquembouche made with “cavernous” and filled cream puffs.

Filling: fig crème patissière, rose crème patissière, almond crème patissière.

 RECIPE

 

PASTRY PUFFS

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter;  6 eggs (large); 1 teaspoon sugar; 1/4 teaspoon salt; 1 1/2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium saucepan, melt butter in 1 1/2 cups water with sugar and salt. Add flour and mix vigorously for about 3 minutes- best with a wooden spoon until the dough is homogenous (a light film should form on the bottom and the side of the pan.) Remove from the heat. Add 6 eggs, one at a time, and beat until perfectly incorporated. Use a pastry bag to pipe out the dough in mounds (about 1 inch high and wide) on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with egg glaze (1 egg beaten with some water). Smooth the tops (with a wet finger.) Bake for about 20 minutes – until puffs are puffed and golden. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN WHILE BAKING if possible. Let completely cool before filling with cream.

 

BASIC PASTRY CREAM

6 large egg yolks; 1/2 cup sugar; 1/2 cup flour; 3 tablespoons unsalted butter; 2 cups milk

Whisk together egg yolks and sugar until mixture is thick and pale yellow. Add the flour. Continue whisking. Add hot milk and melted butter. Place mixture in a saucepan and over high heat. Stir until mixture boils and thickens. Continue stirring until homogeneous. Remove from heat. Let cool completely before piping it in the puffs. For chocolate pastry cream: add 2 ounces of melted chocolate to the mixture. For other flavors: add about 2 teaspoons of a chosen extract (lemon, almond, lavender…)

 

CARAMEL

2 cups sugar; 2 tablespoons corn syrup

Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and 2/3 cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover pan (do not stir) and boil until any crystals are dissolved. Uncover. Boil a few more minutes - until syrup is amber brown. Remove from heat. Use immediately.

 

ASSEMBLY OF THE CROQUEMBOUCHE

Pipe the pastry cream in the puffs. Dip the bottom of each puff into the caramel and “glue” together in a pyramid.

 

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Happy Fourth of July with Cherry Pies


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I spy with my little eyes

Something beginning with P

It could be traditional

With apples and double crust

Or with blueberries oozing

Through a spongy crumble top

But the one I crave and see

S’made with dark and sweet cherries

 

 

 

 

CHERRY PIE

Pie crust dough (homemade or store bought- pate brisee best) – enough to make two 9-inch-crust pies (1 for the bottom crust, 1 for the top or lattice)

2 pounds fresh sweet cherries (pitted) or 1 3/4 pounds frozen cherries (partially thawed)

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

2 tablespoons unsalted butter (soften)

Filling: In a bowl, combine sugar + cornstarch + salt + vanilla + butter + cherries.

Pour mixture in crust-lined pan. Then, cover with second crust or lattice.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 1h 30.

(Pate brisee: 2 1/2 cups flour +1 teaspoon salt + 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter chilled and cut into small pieces + 1/4 + cold water. When done, chill for 1 hour before using.)  

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Rooftop Secret Garden

Lilly sneaked out the window and stepped on the frigid platform of the fire escape. She climbed up the stairs, cautiously but quickly, leaving behind the prints of her small soles and toes in the April snow. The roof was empty but for a green house made out of plastic bags and dry-cleaner hangers under which Lilly had planted a few seeds that had sprouted and grown. A few blocks away, the sharp glass building dominating the urban landscape came to life, jutting out of the darkness. A bright digital ribbon displayed the time in flashing green digits. 5:48. Lilly was just in time. She lifted the fragile plastic curtain, exposing the growing zucchini plants to the rising sun and watched its delicate yellow flowers open up in a slow graceful show. Lilly stayed there, seated under the humble tent of her vegetable garden, smiling and grateful to be alive in this ruthless world. Because for a few minutes a day, Lilly felt like she had it all.

Stuffed zucchinis

Ingredients: zucchinis, seasoned minced meat (sausage without casing), onion, garlic, fine bread crumbs, olive oil, fresh herb, salt and pepper.

Scoop the flesh out of the raw zucchinis (as if carving canoes). Chop finely all the other ingredients (including the zucchini's scooped out flesh). Fill "canoes" with mix. Dress with a few drops of olive oil and bake at a 350 degree-oven.

 

 

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The Mermaid

She cried the tears of a mermaid
Longing to see the sun
Frightened by the likely burn
His heart: the goal of her crusade

Opening every shell
From oysters to mussels
Haunted by the comforting taste
Of his dried giving lips

Reaching as high and far
From down deep and below
Gathering all her strength
Forgetting her fresh scar

His soul she breathed, her core he touched
Despite the forbidden
and the impossible
By the rock of love: crushed.

O mermaid, can't you see?
A fantasy you are
No right man could love you
Release his memory

With white wine and black pods
Succulent bright orange
More than a mere mortal, attract
All of the oceans' Gods.

(Mussels cooked in white wine)

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Rush Hour Rainbow

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Moby Dick Fan Fiction: Ishmael's return

My meal, a seafood stew slathering two servings of pasta, stays untouched, yet this is not my first ale. I lightly eat, yet heavily drink, attempting to obliterate my memory of the fateful journey. I recall Queequeg, who I had encountered here, in the very same place, the Spouter-Inn, the eve of the day we both signed on with the Pequod, a whale ship commandeered by a "godlike man who has been in colleges as well as among the cannibals". Elijah had foretold with fair certainty the perilous vicissitude that waited us all. Captain Ahab's irrational thirst for vengeance against the White Whale had doomed them all, but spared me, the only survivor. Farewell Starbuck, Stubb, Flask, and the rest of the crew. May the heavens welcome you all, if a soul turns out not to be "a fifth wheel to a wagon". As for my hollow spirit, it has remained in a suspended haze and has forgotten the meaning of life and all things, but for my given name; Ishmael.

 

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PRIMROSE’S DANDELION AND GOAT CHEESE SALAD

Katniss and Primrose used to harvest edible weeds in the Meadow, filling their buckets with dandelion greens and flowers on which they would gorge for dinner. (chapter 4)
Katniss purchased a sick goat that she gave her sister as a gift. Prim nursed it back to health and uses its milk to make cheese.


1 lb red dandelion greens
6 oz goat cheese (crumbled)
Edible flowers (optional)
Dressing:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp sherry vinegar
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
¼ black pepper

 

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