Monthly Archives: May 2012

tea time in London and the recipe of one blondie

 Aaaaah, small English patries served with tea… it’s too cute to be ignored! 

Before I go on further, I would like to wink to my friends Angélique & Jonathan. They love London and not only because of Harry Potter or Peter Pan. Jonathan asked Angélique to marry him in London (how romantic is that!).

Anyway, I found a small book celebrating tea time! Pictures are fun and there is a few cute drawings around the recipes.

After going through the pages several times in search of THE recipe to try, I put aside the Christmas cake type (not in season) and the brownies or scones I already posted on this blog although I was mouthwatering in front of the scones recipes. After all, strawberries are in season! 

Anyway, my love for rock n’ roll and of “caramel au beurre salé” has won the recipe game.

My blondie is a bit tanned ’cause I use whole sugar instead of white sugar. You do as you like but whole sugar is super good! 

Oh, and yes, as usual, I put a third less of the sugar quantity advised in the book. I could have divided it by 2 (for the blondie, not for the caramel… a sugar free caramel is just not meant to be!).

You need:

For the caramel:

100ml sour cream

1 tbsp maple syrup

75g sugar

25g butter in cubes

1/2 tsp salt

60g salted peanuts (chop them roughly)

For the blondie:

220g melted butter

200g sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

200g flour (I used 150g buckwheat flour and 50g whole wheat flour T110 – for the gluten-free version, mix buckwheat and rice or buckwheat and chestnut flours)

And now, to the stove:

Thee caramel:

Bring the cream and mapple syrup to boil. Set aside.

In a pre-heated pan, add 1 tbsp of sugar. When it’s melted, add the rest of the sugar a little at a time. Turn the heat down and when all is melted, add the cream (still warm). Mix, add the butter while mixing. When the butter has melted add the salt and pour in a bowl. Mix in the peanuts and set aside.

Salted peanuts are IN-DIS-PEN-SA-BLES. This blondie wouldn’t be as charming without them.

For the blondie dough: preheat the oven at 180°C. Add the sugar to the melted butter and whisk. Add the vanilla extract then one egg at a time until incorporated.

Add the flour and the salt. When the mix is smooth, pour in a 33 x 23 cm or 24 cm diametre mould.

Pour the caramel mix here and there over the blondie mix and, with a knife, push the caramel in the dough. It has to be irregular.

Cook in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Don’t overcook.

 Delicious! I recommand this to everyone even if you’re not Angélique or Jonathan, even if you don’t like London.

God save the Queen! and it’s her Jubilee… things are just at the right place at the right time!

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another brownie: Chloé’s recipe

VThe very feminine Chloé, who has a very English/American kind of pastry salon has written a book to share her recipes: cookies, whoopies, cupckes… I don’t know if the book exist in English but if it ever does, it’s perfect to offer to someone who loves pastry, kitsch, pink, and womanly women!

The name of each pastry is fun and easy to make and she thought about the intolerant with 2 recipes: Betty or the dairy-free cookie and Carla Brownie for the gluten sensitives. I tried the last one because I just bought rice flour and I had all the other ingredients on hand. Also it’s super quick to make.

Verdict ? I did take some sugar off but the result was there. I wasn’t disappointed so next time I might try the Betty cookie or the heartbroken bear.

told you it was for pink amateur!

the recipe follows: 

6 to 8 persons

200g 70% dark chocolate

110g room temperature butter

100g brown sugar

3 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

65g rice flour

a few pistacchios

Turn on the oven at 160°C.

In a bain-marie (double broiler), melt the chocolate and butter.

Whisk the eggs with the sugar then add the melted chocolate. The meix should be shiny and smooth.

Add the rice flour with a spatula then pour in a rectangular mould (if not in silicone, line the tin with parchment paper).

Add a few pistacchios on top.

Cook for 40 minutes then leave to cool.


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chicken & tarragon terrine

A fresh terrine to serve at a garden buffet or a summer dinner.

The quantity are for about 8 to 10 slices.

Steam 2 chicken breasts until cooked (time depends on the thickness of the breasts).

Mix 500g of minced pork (unsalted and unspiced) and beef (if you have a meat grinder, make the minced meat yourself – that way you know what’s in it ewactly!) with lots of unsalted peeled pistacchio, a big chunk of minced tarragon (just the leaves… yeah I know, it takes time… but maybe you have little hands to help there ?), salt and pepper. Cook a little bit of the mix in a pan so you can taste the seasonning and correct it if necessary. Better do that little test than be sorry because your terrine is bland!

If it’s too salty, of course, the only solution is to add more meat… which is way more complicated than to add a little salt and pepper!

Preheat the oven at 180°C.

Coat the sides and bottom of the terrine with very thin slices of smoked bacon or speck (you actually line the terrine with the bacon). The bacon protects the meat from drying. If you don’t eat pork, try to find some thin slices of fatty meat (like beef ham).

Add 1/2 the minced meat and push to every corners! Cover the meat with tarragon leaves, put the chicken breasts to cover it all (you can cut the breasts thinner to achieve this), put some more tarragon leaves on top and then the remaining half of the minced meat (pushed to every corners as well). Cover with the slices of bacon so it’s well covered.

Put the cover back on the terrine and place it in an oven pan with some water (bain-marie). Put in the oven anc cook for 2 hours.

Be carefull when to take it out of the oven so to not spill the hot water.

Leave the terrine to cool before storing it in the fridge.

The terrine is better the next day and can be kept in the fridge for a few days

Serve with a port & shallot’s confit (recipe will follow)

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chickpea soft cakes

Preheat the oven at 180°C.

In a food processor, mix 2 cans of rinsed out and drained chickpea with 4 organic eggs, half a tsp of sea salt flakes.

Don not overmix so there still some chunks in the mix. The dough is damp, it’s normal!

Mince one red onion and 1 bunch of fresh coriander.

Add to the chickpea mix.

Pour in muffin tins and cook in the oven for about 35 minutes.

Serve with this sauce:

1 garlic clove peeled and minced, some tamari (soy sauce), a pinch of Japanese hot pepper (Ichimi Togarashi), some more fresh minced coriander, and the juice of one lime.

Serve with slices of avocado, of cucumbers, and of tomatoes.

Perfect to eat cold for a pic-nic or a buffet!

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homemade grissini

To start, mix 20g of fresh yeast with 3 tbsp of lukewarm water. “Let activate” for 15 minutes.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, pour 500g of flour and dig the centre. On the edge, pour 2 tbsp of salt, pour the yeast activated in the water in the centre of the flour. Add 1 tsp of sugar (unrefined) and 6 tbsp of olive oil (cold pressed). Knead the dough and add, little by little 20 to 25 cl of lukewarm water. The water quantity depends on the atmospheric condition. Let the mixer knead the dough 5 to 10 minutes until it’s soft and smooth. If it’s too dry add a litlle water. If it’s too sticky, add a little flour.

Divide the dough in three batches.

Work each one by hand while adding :

2 tbsp of dried oregano to the first batch

2 tbsp of black sesame seeds to the second batch

2 tbsp of roughly minced walnuts.

Leave to rest at room temperature, covered with a clean towel, for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven at 200°C.

Work the dough a little bit then form a roll that you’ll cut in 1,5cm slices. Roll each slice to form grissini and put it on cooking paper on an oven tray. Cook for 15 minutes until golden.

You can dip those grissini in the pesto rosso (see yesterday’s post, the sardines’ rillettes, or roll the grissini in Parma ham.

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pesto rosso

Again a very easy and super fast recipe to make! And so much better then the any one you can buy in the store!

When you made it once and tasted it once, you can’t go back. It’s the same with green pesto! Better make a lot as it’s quickly eaten!

In an electric chopper, mix a dozen of dried tomatoes, a dozen of walnuts lightly fried in a hot frying pan (no oil needed – be carefull it goes fast!), 1 tsp of dried oregano, a few flat parsley leaves, 2 garlic cloves, a big chunk of parmiggiano cut in cubes.

Add olive oil to get the right consistency. Transfer in a glass container avoiding air bubbles, and cover in olive oil so it’s preserved for longer. Keep in the fridge.

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sardines rillettes with preserved lemons

Another preparation to spread or dip in with all sorts of sticks like vegetables, grissini, chips… it’s also very good as a filling for salad or chicory leaves.

Crush 350g of preserved sardines (preserved in olive oil – with the skin and the bones – it’s about 4 cans), add the juice of a lemon and 1 homemade minced preserved lemon (don’t forget to rince it well first). Add a bunch of chopped fresh coriander and some pepper.

It’s not necessary to add salt as the preserved lemons and the sardines already are.

For the homemade preserved lemons recipe, see

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thin galettes

Those cookies are really easy to make. They will taste like Brittany if you ever went there.

It’s crucial to choose great ingredients. The list is simple and if you choose mediocre ingredients, you won’t have anything to hide or cover the disaster.

The butter is the choice ingredient. Try to find raw butter for a better and true taste.

For the flour, choose half-whole organic wheat flour, if possible stone grounded.

Choose Guérande salt or grey sea salt.

For about 70 galettes.

285g organic half-whole flour

100g raw butter

100g sugar

1 egg

1g baking powder or baking soda

5g grey sea salt (de guérande if possible)

Melt half the butter.

In a stand mixer, mix the other half of unmelted butter with sugar. Add the melted butter, the egg, then the salt. Don’t overmix.

Mix the flour with the baking powder or soda and add to the previous mix.

Leave to rest 30 to 45 minutes.

Spread the dough to get 3 to 4 mm thick and cut it with round cutter.

Cook in a pre-heated oven at 240°C on a tray covered with silicone or baking sheet.

Cook for about 7 minutes but take the cookies out as soon as they’re golden.

You can freeze the raw dough as a roll and cut thin slices  that you’ll cook a little longer.

You can make a gluten free mix by using buckwheat flour instead of wheat flour.

I’m afraid you won’t get the same satisfying and authentic result by replacing the butter* with anything else.

*The butter is lactose free (all the lactose stays in the whey. Butter is very good for you health if it comes from a good source.

P.S. I’ll give away those cookies next Saturday (may 19th 2012) in Huy for Jamie Oliver’s FoodRevolution Day!

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flatbread with parmiggiano

For a dozen bread.

This recipe comes from a French magazine called Saveurs (n°183 – may 2011).

I divided the dough in 2 and flavored one half with dried oregano and the other half with fresh finely minced mint. The bread will keep well for a few days but you can also just make half of it if you’re not as many eaters.

Prepare each dough seperately if you want different flavors.

600g of organic whole flour (2x300g)

1 tsp of dry yeast (2 halves tsp)

4 tbsp olive oil (2×2 tbsp)

320g of grated parmiggiano (2x 160g)

50cl of lukewarm water (2x 25 cl)

1 bunch of fresh mint and/or 1 tbsp of dry oregano

Bring water to boil.

In a pastry blender, knead the flour, the boiling water, the olive oil, the parmiggino, and the chosen herb. When the dough isn’t sticking on the bowl anymore, flour your hands and make a ball. Place it in a bowl and cover with a clean cotton cloth. Leave to rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven at 210°C.

Divide the dough in 8 (or in 16 if you made all of it – 8 with oregano and 8 with mint) and spread it with a rolling pin. With a pastry brush, brush the bread with olive oil, put it on an oven proof dish covered with parchment paper, and cook in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Start again until there’s no dough left. Leave the bread to cool.

You can serve it with pesto, pesto rosso, salmon cream, sardines rillettes, or to accompany a barbecue and some fresh salad.

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chickpea, mint & feta cheese

Drain 375g of chickpea and rince until there’s no foam coming from it.

Heat 4 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan on low heat and cook a minced onion until golden. Add 7 garlic cloves (peeled and minced) with 2 hot peppers (deseeded and minced). Cook for a few seconds until fragrant. Leave to cool.

Mix the chickpeas with the cold onion mix (and the cooking oil that go with it) and with 375g of crumbled feta (or cut in cubes), minced flat leaves parsley, ciseled fresh mint, the juice of 2 lemons. Add 2 tbsp of olive and toss.

You can make it without the feta and add olives instead.

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