Hediard Cafe & Boutique
After the post on Japanese sweets, I decided to try out the ‘sweets’ of other nationalities. Japanese sweets appeals aesthetically. Each ‘sweet’ represents a part of the Japanese landscape. What are French ‘sweets’ then? Well, maybe fruit jellies known by the locals as pates de fruits? Or..or… chocolates? Do they represent the French Haute cuisine? French gastronomy must be of ‘haute’ end to be included as part of UNESCO intangible cultural heritage in November 2010.
To appease my (& maybe your) salivating glands, I dropped by Hediard Cafe & Boutique at Tudor Court for French confectionery. No, I don’t usually get to enjoy ‘haute’ cuisine. I redeemed the confectionery from a gift voucher.
Here’s a peak of my confectionery platter! Clockwise from top left: Truffelines, Apricot Fruit Jelly, Blackcurrant Fruit Jelly, Orangette.
Truffelines aka Truffles:
The truffelines were coated with a layer of chocolate powder that I expected the immediate taste to be bitter. However it wasn’t bitter at all (Royce’s chocolates as benchmark) but flavourful of the raw cocoa bean fragrance. The raw coca bean fragrance complemented the buttery sweet filling aftertaste. Pleasant texture which melts in your mouth. Surprisingly the buttery filling wasn’t sticky at all. Easy to eat.
Apricot Fruit Jelly & Blackcurrant Fruit Jelly:
Smooth gelatinous texture unlike the packaged gummies with thick starchy ‘capsule’ coating and viscous sticky filling. The fruit jellies were fresh fruity sweet rather than artificially flavoured. Not sticky and was easy to chew on. Nonetheless, one is enough. The sweetness gets to you.
Couldn’t remember much about it. Bland I guess. Bland in a good way as the chocolate coating wasn’t sweet. And all the more it shouldn’t be since it’s supposedly dark chocolate. Okay I guess since I couldn’t remember it being real impressive or un-impressive.
What are orangettes you might ask.
Orangettes are strips of candied orange peel dipped in dark chocolate.
Image above & recipe below courtesy of unfussy fare:
Four medium oranges (look for ones with thin peels)
2 cups sugar
4 ounces good bittersweet chocolate
Cut the top and bottom ends off the oranges. Cut the peel off the oranges in six sections, as close to peel edge as possible.
Cut peel sections in half lengthwise, so you can flatten them more easily, and remove as much pith as you can with a paring knife. Some pith will remain. Don’t worry about it.
Cut peel sections lengthwise into quarter-inch wide strips, as evenly as possible.
Place the peels in a non-reactive bowl with enough salt water to cover. (One teaspoon salt per cup of water.) Soak for at least 24 hours. Drain, rinse, and soak peel in fresh water for 20 minutes. Drain again.
Boil peel in fresh water for 20 minutes and drain again.
Mix two cups of sugar with two cups of water in a medium saucepan. Stir. Add peel. Bring to a boil, reduce heat until the mixture is just simmering. Simmer for 45 minutes.
Remove peels from syrup a few at a time using a fork, and put them on a rack to drip dry. (Put something under the rack to catch the drips.) Allow them to dry completely. (Overnight worked for me.)
Melt chocolate in a double boiler. (I use a metal bowl set on a saucepan of simmering water.)
Dip peel strips into melted chocolate. Place on parchment paper or wax paper to dry.
If you don’t want the chocolate, you can just roll the peels in powdered or granulated sugar instead.
Here’s a series of 9 videos teaching you how to make chocolate truffles!
Snapped some photos from Hediard Boutique
Hediard’s Collection of Chocs & Confectionery in the Fridge
Hediard’s Goodies on Display
Now, tell me, what are Singapore ‘sweets’?