Monthly Archives: February 2014

Matcha tea and white chocolate madeleines

Matcha tea is a Japanese tea that looks like green powder. It has lots of wonderful health benefits such as giving great energy boost, 137 times the level of antioxidants than regular green tea and lots of other benefits. Its use in patisserie is quite a recent thing and has become a bit of a trend a few years ago. I love the green colour it gives and it matches really well with raspberries and white chocolate among other things.

MatchaMadeleines_Coll

Ingredients

125g melted butter
130g sugar
150g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tbsp Matcha tea
3 eggs
A pinch of sea salt
1 white chocolate square per madeleine (here I made 27 madeleines)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven at 180C
  2. Mix the sugar and eggs in the TM bowl 1 min/speed 4
  3. Add the flour, Matcha tea, salt, baking powder, and butter and mix 8 sec/speed 6.
  4. If using non silicone madeleine pan, butter it first, then pour 1 tsp of mixture into each madeleine case. Add 1 square of white chocolate in each and top up with another teaspoon of batter (or fill the case to 3/4).
  5. Bake for 10 to 12 min
  6. Leave to cool and take out of the moulds.

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Homemade Caramel liquor

I love sweet liquors such as Bailey’s but unfortunately, I find them quite expensive to buy. I was always tempted to make one myself but needed to find the recipe that inspired me enough to be pushed over the edge. That’s exactly what happened when I saw Mamina‘s post a month ago and read her verdict to this liquor: “My only regret is that I didn’t make twice the quantity”. It’s quite easy to do and doesn’t need too many ingredients although it does use a very special ingredient: Carambars. You might remember these little caramels from this post. If you can’t get your hands on them, then any good quality hard caramels would do. Like Bailey’s, this liquor is very sweet so it’s nicer served with ice cubes to dilute it a bit.

If you wonder what are the little cakes on the picture, the recipe will come soon…

HomemadeLiquor_001

Source: La table de Mina

Ingredients

Makes 2 litres

1 litre milk
1 litre white rum
1 kg sugar
3 cinnamon sticks
1 lemon
1 lime
30 Carambars or 50 hard caramels such as Werther’s Originals
2cm piece ginger, peeled

Method

  1. Cut the lemon and lime in half.
  2. Place all the ingredients in one or 2 glass jugs.
  3. Cover and place in the fridge.
  4. Stir every day. Little by little, the liquid will take the colour of Bailey’s.
  5. After one month (yes I know, it’s torture!), strain the liquid and bottle it up. Keep in the fridge.

 

Pancake cake

It was the Chandeleur not that long ago but I wanted to make something a bit different than just plain individual pancakes. I had seen a recipe for pancake cake on my friend Carine’s blog Chic Chic Choc…olat, which gave me all the inspiration I needed to make a truly beautiful dessert!

PancakeCake_001

Source: adapted from Chic chic choc…olat recipe

Ingredients

Pancake batter

Filling:

100g Hazelnut paste
100g dark chocolate

Ganache topping:

10g unsalted butter
50g milk
15g cocoa powder
150g icing sugar

Method

  1. Make the pancake batter as per the recipe to which you can add 1 tbsp rhum, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 tbsp sugar.
  2. Leave to rest at least 30 minutes before using.
  3. Make the pancakes (I got about 10) and leave them to cool on a plate.
  4. Make the hazelnut paste and take out 100g. Keep the rest in a jar and use it to make lovely nutella!
  5. Melt 100g dark chocolate in the Thermomix by first chopping it 6 sec/speed 6, then melting 3 min/50C/speed 2.
  6. Add the 100g hazelnut paste and mix 20 sec/speed 3. You now have Gianduja.
  7. Take one pancake and place on a serving plate.
  8. Spread with some of the hazelnut and chocolate mixture, then place another pancake on top and so on until there is no more pancake.
  9. Clean the TM bowl and place butter and milk into it. Cook 2 min/80 C/speed 2.
  10. Add sugar and cocoa and blend for 25 sec/speed 4.
  11. Pour over the pancake cake and leave to set in the fridge for 2 hours before serving.

Pain perdu au four (Bread and butter pudding)

I sometimes get asked what to do with stale bread. The obvious use (apart from breadcrumbs) is to turn it into a delicious sweet bite. In France, we do pain perdu, which is bread soaked in an egg and sugar mixture and then pan fried in butter until caramelised and set. This version is closer to the bread and butter pudding because we bake the bread soaked in milk, egg and sugar. You can add anything you want to the mixture: spices, raisins, red fruits or chocolate chips like I did. No matter what you have on hand, this is a very quick and tasty dish.

PainPerduColl

Source: Amuse bouche

Ingredients

400g milk
2 eggs
A pinch of salt
1tsp vanilla extract
About 10 slices of stale bread (or brioche)
80g soft brown sugar
Topping of your choice (choc chips, raisins, berries, cinnamon, nutmeg…)
A few knobs of butter

Method

  1. Cut the bread into thin slices and place in a baking dish
  2. Mix the milk, eggs, vanilla, salt and sugar and pour over the bread.
  3. Leave to soak for 30 minutes, turning halfway.
  4. Add the topping, dot with the knobs of butter and bake at 180C for 30 minutes or until golden.
  5. Serve with Maple syrup or on its own. It’s great for breakfast too!

 

Absolutely delicious raw chocolate brownie!

Last year we had a Thermomix conference for the Irish demonstrators in the beautiful village of Kinsale (in the south of Ireland) and one of the participants, Liz, presented us a gorgeous recipe of raw chocolate brownie that has the added bonus of being absolutely healthy! Her recipe is so simple and tastes so amazing that I have done it time and time again ever since. She kindly gave me the permission to share it with you today and I must beg you to try this little gem of a treat because it will send you for more! There is very little cooking involved (just enough to melt the chocolate) so with the right chocolate, this could be suitable to raw foodies as well. When I told you this was a gem, I wasn’t kidding! You can check Liz’s website: www.mygoodness.ie.

For this recipe, I have used Nu3 Goji berries, which I was kindly sent to use in a recipe. They are guaranteed to be sulphur-free, GMO-free with no additives or preservatives, thus contributing to the high health benefit of this recipe (see below for its vitamins/nutrients content).

RawChocBrownie_005 RawChocBrownie_006

Source: Liz Nolan

Ingredients

RawChocBrownie_001

75g sesame seeds
150g ground almonds (or whole almonds)
150g dark chocolate 70%
30g coconut oil
30g coconut palm sugar (or honey or rapadura sugar)
50g dessicated coconut plus extra for sprinkling (I didn’t use any)
2 tbsp Goji berries
2 tbsp cacao nibs (I omitted)
zest of 1 orange
1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method: 

  1. Grind sesame seeds with the zest and salt for 20 secs/speed 8 (if using whole almonds, grind them at this stage also). Tip into a bowl and set aside.RawChocBrownie_002
  2. Break up the chocolate and add to the TM bowl and grind for 6 sec/speed 6.
  3. Then add the coconut oil, sugar and vanilla extract and melt 3 min/50C/speed 2.
  4. Add in the ground almonds, dessicated coconut, sesame mixture and combine 20 sec/speed 4.RawChocBrownie_003
  5. Add cacao nibs and Goji berries 10 secs/speed 2.
  6. Spread out onto a small baking tray approx 30cm x 20cm and press down firmly with a spatula and level.
  7. Sprinkle with Sesame seeds and Goji berries and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.RawChocBrownie_004
  8. Cut into squares and serve. Keep in a plastic lidded box in the fridge or freeze. Keeps for at least a couple of weeks if it lasts that long!

Nutritional Info: 
These brownies apart from being delicious are very good for you.
The dark chocolate and cacao nibs are very high in antioxidants and magnesium which helps to relax muscles and can lower blood pressure.
The goji berries and orange zest are high in antioxidants which hep the immune system to stay healthy. Goji berries are rich in vit B, B12, iron & carotenoids.
Coconut oil is anti viral, anti bacterial and anti microbial and apart from using in cooking curries and soups (it has a high burning point so can be heated to a high temperature) it makes a great dairy free alternative to butter in baking.
Himalayan salt contains a huge amount of minerals it is like taking a mineral supplement! 
Sesame seeds
 are very high in calcium and soluble fibre and good omega oils and lastly 
Almonds 
also contain great amounts of calcium and provide excellent protein and soluble fibre.