Monthly Archives: December 2012

Savoury crêpes filled with creamy cheesy leeks

Another idea of savoury crêpes (the first one was here) that comes from the Cooks Academy cookbook. It’s easy to make, cheesy and creamy with lots of flavours blending perfectly. Ideal as a light supper or a starter.

Source: Cooks Academy

Ingredients

Pancake batter
2 eggs
250g plain flour
500g milk
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Filling
2 big leeks, washed and cut into quarters lengthway, then sliced
30g butter + 1 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp Dijon mustard
100g Crème fraiche
150g Emmenthal cheese or Gruyère
Salt and ground nutmeg to taste

Method

  1.  Make the pancake batter in the Thermomix by putting all the ingredients in the bowl and mixing 20 sec/speed 6. Tip out into a bowl and let it rest for 1 hour.
  2. Clean and dry the bowl and grate the emmenthal cut into chunks for 3 to 5 sec/speed 6. Set aside.
  3. To make the filling, put the oil and butter in the TM bowl.
  4. Heat for 1 min/100C/speed 1.
  5. Add the washed, drained and chopped leeks and season well with salt and pepper.
  6. Cook for 20 min/90C/speed 1 Measuring cup tilted to let some of the steam off. Check the leeks are soft and drain off excess juice if needs be.
  7. Meanwhile, cook the pancakes and stack them on a plate.
  8. Smear 1 heaped tsp of Dijon mustard on each pancake, followed by some leeks, a spoonful of crème fraiche and finally the grated Gruyère with a sprinkling of ground nutmeg.
  9. Roll each pancake and bake on a tray in a preheated grill for a few minutes to melt the cheese.
  10. Serve at once cut in the middle in diagonal with some salad on the side.

Pain d’épices (spiced bread)

This is a very traditional cake made around Christmas time in France. If you ever get to go to a French Christmas market, you’ll certainly see some of those on the stall and might be offered a slice along with some mulled wine. There isn’t a specific region that can claim this recipe as it can be traced in Alsace, Dijon and Reims. But it’s specificity is that it’s sweetened principally with honey and contains ground spices such as cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and aniseed. This particular recipe comes from Physalis who contributes to the Thermomix forum of Supertoinette. It’s been passed from generation to generation in her family and I can see why as it’s one of the best pains d’épices I ever tasted. It’s moist and wonderfully flavoured, in a word: delicious!

Source: Physalis

Ingredients

300g plain flour
60g butter
150g dark brown sugar (muscovado or demerera will work well)
150g honey
1 pinch salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
125g milk
1 tsp baking powder

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (170C fan oven).
  2.  Melt the butter in the TM bowl 3min/90C/speed 1.
  3. Add the honey and sugar and mix 10sec/speed3.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, salt, egg and milk and mix 10 sec/speed 6 to get a smooth batter.
  5. Pour into a buttered loaf tin (I poured half, dotted teaspoons of orange marmalade here and there and poured the other half of the batter on top).
  6. Bake for 45 minutes (check the colour and cover with foil if it browns too quickly). Then turn down the heat to 150C and continue cooking for 15 minutes. Check the cake is cooked by using a skewer or toothpick that should come out clean.
  7. Let it cool down and brush with a couple of tablespoons of warmed honey and decorate with pearl sugar or spices.
  8. After a day, to bring this cake back to freshness, cut into slices and place in your toaster on the lowest setting and you can spread butter on it for an even richer taste (that’s the way people from Alsace eat it!)