Mini Chocolate Cup


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Tomorrow being Mother’s Day, we will have brunch with the whole family. This means eating small bite-sized food and eating an array of lunch and breakfast items. I love brunches because you can make some really fun and beautiful food. What will you do? I would have loved to fix brunch at my house but my husband forbid me to do so saying that it was my day, and as my day I was not allowed to go into the kitchen. Well if you can cook and looking for fun things to do, here is a fun dessert bite that is very very easy to do.

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Ingredients for 48 mini cups:

  • a bag of bittersweet chocolate chips ( i prefer ghiradhelli)
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla 
  • 48 raspberry ( about 2 boxes )
  1. Place half of the chocolate into a microwavable bowl and cook in the microwave for 90 seconds. Stir and cook for another 30 seconds. The chocolate should be liquid, and free of lumps. If it is not microwave it again for another 30 seconds.
  2. Place the petit four tray on top of the medium perforated sheet and with a pastry brush, brush the inside of each cups.
  3. When finished, place the tray in the freezer or in the fridge for 5 minutes to cure the chocolate.
  4. Remove the tray from the freezer and brush the chocolate cups again to make them stronger. At this point, you may need to melt more chocolate.
  5. Place the tray back into the freezer or fridge.
  6. Meanwhile, place the heavy cream, with the vanilla and the sugar into a bowl and with a whisk beat the cream until the cream makes hard peaks. ( if you have a kitchen mixer, it is faster so you use it).
  7. Place the tray on the counter. Fill the cream into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe the cream into each cup.
  8. Place a raspberry on top of the whipped cream.
  9. This dessert will stay good for 1-2 hours in the fridge ( make sure to whip the cream into hard peaks or it will fall and the whipped cream will run).
  10. Only display this dessert when your guests are ready for desserts or the chocolate will soften and those cups will be difficult to pick up.
  11. Et voila!

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Mango, Raspberry and Coconut Sorbet Star


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On Christmas eve, I am always in charge of desserts. This year I made a chocolate Buche de Noel, but I also brought a mango, raspberry and coconut ice-cream cake. It is yummy, refreshing and it is light to your stomach. You can make your own sorbets. I usually do, but this year I ran out of time so I just bought good quality sorbets.

This is a very quick dessert to make, but because you are softening the ice-cream, make sure to do the day before or to provide enough time for the ice-cream to freeze back.

I used those 3 flavors because they are some of my favorite ice-cream, but of course you can duplicate this recipe with any flavors sorbets or ice-cream.

Ingredients for 8 individual star ice-cream cakes: 

  • 1 pint of mango sorbet ( I chose Talenti Gelato)
  • 1 pint of raspberry sorbet
  • 1 pint of coconut ice-cream

Ingredients for 1  star mold ice-cream cake (serves 8): 

  • 2 pint of mango sorbet ( I chose Talenti Gelato)
  • 1 pint of raspberry sorbet
  • 2 pint of coconut ice-cream
  1. Let the ice-cream stand for 30 minutes at room temperature or use the soften option of your microwave.
  2. First soften the raspberry sorbet, and scoop a big tablespoon of the sorbet in each opening of the star mold.
  3. Place the mold into the freezer for 30 minutes.
  4. Soften the mango sorbet and scoop the ice-cream on top the raspberry sorbet. Place the tray back into the freezer for another 30 minutes.
  5. Repeat step 4 for the coconut ice-cream. The
  6. Then place the tray in the freezer for at least 4 hours.

Serve as it is, or decorate the plate with various syrup and fruit. Be quick because the ice-cream or sorbet softens very very quickly. 

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Brie en Croute


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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.

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  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!!!

Framboisier or Raspberry Cake


Last week was my mother-in-law’s birthday and since she loves, loves, loves raspberry I thought of making her a Framboisier. I really wanted to make her a Raspberry Bavarois but since it requires several hours to set and I did not have time to bake her cake before her actual birthday I decided to make her a Framboisier out of Sable Breton and Creme Patissiere ( Pastry cream). Both require very little time to prepare, and can make succulent and wonderful looking cakes.

For the cake base, we will be making a salty shortbread dough or in French “Sable Breton”.

Ingredients for 10-12 individual tartlets, or 2 10 inches tarts:

8 oz or 225 gr. of all purpose flour, 1 pinch of sea salt, 1 tbsp of baking powder, 2/3 cup of salted butter at room temperature, 3/4 cup of granulated sugar, 4 large eggs lightly beaten.

Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together and set aside. In a mixer, beat the butter until is is light and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time and continue beating until they are well incorporated. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and with your hands kneel the dough until it is homogeneous. Mold the dough into a ball, place it inside a ziploc bag and place it in the fridge.

While the dough is “resting”, prepare the cream for the cake. We are making une creme patissiere also known as pastry cream.

Ingredients: 1 cup of whole milk, 1/2 vanilla bean, 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, 3 large egg yolks, 2 1/2 tbsp of cornstarch, 1/2 of a tube of marzipan from Odense or about 3 oz of marzipan paste( can be found in most grocery store).

Pour the milk into a small saucepan. With a sharp knife, cut the bean in half in its length and with the tip of the knife, scrape the seeds out of the bean. Place the seeds and the bean into the milk and cook the milk until is 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. Add the marzipan, mix and place the mixture into a bowl and into the fridge to cool.

Turn the oven to 350. Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out so that it is about 1.5 cm thick or 5/8 inch thick. Roll out two discs of about 10 inches, and place those discs into two large round mold. With a fork prick the dough and cook in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the dough is a pale golden color.

If you are making individual cakes, you can use metal pastry rings of about 3 inches. Cut the dough with the pastry rings, lift the ring and the dough and place both onto a silpat. And cook like that for 8-10 minutes.

You may also cut the dough in circles, and place each circle into a muffin pan to cook. It will take about 8-10 minutes as well.

When the dough or the “Sable Breton” has turned to a light brown color, remove the sable from the oven and let them cool.

To assemble:

For the large, pipe the marzipan pastry cream all over the cake and place the raspberry on top of the cream. Sprinkle some powdered sugar for added decoration.

For the individuals cakes, pipe a very small amount of  pastry cream all over each cake to allow the raspberries to stick. Place the raspberry only on the outer part of the cake. Then pipe more cream in the middle inside the ring of raspberry.

For added effects, melt 1/4 cup of bittersweet chocolate chips into the microwave for about 60 sec. When the chocolate is melted, use a pastry brush and make streaks of chocolate onto a silpat. Let the chocolate set, and brush more chocolate on each streaks. Repeat this process at least 4 times in all. Then place the silpat into the freezer for the chocolate to set.

Once the chocolate is set, place one on each cake. Sprinkle some powdered sugar on the chocolate.

Decorate the plate with some raspberry syrup, and place each cake in the center of the cake. Et voila!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Raspberry Smoothy


I love both of my children and I am always very proud of the little persons they have gotten. Of course as a mom of two teenagers, there are days when I am ready to pull my hair out because of the things they do, or the papers they sometimes bring home. Well today Lisa did something that made me feel so so proud.  As I got home today, I found Lisa in my kitchen with various ingredients on the counter. Lisa is a great help in the kitchen, and she will at times fix herself dinner, but it is very rare that I will see her in the kitchen in the middle of the afternoon so having her in my kitchen took me a bit by surprise. But I stayed and watched her do… She put a dash of things here, and a sprinkle of this and that and it was all finished. She did not look at a recipe, and when it was ll done it was very very yummy!!! I dare you to try!!!

Ingredients for 2 smoothies:

  • 2 cup of crushed ice,
  • 1 1/2 cup of fat free strawberry yogurt,
  • 1 cup of raspberry,
  • 1/3 cup of milk,
  • 2 tbsp of sugar.

In a chopper or in a blender, place all the following ingredients and pulse until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps. Pour into glasses, decorate as you wish and enjoy!!! I did even though it was not intended for me.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Fun Summer Fruit Carpaccio


Among your friends or family, do you have any people who do not like chocolate, or cream, or simply desserts? I have a few of them. It does not matter to me if my guests want or not want dessert at the end of a meal but the issue becomes delicate when you are hosting a seat down dinner and you know that a person in the audience does not like dessert. What do you do? You can’t exactly serve the rest of the table with dessert and ignore the other ones. What you can do is either propose a choice of dessert ( highly improbable)  or just offer a dessert that consists mainly of fruits. It is difficult to think of anything fun and exciting to serve… You could serve a fruit salad, a fruit soup or even a fruit carpaccio. They are easy to make,  and they look great.

For 4 people: 1 whole mango, 16 strawberries, 20 raspberries, 1/2 cup of blueberries, maple syrup to drizzle.

Cut and chop all the fruits individually. Then use some fun plates ( squares work the best), and make lines of chopped fruits as shown below.

Drizzle the fruit with good quality maple syrup. 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!!!