* 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…
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:
*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
Preheat the oven to 180°C and butter and line a 23 cm springform cake tin.
* image and recipe from the French Table.