While I busy myself drawing up the index of my upcoming Paris book — a task that is in fact more rewarding that one might think, in a punctilious sort of way — here are a few links for you to nibble on*.

~ Christophe Michalak, pastry chef at the Plaza Athénée and winner of the 2005 World Pastry Championship has a blog! It’s in French, yes, but Michalak mainly posts pictures of his buddies’ pastry shops around the world, and no language skills are needed to enjoy those.

~ Candied chestnut fans, rejoice: the Figaroscope team has tasted and rated the best and worst you can find in Paris. (My favorite source is Debauve & Gallais, but it wasn’t included in the selection.)

~ My friend David shares his best caramel tips. He’s promised a part two and we really can’t wait, but please don’t pester him; the guy is on a deadline.

~ If you have an interest in Indian cuisine, you’re going to be all over this enchanting homemade cooking show, Manjula’s Kitchen. (Via the C&Z forums — thanks Rainey!)

~ Speaking of forums, a capitally important debate is now raging there: is it okay to ask your guests to remove their shoes when they enter your house? (Feel free to go and add your two cents.)

~ Meanwhile, an equally pressing question is discussed on Shelterrific: how do you get rid of cooking smells in your house?

~ Finally, although we are now ankle-deep in 2008, it is still time to print this adorable desk calendar, which the ever-talented Delphine has designed for you to enjoy all through the year.

* Mignardises are the one-bite confections — miniature tartlets, fruit pastes, cubes of nougat, macarons… — that they serve with coffee at gastronomic restaurants. The picture above was taken last spring at Le Pré Catelan.

  • FreshAdriaticFish

    Thanks for this great links!
    Looking forward to your new book…

  • casey

    Mignardises is a new word for me, but oh how I love them. had superb ones just last evening at the Village Pub in Woodside, Caifornia:
    a pistachio financiere, a rosemary madeleine, a caramel with fleur de sel — all lilliputian, of course–and all delicious.

  • Mindy

    Thanks for the incredible link for Christophe Michalak, who knew?

    I love it!!!

  • Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy

    Mmm, I want to know what’s in that white square – nougat? marshmallow? what are those red spots?

  • clotilde

    Sara – The white square is guimauve, the French marshmallow. The pink dots on it are just the shadow of tiny holes. And the mignardise behind it to the left is a tartlet with wild strawberries on it (fraises des bois).

  • emma nowell

    Beautiful picture. My favorite kind of sweets are small individual ones! Thanks for the link to Christophe Michalak’s blog, even though I wasn’t able to read it I loved the pictures.

  • Ms. Glaze

    Wow, you are just a powerhouse with all those cookbooks coming out! Happened to pick up your first one at Shakespeare & Co. the other day and I’m loving it. Best of luck on the new index. Thanks for Christophe’s blog, I would have never found it otherwise. Bises, Ms. Glaze

  • Flo Bretzel

    Merci pour toutes ces infos gourmandes et bonne année à toi!

  • Girl and the City

    Wow! Going straight to check out Michalak’s blog! Great tip!!

    xox Girl and the City (in Paris)

  • swirlingnotions

    Wow, first you publish two books in two years in two different languages, and then we find out that you’re doing the index too . . . and enjoying it! You’re too much, Clotilde. Amazing.

    My favorite miniardises thus far was my friend Jann’s ‘seven virtues’ dessert–with seven little bites of chocolate prepared different ways: pot de creme, chocolatini, truffles, etc.–as the closing act for our New Year’s ‘seven deadly sins’ feast.

  • Arianna

    Hi Clotilde!

    What is the difference between a mignardise and a petit four? I have heard both terms used in gastronomic restaurants and I would like to know if there is in fact a difference. Thanks!

  • clotilde

    Arianna – Mignardises and petits fours are almost synonymous, but to me, the differences are these: petits fours are theoretically baked goods (four means oven) and they may be served as part of a buffet or afternoon reception, whereas mignardises are specifically post-meal treats. Also, some petits fours are savory (petits fours salés, miniature quiches and such), while mignardises are exclusively sweet.

  • Linda

    Clotilde as always such a treat to visit your site, merci beaucoup. Thanks for the David and caramel link… I am a caramelaholic and have to work so hard at not being a glutton. No doubt my childhood spent waiting for Monday night’s desert when we had caramel tart has a lot to do with it. Washing day was Monday and Mum always put two cans of condensed milk into the washing boiler and subsequently that evening one was opened and mixed with some lemon juice and put into the cooked tart shell. What a treat! I am salivating even now. As a woman approaching her soixante ans I have learnt that for me to buy condensed milk is like an alcoholic buying his addiction … I just have to leave it on the shelf. I have no willpower once it is in my hands I am gone …. it doesn’t even have to be made into caramel!!! Wow this has opened a can of worms for me this morning. How bizarre. Linda

  • Arianna

    Perfect, thank you for the explanation Clotilde and keep up the good work!

  • edenvalleybakers

    Don’t forget that the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie will be in Paris at Europain at the end of March. Twelve international teams will be competing for the trophy and related honors.

  • China SEO

    oh, i love this website. i live in China and can’t get that food here. when i see all these pictures i really want to jump into the computer right away and grab them. french cuisine is really a treasure…

  • parisbreakfasts

    Thanks edenvalleybakers for the EUROPAIN info! Sounds like fun and I’ll be in Paris then.
    Thanks Clotilde for the Figaro analysis of marrons glaces! They are terrific!

  • Thip

    It took me an hour to find out how to spell this word today. :)
    Thanks for all information.

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