Kind Louis XIV of France (Alan Rickman) has commissioned a new garden for the palace of Versailles, and instructed his landscaper Andre (Matthias Schoenaerts) to the task. He interviews many different garden designer for the garden’s various segments, finally settling upon the alternatively-minded Sabine (Kate Winslet) for the role, much to the chagrin of the men who will be working under and alongside her. Continue reading →
Ever since I was at school I’ve often had a tendency to bite off more than I can chew, taking on projects far more ambitious than I can cope with and producing a lacklustre finished piece as a result of rushing or making do. It could be argues my 1001 Movies challenge is one such project, and many weeks I would, but in this instance I’m not talking about movies, I’m talking about baking.
This past weekend was my girlfriend’s birthday and, whilst we had dinner plans Saturday night, I wanted to make her a special dinner on Friday, especially after the cake she arranged for me a month ago for my birthday. So, on Friday night I came home via the supermarket, very precariously on a far too overladen bicycle that was also carrying a couple of bunches of flowers and some regular shopping items too. My plan was to spend the entire evening in the kitchen, briefly emerging with delicious food to enjoy with Aisha, before retreating back into my world of worktops and wonder. First step: make the custard for the hazelnut crème brûlées, and allow to set. Mistake number one: I didn’t make these the night before to give them enough time to set. As it turns out though, that wasn’t a problem, because whilst they were cooking I also made the main course, peppered steak with parmesan crusted chips, and somehow knocked the oven temperature up to maximum, so instead of hazelnut crème brûlées (which is basically a normal crème brûlée with nutella whisked into it and chopped hazelnuts mixed into the sugar topping) we had hazelnut scrambled egg, which wasn’t really what I was trying for. Fortunately I’d picked up some of her favourite ice cream just in case this sort of thing happened (this isn’t my first cooking catastrophe). The steak went well, a little well done for my liking but that’s how she prefers it, but I had high hopes for the cake, which I’d intended to be a hazelnut meringue pyramid, in the design of the Ferrero Rocher adverts. Only problem was, I’ve never really made meringue before, and one could argue I still haven’t, because what I made was under-whisked and under-baked, so not possible to construct a pyramid from. Reviewing my attempts after taking a break to wrap Aisha’s birthday presents (whilst watching a film, naturally) the clock said 2:30am and I called it a night. I didn’t bother making the ganache to hold the meringues together, because it probably would have gone wrong, and it’d be like building a wall by cementing together sea sponges. I didn’t even think about making the raspberry marshmallows I’d also planned. So, a failure all round really. There’s always next year I suppose.