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Friday, December 14, 2007

L'Escalade

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A few days ago, D decided that we should celebrate L'Escalade. Just like that. And it gave me an excuse to make these adorable marzipan vegetables, while D made the chocolate pot which will hold these vegetables until we sit together and break the pot!
L'Escalade, or Fête de l'Escalade (from escalade, the act of scaling defensive walls) is an annual festival held in December in Geneva, Switzerland, celebrating the defeat of the surprise attack by troops sent by Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy during the night of 11–12 December 1602. The celebrations and other commemorative activities are usually held on 11 December or the closest weekend.

Celebrations include a large marmite (cauldron) made of chocolate filled with marzipan vegetables and candies wrapped in the Geneva colours of red and gold. It's customary for the eldest and youngest in the room to smash the marmite, while reciting, "Ainsi périssent les ennemis de la République! " (Thus perish the enemies of the Republic).
-- Wikipedia

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Recipe is simple: either use almond paste with sugar, or premade marzipan, with appropriate added food colors to make the "vegetables" - we made some eggplant, corn, radish, peas, even some bitter gourds and snake gourds, some tomatoes, carrots, cauliflower, bell peppers, turnips and such - just let the imagination and creativity flow :)

D used dark chocolate to make the chocolate pot. There are a few methods on the web - like using an inflated balloon, or even using a chocolate mold... But I think he just lined a plastic container we have with layers of plastic wrap, and then brushed the inside with melted, tempered chocolate, using a clean pastry brush. When it cools, lift the bowl out by the plastic wrap that extended over the lid of the bowl. I think he allowed it to set in the freezer after cooling a bit at room temperature.

The pot was not a masterpiece, it did develop cracks and needed special handling, but, it held up well, with good structural integrity till D and Ana broke it on purpose while reciting, "Ainsi périssent les ennemis de la République!". Of course, Ana just squealed "sweet vejj-abus", "sweet eggplant" while D said the actual words and I fiddled with the camera to capture it in video.

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5 Comments:

  • At 5:52 AM, Blogger meeso said…

    How cute, I love little things made from marzipan!

     
  • At 7:41 AM, Blogger Linda said…

    My goodness Sheela, I do think that's a work of art! Love the pretty chocolate pot and the adorable little colorful veggies filling it to the brim. Very creative indeed! :)

     
  • At 2:50 AM, Blogger Anamika said…

    Hi Sheela
    I simply loved your experiment. Its good and must taste yummy too.
    Am a fellow blogger from Botswana, currently into sugarcraft.
    Do have look, when ever you can. In the meantime, happy holidays.

     
  • At 3:42 AM, Blogger Jaya said…

    They all are adorable soo cute ..
    that is incredible work done here...
    hugs and smiles
    jaya

     
  • At 10:30 AM, Blogger Roopa said…

    that is so cute:)

     

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