On my recent trip to Knysna I made a terrible discovery, a small bread shop called Ile De Pain that has haunted my dreams and taste buds ever since. Why so terrible you ask? well it's because I am now back in Durban thousands of miles away, tomorrow is Saturday and there is no one here who makes anything close to their chocolate croissant and let's be serious- what is Saturday morning without a chocolate croissant. I heard about this little gem a while ago Ile De Pain has been in my top 5 restaurants to test drive for ages and ages but my geographical impediment has left me blissfully unaware and in the dark. When the Knysna Forest marathon came along I decided it was time to cash in those air miles and make the pilgrimage and maybe do some running too.
I decided that the day before the race aka eat anything you want with a smile on your face day would be the perfect opportunity to head down to Thesen Island and see what the old Isle of Bread had to offer me. Every one knows that the trick to any kind of race over 5km is good carbo loading- so when I entered this place I call heaven and was hit with the smell of freshly baked bread and my eyes with a bustling hive of kneading, folding and rising I knew I was in good hands. I started off with a freezing cold glass of home made lemonaid the dived straight into their vegetable terrine ( A sublime castle of veggies built high on a foundation of the softest most dreamy ciabatta and finished off with these slow roasted tomatoes that would literally melt your heart) and I finished it all off with a glorious cappuccino and a cellophane bag filled with these crazy cocoa crusted roasted almonds that were sweet and crunchy but also chocolaty but also aaaaaaaaaaaah. I felt that I was losing out by not sticking around until I had had a bite of everything on the menu but races had to be run and blog posts posted and lives lived so I folded my napkin and left but not without a copy of their Cafe food recipe book tucked neatly under my arm so I could try and recreate some of the glory I had just been bathed in.
- their bread list just so you can get an idea of the level of bread love we are talking here
these guys don't stuff around.
I know you are probably reading this now thinking well thanks for nothing what am I going to do stuck here in Durban with no way of sharing in this delight that you talk of- well my lovelies I have good news, I know I cannot bring Ile De Pain to you so you are going to have to work with me here. The lovely folks over at Ile De Pain have very kindly allowed me to share one of their recipes with you so now you can get domestic on your Saturday, get your Martha Stewart on, make some brownies and sit outside in the sun with a big class of cold milk and a slab of heaven and bask in the glory that is Ile de Pain.
If you click on this Cafe Food link you can get a preview of the book as well as a downloadable pdf with some more recipes.