Raspberry and Rose Napoleon

photo 5

I love living here in the States. I love the weather, the people, the opportunity, everything.

If there is something that I miss, though, it is my family. Luckily as a teacher I have my summer off which gives me the time and opportunity to travel. So every year for the past 10 years, Lisa, Theo and myself ( or les Trois Mousquetaires, as we like to call each others) we travel, visit family and sightsee France and Europe.

This year it was the surrounding of Paris with all its beautiful cattles: Fountainebleau, Chantilly, VilleComte…
photoand Berlin. photoIf our trip is different every year, there is one thing  that stays constant, it is our usual lunch at La duree. We have made it our yearly treat. we love to go there because the setting is beautiful, the food is wonderful and it is just fun to be there;-). Plus the desserts over there are always out of this world!!!

I am sure that you can already guess what i order each time?!? Yes, it is chocolate, of course. My dessert this year looked like this… pretty?! right;-)photo

Theo ordered a very fancy ice-cream, and lisa ordered a rose and raspberry napoleon.

I did not say a word when she ordered that dessert because i did not want to dissuade her from her choice, but I did not think that she would like the rose flavor since she does not like my rose macaron. But to my surprise, she loved it, loved it.

Well this Sunday, for our dessert treat I decided to make that for our dessert. I somewhat followed the recipe that Stephane Glacier propose in his book Tartes, Gouters, et Entremets, but I changed a few things to make it easier. 

This dessert looks very hard to make, BUT IT IS NOT so I hope that you will give it a try. It is worth it. Yes!!!

Proof??? my daughter asked I made two so that she would not have to share hers;-)

photo 3

Ingredients for a square for 4 people:

  • 1 puff pastry package thawed at room temperature for 40 minutes.
  • 1 box of raspberry box of about 6 oz. 
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar for the puff pastries.

Ingredients for the Creme Patissiere, or Pastry cream:

  • 250 gr. or 1 1/4 cup of whole milk,
  • 3 egg yolks,
  • 40 gr. or 3 tbsp of granulated sugar,
  • 10 gr. or 3 tsp. of flour,
  • 10 gr. or 3 tsp. of corn flour,
  • a pinch of salt,
  • 1 stick of butter.
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp of rose extract.
  1. Place the puff pastry sheet on the roulpat and with a rolling-pin, spread the dough out to make a rectangle of 13″ by 9.5″.
  2. Place the pastry onto a silpat that you would have previously placed on a perforated sheet. With a fork, prick the pastry. photo 2
  3.  Place another silpat on top, and place it in the fridge. Let it rest for at least 30 minutes to an hour.
  4. Turn the oven to 356.
  5. Remove the pastry from the fridge. When the oven is at temperature, place another perforated sheet above the silpat to prevent the dough from rising when it will cook in the oven.
  6. Bake the puff pastry for 30 minutes. It should be golden.photo 3
  7. Remove the puff pastry from the oven.
  8. Turn the oven to 450.
  9. Sprinkle some sugar all over the baked pastries and when the oven is at 450, place the pastry back into the oven for 6-7 minutes or until the sugar has completely melted and has become caramel. Be careful to watch that the sugar is not burning. photo 2
  10. While the puff pastry is cooking, prepare the mousseline cream.
  11. In a small saucepan warm up the milk and bring the mixture to boil.
  12. Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until the mixture becomes whitish.
  13. Add the flour and the corn starch to the eggs and mix.
  14. Pour the hot milk into the egg mixture and stir.
  15. 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, add the vanilla and stir well.
  16. Cover it tightly with a plastic wrap and let it cool.
  17. When the cream is completly cool, place it in kitchen mixer. Add the soft butter and whip until the mixture is fluffy. Add the 1/2 tsp of rose extract. Set aside.
  18. Remove the pastry from the oven, and let it cool completly.
  19. Let the puff pastries cool completely before assembling the dessert.
  20. With a sharp knife, cut each pastry into 2 rectangles of 9″ by 6″.photo 3
  21. Place one rectangle on a plate, and place rasberries all around the rectangle. Pipe the cream inside the rectangle of raspberry. photo 2Place a few more rasberry in the middle of the rectangle to create leverage for the top tier of the cake.
  22. Top the cream with another rectangle of cooked pastry.photo 5
  23. With the piping bag and the small round tip, pipe the cream all over the second rectangle.  photo 1
  24. Place another rectangle atop the cream.
  25. Cut a waxed paper, or aluminium a bit smaller than the top rectangle.photo 2
  26. Lay it on the top puff pastry, and with a  powdered sugar sifter, sprinkle some sugar for decoration. Add a few fruits et voila!!!photo 3photo 4photo 5

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Smoked Gruyere, Procuitto and Mushroom Tart

photo 3

Last night I was so busy making phone calls and replying to e-mails that I failed to see the hours pass. Of course, with a family of 3 waiting to be fed still at 9pm, there was not a lot of time left for me to fix dinner. Luckily there is always an array of cheese and cold-cuts in the fridge so that dinner can be fixed  in no time. So last night, dinner for my family ended up being a Smoked Gruyere, Proscuitto and Mushroom tart and Mixed Salad.

I served this tart as a main meal, but it would make for a fabulous appetizer!!!

photo 4

Ingredients for 1 tart of 10X 15 inches for 4-6 people:

  • 1 puff pastry
  • 1 block  of about 8oz. of Smoked Gruyere grated
  • 8 slices of thin proscuitto
  • 1/2 box of small portobello mushrooms
  •  a few sprigs of thyme
  1. Take the dough out of the freezer and let it thaw out for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  2. Turn the oven to 400.
  3. Place the dough onto the roulpat, and with a rolling pin, roll the dough out to fit the flexipan perfectly.
  4. Place the dough onto the flexipan that would have been placed on a medium perforated sheet.
  5. With a fork, perforate the bottom of the tart.
  6. Layer 3/4 cup of  cheese all over the tart.
  7. Then place the prosciutto slices.
  8. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese.
  9. Remove the thyme from the sprigs and sprinkle it all over the tart.
  10. Cook the tart for 20 minutes.photo 5
  11. Serve the tart with a salad.

Bon Appetit And Happy Cooking!!!

Prosciutto and Watercress Tart


Ahh Spring break… it is almost here.. i can see it and yet it seems so far away…. 5 Days. 5 days and I will be enjoying my Spring Break and sleeping late;-) Yeah…

Well Spring Break is not here yet, and I have still a thousand things to do before I am on vacation: Homeworks, quizzes to review with my child… and the rest of my duties as a mom.

Monday was exactly that: a thousand things to do and no time…So of course I did not spend much time trying to fix dinner. I looked in my fridge, and gathered what I had: prosciutto, puff pastry ( yep another one- my fridge is a veritable treasure box).

Ingredients for 6:

  • 1 puff pastry sheet thaw out ( 30 minutes to 45 min.) Keep it in the fridge until you are ready to use it or it will become sticky and will not unfold.
  • 8oz. of proscuitto finely sliced
  • 8 oz. of italian cheese mix
  • 1-2 tbsp. of rosemary Herb Blend
  • 2-3 cups of watercress
  1. Turn the oven to 400.
  2. Place the roul’pat on your counter and place the puff pastry on it.
  3. Unfold it and with a rolling pin, spread the pastry so that it will fit the flexipan perfectly.
  4. With a fork, prick the bottom of the pie.
  5. Spread the cheese evenly over the pie dough.photo
  6. Place the prosciutto all over the cheese, do not lay the sheets flat. I kind of gather them up a bit.photo
  7. Sprinkle the rosemary herb blend over the prosciutto.photo
  8. Cook the tart for 15-18 minutes or until the edges are a golden brown.
  9. Before cutting the tart, spread the watercress over the tart.photo
  10. Slice the tart over a cutting board and slice the tart in 8 pieces.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Brie en Croute


What are your plans for the New Year? Do you spend it with your children, or with friends? In the past few years, my husband and I have gone to several organized parties with friends. The food was good, the company great, but the party needed a bit more “va-va-voum”. The balloons fell down, the kisses were shared, and the dancing ended at 12:30, maybe 1am. Allwas fun, but a bit too much subdo for my taste. I will say that i miss the crazyness of some New Year party I went growing up. I did not go to bed before 4 or 5. Now that is ceclebrating the New Year;-)

What i like, is celebrating the New Year with lots of friends. Everybody is to bring an appetizers and we are together to have fun. Lots of fun!

In the event, that you are doing that, i will share with you an appetizer that is bound to please everyone. It looks great, is appreciated by most people, and is very very easy to make.

Ingredients for 1 brie en croute.

  • 1 brie of about 5 inch wide ( i buy mine from Costco)
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry dough thawed out.
  • raspberry jelly
  • 1/4 cup of toasted almond slices
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp of water to make the egg wash.


  1. Roll the puff pastry dough out on the roulpat. And roll it out to make it into a square. Place that square on the medium silpat that  you would have placed on a perforated sheet. Set aside.
  2. Place the brie on its side on a cutting board, and with a sharp knife, cut the brie in half in its width.
  3. Place half of the brie in the middle of puff pastry square.
  4. Spoon a few tbsp of the raspberry jelly on that half, and place the other half of the brie on top the first one.
  5. Spoon a few tablespoons of the raspberry jelly on top again.
  6. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of toasted almonds on top of the raspberry.
  7. Take all four corners and gather  them to the  top. Gather the sides of the pastry to the top also. With your fingers, gather the dough together, twist the dough clockwise for a quarter turn and you will have like a knot.
  8. Flatten the knot.
  9. With a pastry brush, brush the egg wash all over the brie en croute.
  10. Cook at 375 for 30 minutes or until the dough id fluffed up and a golden color. Et voila!
  11. Serve with assorted crackers, and sliced green apples.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Vanilla-Flavored Eclairs or Salambos

Well today is Sunday, and it is my day to indulge in a dessert. I could have done a cake but I wanted something creamy and light so I decided on a Salambo. Salambos are a vanilla flavored eclairs with a caramel icing. For those of you, who are afraid to make eclairs, you should try this recipe. It works almost every time! The recipe is taken from the book Eclairs By the Marabout Editions ( found in France).

First you will want to prepare the creme patissiere.


  • 325 gr or 1 1/3 cup of milk,
  • 4 egg yolks,  
  • 65 gr or 4.5 tbsp of sugar,
  • 15 gr. or 3 tsp of flour,
  • 15 gr. or 3 tsp of corn starch,
  • a pinch of salt,
  • 1/2 vanilla bean,
  • 1-2 tbsp of grand marnier ( optional).

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. In a small saucepan warm up the milk with the vanilla bean, and the vanilla seeds and bring the mixture to boil. Meanwhile, in  large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until the mixture becomes whitish. Add the flour and the corn starch to the eggs and mix. Pour the hot milk into the egg mixture and stir. 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.

Now let’s prepare the eclairs, this recipe yields about 8 normal size eclairs ( about 3 inch long):

For the choux pastry:

  • 8 cl  or 1/4 cup,1 tbsp and 1 tsp of milk,
  • 8 cl or 1/4 cup,1 tbsp and 1 tsp of water,
  • 1/16 tsp of salt, 2 tsp of sugar,
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp of butter,
  • 1/2 cup of flour,
  • 2 large eggs.

In the saucepan, heat up the milk, salt, and sugar. Add the butter cut up in pieces. When the butter has completely melted, bring the mixture to boil. Remove the pan from the stove and add the flour by stirring very well. Place the pan back on the stove ( it must be turned off, but will still be warm), and stir and stir with a heat-resistant spatula until the dough starts becoming a ball and will no longer stick to the rims of the pan. Remove the pan from the stove, empty the dough into a cold bowl and add the eggs to the dough one at a time, mixing well after each egg. Place the dough in a pastry bag, with the large circular opening make long sticks of about 5 inches or 2 inches for small ones on a large silpat that you would have previously lay on a large perforated sheet. Sprinkle the eclairs with some confectioner’s sugar and cook them in a warm oven at 350 for 15 minutes for the small ones or about 25 minutes for the large ones. The dough should become brown and dry on all sides. If the dough is a little bit soft, continue cooking the eclairs for 1-3 more minutes. Take them out to cool.

Now prepare the caramel icing: 2 cup of sugar.

Place the sugar into a large saucepan and place it on the stove on medium-high temperature. Cook until the sugar is burning and becoming caramel. Then start stirring and remove the caramel from the stove when it is becoming an amber color. With thongs, dip each eclairs into the caramel and place them on a silpat or roulpat to cool. If the caramel is becoming too hard and it is becoming too difficult to coat the eclairs, place the caramel back on the stove for a minute or two.

With a sharp knife, cut each eclair in its length. Flavor the vanilla cream with Grand Marnier ( I did not flavor the whole cream because I do not care for the alcohol), and place the cream into a pastry bag with a star opening. Pipe the cream into the eclairs and place the top back onto the eclairs.

Et voila!!!

Serve as they are, or add whipped cream and fruit.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

An Old Timey French Dessert: Le Paris Brest

I must be a person of habits. When I start making something, i like to do it, over and over again until I get tired of it, and then I move to something else. You may have noticed that  a few of my most recent entries have been about “choux” or puff pastries. Choux have always been one of my favorite. My most favorite dessert is, in fact,  “Religieuse au Cafe” or Coffee Religieuses. I love coffee so anything with coffee is therefore a treat. Religieuses  come in two flavors generally: chocolate and coffee;-).

Today I am proposing not la religieuse but another favorite dessert of mine: Le Paris Brest.

The Paris Brest is a pastry that was created in 1891 to commemorate the Paris–Brest–Paris bicycle race. Its circular shape is representative of a wheel. It became popular with riders on the Paris-Brest cycle race, partly because of its energy-giving high calorific value, and is now found in pâtisseries all over France ( Wikipedia).

The Paris–Brest–Paris was originally a 1200km bicycle race from Paris to Brest and back to Paris. It is one of the oldest bicycling events still regularly run (the oldest being the Catford CC Hill Climb). The last time it was run as a race was 1951 ( Wikipedia).

The recipe that I am using comes from a book entitled ” Les Eclairs” des Editions Marabout. The recipe is fairly easy but takes many steps. You will want to make the cream first.

Creme Mousseline aux Noisetttes ( Hazelnut Mousseline Cream):

Ingredients: 350 gr. of creme patissiere, 120 gr. or one stick of butter, 60 gr. or 2.12 oz. of hazelnut.

Place the hazelnut on a silpat that you would have previously placed on a perforated sheet and cook them at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until they are turning dark brown -BUT NOT BLACK!!!

While the hazelnut are roasting, prepare la creme patissiere for the Paris-Brest Cream.

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.
  • 120 gr. or 4.28 of Hazelnut roasted in the oven at 400 for 10-15 minutes.
  1. In a bowl, stir vigorously the egg yolks, the sugar and the salt.
  2. Then add the flour and the corn flour and stir and mix well.
  3. Warm up the milk either in the microwave for 1 minute, or on a stove.
  4. When the milk is hot, pour it onto the egg mixture and stir. Empty the mixture into a small pot and place on the stove onto a low-medium temperature. Stir constantly while it is cooking so that it will not scorch. Stir until the mixture is thickening.
  5. Set  it aside to let it cool. When it is lukewarm, add the butter a bit at a time and stir to incorporate it homogeneously.
  6. Place the roasted hazelnut into a chopper and chop them until you have a paste that looks like peanut butter. Add this paste to the creme patissiere and mix well.
  7. Cover the cream with a plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge until the shell of the cake is ready.

Puff Shell for the Paris-Brest:

  • 80 ml. or 1/3 cup of water,
  • 80 ml. or 1/3 cup of milk,
  • 70 gr. or about 1/2 stick of butter,
  • 1 pinch of salt,
  • 10 gr. or .35 oz. of sugar,
  • 100 gr. of flour,
  • 2 eggs.
  • 1 egg whipped for the egg wash.
  1. In the saucepan, heat up the milk and water, salt, and sugar.
  2. Add the butter cut up in pieces to the water/ milk mixture.
  3. Bring the mixture to boil and make sure that the butter is completely melted .
  4. Remove the pan from the stove and add the flour by stirring very well. Place the pan back on the stove ( it must be turned off, but will still be warm), and stir and stir with a heat-resistant spatula until the dough starts becoming a ball and will no longer stick to the rims of the pan.
  5. Remove the pan from the stove, empty the dough into a large bowl and add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg.  Empty the dough into a pastry bag.
  6. Take a large piece of parchment paper and draw a circle of 9 inch. Place the paper on a medium perforated sheet., and place the  medium silpat on top of the paper. With a large circular opening make a circle following the circle that you had drawn on the paper. Make another circle around the other circle, but on the outside. Then with the dough left, make another circle on top the two that you already made.
  7. Take the egg wash, and with a pastry brush, brush the circle to even out the circle so that you will no longer see the lines of the circles that you made, and the whole thing will look like a single circle.
  8. Normally you would need to sprinkle almonds slivered all over the circle but i forgot- OOPS!
  9. Cook the puff pastry in a warm oven at 350 for 35-45 or until the puff pastry is becoming a darker brown and is no longer soft. 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time, open the oven slightly, place a spatula in the opening in between the oven and the door to keep the oven slightly open. This will allow the humidity of the puff pastry to come out, and the puff pastry will not deflate. When the time is up, check that the puff pastry is dry, and if it is not, let it cool in the oven.
  10. Remove the puff pastry from the oven and slice the puff pastry in half. Place the cream into a pastry bag and pipe the cream inside the Paris Brest as shown on the picture below.
  11. Place the top of the Puff Pastry on top of the cream and set aside.


Decoration: Caramel and Toasted Almonds Slivered.

  1. Place 1 cup of slivered almonds on a silpat and toast them at 350 for 10 minutes or until they become golden brown. Be careful not to burn them…

Caramel: 2 cup of sugar.

  1. Place the sugar in a small-size pan, and place the pan onto the stove over medium-high heat. Stir, and stir until the sugar is starting to bubble up and is starting to dissolve. Cook and keep stirring until the sugar turns to brown.
  2. Pour the caramel all over the sides of the Paris Brest and sprinkle the toasted almonds over the caramel. Et voila!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

La Galette des Rois or King’s Cake

La galette des Rois (literally “the flat pastry cake of the Kings”) is a cake celebrating Epiphany. This holiday which traditionally falls on January 6th, is a Christian holiday that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ. Western Christians commemorate principally the visitation of the Magi to the Baby Jesus (Wikipedia). La galette des rois is traditionally sold and consumed a few days before and after this date. In modern France and Quebec, the cakes can be found in most bakeries during the month of January. Two versions exist: in northern France and Quebec the cake (which can be either circular or rectangular) consists of flaky puff pastry layers with a dense center of frangipane. In the south of France, particularly in Occitania and Roussillon, the cake, called gâteau des rois or royaume, is a torus-shaped brioche with candied fruits, very similar to the Catalan tortell. This version of the cake originates in Provence and predates the northern version.

The cake has a small trinket (often a small plastic or porcelain figurine) inside, and the person who gets the piece of cake with the trinket has various privileges and obligations. The person who gets the trinket is declared the King or Queen of the day.

The cakes are usually sold in special bags, some of which can be used to heat the cake in a microwave without ruining the crispness of the cake. A paper crown is included with the cake to crown the “king” who finds the fève in their piece of cake.

Formerly, one divided the cake in as many shares as guests, plus one. The latter, called “the share of God,” “share of the Virgin Mary,” or “share of the poor” was intended for the first poor person to arrive at the home.

The French President is not allowed to “draw the kings” on Epiphany because of the etiquette rules. Therefore, a traditional galette without figurine or crown is served at Elysée Palace in January “Wikipedia”.

Today I will give you the recipe of La Galette des Rois with Frangipane:

Ingredients for 1 galette for about 8 people:

  • 1 pack of puff pastry,
  • 3.5 oz of almond mill,
  • 3.5 oz of sugar,
  • 2.70 oz of butter,
  • 2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk,
  • 1 tsp of almond extract.

  1. Roll the pastry sheets into 2 12 inches disks.
  2. In a bowl, add the almond mill, the sugar, 2 eggs, the melted butter and 1 tsp of almond extract and mix well.
  3. Empty this mixture onto one of the disk. Spread the mixture so it covers the disk all over up to 1/2 inch off the border.
  4. Place the trinket in the cake, but away from the center.
  5. Break the last egg and place the egg yolk in one small bowl, and the egg white in another.
  6. With a pastry brush, brush the edges of the dough.
  7. Place the other disk on top of the other one and close the edges by pressing and pinching the sides together.
  8. With a knife, “draw” decorations on the dough.
  9. Add 1 tsp of water to the egg yolk, mix well and brush the egg wash onto the top of the galette.
  10. Cook in oven for 20 minutes at 375. YUMMM!!!

11. Serve the galette. To ensure a random distribution of the cake shares, it is traditional for the youngest person in the house and to place themselves under the table and name the recipient of the share which is indicated by the person in charge of the service. As the cake is being given out, everyone is to wait until the child has given all the share ( but one) and tells when to start eating. It is fun!!! You should try. For now..

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!