Monthly Archives: March 2014

Chocolate charlotte

Charlottes are a French dessert made with special biscuits (called biscuits á la cuillere) and a mousse inside. I have already published an Orange charlotte a while ago but this time I made a chocoholic version, which is very rich and decadent. Forget about dieting and your beach figure for the time being and indulge yourself with some of this delicious Charlotte. Yummy.

ChocCharlotte_001_01 ChocCharlotte_Coll

Source: La popotte de Manue


For a 20cm Charlotte, serves 6


Makes about 28 biscuits

2 eggs
180g sugar
95g flour
12g unsweetened cocoa powder
Icing sugar

Bavarois cream
250g milk
100g sugar
50g egg yolks
100g dark chocolate
3 gelatine leaves (2g each)
250g cream

Rum syrup
50g water
45g sugar
20g rum


  1. Make the biscuits: preheat the oven at 200C.
  2. Separate the whites from the yolks and whisk the whites until foamy, then add the sugar in 3 thirds while whisking until firm and glossy.
  3. Add the egg yolks and whisk for 5 seconds to combine.
  4. Add the sieved flour and cocoa powder and fold in gently.
  5. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper. You will need the biscuits to be the same length so draw lines on the paper 8 cm apart using a pencil (I was able to mark 3 rows of 8 cm bands, each band separated by 2 cm). Turn the paper upside-down.
  6. Fill a piping bag fitted with a 1cm round nozzle with the biscuit mixture. Pipe the biscuits using the bands as delimiters and leaving space between each biscuit.ChocCharlotte_001
  7. Dust with icing sugar.ChocCharlotte_002
  8. Bake for 10 minutes (watch during the cooking).
  9. The syrup: while the biscuits are cooking, place the sugar and water in a saucepan. Boil for 3 minutes and take out of the heat. Add the rum and set aside to cool.
  10. When the biscuits are cooked, take out of the oven and leave to cool before lifting them gently with a flat spatula (be careful as they are quite brittle).ChocCharlotte_003
  11. Make the Bavarois cream: place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water to soften.
  12. Place the milk, sugar and egg yolks in the TM bowl and cook 8 min/80C/speed 4 to make a custard.
  13. Add the drained gelatine through the whole in the lid on running blades at speed 3 until melted.
  14. Add the chocolate and mix 20sec/speed 8. Tip out into a bowl to cool.
  15. Clean and thoroughly dry the TM bowl. Insert the butterfly whisk and add the cream to the bowl.
  16. Whisk on speed 4 measuring cup OFF peeping through the whole as you will need to stop as soon as it looks softly whipped (underneath will be firmer).
  17. Add the whipped cream to the cooled custard (no more than 37C to avoid thermal choc). Mix using a whisk.ChocCharlotte_005
  18. Cut about 15 biscuits to 6cm high.
  19. Line the bottom of a 20 cm springform cake tin with some baking parchment. Place the biscuits around the tin, icing sugar side facing out and cut side down.
  20. Brush the rum syrup over 3 or 4 biscuits and line them at the bottom of the tin.ChocCharlotte_004
  21. Pour half the custard over the biscuit base.
  22. Brush 4 more biscuits with the syrup and place them on top of the custard. Place in the freezer for 1 hour.ChocCharlotte_006
  23. Pour the remaining custard over the slightly frozen Charlotte and freeze again for another 2 hours (or overnight).
  24. Take out of the freezer and heat the outside of the tin with a blowtorch or a hairdryer so you are able to release the sprinform tin gently. Lift out the frozen Charlotte and place on a plate.
  25. Sprinkle with grated chocolate or vermicelli.
  26. Defrost 3 hours in the fridge before serving.


Goats cheese mousse and tomato purée on spice bread

I have had this idea for a while now to match goats cheese with spice bread. I imagined the combination to be an interesting one with flavours that complemented each other. A bit like brioche and foie gras. I liked it a lot, although the tomato purée might have been a little too overpowering. Next time, I’ll try with some fig chutney to balance the flavours better. Still, it was a very elegant starter and very easy to make.




Serves 4

4 slices of spice bread (pain d’épices)
100g fresh goats cheese
200g single cream
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
100g cherry tomatoes
2 small garlic cloves
Dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste

Material: 4 small pastry rings.



  1. Make the tomato purée: drop the peeled garlic on running blades at speed 8. Scrape down and add the olive oil.
  2. Sauté 3 min/100C/speed 1.
  3. Add the cherry tomatoes and chop 4 sec/speed 5.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the dried oregano and reduce 7 min/Varoma/speed 1, measuring cup OFF.
  5. Tip out and reserve.
  6. Clean and dry the bowl and place the butterfly whisk inside.
  7. Add the goats cheese and cream with a pinch of salt and pepper and mix on speed 3 measuring cup OFF until the mixture thickens like whipped cream.
  8. Using a cookie cutter or pastry ring, cut out a round piece of spice bread. Leave the ring on and spoon in some of the goats cheese mousse and level with a teaspoon. Finish with a little bit of the tomato purée, spreading evenly on top.
  9. Do likewise with the other 3 slices of spice bread and the remaining goats cheese mousse and tomato purée.
  10. Refrigerate 1 hour before removing the ring delicately. Serve with a salad for a nice starter.

Milk chocolate and Guinness Ice-cream

To celebrate Saint Patrick’s day, I looked for sweet recipes using the famous Irish stout: Guinness. I have already used it in a delicious chocolate-Guinness cake (I promise I’ll post the recipe on this blog one day) and a little search on the web brought me to this mouth-watering ice cream recipe by David Lebovitz. I topped it with some cream mixed with my homemade version of Bailey’s and boy is this divine!

Happy Paddy’s day everyone!

GuinnessIceCream_003 GuinnessIceCream_001GuinnessIceCream_002

Source: David Lebovitz


240g whole milk
4 egg yolks
120g sugar
150g milk chocolate
240g cream
A pinch of salt
180g Guinness
1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Make a custard in the Thermomix by adding the milk, egg yolks, salt and sugar to the TM bowl and heat 7 min/80C/speed4.
  2. Add the chocolate cut in chunks in the hot custard and mix 15 sec/speed 3 until smooth.
  3. Add the cream, Guinness and vanilla extract. Mix 10 sec/speed 3.
  4. Pour into a plastic container with a lid and leave to cool at room temperature.
  5. Freeze with the lid on overnight.
  6. The next day, scoop some ice-cream and serve with cream whipped with a tablespoon of vanilla sugar and a tablespoon of Bailey’s.
  7. Top with a sprinkle of chocolate flakes and serve immediately.

Caramel delight

This French recipe comes from the Vorwerk book “The best of the communities recipes”. It’s been tried and tested by a friend of mine who qualified the recipe as “yum”. That was enough compliment for me and since I happened to have lots of the French toffees called Carambars lying around in my cupboard (and that I was trying to save from my toffee-crazy daughter), the opportunity was too good to miss.

CaramelDelight_005 CaramelDelight_007 CaramelDelight_009

Source: Best of the communities recipes


22 Carambars or 180g Daims or Werther’s Originals, refrigerated
130g creme fraiche or cream
4 egg whites
500g mascarpone
60g vanilla sugar* (I put 80g and it was not too sweet)
*Vanilla sugar can be obtained in the Thermomix by mixing 1 vanilla pod cut in half and in half lengthwise with 150g sugar 1min/speed 9. Keep in an airtight container.


  1. Place the refrigerated toffees in the TM bowl and mix 10sec/speed 7.CaramelDelight_001
  2. Add the cream or creme fraiche and cook 5 min/90C/speed 2. Divide into 8 glasses.CaramelDelight_002
  3. Clean and dry thoroughly the TM bowl (Or use 2nd bowl). Place the butterfly whisk and add the egg whites. Whisk 3 min/speed 3.5/measuring cup OFF. Tip out and reserve in a big bowl.CaramelDelight_003
  4. Place the Mascarpone and vanilla sugar in the TM bowl and mix 15sec/speed 6.
  5. Fold gently in the egg whites with the spatula.CaramelDelight_004
  6. Spoon or pipe into the 8 glasses. Refrigerate 2 hours before serving.

CaramelDelight_008 CaramelDelight_006

Finally, Jean from Perth (aka Cookie1 from the Thermomix forum)  has tried my Sunflower bread recipe. Here is a picture she took before it got devoured by her family at a dinner party:



Lemon Pistachio Meringue tart

Looking for a recipe to use up some lemon curd leftover, this recipe from J’en reprendrai bien un bout caught my eye because of the addition of a pistachio cream on the base. The colours looked beautiful and the taste was obviously going to be fantastic (pistachio and lemon seem to be a mariage made in heaven).


Source: J’en reprendrai bien un bout



For a tart tin of 26cm diameter

Sweet pastry
140g unsalted butter, softened
75g sugar
Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon (or peel using a paring knife)
250g plain flour
25g ground almond
1 pinch salt
1 egg

Pistachio paste
125g shelled unsalted pistachios
30g ground almond
62g water
18g sugar
3 drops almond extract
1 tbsp neutral oil (sunflower, canola…)

Pistachio/almond cream (I give you double the quantities of the original recipe as I find the layer could have been thicker)
100g unsalted butter, softened
100g sugar
100g ground almond
2 eggs
80g pistachio paste

300g lemon curd

Italian meringue
120g egg whites
250g sugar
100g water


  1. Sweet pastry: place the sugar and lemon peel in the TM bowl and mix 10 sec/speed 10.
  2. Add the butter and mix 10 sec/speed 6 to cream the butter.
  3. Add the other ingredients and lock the lid, then press turbo until the dough clings together (check often as you don’t want to over mix).
  4. Tip out the dough and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
  5. Pistachio paste: roast the pistachios in the oven 10 min at 150C.
  6. Make a syrup: place the water in a saucepan, add the sugar and boil until it reaches 121C (use a food thermometer).
  7. Take out of the heat and add the pistachios and stir until it coats the pistachios and the sugar crystallises.LemonPistachTart_001
  8. Place the pistachios, ground almonds, almond extract in the TM bowl. Mix 20 sec/speed 10. Scrape down the sides with the spatula.LemonPistachTart_002
  9. Add the oil and mix a few times 15 sec/speed 10. Keep on scraping down the sides between each mix. Continue until the pistachios releases their oil.LemonPistachTart_003
  10. Tip out into a jar.
  11. Almond/pistachio cream: place the butter and sugar in the Thermomix and mix 20 sec/speed 4.
  12. Add the egg and pistachio paste and mix 20 sec/speed 6 until combined, scraping down half way through.
  13. Add the ground almond and mix at speed 6 until well combined (scrape down every so often).
  14. Roll the pastry (you won’t need the whole lot) and line the buttered and floured tart tin.
  15. Place a greaseproof paper on the pastry and scatter dried beans or ceramic beads on top. Bake blind in a preheated oven at 180C for 15 minutes.
  16. Remove the dried beans and greaseproof paper and pour the pistachio cream on the pastry.LemonPistachTart_005
  17. Bake again 15 minutes at 180C.
  18. Leave to cool completely on a grid.
  19. Spread the lemon curd.
  20. Italian meringue: place the water and sugar in a saucepan. Boil over high heat until it reaches 115C.
  21. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites with a whisk until soft peaks.
  22. When the syrup has reached temperature, slowly pour in a small stream over the egg white while whisking. Make sure the syrup doesn’t touch the whisk.
  23. Continue whisking until the egg whites have cooled down to about 40C.
  24. Spoon into a piping bag with a nozzle of you choice (I used a Saint-Honoré nozzle),
  25. Pipe over the tart. You can sprinkle chopped pistachios over and serve cold.


Today is Mardi-gras (fat Tuesday), so if you needed ideas of pancake/waffle recipes (sweet or savoury), here is a selection:

Crepes Suzette


Pancake cake





To fill your sweet pancakes/waffles, a few ideas:

Caramel au beurre salé


Passion fruit curd


Homemade NutellaNutella_001

Savoury pancakes

Crepes jambon/fromage


Crepes filled with creamy cheesy leeks