Gourmandises créoles pop-up

Gourmandises créoles pop-up: Reunion Island cuisine at Balzano’s in Cambridge

Pop Up Resturants

A few years ago, if someone had predicted that I would be serving food from the Island of Reunion to the British, I would have probably laughed.

And here we were, on March 1st 2014, in actual fact my birthday, with a very keen and enthusiastic little crowd from Cambridge and as far as Bury St Edmunds, who had come along to sample Reunion food.

Interestingly enough, some of them had actually made the trip to Reunion 20 years ago, so the pressure was on, not to disappoint.


In, true creole style the party couldn’t start without a good slush of “rhum arrangé”. The rum, was flavoured with local fruits such as sloes, blackberries and Victoria plums, it had been infusing with those flavours since September last year. It was served with our version of Chinese dumplings called “bouchons”, these were flavoured with Kaffir lime, fish and prawn samossas and “bonbons piments” close to a falafel.



Knowing that some of my guests had been to Reunion, I really wanted to bring back memories of their trip, so I had to have the traditional “cari poulet” served with lentils this time. The chicken was provided by Cowlings Butcher.



The main course was “rougail saucisses” (spicy sausage stew) served with rice, butter beans and a mango rougail. In Reunion, we make our own sausages and smoke them, but it was difficult, rather impossible to find them here, so for this recipe I used a Toulouse sausage, made by a local butcher Histon Chop Shop. It was a hit, as people started to ask for seconds, I was not quite prepared for such a response, thankfully I had made plenty, so here we were my husband and I serving seconds.


When the dessert came “tarte au chocolat served with flambee bananas and vanilla cream”, the atmosphere in the room was delightful and full of laughter. A real joy to see.   “How come your bananas didn’t go to mash someone said, how did you manage to have such a thin pastry with the chocolate melting in the mouth”. I simply can’t answer these technically, in France we call it the “tour de main”, instinct I suppose.

The evening started at 7:30 and by 11:00 people were just making their way out with a big smile on their faces and tummies full of food that I think they truly enjoyed considering the empty plates.

Gourmandises Créoles will come to Cambridge again, so if you’re interested in joining us email us at [email protected] and you will be on my mailing list for future events.

Bon appétit

Corinne Payet



Unique celebration cakes

Celebration cakes that you won’t find in a supermarket!

Last week, was another busy week baking at Gourmandises, as well as my regular deliveries to my lovely delis and my farmer’s market, I was also baking some very special celebration cakes for a 40th and 60th birthday.

Now I know what you’re going to say, so what?

A few weeks ago, I got a phone call from a lovely gentleman, called Andy. Andy found out about Gourmandises on Google, he was looking for something out of the ordinary, delicious and impressive at the same time. He had a look around the supermarkets, but what they had to offer he said, “was not very interesting”. So he had a look at Google and found Gourmandises.

He went and ordered four of my special celebration cakes.

Fraisier Celebration Cake

What Andy found at Gourmandises, supermarkets can’t deliver.

When I created Gourmandises, I had a customer like Andy on my to mind. I really wanted to create a wow factor. Every time I bake, I imagine the smiles on my customers faces. I love what I do, yes, but I want to do it right. It’s got to look amazing but it’s got to taste delicious too, and this is something difficult to get when you produce high volumes like many supermarkets do.

At Gourmandises you will get the personal touch, you will get to speak and meet the pastry chef. It’s all about passion not quantity!

What can I say, a big thank you to Andy for supporting a small independent retailer like me.

If you want your celebrations to be as special as Andy’s, get in touch, I would be delighted to speak to you.

Corinne Payet


My Mother’s day favourite

My Mother’s day favourite

In France Mother’s day is actually the last Sunday of May and if you happen to be there at that time of year, the pâtisseries will be filled with delicious “Fraisiers”, with all sorts of shapes and sizes.

But for me this is more than just a cake, it was my mothers favourite, and when I created Gourmandises I had to have it on my list. Unfortunately, as I lost my mum a few years ago, she never got to try my version of her favourite cake. But knowing that the Fraisier has been the delight of many mothers here in Cambridge, I’m sure that would have made her proud.


Traditionally made with a Genoise sponge flavoured with Kirsh and crême patissière, today’s Fraisier, has become the star of the show for many pâtisseries and infused the creativity of many chefs pâtissiers, twisting the traditions with modern flavours and slick designs.

Here at Gourmandises, I decided to go for Brandy instead of Kirsh and a dark chocolate ganache instead of the traditional marzipan finish.

So, if you’re looking for a very special treat for your mother, I would be delighted to bake it for you, and add your very own special message.

Cost:      8″ £25      –      9″ £35 (excluding delivery)