Food

Milk Magazine (English) - - CONTENTS - Text : Hélène La­halle – Pho­tos : Em­i­lie Guelpa

Two Aus­tralian recipes by Jen­nifer Hart-Smith, alias @took­ies.gam­betta

Born to a French mother and Aus­tralian fa­ther, Jen­nifer spent her early child­hood in France, be­fore mov­ing to Aus­tralia. She re­turned to France as a teenager, but ev­ery long sum­mer hol­i­day flew back to her pa­ter­nal grand­mother’s, in Gos­ford, less than two hours away from Syd­ney. Jen­nifer has in­her­ited a gen­uine pas­sion for plants from this 87-year-old natur­opath, who owns a two-hectare gar­den re­served for Aus­tralian na­tive plants. Jen­nifer passed her bac­calau­reat in France, then at­tended the École Boulle, be­fore head­ing off to San Fran­cisco to study ty­pog­ra­phy and web de­sign. After work­ing for sev­eral years on the Net, she felt the need to re­dis­cover tan­gi­ble re­al­ity. So she found a way out of the vir­tual world in the hands-on ac­tiv­ity of pas­try-mak­ing. She be­gan mak­ing bis­cuits dec­o­rated with printed mes­sages for those close to her. They proved so pop­u­lar that she did a vo­ca­tional course in pas­try­mak­ing and gained work ex­pe­ri­ence at some of France’s top names, such as Benoit Cas­tel and Yann Cou­vreur. Her posts on In­sta­gram brought her so many fol­low­ers that she launched her own cater­ing busi­ness. Brands such as Bon­point, Mi­nois and Sézane soon ap­pealed to her to add a sweet touch to their events. Jen­nifer loves com­bin­ing wild plants with bak­ing, us­ing flo­ral wa­ter or even whole plants in her recipes, to flavour cream, for ex­am­ple. Though she doesn’t ad­vo­cate ve­gan cakes and pas­tries, she is, how­ever, an un­con­di­tional sup­porter of or­ganic foods. Her credo is to sug­gest healthy desserts, re­spect­ful of the sea­sons and in­clud­ing wild plants, while avoid­ing harm­ful in­gre­di­ents like ar­ti­fi­cial food colour­ing, re­fined sugar and glu­cose. Noth­ing pleases her as much as bak­ing in the Avey­ron re­gion of France, where she and her com­pan­ion have ren­o­vated an old farm­house. This is where she makes brioches with milk fresh from the neigh­bour­ing cows: the per­fect em­bod­i­ment of “from farm to ta­ble”. An all-round plant en­thu­si­ast, Jen­nifer wants to learn more about phy­tother­apy and aro­mather­apy so as to ap­ply this knowl­edge to her bak­ing. She re­cently grad­u­ated from the Parisian school Ce­natho and in Septem­ber will start a course in phy­tother­apy and wild plants. Just back from Aus­tralia with her two chil­dren, Tilda (4 ) and Milo (2), Jen­nifer has pre­pared two recipes for us made with Aus­tralian plants: ma­cadamia nuts and lemon myr­tle.

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