Monthly Archives: January 2012

Vacherin glacé

A Vacherin is a frozen dessert made of meringue, vanilla ice cream and raspberry sorbet and decorated with Chantilly cream. Let’s just say it is divine and looks fantastic so it’s perfect for nice occasions! Of course, when you talk about ice creams and sorbets, Thermomix is the perfect tool to have on hands. Please note that this dessert needs a bit of prep time so it should be made at least 2 days in advance. But the beauty of it is that it can also be made as much in advance as you like since it needs to be kept in the freezer. That means no last minute frantic preparation in the kitchen, you can enjoy your guests and wow them with this delight!

(Source : book “Patisserie” from Christophe Felder)

Ingredients

Vanilla ice cream (recipe from Fast and Easy cooking)

500g milk
1/2 vanilla pod or 2 tsp vanilla extract
6 eggs yolk
250g single cream
100g caster sugar

Raspberry sorbet (recipe from Fast and Easy Cooking)

70g sugar
450g frozen raspberries + 200g ice cubes
1/2 lemon, skin, piths and seeds removed, frozen
2 tbsp of berry liquor or berry juice

Meringue

3 egg whites
200g sugar

Chantilly

250g single cream
50g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp Kirsch (optional)

Fresh berries and mint leave to decorate

Method

  1. At least 2 days in advance, make the vanilla ice cream:
  2. For the vanilla ice cream, weigh the milk in the TM bowl. Add the vanilla and egg yolks. Cook 4 min/80C/speed 10.
  3. Add the cream and sugar. Cook 2 min/80C/speed 10.
  4. Immediately pour into a shallow freezer-proof box (or silicone ice-cube tray as I did) and leave to cool for 30 minutes. Refrigerate for 24 hours so that the mixture matures.
  5. Put in the freezer for at least 6 hours or until needed.
  6. Make the meringue discs:
  7. Put the egg whites in the TM bowl with the butterfly whisk in (or if you prefer, use a stand mixer or a hand mixer). Add 30g of sugar to the whites.
  8. Mix speed 3.5 for about 3 minutes measuring cup OFF.
  9. While the machine is whisking and when the whites are getting foamy, add 70g of sugar through the hole.
  10. Add the last 100g of sugar as the whites are getting firmer.
  11. You may need more than 3 minutes to get the whites to a perfect firm consistency (they must stick to the whisk and not fall off when the bowl is turned upside down.
  12. Preheat the oven at 150C.
  13. Spoon the mixture in a piping bag with a round nozzle and pipe a disc of meringue about 18cm diameter, starting from the center on a baking parchment or a silicone sheet.
  14. Pipe a second disc of meringue on a second tray lined with baking parchment/silicone sheet.
  15. Bake for 8 minutes, then lower the temperature to 90C and bake slowly for 2 hours. Then switch off the oven and let the meringues completely cool in the oven. This will guarantee a very dry inside (you don’t want any chewy meringue in there).
  16. Once the meringues are cooled, use a 20cm pastry circle or remove the bottom of a 20cm springform tin and use as a guide to cut around the meringues so they fit perfectly in the circle (see picture) 
  17. On the day you assemble the dish, put the circle with one meringue disc at the bottom on the serving dish. Churn the vanilla ice cream :
  18. Put 300g of the frozen vanilla preparation in the bowl (if needs be, cut into 3 cm chunks) and churn at speed 9 while stirring with the spatula through the hole until smooth.
  19. Quickly spoon it in the circle with the first meringue disc at the bottom and spread it evenly using a spatula. Put in the freezer while making the raspberry sorbet:
  20. Weigh in the sugar in the TM bowl and grind 5 sec/speed 10
  21. Add the frozen fruits and lemon and ice. Crush at speed 5 until the mixture no longer moves around in the TM bowl (you’ll hear it).
  22. Add the juice or liquor. Churn up to 1 min/speed 9 while stirring vigorously with the TM spatula through the hole in the lid until smooth.
  23. Take out the dish from the freezer and quickly spoon in the sorbet on top of the vanilla ice cream. Make sure there is no hole between layers, so flatten the sorbet with a spatula. Put the second meringue disc on top and freeze again for 2 hours.
  24. Latsly, make the Chantilly cream:
  25. Put the cream in the TM bowl with the butterfly whisk and process at speed 3, measuring cup off. Watch very carefully and add the sugar, Kirsch if using and the vanilla extract as soon as it starts foaming. Continue whisking  until it looks like it’s starting to be softly whipped at the top (it will be firmer at the bottom).
  26. Spoon in a piping bag with a star shaped nozzle. Take out the dish from the freezer and using a hair dryer or a blowtorch, warm the sides of the circle then carefully lift it up.
  27. Pipe in the Chantilly all over the Vacherin.
  28. Leave in the freezer until about 30 minutes before serving. Decorate with fresh fruits and mint leaves.


Galette des rois aux biscuits de Reims

January is the period when French people eat the traditional galette. This galette is usually made of a puff pastry filled with a frangipane: a mixture of crème pâtissière and ground almonds. We place a “fève” in the filling (a religious character made of ceramic) and when serving it to the guests, a child sitting under the table must tell the name of the person a slice shall be served to (to avoid cheating). Who gets the fève is then named King or Queen and has to wear a golden paper crown. This tradition is usually celebrated on the first Sunday of January and is meant to remind people of the 3 kings who visited Jesus after his birth.

As I said, it is usually made of a frangipane but a lot of variations exist and the galette I will talk about today is one of them. The filling is made using ground almonds, raspberries and “Biscuits roses de Reims”, which are little sponge cakes, colored in pink and are often used to make charlottes or tiramisu. I said they are pink but due to a silly mistake (I confused the yellow coloring for red, duh!), I ended up with orange ones… It doesn’t affect the taste but it just doesn’t have that girlie look as it was supposed to.

(Source: Mamiedith from the Supertoinette forum)

Ingredients

600g puff pastry

Biscuits de Reims

2 eggs
100g sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
Red coloring
96g flour
Icing sugar

Galette’s filling

120g Biscuits de Reims
60g icing sugar
120g butter
90g ground almonds
3 eggs
15g berry liquor
15g corn flour
100g frozen raspberries

Method

  1. First, make the biscuits de Reims: put the eggs, vanilla and red coloring in the TM bowl. Add the butterfly whisk and  mix10 min/37C/speed 4
  2. The mixture should have doubled in volume. Add the flour and mix 10 sec/speed 2. If the flour is not all mixed in, stir manually with the spatula as we don’t want to overwork the batter.
  3. Pour into a 20cm square or 23x17cm rectangle tin, lined with baking parchment and buttered (or a silicone mould). The batter shouldn’t be more than 1cm thick. Leave to rest for an hour. Start pre-heating the oven at 180C, 15 min before this time is up.
  4. Bake in the oven for 15 min (check that the top is not getting colored, bring down the temperature to 170C is it does).
  5. Let the sponge cool down, dust with icing sugar and cut into 10x3cm rectangles. They keep well in an airtight container.
  6. Now, make the puff pastry as per recipe (you will need to allow 2 hours before you can use it for the galette as it needs to be cold enough). Also, if you want to use the traditional method of rolling and folding in thirds, all the better as it will get more layers and rise better and when cooked.
  7. For the filling, add the 120g of pink biscuits into the TM bowl and mix a few seconds speed 8 until crumbled.
  8. Add the icing sugar, ground almonds, corn flour, butter cut into chunks, berry liquor and eggs and mix 20 sec/speed 4.
  9. Tip out and reserve in the fridge.
  10. Cut your puff pastry in 2 and roll one half into about 28cm wide circle and the second into a 26cm wide circle (I don’t know you but I can’t roll my pastry into perfect circles so I roll them bigger and use a plate or a pastry ring of the right size to cut them to the right shape).
  11. Put the 26cm wide dough into a baking tray lined with either baking parchment or silicone sheet.
  12. Spread the filling on it but leave 1 cm free at the edge.
  13. Brush the 1 cm of exposed dough with an eggwash (an egg beaten) and put in the fève if you have one (see pictures).
  14. Scater the frozen raspberries on top, then put the second circle of pastry on top, sealing well the edges. Using the back of a round tip knife, make little lines outward on the 1 cm egde of the galette. Make sure you don’t cut through the dough, just leave a mark.
  15. Brush more eggwash on the pastry but be careful not to brush around the edges as if the eggwash falls down the side of the pastry, it won’t rise.
  16. Using the same round tip knife, make parallel lines (again don’t cut through the dough), then another set of lines at an angle so it forms diamond shapes.
  17. Last but not least, make 3 or 4 little whole with a pointy knike on the top pastry to let the steam out when cooking.
  18. Now place the baking tray on the fridge for 1 hour before baking.
  19. Preheat the oven at 180C
  20. Cook the galette for 40 minutes but make sure you don’t open the oven for the first 20-25 min!
  21. If you have a lot of puff pastry trims, you can make a quick apetizer. Just cut them in thin rectangle, twist them while holding both ends, brush with eggwash and sprinkle with grated cheese. Also, you can use a bigger rectangle of  pastry and spread some lovely sundried tomato tapenade for example and roll. brush with eggwash and cook in a hot oven (180C) for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Nectar de Pomme (Apple Nectar)

I found this recipe on the blog of Maike and I instantly wanted to try it out! I had 3 apples lying around, just waiting to be turned into this delicious nectar. The beauty with this recipe is that you are left with some gorgeous apple puree that you can eat as is or turned into fantastic “chaussons aux pommes” (I will post the recipe in the next weeks I promise!)

Source: Mon p’tit atelier culinaire

Ingredients

3 apples (Golden delicious, Bramley, Pink lady or anything you have to hand)
100g sugar (less if you want to limit your sugar intake)
900g water
Juice of 1 lemon

Method

  1. Pour water and sugar in the TM bowl and cook for 10 min/90C/speed 2
  2. In the meantime, peel and core the apples and juice the lemon.
  3. Add the apple chunks and lemon juice to the water/sugar mixture and mix 10 sec/speed 5.
  4. Lock the lid and pulse using the Turbo button for 10 seconds at a time about 5 times (or until all the apple has been mixed very finely).
  5. Put a sieve covered with a muslin cloth over a jug and pour out the content of the TM bowl.
  6. Mix well and press with the back of a spoon to get all the juice out.
  7. Let to cool in the jug, then refrigerate at least 1 hour before drinking.
  8. Keep the apple puree in a container closed with a tight lid and leave in the fridge until ready to use.
  9. The nectar will keep for about 4 days and the puree will keep a week in the fridge.


Chocolats faits maison (Handmade Chocolates)

This is the sixth and last recipe from the panier gourmand and I saved the best for last. These treats are sure to impress and can be a bit finecky but are worth the time and effort, I promise! I made 3 sorts: black and white chocolates, dark chocolates filled with an almond praline and dark chocolates filled with butter caramel. You will need special silicone moulds for these. They are available on internet or in specialist shops. You will also need dark chocolate with 55% cocoa. the reason being is that these have a higher content in cocoa butter, which will help the tempering process as explained below.

Black and White Chocolates

(Source: La main á la pâte)

Makes 30 chocolates

Ingredients

250g good quality white chocolate cut in chunks (I used Valrhona)
250g Dark chocolate (55% cocoa) cut in chunks

Method

  1. Chop the white chocolate in the TM bowl 15 sec/raising the speed progressively from 5 to 10
  2. Scrape down the bowl and cook for 4 min/50C/speed 2 (the chocolate must be smooth and completely melted)
  3. Pour into half the moulds. Tap the mould to remove air bubbles.
  4. Let it set in the fridge.
  5. Clean the bowl and proceed the same way with the dark Chocolate.
  6. Pour into the mould until it reaches the top and scrape with the back of a long knife to remove the excess chocolate.
  7. Set in the fridge for 10 minutes or until completely set, then unmould.

 

Dark chocolates filled with almond praline

(Source: La main á la pate)

Makes 30 chocolates

Ingredients

200g dark chocolate (55% cocoa is better) cut in chunks

Almond praline

150g dark chocolate, cut into chunks
200g whole almonds (mine were blanched)
40g skimmed milk powder
200g icing sugar

Method

  1. First, make the chocolate praline: put the almonds in the bowl and mix for 20 sec/speed 8 until it is a fine powder
  2. Add the icing sugar and the milk powder and cook 5 min/100C/speed 3. Repeat several times until the mixture releases oil.
  3. Tip out and reserve.
  4. Put the 150g chocolate in the bowl and melt 5 min/50C/speed 2.
  5. Add the almond powder to the chocolate and mix 20 sec/speed 3. It should be quite thick (as in picture) and will thicken as it cools down.
  6. Tip out and reserve.
  7. Now, onto the chocolate cases. We are going to temper the chocolate. First we set the chocolate at about 38C, then we use the unmelted chocolate to add crystals to the mixture and cool down the chocolate to about 25C. Finally, we need to raise the temperature to about 30C to completely temper the chocolate. Why temper the chocolate you may ask? This is to have a beautiful shine on your chocolates and avoid white streaks, which would not look good.
  8. Melt the chocolate in the TM bowl for 3 min/50C/speed 2. There will be bits of chocolates not melted so continue mixing without heat for 2 minutes until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture has cooled down a little (if you have a thermometer, you can check that it is down to 25C)
  9. Heat again the chocolate for 2 min/37C/speed 2. It is now ready to pour into the silicone moulds. Fill the moulds completely, tap the mould a few times to remove air bubbles, then empty the content back into the bowl.
  10. Most of the chocolate will fall back in the bowl but there will be enough to coat the inside of the mould.
  11. Scrape out the excess and let the chocolate rest upside-down onto a grid resting on parchment paper to let the excess drip
  12. Set the chocolate in the fridge for 10 minutes (see picture)
  13. Fill the moulds with a nut size praline mixture and pour the rest of the chocolate on top.
  14. Scrape out the excess and set again in the fridge
  15. When the chocolate is well set, unmould.

 

Butter caramel chocolates

Makes 30 chocolates

Ingredients

200g dark chocolate (55% cocoa)
1 pot of butter caramel

Method

  1. Melt the chocolate in the TM bowl for 3 min/50C/speed 2. There will be bits of chocolates not melted so continue mixing without heat for 2 minutes until all the chocolate is melted and cool down the mixture
  2. Heat again the chocolate for 2 min/37C/speed 2. It is now ready to pour into the silicone moulds. Fill the moulds completely, tap the mould a few times to remove air bubbles, then empty the content back into the bowl.
  3. Most of the chocolate will fall back in the bowl but there will be enough to coat the inside of the mould.
  4. Scrape out the excess and let the chocolate rest upside-down onto a grid resting on parchment paper to let the excess drip
  5. Set the chocolate in the fridge for 10 minutes
  6. Fill the mould with the butter caramel and pour the rest of the chocolate on top (see picture).
  7. Scrape out the excess and set again in the fridge
  8. When the chocolate is well set, unmould.

Note: if you have leftover chocolate, you can use less deep silicone moulds to make “friture”, which are just plain chocolates in different shapes as pictured 


Confiture de Noël (Christmas Jam)

My fifth recipe from the Panier Gourmand: a beautiful jam made with dried fruits and spices, just what we need for the winter…

(Source: Mon petit atelier culinaire)

Ingredients

200g dried figs
100g dried apricots
50g dattes, stoned
50g prunes, stoned
50g golden sultanas
60g walnuts
300g sugar
1 tsp allspice
60g water
1 orange, zest and juice
1 lemon, zest and juice

Method

  1. Put all the dried ingredients in the TM bowl, lock the lid and press the Turbo button 5 seconds twice.
  2. Add the water, zest and juices and mix 20 sec/speed 3.
  3. Cook 17 min/100C/speed 2 measuring cup OFF (place the basket on the lid to avoid projections)
  4. Pour into sterilised pots.


Marmelade d’orange (Orange marmalade)

Sorry for posting this late, I was travelling to France yesterday…

Recipe number 4 from the Panier Gourmand is the Orange marmalade. I love making fresh orange juice in my Thermomix. I put the whole orange cut in chunks in it and mix with a bit of water and ice cubes and sieve the content of the bowl to get the juice. But the real beauty is that you DON’T throw away the orange bits left over in the sieve. Oh no, you re-use it to make this yummy orange marmalade.

(Source: Fast and Easy Cooking)

Ingredients

Pulp, pips and skin from 4 oranges used to make orange juice

Same weight of sugar

Method

  1. Weigh the orange pulp that is left after sieving the juice out
  2. Add that weight in sugar to the bowl (for a firmer marmalade, use jam sugar)
  3. Cook in the Thermomix for 14 to 17 min/100C/speed 1.
  4. Test the marmalade is set by scooping a little marmalade with a teaspoon and let it cool down. If it is thick and wrinkles when pushed up with the finger then it’s set. Otherwise, add 3 more minutes /100C/speed 1.
  5. Pour into sterilised pots, seal and keep in a fridge once open.

Lemon Cleaning Concentrate

The third recipe from my Christmas Hamper is great for cleaning around the house, is made only of natural ingredients and smells great! I found this amazing recipe on the UK Thermomix website. I have used it especially in my bathroom and is fantastic at removing grime from tile grouting. Janie Turner from UK Thermomix says it has many uses such as:

  • Use on a damp cloth to clean the oven, hob, fridge, sink & non-wood worktops – rinse and dry thoroughly – if marks appear rinse again and polish with a dry clean cloth.
  • For hand-washing dishes, mix some with your usual washing up liquid for a brilliant degreaser.
  • Excellent for cleaning bathrooms – tiles, toilets, sinks, mirrors.
  • Add 1 Tbsp to the washing machine for a cleaning boost, a pleasant natural fragrance without chemicals, and whiter whites. Add 2 Tbsp for an American-size washing machine.
  • Dilute with an equal amount of coconut oil or olive oil, mix well and use as an excellent hand-wash. No chemicals, no artificial fragrances. It leaves your skin soft too.
  • Use a little on a wet cloth to spot clean fabrics – it has worked to remove curry stains on cotton and poly / cotton for us. Test a hidden area of the fabric first.

(Source: UK Thermomix)

Ingredients

400g to 500g lemons (cut into 3cm chunks)
300g salt (preferably fine table salt)
300g water
100g vinegar

Method

  1. Put the lemon chunks including skins and pips into the TM bowl. Chop 30 sec/speed 10.
  2. Scrape down the TM bowl with the spatula and add the salt and water. Cook 5 min/100C/speed 4.
  3. Add the vinegar and cook again 5 min/100C/Speed 4.
  4. Scrape down the tM bowl with the spatula and blend 1 min/speed 10.
  5. The mixture will resemble a lemon curd. Put into a jar or a heatproof plastic container. Allow the concentrate to cool before closing the jar with a vinegar-proof lid.
  6. Straight away add enough water to your TM bowl to cover the blades and seld-clean 20 sec/speed 8, then rinse and dry.

Asian Sea Salt

The second recipe from my Christmas Hamper is this condiment I found in Steph Berg’s blog. It is great to season any asian dish such as stir-fries, curries or soups.

(Source: Steph Berg)

Ingredients

24 Kaffir Lime leaves, roughly shredded (I only used 10)
20g Sichuan Peppercorns
2 and 1/2 tsp Chinese Five Spice
140g Sea Salt

Method

  1. Place all the ingredients in the TM bowl and dry roast for 5 min, 100C, speed 1
  2. Remove lid and allow to cool for 30 minutes
  3. Set dial to closed lid position and Turbo a couple of times until coarsely crushed (I did it several times until fine as I prefer it that way)
  4. Place in air-tight containers. Best used within 3 months.

Panier Gourmand (Christmas Hamper)

Christmas holidays have been busy cooking all sorts of goodies to offer to my family. I opted for a savoury spread, a few seasonal jams, condiment, homemade chocolates and a totally natural cleaning product. I will post one recipe per day. Today is the Sundried Tomato Tapenade…

Sundried Tomato Tapenade


(Source: Marmiton)

Ingredients

100g sundried tomatoes (or sunblushed)
100g green olives, stoned
80g pine nuts
50g capers
1 slice of white bread (crust off and torn apart)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp vinegar (I used balsamic)
1/2 garlic clove, grated
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground fennel seeds (I didn’t have any so I omitted it)

Method

  1. Soak the bread in the olive oil
  2. Put all the ingredients in the TM bowl or a food processor/blender and mix 30 sec, speed 8 until it has the consistency of a paste (you might need to stop every so often to scrape down the food from the side of the bowl).
  3. Put in sterilised* pots, pour olive oil on the top and refrigerate**.

* To sterilise pots, either put them in an oven at 150C for 10 minutes or pour boiling water into them and leave for 10 minutes then drain and let to dry.

**This will keep for 2 weeks in the fridge.

Happy New Year 2012

I wish you all a very happy New Year 2012! May this new year bring you joy, health and prosperity… And lots of culinary delights!