New Year’s resolution? Vive la différence!

Salt butter caramel sauce. Delicious spread on brioche, as a topping for ice cream or spooned straight from the jar!

While some  virtuous souls are pounding the post-Christmas cross-trainer with the kind of zeal previously accorded to lifting the lid on the Cadbury’s Roses,  in a chi-chi corner of NW3 I’m being plied with gourmet salt butter caramel sauce and melt-in-the-mouth tarte tatin – hardly the stuff of which New Year resolutions are made, but welcome nonetheless on a blustery January day.  In line with Janie Lee Grace’s ethos in Look Great Naturally, my feeling is that so long as it’s “real” food made with integrity, flair and above, all passion, then a little bit of what you eat, pray, love can surely be no bad thing… well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it, like Lycra on a hot day.

The creator of these delicacies is Bruno Breillet, a softly spoken French ex-pat whose  upbringing in Lyon and love of home-baking have instilled in him a deep respect for traditional cooking and top quality ingredients.  Everything he prepares is scratch-made without scrimping, from the sublime all-butter pastry in his dark chocolate tarts to his innovative savoury cakes, currently a popular choice for corporate buffets and trendy soirées alike.   His approach is instinctive and imaginative, matched only by a strong perfectionist streak that won’t allow him to resort to second-best for economy’s sake.  Not surprisingly, such delights don’t come cheap but as with the extra calories, one mouthful will convince you they’re more than worth it.

Ganache with panache! Dark chocolate lemon tart.

Visit Bruno’s French Bakes at Hampstead Community Market on Saturdays or for further information, take a virtual tour at http://brunosfrenchbakes.com/.  To request a brochure or place an order, please email brunob@btinternet.com.

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