Category Archives: desserts

chestnut financiers


What to do with egg white when you make cannelés or crème brûlée? Here is a great idea that everyone will enjoy!
I love financiers!
It’s soft and delicious especially when you take time to brown the butter as it should be!
It’s easy to make and to take for a pic nic if you can resist eating them all at once!

For this recipe, I chose a mix of almond and chestnut but you can make it 100% almond or replace the chestnut by pistachio.
Because I’m crazy about matcha green tea, I can’t resist adding a spoon of the emerald powder to the mix when it’s all almond.

I use whole sugar as it has a caramel like taste that goes really well with chestnut.

140g of salted butter
3 eggs’ whites
100g whole sugar
60g powdered almonds
20g powdered chestnuts
50g flour

Turn the oven on at 160°C.
You can mix whole chestnuts and almonds in a blender if you can’t find grounded nuts.
Melt the butter in a pan until golden brown (beurre noisette pr chestnut butter!)
Leave to cool a little.
Grill the chestnut powder at 160°C for 10 minutes. Leave to cool and turn the oven up at 220°C.
Mix the flour + sugar + almond and chestnut powders.
Add the whites while whisking.
Add the butter also while whisking.
When the mix is smooth, pour into financier molds (about 8 mm deep rectangles)and cook in the oven for 7-8 minutes. Leave to cook on a cooling rack.

You can replace the flour by the same amount of almond powder. It works really well and suits the gluten sensitive while everyone can enjoy it.
If you want to avoid lactose, you can replace the butter with the coconut oil. You can’t brown the coconut oil so it’s important to use the whole sugar.
I choose rapadura or muscovado or any whole sugar.
Sometimes this sugar is a bit “thick” so you can mix it to get a finer sugar.

One bite, hold by the finger tips, to eat with tea, coffee or hot chocolate. A golden bite like gold!

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  • steamed matcha cake


     I do love green tea and I’m always ready to try dessert recipes containing matcha powder (matcha green tea is use in Japanese Tea ceremony).  This tea works beautifully with white chocolate and almond but this recipe makes steamed cake called Mushipan in Japan.

     As I used whole sugar (I feel less guilty eating sweets made with whole sugar!), my cakes have kind of a look from the seventies!

    But it’s delicious!

    You  have to eat them the day you made them as they won’t be as good when they dry out.

    It(s very good with sweet azukis purée but as it takes time to cook, I skipped it this time around.DSC00214b

    For 6

    125g flour

    3 tsp matcha tea powder

    2 tsp baking powder

    1 egg lightly beaten

    100 ml raw milk

    4 tbsp rapadura, muscovado or whole cane sugar

    4 tbsp of olive oil (choose a fruity one)

     Line 6 round tin with papercups of use cupcake silicone mould.

    Preheat your steamer (or the pan on which you’ll add you steam basket). The water has to be really hot when you add the cakes in the basket.


    In a bowl, mix the flour, the matcha tea, the baking  powder and a pinch of salt.

    In another bowl, whisk the egg with the milk, the sugar and the olive oil.

    Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ones but don’t overwork the dough.


    Divide the dough into the 6 papercups and put the tins in the basket of your steamer. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes.

    Check if it’s done with a skewer or a knife. The blade has to come out clean. 

    Take the tin out and leave to cool for about 10 minutes before you eat it.


    You can replace wheat flour with rice flour or almond meal.

    You can replace cow milk with any vegan one but I love coconut and rice.

     It’s not possible to make green tea powder at home but for another tea cake, you can infuse green tea leaves in the milk warmed at 60°C for 10 minutes. Filter the milk before using.


    Tapioca pearls

    Hello everyone!

    I’ve been resting at home with a strict diet (last trimester of pregnancy) so I read more cookbooks then made recipes although I fond simple and easy meals to make compatible with the said diet.

    As I had to rest and as standing up became harder, I had to find ways to cook quickly. I had fun but I was often frustrated not to be able to do more. Tha’s why I’ve been away for so long! And also because my had is elsewhere, I can’t help it!

    I did test an ingredient that was in my cupboard for some time. I had read about it but never found the time to make anything with it. Until my mother-in-law came back with an easy recipe and praise about the thing.

    I had all the ingredients needed to make an easy dessert. And a way to use those tapioca pearls, at last! Tapioca pearls can also be called Japanese’s pearls. It’s really pretty! Uncooked, the pearl are very small and white. It looks a bit like some washing powder but a bit larger. When there are in contact with water and heat, it becomes translucent and bigger. It doesn’t taste much but it give a good texture to the cream made with it and it’s filling (so you can also serve it in the middle of the afternoon if supper will be late!).

    Some people use it to thicken soup when there’s no time for a real meal (or when our great-grand-mothers wanted everyone to feel full and they hadn’t much else to fill everyone’s stomach).

    And the great thing about it it’s that it suits every diet (vegan or not, gluten-free or not, lactose-free or not…)!

    Here is the easy and delicious way to use tapioca pearls:

    Coco and pineapple tapioca cream for 4: 

    60g of tapioca pearls

    30cl water

    30g rapadura or muscovado sugar (unrefine sugar)

    25cl coconut cream or milk

    1 pinch of salt

    4 unsweetened pineapple slices with the juice

     Rince the tapioca pearl in a sieve and leave to rest for 5 minutes in the said sieve. 

    Bring the water to boil and add the pearls. As soon as it boils again, add sugar and salt. Lower the heat, mix and leave to cook for 5 minutes.

    Then, add the coconut milk or cream, mix and wait for the next boiling bubble. 

    Cover and leave to cool for an hour. Pour into individual bowls and leave in the fridge arount 45 to 60 minutes.

     Mix the pineapple to get a thick coulis, add the juice as you like it. Serve over the pearls just before eating! 

     If you prepare it the day before, you’ll need to add more liquid as it tends to thickens with time.

     As said before, it is a filling dessert so serve it after a light meal.

    It works really well with any vegan milk (almond, coco+rice, chestnut…) and with any other fruit especially the tangy type like citrus, mango and raspberries. 



    almond babycakes

    Those babycakes can take any shape you like. It’s delicious and stays moist for a couple of days.

    I use whole sugar like muscovado or rapadura. I like the textures and the caramel taste of those sugars and they’re rich in minerals which refined sugars are not.

    I don’t sift the sugar because I like the sugary explosion here and there when I take a bite.

    If you’re gluten intolerant, feel free to use any GF flour like quinoa, rice or corn.

    As for the lactose intolerant, the butter can easily be replace with coconut oil.

    150g whole sugar

    200g almond powder

    50g flour

    125g butter

    5 eggs’ whites

    Turn on the oven at 180°C.

    Mix the sugar, the flour and the grounded almond.

    Melt the butter.

    Beat the whites into firm meringue and incorporate it to the almond mix.

    Add the melted butter.

    Pour into the silicone shapes and press so the dough goes into every “corners”. 

    Cook in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

    Leave to cool a little before removing from mould and leave it to cool on a cooling rack. 

    You could add walnuts, almonds, chocolate chips to the dough.

     If you add walnuts, reduce the sugar content and add a pinch of salt, it would be delicious with cheese!


    small cakes with raspberries

    Those little cakes are soft and sweet and can be made with frozen raspberries. Thaw them on paper towel well separated from one another so they keep their shape and some of the excess moisture is going away in the paper towel.

    For the cakes:

    125g semi-whole flour

    1/2 tsp of baking soda

    1 pinch of sea salt flakes

    100g of butter

    50g of muscovado or rapadura sugar

    1 egg

    1/4 tsp of vanilla extract or of 1/4 of grated vanilla pod

    80g of sour cream

    170g of raspberries

    Turn on the oven at 180°C.

    In a bowl, mix the flour with the salt and the baking soda.

    In another bowl, whip the butter with the sugar until frothy then add the egg and the vanilla. Mix in the cream and the raspberries. Be careful not to break the fruits.

    Add the flour mix without over mixing and pour into muffin tins.

    You can use paper cups to ease from the mould and to make it pretty to serve.

    Cook in the oven for 20 minutes.

    Leave to cool on a cooling rack.

    The frosting:

    120g of cream cheese at room temperature

    50g of butter at room temperature

    100g of muscovado or rapadura sugar

    1/2 tsp of vanilla extract or of 1/2 of grated vanilla pod

    Whisk all the ingredients to get a smooth cream.

    Pour the cream on top of the cakes and decorate with raspberries.

    It’s great if the cream cheese is a little salty as it balances the sweetness of the cakes.

    My Mother-In-Law’s Nut Cake


    150g of whole sugar (like sucanat)

    4 eggs (organic or from your chickens)

    100g of flour (wheat, buckwheat, rice or a mix)

    1 tsp of baking powder

    20 grounded walnuts

    20 walnuts (in big chunks)

    125g of raw milk butter or coconut oil

    Turn the oven on at 190°C.

    Whisk the eggs and the sugar until it whitens. Add the butter in chunks.

    Mix the flour, the baking powder, and the grounded nuts.

    Mix the eggs with the flour and add the chunky walnuts.

    Pour in a mould that you previously buttered and floured.

    Cook in the oven for 40 minutes.

    If you make small individual cake, it will cook 25 to 30 minutes. The blade of a knife has to come out clean from the cooked cake.

    It’s a perfect cake to take advantage of the beautiful nuts we get this time of year.

    It has a soft center and a nice crust. Just remembering the taste makes me remember the time we ate it close to the fire and I feel warmer already!

    a nice custard pie (to serve with Japanese tea)

    A good, homemade, custard pie; I think nothing’s beats it after a nice autumnal walk. I breath fresh and humid air from the woods and the fields. No one in sight. Sometimes a little bundle of fur passes by very quickly. I walked on a crunchy carpet of dead leaves, avoided puddles and mushy earth, and filled my nostrils with the scent of mushrooms, moss, hazelnuts. And what about the great colors around the hills…

    The dough recipe has been posted earlier (I got it from Maggie Beer’s book “Maggie’s Harvest”). It’s rich and as great with a sweet or salty filling. Also it works great with gluten-free flour. 

    250g of flour (I chose buckwheat flour)
    200g butter in cubes
    125 ml sour cream
    1 pinch of salt
    Mix the flour, the salt and the butter with a pastry blender or a fork until the mix is sandy.
    Add the cream and mix until you can form a ball. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes.
    Spread the dough and use it for 2 tin of 24cm diameter (you can freeze one of the two).
    Refrigerate again for about 20 minutes.
    Preheat the oven at 200°C.
    Prick the dough with a fork and cover with cooking paper.
    Spread some weight (ceramic balls, rice or dry beans) on the paper and cook in the oven for 15 minutes.
    Take the weight off as well as the cooking paper and put back in the oven for 5 minutes.
    To garnish the dough, a very simple custard does the trick (the amount is for 1 pie):
    250ml de cream (either raw cream or veggie cream: oat, almond, coconut,…)
    2 eggs
    ½ grated vanilla pod
    2 tbsp of maple syrup  or honey
    I don’t put too much sugar because I like it light on the sugary front and the pie is satisfying enough that way!
    I serve this pie with warm tea, preferably Japanese (kukicha is great but sencha and bancha are even better to balance the creaminess of the pie).
    When is the next outdoor walk?
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    chocolate chip cookies

    Chocolate Chip Cookies are probably my favorite cookies (even though I have a sweet spot for sablés!). I discovered them when I was in Canada and I tried lots of different brands before I started cooking. But homemade cookies beats the brand any time so I’m sharing my recipe (tasted again and again over the years).

    Don’t forget the salt and try to use sea salt flakes aas it really adds depth to the taste. Don’t add too much sugar as the chocolate chips are already sweet.

    The great thing is that this recipe is great for everyone, whatever the diet (all the alternatives are in the ingredients list).

    If you have a pastry blender, now it’s time to use it. If you don’t have one, use 2 table knives or your fingers, although it’s not as effective (the butter needs to stay cool so if you have warm fingers it can be a problem).

    If you use a stand mixer, it develops the gluten too much and it incorporates the butter too evenly.

    If you love cookies, scones, sablés and co, nothing replaces the pastry blender!


    You can either make about 10 large cookies (15cm diameter) or about 20 small ones.


    -270g flour (you can choose: wholewheat 80%, spelt, buckwheat, quinoa, or a mix of rice/coco/chickpea)


    -1/2 tsp sea salt flakes

    -1/2 tsp baking soda 


    -185g cold butter cut in cubes or thin slices (you can use coconut oil but make sure to store it in the fridge at least 30 minutes before using)

    -140g unrefine sugar (rapadura, muscovado… you can divide the amount and use down to 50g, as you like)

    -1 egg or the equivalent in egg replacer (1 tbsp of egg replacer + 2 tbsp of water)

    -either the grains of 1/2 a grated vanilla pod, or 1/2 tsp of natural vanilla extract (avoid synthetic aromas as it’s not as subtle as real vanilla!)

    -250g of dark chocolate chips (if you don’t have any chips, roughly cut dark chocolate with a good knife)


    Preheat the oven at 150°C.


    Mix the flour with the salt and the baking soda.

    Add the butter (or coconut oil) and work with the pastry blender until the mix is sandy.

    In your stand mixer, beat the egg with the sugar and the vanilla until it’s whitened.

    Add the egg to the flour without over working it then incorporate the chocolate chips.

    Use a spoon to transfer little patties of dough to a baking sheet covered with either parchment paper or a silicone matt.

    Wether your cookies are thinner or thicker, the result is different so vary!


    If you don’t want to put chocolate all over you, you need to wait for the cookies to cool. Place them on a cooling rack and go far away in the meantime!


    You could divide the chocolate chips in half and replace it with roughly chopped walnuts.

    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 gave away those cookies on May 19th 2012 in Huy for Jamie Oliver’s FoodRevolution Day!

    chocolate cupcake so good you’ll lick your fingers…

    I found this recipe of a vegan cupcake in the Food&Wine* magazine. I was curious to try it as the replacement for eggs and dairy seemed, for once, interesting. Indeed, it’s been replaced by avocado and coconut oil. The result is great! The cucakes stayed soft and moist for several days (well 3, we couldn’t hold any longer) which is’nt the case with most classic cupcake recipes. The chocolate ganache is very dangerous for chocoholics: it’s easy to spoon and would be great on bread!

    So without delay here is the recipe (adapted for 8 cupcakes):

    Frosting :

    1 tbsp of kuzu*

    90 ml coconut milk

    1/2 tsp agar agar* (powder)

    90 ml water

    185ml maple syrup

    35g unsweetened cocoa powder

    1/8 tsp sea salt flakes

    140g of chocolate chips*

    1,5 tbsp coconut oil

    1 tsp of vanilla extract 

    Cupcakes :

    120g spelt flour*

    1/2 tsp baking powder

    1/4 & 1/8 tsp baking soda

    1/4 & 1/8 tsp salt

    75g avocado (1/2 a piece)

    35g cocoa powder (unsweetened)

    90ml coconut milk

    125ml (150g) maple syrup

    70g coconut oil

    1 tsp vanilla extract

    Frosting : In a bowl, mix the kuzu with the coconut milk until the kuzu is dissolved.

    In a pan, whisk the agar-agar and the water. Bring to boil and leave on low heat for 4 minutes. Add, still whisking, the maple syrup, cocoa powder, and salt. Whisk until smooth.

    Add the kuzu-coco mix and leave on low heat while whisking for about 5 minutes. It will start to thicken and look like pudding.

    Take away from heat and add the chocolate chips, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth and glossy.

    Pour into a bowl to cool, cover, and leave in the fridge at least 2 hours. 

    Cupcake :

    Oven at 180°C.

    Line the cupcake/muffin tin with line papers.

    Sift the flower, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

    Blend the peeled avocado so it looks like cream. Leave the avocado in the blender or food processor.

    In a pan, mix the cocoa powder in the coconut milk on medium heat. Don’t stop whisking for 2 minutes until bubbles appear.

    Add the cocoa mix to the avocado in the food processor, add the maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla. Mix while scraping if necessary.

    Add this wet mix to the dry mix and combine without over-mixing.

    Pour into the tin and cook 25 minutes in the oven.

    Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes then place on a cooling rack.

    Use a stand mixer to mix the forsting until it’s spreadable and creamy. Decorate the cupcake and serve.

    You can decorate your cupcake with coconut powder, minced hazelnuts, …

    *Food&Wine March 2012: recipe by Sera Pelle. 

    *Kuzu is a root starch with some strong thickening power.

    *Spelt flour is tastier, different and more interesting to use here than wheat flour. 

    *Agar-agar is a seaweed that replaces animal gelatin. 

    *Look at the ingredients list of your chocolate chips to be sure it’s vegan.