The book builds on previous recipes, assuming that students will work their way through from start to finish. Flipping through, the recipe for friands caught my eye - it requires a portion of puff pastry (covered earlier in the book), some ham, and a half portion of mornay sauce (also covered in a previous chapter). Later in the book, basic preparations for preserves, tarts, pâtés, and stews all build on the skills learned earlier.
To cook your way through the book, from start to finish, is to get an education in traditional French home cooking. Unfortunately, I won't have access to the book for long enough to copy it out - and translate it - in full. I do, however, have time to present some of the greatest hits in the form of forgotten classics.
The title of this recipe loses something in the translation, I'm afraid. In French it sounds poetic, but in English merely strange.
1 litre of milk
1 tsp bitter almond essence
6 tbsps icing sugar
3 tbsps flour
2 drops of aniseed or liquorice essence
1 tsp orange-flower water
1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the milk and almond essence to the boil over a gentle heat.
2. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, and flour. Once the mixture is free from lumps, add it to the saucepan (provided the milk mixture has come to the boil while you've been mixing, that is), stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.
3. Continue to cook the milk mixture over a gentle heat for 20 minutes, stirring regularly.
4. Add the two remaining flavours and pass the mixture through a fine sieve.
5. Next - and this is where it gets a bit odd - use a flame to sterilise a pair of tweezers. Once they are both sterilised and very hot, dip the points in some icing sugar. The sugar should melt from the heat of the tweezers. Carefully drop the caramelising sugar onto the surface of the cream. Repeat until the surface of the cream is covered with dots of caramelised sugar.