L’Art de Recevoir :: Numéro 1, French Style Entertaining

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* Jane Webster, of The French Table, Australian culinary author and masterful entertainer, dishes out some entertaining tips and advice for a perfect dinner party, inspired from her love of the French culture and having restored a 19th-century Chateau in the village of Bosgouet, Normany, France, where she [and her husband] run culinary tours and conduct cooking classes six months of the year…
 
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 Jane’s advice for entertaining like the French:

* Prepare the day before: do as much beforehand as possible, in order to enjoy your guests and the conversation;
* Keep table and silverware to a minimum: set the table for the entire evening, thereby reducing the burden of the hostess;
* Make time for your family: do as the French and enjoy an appertif before dinner, even on weekdays;
* Don’t bring wine: the French carefully select their wines to the food, to bring wine could be taken as an insult;
* Don’t drink too much: apparently the French do not prepare their bathrooms for guests, so don’t drink too much water or wine;
* Setting the scene: use white crisp linens, or forego a table cloth in lieu of just adding elements from nature, like pinecones or leaves; and
* Know when it is over: don’t serve dinner too late.

 
* images and advice from Vogue Living Australia.

Jane’s Raspberry and Coconut Butter Cake Recipe:Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 8.05.27 PM


Ingredients

*
125 g butter, plus extra for greasing
* 275 g sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 eggs, lightly beaten
* 125 ml milk
* 185 g self-raising wholemeal flour
* 70 g desiccated coconut
* 200 g fresh raspberries icing sugar, to serve
* clotted cream, to serve

Method
 
Preheat the oven to 180°C and butter and line a 23 cm springform cake tin.
Place the butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and cream until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and milk, then fold in the flour, coconut and raspberries. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 50–55 minutes. The centre of the cake should feel firm, not liquidy, to the touch; if it is not ready, replace in the oven until cooked.
Sprinkle with sifted icing sugar and serve at room temperature with clotted cream.
 
 * image and recipe from the French Table.

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