Fancy Strawberry Tart


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Rain, rain, rain and rain… What to do when it rains and rains and rains? not a lot except staying indoors and either snack in front of the TV, or play in the kitchen. I chose the latter this past Sunday;-)

I had lots of fruits in my fridge and was craving a yummy dessert so i strolled through the recipes that Stephane Glacier had share with us last year at the Demarle Convention and I decided to recreate his Strawberry tart. I changed a few things however. Instead of using a Pate Sable Breton which is a bit salted, i chose to use his recipe for Almond Pate Sablee.

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Ingredients for 7-8 3 inches Individual Tartlets of 3 inches wide:

Almond Pie Crust:

  • 250 gr. of flour
  • 150 gr. of butter at room temperature
  • 2.5 gr.  of salt
  • 93.75 gr. of powdered sugar
  • 31.25 gr. of almond mill/ or flour
  • 55 gr. of whole eggs ( which is about 1 egg)

Pistachio Mousseline Cream:

  • 250 gr. of milk
  • 1/4 vanilla bean
  • 50 gr. of egg yolks ( which is about 3 egg yolks)
  • 75 gr. of sugar
  • 23 gr. of corn starch
  • 115 gr. , or 1 stick of butter at room temperature
  • 100 gr. of pistachio paste

Pistachio Paste:

  • 100 gr. of pistachio nuts
  • 25 gr. of almond mill
  • 50 gr. of sugar
  • 1.4 cl of water
  • 2 drop of pistachio extract
  • 1/4 cup of Rasbperry Jam or Jelly for Glacage.
  1. In a large bowl, mix the butter and the flour until the mixture looks like sand.photo 3
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and knead with your hands, or use a mixer.photo 1
  3. Place the dough onto a plastic wrap and shape into a log of about 3 inches. Place the log into the fridge and let it rest for at least an hour.photo 2
  4. When the dough has rested, take it out of the fridge.
  5. Cut 1 inch disc, and place it onto a roulpat. Fold the roulpat over the disc, and with a rolling pin, roll the dough into a disc of about 5 inches wide, and 3 mm. thick.photo 3
  6. The dough will be too soft to pick up, so lay the roulpat with the dough upside down as shown onto the tartlet tray, and slowly pull the roulpat off the dough.photo 1
  7. Push the dough inside the tartlet mold and with your fingers, push the dough so that it will fit perfectly inside.photo 1
  8. Repeat steps 5 thru 7 until you have exhausted all the pie crust.
  9. Place the tray back into the fridge to cool again for 1-2 hours.
  10. After the crust has rested, turn the oven to 320 and cook the pastries for 15-20 minutes.
  11. When the pastries are cooked, remove them from the oven and let them cool completely.photo 5
  12. Pour the milk into a small saucepan and bring it to boil.
  13. Meanwhile in a bowl, beat the egg yolks and the sugar until the mixture become thicker and whitens.
  14. Add the corn flour and mix it in.
  15. Pour the hot milk onto the egg mixture and stir.
  16. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat while constantly stirring until the mixture thickens. Remove the cream from the stove, pour it into a container.
  17. Cover the cream with some plastic wrap and place the cream in the fridge to cool.
  18. Meanwhile prepare the pistachio paste if you can’t find any.
  19. Place all the ingredients given for the pistachio paste into a chopper and chop it all until the mixture becomes a paste.photo 4
  20. Empty the cream, the pistachio paste and the butter into a mixer and beat until the mixture becomes fluffy and creamy.photo 5
  21. Place the cream into a pastry bag and pipe the cream into each tartlet up to the rim of each tartlet.photo
  22. Slice each strawberries in tiny slices and place them onto the tartlet  clockwise.photo 3
  23. Warm up the raspberry in the microwave for 30 seconds or until the raspberry is liquid and  brush the raspberry over the strawberries et voila!!!
  24. Devour!!!

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

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Lime Curd


photoSpring is finally here and I am so glad;-) I am certainly enjoying this weather. It has been so nice to be able to do my jogging outside, and not inside this boring gym.

Well this weather has also given me envy of citrus. You saw the recipes I posted last week. Well this weekend I got busy and made a few treats. Lime curd, Limoncello and Meringue Tartlets and Lemon Squares. Today I will post the recipe of the lime curd.

I had never made lemon curd until today because I was never a fan.

My mom on the other hand, was and would eat it every morning on her tartines along with her tea, and sometimes sardines… Yes my mom had some surprising tastes.

she would make me try but i enjoyed confitures ( jelly) much more. It was so as tangy.

Once would have thought that I would change my mind as I traveled through England and was offered the best of the best. But no…No matter the brand I never really liked lemon or lime curd.

I despised it so that i never ate it again until tow years ago. My sister had started to make some confiture and wanted me to try all that she was making so I could be the judge. I will tell you that I was relunctant to try that lemon curd, but hers was so yummy that it gave me envy to make my own one day. Well every year I plan to make some and every year time passes and I forget to make some. This week-end since I did not have a lot to do, and I had many many  lime on hands,  I decided to make not a lemon curd, but a lime one.

It is much more tart than a lemon curd, but I kind of like it better. Not as sweet.

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Ingredients for 2 cups:

  • 6 egg yolks
  • the zest of  2 limes
  • juice of 4 limes, or about 1/2 cup of lime juice
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 stick of butter
  1. In a large bowl, mix the egg yolks and the sugar together until the mixture is thickening and is becoming whitish.
  2. Add the lime zest and the lime juice and mix well.
  3. Place this mixture over boiling water and keep stirring until the mixture is becoming really thick photo( it should look like a mayonnaise). It will take between 5-8 minutes to get to this .
  4. Remove the bowl from the boiling water and add the butter. Mix well.
  5. Place the lime curd into the fridge. Et voila.

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You can eat it with your tartines ( toasts), in the morning, mix it in your yogurt or use it to make some lime tarts. Easy and Yummy!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Coooking!!!

Napoleon


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This past week I was left with some puff pastry and though I could have used it  to make dinner one night, I chose to keep this treasure to make a fun concoction.photo

On week-ends I like to spend time in my kitchen and make up desserts. Yesterday I really wanted to do something fancy without spending hours in the kitchen and that’s when I thought of making a much admired French dessert called Napoleon.photo

Though today this dessert is known as Napoleon, it used to be called Millefeuille which described this dessert perfectly, more so in fact that Napoleon. Indeed Millefeuille  means a thousand layers which defines perfectly what  a Napoleon is: a dessert made of 3 layers of puff pastries and pastry cream.
Ingredients for 3 large individual Napoleon or 13 mini ones:

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry thaw out in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Ingredients for the Creme Patissiere, or PAstry cream:

  • 410 gr. or 14.45 oz. of whole milk,
  • 5 egg yolks,
  • 80 gr. or 2.80 oz of granulated sugar,
  • 20 gr. or .71 oz of flour,
  • 20 gr. or .71 oz of corn flour,
  • a pinch of salt,
  • 1 stick of butter.
  • 1 vanilla bean.
  1. With a knife, cut the vanilla bean in its length. Then with the back of knife, push the vanilla seeds out of the beans and place them into the milk.
  2. In a small saucepan warm up the milk with the vanilla bean, and the vanilla seeds and bring the mixture to boil.
  3. Meanwhile, in  large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until the mixture becomes whitish.
  4. Add the flour and the corn starch to the eggs and mix.
  5. Pour the hot milk into the egg mixture and stir.
  6. Place the milk/ egg mixture back onto the stove and cook until the mixture is bubbling and is becoming really thick. Remove the pastry cream from the stove, place it into a bowl. Cover it tightly with a plastic wrap and let it cool.

While the pastry cream is cooling, prepare the layer of puff pastries for the dessert.

  1. Turn the oven to 400.
  2. Place the off pastry sheet on the roulpat and with a rolling pin, spread the dough out to make a rectangle of 12.5 by 9. Roll the pastry into the roulpat and place it in the fridge to cool for 15 to 30 minutes.photo 2
  3. Remove the pastry from the fridge. At this point you may want to cut equal rectangles to make the Napoleon. You would need 10 rectangles of about 2.5 x 4.5.photo 1
  4. If you wish to make smaller Napoleon, I would advise to bake the phillo as a entire sheet and to cut it later.
  5. Place a silpat above the pastry. Turn it around and peel the puff pastry off the roulpat carefully making sure not to stretch it.
  6. Place another silpat on the phillo dough, and a perforated sheet to keep some weight on the pastry and prevent it from rising too much:-)photo
  7. Bake in a warm oven for 15-17 minutes. It should be golden. It may still be soft but it will harden as it cools down.
  8. Let the puff pastries cool completely before assembling the dessert.
  9. If you have not cut the rectangles before baking, you may do it now. You will need 10 rectangles of 4.5 x 2.5 or 40 rectangles of 2.5 x 11/4 for the mini ones.
  10. Pour the cream into a piping bag with a sscalloped tip and pipe the cream onto the first rectangle. Place another rectangle and pipe the cream again.photo
  11. Place another rectangle to finish.
  12. At this point, you are done and  you can just sprinkle some powdered sugar over the Napoleon, or prepare un glacage ( icing)

Ingredients for the glacage ( icing):

  • 1/4 cup of powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp of water.
  • Vanilla for flavouring.
  • 1/4 cup of bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 plastig bag or ziploc bag.
  1. In a small container, mix the first 3 ingredients, and with a pastry brush, brush the icing over the top layer of each Napoleon.
  2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 40 to 60 seconds and pour the melted chocolate in a small ziploc bag. Cut the end of the bag to make a very narrow opening.
  3. Draw lines on the icing.

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With a toothpick draw an imaginary line to make drawings on the icing going from left to right, and the other line from right to left as shown below: photo 5

Et voila!!! Lots of steps, but really easy to make. Your turn;-)photo 2

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Poached Pear Tart with Maple Pastry Cream


Where does time go???? You must be wondering why I am not posting as many recipes theses days, but time seem to be fading away faster these days than they ever were or is it me just getting more busy? I am still cooking and making up recipes but I have to choose between sleeping or writing in my blog and I have been choosing to sleep. You will understand;-)

My son turned 15 at the beginning of the month. 15 already;-( Well this young man looks nothing like he used to at his birth at a low weight of 1lb. and 4oz. ( he was born at 24 weeks). Today he is almost 6 feet and weigh 180 lbs.

His birthday fell on a weekday so we had a party for it the following Sunday with all the uncles, aunts and cousins. He wanted to have an ice-cream cake so I  went to the closest ice-cream parlour and bought him a cake.

Of course I was not going to serve a bought  ice-cream cake to my guests. I am a much better host than that. Instead I decided to make a pear tart with a maple custard cream.

This recipe is for a  9 inch pie or for about 6 3 1/16 individual pies.

For this recipe you will need:

  • 2 sticks of butter at room temperature,
  • 2 1/2 cup of sugar,
  • 2 cups of flour,
  • 1 tsp of salt. 
  • 1 cup of whole milk,
  • 3 large egg yolks,
  • 2 1/2 tbsp of cornstarch,
  • 1/2 cup of whipped cream homemade,
  • 2-4 tbsp of maple syrup.
  • 2/3 pears or 1 can of canned pear halves.

Ingredients for the pate sablee ( or shortbread pie dough): 2 sticks of butter at room temperature, 3/4 cup of sugar, 2 cups of flour, 1 tsp of salt. 

In a mixer beat the butter and the sugar until it fluffs up and becomes a pale yellow. Reduce the speed and slowly add the flour and the salt. Mix until the dough becomes crumbly. Do not overmix. With your hands, shape a ball then cover the ball with some plastic wrap and let it cool in the fridge for 30 minutes and up to 2 days. Turn the oven to 375. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, place the dough on the large roul’pat, and with a rolling pin, roll a 11 inch circle if you want to make a large pie or cut small circles using the dough cutter of of 3 1/16. Place the dough into the large round mold or in the opening of the medium tartlet tray. Perforate the dough with a fork. Place a parchment paper over the dough. Fill the parchment paper/ pie with some dry white bean and cook the dough at 375 for 15 minutes. When it is cooked, remove it from the oven, and let it cool. When it is cooled, remove the beans and the parchment paper and set aside for later use.

While the pie is cooling prepare the maple pastry cream.

Ingredients for the maple pastry cream: 1 cup of whole milk, 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, 3 large egg yolks, 2 1/2 tbsp of cornstarch, 1/2 cup of whipped cream, 2-4 tbsp of maple syrup.

Pour the milk into a small saucepan and cook the milk until it is almost boiling. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until the mixture is becoming lighter in color and is becoming fluffer. Add the cornstarch and mix well. Pour the milk slowly into the egg mixture while stirring. Place the mixture back onto the stove and cook at a medium temperature until it is becoming really really thick. Remove it from the stove.Place the mixture into a bowl and into the fridge to cool.

Poached Pear:  2 to 3 pears, 1/2 cup of sugar. 

Peel the pears and slice them thinly. Place the pears on the flexipat. Drizzle 1/2 cup of sugar over the pears. Cover the pears with a medium silpat and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the pears are poached and tender. Let them cool.

If you do not have time, you may use canned pears. They are a great substitute.

When the pastry cream is cooled. Slowly add the whipped cream to the pastry cream. Also flavor the cream with the maple syrup. You may use 2-4 tbsp of maple syrup.

To prepare the pies. Place the cream into a plastic bag and pipe the cream into the pies. Lay the pears slices over the cream superposing them. For the small tartlets you will only be able to place 3 to 4 slices. For the big pie you will place the pear slices going around the pie crust.

For added decoration I drizzled some fresh caramel over the pear tart. Making caramel is quite easy. You place 1 cup of sugar into a small saucepan and you place the saucepan onto the stove at medium high temperature. Do not mix, just be patient. The sugar will start dissolving and will start to get an amber color on the outer rim. At that point start stirring until the caramel is a light golden color. With a spoon, drizzle the caramel over the pies et voila!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Raspberry Macaron with Lemon Mousseline


People celebrate birthdays.

Me… I hide and mourn because it is another year that has gone by, and a year older that i become;-(

I usually do not like to celebrate my birthday. i don’t like the attention and I don’t like the idea of celebrating another year that has slipped by;-( On that day, I like to just disappear. This year however, i had a very special birthday ( no longer in my 20th;-( booh whooh). To celebrate the occasion, a large portion of my family came to visit from France:-). So of course, this time I really could not hide, or pretend it was not be.

Instead we decided to offer a small dinner party. FUN!!! Since i love to cook. The kick though, I was not allowed to cook (per my family and my husband) so we went to a venue here in Spartanburg. The place offered good food, but since I never was able to find a dessert there, I thought I would bring my very own on my birthday.

I wanted to offer something elegant, delicious and not too heavy. Originally i wanted to make a chocolate dome, but since several of my guests do not like chocolate i decided to offer un Framboisier. It is a fairly easy dessert if you know how to make macarons, and it is a very impressive dessert.

( I would like to apologize for not offering a recipe using ounces and cups, but this dessert needs to be very precised in order to work).

The recipe of macaron was adapted from La cuisine de Mercotte, and the lemon mousse from the very reknown French pastry maker Stephane Glacier ( with whom I had the privilege to work with this past month).

Ingredients for 15 large macarons: 22o gr of egg white at room temperature, 450 gr. of powdered sugar, 250 gr. of almond mill/ or almond flour, 60 gr. of granulated sugar, 1 pinch of salt, 2 drops of red coloring, 2 drops of lemon juice.

Turn the oven to 293. Place two large silpats on 2 large perforated sheets. In a large bowl, sift together the powdered sugar and the almond flour. In the bowl of a large mixer, place the eggs, the salt and the lemon juice and start beating the egg whites until they are foaming. Then add the sugar slowly, 2 drops of red coloring,  and beat until the egg whites form hard peaks.

Slowly add the almond mill/sugar mixture into the egg mixture with a spatula by slowly folding the flour mixture into the egg. Stir slowly until the egg/ sugar mixture starts making a shiny, even dough.

Place the macaron “paste” into” a pastry bag and pipe 2 inches circles at 1 inch interval on the silpat. Bake the macarons for 17 minutes. Remove them from the oven and let them cool before peeling them off from the silpat.

Lemon Mousseline: 500 gr. of milk, 1 lemon zest, 125 gr. of sugar, 50 gr. eggs, 75  gr. egg yolks, 45 gr. of corn starch, 2 stick of butter, 4 boxes of raspberry.

Warm up the milk until is hot, and almost at a boiling point. Meanwhile in a large bowl, mix the eggs, egg yolks and the sugar. Then add the cornstarch. Slowly pour on the milk onto the egg mixture and stir. Empty this mixture into a large pot and cook at medium-high until the mixture thickens and starts making a few bubbles. Remove the pot from the stove, add the lemon zest and mix well. Empty this mixture onto a large flexipan, cover the flexipan with a plastic wrap tightly so a skin will not form, and let it cool at room temperature before placing it into the fridge.

When the pastry cream is cold, empty it into the bowl of a large mixer and beat in the soft butter a little at a time. When all the butter has been added, pulse the mixer to a faster speed for 1-2 minutes. Fill a pastry bag with the mousseline cream, and pipe the mousse on a macaron in the center of the macaron at a distance of 1/3 of an inch off the border of the macaron. Place fresh raspberry around the cream, and place another macaron on top of the cream and the raspberry. Pipe a star on the middle of the macaron, and top the star with a raspberry. Et voila!!!

Isn’t it magnifique????

maintenant c’est votre tour.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Lemon And Mascarpone Mousse: So YUMMY!!!


Whoah.. Can you believe this heat??? Well I don’t know about you , but I am not going out much these days. I am staying cool in the comfort of my air-conditionned house. Luckily this heat has also put a damper on my appetite. The good part is that it has allowed me to quickly get rid of the few pounds I gained in Europe this summer. And I have been craving to eat lots of fresh fruits and lots of “sweets” with citrus. At first I thought of making a lemon pie but I wanted to eat something a bit lighter so I settled for lemon and mascarpone mousse that I found in Les verrines du Chef des Editions Marabout.

Serving for 6 large verrines, 20 shot glasses, or 12 fleximold cupcake size:

For the lemon mousse: 2 oz of butter, 4 oz of sugar, 3/4 tsp of gelatin powder, the zest of one lemon, 3 whole eggs, 1/3 cup of lemon juice.

Melt the butter in a little saucepan, then add the lemon juice, the zest, and the eggs and the sugar that you would have previously mixed together. Keep stirring until the mixture almost comes to boiling.

When you are starting to see small bubbles forming at the top, remove the saucepan from the stove and whip energically. Then add the gelatin and mix well. Empty the cream into a bowl. Cover the cream with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to cool. The cream should be thick and glossy.

For the Mousse: 1/2 a container of mascarpone cream cheese at room temperature, 1/3 cup of heavy cream, 1 1/2 tbsp of powder sugar.

Place the cream in a large bowl and beat until the cream is thickening but does not form hard peak. It should look like a soft whipped cream. Set aside. In another bowl, beat the mascarpone a bit to whip it up. Add a few dollops of the whipped cream into the mascarpone and stir softly by folding the cream into the mascarpone. Add the rest of the cream and stir it in gently again.

In a shot glass, a glass or a fleximold, pour the lemon cream first, then the mascarpone mousse and then the lemon cream again. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

To add more effects to your dessert, you can also use a fleximold. I used the Charlotte tray. I layered the cream as I explained above and then I placed the fleximold into the freezer for 12 hours. To serve, unmold the dessert on a plate and eat it as such ( frozen) or, let it thaw out for 1 hour if you want to be it like a mousse. Decorate with lemon slices and lemon zest. Et voila!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Chocolate and Caramel Tiramisu- YUM!!!


I don’t eat a lot of desert, but when I do, it needs to be out of the ordinary and spectacular. It must;-) because I don’t want to waste those hours on a treadmill for nothing…Luckily the only desert that I really love are the homemade kind and the one from true French Patisserie so i am safe… I only indulge whenever I go out of town or when I made my own deserts. Since on the week-end, i let myself indulge a little more, I decided  to create une verrine ( desert served in a  shot glass). I got my inspiration from a French cookbook called “verrines sucrees” from the ESI Editions. Their verrine was a plain mascarpone mousse whereas mine is made with chocolate ( chocolate makes everything taste better:-)

Ingredients for 6 big glasses or 15 small shot glasses:

For the caramel: 120 gr of sugar, 50 gr of salted butter, 80ml or 2.5 oz of heavy cream.

Place a small saucepan on a stove on medium-high heat, and put half of the sugar in the pan. When the sugar is starting to melt and is bubbling, add the rest of the sugar and stir with a wooden spoon. When the sugar is turning into a light brown caramel, remove it from the stove, add the melted butter and the cream ( it needs to be warm so as to prevent  splashing). Mix well and set aside.

Tiramisu mousse: 3 eggs, 60 gr. of sugar, 1 box of mascarpone, 6 shortbread cookies or sables bretons crumbled, 8oz of bittersweet chocolate( preferebly ghiradhelli).

Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 2 minutes. Stir to make it smooth and set aside to cool. Separate the yolks from the egg whites. In a large sauce pan, bring some water to boil. When the water is boiling, lower the temperature and place the bowl with the egg yolks and the sugar on top of the boiling water. Keep the egg yolks over the steaming water until the yolks are warm to the touch, but make sure to stir so that the egg yolks will not curd. When the yolks are warm and the sugar has almost melted, place the bowl on your mixer and beat the egg yolks until they triple in volume and become whitish.  Slowly add the mascarpone and the melted but cool chocolate.

In another bowl, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks, and incorporate them into the mascarpone mixture.

To create the verrine, fill the verrine with the chocolate/ mascarpone mixture up to half of the glass. Top with shortbread crumbles, then with the caramel. Then fill up the glass with more chocolate mascarpone mixture. Sprinkle some powder cocoa, and some chocolate shavings or raw chocolate crumbs. Place the verrrine in the fridge to chill for a minimum of 3 hours. After that, devour;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!