Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The mint religieuse

In France, you will find some religieuses in every bakery, usually with a chocolate or coffee flavor. The joke  is unfortunatly only showing in French where menthe religieuse (mint religieuse) sounds exactely like mante religieuse (this).

Trust me, once you will taste it, you would like to get more.

To do that dessert, you need to do a cream puff pastry dough, a pastry cream and a plain frosting.
For this recipe, you have to make two sizes of puff pastry, one with a 2 inches ball and one with a 1 inch ball. The pastry cream will not be done with a vanilla flavor, but with some fresh mint leaves. You will mix the mint with half of the sugar that you will infuse in the milk. Then just follow the cream pastry recipe.

Plain frosting
1/2 egg white
7/8 cup confectionners sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1-2 drop green food color

You have to get a really nice soft mix, if not, you can warm it up a little bit in a microwave.

Now you have to fill your puff pastry balls with the mint pastry cream, and to put some frosting on each ball. Place a small ball on the top of each big ball. Chill the religieuse in your fridge for an hour.

Now it is time to enjoy.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pastry cream : crème pâtissière

8 servings

Pastry cream :
25 fl oz milk
6 eggs yolks
5 3/4 oz sugar
3 1/2 oz flour
1/2 vanilla bean

Pour the milk in a saucepan. Squeeze in the vanilla seeds from the vanilla bean.. Add to the saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium heat.
Meanwhile, whisk the yolks with sugar until the mixture is pale yellow. Whisk in the flour, and pour the hot milk on this preparation.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan.
Whisk it until the pastry cream comes to a full boil and start to be thicker. Pour into a bowl. Discard the vanilla bean.
Cover the cream with a plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface of the cream.
Chill it quikly.

When the pastry cream is completely cold, it is ready to be eaten or to be used for another dessert like an eclair, a religieuse or a choux

Advices :
- Of course you can replace the vanilla bean with vanilla extract or another flavor

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cream Puff Pastry Dough : Pâte à choux

Preheat the oven at 400°F.

8 servings

Cream Puff Pastry Dough :
1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
7 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/4 cups AP flour
4 eggs

Combine the water, salt, sugar and butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. The butter must be completely melted by the time the liquid boils, so adjust the heat as needed.
Aside from the stove, immediately dump all of the flour at once into the saucepan.  Using the wooden spoon, stir to make the mixture come together into a thick paste. Reduce the heat to medium-low, continue stirring until the dough stop sticking to the saucepan.
Transfer the dough to the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the eggs one by one, letting each addition absorb into the dough before adding more.
Use the dough immediately. Transfer it to a pastry bag and piped for the most uniform shapes.
Brush the piped dough with some beaten eggs.
Cook for 25-30 minutes.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cherry dessert

Two words to describe that dessert : simple and efficient.
Simple to do it, all parts of the recipe are easy to execute.
Efficient by the effect you will feel when you will bring the first bite to your mouth.

6 servings

Panna cotta :
2-3 gelatine leaves
16 fl oz heavy cream
4 fl oz milk
1 vanilla bean (Op)
2 1/2 oz sugar

Heat the cream, milk, vanilla seeds and sugar until the sugar is dissolved.
Soften the gelatin in cold water. Press it to remove as much water as possible. Add it to the hot cream mixture and stir until dissolved.
Divide the same quantity of panna cotta into your chosen recipient.
Place in the fridge for minimum 2 hours.

Cherry jam :
1 lb cherry
4 oz sugar
sqz lemon juice
sqz pure almond extract (Op)
FM water

Clean and pit the cherries.
In a pan, mix and heat all the ingredients. Cook it slowly until you get half of the initial volume. Stir frequently.
When you get the desired consistence, let it cool.

Crisp :
1 3/4 oz almonds powder
1 3/4 oz sugar
1 3/4 oz flour
1 3/4 oz softed butter

Let the butter soften at room temperature. Add all the ingredients, if it is too moisture, add a bit more flour.
Put it in the fridge for 1h minimum. During that time, turn on your oven at 350F, take a sheet tray, crushed the dough and cook it, stir it frequently until the crisp get a blond coloration. Once it is done, keep the crisp in a cookie container.

Once that 3 first steps are done and the panna cotta looks like jelly, top it with some cherry compote and finish with some crisp. Now it is ready to eat.

Advices :
- The 3 first steps could be done the day before, like this, you will be sure that the panna cotta will be fully ready.
- Do not forget, use soften butter and NOT melted butter, for a better result at the end.
- The recipe is with cherry fruit but you can switch to other fruits. Also if you want to replace the pure almond extract with some spices, feel free to do so.
- For the crisp, if you prefer to use some pistachio powder, hazelnut powder, pecan powder... it is up to you!
- For a better presentation, use transparent container like martini glass. Layers will be more visible.
- Keep one cherrry per person or a piece of fruits choice for decoration purpose.

sqz : squeeze bottle, one pressure to get the exact quantity of liquid you need.
Op : optional
FM : for memory, you have to think about it but you do not have any quantity to respect.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Farmer market

I am living in a country where farmer markets are starting to develop a little bit every where around our place. But what is that? They are not so different from our French market on the "place du village", except perhaps by the size and the diversity of products that you can find. You will get a contact with the local farmers who try to deal directly with the customers. Most of the time, fruits, vegetables or pastry would be sold. I have rarely seen some meats or fishs.
It is nice, fresh and it remind me of France!
That time, as you can see, we got in our basket : zucchini and yellow squash, green beans, kohlrabi, cucumber, banana pepper, tomatoes and sherry tomatoes, onions and salad.
And that for one week!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Melon is good

Melon is good
You do not need to work on it forever
To make it better
Melon and prosciutto
The first one unseasonned
The second perfectly salted
Sit down
And eat....