Creme Brûlée


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I am a very picky eater. I have been spoiled by my upbringing ( it is difficult to beat my mom, aunt and grandmother’s cooking), and as a result, I am not easily content with my meal. While some of my friend may be happy with a warm meal, I am more satisfied with one that will open my senses and will pleasure my sight. The same goes with dessert. In fact, I can even say that it gets worse. As I worry of my size, and my health, I don’t always indulge. It has to look appealing and it has to sound amazing before I will venture to take a bite. My most favorite dessert are, I am sorry ( or not;0) to say French. I like the delicateness of French desserts and the airiness. I am fan of mousse, and cream dessert more than cakes. Among my most favorite desserts you will find Creme Caramel and Creme Brûlée.

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This Sunday as I was getting ready to make Pistachio Macarons for my sister-in-law, I was left with a dozen of yolks. What do you do with yolks… well mostly cream;-) Though the answers can be endless, as many French desserts require yolks only ( creme anglaise, creme patisserie, Cream puffs, Bavarois, Charlotte, Custard…) I decided to go with Creme Brûlée as they are my daughter’s boyfriend favorite and he was coming for dinner….

Do you know that Creme Brûlée is one of the easiest dessert there is?!?! The key is to have the right ingredients:-” and the right recipe and everything is easy from there.

Ingredients for 8-10 individual portions of creme brûlée:

  • 3 cream of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 9 yolks
  • 3/4 cups of sugar + more sugar for sprinkling
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla paste ( or vanilla extract)
  1. Mix the cream with the vanilla paste, pour the mixture into a large pot and bring it to boil.
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  2. After it has come to boil, let it cool down a bit.
  3. Turn the oven to 325.
  4. While, the cream is cooling, place the egg yolks in a large bowl, add the 3/4 cup of sugar and beat well until the mixture whitens.IMG_1174
  5. Slowly, pour the milk over the mixture and mix well.IMG_1176
  6. Place the containers inside the deep flexiflat that you would have placed over the medium perforated sheet.
  7. Pour the cream in each container. Pour water around the individual containers. Place the pans in the oven in the medium rack of your oven and cook the cream for 30-35 minutes.IMG_1178
  8. When the cream has baked for 30-35 minutes, remove them from the oven and let them cool completely before placing them in the fridge to cool ( they will need to cool for at least 1 hour).IMG_1182
  9. Keep the cream in the fridge until you are ready to serve them.
  10. When it is time to serve them, sprinkle some sugar over each cream,IMG_1184
  11. and with a torch burn the sugar to cake the caramel crust.IMG_1185
  12. Serve and enjoy this scrumptious dessert…IMG_1191

 

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Creme Brûlée

  • Servings: 8-10 people
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

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Ingredients for 8-10 individual portions of creme brûlée:

  • 3 cream of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 9 yolks
  • 3/4 cups of sugar + more sugar for sprinkling
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla paste ( or vanilla extract)
  1. Mix the cream with the vanilla paste, pour the mixture into a large pot and bring it to boil.
  2. After it has come to boil, let it cool down a bit.
  3. Turn the oven to 325.
  4. While, the cream is cooling, place the egg yolks in a large bowl, add the 3/4 cup of sugar and beat well until the mixture whitens. Slowly, pour the milk over the mixture and mix well.
  5. Place the containers inside the deep flexiflat that you would have placed over the medium perforated sheet.
  6. Pour the cream in each container. Pour water around the individual containers. Place the pans in the oven in the medium rack of your oven and cook the cream for 30-35 minutes.
  7. When the cream has baked for 30-35 minutes, remove them from the oven and let them cool completely before placing them in the fridge to cool ( they will need to cool for at least 1 hour). Keep the cream in the fridge until you are ready to serve them.
  8. When it is time to serve them, sprinkle some sugar over each cream, and with a torch burn the sugar to cake the caramel crust. Serve and enjoy a piece of scrumptiousness…….

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!!!

Blood Orange Flavored Whipped Chocolate Ganache tartlets


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When I entertain, I like to offer a large array of food. I like to cook so spending time in the kitchen is not an issue, and I like that my guests have choices. My buffet or tables will often present various meats, seafood, starches, vegetables and of course desserts. As far as desserts, i always like to try to fix a couple of them because not everyone like the same thing and I love variety myself. I often like to present something chocolatey, something fruity and something else.

Well because I always, always do too much, I inevitably run out of time in my preparation. I will tell you that tartlets are great for that reason:

1. you don’t have to make the dough if you don’t have time which take considerably time off.

2. you can prepare and cook the tartlets many days earlier so that all you have to do on the day of the party is to fill them up.

3. Some fillings are really easy and fast to make.

Today, i will share with you one of my favorite filling. It is a Orange flavored Whipped Ganache.

Ingredients for about 45 tartlets:

  • 1 pack of pie crust 
  • 1 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1-2 tbsp of Blood Orange Olive Oil from Demarle
  1. Place the chocolate chips into a medium size bowl.
  2. Pour the cream into a microwavable bowl and cook the cream in the microwave for 2 minutes or until bubbling hot.
  3. Pour the hot cream over the chips. Leave it alone for a few minutes so that the cream will slowly melt the chips.
  4. With a small whisk, mix slowly the cream until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps. Add the olive oil and mix well.
  5. Place the mixture into the fridge or the freezer so that it will cool and congeal.
  6. Meanwhile prepare the tartlets.
  7. Turn the oven to 400.
  8. Place the mini tartlet on top of a perforated sheet ( it will cook more evenly).
  9. Unroll your roul’pat on your counter and roll out the pie crust.
  10. With a pie crust cutter of 2 1/4″, cut the crust into small pie shells.
  11. Place the pie shells onto the mini tartlet pan and with a shaper, press the pie crust down so that it will take the form of the pan.photo
  12. With a fork, puncture the pie crust so that a ” bubble” will not form at the bottom when it is baking. Set aside.photo 1
  13.  Place some porcelain beads, or dry pinto beans in each pie shell so that they will stay flat and you will be able to fill more filling.photo 3
  14. Cook the shells for 13-15 minutes or until they are a golden brown.
  15. Let them cool completely.photo 2
  16.  Place the 1/2 cup of chocolate chips into a bowl and melt in the microwave for 60 sec. or until the mixture is very liquid and free of lumps. You may cook for another 30 sec if needed, stir and cook again for 30 sec. again.
  17. With a pastry brush, brush the inside of each tartlets. ( this step is not necessary of the tartlets will be eaten within a few hours). If not, you will need to brush the tartlets with the chocolate so that it will act as a “barrier” against the moisture of the ganache and the tartlets will stay crisp and crunchy.photo
  18. Place the chocolate mixture into a kitchen mixer and mix until the mixture is very fluffy.
  19. Place the star tip at the end of the pastry bag and fill the  bag with the whipped ganache.
  20. photoPipe the ganache into the tartlets and decorate with an orange fruit paste. Et voila!photo
  21. Easy, yummy and impressive;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Poire Belle-Helene Revisited


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One of my dad’s favorite was Poire Belle-Helene, or Pear Belle Helene. It is a dessert made of Poached Pears atop vanilla ice-cream, and covered with Chocolate Syrup and toasted almond. It is delicious and really easy to do.

According to Wikepedia, “Poire belle Hélène was created around 1864 by Auguste Escoffier and named after the operetta La belle Hélène by Jacques Offenbach.” The original  Simpler versions replace poached pears with canned pears and crystallized violets with sliced almonds.

I love the combination of vanilla, chocolate and pear. It is a comforting dessert, warm and delicious.

This past Saturday I was in the mood for those combinations, but was also craving cheesecake instead of ice-cream so that is when I decided to combine all those ingredients to make this dessert.

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Ingredients for 12 people: 

Ingredients for the Pear Compote:

  • 3 pears peeled and cored
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/8 tsp of tonka powder, if you can’t find any replace with cardamom
  1. After coring and peeling the pears, slice them in half and cube them very small.
  2. In a medium-sized saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and when the butter is sizzling, add the diced pears. Mix well.photo 1
  3. Add the sugar, the water and the tonka or cardamom spice.
  4. Bring to a boil and when it is boiling, reduce the heat down and cook until the liquid has reduced to half.
  5. When it is done, remove it from the heat and let it cook completely.

Ingredients for the Chocolate Syrup:

  • 1 cup of chocolate of good quality ( I use Ghiradhelli)
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  1. Place the heavy cream into a microwable safe bowl and cook the cream for 2 minutes or until it is really hot. ( you may cook the cream over the stove if you do not want to use the microwave).
  2. Place the chocolate chips into a small bowl. Pour the hot cream over it and let it sit for a few minutes.photo 4
  3. After a few minutes mix the cream and the ganache will be perfect, free of lumps;-)photo 5

Ingredients for 12 individual lingot cheesecakes:

  • ▪ 387.5 gr  or about 14 oz of cream cheese at room temperature ( about 1 1/2 cream cheese bar)
  • 110 gr.  or about 1/2 cup of sugar
  • ▪100 gr.  or about 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 80 gr.  or about 2 medium-sized eggs
  • 13 gr. , or about 3 tsp of egg yolks
  • 13 gr. , or about 3 tsp of corn starch
  • 70 gr. , or about 1/4 cup and 1 tsp of heavy cream
  • a vanilla bean
  1. Place the cream cheese in a kitchen mixer and beat it.
  2. Add the sour cream and mix again.
  3. Add the sugar, egg yolks, eggs and beat it again until the texture is free of lumps.
  4. remove the vanilla seeds from the bean with a sharp knife and mix it with the heavy cream. Add the corn starch and beat until the mixture is smooth.
  5. Pour the mixture into a fleximold of your choice. I chose the lingot tray.
  6. Cook in the oven for 50 minutes at 194.
  7. When the cheesecakes are cooked, let them cool and place them in the fridge to cool for a few hours ( overnight is better).photo 2
  8. The following day, remove the cheesecake one at a time and dip them into the warm chocolate ganache to half.photo 3
  9. Place the cheesecake on individual plates.
  10. Place a few tablespoons of the pear compote on top of the cheesecake and drizzle of bit of the chocolate on the side of the cheesecake for added decoration. Et voila!

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If you wish to serve more pear compote, spoon the pear compote on the plate, place the cheesecake on top of it, drizzle some chocolate over the cheesecake et voila!

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Patriotic Fruit Pie


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Happy Labor Day guys!!! And Thank You  Peter J. McGuire and  Matthew Maguire for us giving this day off from work!!!

We have a Labor Day in France called “La Fete du Travail”, but it is celebrated on May  1st, so quite uncertain of the origins of the American holiday, i googled it today. Did you know that this day only became a federal holiday in 1894? The reason why it became one is because the congress wanted to appease the unrest of the American people after riots erupted when a strike against wage cuts went bad. Well, I learned something today;-) and I much enjoyed this day off. I hope that you too have had a fun week-end!

 Unlike many of you who probably ran to the beach one last time this year, we decided to stay home to relax and enjoy the beautiful weather that we missed most of the summer. So what have I done? not a lot… I slept late, worked out and had fun with my family doing nothing.

And today though we are celebrating Labor Day,  I decided that I would not touch my computer and enjoy another lazy day.

Because many of you will be hosting a cook-out today, I thought to share a recipe that is very appropriate for a patriotic event such as Labor Day. It is easy, delicious, quick and looks great. A great dessert for party days such as Memorial Day or even Independance Day.

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Ingredients for 1 pie of about 9 to 10″:

  • 1 pie crust ( you can either make your own ( very easy),, or buy it in the refrigerated section of your grocery store next to dairy)
  • 8 oz of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 8 oz. of ghiradhelli Chocolate Chips
  • 4 oz or about 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 box of blueberries
  • 1 box of raspberries
  • 1 box of black berries 
  1. Unfold the pie crust and place it inside your mold. I used the scalloped pie crust, but really the large round mold can work as well.photo 3
  2. With a fork, prick the bottom of the pie crust so that air pockets will not form while the crust is baking.
  3. Spread either porcelaine beads, or dry pinto beans to weigh the pie down while it is baking ( this way it will not fluff up too too much)photo 1
  4. Cook the pie crust in a warm oven of 400 for 13-15 minutes
  5. When the pie crust is baked and golden, remove it from the oven and let it cool completly.
  6. Meanwhile prepare the cream:
  7. In a small bowl, place the white chocolate chips and set aside.
  8. In another small bowl, warm up the cream by either warming it up on the stove, or by microwaving it for 1-2 minutes.
  9. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips and set it aside for at least 5 minutes ( the heavy cream will melt the chocolate chips).
  10. With a small whisk, whip the mixture. It should be smooth, liquid and free of lumps. If it is not, place it back into the microwave for 20-30 seconds and repeat until your mixture is free of lumps.
  11. Pour this mixture into a kitchen mixer, add the cream cheese and beat the two until you have a thick lump-free cream.
  12. Remove the beans from your pie crust, and spread the chocolate mixture in the pie crust.photo 4
  13. Decorate your pie as you like, I used black berries, blueberries and strawberries. photo 3
  14. Cool in the fridge for 30 minutes and serve. Yum, Yum!!!photo

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

If you like this recipe, I would love for you to subscribe to this blog by entering your e-mail address into the box on the right of this post. Also if you have time, please rate or post a comment. Your comments are always much appreciated. Merci beaucoup et a tres bientot ( thank you and see you soon) ;-)

Lime Panna Cotta


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With Spring around the corner, I fell like a refreshing dessert this week-end.  I wanted  something with light pastel color… What to do??? I thought of a panna cotta, it is light, and refreshing. Today I used lime but you can use any other seasonal fruit.

Panna cotta is one of my favorite desserts, because it requires very few ingredients, it is easy to do and can make some quite amazing looking desserts without efforts. All you need  is find a fun tray to mold your panna cotta into.

Today i used the petal tray from Demarle.

Ingredients for 12 flowers panna cotta:

  • 2 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of lime juice
  • 1 pack of gelatin from 
  • zest of 2 limes
  1. Rinse the 2 limes that you will be using.
  2. grate the zest of each lime using a small grater.
  3. Set the zest aside.
  4. Squeeze the juice out of the 2 limes.
  5. In a small bowl, empty the content of 1 pack of gelatin. Pour the lime juice over it and stir. Let it rest for a few minutes until the gelatin expands.
  6. In a medium-sized saucepan, pour the heavy cream, the zest, the sugar and the gelatin and stir.
  7. Cook the mixture over a medium temperature and bring to boil.photo
  8. Cook for 5 minutes.
  9. Then pour the mixture into the container of your choice. I chose to use the petal mold.photo
  10. Place the tray into the freezer for 2-4 hours.
  11. To serve, unmold the flowers onto individual plates, and let the Panna cotta thaw out at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  12. I placed 2 flowers per plate and decorate the plates with some more lime zest.

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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!!!