Ah, British cakes.
Very self-consciously, monarchist British cakes these. Though of course the cake which Marie-Antoinette might have ( but probably didn't) contemptuously or not, suggest that the starving poor should eat was not meringue, but brioche, a kind of viennoiserie, not exactly what we'd call cake, nor pastry, nor quite bread either.
Don't get me wrong, I like French cakes, all the viennoiseries, patisseries, tartes, beignets, millefeuilles, moelleux, fondants, madeleines and all those frothy, fluffy creamy things, and indeed the more robust and rustic specialities: kouign-amann, quatres-quarts and all the gâteaux basques, bretons. de Pithiviers etc etc. One can easily procure cookies and American style muffins, and naturally there are no shortage of shop windows full of meringues here in France too, but they tend to be those very professional, very dry, light ones (are they what's known as Itialian meringues?), whereas these
are glossy, and look as if they might still have slightly sticky centres, which are the best.
And here are some (only a little bit enhanced) soft fruit with which to fill them.
And I do miss all the variations of a good British sponge cake: coffee and walnut, lemon drizzle, carrot and poppy seed, apricot and almond, Jamaica ginger...
And I also try, when I go to England, to have a cupcake.
The pink one was mine, fruits of the forest, acutally not too horribly synthetic. My family members, British resident so not afflicted by my particular form of nostalgie de pays went for the American-style chocolate muffin and the French/Danish style apricot pastry.
And it's not only sweet stuff I hanker for, there is curry too.
This selection at Camden Lock.
As were these ingredients for smoothies and infusions.
Really the food was one of the best things about Camden Lock, but for the most part I feasted my eyes only, since really, one can only eat and drink one breakfast, one lunch and one dinner (and perhaps one elevenses, or second breakfast, and one afternoon tea).
But there are some delicious things you can't have too much of:
like my lovely sister, on the left, her daughter my niece T, on the right, and in the middle my youngest niece, all the way from New Zealand. She's very gorgeous, I think you'll agree.