Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Out of The Mouths of Children...

We've been catching up with some commissions this week (if you're still waiting, we'll get to you very soon...) and were preparing the photos when one of our neighbour's kids, who regularly stops by, noticed the full sized image below on the computer screen.

She stopped dead in her tracks.

Paris Miniatures - Emmaflam and Miniman - Miniature Cupcakes

"You can't tell from the photo that they are so very tiny!" she said and ran off into the office. A few seconds later she was back waving a pen in the air.

In the past we've popped coins, thumbs, matches and other bits and bobs in our miniature photos to give some idea of scale, and I guess we now take for granted that everyone realises how small these things really are.

But not Martine. Thanks to her, you can see how these tiny cupcakes measure up when compared to an everyday biro.

Paris Miniatures - Emmaflam and Miniman - Miniature Cupcakes with a biro

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Flowers and Flavours - A French Country Show

Horticultural show - Flowers and Flavours - Fleurs et SaveursHaving recently seen some colourful posters popping up around town and having been tempted by the promise of "Fleurs & Saveurs" (Flowers and Flavours - although we went along more for the "Saveurs" than the "Fleurs"!), we decided to make a special effort getting up early(ish) on a Sunday morning to bring you a glimpse of a provincial French Horticultural show.

Unfortunately the warm spring sunshine we'd been enjoying for the last few days seemed to be enjoying the lie-in that we'd missed out on...

A few metres inside the gates and already our eyes were wide open and our mouths were watering! Homemade saucisson and pâté in a wonderful assortment of flavours - anyone for Cognac pheasant, bison or Auvergne blue cheese...? All available to try although so shortly after breakfast, a strong stomach is recommended!

Paris Miniatures - French Market selling saucisson and pâtés - Emmaflam and Miniman
Selection of saucisson and pâtés

The next stall to catch our eye was "Les Jardins de Marie" selling a lovely selection of award-winning jams and conserves. We had tried some of her produce before, so this time we were hoping she would be present so we could bring some back home with us...bingo! She uses some wonderfully inventive combinations of ingredients in her jams and you can see the full list at her site which is in French, but it'll give you the perfect chance to swot up on your French food vocabulary!

Paris Miniatures - Homemade Jams - Emmaflam and Miniman
Homemade jams - flavours included straw (!), vanilla courgette and lily-of-the-valley

After sampling half a dozen exotic jams, it was time to choose. The biggest surprise was a Champagne jam...sublime! There is even the sensation of tiny bubbles exploding on your tongue...

We also chose Apple Cider and Haricot de Soissons (Soissons white bean - a local speciality). The latter is destined for some upcoming macaroons...

Not only are the jams delicious, they are beautifully presented too.

Paris Miniatures - Trio of Jams - Emmaflam and Miniman
We came back with cider, white bean and the extraordinary champagne jam

And just in case anyone is doubting that we're in France, there was even a jolly fellow selling snail-based produce! The guy was so passionate about his snails - we'll spare you the detailed cross-section drawing of a snail indicating every single piece of a snail's anatomy (email us if you want to see it) and we'll just leave you with this one interesting fact: a snail has 20 000 teeth...

Paris Miniatures - French trader selling snail-based dishes - Emmaflam and Miniman
Vive la France!

Oh yes...as it was a horticultural show, it wasn't just food, food, food! There were even some plants and flowers to buy...

Paris Miniatures - Horticultural Show - Emmaflam and Miniman
It was a horticultural show after all...

We even came back with some strawberry plants for the garden. Hopefully those tiny strawberry "fleurs" will be producing some strawberry "saveurs" before too long...

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Some Photos from American Miniaturist

American Miniaturist Magazine Issue 73 May 2009 with Emmaflam & Miniman on the cover!We finally have a copy of American Miniaturist #73 in our hands...the issue in which we have our little feature!

At the time of writing it's been with us for only a few hours, so we're still on a high from seeing our work featured in the magazine...but we thought we'd share with you a few of the photos that have been chosen for the feature. After all, it's a small magazine and despite some large photos being shown, we thought you'd appreciate having access to some of the originals, while giving a taste of what's inside to those who won't have the chance to see this issue.

All of these photos, including the scene above (which is featured on the cover!) can be enlarged by clicking on them.


Paris Miniatures Long Macaroon Charlotte - Miniature Pâtisserie Food
Long Macaroon Charlottes

Paris Miniatures French Restaurant Desserts - Miniature Food - Emmaflam and Miniman
French Restaurant Desserts - Cold Strawberry Soup & Crème Brûlée

Paris Miniatures Making an apple pie preparation board - Miniature Food - Emmaflam and Miniman
Making an Apple Pie

Paris Miniatures Making stuffed baked tomatoes - preparation board - Miniature Food - Emmaflam and Miniman
Preparing Stuffed Baked Tomatoes

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Homemade Chocolate Macaroons

We've been making miniature macaroons for what seems like years and happily have the option of popping out and simply purchasing from Ladurée if ever we want the real thing. However, we did want to try to make some ourselves...

After being motivated by the reading of dozens of recipes (of which no two were ever the same!) then being put off by dozens of horror stories recounting failed attempts at making macaroons at home, we at last decided on a flavour - chocolate! So far so good...

Armed with a recipe and a mental list of dos and don'ts, we set to work. First "do" - use old egg whites, some say the older the better...3 days, 5 days, a week. At this rate we'd never get started!

Fortunately, we'd recently started making ice cream at home for which egg yolks only are needed, so having kept the whites and with this twist of culinary fate on our side, we were back on track.

We'll not go into the details of how we made them here...there are other blogs and sites if that's what you're after, but with much anguish on the part of Emma and dribbling anticipation on Neil's part, the moment came when we had what looked like real macaroons ready to come out of the oven! And these are some from that batch...

Homemade Chocolate Macaroons

So did the taste live up to the visuals? Well, you'll have to take our word that with their delicately crispy shell, soft moist interior and rich chocolate ganache, we'll be making some more very, very soon.

Unless we find ourselves in front of Ladurée again...

Saturday, 18 April 2009

We're In American Miniaturist!

So how's this for our first blog post topic....?

We're really happy to announce that we are featured in the latest issue (number 73) of "American Miniaturist" magazine. Our very first AM feature!

Judging by the thumbnail that has recently popped up on the "American Miniaturist" site, it looks like we made the cover with the main picture and an individual Charlotte. Woohoo!

Hopefully we will have a copy of the mag to look at before too long because we have no idea what the article looks like nor which photos have been featured inside!

If you have seen the article, please do let us know what you think...