Sometimes your fate for a couple of years to come is in the hands of incompetent white collars (des ronds-de-cuir imcompétents). Then you have reasons to be scared. Of course, there is nothing you can do, except wait, and they can't even manage to stick to the deadlines they had announced for results.

free music

Yeah, I'm going to get you. Gimme the freakin job!

Not only do you nearly poo your pants (tu fais presque caca dans ta culotte) every time your inbox pings, but you also bake compulsively to pretend that yes, you can remain cool as a cucumber (cool Raoul) under intense pressure.

Like, for example, you make a strawberry tart. And then crash your favourite guinea pigs' place with the tarte aux fraises and expect to be distracted in exchange. And it works!

Well, the tarte aux fraises and guinea pigs part at least, because when you go back home and the results are still not out, you are one step away from going postal (tu es à deux doigts de péter les plombs) and sending icing sugar in tape-sealed envelopes. After careful consideration, though, you keep the icing sugar for your next batch of chantilly cream and financiers.

The tarte aux fraises is so fast to make I didn't actually have time to take pictures. Yes, it's that fast. Not like the ragù, where you have time to copy the phonebook before it's done simmering (good things take time).

So, for a soothing express tarte aux fraises:

One (1) shortbread crust (proportions to adapt according to the size of your pie tin)

300g flour (I just used 250g and adapted the rest)
200g soft butter
100g sugar
pinch of salt

Quicky sand the mix with the tip of your fingers, then compact it by pressing your palm and roll into a ball. Leave in the fridge while you do the pastry cream.

One (1) measure of pastry cream

1/3 l milk
2 egg yolks
40g flour
50g sugar
vanilla pod or extract

In a pan, bring milk to the boil with the vanilla pod or extract. In a bowl, whisk the yolks and the sugar until white (although I have been told it doesn't make a difference, but why not stick to old silly precepts). Add the flour. If it gets too stodgy - which it is likely to, be warned - add a couple of spoonfuls of the warming milk to loosen it up. Pour the boiling milk on the egg mixture and whisk away until combined, then pour back in the pan on slow heat and keep turning with a wooden spoon to ensure the flour doesn't catch at the bottom. It's ready when it's nice and creamy. Pour it in a bowl, cling film the surface so that no skin forms and leave to cool.
In the meanwhile, press the dough straight in the pie tin as it doesn't roll out very well.

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Blind-bake the crust it on low heat (about 150°C, I'd say, but my oven doesn't really understand the concept) for about 20 minutes (again, my oven's understanding of time can be a little outlandish (un peu folklo)).

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Ah, and it puffs up while cooking, so you can also take it out on the crust when it comes
out of the oven by pushing it back into place with, say, the bottom of a glass. Works a treat.

Making it happen

When the crust has cooled off, pour the pastry cream in the crust, and artistically pop those nice seasonal strawberries on the cream. Perfectionnists will brush the surface of the strawberries with warmed up jelly diluted with a bottle-capful of kirsch for extra shine. That's when you're actually equipped with a brush and kirsch.

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At my guinea pigs'. Cheers guys.