Pasadena is not all about Rose Queens and debutantes or Penny loafers and posh hotels. Along the edges, nearing the fringe Bijouxs and The Rippler created an unexpected gem. Inspired by art and culture, the storied past of Pasadena; more underground than Paseo, after hours than high tea, Pop art than prep school -The Crepe Brulee – a confection well loved in the tea salons of Paris transforms to lust worthy in the atelier of Bijouxs – another little jewel from the kitchen.
Bijouxs and The Rippler met at camp and instantly bonded over immaculately curated bunkrooms (think Pendleton blankets, leather steamer trunks and vintage oil lamps) and an aversion to mingling, it was no surprise to learn they both hail from Pasadena.
The Crepe Brulee began as a potential pink & green kitsch ode to our lovely city and ended in a subtly sexy, glamorous dessert. The established camp connection between Bijouxs and Christy Larsen of Fudge Ripple (AKA the Rippler) lead to a cooking and photography collaboration in the Bijouxs kitchen studio.
The Rippler brought her A-game creating a beautifully original confection, the Crepe Brulee, which is both unique and entirely delicious. After all, Christy is a formally trained pastry chef so this confection creation makes perfect sense. Bijouxs brought her way of seeing through the lens, simplicity is elegance, and the resulting images capture the almost art-like quality of this confection – the beauty of collaboration.
The Crepe Brulee, inspired by the classic French mille feuille (thousand layer) cake, is a not too sweet cake; the gentle tea green tea flavor of the crepes is complemented perfectly by the slightly tart, palest of pink raspberry filling. The cooked crepes are stacked with layers of the raspberry filling and then the brulee process begins. Bijouxs learned to use demerara sugar for the brulee while watching the pastry chef at work, with a hardware store torch in hand, carefully browning the top of the cake in two steps, the secret to a crispy brown sugar crown. A final light dusting of matcha green tea powder and the Crepe Brulee is gorgeous. Yet, even with all her glamour, the Crepe Brulee is a dessert that with a little planning to prepare the recipe components is something you can master, a doable showstopper.
Sharing, a Bijouxs core tenant, created a joyful cooking collaboration and the Crepe Brulee – proof that the journey exploring food is ongoing–there are no stops you never arrive. To learn more about my friend The Rippler….
As always, enjoy. B