A couple of weeks ago I was invited to a Champagne and macaron event, courtesy of Air France, at the Institut Français in London. It was a weird, but thoroughly enjoyable evening culminating in something rather exciting, which I'll get to in a bit!
We were treated to some rather interesting glittery macarons, created by experimental food aficionados, The Robin Collective. The macarons were sandwiched together with several different flavours from around the world, and spinning a large wheel determined which flavoured fillings went into the macs. Mine was a South American chilli chocolate and Far East jasmine tea macaron, other flavours were North American NY cheesecake, Central American vanilla, North African dates, West African cocoa, British strawberries & cream, and of course France's flavour was candied chestnuts (marrons glacés).
I also got to inhale a creme brulee flavoured balloon, yes really! (I did say it was weird!)
Then came the Champagne. We were to try 4 different ones and see if we could taste the difference. There was a supermarket own brand (produced to the specification of a major UK supermarket chain), a growers' Champagne (produced by a small family firm), a value for money Champagne (produced by one of the largest co-operatives in the Champagne region) and a grande marque Champagne (produced by one of the leading Champagne houses). Easy? NO!! Nobody got it right. Not one person in that room managed to work out which Champagne was which. But I can tell you that the majority favoured the supermarket own brand, coming in at about £20 a bottle.
Before the evening ended, there was a raffle - we had been given tickets on the way in. I was standing next to a lovely lady called Laura, who informed me that although she never wins the raffle, anyone standing next to her usually did. The girl to her left won a bottle of Champagne for being the closest in the Champagne tasting, and... yep... I won the raffle which was 2 Air France tickets to Paris! PARIS!!!!! (Weird or what??)
There was food, delightful little French canapes, including a prosciutto, pear and blue cheese one, which I made at home because it was very good.
Prosciutto, Pear and Blue Cheese Canapes
Amounts are a bit vague, it depends on how thin you slice the pear and cut the cheese etc! You could also add some basil or cress leaves if you wanted.
A pear, quite firm and cut into 5mm batons
A couple of ounces of blue cheese
Cut the prosciutto into strips, long enough to roll up and enclose the filling.
Lay a slice of pear and a little crumble of blue cheese onto the prosciutto and roll up, secure with a cocktail stick if needed.
Disclaimer: I was invited to this event but was not paid or asked to write this post, all views are my own.
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