Cranberry and Apple Normand Tart


 

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I never have to pleasure to host Thanksgiving, because I am in charge of Christmas dinner every year, but also because my sister-in-law, the only born American in our family, wants to make sure that by hosting it, it will be a true one, with a Turkey, and the potatoes and the dressing.

So this leaves me with making appetizers, desserts and sometimes sides. Every year, I scratch my head trying to figure out what I will be bringing. I have yet to think about the appetizers, but I think that I know what I will be bringing: Feuille d’automne, Tart Tatin and Apple and Cranberry Normand Tart.

This evening, I would like to share with you the Apple and Cranberry tart that I will be serving. It is very different that anything I have eaten before, but it is very good, very filling however. The great part about this dessert is that you can substitute the apples with any fruits that strike you fancy. The recipe was adapted from a recipe from Stephane Glacier called Tarte Normande.

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Ingredients for a large tart of about 12-16 persons:

Ingredients for the pie shell:

  • 250 gr. of flour
  • 188 gr. of butter at room temperature ( should be soft to the touch).
  • 7.5 gr. of salt
  • 50 gr. of milk
  • 10 gr. of egg yolks
  • 15 gr. of sugar

Ingredients for the apple mixture:

  • 1000 gr. of apples peeled and sliced in 8. 
  • 80 gr of butter
  • 120 gr. of brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp of cinnamon 

Ingredients for the normande filling:

also 1 cup of cranberry

  • 225 gr. of eggs
  • 275 gr. of sugar
  • 38 gr. of sugar
  • 190 gr. of melted butter

Ingredients for Mascarpone Whipped Cream

  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1/2 of a mascarpone container ( if you do not have container, substitute with 1/2 cup of cream cheese).
  • seeds of a vanilla bean, or 1 tbsp of vanilla extract. 
  • 2-4 tbsp  of sugar.

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  1. You will want to get the pie crust done first. In a mixer place the flour, salt and soft butter and mix well until you have a crumble texture.IMG_0180
  2. Then add the other ingredients and mix well until you have an even texture dough.IMG_0181
  3. Place the dough into a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.IMG_0182
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the apples. Peel and slice the apples and set them aside.IMG_0185
  5. In a large saucepan, melt the butter and when the butter is sizzling, add the sliced apples.
  6. Then add the cinnamon and the sugar and bring to boil.IMG_0187
  7. Cook the apples for 10 minutes. Then pour the apples into the large round mold and place them into the oven at a temperature 450 of  for another 10 minutes.IMG_0188
  8. When the apples have cooked, remove them from the oven and let them cool.
  9. Take the dough out, place it in between two roulpats (or in between 2 plastic wrap if you do not have a roulpat) and roll it out in a 12-14 inch circle. Place it back into the fridge to cool before placing it into the tart pan.
  10. Meanwhile, prepare the mixture that you will be drizzling over the apples. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients for the normande filling. Set aside.IMG_0190
  11. Take the dough back out, and gently peel the pie crust off the roulpat and place it onto the grande round ( if you do have a grande round, use a 12 inch round tart mold) that you would have placed onto a medium perforated sheet. Pat the dough down to make sure that it is fitting perfectly inside the tart pan. With a fork, prick the dough all over.
  12. Drain the apples from its juice, and spread them out evenly onto the pie crust.IMG_0189
  13. Disperse 1 cup of fresh cranberries on top of the apples.
  14. Pour the normande mixture over the apples, and cook the tart for 50 minutes at 350.IMG_0191IMG_0212
  15. Prepare the mascarpone whipped cream. In a mixer, place the cream, the vanilla seeds and the sugar, and beat the cream until it is getting thicker, but it is still runny. Add the mascarpone cheese, or the softened cream cheese and beat until it makes hard peaks. Place the cream into a container and keep it cool until you are ready to serve the pie.IMG_0192
  16. Let the tart cool completely before eating. Serve with Mascarpone Whipped Cream. Yum, Yum!!!IMG_0214

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

 

Cranberry and Apple Normande Tart

  • Servings: 12-16
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print
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Ingredients for a large tart of about 12-16 persons:

Ingredients for the pie shell:

  • 250 gr. of flour
  • 188 gr. of butter at room temperature ( should be soft to the touch).
  • 7.5 gr. of salt
  • 50 gr. of milk
  • 10 gr. of egg yolks
  • 15 gr. of sugar

Ingredients for the apple mixture:

  • 1000 gr. of apples peeled and sliced in 8.
  • 80 gr of butter
  • 120 gr. of brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp of cinnamon

Ingredients for the normande filling:

also 1 cup of cranberries

  • 225 gr. of eggs
  • 275 gr. of sugar
  • 38 gr. of sugar
  • 190 gr. of melted butter

Ingredients for Mascarpone Whipped Cream

  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1/2 of a mascarpone container ( if you do not have container, substitute with 1/2 cup of cream cheese).
  • seeds of a vanilla bean, or 1 tbsp of vanilla extract.
  • 2-4 tbsp of sugar.
  1. You will want to get the pie crust done first. In a mixer place the flour, salt and soft butter and mix well until you have a crumble texture.
  2. Then add the other ingredients and mix well until you have an even texture dough.
  3. Place the dough into a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the apples. Peel and slice the apples and set them aside.
  5. In a large saucepan, melt the butter and when the butter is sizzling, add the sliced apples. Then add the cinnamon and the sugar and bring to boil.
  6. Cook the apples for 10 minutes. Then pour the apples into the large round mold and place them into the oven at a temperature 450 of for another 10 minutes.
  7. When the apples have cooked, remove them from the oven and let them cool.
  8. Take the dough out, place it in between two roulpat, or in between 2 plastic wrap if you do not have a roulpat, and roll it out in a 12-14 inch circle. Place it back into the fridge to cool before placing it into the tart pan.
  9. Meanwhile, prepare the mixture that you will be drizzling over the apples. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients for the normande filling and set it aside until you are ready to use it.
  10. Take the dough back out, gently peel it off the roulpat, and place it onto the grande round ( if you do have a grande round, use a 12 inch round tart mold). Pat the dough down to make sure that it is fitting perfectly inside the tart pan. With a fork, prick the dough all over. Drain the apples from its juice, and spread them out evenly onto the pie crust.
  11. Disperse 1 cup of fresh cranberries on top of the apples.
  12. Pour the normande mixture over the apples, and cook the tart for 50 minutes at 350.
  13. Prepare the mascarpone whipped cream. In a mixer, place the cream the vanilla seeds and the sugar, and beat the cream until it is getting thicker, but it is runny. Add the mascarpone cheese, or the softened cream cheese and beat until it makes hard peaks. Place the cream into a container and keep it cool until ready to serve the pie.
  14. Let the tart cool completely before eating. Serve with Mascarpone Whipped Cream. Yum, Yum!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

 

Fruit Pizza


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Looking for a fun dish to bring to a party, or for a quick treat to give your children?? This is it: Fruit pizza. Thank you Donna Waltz for giving me the idea. I would have never thought of it. But you are right, it is easy, fun to make, cheap and yummy!!!

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Ingredients for a pizza for 8 people:

  •  1 and 1/2 pack of sugar cookie dough
  • 2 cups of fruit of your choice  ( I used 3 kiwis, 6 large strawberries and a few chunks of pineapple). 
  • 1 container of mascarpone cheese ( italian cream cheese to be found in the Euopean section of the dairy product) or you can substitute with cream cheese. 
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
  1. Cut the sugar cookie dough in 1/3 or 1/4 of an inch. Place each slice inside the pan of your choice ( I chose the grande mold. If you choose the deep flexipan, you will need 2 cans of sugar cookies. )IMG_1107
  2. Turn the oven at 350 and cook the cookie pizza for 15 minutes. It will be very soft at first, but let it cool completely and it will firm up.IMG_1108
  3. While the cookie is cooling, prepare the topping. In a large mixer bowl, beat the mascarpone with the sugar, vanilla extract and whipped cream until you have a whipped cream.IMG_1097
  4. Spread the cream over the cookie.IMG_1099
  5. Decorate the pizza with fruit of your choice.IMG_1103
  6. Eat up;-)

Fruit Pizza

  • Servings: 8-10 persons
  • Difficulty: Super
  • Print

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Ingredients for a pizza for 8 people:

  • 1 and 1/2 pack of sugar cookie dough
  • 2 cups of fruit of your choice ( I used 3 kiwis, 6 large strawberries and a few chunks of pineapple).
  • 1 container of mascarpone cheese ( italian cream cheese to be found in the European section of the dairy product) or you can substitute with 8 oz. of cream cheese.
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
  1. Cut the sugar cookie dough in 1/3 or 1/4 of an inch. Place each slice inside the pan of your choice tat you will have placed on a medium perforated sheet( I chose the grande mold. If you choose the deep flexipan, you will need 2 cans of sugar cookies. )
  2. Turn the oven at 350 and cook the cookie pizza for 15 minutes. It will be very soft at first, but let it cool completely and it will firm up.
  3. While the cookie is cooling, prepare the topping. In a large mixer bowl,
  4. Once the cookie is cold, beat the mascarpone with the sugar, vanilla extract and whipped cream until you have a whipped cream.
  5. Spread the cream over the cookie, and decorate the pizza with fruit of your choice.
  6. Eat up;-)

 Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

 If you like what you read, enter your e-mail on the box on the right of this post, and please share. Merci beaucoup!!!;-)

Peach Espuma


Espuma is a a foamy dessert, a whipped concoction made of fruit. Unlike many other mousse, in the Espuma, air or gas is added to a juice or a broth to make a lighter texture.

“Natural flavors (such as fruit juices, infusions of aromatic herbs, etc.) are mixed with a neutrally-flavored gelling or stabilizing agent such as agar or lecithin, and either whipped with a hand-held immersion blender or extruded through a whipped cream canister equipped with N2O cartridges.”

An espuma or thermo whip is commonly used to make these foams through the making of a stock, creating a gel and extruding through the N2O canister.

I wanted to present you the Peach Espuma because I like to serve it along a peach tart.

Ingredients for 4 Espumas:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 peaches
  • 1 tbsp of green tea leaves
  • 1/8 cup of sugar and 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 1/2 packet of gelatin
  1. Fill a medium saucepan with water, and bring to boil.
  2. When the water is boiling, drop all 2 peaches in the saucepan at the same time, and keep turning them around for a minute or so, so that they will cook evenly, and will be easy to peel.
  3. Peel the skin of the peaches.
  4. In another saucepan, fill 1 cup of water. Add the peaches that you would have quartered, 1/8 cup of sugar, 1 tbsp of green tea leaves, and bring to boil. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the peaches from the water, and puree the peaches with a hand mixer.
  6. Sieve this puree. Set aside.
  7. In a small bowl mix 1/2 pack of gelatin with 1 tbsp of water and let it expand.
  8. Place the puree back in a small saucepan, add 2 tbsp of sugar, and bring to boil.
  9. Add the gelatin, and stir.
  10. Remove the pan from the stove and let the puree cool completely.
  11. When the puree is cool, pour it into a whipping container such as ISO. Follow the instructions to make the espuma. Fill small glasses with the espuma for each guest.
  12. To serve your dessert, place the tart, the glass of Espuma, and a scoop of ice-cream on a plate.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Strawberry Parfait: Easy and Yummy Dish for Mother’s Day


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No, no, I am still alive. Just busy with various projects here and there. And yes, i am still cooking, I can’t seem to find the time to edit all my posts;-(

How have you been???

Well, today at the eve of Mother’s Day I was not so busy so I thought i would post one of my favorite breakfast. It is easy, yummy and quite healthy for you. It is very very easy to make and your children could fix those for Mother’s Day tomorrow as a dessert or part of brunch. Today i used strawberries but you could have used any type of fruit.

photo 4 Ingredients for 4 Parfaits:

  • 1 box of strawberry ( about 8 oz)
  • plus 4 beautiful strawberries for decoration
  • 1/4 cup of granola ( I used
  • 2 cups of Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp of white sugar
  • 2 tbsp of good flavored vanilla extract ( i used Madagascar)
  • 2 tbsp of heavy cream
  1. Rinse the strawberries, and cut them in eighths. Place them in a bowl and set them aside.
  2. In another bowl, mix together the other ingredients ( Greek yogurt, sugar, cream, vanilla extract).
  3. Mix the yogurt mixture into the diced strawberries.
  4. Divide the strawberry parfait equally into four cute clear containers. You could even use stem water glasses. 
  5. Sprinkle some granola on top of the parfait and place the fresh strawberry that you would have cut in a fan as decoration.
  6. Enjoy!!!

Et voila!!! Simple, easy, yummy!!!

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

 

 

 

Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake


imageOn Sundays I always like to indulge and fix a yummy dessert for the whole family. Today was no different, except that I decided to share this yummy dessert with my in-laws over tea. I don’t always have time to see them even though they only live a few blocks from us, but since this weekend I did not have that much to do I decided to call them up and invite myself for coffee and cake;-)

Though my mother-in-law asked that i not bring anything, I did not listen.. you know me:-) I will take any opportunity to play in my kitchen.

This cake looks very fancy, but is not at all so I hope that you will give it a try, and impress your friends and family.

This recipe was adapted from a recipe from Guy Demarle called “Bouchees Tropicales”.

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Ingredients for 15 individual portions, or 56 miniature, bite size desserts.

Ingredients for the Chocolate Cake. 

  • 50 gr. of chocolate chips
  • 20 gr. of butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 30 gr. of granulated sugar

Ingredients for the raspberry Mousse:

  • 1 pack of gelatin from Knox
  • 325 gr. of seedless raspberry jam
  • 3 eggs
  • 80 gr. of sugar
  • 15 gr. of cornstarch
  • 150 gr. of butter

Ingredients for the Chocolate Mousse:

  • 240 gr. of chocolate chips of good quality ( i used ghiradhelli)
  • 360 gr. of heavy cream
  • Fresh fruit for decoration, I used blueberries.

This cake is  really easy to make, but requires a bit of time as they are 4 steps to it: the cake, the raspberry mousse, the chocolate mousse and finally the decoration.

  1. Turn the oven to 350.
  2. Place the chocolate chips for the chocolate cake into a small container and melt it into the microwave for 60 seconds. Add the butter and mix it in. Set it aside.
  3. Meanwhile divide the eggs into yolks and egg whites. Place the egg whites into a kitchen mixer and beat them until they are foamy.
  4. Add the sugar and continue beating the egg whites until they are firm.image
  5. Add the egg yolks into the beaten egg whites and beat them for a few seconds.image
  6. Slowly mix in the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture and mix it until the cake batter is smooth.
  7. Spread this cake batter over a deep flexipan and cook it for 8 minutes.image
  8. When the cake is cooked, set it aside to let it cool and prepare the raspberry mousse.image
  9. Empty the gelatin into a small container and pour a tbsp of water over it. Let the gelatin soak and set it aside for a few minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, pour the content of the jelly into a small saucepan and warm it up over medium temperature.
  11. While the jelly is warming up, beat the eggs with the sugar just enough so that the sugar is no longer visible.image
  12. Add the cornstarch and mix well. Pour a few tablespoons of the jelly into the egg mixture and mix well.
  13. Empty the gelatin into the jelly and cook for a few minutes. Add the butter and mix well.image
  14. Add the jelly mixture  to the egg mixture. Mix well and cook over low medium heat until the mixture is boiling.
  15. Pour this mixture over the cake. Shake the pan against your countertop so that the raspberry mixture will spread out evenly and be smooth.image
  16. Place the tray into the freezer for a minimum of one hour.
  17. To prepare the last layer, you will need all the ingredients for the chocolate mousse.
  18. Place the chocolate chips into a bowl and microwave it for 2 minutes. Stir. And cook for another 30 seconds if needed, continue cooking until the chocolate is completely melted and is free of lumps.
  19. Meanwhile place the cream into a large mixer and whip the cream until it is thicker but has still soft peaks.
  20. Add 1/4 of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate and mix well. Then add the rest and slowly mix well until the mixture is a smooth texture.
  21. Spread the chocolate mousse over the raspberry mousse and place the tray back into the freezer for another hour.
  22. Keep the remainder of the mousse into a piping bag and place it into the fridge for later use. You will need it to decorate the cake before serving it.image
  23. To make individual mini portions, you will want to cut 1 1/4 inch squares and pipe a flower on each square. Serve as it or with coffee or tea like we did this week-end;-)image
  24. Let the cake warm up at room temperature for 15 minutes to 30 minutes before eating it. It will be very soft and will melt in your mouth;-) Yum Yum!!image

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Tuxedo Chocolate Covered Strawberries


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If you have been following me, you should know that my love is cooking. You will find me in my kitchen pretty much anytime I am home. Though Cooking is truly my passion, it is not my  profession just yet;-). I teach French to elementary children during the day. It is much fun and I really enjoy it! It is quite neat to hear them say :”Bonjour Madame Wagner” when they come into my classroom.

Anyway, our school hosted a luncheon for the board members of our district today to thank them for their service. Of course they were served cafeteria food, but for desserts, my principal had asked that I make some bite-size treats so this is what i decided to serve them:

  •  Vanilla cheesecakes,
  • Lemon pies,
  • Red Velvet Cupcakes and
  • Tuxedo Chocolate Covered Strawberries.

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I was teaching when the board came in, and ate their lunch.  When I went back to get my trays,  all my treats were gone;-)

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A good sign, right??? I understand that all went well . Even my assistant principal thanked me for all the “Ahhs” she heard and all the comments they made when eating my treats.

Great!!!

Today I thought I would share my tuxedo Chocolate Covered Strawberries. They are quick, easy to make and… they make for a great treat for the Upcoming Valentine’s Day.

Ingredients for 20 strawberries:

  • 20 beautiful strawberries
  • 1 cup of good quality chocolate
  • 1 square of vanilla chocolate bark.
  1. Rinse the strawberries under running water.
  2. With a paper towel, pat them dry.
  3. Place the chocolate into a bowl and cook it in the microwave for 90 seconds. If the chocolate is not completely fluid, keep cooking in the microwave for 10 seconds until the chocolate is free of lumps and liquid like water.
  4. Hold the strawberries by its green and dip into the chocolate to 3/4 .
  5. Set the strawberry over a silpat that you would have placed onto a perforated sheet.photo 5
  6. Continue until you have used all the strawberries.
  7. Place the strawberries into the fridge until they are set. Meanwhile, place the square of vanilla bark into a bowl and microwave for 60 seconds or until it is completely soft.
  8. Pour the chocolate into a small ziploc bag. With a good pair of scissors, cut the tip of the bag.
  9. Decorate as you wish. I did tuxedo collar and buttons.photo 2
  10. Place the strawberries in the fridge until you are ready to eat them.
  11. Place the strawberries out at least 30 minutes before consummation. Et voila;-)photo 3

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Easy Chocolate Apple Strudel


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A few weeks ago, a good friend of mine contacted me to help her out with an event she was setting up for her son’s school. In order to broaden the knowledge of her child and his classmates, she had set up a series of international meals to be given to the students throughout the year. She had called a local restaurant to help her out with the German meal. Unfortunately she had forgotten to ask him to provide the dessert as well. Knowing that I am married to a German man, myself, she called me to see if I could help her out. Of course I did! A teacher at heart, I was not about deny her demand so I agreed to provide the desserts she asked.

There are thousands of German desserts, but I thought that apple strudel would be very appropriate, and this is what i made.

In a real traditional strudel the dough would be made from scratch, but not having the time on hand I decided to make the Apple Strudel the easy way, that is using filo dough.

I hope that you will try to make it as well. It is easy, yummy and almost as good as a real one. Even my mother-in-law noted that it was very good.

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Ingredients for a strudel for 6-8 people:

  • 1 pack of phillo dough ( about 12 sheets)
  • 1/4 cup of butter melted or vegetable oil
  • 3 apples
  • 1/4 cup of bittersweet chocolate chips ( ghiradhelli)
  • brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of almond mill
  1. Peel the apples and slice them in thin slices. Place them into a large bowl. Mix in the brown sugar and the almond mill and mix well. Set aside.
  2. Roll out your roulpat, and place 2 phyllo leaves on it.photo 5
  3.  Brush the layers with melted butter, or vegetable oil.
  4. Place 2 more leaves on top and brush with butter again.
  5. Repeat those steps until you have used at least 8 leaves.
  6. Empty the apple mixtures on the buttered layers and spread them out leaving a 2 inches border on the right side.photo 3
  7. And start folding the apple strudel starting from left side and folding it to about 3 inches in above the apples.
  8. Continue folding until there is nothing to fold;-). Make sure the end piece is facing down.photo 2
  9. Carefully lift the apple strudel from the roulpat and plate it onto a deep flexipan that you would have previously placed on a medium perforated sheet.
  10. Brush the top of the strudel with butter and sprinkle with 2 tbsp sugar.
  11. Repeat the entire procedure for the second strudel.
  12. Bake the strudels at 400°F for 20 to 25 minutes, until browned.photo 5

13.While the apple strudel is baking, prepare the “creme Anglaise” or cream:

Ingredients for 2 cups of Creme Anglaise:

  • 2 cups half-and-half or whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  1. Cut the vanilla bean in half, scrape the vanilla seeds with a knife and  place them into the milk.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine the half-and-half and vanilla bean and cook over moderately low heat just until small bubbles appear around the rim, about 5 minutes.
  3. In another medium bowl, whisk the sugar and egg yolks just until combined.
  4. Whisk in half of the hot half-and-half in a thin stream.
  5. Pour the mixture into the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the sauce has thickened slightly, 4 to 5 minutes.photo 4
  6. Immediately strain the sauce into the bowl in the cold water bath to stop the cooking ( optional).
  7.  Serve right away or refrigerate until chilled.
  8. Drizzle the creme anglaise in each individual plates. Cut the apple strudel in 1 inch thick, and place each piece on each plate. serving on individual plates. Sprinkle some powdered sugar with the sugar dispenser and enjoy!
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Bon Appetit and happy Cooking!!!