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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tomates confites

Slow-roasted tomatoes with olive oil and dried thyme flowers.

It is always a good idea to have this garnish because it can come in handy with other different recipes (rice, pasta, fish, meat, poultry, etc...).
You may keep these tomatoes in the fridge for a while without any problem.

Ingredients :

For one big jar:
1) Huile d'olive
2) 1,5 kg of ripe tomatoes 
3) 10 gm of dried thyme flowers
4) 5 garlic cloves
5) sugar, salt and freshly ground pepper

Direction :

1) Remove any stems from the tomatoes and 
make a cross with a knife on the bottom of each of them. 
2) Boil some water and scald the tomatoes in it for 10 to 15 seconds. Place them in a bowl that has been previously filled with water and ice. Peel the tomatoes.
This step must be done quickly so that the tomatoes do not lose their firmness.
3) Cut each tomato into four and remove all the grains inside. 
4) Place each tomato slice in a dish, skin facing you, and season with salt, pepper, sugar and thyme.
5) Degerm the garlic cloves and slice them thinly. Place one slice of garlic on top of each tomato slice.
6) Pour a generous amount of olive oil over the tomatoes and cook them in the oven at 90°C(200°F) for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the tomatoes carefully and leave to cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
7) Remove the tomatoes from the oven and let them cool. Then use a spatula to pile the tomatoes up inside a big jar. Cover them with olive oil and place them in the refrigerator.

You may taste the results 3 days later.

Chocolate Mousse

 Chocolate mousse recipe for 5 to 6 people

Ingredients :

1. 250g dark (56%) cooking chocolate
2. 3 dl whipping cream
3. 60g butter
4. 1 packet of vanilla sugar
5. 4 eggs, separated
6. 50g icing sugar
7. 24 biscuits, langue de chat

Direction :

1) Chop up the chocolate and melt it down onto a bain-marie (double boiler). As soon as the chocolate has melted take your bowl away from the heat.
2) bring your cream to the boil with the vanilla sugar and pour it onto the chocolate. Mix well.
3) Allow to cool down a little and start adding the butter in parcels. Then, add the egg yolks.
4) Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Add the icing sugar at the end and give them a last whisk to make even firmer.
5) Add 3 table spoon of egg whites into the chocolate. Then, carefully, fold the rest of the whites into the chocolate mixture, using a spatula(a broad, flat, flexible blade used to mix, spread and lift materials including foods, drugs, plaster, paints).
6) Put your chocolate mousse into the fridge for at least 12hours to set. Take your mousse out of the fridge 1/2hours before serving it. Nicely arrange your biscuits around your bowl.


If your are serving a chocolate mousse at meals between adults, there three nice accompaniments to your dessert :
- 1 glass of old Maury wine (Banyuls)
- or a glass of Pacherenc du Vic Bilh wine (or a Jurancon)
- or a glass of peppermint on the rocks

And for the kids a nice orange juice.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Indian Dessert

Rasgulla  is a dessert from Orissa,Bihar and Bengal consisting of balls of unripened cheese or cottage cheese (chenna) soaked in a sugary syrup. Today we are going to make a beautiful dish out of rasgulla.

1. Rasgullas.
2. Rooh Afza( Its a concentrated drink, it can be mixed with a variety of food items to give them new taste and is said to be a great alternative for strawberry milk. Rooh Afza is now found in the western market, with supermarkets such as Tesco, Sainsburys and Morrisons in the UK selling it).
3. Cashew Nuts.
4. 1 food injector syringe.
5. Milkmaid( condensed milk)
6. Small amount of milk in a bowl.

1. Keep the rasgullas in the refrigerator for a while. They'll get a bit dry and cold.
2. Cut a small portion of the rasgulla to make its bottom flatten.
3. From the side cut another small portion such that the center of the rasgulla can be seen properly. Keep this portion, we'll need it later.
4. Grate the cashew nuts and put the grated nuts inside the rasgulla and put the sliced part back on, it wont hold by itself so use a toothpick. We don't want the grated nuts to come out.
5. Put some milkmaid on a plate.
6. Dip the rasgulla in the bowl of milk and quickly pick it up and put it in a plate, squeeze a little but don't squeeze the entire milk out from it. Place it on the milkmaid.
7. Now take the food injector syringe and fill it with Rooh Afza and inject the rasgulla with it from the top so that the rooh afza gets in the rasgulla's center where the grated cashew are kept.
8. Slowly the rasgulla will change into pink from the middle. 

This is my own recipe. Had a dream last night about it, woke up in the morning and tried it, its utterly delicious. 

Shortcrust pastry

Shortcrust pastry is a type of pastry often used for the base of a tart or pie. It does not puff up during baking because it usually contains no leavening agent. It is possible to make shortcrust pastry with self-raising flour, however. Shortcrust pastry can be used to make both sweet and savory pies such as apple pie, quiche or lemon meringue. Shortcrust Pastry is a mixture of flour - usually all purpose/plain flour and a fat, either butter, lard or a mixture of both. These are bound together with either cold water or with egg for a richer pastry. 

Shortcrust pastry

1. 7 oz/200g all purpose/plain flour (Use equal quantities of all-purpose flour and cake flour for a lighter pastry.)
2. pinch of salt
3. 4 oz/ 110g butter, cubed or an equal mix of butter and lard
4. 2-3 tbsp cold water

This quantity makes 10 oz/300g pastry.

1. Place the flour, butter and salt into a large clean bowl.
2. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, working as quickly as possible to prevent the dough becoming warm.
3. Add the water to the mixture and using a cold knife stir until the dough binds together, add more cold water a teaspoon at a time if the mixture is too dry.
4. Wrap the dough in Saran wrap/Clingfilm and chill for a minimum of 15 minutes, up to 30 minutes.

Mango Tart
The dough can also be made in a food processor by mixing the flour, butter and salt in the bowl of the processor on a pulse setting. When the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, add the water, slowly, through the funnel until the dough comes together in a ball. Wrap in Saran wrap/ Clingfilm and chill as above.

Preparation Time:-
15 minutes.

Tarte Tatin

This recipe was created by The Tatin Sisters at the begining of 20th Century in their restaurant of La Motte Beuvron. It acquired acquired outstanding success because it was added to the list of desserts of the famous Maxim's, one of the most famous Parisian restaurants at that time.

Ingredients :-
To make a beautiful 'tarte Tatin' we will require:-
400 g of shortcrust pastry (read the next blog post how to make shortcrust pastry)
1 kilogram (approx. 2 pounds)of apples (variety 'golden apple')
200 g of caster sugar
100 g of butter                                                          

Direction :-
This is how it will look like depending on the presentation.
1. Pre-heat your oven at 450° F
2. Peel the apples, open them into 2 parts, take away the core and the seeds wit a spoon and cut each half into 3 segments
3. Into a Teflon round mould of a 20 centimeters (8 inches) diameter and 10 centimeters (4 inches) high, pour half of the sugar
4. Place the apple segments standing up making circles starting from the external part of the mould and finishing by its center and tight them well
5. Pour the melted butter on the apple segments and then add the other half of the sugar
6. Put the mould on the electric hob (not in the oven yet)not too much hot
7. Cut a raw pastry circle slighly larger than the mould and stick a fork in several places of the pastry
8. Take the mould off the hob ( a pleasant fragance should start to come out)
9. Place the pastry disc on top of the apple segments and using a rolling pin (larger than the mould), cut the part of the pastry exceeding the diameter of the mould
10. Put the mould into the heated oven during 35 minutes
11. Take the mould out of the oven and let it rest during 10 minutes then use a small sharp knife along the vertical internal side of the mould. Place your serving dish up side down on the pastry then turn upside down the tart and the mould together and if you have been successful, the apples will appear well coated with caramel.

Serve the 'tarte Tatin' warm with a large bowl of cider and put a double cream pot on the table.

How to make Wafers.

There are several Wafer recipes available but this is the simplest and easiest one.

Ingredients :-
Wafers for 4 to 6 people
250g strong flour
1 packet baking powder
1 packet vanilla sugar
5g table salt
1/2 l milk
3 eggs
80g melted butter

Direction :-
1) Melt down the butter in a small sauce pan.
2) In a large bowl, put the flour and form a small well in the middle. Then, place your baking powder, vanilla sugar and salt in it.
Gradually incorporate the milk to the flour. Then, bind in the beatten eggs and the melted butter. Make sure that the batter is lump free and allow to rest for 2 HOURS.
3) Cook your wafers in a wafer maker. 
Serve them with icing sugar, maple syrup, chestnut pure, chocolate, whipped cream, etc.

You could even try to take the sugar out and add some smoked salmon to the batter, serving them warm with a spoon of sour cream.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Granita is a icy frozen mixture traditionally made of coffee. But there are more flavors to add, like Fruit Granita and Alcohol Granita, these are the 3 main types of Granita. 
Very simple to make and inexpensive, they do not require an ice-cream maker and they are kept in the freezer compartment of the fridge rather than in the freezer.

Fruit based granita recipe:   
Take 1/2 litre of fruit juice of your choice (orange, passion fruit, pineapple, mango, strawberry, lemon, etc), mix in 150g of caster sugar into the juice. Fill your ice-cube trays or tiny cups and put them in the freezer compartment of your fridge.

Alcohol based granita recipe:
Basic recipe for alcohol based granita [in france known as trou normand (with calvados) or for Patrick our Chef prefers to refer to them as trou Gascon(with Armagnac)]

Bring 90cl of water with 200g of caster sugar to the boil. Let this syrup cool down and add 10 cl of alcohol of your choice (calvados, vodka, tequila, champagne, etc). Proceed as for the fruit granita and put them in the feezer compartment of your fridge.
They are very much appreciated, served just before the main dish of a meal.