Banana pancakes with caramel sauce

20140422-111747.jpg

Usually, when you have over-ripe bananas, you make banana bread. I am part of the rare group of people who doesn’t like banana bread. I know! But I just… don’t. So when I found myself with three bananas that were way too ripe to just eat, I found myself in a bit of a dilemma. I’d been craving pancakes lately (my new favorite thing is forcing Jé to eat dessert for dinner, which usually involves pancakes) so I decided to give banana pancakes a try, for dinner no less! Continue reading

Advertisements

Caramel coconut milk ice cream

20130702-203401.jpg

First ice cream of the year!! In fact, this can barely be considered ice cream. It’s made with coconut milk that is cooked down with brown sugar into an intensely fragrant caramel, a tiny bit of milk (that you could easily omit if you’re looking for something dairy-free) and egg yolks. It’s genius, and I’m so glad I came across this recipe on the Big Girls Small Kitchen blog. The texture is divine and the taste is rich- so much so that only a few spoonfuls should suffice for even the biggest sweet tooth. Of course you’ve got to love coconut, but the flavor of the coconut milk morphed into something completely new, a sort of caramel/coconut hybrid. I highly recommend you try this. Continue reading

Brownie whoopies with salted caramel buttercream

20120914-191744.jpg

I had company coming over a few weeks ago. Guests that were clearly expecting one thing and one thing only: my peanut butter and chocolate chunk cookies. These French guests were completely and utterly won over by the salty sweet treats the first time they tried them and had been requesting them ever since. For this particular visit, no request was made, as it went without saying that there would be cookies. I, on the other hand, was craving caramel and decided to go out on a limb and try something completely new. My gamble paid off and these whoopies were a big hit, although they’ll never replace those cookies that I made again recently in order to impress my temporary colleagues during a kitchen internship. Mission accomplished. Continue reading

Brown sugar ice cream with a bitter caramel swirl

20120810-131926.jpg

It’s hot here in my corner of France. After the summer disguised as fall that we’ve been experiencing for the last few weeks, temperatures finally got above 90° this week. Not that I really needed the excuse of heat to make my first ever real home-made ice cream. I talked about my family being here in my post for a delicious nectarine and lime curd tart. One of the many huge, wonderful, amazing perks of my mother coming was that she had decided to give me the ultimate gift for my birthday: a new Kitchenaid Artisan stand mixer. Let’s just take it as a given that I was beyond excited. I was ecstatic not only about the fact that I could finally make proper frosting, bread and cookies in the blink of an eye, but also because I had also ordered the ice cream maker bowl attachment. Continue reading

Dulce de platanos

20120325-193524.jpg

I bought some plantains at the supermarket weeks ago for no good reason other than I had never seen plantains at the supermarket before. I had no idea what to do with them, but imagined it would be something salty. Chips? Fried plantains? Purée? Turns out Jé had other plans, and was hoping for something sweet. “It’s not a banana,” I told him. After a quick search through Epicurious, however, I found the perfect recipe. It was hidden amongst traditionally savory dishes, but I found it, and was very glad that I did. The only downside? The plantains, which were bright green, needed to be incredibly ripe, nearing black in color. And so, we waited. And waited. And waited. Until one day, like five weeks later, I finally made my first dulce de plantains. Continue reading

Influences from Normandy

What’s better than a freshly baked, crusty French baguette with a little (or a lot) of butter slathered on it? The answer to this question is salted butter. Beurre demi-sel* is a common find here, and it adds a special something to almost any food experience. It adds flavor when used in cooking, is delicious on bread or with raw vegetables (radishes!), but the absolute best thing to do with salted butter is to make caramel.

I always had trouble with caramel. Something so simple and that calls for only two or three ingredients had always been a sort of Achilles heel for me. I couldn’t get the texture right. If I managed to not burn the sugar, my caramel hardened instantly once I took it off the flame (I ruined at least one pot this way). So, I stopped trying to make it. Until one day, when browsing the internet I found a so-called fool proof recipe for salted butter caramel. I read the instructions, and it seemed doable. I’d been craving crêpes for a few days prior to this discovery, and decided to give it once last go.

Continue reading