FFF’s Guide to Marseille: La Cuisine du Môle Passédat, MuCEM

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One of the jewels in Marseille’s crown is the brand new €191m museum, MuCEM, which sits on the seafront of the city, not far from the picturesque Vieux Port, which is the main hub of the old town. This beautiful building houses exhibits depicting the history of the city and the Mediterranean, cultural artifacts and the like, and is well worth a day of exploring. One of the highlights for me, though, was Gérald Passédat’s bistro, La Cuisine du Môle Passédat.

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Gérald Passédat is a Michelin starred chef, whose menus are priced appropriately to his level of expertise. His main restaurant, Le Petit Nice, is located up the coast in Marseille and has been awarded three Michelin stars. If you don’t have the cash for €200 menus, though, you can still experience a little bit of his kitchen magic at an affordable price. €21.50, to be exact.

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This is the price for the cold buffet (and dessert!) at La Cuisine du Môle Passédat, which is located on the roof of MuCEM, and right next to La Table du Môle Passédat – another of Passédat’s pricier restaurants. The queues start early for La Cuisine, and once you’re inside it’s easy to see why. The complimentary loaf of bread is just the start of the delicious spread on offer.

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Making Meringues with the Meringue Girls…

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Whenever I make ice cream, I always make meringues. All those leftover egg whites need using up, of course, and there’s nothing nicer than being able to offer your guests a plate of a cute little meringue kisses to have with a cup of tea or coffee!

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Lemon Posset

Week Six : Lemons
Weird story – up until I tried this recipe, I didn’t like lemon in sweet things. Hated it. Thought it was weird. Maybe it was thanks to the dodgy lemon meringues that were knocking around when I was a kid, but I just couldn’t understand why people liked lemon in sweet things. Now I’ve been converted by lemon posset, I realise that it’s just that I don’t get on with the supersweet, barely tart kind of lemon puddings. I like my lemon desserts sharp and creamy! I’m not saying this isn’t sweet – it is – but it’s balanced by the sharpness of the lemons perfectly. I can say all this because it wasn’t me who invented it!

The recipe is supposedly based on a medieval dish of milk curdled with wine or beer, with spices added to it. The alcohol would curdle the milk, which was supposed to be a great cure for things like the cold. Even today, we drink hot milk to get to sleep, so I guess it’s evolved since then! It’s also mentioned in Macbeth, when the evil Lady Macbeth uses possets to knock out Duncan’s guards.

This recipe works on a similar principle – but instead of curdling the cream, the lemon acts to set it, creating a dense, smooth and creamy taste. You can add grated lemon zest to this, but I prefer to keep the smoothness of the cream totally uninterrupted by the nuggets of peel.

Lemon Posset

INGREDIENTS

  • 600ml double cream
  • 140g caster sugar
  • Juice of 2 lemons (at least 75ml)

METHOD

  • Combine the cream and sugar in a pan, and heat until scalding – but do not boil.
  • Whilst on the heat, add the lemon juice and allow to boil for 30 seconds, whisking to prevent the cream from burning.
  • Allow to cool before pouring into bowls and placing in the fridge until set.

Some people like to serve this with shortbread or other crisp biscuits, but I really don’t think it needs any additions!