In the kitchen, there are ingredients lining up in a cramped place. They’re probably the food offerings sent earlier this morning from each village.
The food supply for the festival are mostly done and gradually being sent out to the main village’s central plaza. The hearth and the kitchen surface are empty. It seems like I could put out my skills as I like.
“Kurt-sama, we bring you the ingredients!”
Tina and the villagers come inside with a huge baggage. In their arms, there are wheat flour, yams, bottles of honey, walnut oil, then green fruits that comes in 5-cm sizes, the local variety of kiwi fruit, sarunashi. On top of those, they also carry a huge, cloth-wrapped tray.
“Thank you, everyone. You’re a huge help. Can I ask everyone to leave but Tina? I want you to help me with baking the pastries.”
“Can I?!” Showing a fully blooming smile, Tina clenches her fist.
Until now, she’s been helping me with everything but the pastry making. However, from now on, I’m aiming to make the best pastry with her. It’s only her Fire Magic for now, but I plan to teach her a lot of things, little by little.
“I said you could. Rather, I hope you will.”
“Yes, Kurt-sama!” Tina answers in high spirit.
The bunch of people around us grin broadly, looking at us with warm eyes.
“Young Master, we’re going to the plaza ahead of you. If we stay here, we’ll be getting heartburn even before tasting the sweets.”
As Tina hears the joke, she blushes and puffs her cheeks.
“Even if my sweets give you guys heartburn, it will still taste really good, you know? Then, let’s meet up later.”
I send them off. Then, Tina stands besides me.
“I’ll help Kurt-sama in making the pastry as best as I can!”
“I’m relying on you. Tina’s power is indispensable.”
My mind gets reminded of the convenience of Tina’s Fire Magic in an instant. I can no longer go back to adjusting the fire by the woods anymore.
“My power is indispensable...”
“Tina is my best partner. Please lend me your power.”
“I’ll work hard! For Kurt-sama’s sake, I’ll do anything! ....Partner, best partner...”
From earlier on, Tina’s tail has been shaking to a buzz. It seems that the fighting yell gives her that effect. Now then, let’s start baking.
First, I steadily sift the flour portion that I’ll use, then grinds the yam to scrapes.
I borrow two bowls which are lying around in the kitchen. And then, I separate the egg white from the yolk. A bowl holds all the egg white in one side, while the other bowl holds all the yolks in the other side. The yolks are quickly piling up, while the egg white are clear transparent. These are good eggs.
“Uwaa, Kurt-sama, you crack the egg with one hand and only need one second to cleanly separate them. It’s just like magic!”
“It comes with practice. If Tina practices a lot, you can reach this point too.”
Most likely, my Cooking Ability III also factors in, though. My body follows the image of my movement in previous world. Thanks to that ability, I can reproduce those movements.
The weapon’s ability only tampers with pure speed and heaviness, but the cooking ability affects my sensitiveness that correlates with preciseness. Just like that, I finish separating all the eggs that Marquis Fernandes brought for me.
“Now, shall we begin?”
I grab the bowl of egg whites, then put my homemade whisk inside and stir.
I’m making meringue. Incorporating air into the egg white until white stiff foams are forming. The more I whisk, more lumps of white meringue are forming.
“Uwaaaaaa, the egg white becomes that big. It’s just like magic.” Tina’s eyes are sparkling brightly with excitement.
After that, I add honey in small amount at a time. Not all at once. The trick is to add the honey little by little.
“Yosh, it’s a flawless meringue.”
I pull the whisk away as it’s peaking. Steady and firm, yet fluffy looking meringue is done. This is the foundation. If I fail here, I no longer have anything to show.
“Amazing, just from that egg, it becomes this big and white and rising.”
“That’s because there’s a lot of air inside. If we mix this into our batter, it will turn out to be really fluffy.”
If I bake the dough in the common way, it’ll properly become firm. However, by adding the meringue, the batter will be full of air and becomes fluffly.
“Now let’s move to the next step.”
I mix in the egg yolks I’ve separated earlier with 2/3 ratio to the meringue. With this ratio, I can reach the balance in this recipe. The remaining 1/3 of the yolks will be used later.
As I mix the egg yolks in, the meringue is stained with yellow color.
Then, I add in the wheat flour that I’ve sifted earlier, as well as the ground yams. The fluffy batter that’s full of air can easily dry out. By mixing the yams, the mouthfeel taste will overall improve and the batter will ooze out a natural sweetness.
Lastly, the walnut oil.
I add in the amount of oil that makes up the lacking amount of eggs. With this, the yams taste will become more harmonious and gentle. This can only be tolerated by using the walnut oil. If the recipe uses butter, it will be cloying and inedible. The refreshing aftertaste and richness from the walnut oil allows the larger amount of it being added.
Next, by properly mix them all up, the batter is done. It’s not even baked yet, but the sweet fragrance already seeps in the air.
“Yellow, fluffy, and glistening, it looks delicious already.”
“Well, it’s not like it can’t be eaten this way, but it’s more delicious after being baked, you know?”
With a wry smile, I take the cloth-wrapped tray. This was produced by magic. There are already ellipse-shape carved and lining up on the slate. I smear it with walnut oil.
“There’s something carved on the ellipses. This is...”
“You’ve noticed. It’s Arnold family’s crest.”
One by one, I fill the cavity with the running batter I’ve prepared. This way, I can bake a lot in one batch.
The baking time should be around twenty minutes. If I bake five times, I can make 200 portions for everyone. Somehow, I manage to be on time for 200 people’s portions in just two hours. What I’m making is Meringue・Madeleine.
After I fill every cavity with batter, I put the tray into the furnace.
“Tina, the fire please. Make it strong.”
“Please make the fire temperature go down a little... yes, a little more. Yes, right there. Please maintain this heat. Can you manage that?”
With sweat running down, Tina bakes the madeleine. When the time comes, from the best eggs, using the forest’s wonderful ingredients like walnut and yams, there will be the spongy, moist madeleine. However, this is still incomplete. I won’t let today’s special pastry to end up just being a madeleine.
Just now, for a total of five times, we baked madeleine enough for 200 people’s portion. Right now, I’m going to raise the madeleine up to another whole new level.
“Kurt-sama, this already smells so sweet and wonderful, I can’t stand it. Just one, just one, please let me eat just one!”
Tina looks at the light brown color of baked madeleine with vacant eyes. The special madeleine made with walnut oil and yams will be delicious enough this way.
“That’s right, Tina has worked really hard, so it’s okay to have a taste. But this is still not completed. The finishing touches starts now.”
“So it will become even more delicious than this?!”
“It’s the real thing now. Look, the baked madeleine has the Arnold family crest, aren’t they?”
“Yes, the Arnold family crest is prettily carved there.”
“But don’t you think that the family crest is too dented? After I fill that part up, my pastry will be completed.”
I carved that shape while thinking to incorporate the family crest. However, when I think about the appearance, it’s quenching.
I have a reason not to do that. I still have 1/3 egg yolks that I left out before. Adding walnut oil into the yolks, then small dose of salt, after that the sarunashi fruit juice, I mix them all together while adding in the honey.
I’m making sweet yolk sauce. In French fine cuisine, there’s one of the five basic sauce, the Hollandaise. I’m modifying that to use in pastry.
As expected, the umami of the eggs are concentrated in the yolks. More than scrambled eggs, the runny yolk of the sunny side up has stronger taste. I’m making the sauce that will properly enliven the richness of the egg.
The one single thing that enlivens the egg’s rich flavor is actually...
“Tina, please warm this sauce. Slowly, just like before.”
“I’ll be careful.”
Tina’s hand warms the egg sauce. The egg yolk’s deliciousness when eaten comes from, first and foremost, the temperature.
The egg’s flavor is most developed at 60 degrees, on the verge of getting solidified. It’s the so-called coddled egg. The egg sauce turns into a beautiful golden color.
There’s also custard cream to enliven the egg’s flavor, but, in this way, the rich flavor of the egg is actually stronger.
I give Tina a sign with my eyes to stop warming them. I pour the coddled egg yolk sauce into the cavity of the madeleines in the perfect temperature. Yes, the sauce is made for the sole purpose to be fill the carved family crest. The madeleine is showing the golden colored crest of Arnold family.
Now this is completed. The yellow madeleine.
“Wooooooooow, so pretty. Pastry with golden-colored family crest. How romantic.”
Tina’s eyes are sparkling while staring at the pastry. The pastry’s appearance is as important as the taste. Especially as a treat in a festival like today. The madeleines adorned with golden family crest will be perfect for the occasion, won’t it?
“Now, try it. This is the best pastry that I can make right now. It’s an original recipe based on a pastry called madeleine. Therefore, the name of this pastry is Madeleine Arnold. I’ve decided.”
“Pastry that bears the name of Arnold.... how wonderful!”
It’s a pastry that pulls out 100% of the egg’s flavor, made from the village, that enlivens the ingredients that came as the forest’s blessing. Those are the reason why Arnold’s name is a perfect fit. It can only be made in this fief. A deluxe madeleine.
“Now then, Kurt-sama, may I taste it now?”
“Absolutely, please enjoy it.”
“Then, thank you for the food.”
Tina bites into the Madeleine Arnold she’s been holding and closes her mouth.
Yay! Finally the cooking! Just so you know, in my hiatus, I ate madeleine almost everyday lmfao. I originally thought it was going to be dry poundcake, but my expectation was fully, beautifully, wholy broken. xD I love these madeleines!
Look at these beauties lmfao. (I’m still rooting for non-harem route though.) If you have some money to spare (and probably Japanese address), please support the author by buying the books! Or should I prepare a donation pool to buy them for us...? I wonder...
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