20 August 2020 – St Philibert’s Day

Well that was possibly the worst night’s sleep I’ve had in a long time. I woke from multiple dreams containing multiple potential suitors, but the only thing I can actually remember is a skiff in the sunshine. Consequently my night left me feeling extremely close to rubbish all day.

Yarrow, post pillow crushing.

But today is St Philibert’s Day and for once I had something planned. St Philibert is said to have given his name to filberts, otherwise known as hazelnuts, as they ripen around this time. And ignoring the fact that hazelnuts are said to be another love divination tool, to celebrate St Philibert’s Day, I thought I would spoil myself by making some Fauxrero Rocher. Topics looked too tricky. 

Back in the day, I was the guest at a reception thrown by the English Ambassador to Spain. Not a golden wrapper in sight. You’ve never seen disappointment until you’ve observed a cast of 25 actors unable to utter the word ‘echellentay’ at each other. 

My Fauxrero Rocher were made even fauxer as the recipe called for hazelnut butter but I couldn’t be arsed to make any, so subbed in some peanut butter instead. And of course, I missed the line in the recipe that said to harden the mixture overnight in the fridge. So I gave it an hour. Which was a mistake. At times it felt like I was juggling thick mousse. By the time I’d rolled 10 FRs they were all very melty.

As luck would have it, the chocolate I’d used came in goldenish paper. So I took my mignardise game next level, wrapped up the most blobby one, and popped them back in the fridge. After another half an hour, they were just about solid enough to pile into a pygmy pyramid. 

Taste-wise, they were indeed delicious. Still a bit soft, and very rich, and I’m glad I added extra chopped hazelnuts to give the ganache some texture. And, ahem, I probably rolled them a little big. I had been going to make a hazelnut and pear pasty in honour of the Fowey Royal Regatta who today was going to float a traditional giant ceremonial pasty across their bay. But then I remembered I’d already done pasties. Besides, now I have an excuse to dress up in a ball gown to eat chocolate. Echelentay.


Resources

Cooper, Q. and Sullivan, P. (1994) Maypoles, Martyrs & Mayhem: 366 Days of British Myths, Customs & Eccentricities, London, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Baker, M. (2019) Discovering The Folklore of Plants, Oxford, Shire Publications

https://calendarcustoms.com/articles/fowey-royal-regatta/

https://foweyregatta.co.uk

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