Squash, chorizo and Comté cheese mini-cakes

Preparation : 10 to 20 mn
Baking Time : 10 to 20 mn at 350°F (180°C)

INGREDIENTS (4 serving)
300g squash,
3 eggs,
100g unsalted butter (at room temperature),
150g all purpose flour,
10g baking powder,
2 tbsp sunflower oil,
100g grated Comté cheese,
100g chorizo, 
Salt and ground pepper.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
Peel the squash, cut it and grate it (like you do with carrots...)
In a bowl, whisk butter with eggs, and add the flour little by little while whisking. Add oil. Stir to combine. Add the grated cheese and the baking powder then. Season with salt and pepper. Combine.
Slice the chorizo sausage and cut into strips. Incorporate to the batter and add the grated squash. Combine.
Take a silicone cupcakes mould. Pour the batter. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes (check the baking after the 15 minutes). 
Cool on a rack before unmoulding.
Serve for aperitif of as an appetizer accompanied by a mesclun salad.


Lemon flavored Almond creamed peach Tart

Preparation : 20 mn
Baking Time : 45 mn at 350°F (180°C)

INGREDIENTS (6 to 8 serving)
1/ Pastry : 200g all-purpose flour, 60g confectioner's (icing) sugar, 130g unsalted butter, 1 egg yolk, half of lemon zest
2/ Fruits garnish : 5 peaches, 50g almond meal, 50g softened butter, 30g granulated sugar, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 2 eggs, 30g candied lemon skin, 1 lavender stem (option).

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
Cut butter in small knobes. Put it in the mixer with icing sugar, flour and lemon zest. Add the yolk at the end.  Roll out pastry and lay into the mould (best is to use a cooking ring). If you use a metal mould, don't forget to grease it. Chill.
Meantime, prepare the fruits garnish.
Leave butter at room temperature to soften.
Make a cross on the bak side of peaches. Poach the fruits for 1 to 2 minutes in boiling water. Place the fruits in iced water then (it stops to cook). Remove the skins and cut it in quarters (same size is better !).
In a bowl combine butter and granulated sugar. In another bowl, whisk eggs with almond meal. Chop lemon skins in tiny dices. Add it with butter to the eggs mixture. Stir to combine until you get a smooth consistency.
Garnish pastry with almond mixture. Place peach quarters as shown on photo 1 above. Sprinkle lavender flower (option) and granulated brown sugar.
Bake for 45 minutes at 350°F (180°C).
Serve with a sorbet or ice cream.


Leeks and soy bean puff pastry samosas

Preparation : 15 mn
Baking Time : 30 mn
Organic soy bean curd cubes

INGREDIENTS (4 serving)
2 organic buttered puff pastry rolls
2 organic medium-size leeks
4 1/2 oz organic soy bean curd
1 egg yolk
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp curry powder
2 tbsp soy cream
1 tsp gomasio
2 tsp poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
Wash the leeks under clear water and slice it finely.
In a wok or a large pan, cook it over low heat with the olive oil and 50ml water for 10 minutes until tender. Add the soy bean curd cutted in pieces, curry powder, soy cream and gomasio. Cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from the stove and leave at room temperature.
Separate the yolk to the egg white. Keep both.
Unroll the puff pastry and cut in squares of 4 inches each.
Place a table spoon of stuffing in the center of each pastry square.
Brush the sides with the egg white.
Fold pastry to shape a triangle and seal edges in using a fork.
Process for the eleven other pastries.
Brush each pastry with the yolk, and sprinkle poppy seeds.
Cover a baking tray with parchment paper. Bake for 12 minutes.
Serve warm accompanied with mesclun salad.
Bon appetit!

Home-made Gomasio

Gomasio is a combination of whole sesame seeds and natural salt. 
Gomasio is recommended to people who have to follow a low sodium diet but want to flavor their food. As you know sesame seeds are very high in calcium and other important minerals such as copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc... as the list is long! I personally add gomasio in every savory food I cook, even in my salad dressing. I really like its nutty taste and delicate crunch.
Here is the recipe : 

Ingredients are basic: 15 tbsp whole sesame raw seeds + 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
Place a cast iron pan on the stove over medium heat. Add the salt. Stir for about one minute and remove it from the stove. Put the stove into a morter and pestle. Crush it.
Put the pan back on the stove and add sesame seeds. Cook it over medium heat in keeping stirring for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the stove. Add the seeds in the mortar and pestle. Grind a bit.
Combine the salt and the sesame. 
Store in a jar or in an air-tight container. Keep in the fridge or in a cool and dry place in your pantry.


Gluten-free spelt & hazelnut Madeleines

Preparation : 10 mn
Baking Time : 12 mn at 350°F (180°C)

ORGANIC INGREDIENTS (for about 24 pieces)
175g unstalted butter
175g granulated sugar
125g spelt flour
50g hazelnut flour
6g baking powder
3 medium-size eggs
A pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Leave butter at room temperature
In a bowl combine butter and sugar. Whisk until the sugar is totally dissolved.
Sift the two flours.
Separate the yolks to the egg whites.
Add the yolks to the butter/sugar mixture. Stir to combine.
Meantime, whisk the egg whites (with a pinch of salt) until stiff.
Incorporate the sifted flours to the butter/sugar/yolks mixture. Stir to combine.
At the end, incorporate the whisked egg whites little by little in folding for not deflating the batter.
Chill for about one hour.
Take a silicone madeleine mould and fill it with batter to the edge.
Bake for 12 minutes at 350°F (180°C).
Wait until cold before removing the madeleines from the mould.


Walnuts and Honey filled baked Apples

Preparation : 15 mn
Baking Time : 20 mn

INGREDIENTS (4 serving)
4 organic apples (Canada or Golden)
3 tbsp liquid honey
1 organic lemon
1,2 oz (50g) crushed walnuts
2 oz ( 60g) raisins
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
Zest and squeeze the lemon.
Wash apples, cut it lengthwise as shown on the photo.
Remove flesh in using a sharped knife and a spoon in keeping enough flesh in the fruit, so it remains whole after baking.
Remove the core. Cut flesh in small cubes.
Pour lemon juice inside each apples and cubes as well.
Crush the walnuts (not too much to keep the crispy texture).
In a bowl, combine honey, lemon zests, walnuts, cinnamon, raisins and apple cubes.
Fill each apple with this mixture and place its "hat" on top.
Butter a dish. Place apples in it.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Serve warm, accompanied by vanilla icecream.


Fresh cow milk cheese crispy roll, pineau des Charentes dressing

INGREDIENTS (10 serving)
For the rolls :
5 filo pastry sheets
20g unsalted butter
200g "Manslois" fresh cow milk cheese
100g whipping cream
Salt and ground pepper
For the dressing :
100ml white Pineau des Charentes vinegar
1 liter water
650g granulated sugar
20g honey
50ml blackcurrant liquor
30g candied ginger
30g candied apricot
30g unsalted pistachio
30g hazelnuts
50g Cognac marinated white raisins
Salad : rucola
Rolls : Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F).
Melt butter and brush filo pastry sheets with. Cut into strips approximately 6 cm large, and shape it by winding them on an aluminum or steel tube greased. 
Bake until you get a blond color. Cool on a rack. When it's cold, remove pastry from the tube.

Cheese mousse : in a saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Remove from the stove and add the cheese. Whisk until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. When at room temperature, pour into a siphon. Charge the gaz. Place it in the fridge.

Dressing reduction :  In a saucepan, combine honey and Pineau vinegar. Reduce over low heat to the 3/4. Add the blackcurrant liquid then. Reduce again until you get a cream consistency. 

Nuts : Crush hazelnuts and pistachios. Dice candied apricots and ginger. Bring one liter of water with 650g granulated sugar. When you get a white syrup, remove from the stove and c
ool until 60°C (120°F). Add Cognac and macerate raisins in it.

Just before serving : Fill filo pastry tubes with cheese mousse.

Presentation on the plate :  Place one roll on a plate. Brush the roll with the honey, blackcurrant and vinegar reduction. Arrange salad and nuts mix on each roll, as shown on the photo.

Bon Appetit!


My Chocolate Soufflé

Preparation time : 15mn - Baking time : 20mn

INGREDIENTS (6 serving)
  • 4 whole eggs and 2 whites
  • 150g dark chocolate 70%
  • A nut of salted butter
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
Separate the whites to the yolks of the 4 eggs. 
Put the 4 egg whites and the pinch of salt in the bowl of the food processor.
Put the yolks in a bowl with 2 eggs whites. Stir to combine.
Cut the dark chocolate in pieces. Put it in a saucepan with the butter. Melt over a water bath (bain-marie).
Add the eggs yolks mixture to the melted chocolate. Put it back on the stove over low heat, and whisk until the chocolate thickens.
Whisk the eggs whites until you get a stiff meringue. Add the granulated sugar and whisk again.
Incorporate delicately the meringue to the chocolate mixture in folding, as it's not deflated.
Butter soufflé moulds. Pour batter to the 2/3 of the mould.
Bake for 20 minutes and do not open the oven door while baking!
Serve immediately.


FLAN, the French-classic by celebrity pastry Chef Christophe Michalak

INGREDIENTS (6 serving)
  • 500ml milk
  • 125ml whipping cream
  • 125g granulated sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 50g cornstarch
  • 1 vanilla pod
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
In a saucepan, pour milk and cream. Grat the vanilla pod. Add the seeds and the pod to the liquid. Bring to a boil.
Meantime, combine sugar, yolks and cornstarch in a bowl. Whisk until smooth.
Pour the boiling milk on the eggs mixture and whisk vigorously. Pour back into the saucepan. Simmer for 30 secondes in keeping stirring. Remove from the stove. Pour the mixture into a dish covered with plastic film in contact to the cream.
When the cream is cold, remove the vanilla pod and whisk again.
Butter and flour a round mould. Pour the cream. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the flan is lightly brown with black dots on top.
Cool on a rack.


Crispy pralined chocolate mousse

INGREDIENTS (4 serving)
500ml whipping cream (38%)
200g dark chocolate 70% cocoa
170g pralined milk chocolate
125g cake crumbs
Melt the pralined chocolate in a bowl over a water bath (bain marie). Add cake crumbs. Stir to combine. Put the mixture in the bottom of 4 verrines (glasses).
Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over a water bath. Keep at room temperature until cold.
Whipp cream to get a chantilly. Incorporate to the dark chocolate (still liquid) in folding.
Fill the glasses and chill for 15 minutes.
Enjoy !


Candied Orange Peels

Orangettes (chocolate candied orange)... dried fruits cakes... and all kind of holiday delights are much more with home made candied orange peels... giving a sugary crunch and a delicate citrus flavor. I got a post on my FB page from Michele Scicolone who is happy to share her personal recipe. Here it is !
INGREDIENTS (about 6 cups making)
4 Navel oranges
1-1/2 cups sugar + more for coating the peels


Scrub the oranges clean and trim off about 1/2 inch from each end.  Cut the peel into 4 or 6 vertical segments.  Carefully remove the peel including the white pith.  Cut into 1/4-inch strips.
Place the strips in a bowl and cover them with cold water.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Drain the peels and place them in a medium pot.  Add cold water to cover.  Bring to a boil. Drain and rinse the peels.
In the same  pot, combine 1-1/2 cups sugar and 1/2 cup water.  Simmer until the sugar dissolves.  Add the peels and simmer, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 30 minutes.
Spread the peels out on a rack.  When cooled and just sticky, roll the pieces in sugar.  Leave them to dry on a rack for several hours or overnight.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.
ORANGETTES : Dip candied orange peels in melted chocolate, cool on a rack.
Keep it in a cold place (best is the electric wine cellar).
Between us... it never lasts long !


Pollack fish and Tarragon Paté

INGREDIENTS (6 to 8 serving)
3 pounds of pollack fish (in big pieces)

For the broth :
4 liters water
1 carrot (peeled and cut in cubes)
1 onion (peeled and cut in 2 pieces)
2 cloves
1 tsp black pepper in grains
1 tbsp corse salt
A small bunch of tarragon

For the fish dressing :
A small bunch of tarragon (leaves)
2 tbsp grains mustard
1 finely chopped shallot
The juice of one lemon

Prepare the broth with all ingredients as detailed above. Simmer for 20 minutes (to make it flavorful). Cook the fish for 5 to 7 minutes in the broth. The fish is cooked when the meat doesn't stick to the spine. Remove the fish from the broth. Cool at room temperature and remove the bones. Keep the carcasse and put it back into the broth. Over high heat, leave the broth reducing of half. Drain through a chinois.
Prepare the paté as follows: Crush the fish meat (not too small pieces) in a large bowl. Season with mustard, crushed tarragon, finely chopped shallot and lemon juice. 
Fill the terrine dish with the fish mixture. Do not press too much. Cover the fish with the broth (called fumet de poisson). Leave at room temperature. When it's cold, press it. Chill for about 12 hours in the fridge.
Serve this fish paté in large slices, accompanied with a green salad and toasted bread.

Vegetables and Comté Cheese "Croquettes"

400g Comté "mountain" cheese
200g leeks
200g carrots
1 garlic clove
1 small onion
1 shallot
2 eggs
40g bread crumbs
Olive oil
Table salt, Fleur de sel, ground pepper

Wash the leek and carrots under clear water. Peel an grat the carrots. Slice the leek. Peel and chop the shallot. Peel and crush the garlic clove. Peel and chop the onion thinly. In a bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the vegetables. Combine. Add the bread crumbs then. Season with salt and ground pepper. Chill for about 30 minutes in the fridge. Grate the cheese. Incorporate to the vegetables/eggs mixture. Shape cercles a little bit thick.
In a large non-stick pan, warm olive oil. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side over medium heat. Leave on plate covered with absorbed paper.
Serve warm accompanied by a mesclun salad. It will be a perfect "Sunday" evening dinner.

Green salad dressing : 1 tbsp wine vinegar, 1 tsp mustard, 3 tbsp olive oil.
Fleur de sel (extra-white sea salt) and ground pepper.


Home-made French Pain d'Epices "Gingerbread"

This cake is one of the greatest classic, a very old recipe dating from the Middle-Ages and even earlier. We call it "pain d'épices" in French as ingredients include honey and spices mix and especially cinnamon, a tribute to the Alsatians. However this pain d'épices is very popular in Burgundy, made by Mulot et Petitjean famous bakery. I recently went to Burgundy and Dijon and of course added this pastry to my shopping bag.
Back home, I was on the way to open the pack when I had the idea - a brilliant idea indeed! - to look at the ingredients on the back. I almost felt down when I saw the list of chemicals and other preservatives. Mulot et Petitjean unfortunately turned into the food industry... Bad for them but good for us, as I decided to make my own gingerbread with the best organic ingredients.
It took me less than 15 minutes to do it.
I'm putting my recipe in writing, glad to share it with you, and my cake is baking. It smells so good...

Here is my recipe :

INGREDIENTS (10 serving.. at least!)
280g unsalted butter
200g brown organic sugar
6 eggs
150g all-purpose organic flour (T65)
10g baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon (powder)
2 tbsp 4-spices mix bought at Olivier Rollinger online shop
3 tbsp liquid honey

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F)
In a large bowl, cut butter in cubes and warm it in the microwave for 30 sec. to 1 minute.
Add sugar. Stir to combine. Separate the egg yolks to the whites. But the whites into the bowl of your KitchenAid with 2 tbsp white sugar. Whisk until it's firm. 
Add yolks to the butter mixture. Combine. Add flour and baking powder sifted. Sir to combine.
Add the spices and honey. Combine again.
Incorporate the egg whites delicately in folding for not deplating. Same when you prepare your chocolate mousse.
Chill for about 30 minutes.
Fill a rectangular cake mould.
Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F, and for 15 more minutes et 300°F.
Cool on a rack.

This exquisite French "pain d'épices" gingerbread will accompany your tea or coffee.
You can also serve it with foie gras for your Christmas lunch or dinner.

Enjoy it !
Bon Appetit and Merry Christmas !!


Sautéed chanterelles mushrooms, poached egg and chervil

November 5, 1:00pm... Time to think about cooking something for a quick lunch as I have to return to my desk for designing the 2015 Lifestyle Vacations new website ! Yes, I am also now a webmaster... not easy, but I do it !!!Well let's go back to the kitchen, and open the fridge. Oh my... guess what I founded ? Chanterelles wild mushrooms bought on market Sunday and that I almost forgot. !!! How possible !?Here is what I did with it :

photo : Corinne A. Preteur

Sautéed chanterelles mushrooms, poached egg and chervil

INGREDIENTS (2 serving)
1 pound mushrooms
1 garlic clove
2 sprigs parsley
1 tbps butter
150ml liquid cream
2 organic eggs
Table salt, Fleur de sel, ground pepper

Wash mushrooms under clear water. Sauté in a wok with the crushed garlic. Season with table salt and pepper. Add chopped parsley. Cook until there's no water in the pan.
Meantime, cook eggs in salted boiling water for 6 minutes (no more!). Then put eggs under cold water to stop the cooking time. Remove the shells carefully. Leave on plate, covered to keep warm.
When mushrooms are cooked with no water in the pan, add butter. Stir to combine.
Add cream, put back on low heat.
Check seasoning with fleur de sel and ground pepper.
Serve (see my photo) with toasted country loaf bread.

Bon appetit !