Monthly Archives: August 2012

Tarte aux amandes (Almond tart)

Every month, for the past year, one person shares a recipe that everyone is invited to try at home and post their pictures. This month, Fancach has proposed a recipe for an almond tart. I must admit at first that I wasn’t too sure if I would make it because I am not a big fan of almonds. But when I saw everybody else’s mouth watering pictures, I decided to give it a go. There was no recipe for the sablé pastry so I picked one (because she has several!) from Christalie’s lovely blog Les folies de Christalie. It was to die for! The pastry case turned out crispy yet melting in the mouth with a hint of almond and butter. As to the almond filling, it is so easy to make and comes out of the oven nice and crunchy, caramelised and sweet. A yummy nut feast!

Source: Fancach for the filing and Christalie for the pastry

Ingredients
For 10 to 11 tartlets

Sablé Pastry
100g butter
100g sugar
250g plain flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch of cinnamon
15g ground almond
1 egg

Almond filling
100g butter
50g sugar (I used demerara sugar)
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp cream
125g flaked almonds

Method

  1. To make the sablé pastry, put the butter and sugar in the TM bowl and cook for 4 min/60C/speed 2.
  2. Tip out and reserve.
  3. Put the flour, vanilla, cinnamon, ground almond and egg to the TM bowl. Mix for 10 sec/speed 4. Scrape down the flour from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Add the butter/sugar mixture and turbo pulse 1 sec at a time until just combined (do not overwork or the pastry will become tough).
  5. Turn out onto cling and bring the dough together into a ball and refrigerate for 20 minutes or overnight.
  6. Preheat the oven at 180C.
  7. To make the almond filling, bring the butter, sugar, honey and cream to the boil in a saucepan. Take out from the heat and add the almond flakes and mix together.
  8. When the pastry has chilled, roll it out between 2 sheets of cling film (if the dough is too hard coming out of the fridge, let it warm at room temperature for a while until soft enough to roll).
  9. Butter and flour tartlets moulds and cut out the dough with a round pastry cutter. Place in the mould and add a tablespoon of the almond filling.
  10. Bake for 15 minutes or until the almonds have taken a nice golden colour.

Sorry for the website disruption

I have had a little technical problem last night while updating a piece of software called “plugin” that is supposed to filter out spams from my comments. As a result of the update, the website has been down. Fortunately, I got some help from the person who developped that plugin and things have gone back to normal-ish. Apologies for the downtime, I hopefully will be able to share more delicious recipes with you soon!

Brioche Bouclettes (Curly brioche)

This brioche is going around the French Culinary blogosphere at the moment. I love the look of this brioche, it’s so pretty and I also like the concept of basting your brioche in a dark sweet syrup, so yummy! I have made a mix of 2 recipes I saw in La popotte de Manue and A 2 mains Cape délice.

Ingredients

2 egg yolks
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
80g butter, cut into chunks
140g milk
1 sachet instant yeast (or 12g fresh yeast)
350g flour

Syrup:
2 tbsp golden syrup
2 tbsp dark brown sugar (like muscovado)
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp demerera sugar
1 tsp ground allspice

Method

  1. Put the milk, 1 tbsp sugar and the yeast in the TM bowl and warm 3 min/37C/speed1
  2. Add the flour, salt and remaining sugar and knead 3 min
  3. Add the egg yolks and butter and knead again 5 min.
  4. Leave to rest 1 hour in a slightly oiled glass bowl covered with a tea towel in a warm non drafty place.

    Dough after 1 hour rise












  5. Roll down the dough to 5mm thick and cut out rounds with a 6cm wide pastry cutter.









  6. Take 3 rounds and place them side by side slightly overlapping.









  7. Cut them in the middle (I used a pizza cutter)









  8. Roll them together starting from the most underneath piece of dough.








  9. Place them cut side down in a baking tin (I used silicone) and leave some room around them so they can rise properly.

    Before the rise












  10. Leave to rise, covered with a tea towel for 1 hour in a warm place.

    After the rise.












  11. Make the syrup: bring to the boil all the ingredients 3 min/100C/speed 2. Brush the brioche with the syrup.
  12. Preheat the oven at 180C and bake for 30 to 35 minutes (check the brioche at 25 minutes, for me it was done!)

Carré d’agneau á la lavande (Lavender infused lamb rack)

I saw this recipe in a wonderful cookbook called “400 sauces”. I am lucky to have lavender growing in my garden so I was curious to try this combination of flavours as it is so unusual to associate flowers and meat. Well, I must say this dish is a winner! The lavender is not too powerful but rather, its fragrance comes through delicately and marries perfectly welll with the lamb. I will surely make this dish again!

Source: 400 sauces from Catherine Atkinson, Christine France & Maggie Mayhew

Ingredients

4 racks of lamb with 3-4 cutlets each
3 tbsp chopped Lavender flowers

For the Balsamic marinade
1 shallot, peeled and halved
1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and black pepper

Green beans and potatoes to serve with

Method


  1. Place the racks of lamb in a large bowl or wide dish and sprinkle the lavender all over it and rub it into the meat.
  2. Make the marinade in the Thermomix: place all the ingredients in the TM bowl and chop 3 sec/speed 5.
  3. Pour the marinade over the lamb racks, making sure it is coated all over.
  4. Leave aside while preparing the vegetables: rinse and trim a bunch of green beans. Preheat the oven at 200C (fan ovens) or 220C (non fan)
  5. Peel the potatoes and parboil them for 6 minutes in a pan of boiling salted water.
  6. Drain them and shake the pan to soften the outside of the potatoes (this will give them crispiness when baked).
  7. Add a tablespoon of goose fat to the pan and let it melt. Try to coat the potatoes with the fat and transfer them into a baking dish. Turn the potatoes to make sure they are well coated and sprinkle with sea salt.
  8. Preheat a cast-iron griddle pan and brown the racks (leave the marinade in the bowl and reserve) 2 minutes each side or until they are charred.
  9. Place the racks of lamb in a baking tray and bake along with the potatoes for 25 minutes, turning once.
  10. 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time, boil water into a pan, add a pinch of salt and plunge the green beans.Cook for 5 or 6 minutes and drain them as soon as they are cooked.
  11. Add some garlic butter to the beans and toss. Set aside in a warm place.
  12. When the lamb is cooked, place it inside a big sheet of foil and seal.
  13. Leave to rest for 10 minutes.
  14. Heat the marinade in a small saucepan, add the juices of the lamb.
  15. Plate up and serve at once. You can add a few sprigs of lavender in the plate for decoration.


Tapioca verrines and Raspberry coulis

I saw this recipe in SorbetCitron’s blog Nuage de Farine. In my childhood memories, tapioca were these weird transluscent doughey things that my mum sometimes put into soup and I didn’t like it. Fast forward 20 30 years, and this recipe reconciled me with Tapioca. First, it’s sweet and I love sweet! Second, it’s creamy and refreshing, perfectly balanced with the sharpness of the raspberry coulis (you can also try kiwis or rhubarb compote, I’ve done it and it’s equally delicious). The only thing I changed from the original recipe is the cooking time as it was not cooked enough for me after 7 minutes.

Source: Nuage de Farine

Ingredients

For 6 verrines

400g coconut milk + 70g of water measured in the coconut can
60g tapioca
60g sugar
100g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
Honey to taste

 

Method

  1. Heat the milk and water in the TM bowl for 4 min/100C/speed 4
  2. Add the tapioca and sugar and cook for 16 min/90C/speed 1, reverse blade direction.
  3. Pour into glasses and leave to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, clean the bowl and puree the raspberries (if frozen, let them thaw first) and honey a few seconds speed 4.
  5. You can add a little bit of water if needs be, then scrape down the sides and mix again until it is pureed.
  6. Spread the coulis on top of the tapioca.
  7. Refrigerate and eat cold.