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April 7

Saint of the day:

Saint John Baptist de la Salle

Patron Saint of Teachers 

The Story of Saint John Baptist de la Salle

John Baptist de la Salle was born at Rheims, France on April 30th. He was the eldest of ten children in a noble family. He studied in Paris and was ordained in 1678. He was known for his work with the poor. He died at St. Yon, Rouen, on April 7th. He was canonized by Pope Leo XIII in 1900. John was very involved in education. He founded the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (approved in 1725) and established teacher colleges (Rheims in 1687, Paris in 1699, and Saint-Denis in 1709). He was one of the first to emphasize classroom teaching over individual instruction. He also began teaching in the vernacular instead of in Latin. His schools were formed all over Italy. In 1705, he established a reform school for boys at Dijon. John was named patron of teachers by Pope Pius XII in 1950. His feast day is April 7th.








Casa Generalizia dei Fratelli delle Scuole Cristiane

(Generalate of the Brothers of Christian Schools)

Via Aurelia 476

Rome, Italy

*Located west of the Vatican.

*The remains of St John Baptist de la Salle were transferred here in 1937.

They now rest in the sanctuary of the church.

*During the early 18th century he founded a community of consecrated laymen commonly referred to as the Christian Brothers.

This community pioneered many educational reforms within France.




What to Eat:

Biscuits Roses de Reims, French Charlotte Cake, French Tea Biscuits, Champagne  

The recipe for this tasty treat dates back to the 17th century! The biscuit was created in Reims in 1690. A Champenois baker wanted to take advantage of the heat of the bread oven in between batches. He had the idea to create a special dough and bake it twice. (The word "biscuit" means "twice-cooked.") The little cookies were originally white, and the vanilla beans used to flavor them left unappealing brown spots so the baker used a natural red dye to cover them. Et voilà! The biscuit rose de Reims was made. The biscuits are best enjoyed dipped in champagne or wine (either red or white). They also go with tea and coffee. And then just like the many kings crowned in Reims, you'll have a royal treat.


Biscuit Roses de Reims 

  • 4 large eggs (separate the yolks from the whites)

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 1/2 cups flour

  • 1/3 cupcornstarch

  • 1 tsp baking soda drop of red food coloring

  • powdered (confectioner's) sugar for dusting the cookies

pastry bag with 1/4-inch smooth tip


  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (180°C).

  2. Mix the yolks, sugar and vanilla in a bowl using a hand blender with a whisk attachment, on increasing speeds over a period of 5-6 minutes.

  3. Beat in 2 of the egg whites for another 2 minutes.

  4. Beat in the remaining 2 egg whites and the food coloring for an additional 2 minutes until the mixture begins to form stiff peaks. 

  5. Sift the flour, cornstarch and baking soda into the bowl, folding in gently with a spatula.

  6. You want a final result that is smooth and uniform  in color.

  7. Scrape it into the pastry bag.

  8. Cover a baking sheet with wax paper and grease it with either butter or non-stick spray.

  9. Squeeze out strips of the mixture that are 1/4-inch wide (about as wide as your finger) and about 3 inches long.

  10. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. (You don't want the biscuits to start browning though, or else they won't be pink!)

  11. Take the biscuits out, sprinkle them with more powdered sugar and place them back in the oven for another 12-15 minutes. 

  12. When you take them out, quickly cut the edges of the biscuits so that you have even rectangles.

  13. Do this before they cool, or else they become rather difficult to cut. If they cool before you finish, you can place them back in the oven for a few minutes to soften. 

  14. Serve with a semi-sweet Champagne and enjoy!

Alternatively, you can buy the biscuits from Maison Fossier, manufacturers of the pastry since 1691!


Charlotte Cake with Raspberries

For the Raspberry Mousse:

  • 10 oz (2½ cups) frozen raspberries

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • Juice from 1 medium lemon (2 Tbsp for mousse + 1 Tbsp for simple syrup below)

  • 1 Tbsp Knox unflavored Gelatin (from 1¼ packets)

  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream

  • 6 Tbsp confectioners (powdered) sugar

For the Sponge Cake:

  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar

  • ⅔ cup cake flour (make your own with 2 ingredients!)

  • ¼ tsp baking powder

  • (7 oz pkg) Lady Fingers

  • 3-4 Tbsp raspberry preserves or jam

For the Simple Syrup, stir together:

  • 1 cup warm water

  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

  • 1 Tbsp sugar

Topping/ Cake Decor for Charlotte Cake:

  • 1 cup fresh raspberries and mint leaves for garnish


Make the raspberry syrup first:

  1. In medium sauce pan, combine: 10 oz frozen raspberries and ½ cup sugar. Cook stirring occasionally until jam consistency. Remove from heat and strain through a sieve, pressing on the fruit with a spoon to extract as much raspberry juice as possible (you should get ⅔ cup syrup).

  2. Into the raspberry syrup, stir in 2 Tbsp lemon juice and 1 Tbsp gelatin. Pour syrup back into sauce pan and place back over medium heat, whisk until gelatin is dissolved. Do not boil. Remove from heat and cool to room temp.

Make the Sponge Cake:

  1. Line a 9" springform pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350˚F. In the bowl of your mixer with the whisk attachment on high speed, beat 4 eggs for 1 minute. Gradually add ⅔ cup sugar and continue beating on high 7 min until thick and 3 to 4 times in volume.

  2. Stir together cake flour and baking powder then sift flour into whipped eggs in 2 additions, folding to incorporate between each addition. Scrape from the bottom to catch any hidden pockets of flour and fold just until incorporated - don't overmix. Bake at 350˚F for 23-25 minutes or until top is golden and springs back when poked lightly.

  3. Once it's out of the oven, remove cake from pan by sliding a thin edged spatula around the edges. Transfer to wire rack, peel back parchment and cool to room temp. Then slice cake layers in half.

Assembling the Charlotte Cake:

  1. Cover springform walls with plastic wrap. Trim off ½" all around the edges of both cake layers (I used kitchen scissors) and place the first layer into the bottom of your springform pan. Trim about ½" off one end of all lady fingers. Place lady fingers in a tight ring, cut-side-down, around the cake base then brush cake with ⅓ of the simple syrup. Brush backs of lady fingers with ⅓ of syrup as well. Spread 1½ Tbsp raspberry preserves over cake. Set aside.

  2. With the whisk attachment, beat 3 cups heavy cream with 6 Tbsp powdered sugar on high speed until thick and spreadable. Remove 1½ cups of whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a star attachment and refrigerate to use as topping later.

  3. Once raspberry syrup is completely at room temp (don't wait way too long or it will thicken and become difficult to blend), fold it into remaining big batch of whipped cream adding ¼ syrup at a time and folding between each addition. This is your mousse.

  4. Spread ½ of the mousse over cake layer inside the springform. Top with second cake layer, brush with remaining simple syrup and spread with 1½ Tbsp raspberry preserves. Add remaining mousse. Pipe whipped cream and top with fresh raspberries and mint leaves if using. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set (3 hours or overnight). To serve, remove springform walls and plastic wrap.

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