Mosaïque, Mosaic …..

DSC_1963MadCharlotte is Mad for mosaics  and cubism (Mosaïques en francais). 

It’s been 2 months and I’m still trying to decide on tiles for the bathroom. There’s too much choice. I’m sleeping, dreaming, breathing, thinking “mosaics, mosaics, mosaics….”. I can’t take it anymore. I’m going out of my mind. So finally I employed an interior decorater.

It’s easier to take out my mosaic fantasies on patisserie. I got this idea, what if I just did cubes and arranged them like mosaics. No fancy macaron, chocolate or sugar decorations to fluff-up the cubes. Just cubes as they are but in mosaic. The texture and flavours of the mousse should speak for themselves. This new obsession for mosaics-cubism comes from the need to simplify patisserie in terms of its visual aspect. I’m feeling overwhelmed by patissiers over-designing their desserts, too much frou-frou for my taste… I’m needing to get away and concentrate on textures and flavours, to enhance them. In terms of design, I’m a minimilist. So for now it’s mosaic-cubism.

The white cube is a mousse cheesecake. A cheesecake I find is always a WIN, WIN. The Frenchies have really taken to the modern Philadelphia cheesecake. On a menu its often  the first to sell out. However, this is not a baked cheesecake. It’s a mousse cream made with a combination of French liquid cream at 35% m.g, and Philadelphia cream cheese. The white glacage is made with the principal ingredients of  Cacao Barry’s <<Zéphyr>> white chocolate, liquid cream and vanilla beans.

The caramel looking cube is a flavour of praliné made from Valrhona’s Gianduja chocolate. The glacage is made with the principal ingredients of liquid caramel, Gianduja and vanilla beans. Gianduja is what I call a Haute Couture product, simplified it’s a mix of milk chocolate and hazelnuts.  It’s incredibly rich in flavour and can get many addicted. Gianduja is really an amazing product and it’s also amazingly expensive! But for me it’s an investment because I believe it to be one of the best discoveries I’ve had since entering the pastry industry. Perhaps it ignites sweet memories of eating Nutella straight from the jar.

Miss Pirisi et MadCharlotte

Noix de Pécans Financiers, or Friands?


The story of how the Financier got its name: Around 1890, the patissier Monsieur Lasne, recreates the original almond based cake once upon a time called Visitandines (the Sisters of the order of Visitandines in Nancy, the region of Lorraine, France).  Since his pastry shop was in proximity to the stock exchange, his clientele composed mainly of stockbrokers. This type of clientele preferred to eat something “on the thumb” meaning a cake between the fingers which does not make a mess when eating. In fact, the original shape was oval but inspired by the stockmarket and his clientele he changed the shape of this mini cake to a rectangle to represents a block of gold. And the Financier was born!

  • Vers 1890, le pâtissier Lasne remit les visitandines au goût du jour. Comme son magasin était tout prêt de la Bourse, sa clientèle se composait en grande partie de financiers désireux d’avaler sur le pouce un petit gâteau qui ne salisse pas les doigts. Lasne eut aussi l’idée de changer la forme ovale de la pâtisserie originelle pour évoquer celle d’un… lingot d’or. Le financier était né ! WIKIPEDIA


So what’s the difference between Financier and Friand?

Here is a wonderful explanation on one of my favourite blogs: Eat, Little Bird : “The story goes that, in the early 1990s, a French chef working in Double Bay in Australia reinvented the financier by baking it in a metal aspic mould, thus producing a much larger cake which ultimately had more appeal to the Australian public. The friand was hence born, its name simply meaning “little cake” in French.”  Text written by Thanh of Eat, Little Bird.

 The recipe base of both Financier and Friand are of almond powder, butter, icing sugar, eggwhites and flour. There are of course more modern versions, such as non gluten. Flavour exhange I call it is when you replace the almond powder for hazelnut powder, or pistache powder, or addition of cacao powder …. Anthing you like!


MadCharlotte is loving this particular recipe of Noix de Pecans (Pecans). Pecans are toasted to get maximum flavour then in a casserole are caramelised in a sugar syrup. Pecans are hammered to rough pieces which become the garnish over what is to be a very light, fluffy and moist cake, called the Financier! Friand! 😉

Bon appetit!


“Figue” meringues


Growing up in Australia I’ve known meringues in only one way and that is with a crunchy exterior and a gooey marshmellowy interior, bah… just like a Pavlova. The preparation however remains French, or Swiss to be exact. The Swiss method is simply caster sugar and egg whites whisked over a waterbath and then removed from the heat and whisked continuously to achieve a glossy meringue.

Don’t they look like figs to you? (in French, figues). These colourful and playful petits meringues have been an instant success for MadCharlotte. But of course how can anyone refuse something as playful as these! 😉


A little playful, a little sophistication.
Miss Pirisi & MadCharlotte xxx

Mad for Madeleines caramel-orange


MadCharlotte is Mad for Madeleines and for this sort in particular, caramel-orange. Trop bon!!! Madeleines are made with a liquid caramel, then, while still warm out of the oven are filled with a more fudgy sort of caramel because MC is crazy for caramel! and then for a twist in flavour are lightly bathed in an orange syrup. Ooohh my Madeleine!!!!

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MadCharlotte: les sacs, la marque


You can imagine my excitement when I received my first order of MadCharlotte bags from the manufacturer. Visualising your brand is one thing but when it’s brought to life it’s another thing altogether.

But wait….let’s not get too excited (even though I can’t help it!!!), MadCharlotte is still in her infancy. She is at a very fragile stage. It is only last October of 2015 I registered MadCharlotte as a French brand. Then, the next step was to make her an official business and I did this in March of this year (2016). MadCharlotte’s menu is still very much in conception, that is, choosing the very best recipes, testing them and creating a personalised look that is MadCharlotte. It’s a start-up and I’m all alone to do this project so I need to create a menu that’s in my capacity. MadCharlotte is launching into a very competitive market so it requires savy thinking: How can she be different? What can she offer that’s different or done better!?

Over the last two years I’ve been delivering my patisseries in no-name white bags. Larger orders caused a problem. I’d have to bag the patisseries in the competitors bags! Because these bags are large, rigid, of good quality and are made exclusively for heavy cake boxes. So when I’d arrive at chez le client, they’d react with instant excitement but confusion, “Cafe Pouchkine!” or “Pierre Herme!”  or “Patisserie des Reves!” Depending on which bag that day I used to deliver MY PATISSERIES. You can imagine I was annoyed by this and I knew it had to stop. So I thought if I’m really serious about launching on my own I’ve got to get serious.

What I make and why I make it is special because my heart is in it 110%. I hope that when the client receives something from me/MadCharlotte, that they for a moment feel truly special, or at least feel they have received something special. The same feeling I get when I receive a little gift from Chanel, perhaps it’s only a lipgloss but it’s super special because it’s Chanel! or a petit gateau from Ladurée. A petit luxury even if it’s for a moment, if we can do that for you when we hand over a MadCharlotte bag then we are the happiest gals ever!

Miss Pirisi et MadCharlotte.
Des petits plaisirs, un petit luxe.

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Citron meringue cuppuccino style

MadCakes for MadCharlotte : A madeleine base sponge cake, an insert of lemon cream and an orange marmelade. An Italian meringue swirled and curled with a teaspoon to create this kind of frothy cuppuccino look. A love a very generous meringue over lemon tarts (tarte au citron), there is something about diving into an edible white cloud, kind of like diving into a very inviting bubble bath!

When using a a piping tip, which we often do in French patissserie, we achieve a more uniform and regulated look. And I did try at first to create a kind of bubble dome with a piping tip No.20 (already quite large) but it just wasn’t Xtra-large enough. I was looking for that over-fluffed, over-abundant, really way out there gourmand look which made me look towards a more Amercian-English meringue finish, and the Brits, Yanks, Aussies, Kiwis do so well that messy look when it comes to meringues especially for pavlovas. I find the messy look is actually quite hard to do, in fact, what you see here was my third attempt or third batch. My God how much egg white did I use up and sugar… !

LOOKBOOK as in fashion is a way of presenting different styles and this is my “lookbook” on this particular creation. At the same time I play/learn with my semi-professional camera, a D7000. I like to think I’m a sort of Karl Lagerfeld/Tom Ford, both well known for taking photos themselves of their collections.


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