Monthly Archives: April 2012

Pain Viennois (Vienna loaf)

This bread is just delicious for breakfast. The texture is so soft, even when the bread is a few days old.

Source : Flexipaninie


250g plain flour
250g strong white flour
3 tsp fast instant yeast (or 20g of fresh yeast)
10g salt
20g sugar
325g milk
40g butter, cut in chunks
50g chocolate chips (optional)
1 egg for the eggwash


  1. Put the milk and yeast in the TM bowl. Mix 30 sec/37C/speed 1
  2. Add the flours, sugar and salt and mix 15sec/ speed 3
  3. Lock the lid, set timer to 2min and press the knead button.
  4. Add the butter and knead again for 2min.
  5. Tip out the dough in an oiled bowl. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour (your oven, briefly heated to the lowest setting will do lovely).
  6. Punch down the dough and form into 2 medium loaves (or individual ones). Put on the baking tray and cover with the tea towel and leave to rise for 30 minutes in the warm oven.
  7. Take out the dough and preheat the oven to 220C (200C in fan oven). Brush the eggwash over the loaves, make slight cuts with a very sharp knife and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.


The “Canelés” are a specialty from Bordeaux. They are traditionally made with an alcohol flavour such as Rum but not exclusively. They are often found in French Patisseries alongside other classics such as Macarons or Eclairs. However, they are quite expensive so are usually bought as a special treat. All the more reasons to try make them at home! Now, they are quite tricky to make (well the cooking part is tricky). They need a specific shape of moulds (also called canelés), traditionally made of copper but silicone can do (and are cheaper!). You can also use mini charlotte moulds if you have. As for the cooking part, well I have had to make a few batches before I got the temperature settings right. I tried several recipes but each time my canelés collapsed as soon as they were out of the mould. They were still good to eat but presentation-wise, not very appealing. Canelés (sometimes spelled cannelés) should be crispy outside and spongy inside. After doing a lot of research on the net, I finally got it right while trying Maiwenn’s recipe on her blog La main á la pâte. She says to cook them  30 minutes at 210C but after reading that they need a few minutes at high temperature, then a longer period of time at medium heat, I tweaked the oven temperature and at last, got success!

Source: La main á la pâte


1 egg + 1 yolk
50g good quality dark chocolate
15g bitter cocoa powder
100g sugar
50g plain flour
50g salted butter
200g milk
1 vanilla pod (or 1tsp vanilla extract)


  1. Put the milk, vanilla (if using a pod, take out the seeds first, then put seeds and pod in the milk) and chocolate cut into chunks in the TM bowl. Set for 3 min/100C/speed 2.
  2. Discard vanilla pod if using and add the cocoa, flour, the whole egg + yolk and the sugar and mix 2 min/speed 4.
  3. Pour into a bowl and leave in the fridge to rest for at least 12 hours.
  4. The next day, take out the batter from the fridge, pour it into the moulds (if using non silicone, make sure they are well buttered) and leave it to come back to room temperature for about 1 hour.

    Canelés mould in silicone

  5. Meanwhile, preheat your oven (fan or not) at 250C (or the maximum your oven can go). Update – as a reader pointed out, the maximum temperature you will cook the canelés in silicone moulds will depend on the manufacturer’s recommended max temperature. My moulds take up to 350C so I can safely go to 250C. However, if the recommended max temperature is less, then use this and add more time to form the crust, then reduce to finish cooking the inside.
  6. Bake for 8 minutes, then reduce down to 180C and continue baking for 45 minutes (check that they are not burning). Mind you that this is for small canelés as my moulds are only about 3cm wide so if your moulds are bigger, you will need to add cooking time in both temperature settings. Also, every oven is different so feel free to adjust the temperature and timing to suit your own.
  7. Let them cool down for about 15 minutes out of the oven before taking them out of their mould.
  8. Eat warm or cold with some fresh berries, whipped cream and a glass of Champagne!

Apricot and White Chocolate Mousse cake

I made this cake for Easter after I saw it on Nadine’s blog Nuage de Farine. It was very decadently creamy and sweet, nicely contrasted with the tang of the apricot and a hint of basil coming through. The crunch of the biscuit added a nice texture to it. All in all, a winner!

Note that I used an adjustable pastry ring to make this cake. I used a smaller setting for the apricot jelly, slightly bigger one for the biscuit and finally, the bigger setting (20cm diameter) for the final cake. If you don’t have one, you can use 2 springform tins of different sizes or use just the one size for all the components.

Source: Nuage de farine

Ingredients for the Apricot Sablé
25g egg yolks (about 1 and a half egg yolk for me)
50g sugar
50g butter (at room temperature)
80g plain flour
2g baking powder
10g honey
50g dried apricots, diced

Method for the sablé

  1. Preheat the oven at 170°.
  2. Beat the egg yolks, sugar and honey until it becomes white and fluffy. I didn’t use the Thermomix for that as I thought there wasn’t enough ingredients to be properly mixed. You can do this step with a hand mixer or a whisk.
  3. Add the butter, flour and baking powder and mix well with a wooden spatula
  4. Add the apricot dices and mix again.
  5. Spread the mixture (which will resemble a pastry dough) in your adjustable ring set to 18cm diameter and placed on a silicone sheet or baking parchment (or a smaller sprinform tin). Press down with your fingers to spread the pastry dough evenly.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes and let cool on a grid.

Ingredients for the apricot and basil jelly

50g dried apricot
1 tsp butter
1 tbsp sugar
80g  lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
300g low sugar apricot jam
10 basil leaves, chopped
2g of agar-agar or 3 gelatine leaves (or whatever amount of gelatine is recommended to set about 430ml of liquid)

Method for the Apricot and basil jelly

  1. Put the dried apricots in the TM bowl and mix 5 sec / speed 5.
  2. Add the butter and sugar and cook 3 min / Varoma / speed 1.
  3. Add the lemon juice, the jam and the agar agar (if using gelatine leaves, they must be soaked in cold water beforehand and  press the water out in your hand). Cook for 3 min / 90 C / speed 2 reverse blade direction.
  4. Add the chopped basil and stir with the spatula.
  5. Let the mixture cool down and thicken a bit.
  6. Place a pastry ring (set to 16cm diameter) on a plate and pour the thickened jelly (but still liquid enough to be pourable) into the pastry ring. It’s important to let it cool down first as if it is  too liquid, it could escape from under the ring.
  7. Cool completely before freezing for 2 hours.

Ingredients for the White chocolate mousse

300g white chocolate (of good quality)
95g cream
50g egg yolks
50g icing sugar
4 gelatine leave soaked in cold water
490g cream, whipped to soft peaks

Method for the White chocolate mousse

  1. Heat the 95g of cream 3 min / 90 C / speed 1.
  2. Mix speed 2,5 and add the white chocolate chunks, a third at a time through the lid with the blades running.
  3. Tip out and reserve. Clean the bowl.
  4. Put the egg yolks and icing sugar in the bowl with the Butterfly whisk.
  5. Cook for 1 min / 90 C/speed 3.
  6. As soon as the 90 degrees are reached, stop the Thermomix, reset the time to 0 and the temperature (by pressing the on/off button briefly).
  7. Add the gelatine (water squeezed out) and mix speed 3 until the temperature on the Thermomix shows 37°.
  8. Quickly add this mixture to the chocolate ganache.
  9. Whip the 490g of cream (using your thermomix or a hand mixer) and delicately mix with the chocolate and egg mixture. The egg and chocolate mixture can be quite dense, so soften it by adding a quarter of the whipped cream first and whisk it in. Then add the rest of the cream with a silicone spatula, being careful not to beat the air out.

Cake dressing

  1. Put your pastry ring (set to 20cm diameter) on a plate lined with a silicone sheet.
  2. Pour the chocolate mousse 2cm thick.
  3. Add the frozen apricot jelly and press gently into the mousse.
  4. Add the rest of the mousse and finish with the sablé.
  5. Press down the sablé so the mousse fills the gap around it.
  6. Freeze for 4 hours minimum.
  7. 4 hours before serving, make a peach coulis: put 150g of peaches in a can (with some syrup) in the TM bowl. Mix 10 sec/speed 6. Scrape down the sides and mix again 10 sec/speed 6.
  8. Heat the coulis 3 min/90C/speed 1. Meanwhile, soak 1 gelatine leaf in cold water.
  9. Squeeze the water out of the gelatine and add to the coulis during the last 15 seconds of the coking time.
  10. Take the cake out of the freezer. Turn it upside down on the serving plate and remove the silicone sheet.
  11. Heat the sides of the ring to release the cake (use a blowtorch or a hair dryer). Bring up the ring slightly so it is still half way around the cake. Pour the coulis on top of the frozen cake and refigerate until serving.
  12. At the time of serving, remove the ring completely and top with some sliced peaches.


A blog, a tree

I wanted to share with you a nice initiative originating from Germany, which aims at making blogs around the world carbon neutral. Indeed, did you know that each blog uses on average 3.6kg of carbon emission per year (study by Alexander Wissner-Gross, PhD in Physics from Harvard university)? This emission comes for the electricity used by the computers and servers.

On average, a tree can absorb 5kg of carbon per year. That means that if for each blog a tree is planted, we can more than compensate for the CO2 emissions!

If, like me, you have a blog and want to contribute towards your carbon emission, all you have to do is click on the appropriate logo below and follow the instructions. Oh and it’s free!

English link

Lien en francais


Tulipes of red berry mousse

What do you do when you have some Berry mousse leftover? Well, chocolates filled with berry mousse of course! I love the way white chocolate goes so well with red berries. Of course, you could also use a good quality dark or milk chocolate for this recipe. It’s important to have individual silicone moulds for the look and the ease of unmoulding your chocolates. Also, I froze them before unmoulding to avoid cracking the chocolate case when taking them out of the mould…


For 6 tulipes or individual silicone moulds (6 cl each)

300g Berry mousse

120g good quality white chocolate drops (like Couverture Ivoire from Valrhona)


  1. Melt the chocolate in the Thermomix for 2 min/50C/speed 2 or until melted.
  2. With a brush, apply a layer of chocolate inside each mould, making sure that everywhere is covered.
  3. Let it set in the fridge for 5 minutes
  4. Apply a second layer of chocolate (if the chocolate starts to set in the TM bowl, reheat it gently 1 min/37C/speed 1). When you can’t see the mould underneath, you are done.
  5. Let it set again in the fridge for a few minutes and spoon in the berry mousse. Spread the mousse evenly using a spatula and fill to the top of the mould.
  6. Freeze for 2 hours minimum, then unmould when it’s completely frozen.
  7. Let it thaw in the fridge about 2 hours (or 1 hour at room temperature) before serving.