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An Interview with Aimee France & Her Cast Iron Granola from Heaven

Elisa Croft

If you've ever flirted with the baking world on Instagram (or you're an avid reader of The New York Times), chances are you've encountered Aimee France's work. A pioneer creating the new wave movement but for cakes, Aimee has been a long time friend of Táche and a breath of fresh air in the baking world. Forgoing the perfectly polished fondant that has plagued our confections for so long for something delightfully refreshing and just downright cool - that's Aimee style. So when she came to us with her cast iron granola recipe we just knew we couldn't keep it a secret.

What is your go-to recipe, the dish that your friends and family request most, the one that you know like the back of your hand?

I love to make some type of seasonal pasta dish paired with a seasonally inspired salad and of course good bread and butter. It's simple but it is always delicious.

 

What advice would you share with someone who wants to start cooking/baking?

The internet is your best friend and an amazing resource. It's best to take a challenge and figure things out yourself through trial and error. Keep a notebook where you take notes on how recipes came out and what you could do differently in the future.

 

What is the most used cooking/baking tool in your arsenal?

MY IMMERSION BLENDER!!!!! Seriously, best kitchen tool ever, I use it almost everyday, sometimes multiple times a day. I promise you it's the one kitchen tool you don't realize you need until you have one. But I also have to give an honorable mention to my KitchenAid stand mixer for making mass amounts of buttercream and cake batter.

 

What is one unexpected ingredient you have in your kitchen at all times?

I feel like this changes seasonally but for fall/winter I'm really into mustard. I love Edmond Fallot mustard, especially the black currant dijon. I have a collection of at least 5 different flavors in my fridge at the moment. They are perfect to use as a dip, spread on a sandwich, or in a vinaigrette.

 

Detail your dream dinner party, who’s invited, what’s on the menu, and where are you dining?

Themed elegant ball/tea party and we're all dressing up...I'm talking gilded age type vibe, I want to wear a fancy outfit. We are in a giant mansion with beautiful custom crown molding that has a ball room and one of those extremely long dining tables. The dining table is covered with an incredible feast of savory and sweet seasonal food, fresh produce, cheeses, meats, seafood, multiple types of bread and butter, herbs, beautiful silver platters with doilies. It's also one of those parties where you have to bring a guest your other friends don't know that well so you end up meeting a lot of new people.

 

Who are you inspired by right now?

I wouldn't say I am inspired by anyone specific at the moment but more inspired by the changing of the seasons and nature. It always so exciting when the seasons change and you're like “omg sumo oranges are coming soon, I can’t wait to work with that ingredient”. It makes it more special and creates a favorable memory in my opinion.

 

Tell us about your Táche recipe, what inspired you to create it, how do you see using pistachio milk in future recipes, and what did you learn from cooking with it?

I am always addicted to granola for breakfast, especially in the summer, and I love the flavor of Táche, so I thought it would be delicious to make a little cereal moment using my cast iron granola recipe and Táche Pistachio Milk. I love using it in my coffee as well because it adds a bit of nuttiness – I highly recommend a cortado with frothed Táche and finished with freshly grated nutmeg. I also always use Táche when I make pistachio cake or buttercream!

 

About Aimee France

Aimee France is a self taught baker located in NYC known for her delightfully delicious and offbeat custom seasonal cakes. See what Aimee is cooking up next @yungkombucha420.

"I love the flavor of Táche, so I thought it would be delicious to make a little cereal moment using my cast iron granola recipe and Táche"

INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup nut of choice
Generous dash of cinnamon
Generous dash of salt
2-4 TBSP sweetener of choice (honey, maple syrup, agave, date syrup)
Cottage cheese
Táche Pistachio Milk
Seasonal fruit
Seasonal herbs
High quality olive oil
Vinegar of choice (I like a honey ginger white balsamic)
Honey
Black pepper
Cardamom
Maldon Sea Salt
INSTRUCTIONS
  • Heat a cast iron skillet on medium low.
  • Add nuts and toast until golden brown (about 5 minutes).
  • Once the nuts are fragrant, add the oats. Stir frequently until golden brown (about 7-15 minutes). Don’t walk away and be careful not to burn them.
  • After the oats have turned golden brown shut off the heat, you will do the rest of the cooking with the residual heat of the pan.
  • Add cinnamon and salt, stir in until fragrant.
  • Add sweetener of choice and stir until all oats and nuts are coated.
  • More sweetener makes for more clusters, less sweetener makes a drier granola. Both are good, it just depends on your personal texture preference. Play around and try both until you find the consistency that you like.
  • Once the sweetener is incorporated transfer to a plate and allow to cook for 5-10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle more cinnamon and Maldon sea salt on top of the granola while it cools.
  • To a bowl add desired amount of cottage cheese and granola, top with fresh seasonal fruit and herbs. Next, add cardamom, Maldon sea salt, and black pepper. Drizzle olive oil, honey, and your vinegar of choice on top. Finish with a generous splash of Táche Pistachio Milk.