Wednesday, April 30, 2008
1. Which food/ingredient/product do you dislike? Quel aliment (produit) n'aimez vous pas du tout?
Above all, I dislike fish eggs. Otherwise, I'm not a very complicated person, so there's not much I can't eat or dislike! Par-dessus tout, je déteste les oeufs de poisson. Autrement, je ne suis pas une personne très compliquée, alors il n'y a pas grand chose que je ne puisse manger ou que je n'aime pas.
2. Name your 3 favorite ingredients/products? Nommez 3 de vos aliments-produits favoris?
It is a very difficult question to answer as I love so many things! If I have to choose (for today only), then I'd pick duck fillets, bread and yellow Thai curry paste (see my recipe). I don't like to make such difficult choices as I'll always leave behind products that I adore (passion fruits, soy sauce, spices, mangoes, coconut milk, pumpkins, cheese, pasta, potatoes, basil, coriander, smoked salmon, legumes, bell peppers, cream cheese, fish, arugula, beets, chocolate, fish sauce, ginger, berries, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, perfumed rice, liquid smoke, asparagus, mushrooms, nuts, etc...) ... C'est vraiment très difficile de répondre à une telle question car j'aime tellement/trop de choses! Si je devais choisir (pour aujourd'hui seulement), je choisirais le magret de canard, le pain et la pâte de curry jaune thaïe (voir ma recette). Je n'aime pas devoir faire des choix car c'est toujours au détriment d'autres produits que j'adore (fruits de la passion, sauce soya, épices, mangues, lait de coco, courges, fromages, pâtes, pommes de terre, basilic, coriandre, saumon fumé, légumineux, poivrons, cream cheese, poisson, roquette, bettrave, chocolat, sauce de poisson, gingembre, fruits rouges, tomates cerises, aubergine, riz parfumé, liquid smoke, asperges, champignons, noix, etc...)...
3. What's your Favorite recipe? Votre recette favorite?
Once again, I have difficulties to choose one single recipe... Right now, I'd say it is a Tex-Mex dish: "Porc Or Ground Beef Burritos With Tomato Salsa And Guacamole" (see my recipe). Encore une fois, c'est une question à laquelle il m'est presque impossible de répondre... En ce moment, je dirais que c'est un plat Te-mex: "Burritos De Porc Ou De Boeuf Haché Accompagné De Salsa A La Tomate Et De Guacamole" (voir ma recette).
4. What is your favorite drink? Votre boisson de prédilection?
Water, otherwise I love to drink tea, coffee, good wines or cocktails. L'eau. Autrement, j'aime beaucoup le thé, le café, le bon vin et les cocktails.
5. The dish/recipe that you'd love to prepare, but which you never made? Le plat que vous rêvez de faire, mais que vous n'avez toujours pas réalisé?
My aim is to make "Macarons" (very soon)... Mon but est de faire des "Macarons" (c'est pour très bientôt)...
6. What is your best culinary memory? Votre meilleur souvenir culinaire?
My best memory has to be every time I went on holiday to England and stayed at my grandparents' home where I ate lots of gorgeous homemade specialities such as "Roly Poly", "Toad In The Hole" (see my recipe), "Roastbeef with Mint Sauce and Yorkshire Puddings", "Trife", "Scones" (see my recipe 1 & recipe 2), "Victoria Sandwich", "Mushy Peas", "Toasted Sandwiches", "Eccles Cakes", "Gooseberry Pie", "Lemon Curd" (see my recipe), etc...
Mon plus beau souvenir culinaire me vient de mes vacances chez mes grands-parents, en Angleterre, où j'ai mangé beaucoup de délicieuses spécialités faites maison telles que le "Roly Poly", le "Toad In The Hole" (voir ma recette), le "Roastbeef avec de la Sauce A La Menthe et des Yorkshire Puddings", le "Trife", les "Scones" (voir ma recette 1 & recette 2), le "Victoria Sandwich", les "Mushy Peas", les "Toasted Sandwiches", les "Eccles Cakes", le "Gooseberry (Groseille) Pie", le "Lemon Curd" etc...
(Disgust - Pic by Getty Images)
(Macarons - Pic by www.laduree-boutique.com)
(Yourkshire Puddings - Pic by www.essen-und-trinken.de)
Monday, April 28, 2008
This month Elle at "Feeding My Enthusiasms" & Deborah at "Taste and Tell" chose to challenge us in a unique and dazzling way by asking us to make "Cheesecake Pops". I must say that I wasn't expecting to produce lollipops, so their idea surprised me positively!
Those cute "Cheesecake Pops" are not terribly difficult to make, but their confection can be tricky at times. So, although you don't need to be hyper concentrated while following the recipe, it is to be said that you still have to not mess it up completely and keep an eye on what you are doing!
The first complication you'll come across is related to the cheesecake's baking time. As a matter of fact, it takes longer to bake than mentioned in the recipe. Instead of the 35-45 minutes required, it took me a good hour in order for it to set. Then, rolling the cheesecakes portions into balls was quite a finicky and messy job as they tended to melt and desintegrate a little in the hands. So, I found out that if you wet your hand before you start shaping the balls, it help a whole lot and doesn't allow the cheesecake to leave a thick coating all over the palm of your hand. In that way, the balls will look a lot neater. Otherwise, apart from those two critical points, and the fact that one needs a big freezer, everything went smoothly and the final result was more than satisfying.
I must say that this cheesecake was one of the best I've ever made or eaten, so I will keep that recipe for my future cream cheese creations. It had a lusciously silky texture and a wonderfully delicate taste, and above all, it never cracked (it looked perfect). The vanilla aroma wasn't overpowering, but just sufficiently present to add a refined flavor to the batter. The semi-dark chocolate coating added an interesting contrast to those lollipops as it's slight bitterness and strong cocoa flavor paired perfectly well with the subtle roundness of the cheesecake...
Being a big cheesecake addict, those melt-in-your-mouth creamy bites were a real hit and rejoiced my gourmet palate. I would even say that I prefer this delectable frozen treat to ice creams (which I enjoy without ever really being overtaken by them, no matter how fine they are). Just simply to die for!
Those pretty and dainty "Cheesecake Pops" are ideal for outdoor/garden festivities, birthdays, brunches, weddings, christenings, etc... as they are kid and party friendly. So, you have no excuse not to try those exquisite calorie bombs!
~ Cheesecake Pops ~
Recipe taken from “Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey” by Jill O’Connor and adapted by Rosa @ Rosa’s Yummy Yums.
Makes 30 – 40 Pops.
5 8-oz. Packages (1200g) Cream cheese, at room temperature
2 Cups (420g) Castor sugar
1/4 Cup (32g) All-purpose flour
1/4 Tsp Salt
5 Large eggs (~53g)
2 Egg yolks
2 Tsps Pure vanilla extract
1/4 Cup (60ml) Heavy cream (43% fat, Crème de la Gruyère)
Ingredients for the chocolate coating:
1 Pound (450g) Chocolate, finely chopped (see remarks)
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
Other needed items:
Boiling water as needed
Thirty to forty 20cm (8-inch) lollipop sticks
Assorted decorations (optional)
1. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 170° C (325° F).
2. Set some water to boil.
3. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt until smooth (If using a mixer, mix on low speed).
4. Add the whole eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well (but still at low speed) after each addition.
5. Beat in the vanilla and cream.
6. Grease a 25cm (10-inch) cake pan (not a springform pan), and pour the batter into the cake pan.
7. Place the pan in a larger roasting pan.
8. Fill the roasting pan with the boiling water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake until the cheesecake is firm and slightly golden on top, 35 to 45 minutes.
9. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and cool to room temperature.
10. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold, at least 3 hours or overnight (better option).
11. When the cheesecake is cold and very firm, scoop the cheesecake into 60g (2-ounce) balls and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
12. Carefully insert a lollipop stick into each cheesecake ball.
13. Freeze the cheesecake pops, uncovered, until very hard, at least 1 to 2 hours.
14. (When the cheesecake pops are frozen and ready for dipping, prepare the chocolate.) In the top of a double boiler, set over simmering water, or in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, heat half the chocolate and half the shortening, stirring often, until chocolate is melted and chocolate and shortening are combined.
15. Stir until completely smooth. (Save the rest of the chocolate and shortening for later dipping, or use another type of chocolate for variety.)
16. Quickly dip a frozen cheesecake pop in the melted chocolate, swirling quickly to coat it completely.
17. Shake off any excess into the melted chocolate.
18. Roll the pops quickly in the decoration(s) of your choice.
19. Place the pop on a clean parchment paper-lined baking sheet to set.
20. Repeat with remaining pops, melting more chocolate and shortening as needed.
21. Refrigerate the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve.
You can use all one kind chocolate or half and half of dark, milk, or white chocolate.
I used dark chocolate (60% cocoa).
Alternately, you can use 1 pound (450g) of flavored coatings, also known as summer coating, confectionary coating or wafer chocolate – candy supply stores carry colors, as well as the three kinds of chocolate.
White chocolate is harder to use this way, but not impossible.
Do not heat the chocolate too much or your chocolate will lose it’s shine after it has dried.
You can also drizzle the frozen balls with a contrasting color of melted chocolate (dark chocolate drizzled over milk chocolate or white chocolate over dark chocolate, etc...).
Use decorations such as chopped nuts, colored jimmies, crushed peppermints, mini chocolate chips, sanding sugars, dragees, etc…
Accompany those pops by a glass of cold milk, lemonade or homemade iced tea.
You can also serve those pops for dessert, along with other items.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
To submit your kitty picture(s), you can either leave a message in their blog's comment section (with your permalinks) or contact them via e-mail without forgetting to give all the needed information.
Friday, April 25, 2008
It seems that this weekend will be summer like, according to the forcast. We should have lots of sunshine and temperatures ranging between 18° C and 21° C. I'll be able to sit on my balcony for the very first time this year...
Thursday, April 24, 2008
I also can’t wait to sit on the balcony/outside and enjoy the magnificent view, the warmth of the air, the blinding sunshine, the greenness of nature and eat some good food, sip from a glass of refreshing artisan beer (I only like the sweet Belgian kind as I’m not really a beer freak, unless it’s cooked!) or of good wine.
As the weather is quite rotten, at the moment, my longing is stronger than ever and I can’t stop daydreaming about the above-mentioned spring/summer delicacies!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Let me tell you, I have really missed my blog and yours during this short period of time which seemed like an eternity!!!
Certains de vous on pu remarquer que je n’ai pas posté de billet depuis quelques jours (samedi plus exactement)… Et bien veuillez excuser mon absence! Malheureusement, je n’étais pas en vacance. En fait, je n’avais plus de connexion internet car mon «Port Routeur» est mort vendredi soir et il m’a fallu en commander un autre!
Croyez-moi, mon blog et les votres m’ont terriblement manqué durant ce court lapse de temps qui m’a paru durer une éternité !!!
Friday, April 18, 2008
This yucky weather is starting to have a negative effect on my mood. I really miss the sunshine, the bright spring light, the joyful April colors and the warm temperatures!
I mean, last year, at the same time, it was over 20° C and sunny! Can you believe that?!?
In order, to cheer up, here are some pictures (click on the pictures to enlarge) I took while walking on the Salève flanks (Bossey & Collonges-Sous-Salève), before the muck and "mushy peas (understand thick fog)" arrived...
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
This plant grows mainly in humid/swampy woodlands that have acidic soils. It flowers before the trees get their leaves and fills the air with it's characteristic strong smell that ressembles garlic.
"Ramson Leaves" should not be mistaken for "Lily Of The Valley" leaves which look quite similar and which are highly poisonous, even deadly. When bruised, "Ramson Leaves" have a pungent smell of garlic, "Lilly Of The Valley" leaves don't (they smell green, that's all)...
At the moment and 'till the end of April (latest 'till the very beginning of May), you can find them easily in our woods (Geneva Area) where they grow like beserkers and cover/colonize entire areas/patches.
This plant is free, not rare at all and tastes gorgeous, so I really recommend you to visit your nearby woods and pick some of those delicious leaves in order to spice up your salads, omelets, pasta (Ramson Pesto) or aromatize your baked goods (bread, muffins, scones, etc...) as well as any dish of your choice!
Monday, April 14, 2008
About 3 years ago, while surfing on the great and enlightening Kuala Lumpur-based (Maylaysia) site named "Jo's Deli & Bakery" and encountering a gorgeous amount of mindboggling South East Asian and Nonya recipes, I stumbled upon an intriguing recipe which I copied, printed and classified religiously into one of my immense cookery/bakery folders.
After having eyed that recipe for months, I finely decided to buy some pandan leaves in order to prepare that much needed "Pandan Extract/Juice" and baked the promising cake that had already caught my attention in 2005!
The "Semolina Cake" that I'm talking about today is a common treat which is eaten throughout the day in Malaysia. In Asia (the South East Asian part especially), such bite-sized specialities are called "Kuih (Kue or Kueh)" and are, in some distant way, the alter ego of Western creations like cookies, puddings and cakes. On the other hand, they are far from our concept of "pastries" and baked good as "Kuihs" can seem very strange for us Westerner since it is something quite unknown to us.
In the Northern Malaysia states, "Kuihs" are generally sweet, but in the Southeast Peninsular states, they can also be savory. Almost all kuihs are flavored with coconut cream/milk, grated coconut, pandan and palm sugar (Gula Melaka). Their base and texture are confered by starchy ingredients such as rice flour, glutinous rice flour, glutinous rice, tapioca, mung beans (dry flour our pureed) and tapioca flour.
This "Binka Suji" cake is very consistent, yet smooth, moist, spongy and kind of springy. It ressembles and tastes (eggy) very much like a flan or a pudding. The pandan aroma is extremely fragrant, heady and somewhat quite close to vanilla. The delightful flavor of butter is also quite present and adds an interesting dimension to this cake. Not to forget that the "crust" is pleasantly crispy and golden brown...
A "Kuih" that is baked rapidly and which gives fantastic results! Don't zap that recipe. Be courageous enough to attempt a new culinary discovery!
~ Kuih Bingka Suji (Malaysian Semolina Cake) ~
Recipe by Jo at "Jo's Deli & Bakery" and adapted by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums
3 Eggs (~53g)
110g Castor sugar
160g Semolina (cream of wheat or sugee)
250ml Concentrated coconut milk
100ml Pandan juice (see recipe)
1/4 Tsp Salt
90g Unsalted butter, melted
30g Plain white flour, sifted
1. Line the bottom of a 20cm (8 inch) round cake pan with baking paper and grease the sides of the pan with butter.
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together until the sugar dissolves. Transfer that mixture to a saucepan.
3. Add the semolina/cream of wheat, coconut milk, pandan juice, salt and water into the egg/sugar mixture in the saucepan.
4. Mix and stir constantly with a wooden spoon or a whisk
over medium heat until mixture becomes thick (see remarks).
5. Remove from the heat, add the melted butter and flour. Mix thouroughly and pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
6. Level the surface of the batter with a spoon or spatula.
7. Bake in the preheated oven at 190° C (375° F) for 1 hour, until golden brown.
8. For the final 1 minute, turn on the grill (top heat) to obtain a crispy golden brown skin.
9. Cool completely on wire rack.
10. Cut and serve.
I used good-quality coconut milk (thick and not too watery), but you can also use coconut cream.
Don't overheat the saucepan, otherwise you'll get "scrambled eggs".
The cooked mixture should ressemble thick porridge.
While using the grill, don't burn the top of your cake.
Serve with a fruit salad that has been aromatized with lime zests.
~ Bingka Suji (Cake Malaisien A La Semoule) ~
Recette par Jo de "Jo's Deli & Bakery" et adaptée par Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums
3 Oeufs (~53g)
110g de Sucre cristallisé
160g de Semoule de blé
250ml de Lait de coco concentré (voir remarques)
100ml de Jus de pandan (extrait fait avec 6-8 feuilles de pandan et de l'eau, voir mon billet)
1/4 Tsp Sel
90g de Beurre fondu
30g de Farine blanche/fleur, tamisée
1. Tapisser le fond d'un moule rond de 20cm avec du papier sulfurisé et beurrer les côtés.
2. Dans un bol, battre les oeufs avec le sucre, jusqu'à ce que ce dernier soit dissout. Transférer ce mélange dans une casserole.
3. Ajouter (dans la casserole) la semoule, le lait de coco, le jus de pandan, le sel et l'eau.
4. Bien mélanger et remuer constamment à l'aide d'une cuillère/spatule en bois ou d'un fouet, jusqu'à ce que le mélange deviennent épais (voir remarques).
5. Retirer du feu, ajouter le beurre et la farine. Mélanger afin d'obtenir une pâte homogène et verser dans le moule.
7. Cuire dans le four préchauffé à 190° C (375° F) pendant 1 heure, jusqu'à ce que le cake soit doré.
8. Pour la dernière minute de cuisson, allumer le grill (dessus) afin d'obtenir une croûte croustillante et joliment dorée (voir remarques).
9. Laisser refroidir sur une grille.
10. Couper et servir.
J'ai utilisé un lait de coco de qualité supérieure (épais et ne contenant pas trop d'eau), mais vous pouvez aussi utiliser de la crème de coco.
Ne chauffez pas trop le mélange dans la casserole si vous ne voulez pas obtenir des "oeufs brouillés".
Le mélange cuit doit avoir une texture similaire à celle du porridge (épais).
Lorsque vous utilisez le grill, faites attention à ne pas brûler le dessus.
Idées de présentation:
Servez ce cake avec une salade de fruits parfumée avec des zestes de lime.