Friday, January 28, 2011


It makes me really angry to NEVER be able to finish my challenges before the deadline. I always promise myself to start early, yet I am by no means able to commit to it. So, this is the reason why I consistently embark on my baking adventure at the very last minute and put myself under a lot of stress. I've come to the conclusion that it is the way I function. Unfortunately, stress will everlastingly be a part of my personality...

The January 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Astheroshe of the blog "Accro". She chose to challenge everyone to make a "Biscuit Joconde Imprime" to wrap around an "Entremets" dessert.

Entremet Lemon Picnik collage 4 bis
This cold ornate dessert usually has many different layers of cake, mousse (Bavarian cream mousse or simple mousse) and is decorated with either jelly, whipped cream or a fruit coulis. It is one of my favorite sweet courses especially when it is of the chocolaty or fruity (lime, lemon, passionfruit, mango, raspberry, etc...) kind. I particularly like the dainty looks, elaborate details, freshness, lightness and exquisiteness of "Entremets".

At home we regularly ate those refined treats. My mother was not the type of hobby-baker who enjoyed preparing complex goods, she was more a person who liked to keep things uncomplicated. Baking like a pâtissier was never one of her aims. She didn't want to wander out of her comfort zone and wasn't as curious food-wise as me. Luckily for us my father happened to work just a few meters away from a very good "pâtisserie-boulagerie" (how convenients LOL) and came back home at least once a week (before he retired, he was one of their most faithful customers and also bought croissants on a daily basis) with luscious confections which we goobbled voraciously.

The day before his buying spree my father made sure to ask us what we wanted in order for him to place an order early the next morning. I remember that the prospect of eating Confiserie Ducret's amazing creations filled me with the highest joy. I can't recall how many times I ordered their gorgeous millefeuilles filled with three rich chocolate truffle mousses (black, milk & white) and their ambrosial mango or raspberry mini "Entremets". Heavenly and dreamlike, unless you remember that this might have been one of the reasons why you weren't exactly the thinnest girl at school (thankfully, I have lost those extra pounds now)...

Well, although I was looking forward to
devour my "Lemon & Passionfruit Entremet", I somehow was not too excited at the prospect of putting it together as even if I'm an audacious person in the kitchen, I'm not exactly the kind of girl who is passionate about all things technical. This challenge's difficulties were concentrated on our ability to draw patterns with the cocoa paste, have measuring abilities and cut our cake with extreme precision. That is exactly everything I hate to do. It makes me panic as I know that I'm not the best in that domain and have no patience for such exercizes!

Anyway, apart from slightly burning my joconde cake (the recipe had certain flaws - the baking temperature and the amount of time during which the cake has to stay in the oven are wrong) which resulted in a not very flexible cake wrappers that tended to break every time I tried to line the mold, the whole process wasn't really as complicated as I imagined. I started baking at 7pm and ended the challenge by 9h30pm. Not a bad timing considering the fact that it was the first time that I baked an "Entremet" and had to continually wash the dishes, pans and make space in my kitchen since it is as small as a rat's hole.

What intense physical activity and mental pressure! I can tell you that after those hours of strainous spinning around the place like a wheel, working like a mad woman on speed and praying the gods of success to not let me down I was wrecked and not capable of funtioning anymore.

Thankfully, the heavens above didn't let me down nor did my "Lemon & Passionfruit Entremet" which turned out to look surprisingly presentable even if it had a few tears here and there. Overall I was satisfied with my creation as not only was it an eyepleaser, but also a delight for the tastebuds.

This "Lemon & Passionfruit Entremet" has a blissfull texture and taste. The joconde cake is pleasantly spongy and nutty, the mousse filling is mindblowingly airy, light and intensely lemony, and the passionfruit jelly topping is constrastingly firm and exhaliratingly fragrant. A combination that cannot fail to bring a smile on the saddest of faces or to uplift the most depressed of souls!

entremet Lemon Picnik collage 5 bis
~ Lemon & Passionfruit Entremet ~
Recipe by
Chef John O. from The International Culinary School in Atlanta, Georgia USA.

Yields 1x 15cm diameter entremet .

Preparation time:

It takes about 2h30 to 3h30 (2h for the joconde and 30min - 1h30 for the filling).

Equipment required:

. Silpat
. 1/2 Baking sheets or a 13” x 18” jelly roll sheet (rimmed baking sheet)
. Mixer (optional)
. Bowls
. Knives
. Offset spatula
. Regular spatula
. Pastry comb (optional)
. Rulers
. Spring form pan
. Biscuit cutter (or ring mold, or cut PVC pipe, or whatever else you can think of to use as a mold for individual desserts)
. Torte/entremets mold/Springform pan/ Trifle dish (for larger desserts)
. Cling wrap . Parchment paper
. Gel, paste or liquid food coloring (optional)


Entremet Lemon Picnik collage 1 bis

For one 33x46cm (13inchx8inch) jelly roll pan.

3/4 Cup (3oz/85g) Almond flour/meal (You can also use hazelnut flour, just omit the butter) 1/2 Cup + 2 Tbs (2 2/3oz/75g) Confectioners' sugar
1/4 Cup (1 oz/25g) Cake flour
3 Large Eggs (about 5 1/3oz/150g)
3 Large Egg whites (about 3oz 90g)
2 1/2 Tsp (1/3oz/10g) White granulated/castor sugar or superfine sugar
2 Tbs (1oz/30g) Unsalted butter, melted

1. In a clean mixing bowl whip the egg whites and white granulated sugar to firm, glossy peeks. 2. Reserve in a separate clean bowl to use later.
3. Sift almond flour, confectioner’s sugar, cake flour. (This can be done into your dirty egg white bowl.)
4. On medium speed, add the eggs a little at a time. Mix well after each addition. Mix until smooth and light. (If using a stand mixer use blade attachment. If hand held a whisk attachment is fine, or by hand. )
5. Fold in one third reserved whipped egg whites to almond mixture to lighten the batter. Fold in remaining whipped egg whites. Do not over mix.
6. Fold in melted butter.
7. Reserve batter to be used later.


Entremet Sunset copy 1.1 bis

Yields one 33x46cm (13inchx8inch) jelly roll pan (I made the half).

7 Tbs (3.5oz/100g) Unsalted butter, softened
3/4 Cups + 3/4 Tbs (3.5oz/100g) Confectioners' sugar
3.5 Large Egg whites (about 3.5oz/100g)
5/4 Cup (3.8oz/110g) Cake flour
Food coloring gel, paste or liquid

COCOA Décor Paste Variation:
Reduce cake flour to 3oz/85g.
Add 1oz/30g cocoa powder.
Sift the flour and cocoa powder together before adding to
creamed mixture.

1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. (Use stand mixer with blade, hand held mixer, or by hand.)
2. Gradually add egg whites. Beat continuously.
3. Fold in sifted flour.
4. Tint batter with coloring to desired color, if not making cocoa variation.


Entremet Lemon Picnik collage 2 bis

1. Use a piping bag. Pipe letters, or polka dots, or a piped design. If you do not have a piping bag. Fill a ziplock bag and snip off corner for a homemade version of one piping bag.
2. Slide the baking sheet with paste into the freezer. Freeze hard. Approx 15 minutes.
3. Remove from freezer. Quickly pour the Joconde batter over the design. Spread evenly to completely cover the pattern of the Décor paste.
4. Bake at 400ºF /200ºC until the joconde bounces back when slightly pressed, approx. 10-15 minutes. You can bake it as is on the upside down pan. Yes, it is a very quick bake, so watch carefully
5. Cool. Do not leave too long, or you will have difficulty removing it from mat.
6. Flip cooled cake on to a powdered sugared parchment paper. Remove silpat. Cake should be right side up, and pattern showing! (The powdered sugar helps the cake from sticking when cutting.)


Entremet Lemon Half copy bis

1. A biscuit cutter/ cookie cutter- using cling wrap pulled tightly as the base and the cl
ing covering the outside of the mold, placed on a parchment lined very flat baking sheet.
2. Line the inside with a curled piece of parchment paper overlapping.

3. Decide how thick you want your “Joconde wrapper”. Traditionally, it is 1/2 the height of your mold. This is done so more layers of the plated dessert can be shown. However, you can make it the full height.
4. Once your height is measured, then you can cut the cake into equal strips, of height and length. (Use a very sharp paring knife and ruler.)
5. Make sure your strips are cut cleanly and ends are cut perfectly straight. Press the cake strips inside of the mold, decorative side facing out. Once wrapped inside the mold, overlap your ends slightly. You want your Joconde to fit very tightly pressed up to the sides of the mold. Then gently push and press the ends to meet together to make a seamless cake. The cake is very flexible so you can push it into place. You can use more than one piece to “wrap “your mold, if one cut piece is not long enough. (I I lined the base of my entremet with Joconde cake.)
6. The mold is done, and ready to fill.

If not ready to use. Lay cake kept whole or already cut into strips, on a flat surface, wrap in parchment and several layers of cling wrap and freeze.



I filled my entremet with 1 quantity "Lemon Mousse" and added a layer of "Passionfruit Jelly" that I made with 4 passionfruits (emptied), 2 Tbs lemon juice, 2 Tbs castor sugar (mix all three ingredients together) and 2 sheets jelly (softened in cold water, strained, melted over very low heat and added to the fruit mixture which you can leave pour over the mousse - refrigerate the entremet in order to solidify the jelly).


Etant donné que je suis en vacance et que je n'ai pas beaucoup de temps pour bloguer, je n'ai malheureusement pas pu faire une traduction française de ce billet et je m'en excuse auprès de tous mes amis lecteurs et blogueurs francophones!

C'est pourquoi je vous suggère de vous rendre sur le blog mentionné ci-dessous. Vous y trouverez cette recette en version française.

Chez Isa de "Les Gourmandises d'Isa" (Canada)

Entremet Lemon Picnik collage 3 bis

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I am not the kind of person who likes advertising for just any product in oreder to make money or having a blog that looks more like the pages of a newspaper than that of an independent site. I enjoy my freedom and refuse to have an internet page that ressembles a catalog and is polluted by senseless ads...

It is for that reason that I generally decline advertisement offers. If one proposition sounds interesting and the philosophy of the firm in question fits my way of thinking and principles, then I might take it in consideration and accept it. I need to stay 100% behind what I'm promoting as well as I feel obligated to be honest with my readers, otherwise I would feel like a fake and a liar.

Therefore wh
en I was contacted by NOVICA I knew that it was something for me as their way of doing business is totally adequate with my believes and respects them. What I really like about them is that they are different and fight to promote an alternative. NOVICA wants to provide us with access to unique, hard-to-find items at great values that only the Internet infrastructure can allow. Their aim is to give artists and artisans around the world a global platform to express their true artistic talents and to spur their creativity as well as to create a bridge between us and the many talented artisans across the globe. It is important to them that we know about who we are buying from, to feel that attachment to the product and to the hands that created it.

Novica 6 bis
In association with THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, this fairtrade and eco-friendly organization's purpose is to create a revolutionary system through which the artists and artisans of the world (the global team comes from different cultures, countries and language sets - Andes, Bali & Java, Brazil, Central America, India, Mexico, Thailand and West Africa) can display their fine works to a global audience of prospective customers.

NOVICA does not charge artists any fees for listing their items on the website. Furthermore, artists remain fully independent (they are free to raise their prices, lower their prices, or remove their items from their website). By cutting out the long strings of middlemen, NOVICA allows both consumers and artisans to get the most out of each and every transaction. Besides, they also give the customer the chance to help the artists by making a free of interest loan (microfinance service) directly to craftspersons.

Novica 1 bis
They offer a vast array of products ranging from home decor (furniture, tableware, tapestries, etc...), jewelry & apparels (earrings, bracelets, necklaces, etc...) to paintings (abstract, religious, landscapes, etc...) and also specialise in corporate as well as green gifts. As you can imagine it was very difficult for me to choose from their catalog as there are so many exquisite objects on offer. Anyway, being a foodie and loving hadmade tabbleware I decided to order some bowls.

I've always been a big fan of Southest Asian art and lately I've been dreaming of finding Mexican dishes, so it was all naturally that I ordered a "Ceramic Salsa Bowl" made by Javier Servin from the state of Guanajuato in Mexico and a pair of "Frangipani Leaves" bowls made by Putu Oka Mahendra from Bali in Indonesia.

Novica Picnik collage bis
I placed my order last Monday and both my items arrived at the same time, on Friday (same week). What a fast shipment considering the fact that the merchandise came directly from the artists' place! Everything was well-packed and came to destination in perfect condition.

When I discovered my items I was totally blown away by their sheer perfection, refinement, elegance and beauty. In front of me were three
exceptional items that were extremely splendid and gorgeously executed. They were even nicer than on the photo (and the photos were good)! I was so pleased with my gifts. What a delight for the eyes and senses!


Novica 3 bis

1x 100$ gift certificate

Rules and Entry Details
- You must leave a COMMENT in the comment section of this post (one entry per person).
- Winner will be chosen using the "hat method".
- Winner will be notified via the contact email provided on the comment contact form (please leave your e-mail adress if you don't have a blog).
- This giveaway is open WORLDWIDE (please check their International Shipping Table to know if they can ship to your country).
- The contest closes on Sunday, February 13th, 2011 at Midnight, 12:00am CE

This giveaway is provided to you by NOVICA. Please note that I only promote things that stay true to my tastes, convictions and interests. The opinions expressed on Rosa's Yummy Yums are purely my own and based upon my personal experiences with NOVICA. I was given a gift certificate, however I was not paid to publish a positive review.
Thank you NOVICA for sharing your wonderful tabbleware with us!

Novica 5 bis

Friday, January 21, 2011


Shoofly Pie Picnik collage 4.1 bis
I've always been a big lover of pies. Having been born into an Anglo-Swiss family this pastry has never been unknown to me. As a matter of fact our table was regularly graced by pies of all kind...

Since I have English roots the pies that we ate were exclusively of the British kind. Th
e ones my mother and gradmother made were mostly composed of fruits (apple pie, black currant pie, gooseberries pie, lemon meringue pie, etc...) or meat (steak & kidney pie, pork pies, etc...). American pies were unknown to us and it is only when I started baking for myself and developping a strong interest for the US cuisine as well as it's culture that I ate my n°1 New World pie. Conquered by this land's baked goods I broadened my culinary horizon by preparing more of them (pumpkin pies, pecan pies, sweet potato pies, cream pies, etc...).

It has to be said that with ferociously
monarchy-worshipping and patriotic grandparents who entertained that very typical old-fashioned and unreasonable British chauvinist thought pattern (that thankfully only a small bunch of people entertain in the UK) and parents who had a bad conception of America (mainly politically and usually in a narrow-minded manner - lumping everybody in the same group) there was no way I would have come any close to the wonderful gastronomy of this country (we did eat homemade hamburgers, though LOL). In both my house and my grandparent's America was a taboo subject.

Anyway, I might share the same blood as my family and be proud to have English origins, but I am far from having such stubborn, conservative and bigoted opinions. Great Britain's kingship and colonial history means nothing to me - I despise it - and I refuse to judge an entire nation by it's leaders. I know better than that...

Since the tender age of 6 I have fed a passion for the USA. It started when I began reading the cartoon book Yakari and when my admiration for Native Americans was born. Then, it grew a little bigger as I began discovering Heavy Metal music and became besotted with my favorite bands whose musicians I worshipped. Finally it reached a higher level when I embarked on my culinary journey in 1998 and discovered the world of blogging in 2003.

Being a foodie and feeding an interest for all things cultural that are linked to the States it is quite naturally that my knowledge of traditional American food expanded with the years. Not only do I love surfing on US blogs, but I also appreciate reading cookbooks by writers/bakers/cooks hailing from the "Land of Opportuinity" and being in contact with people who come from this part of the world as generally they are far more laid-back, easy-going and accessible than the Swiss folks. That is how I read about "Shoofly Pies" for the first time.

I find the name of that pie, it's origin as well as it's composition very intriguing. So after years of promising myself that I would try making it I finally transposed my wishes into reality and created my own "Shoofly Pie" recipe.

This molasses pie comes from the Pennsylvania Dutch who are descendants of Germanic emigrants originating from Southwestern Germany and Switzerland, but it is also rooted deep into the Southern culinary traditions. Apparently it holds it's name from the fact that it attracts flies that have to be "shooed away". This speciality shares simiarities with "Montgomery Pie", another Pensylvanian treat that varies very slightly in it's composition (lemon juice added to the molasses filling and instead of being topped with crumble it is garnished with buttermilk cake batter).

Traditionally this pie is made with sugar cane molasses, but as I love breaking the rules I decided to try something different and original. My version of "Shoofly Pie"
can be quite surprising, yet it isn't extremely different to the original one.

Instead of making the filling with that backstrap by-product sugar beet or sugar cane which has quite a strong, tangy, spicy and bitter flavor I used carob molasses which has a milder, fruitier and sweeter aroma. This thick brown uncrystallized syrup is made by soaking milled carob pods (fruits from the carob tree) in water and then reducing the extracted liquid.

This fruit
which is quite popular around the Mediterranean Sea (it is native of that region) can be employed as a sweetener, to make refreshing drinks, delicious spreads, cakes and desserts. It is very versatile, healthy, contains no fat, is rich in iron, calcium and nutrients.

During the 1970's it was used as substitute for chocolate. But, we all know that it is a terrible error to make a parallel between carob and cacao. Fistly, there is NO replacement for chocolate and secondly, carob has a flavor of it's own. If you expect it to taste like chocolate then you will be bitterly disappointed and will have a negative impression of it. It is for that reason that the tragic misuse of carob led people to hate and criticize it violently (I bet some of your still shudder with revulsion at the memory of eating those carob brownies that your hippy mom made LOL). I find that so sad as carob is such a valuable as well as unique product that cannot be compared to anything.

I am so glad to have integrated that delicacy into my "Carob Shoofly Pie" as
it could not have been sublimed in a better fashion. I am particularly fond of the divinely earthy, nutty, slightly tangy, complex and delicate date-like fragrances the carob molasses confers to the pie.

The filling is marvelously gooey as moist, the flaky (no wet bottom here) crust's
salty note contrasts remarkably well with the pie's overall sweetness and the crumble add's a perfect touch of spiciness and crispiness to the whole. What an amazing combination!

Needless to say that the "Carob Shoofly Pie" devoured hastily...

Shoofly Pie 2 bis
~ Carob Shoofly Pie ~
Recipe by Rosa @Rosa's Yummy Yums 2011

Makes one 23cm (9 inch) pie.

Ingredients For The "Pastry":
300g Plain white flour (no self-raising flour)
1 Tsp Fine sea salt (you can add 1/2 Tsp more if you like the taste of salt)
150g Unsalted butter (or 100g Unsalted butter & 50g
~ 80 ml Water
Ingredients For The "Filling":
1 Cup (480g) Carob molasses
1 Big Egg
3/4 Cup (180ml) Milk
1 Tbs Cornstarch
Ingredients For The "Crumbs":
1 1/2 Cups (190g) Flour
1/2 Cup (120g) Light brown sugar
2 Tsp Cinnamon
1/4 Cup (60g) Unsalted butter
3 Tbs Water

Method For "The Pastry":
1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl/bassin.
2. Add butter and rub between the fingers until the mixture is flaky.
3. Pour in the water, gradually, while continuously cutting and stirring with a knife. Stop adding water when the dough is stiff. It should not be sticky or wet. Gather up into a soft ball and place it in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
4. Preheat the oven to 190° C (375° F).
5. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 33cm (13 inch) round.
6. Line your buttered 23cm (9 inch) pie dish with the pastry and trim the edges, then crimb them decoratively. With a fork prick the bottom of the pie.
7. Place in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

Shoofly Pie Picnik collage 1 bis
Method For The "Filling":
8. Meanwhile
mix the milk together with the cornstarch (to dissolve it), then add the molasses and the egg. Set aside.
Method For The "Crumbs":
9. In another bowl combine the flour, sugar and cinnamon.
10. Add the butter and work it into the flour with a pastry blender. Add the water and continue the process until you obtain a crumbly mixture
11. Pour the molasses mixture into the pie crust and spoon the crumbs on top of it.

12. Bake for 40 minutes.
13. Let cool on a wire rack.

Always lift the flour out of the bowl while rubbing; it makes the butter/flour mixture airy.
Be careful not to add too much water as the pastry should not be stick to the touch.
While mixing the water to the flour/butter mixture never work the pastry like a bread do
ugh, otherwise you would end up with a stiff, hard and elastic pastry.
You can replace the carob molasses by any other molasses (apple, grape, pear, pomegranate or sugar cane molasses).

Serving suggestions:
Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream.


Shoofly Pie Picnik collage 2 bis
~ Pie A La Mélasse De Caroube ~
Recette par Rosa @Rosa's Yummy Yums 2011

Pour un pie de 23cm.

Ingrédients Pour La "Pâte Brisée":
300g de Farine blanche/fleur
1 CC de Sel de mer fin (ajouter 1/2 CC si vous aimez votre pâte un peu salée)
150g de Beurre non-salé, coupé en petit dés (ou 100g de beurre + 50g de saindoux)
~ 80ml d'Eeau très froide ou assez afin que la pâte forme une boule
Ingrédients Pour La "Garniture":
480g de Mélasse de caroube
1 Gros Oeuf
180ml de Lait
1 CS de Maïzena
Ingrédients Pour Le "Crumble":
190g de Farine blanche
120g de Sucre brun clair
2 CC de Cannelle en poudre
60g de Beurre non-salé
3 CS d'Eau

Méthode pour la "Pâte Brisée":
1. Tamiser la farine et le sel dans un bol moyen.
2. Ajouter le beurre et frotter
la farine et le beurre entre les doigts afin d'obtenir un mélange qui ait la texture sabloneuse.
3. Verser l'eau, graduellement, tout en mélangeant bien (n'ajoutez plus d'eau quand la pâte aura atteint la bonne consistance/ni trop mouillée, ni trop collante). Former une boule puis la mettre au frigo pendant que vous préparez la garniture.
4. Préchauffer le four à 190° C.
5. abaisser la pâte sur une surface farinée afin d'obtenir un rond de 33cm.
6. Garnir le moule avec la pâte et couper les bords, puis créer des motifs décoratifs. Avec une fourchette piquer le fond.
7. Mettre la pâte 10 minutes au congélateur.

Shoofly Pie Picnik collage 3 bis
Méthode Pour La "Garniture":
8. Pendant ce temps préparer la garniture. Mélanger ensemble le lait et la maïzena (elle doit être complètement dissoute) et ajouter la mélasse et l'oeuf
. Mettre de côté.
Méthode Pour Le "Crumble":
9. Dans un autre bol, mélanger la farine avec le sucre et la cannelle.
10. Ajouter le beurre et sabler du bout des doigts. Ajouter l'eau et sabler à nouveau afin d'o
btenir un crumble.
Méthode Pour La "Cuisson":
10. Verser la préparation à la mélasse dans le fond du pie et saupoudrer le dessus avec le crumble.
11. Cuire pendant 40 minutes.
12. Laisser refroidir sur une grille.

Soulevez toujours la farine lorsque vous la frottez avec le beurre: ç a apporte de l'air au mélange.
Faites bien attention de ne pas ajouter trop d'eau à votre pâte. Elle ne doit pas être collante.
Pendant que vous mélangez l'eau au mélange farine/beurre, ne la travaillez pa
s telle une pâte à pain, autrement votre pâte sera dure, élastique et pas manipulable du tout car vous aurez libéré le gluten contenu dans la farine.
Vous pouvez remplacer la mélasse de caroube pour la mélasse de votre choix (pomme, raisin, poire, grenade ou mélasse traditionnelle).

Idées de présentation:
Servir tiède ou à température ambiante avec un peu de crème fouettée

Shoofly Pie Picnik collage 5.1 bis

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


January walk 1.1 bis

January walk 3.1 bis
Unfortunately it hasn't snowed since weeks and I am missing it very badly now. I yearn for a white landscapes, frost and blizzard-like weather. In order for me to look forward to the forthcoming spring it is a must for me to have previously been able to enjoy a real winter with all the usual clichés...

January walk 5.1 bis

January walk 2.1 bis
Speaking of cold temperatures and snowstorms, well at the moment we are experiencing everything but that. A few days ago it was so warm (16° C/ 61 °F) that you could go out with a t-shirt. No need to tell you that our Saturday walk made us sweat!

January walk 6.1 bis

January walk 4.1 bis
What is even more crazy is that the birds have changed their way of singing and are now a lot louder than in December. They tweet in a very springy manner. Even nature has this typical bleachy brown, beige and green color that one can experience in March. Is this already the end of winter?

Friday, January 14, 2011


Terrine Cornflakes Picnik collage 3 bis
If like me you have abused a little to much of goodies during the Christmas holidays, then you might want to calm down and start eating more healthily again as I'm pretty sure that you are not willing to change your whole wardrobe or stop wearing those cute skinny jeans that you cherish so much because they make you look so slim...

I am not ashamed to confess that for the past 3-4 weeks I have been devouring (like crazy and without thinking about the effects such mindless scarfing might have on my waistline) big quantities of sugar-loaded, butter-rich, calorie-laden cookies, breads, chocolates, cakes and desserts of all kind. I carelessly and happily wolfed down quantities of sweet treats, and had much pleasure indulging in such a naughty fashion!

When the God of Gluttony possesses you, there is no way you can escape. You just have to accept it's taking over your soul and bend to it's will. If you resist, it will whisper in your ears words that'll awaken your craving until you give up the fight and sacrifice yourself on the altar of epicurism. It is impossible to struggle against the urge to "sin".

As a result, my size 36-38 (size 6-8 US) trousers are slightly too tight now and I feel not really comfortable in my body anymore. But hey, what the heck? Eventhough I care about my weight, find it important to exercise regularly and control my diet I also have food desires like everybody else and sometimes have to fulfill them. The delight and beatitude conferred by this nosh marathon was so big that the few centimeters I had gained around my waist, hips and thighs were not that dramatic.

Anyway, once you get back to your normal routine you will lose the extra fat you had acquired and get fit again (as a matter of fact I've already lost most of it), so why be afraid of a short break in your regime. If it happens once in a while and it is not a habit, then it can't be bad. You just have to be in control of things and know when to stop. It's only once it becomes an addiction that it develops into something dangerous and negative. Then you have to raise the alarm and consider taking your problems seriously.

All year long (most of the time, festive holidays aside), I try to eat well and to follow my usual dietary pattern which consists of meals that are mostly vegetarian (80% of the time), poor in carbohydrates (sugar, cereals, starchy vegetables & starches), rich in protein (eggs, dairy produces, legumes, nut, seeds & animal products) and vegetables. This way of feeding is what fits me best. Since I've started preparing less carb-loaded dinners I have more energy, feel a lot less hungry all the time and more comfortable in my body. Not forgetting that it is also very budget-friendly as you don't need to buy tons of overpriced meat.

Although I love meat I cannot cook it more than twice a week otherwise it'll affect my well-being. So, in a way I am nearly a full-time vegetarian. I don't mind being a carnivore, but I also love veggies since there are so many ways you can cook them. At my place, eating vegetarian meals isn't synonymous of boring and bland, all the contrary!

One of my favorite meat-free recipes that I cook at home is a groovy terrine made with cornflakes. This original vegiloaf is very versatile, tasty and nourishing. It has a pleasant herby, corny and nutty flavor, and a soft as well as moist texture. This "Vegetarian Cornflake And Hazelnut Terrine" can be pan-fried, eaten either cold or hot, served for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner and accompanied as well as presented in many different manners.

A multi-faceted dish which is easily prepared, good for the health an
d which will not ruin you. Perfect!

Terrine Cornflakes Picnik collage 5 bis
~ Vegetarian Cornflake And Hazelnut Terrine ~
Recipe by Rosa @Rosa's Yummy Yums 2011.

Serves 4.

500ml Milk
160g Cornflakes
100g Ground hazelnuts, lightly toasted
2 Big eggs
1 Big Onion, finely chopped
1 Tsp Nutritional yeast
1/2 CC Garlic powder
A pinch Ground paprika
A pinch Curry powder
A few drops of Tabasco (optional)
1 1/4 Tsp Italian herbs
A pinch dried thyme
Sea salt (fine), to taste
Pepper, to taste
A bit of butter to grease the pan

1. Preheat the oven to 220° C (420° F).
2. In a big bowl, crush (coarsely) the cornflakes.
3. In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs with the milk, garlic, spices, Tabasco, herbs, salt and pepper.
4. Pour this mixture over the cornflakes, add the yeast, hazelnuts and onion and mix well.

Terrine Cornflakes Picnik collage 6 bis
5. Butter generously your rectangular cake pan and cover the bottom with sulfurised/baking paper.
6. Scrape the mixture in the pan and smooth the top.
7. Bake for aboput 30-40 minutes (test with a skewer).
8. Remove the terrine from the oven and let it rest for about 5 minutes before releasing it delicately from the pan.
9. Serve.

you can replace the hazelnuts by any other ground nuts of your choice, but don't forget to roast them a little.
You can also use the herbs (fresh or dried) and spices of your choice.

Serving suggestions:
Serve hot or cold, with tomato sauce, steamed or stir-fried vegetables, a seasonal salad or pan-fried mushrooms.


Terrine Cornflakes Picnik collage 4 bis
~ Terrine Végétarienne Aux Cornflakes Et Aux Noisttes ~
Recette par Rosa @Rosa's Yummy Yums 2011.

Pour 4 personnes.

500ml De lait
160g de Cornflakes
100g de Noisettes moulues, toastées
2 Gros oeufs
1 Gros Oignon, finement haché finement
1 CC de Levure nutritionnelle
1/2 CC d'Ail en poudre
Une pincée de paprika en poudre
Une pincée de poudre de curry
Quelques gouttes de Tabasco (en option)
1 1/4 CC d'Herbes italiennes
1 Pincée de Thym séché
Sel de mer fin, selon goût
Poivre, selon goût
Un peu de beurre pour le moule

1. Préchauffer le four à 220° C.
2. Dans un grand bol, concasser grossièrement les cornflakes.
3. Dan un bol moyen, battre les oeufs avec le lait, l'ail, le Tabasco, les herbes, les épices, le sel et le poivre.
4. Ajouter le mélange liquide au cornflakes et ajouter les noisettes ainsi que l'oignon. Bien mélanger.

Terrine Cornflakes Picnik collage 2 bis
5. Beurrer généreusement un moule à cake rectangulaire et recouvrir le fond de papier sulfurisé.
6. Verser le mélange dans le moule et lisser le dessus.
7. Cuire pendant 30-40 minutes (vérifier la cuisson avec la pointe d'un couteaux).
8. Sortir la terrine du four et la laisser reposer 5 minutes sur une grille, puis la démouler délicatement.
9. Servir.

Vous pouvez remplacer les noisettes moulues pour d'autres noix moulues, mais n'oubliez pas des les torréfier avant.
Vous êtes libres d'ajouter les épices et herbes (fraîches ou séchées) de votre choix.

Idées de présentation:
Servir cette terrine chaude ou froide, avec de la sauce tomate, des légumes vapeurs ou sautés, une salade de saison ou des champignons légèrement poêlés.

Terrine Cornflakes Picnik collage 1 bis

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Petit Veyrier 1.1 bis
The last time it snowed was just before Christmas. Although only a thin layer covered the ground nature looked magical and dreamlike. This blanket of white transforms the landscapes and brings calm in our hearts. Suddenly you feel as if in a contemplative reverie and life seems much more enjoyable.

Unfortunately the weather has changed lately and I feel very nostalgic when I think ab
out snow-covered sceneries and the exhalirating snowfalls we had in November and December. All this appears not to be real now that the days are depressingly grey, boringly uniform and we are experiencing warm weather as well as continuous rain...

Here are a few clicks which I took just before Xmas. The area you see is not far from my home (10 minutes). On this very day, it was bitter cold, but the sun was shining bright. A frosty and beautiful winter day, just as I like them!

Petit Veyrier 6.2 bis

Petit Veyrier 5.1 bis

Petit Veyrier 2.1 bis

Petit Veyrier 4.1 bis

Petit Veyrier 3.1 bis

Friday, January 7, 2011


Mince pies Picnik collage 3 bis
In 2010 I decided that I was going to prepare my very first mincemeat for Yuletide. I planned on having a 100% British dinner and didn't want serve anything too heavy or rich as we had absolutely no desire to have bursting stomachs, feel unwell, sick and bloated...


"Mince Pies" (also called "Minced Pies") are British mini shortcrust pies or tartlets which are filled with mincemeat and eaten during the Christmas holidays (though it seems that during the Easter festivities you can sometimes find those pies - with a cross on the top - in stores too). The origin of those petits fours can be traced back to the 13th century when European crusaders returned from their campaigns in the Middle East where they tried to recapture the Holy Land and Jerusalem. At that time the people living in those far-away regions cooked many sweet and savory meat dishes which included fruits as well as spices (they still do). During the Middle Ages our cuisine was highly influenced by the culinary prowesses of the Orient, hence it is not surprising to learn that this combination was also very popular in our hemisphere.

In Tudor England they were often called "Shrid Pies" and consisted of shredded meat, fruits, suet and spices (cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg). By 1596, they were also known under the name of "Mutton Pie" and "Christmas Pies". In the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras they were defined as "Minched pies".

"Mince Pies" have always been
associated with Catholic idolatry and considered a kind of consecrated cake. During the English Civil War (1642–1651) they were banned by the Puritan (English protestants) authorities who regarded them as sinful due to the guilty, forbidden pleasures they confered. Cromwell hated Christmas which was not sanctioned by the Bible and saw it as a pagan holiday promoting gluttony and drunkennes. Nevertheless, the tradition of eating "Mince Pies" on Christmas day was perpetuated long after that sad episode and is still well-alive today. The recipe has evolved over time. It is during the 19th century that those tartlets radically changed by becoming sweeter, not containing meat anymore, being reduced in size and altered in shape (early pies were much larger, oblong in shape and supposed to represent Jesus's crib).

Like all English folks my grandparents made "Mince Pies" solely in December and didn't break that old tradition. Speaking of that, here's an interesting fact for you: Cromwell's law forbidding the consumption of anything linked to gluttony (puddings and mince pies mainly) has never been rescinded, so "Mince Pies" are still illegal on Christmas Day. Hilariously ludicrous, no? That leads me to wonder why nobody ever gets rid of certain conventions and starts baking those pastries on other occasions. It is such an incredibly luscious goodie that it seems a pity to eat it only once every 12 month!

Of course, you could argue and bring up the fact that those pies carry a religious symbolism and that anything related to the birth of Christ has no reason of being produced out of that sacred moment of the year -though it must be said that their meaning is nowadays quite obsolete (most British citzens are surely incapable of explaining why they are holy) and taken a lot less seriously than at the time of their creation. That is totally ok if you are a Christian but in my opinion, if you are not a god-fearing believer then I reckon that it is not a blasphemy at all to enjoy "Mince Pies" when you feel like doing so. Not eating them more often, now that is what I would qualify as sacrilegious!

Mincemeat used as filling for "Mince Pies" is a preserve that can be stocked for a while (if one adds suet just before putting it in jars) and can be made all year long since it's components are available most of the time. So it would be awfully sad not to enjoy this delicacy whenever you feel like it.

Imagine going for a picnic in spring, organizing a potluck, a wedding or a birthday party, enjoying a divine pudding wine while admiring the stunning fall scenery or celebrating Easter... I bet you have no problem picturing yourself gobbling one of those gorgeous little pies during those events . So, I think we should declare that "Mince Pies" are too scrummy to be consumed exclusively during a restricted period of time!!!


I was really satisfied with my "Mince Pies" as they were flawless and reminded me of those I had tasted in England. The pastry was delicately flaky, tender and baked to perfection (just ever so slightly golden) and the interior was exquisitely moist, mouthwateringly citrusy, subtly spicy and blissfully fragrant (thanks to my well-ripened mincemeat).
To die for!

Mince pies 4 bis
~ Mince Pies ~
Recipe for the "Shortcrust Pastry" by Rosa's Yummy Yums 2011.

Makes 18 pies.

350g All-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 1/2 Tbs Powder sugar
1 Tsp Sea salt (fine)

120g Unsalted butter, cold and cut into little cubes
60g Lard, cold and cut into little cubes
4-10 Tbs Cold water
1 1/2 Jam jars (about 375-450g) mincemeat
Castor sugar for decorating

1. Sift the flour, icing sugar and salt into a bowl, add the butter and lard. With the hel
p of a pastry blender, work them together until the mixture fine breadcrumbs or coarse sand.
2. Add the water (quantity depending on the himidity of the air) and with the help of a table knife stir until the mixture comes together and forms a pastry ball.
3. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead very briefly until smooth.
4. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface. Cut out 18 x 8cm rounds using a fluted (or not) cutter and re-kneading and rolling the trimmings.
5. Lightly grease the cupcake tins (I made 18 little pies) with butter and line with the pastry
discs, then prick lightly with a fork.
6. Spoon 1-1.5 Tbsp mincemeat into each case.
7. Now with the leftover patry cut out 18 x 6cm pastry rounds or 18 stars (alternative pie lids),
re-rolling as necessary.
8. Brush the edges of the pies with water or egg wash and
press lids down onto the bases, sealing well.

Mince pies Picnik collage 5 bis
9. Chill for 20 minutes.
10. Preheat the oven to 190° C (375° F).
11. Brush the lids with water and sprinkle with castor sugar.
12. Bake for 26 minutes or until very lightly golden.
13. Remove from the oven and let the mince pies cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then remove them delicately from the pan and place them on a wire rack.

If you don't want to use lard, them replace it by white vegetable shortening or butter.

It is possible to freeze the unbaked pies in the trays (for at least 4 hours or overnight) and then transfer the frozen pies to plastic boxes, layered with baking paper between. In that way they can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months (to cook, bake from frozen but for a few minutes longer than indicated previously).
The pies can be kept for up to a week at room temperature in an airtight box.

Serving suggestions:

Serve warm or cold with a dollop whipped cream, clotted cream or brandy butter.


Mince Pies Picnik collage 1 bis
~ Mince Pies ~
Recette par Rosa's Yummy Yums

Pour 18 tartelettes.

350g de Farine blanche (+ un peu pour saupoudrer)
1 1/2 CS de Sucre en poudre
1 CC de Sel de mer fin

120g de Beurre non-salé, froid et coupé en cubes
60g de Saindoux,
froid et coupé en cubes
4-10 CS d'eau froide
1 1/2 Pots à confiture de mincemeat (environ 375-450g)
Sucre cristallisé pour décorer

1. Tamiser la farine avec le sucre et le sel dans un bol. Ajouter le beurre et le saindoux. Les travailler ensemble afin d'obtenir un mélange sableux.
2. Mélanger avec un couteau de table tout en ajoutant assez d'eau afin d'obtenir une boule de
3. Sur une surface farinée, légèrement/rapidement pétrir la pâte, puis l'étaler.
4. Couper 18 ronds (flutés) de 8cm de diamètre (réutiliser les restes de pâte).
5. Beurrer des moules à cupcakes (18 trous) et garnir avec les ronds de pâte, puis piqu
er les fonds.
6. Garnir chaque tartelette avec 1-1.5 CS de mincemeat.

7. Découper 18 ronds de 6cm de diamètre avec la pâte restante ou 18 étoiles (couvercles).
8. Humidifier les bords des tartelettes avec de l'eau (ou du jaune d'oeuf) et souder les couvercles en appuyant avec les doigts sur les bords des tartelettes.

Mince Pies Picnik collage 2 bis
9. Mettre au frigo pendant 20 minutes.
10. Préchauffer le four à 190° C.
11. Peindre le dessus des couvercles avec de l'eau et saupoudrer avec du sucre cristallisé.
12. Cuire pendant 26 minutes, jusqu'à ce que les tartelettes soient très légèrement dorées.
13. Sortir les tartelettes du four, puis les sortir des moules après 5 minutes de repos. Mettre les tartelettes à refroidir sur une grille.

Si vous ne voulez pas utiliser de saindoux, alors vous pouvez soit le remplacer par de la margarine soit par du beurre.

Les tartelettes peuvent être congelées non-cuites. Placez-les sur une plaque et mettez cette plaque au moins 4 heures au congélateur jusqu'à ce qu'elles soient congelées. Puis les mettre dans une boîte et les conserver au congélateur pendant 3 mois maximum (cuisson sans les dégeler + augmenter le temps de cuisson).
Conserver ces tartelettes une semaine maximum à température ambiante dans une boîte hermétique.

Idées de présentation:
Servir les Mince Pies froids au chauds, avec de la cr
ème chantilly, de la clotted cream ou du brandy butter.

Mince Pies Picnik collage 4 bis