Monday, March 26, 2012

The City of a Thousand Fountains: Aix-en-Provence

About 2000 years ago Aix-en-Provence was a Roman spa town, courtesy of its mineral hot springs.


A place where a hard working Roman could go to kick off his sandals and soak his weary corpus.


If you spend some time wandering Aix-en-Provence's charismatic streets you'll soon see why it's sometimes referred to as the city of a thousand fountains.


The majority of the fountains were built from the 17th century onwards, but I think the Romans would've approved.


I hope you all had a great weekend. I made two batches of cardamom panna cotta, trying to replicate the masterpiece I ate at l'Épicurien a few weeks ago.


Blandina had kindly emailed me a recipe (she's Italian and therefore in the know), as had Susan, who's son is a chef! Isn't blogging awesome?


I made Blandina's recipe completely with cream (although you can replace part of the cream with milk), and Susan's son's recipe was half-and-half. There was more sugar in Blandina's recipe and I used some vanilla as well. In the other I put two peppercorns, trying to get a bit of spice in there.


Both versions were delicious. As you'd expect, Blandina's was richer - the ultimate winter dessert. Susan's son's was lighter (so I could eat more of it!) but still beautifully creamy and would be a perfect summer meal-ender. I feel very chic being able to say I now have seasonal panna cotta recipes. As for the vanilla vs peppercorns - not much difference there. I might have to boost the amounts.

I guess that means I'll have to make more. Life is cruel.

Have a great week, everyone. Someone please do some exercise for me!


  1. Miammm, I haven't made panna cotta for awhile. I may have to rectify that!

  2. I think I recognise some of those fountains! And so glad the recipe was a success! Now I just need to get Daniel to make me some!

  3. How smart you are! I'd love to try both recipes. Enjoy it for all of us!

  4. Makes me feel quite at home seeing all those now familiar baking labels. I'm sure the walk around Aix was enough exercise, non? At least you weren't showering in sugar like the strawberry guy on the front of the Daddy box!!!

  5. Yum! I've also recently made pannacotta. I infused a chilli (a long red one, so not too hot, split in two) in the cream/milk which gives a bit of spiciness-might be what you're after with the pepper. Love living vicariously in Provence via your blog. I'm a NZer living in Adelaide and just trying to get over the hump in writing a blog to document the creative process myself...

  6. After seeing your photos on flicker I knew not to read this post before breakfast!
    I might just have to hit Susan up for the recipe. I love panna cotta, the cardamon infused one sounds delicious.
    Love the packaging, Sugar Daddy, and the cream, much prettier and more interesting than the packaging here.

  7. I love the packaging, too! So pretty, and Sugar Daddy is just perfect! So cool, that you now have two different yummy recipes! The fountains are pretty, so idyllic, somehow!

  8. I'm loving your photos as usual. Any chance you can reshoot the street scene with all the trees in the spring/summer. I'd love to see the contrast.

  9. Oops. Forgot the question mark after summer in the previous post.

  10. I love hot springs. And fountains. And the French countryside. And panna cotta. Let's be friends. ;)

  11. I remember every single one of those fountains in Aix. Probably one of my favorite cities ever. Susan and I are lucky that we both have sons that are chefs. We have bonded over this as well as our love of quilting, France and family. Your Panna Cottas both sounds scrumptious.

  12. Your pictures are so gorgeous - they make me excited for my trip to France later this year. Anyway, I just wanted to stop by and say that I'm loving your blog and I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award here; It's just a fun way to recognize some new-to-me blogs that do awesome things!

  13. Look at all that panna cotta! nom nom nom x

  14. Time is a funny thing. It has been about 35yrs since I have been in Aix, and your pics remind of so much and yet it all seems so new to me...this must mean that I have to visit the region again just to re-awaken those memories. I love the fountains and the les rues with the skeletonic trees. I've never made panacotta...going to have to try it now!


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