Thursday, April 1, 2010

An Old Fool and The First Week of April

Can you pick the ganache filled sandwich cookie on the cover of this September 1989 issue of Chocolatier Magazine? No, it's not a trick. And to prove it, who ever gets the right answer, wins a prize!!! There is a slight hitch though. There are actually two rows of ganache filled sandwich cookies on this cover. You need to guess them both.

Here's a better picture. (click to enlarge)

Remember the other day when I did that post for Black Forest Cake Day, well, when I read in the Cake Doctor that the French translation for the word Fool is Ganache, I just couldn't help but to make note and share a bit of ganache today. I know I might be going out on a limb here but hey, it is April Fool's Day so "foolery" is acceptable.

The first of April some do say
Is set apart for All Fool's Day
But on this day are people sent
On purpose for pure merriment.

No one really knows who invented ganache. Some say it originated in Switzerland where it was used as a base for truffles. Others say it was invented in Paris. Ganache stems from a culinary accident that went amiss. Supposedly, a chocolatier's apprentice spilled cream in the chocolate he was melting. The chef, angry at the lad, called him a "Ganache." I don't know how true it is but I'd say that boy made one delicious blunder!!!

Macaron Ganache Filling: Ganche is a mid 19th century invention of simply pouring equal portions of hot cream over broken chocolate, and then stirring the mixture until it is completely smooth. Though both Switzerland and Paris claim the invention, for the macaron it was the Parisian Pierre Desfontaines, the grandson of Louis Ernest Ladurée, who got the idea of placing a layer of chocolate ganache between two single macaron cookies while on a trip to Switzerland. (About Macarons)

If you have a moment, stop by the Fun & Food Blog for an instructive and informative post which also includes 2 ways for making Chocolate Ganache. If you find yourself experimenting with the versatility of ganache, Janet at Dying for Chocolate has suggestions for leftover ganache. You can always send it my way. I won't mind at all:) Marilyn @ Simmer till Done, has a rather amusing post along with directions for making ganache. I've also left a decadent list of resources and recipe links below. If I were you, my first stop would be Joe Pastry. Did you know you could make ganache with crème fraîche? While I was there, I discovered a cake I had never heard of before; Marjolain. I'm sure most of you have but for me, my visit was quite enlightening.

"Who lives without folly is not so wise as he thinks"

Here's another boo boo...

Shortly after the marriage of Napoleon with Maria-Louisa, daughter of the Emperor of Austria, some political measures were adopted by the Austrian Court which were contrary to the views of Bonaparte. On receiving the news he said: "The Emperor of Austria is une vieille ganache (an old fool)." Marie-Louisa was present, but never having heard the expression before, she did not understand it.

Soon after, when she was alone with her husband, she asked him the meaning of the word ganache; but unwilling to tell her the true signification, he said: "Oh, it means a man of great experience and good understanding."

On the following day, the Chancellor Cambaceres waited on the Empress with an address of congratulation on her marriage, and wishing to pay him a compliment in her reply, she thanked him heartily, saying she considered him the greatest ganache in the empire.

The courtiers were astonished and confounded; but of course they withdrew without making any observation. The circumstance came shortly to the ears of Napoleon, who laughed heartily at it, and during some weeks it was a topic of pleasantry in all Paris, the Empress herself being the only person who remained ignorant of the blunder she had committed. (French Wit and Humor; 1902)

I'd love to go on and on about the virtues of ganache but I have "important" food celebrations to investigate. It's April! and Kasha has a Spring Cupcake Bouquet just for you, and me:) A red * denotes a previous post. I must apologize. I didn't get a chance to check links on this month's previous posts...

April Monthly Food Celebrations

Beckoning from blue or stormy skies,
April smiles, and then April sighs...

-Louise Bates-
National Applesauce Month (PDF verification)
National Fresh Celery Month (remember when we celebrated plain ol' Celery Month in March:)
National Soft Pretzel Month @ Slashfood
National Soyfoods Month
April is Fresh Florida Tomato Month
Alcohol Awareness Month
National Pecan Month *Question: Pecans or Nanaimo Bars?
April is *Grange Month
Thai Heritage Month
*National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month Psst... April 12th is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day:)

April Daily Food Celebrations, 1, 2 3

April 1

For centuries, the first of April has been observed as April Fool's Day or All Fool's Day. In many lands the custom of dispatching persons on fruitless errands has long been practiced. In Scotland, this was called "hunting the gowk." (Gowk being a common expression for a cuckoo, which is reckoned one of the most silly of the feathered tribe.) In France, a person who was fooled in this way was dubbed a "poisson d' Avril" or an April fish. Mentioned in Brady's Clavis Calendaria by John Brady, this probably evolved because of the season in which young fish were easy to catch; they were known as less wise and foolish fish caught by deception. Last year I went a little *Topsy Turvey on April Fool's Day. (you should pop over if only to see the Humpty Dumpty Cake:)

The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company was founded on April 1, 1891 originally selling products such as soap and baking powder. In 1892, William Wrigley, Jr., the company's founder, began offering chewing gum with each can of baking powder. The chewing gum eventually became more popular than the baking powder itself and Wrigley's reoriented the company to produce the popular chewing gum. (online encyclopedia)
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin was born on April 1, 1775. *The Loves of Brillat-Savarin

The International Edible Book Festival is held annually around April 1st.

National Sourdough Bread Day (I'd love to see some of you bread bakers post a Sourdough Bread Recipe to celebrate. I sure could use some tips:)

German Chancellor, Otto Von Bismarck, was born on April 1st. Bismarck Doughnuts (Jelly Donuts:) were named after him.

April 2

On April 2, 1889, *Charles Martin Hall patented an inexpensive method for the production of aluminum. How much Aluminum Foil do you use? I use way too much...

April 2 is the birth-date of Medieval king, Charlemagne
The French king Charlemagne also played an important role in the history of Roquefort. It is said that he was passing through the region of Aveyron, when he was served a moldy cheese by his host. The king carefully set about cutting off the unappetizing parts of the cheese, until his host dared explain to him that the mold was what gave this cheese all its flavor. Charlemagne found the cheese to be so much to his liking that he requested that cartloads of Roquefort cheese be sent to his residence in the north of France every year.(Easy French Food)
Today is Good Friday. If you missed Joumana 's Sardine Hummos on pita, you simply must drop everything and check it out!

Oyster lover, Giacomo Girolamo Casanova was born April 2, 1725.

National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day. You GOTTA check out Sarah's Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars!

April 3

National Chocolate Mousse Day @ The Nibble

On April 3, 1829, James Carrington, of Wallingford, CT, received a patent for the "Manufacture of Coffee Mills". It says so right here...

The anniversary of New Orleans' beloved Antoine's is "believed to be on April 3rd." (New York Times article)
"The joke of the day is to deceive persons by sending them upon frivolous and nonsensical errands; to pretend they are wanted when they are not, or, in fact, any way to betray them into some supposed ludicrous situation, so as to enable you to call them An April Fool." (Brady's Clavis Calendaria)

Magazine Cover Game

Since I missed telling you about *National Sauce Month in March, I've decided your prize, should you guess right, will be a copy of James Peterson's book; Sauces. And yes, it does include a recipe for Ganache:) Just leave your guess in the comment section below. I'm so sorry to say, I'll have to limit this April Fool's Day game to US residents only:( Just leave your guesses in the comment section and I'll announce the winner on Sunday, when I post next week's "foodie days." If by chance more than one person guesses the two rows of ganache filled cookies, the winner will be the first person who posted the correct answer in the comment section. If you want to know more about the book, follow the National Sauce Month link. The book is also available @ Amazon if you want to review the reviews:) Good Luck and, Have FUN!

Just in case you're wondering, Sauces is one of the books that I won at that auction a few weeks back. Since I already have a copy, I thought I would share. Just remember, it isn't brand new but it is in GREAT condition!!!

P.S. Feel free to guess more than once, if you like. Just make sure to be the first one to get it right!!!

1. Vegan Cupcakes That Can Fool April
2. April Fool's Day Truffles (surprise!)
3. Banana Cake with Praline Filling and White Chocolate Ganache
4. Lemon Polenta Whoopie Pies w/Chocolate Ganache
5. Passion Fruit, Mango & Chocolate Cake
6. Peanut Butter Chocolate Ganache
7. Macarons with white chocolate and raspberry ganache


  1. You gave me a good laugh this morning and I've never known so much about the French and food as I do now!

    You gotta try my peanut butter & Jelly bars http://muminbloom.blogspot.com/2010/02/recipe-peanut-butter-and-jelly-bars.html

    Here's a link for a powdered sour dough starter you can get for free
    http://homejoys.blogspot.com/2010/03/sourdough-sucess.html. Gina is a wonderful breadmaker and I love her blog.

  2. It's hard to tell with the ganache as they all look like it; numbers 2 and 4, especially.

    This is a great fun and interesting post. Great story about Napolean and I love all the April Fool's Day trivial. You have a great April Fool's Day! Thanks for all!

  3. I have no idea... I'm going to guess it's tricky and pick 3 & 6.

    I didn't tell you about the fabulous macaron I had at a seafood buffet, did I? They do have a pastry chef on staff, and I begged and begged for the recipe, to no avail.

  4. OK, I'll try this again. 3 and 5 or it could be 3 and 4 or maybe 3 and 6. This is hard! They all look great! Well, it could be 4 and 6.... :-)

  5. Thanks for including my Ganache recipe Loise!
    I must say I don't care which ones are which, I like all of them:)

  6. You are a wonder of knowledge! I never waste my time when I come here... your blog has to be one of my favorties; can't help but loving the association of culture, food, history and ...fun! Of course!

    Lets see if I can be as witty... I say no. 4 & 6.

  7. I am going to pick #6 and #1.
    I, too, love your post.
    Where in PA do you live? I have a great friend who lives in Valley Forge. I will be headed east in May when my son and his wife graduate from grad school in Connecticut. It's always so pretty back there.
    Beleive it or not, my desert yard will be green, green this summer. LOL
    Thanks for your great info on April fools day.

  8. I'm guessing 3 and 6. Of course, I'm not much of a guesser!

    Happy april Fools day, Louise!

  9. I was gonna guess #3 and #6 but it looks like a couple people have already guessed those. So . . . let me go take another look.

  10. I'll guess 3 and 4. They all look so good ;)

  11. I'm torn between 3 & 5 and the pair of 4 & 6. Notice how my picks both match- the first is the cut outs, the second picks plain and of course I am probably wrong and it is an odd mix of both a plain cookie and a cut out.

    The story of Napoleon's wife Maria-Lousia is wonderful.

  12. I know I already left a comment but after I responded to your comment on my post- it occurred to me that it is April Fools- could the answer be all the cookies are ganache filled and not just a pair?

  13. My guess is #3 and #6! Louise! I can't believe I got a mention on a blog such as yours. I wondered until I got your comment why I was getting a few more visitors. I can't tell you how much you have made my day (between you and me it wasn't looking so good until now). What a fantastic blogging friend I have made and I hope to return the favor someday soon. Please have a wonderful day and thanks for the fun game. I hope I win, but I feel like I already won just by being your friend.

  14. We always used to celebrate the "poisson d'Avril" by coming up with something silly to do at school!
    The ganache origin is fascinating because so many things in the pastry world are derived from this simple technique~

  15. like everyone else, i'm baffled--it could be any or all of them! i'll go with 4 & 6. :)

  16. P.S. It is kind of weird to think of Napolean with a sense of humor. Loved the history of April Fools.

  17. Love the French humor - cant wait to tell my husband he's ganache! Hehehe

    Love the food celebrations - cannot believe more people did not comment on Brillat-Savarin's B-Day!

    My guess is 3 and 4.

  18. I'd guess 4 & 6... but I'd like to taste test them all to be sure!

  19. LOl I'm going to guess 3 & 4.. they all looks so yummy it's hard to decide. Hoping your Easter is filled with sunshine and sweet treats. Buona Pasqua xo

  20. HI Louise!!

    April fools! Wait it is me and I am a little late with an April Fools joke. And even an April Fools Recipe. Wow that could have been good. Sorry I haven't been by. I am around and checking the blog. Thanks for dropping by :)

    Happy Easter!

  21. he..hee.. love the story of the ganache. And I love the sauces book by James Peterson.

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Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise