steamed matcha cake

GâteauxVapeurThéMatcha

 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.

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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.

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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.

 
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savory butternut pie

Even if winter is weird here this year and that some trees are burgeoning, we should try to stick to seasonal food and use colorful squash!

My favorites are the ones I don’t have to peel like butternut and potimarron. But you could use any squash to make this recipe if you have some from your garden or from a generous neighbour.

 This pie can be eaten warm, thawed or cold. It could be made as a sweet pie like a pumpkin pie but it’s another chapter! You can use any non-animal milk and any spices you fancy. I was going towards India with coconut milk and coriander seeds.

 You could serve this pie with some winter salad like endives. The bitterness of the salad will balance greatly the sweetness of the pie.

 Even though I gave you my pie dough recipe at least a thousand times, here is one of the many version I use and that I would eat even with nothing on it!

 162g of butter in thin slices

500g of flour (I used T110 semi-whole grain but it would be great with whole grain or even with a gluten free flour like buckwheat)

salt

175ml of water

 Preheat the oven at 180°C.

Work the butter with the salt and the flour until sandy (use a pastry blender if you have one). Add the water and mix until the dough doesn’t stick to the bowl anymore. Make a ball.

Put some flour on your tabletop and roll the dough to a few mm.

Line a pie tin with parchment paper then add the rolled dough. Prick it with a fork, cover with parchment paper and cooking pastry marbles or beans.

Put in the oven and cook for 10 minutes. take the marbles/beans and the paper away and cook 5 more minutes.

 Wash and cut the butternut in half, take the seed away and cut in cubes.

Cook in a steamer for 25 to 30 minutes until completely soft.

I use a blender to mix the butternut with 5 eggs, salt, coriander seeds (about 1 teaspoon) and 400ml of coconut milk (1 can).

With the use of coriander seeds, you get some bites that are more subtle other that are stronger in coriander taste. If you want something more consistent trough the whole tasting, mix the coriander seeds before adding it to the butternut.

 Pour the mixture in the cooked pie dough and cook in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes until the custard is completely set.

 As said, enjoy warm, thawed or cold!

 

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. 

 

 

a summer’s menu

It has been a while that I didn’t share my cooking trials. Don’t worry, I haven’t stop cooking! But time flew by without me noticing!

So to get your taste buds excited again, here is a seasonal menu (here, we’ve welcomed summer with open arms; too much rain gets on everyone’s temper!).

Of course, nothing’s better than a meal shared with good company, a light wind to cool down the atmosphere when the sun goes down, some fireflies to reflect the stars when it’s time for dessert…

For the amuse-bouche, I made maki sushi with mango and cod liver, served with wasabi and tamari.

I don’t say that the sushi contain cod liver as some had the terrible experience to have to drink cod liver oil to prevent any winter diseases (I was one of them!). But even those with this memory love these sushi!

Then I served tomato and espelette hot pepper custard.

To serve really cold!

 For me, the tomato lover, this custard is perfect! 

Here is the recipe:

Mix 100g of tomato purée with 40 to 50g of tomato paste. Add 1/4 tsp of baking soda if some are sensitive to tomato’s acidity.

Add 2 eggs, 5 tbsp of milk (I chose rice milk but do as you like), a good 1 tbsp of espelette hot pepper, salt and minced fresh basil.

Pour into container and cook at 200°C for 10 minutes.

Well if you make bigger portion then me, adjust the time!

Leave to cool then place in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

To accompany the rest of the meal, I made my classic bread cooked in a cast iron pot but I added a goof quantity of butter (coconut will work greatly). As the pot was a bit too big, the bread spread and we had a great golden crust. It reminded me of the ciabatta we used to buy by my grand-father’s place but I’m sure they used olive oil instead of butter!

The first course was a tatin pie with caramelized tomatoes and eggplants, served with fresh cheese mixed with honey and thyme. The crust contained parmesan.

The eggplants are ready to be caramelized!

And the result:

The second course was a mix of France and Japan. I make it often with salmon but this time I used colley. Cooked at low temperature, covered with white miso and sake, I served the fish on top of rice paper rolls, minced snow peas and I poured some homemade dashi kombu broth on top then sprinkle the plate with basil, fresh chives onions, and some espelette hot pepper.

Eat it with a fork, grabing the fish with the dashi broth. The white miso will mix with the dashi and the combination will be delicious.

For dessert: the acidity of mango and passion fruit cur, the freshness of mint cream and… 

 … the crustiness of coconut sablés!

Serve bubbles for the starters, some fresh white French wine (Loire or Languedoc) for the courses and coffe, tea or infusion with the dessert.

It had been a while sinds I last made such a meal but I had great fun!

I hope you have a delicious and fragrant summer!

 

sheet zucchini pie

The more time passes, the more the process of making pies please me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved eating blueberry or cherry pies but making them seemed boring.

Now I’m enjoying it more.

Even though I’ve started with the salty stuff, I’m growing founder of the sweet homemade pies!

So here is a savory pie. I find ti delicious, cheap, easy to make and nourishing. And super easy to adapt to all seasons.

I’m imagining this pie with sheets of butternut instead of zucchini!

When I say sheets I mean really thin slices of the vegetable cut with a mandolin.

You can decline this recipe with any vegetable coming your way: fennel, tomatoes, parsnip, turnip, carrot,…

Usually, I make pies with a gluten free crust. Why? I find it more interesting for my taste buds, it varies my diet and it suits this kind of recipe really well. You get more flavor from one simple dish.

Ingredients for a 24cm pie:

100g buckwheat flour

50g rice flour

30g quinoa flour

1/2 tsp sea salt flakes

85g cold butter cut in cubes or thin slices*

1 small egg (optional)

3 tbsp of cold water or 4,5 tbsp if not using the egg 

1 firm zucchini

1 fresh goat cheese or 200g of ewe ricotta

2 tbsp of mustard

With a pastry blender or with your hand, mix the flours with the butter. When the mix is sandy, add the egg and/or the water.

Add the water little by little to get the right consistency. You need to form a ball.

Wrap the dough in plastic film and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Turn the oven on at 180°C.

Roll the dough on parchment paper and transfer in your pie tin.

You can skip the parchment paper by oiling the tin then cover the bottom with flour.

Prick the dough with a fork and cut as is in the oven for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, cut thin slices of zucchini (almost translucent slices). The best way to do it is to use a mandolin: the slices will have the same thickness and you’ll gain time. Watch your fingers though!

On the precooked dough, spread the mustard with the back of a spoon then crumble the cheese on top. Add the zucchini slices. I add them in spiral starting from the outside and I make several layers until all the slices are on the pie. Add salt and pepper. Be careful with the salt as there are some in the cheese already.

Cook the pie in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes. The more the pie cooks the dryer it will be. To get a softer texture, cut the slices a bit thicker or cook for a shorter time.

Don’t hesitate to add basil, mint, rosemary, thyme or any fresh herbs you have in your garden.

You have the base, you can have fun now.

* For the vegan and lactose intolerant, replace butter with coconut or olive oil. 

Replace the cheese with:

1,5 cup of cashew nuts: soaked 12 hours in fresh water, rinsed and drained 

1 organic and cleaned lemon: finely grate the zest and juice the fruit

2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp sea salt flakes

Mix the cashew nuts. Add the zest and lemon juice, the nutritional yeast and the salt. Mix for one more minute and taste to rectify seasoning. Use as you would the cheese.

 

gyoza – the Japanese delight

mmmmh some great gyozas! I love that!

Those small Japanese dumplings are half grilled and half steamed… Served with a simple soy sauce and a mix of Japanese Spices. It gets me every time. 

Well, almost, I did taste some awful ones in a terrible and pretentious restaurant! It tasted like old boiled cabbage. I couldn’t believe how bad it was. And I couldn’t understand how this restaurant could serve it.. But anyway, that’s, almost, forgotten!

I give you a super express recipe but don’t hesitate to try a more traditional recipe!

For 30 dumplings:

1 pack of gyoza rolled dough

The stuffing:

200g minced pork, of quality 

3 leaves of Chinese cabbage, cleaned

3 tbsp of tamari

1 tbsp of sesame oil 

1 tsp of fresh grated ginger

1/2 tsp of grounded coriander

1 handfull of grey peeled small shrimps

The sauce:

tamari

sesame oil

shichimi togarashi

 Prepare a little bowl of water.

Mince the Chinese cabbage and the shrimps.

Mix all the the ingredients of the stuffing.

 To stuff the gyozas, place a tsp of stuffing on a sheet of gyoza dough. Lightly wet the edges (that’s why you need the bowl of water) and close the dumpling, pressing the edges.

Star over until you used all the gyoza sheets!

 To cook, heat a little sesame oil in a frying pan. After 5 minutes, they’ll be golden. Don’t turn them over and add a little bit of water to cover the bottom of the pan and cover. When the water has evaporated, take the dumplings away and cook the next one.

Don’t overpack the frying pan and don’t add too much water.

Serve with the sauce (mix all the ingredients) and eat with chopsticks!

 You’ll see, it’s a little bit of work but it’s so good, you’ll forget how much time it took!

For the vegetarian: use firm tofu instead of pork. If you don’t eat shrimp, add a few hydrated seaweeds.

 It’s not new, and you know I love Japanese food. It’s savoury and light, it’s subtle and beautifully presented. And I love the Japanese ceramic as much as the food!

 

 

 
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Quick! some raw sauce to enjoy before the sun’s gone again!

Quick, quick, before the sun disapears again… a sudden need for raw food!

If you have great quality and in season ingredients, it’s almost enough by itself! Like my own best of (although I should be patient and wait for a while, though knowing August will be the best time): tomatoes with just a few drops of great olive oil, a bit of sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper.

I try all the tomatoes I can get my hands on: ancient varieties, green, yellow, Italian, heart shaped, big, small, cherry… I can’t get enough!

But today, as I have to be quick about enjoying the weather (tomorrow it’ll rain again), I decided to make a delicious raw sauce in which I will dip the vegetables I have on hand. Maybe I’ll put a teaspoon or two inside an halved avocado. If I can stop myself from eating it directly from the bowl 

It would be wonderfull with cabbage rolls or California style rolls (I just roll a nori sheet around some julienned vegetables and spread this sauce before I wrap the sheet and can’t wait to taste!). For the meat and fish eaters, it would be very good with chicken, turkey or any fish, either raw (for the fish) or steamed (for meat and fish).

Just blend:

4 tsp of white miso 

2cm fresh ginger roughly chopped

4 tsp of lime juice

2 tsp of almond butter

4 tsp of water

It’s great with tahini instead of almond.

I would suggest you make more of the sauce, respecting the ratios. It keeps for a few days in the fridge (I can’t help spooning in the bowl every time I pass by the fridge…).

I add the water carefully to get the right texture. You don’t want it to be too liquid.

So, if in your part of the world, spring has a hard time showing up, give it a hint with this recipe!

beetroot patties, lemon pesto and mushrooms confit

20130123toqué10 For 5 patties

About 450g raw, cleaned, peeled beetroot

50 to 100g of sheep’s hard cheese

1 peeled shallot

1/2 tsp) of dry thyme

1/4 bunch of flat leaf parsley

1 tsp fennel seeds freshly grounded

20g of chickpea flour

20g of oat flakes

2 beaten eggs

salt, pepper 

Separate the leaves from the parsley branches.

Grate the beetroot.

Cut the cheese in pieces. 

Mince the shallot and the parsley leaves. Discard parsley branches opr use it in homemade stock.

Mix all the ingredients and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Don’t oversalt as the cheese is already salty. 

I skip the salt as the pesto is salty enough.

Turn the oven on at 180°C.

With a stainless steel cutter, form the beetroot patties on a baking sheet covering an oven dish. Press with a spoon and cook for 20 to 30 minutes.

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For the mushrooms :

1 small Paris mushrooms punnet

1 oyster mushrooms punnet

1 small minced peeled onion.

Brush the mushrooms to clean them and mince it.

Melt the onion in olive oil on a warm frying pan. After 3 minutes, add the mushrooms and leave to confit with salt and pepper. Mix in gently from time to time. It’ll take 30 minutes. The mushrooms should be dry and golden.

For the quinoa:

Cover the quinoa with water and leave to rest for 12 hours. Rinse well and drain. Pour in a pan, add salt, pepper and the grounded fennel seeds. Cover with water and cook for about 15 minutes.

In a frying pan, heat a little olive oil and add the quinoa to dry it and obtain a light golden tone.

Rectify the seasonig to taste.

For the pesto:

1 peeled garlic clove

60g walnuts

1/2 bunch of flat leaf parsley

1 pinch of sea salt flakes

4 tbsp olive oil

the zest of 1 lemon

2 fresh goat cheeses

In a blender or a mixer, mix the garlic, walnuts, parsley leaves (discard the branches), lemon zest and sea salt flakes.

Add the olive oil and mix again then combine with the goat cheeses.

On the plate, dress the quinoa with a stainless steel cutter. Put the beetroot patties on top and decorate with the pesto.

Add the mushrooms on the side.

Leave the remaining pesto in a bowl for each guest to get more !

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!

 

wraps – easy & delicious

 

When you’re short on time and there’s not much left in the cupboards, you can often find ingredients to make a good wrap. When you’re fed up with bread sandwich, these are great and there’s more garnish then bread! 

I always try to have my favorite toppings and some wraps for when there’s no more eggs, no more homemade fresh bread, when I don’t want to heat any pots or pans, or if there’s no way I’m going out to brave the cold/wind/rain to find something to eat and, whatever the choice, I better not have anything else to eat but chocolate (there’s plenty of that around here).

If you’re gluten intolerant, there are some gluten free wraps made with corn flour.

Here are two possibilities with fish, one more luxurious than the other.

On the wrap, place two thin slices of ewe’s cheese (like pecorino), add some green leaves (I had spinach on hand).

Mash some tuna with dry tomatoes purée (easy to make with olive oil and dry tomatoes!). Leave the cheese if you don’t tolerate it.

Add this spread on top of the leaves.

Roll.

It’s ready!

 The tuna mix is delicious inside cherry tomatoes or accompanying chickpea. 

The other recipe is even more simple:

On the wrap, mash some fresh avocado, sprinkle a few drops of lemon juice. Add a slice of smoked salmon and sprinkle hot pepper like espelette pepper or shichimi togarashi).

Roll, it’s ready!

That’s it! It’s great on fresh homemade bread but add some seeds inside the dough like chia seeds, sunflower seeds, or pavot seeds… so it’s a bit crispy in the soft inside of the bread!  

So it’s possible to eat something good and not stay in the kitchen for half a day!