Strawberry mille-feuille


Strawberry creme patissiere is the star of my mille-feuille. It’s summer in France and we are swimming in a sea of red fruits. A whipped vanilla cream chantilly, Gariguette strawberries and mini-mint leaves as decor.

It’s been a long time since I’ve made a mille-feuille. At Ferrandi we rolled out pastry with a rolling pin, our hands and our arms attached! Muscle in! It’s long, lengthly and terribly time consuming. In the real world of boutiques, hotels and restaurants in France, there is the pastry roll-out machine. But for a one-man show it’s the old rolling pin, hands and arms.

I remember those Ferrandi days. I was in the slow section when it came to understanding the technique called the “turns”, a folding and turning technique in order to achieve those “thousand layers”. There are the double turns and single turns. How many to do of which? Which way to turn? Thankfully those confused days are behind me now. Now, it’s just a matter of time.

Achieving your first mille-feuille is like doing your first magic trick. Something about being let-in on a secret. Then once you’re in, you’re hooked. However, it does require day planning because it takes about 1 day. For me, with other things on my plate, I’m doing it over 2 days, that includes the puff pastry plus preparing the creams and decor.

For the moment it’s a personal Miss Pirisi dessert. Will need some time before I hand it over to MadCharlotte.


Café République

DSC_3236MadCharlotte’s Café République Pavlova [Fancy way of saying French Coffee Pav.]

Crunchy meringue exterior with its gooey soft marshmellowy centre is the signature of a good old Aussie pav. Although to be a MadCharlotte pavlova it needs that touche francaise because after all she is tres gourmande! A pavlova centre filled with a dark French couverture chocolate ganache that only the previous day was infused with roasted coffee beans, then over the ganache a swirl of whipped cream.. again… infused with those gorgeous roasted coffee beans, and with that, a happy dose of very delicious coffee cream liqueur.…… I’ve died and gone to MadCharlotte heaven!

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MadCharlotte in MoulinRouge


MoulinRouge MadMinis are Can-Can dancing all over the place! They’re loving life because roses are in full season and raspberries are spreading their beautiful red blush all over the French markets. Et ce soir it’s La Fete de la Musique en France!

As I walk down the winding staircase of our  1700s Versailles building I can smell the roses that are in abundance in the central garden courtyard 2 floors down. l find it strange –  I don’t think I’ve ever smelt so much natural rose in actual nature, only ever from a  bottle.

Why MoulinRouge (no space)? Her elegance, her bravery, her bright reds, she shouts for attention but in an ever so classy yet cheeky way. The green tige hula hoops in a cercle or gives us a straight kick up in the air like a Can-Can dancers legs. She wears also black, like the fishnets that form the dancers and gold like the dancers in all their fabulously wild accessories. Chic and sexy, after all she’s for the lucky few to see and enjoy.

MoulinRouge is a dessert perhaps limited to this season, we’re in June and I think having her for a short time makes her even just that more special. Now back to smelling the roses. J’adore!…lah…!! WhoHo!

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MadMini Praliné-Citron


MadMini’s: Praliné ganache. Lemon zest ganache. It’s the perfect duo to bring together a gooey praliné interior hidden inside a hazelnut Friand (Financier en france) cake base. Oh la la la…!!!!! MadCharlotte is NUTS for HazelNuts!

I’ll be honest. Mastering the “duo” effect is not as easy as it seems. Trying to get the conistency of two types of creams – one who’s features are more like a ganache and the other a softer-lighter “creme montée” (mounted cream) – is a challenge. However, it’s going to have to stay on the menu because it really is delicious. Praliné (almonds/hazelnuts) and citrus flavours make for a perfect combination.

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Cannoli di ricotta da Signorina MadCharlotte!


Signorina MadCharlotte is crazy in love with sexy Italy…. oh la la la…. La Dolce Vita!!! She has never been able to choose between her two lovers, France and Italy. They are her two loves. But as the summer approaches there is something in the air…. the warm breeze… it’s the call of Italy’s la dolce vita!!!

Signorina MadCharlotte (A.K.A Signorina Pirisi) cannoli is a celebration of Italias favourite cremas. Then an orange confit which has been infused in aged old rum is folded through this heaven of Italian creaminess.  Is that not just … MAMMA MIA! This is La Dolce Vita!

Signorina MadCharlotte

Strawberry Charlotte MadCakes

MadCharlotte Strawberry “Charlotte” is a celebration of French strawberries. A natural madeleine cake base with a strawberry surprise inside. A strawberry cream whipped up like those Italian ice-creams just as I remember in Rome. Crunchy sprinkles to add texture to the smooth and creaminess of the cream. A Mara des Bois strawberry known for their petite size and extra sweetness makes it a perfect decor. A Swiss meringue for that extra something.

The strawberry cream is just … perfect…. A “chantilly” in French to it’s reputation is light, airy, not sugary and all but savour. A chantilly that is made of only the best French full fat cream, Belgium-French white chocolate and strawberry puree, and therefore no need to add any sugar. I love when I create with ‘feel good’ ingredients.

Note to self: this is the first time I’ve made cakes with a whole fresh stawberry inside. Good idea in theory, not so good in practical. I’m new to the world of “cupcakes” coming from a world of French pastry, and I’m finding it not so easy. So this recipe will need modification but it definitely has potential. The strawberry whipped cream is perfect though. No changes there.

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