Scrumptious Temptations was hosted by Feast and Vine, and all I needed to hear were the words "watch their acclaimed pâtissier demonstrate a scrumptious chocolate temptation" and I was scrambling to book my spot (that we'd get to take a chocolate treat home with us helped too!).
Bordeaux Bakery was set up with a demonstration table when we arrived, and we were welcomed warmly by Donna of Feast and Vine. Once everyone was assembled (there were perhaps 15 of us) Jean-Louis let us into his inner sanctum - the kitchen!
There were dozens of racks of croissants proving, taunting us with their buttery goodness (he showed us a box of the butter he uses - a box weighs 25kg. The glory!). I was a little gobsmacked that some of the ladies attending didn't know how to keep their hands to themselves, and prodded at the pastry - a bit disappointing but I guess there are greater crimes.
Once we'd seen the kitchen we moved back into the cafe area, where Nicola Belsham (owner of the Wineseeker shop) talked to us about wine and food matching while we sipped on Bordeaux Bakery's sauterne and munched on a (well-matched!) mini fruit tart. I really enjoyed Nicola's explanations, and in particular liked her attitude that everyone has different tastes, and that really it's what we enjoy that we should drink. That said, there are general guidelines - you should try to pick wines that balance and complement flavours in a given dish. The sauterne is very sweet, which offset the tartness of the blueberries - perfect!You can get both from Bordeaux Bakery on Thorndon Quay if you want to try for yourself. ;-)
The final element of the evening was for Jean-Louis to show us how he makes his duchess cake, which is his most popular cake. He starts by making meringue, which is cooked very slowly into discs, then a rich chocolate mousse is piped into the centre, they're chilled, then finally more mousse is spread over each cake and they're coated in chocolate flakes. Enough chocolate? Just right, I reckon. ;-)
It was a lovely evening and very interesting to get the behind-the-scenes view - it was a bit shorter than advertised, but it didn't feel rushed - Jean-Louis does speak quite quickly though! Feast and Vine do similar things from time to time and have a Christmas high tea event coming up in November, which sounds like a fun afternoon out.
Sadly, the duchess cake didn't last long after I got home - that's a common problem with chocolate things in the Cake household - they don't stick around. For that reason I've decided to abstain from chocolate for the rest of the month. Every once in a while I realise it's becoming more a dependency than a treat, and a period of chocolate famine resets my cravings to a more managable level. ;-) So if I seem a little grouchier than usual in the next wee while, you'll know why! Do you ever withhold specific treats from yourself to blitz cravings or am I the only one with this problem?
Mrs Cake attended Scrumptious Temptations as a guest of Feast and Vine. Bordeaux Bakery is located at 220 Thorndon Quay, Wellington, ph 04 499 8334. For info on similar events check out Feast and Vine's website.