For our 20th anniversary, I wanted to bake something special, something to remember. So I was wondering if I should try to make a croquembouche. And I did.
The croquembouche is well known as pièce montée over here in France. It is usually served at weddings, first communions & baptisms. A spectacular gateau, it is a fantasy of choux puffs filled with crème patissière , piled into a pyramid, veiled in fine toffee and studded with sugared almonds, ribbons, macarons, fresh or crystallised flowers. I remembered for our wedding we had a basket shape pièce montée. Truly a memorable wedding cake!
"My dearest Emma," said he, "for dearest you will always be, whatever the event of this hour's conversation, my dearest, most beloved Emma- tell me once. Say 'No', if it is to be said." She could really say nothing. "You are silent," he cried, with great animation; "absolutely silent! at present I ask no more."
Emma was almost ready to sink under the agitation of this moment. The dread of being awakened from the happiest dream, was perhaps the most prominent feeling.
"I cannot make speeches, Emma," he soon resumed; and in a tone of such sincere, decided, intelligible tenderness as was tolerably convincing. "If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am. You hear nothing but the truth from me. I have blamed you, and lectured you, and have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it. Bear with the truths I would tell you now, dearest Emma, as well as you have borne with them. God knows, I have been a very indifferent lover. But you understand me. Yes, you see, you understand my feelings- and will return them if you can. At present, I ask only to hear, once to hear your voice."
Emma- Jane Austen (1816)