Devil in a blue apron

Mas­ter­ing the art of French cake­mak­ing in the golden heart of Provence

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Holiday Reading Special -

GETTY IM­AGES quite creamy. As soon as it cools, you pour over it a sim­ple cof­fee- based choco­late but­ter cream, thin but in­tense. Guests put down their forks and look at you as though you’ve un­veiled The Winged Vic­tory. A sliver will do.

Dis­cov­er­ing Le Di­a­bolo was sort of like the mo­ment of recog­ni­tion when you’re dressed in blue flounces and some­one wear­ing black Prada walks in. You get it. When some­thing is this good, you don’t need much. Some­times I ring the cake with rasp­ber­ries, but, re­ally, what’s the point?

In my kitchens, I have turned out Le Di­a­bolo on to the same white Wedg­wood plate for my daugh­ter’s birth­days, end­less din­ner par­ties, potlucks, even fu­ner­als. Now my daugh­ter bakes it for her fam­ily, and I’ve passed on the recipe to many friends, who, in turn, have handed it to oth­ers.

On that first day, how­ever, my his­tory with Le Di­a­bolo was un­writ­ten. I ate each bite slowly, savour­ing ev­ery ten­der morsel.

Writer Frances Mayes was se­duced by the gen­tle land­scape and the idea of a life in the coun­try­side

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