One of my absolute favorite things about France is macarons. They’re the epitome of everything I love in a dessert: both slightly crunchy and chewy, like a mixture of cake and cookies with a fabulous texture, small enough that I can eat several of them and try tons of different flavors and diverse enough that they never get old. Even though they’re incredibly expensive, buying a small box of macarons always seems worth it and makes my day. Macarons are a notoriously tricky pastry to make at home and up until now I’ve mostly been content to buy them in specialized shops. Recently I learned a trick that seemed as though it might help me conquer the home-made macaron and decided to give it a go at home. Continue reading
Poor Jérôme is always being subjected to my endless food experimentations. I obviously do have dishes that I make time and time again, when I don’t feel like thinking too much or over-exerting myself in the kitchen. That being said, there is so much out there to discover and I have so many recipes ready to be tested in my Evernote, that I have a hard time making the same things all the time. In the beginning of our relationship, I couldn’t get over his French chocolate cake. More of a brownie, it was rich and simple and amazing. I still love it, but when he wanted to make one a few weeks ago with out one remaining bar of baking chocolate, I couldn’t help but scan my recipe list to make sure there wasn’t something better, newer, more interesting. I found this chocolate coconut milk cake, and once Jérôme was on board, I was in the kitchen making it. Continue reading
Oh my god, guys. These cookies are really something else. I made them twice in the span of 2 or 3 days because I couldn’t get enough. The original recipe is called Brussels cookies, and was found via Food52. I can admit to not having a clue what Brussels cookies are, but when I came across the recipe I instantly thought of those amazing chewy, crunchy, chocolatey Swedish cookies that they sell at Ikea for a small fortune (compared to everything else they sell!). Do you know what I’m talking about? Whether you have something to compare these to or not, I promise you will be blown away. They pair a crispy, chewy and almost caramely tasting thin cookie with everyone’s favorite: dark chocolate ganache. I can’t even describe the awesomeness of these fresh out of the oven and warm, with the ganache still liquid and squirting out the sides… Continue reading
Oh là là les gars. Ces cookies sont vraiment quelque chose. Je les ai faits 2 fois en pas plus que 3 jours car j’en avais jamais assez. La recette d’origine que j’ai reproduit les dénomment Brussels cookies, et a été trouvée sur le site génial de Food52. J’avoue ne pas savoir ce que c’est les Brussels cookies mais il parait que c’est un parfum fabriqué par une célèbre marque américaine. Pour moi, quand j’ai vu la recette, j’ai tout de suite pensé à ces cookies suédois moelleux, croustillant et plein de chocolat qu’on vend chez IKEA mais qui coût un bras (du moins comparé avec tout ce qu’ils vendent d’autre !). Vous savez de quoi je parle ? Si vous connaissez de quoi les comparer ou non, je vous promets que vous allez adorer. On trouve un biscuit fin, à la fois moelleux et croustillant au goût de caramel, ou presque, avec à l’intérieur le chou chou de tout le monde : une bonne ganache au chocolat noir. Je ne peux même pas vous décrire à tel point ces cookies déchirent quand ils sont tièdes, sortis du four avec un ganache encore liquide qui s’échappe par tous les côtés… Continue reading
This post is an ode to my fabulous new Kitchenaid Artisan, and a special thanks to my Mom who gifted it to me for my birthday. I tried my hand at macarons once before, a few years ago. They are notoriously tricky to master and any number of things can go wrong during the preparation and the cooking process. From what I can tell in my personal adventures, one of the most important factors is the quality of the meringue or egg whites. Beating nice stiff peaks into egg whites was just not possible during my first go at macarons, but with the help of my new Black Beauty, it was a cinch.
Part three of my New Year’s Eve food extravaganza (you can see part one here, and part two over here), rich chocolatey brownies with double ganache: white chocolate and crème de menthe, and dark chocolate crème de menthe. Jérôme is a simple man. While I dream of pear and blue cheese tarts, he prefers an all-cheese quiche. I get overly excited about vanilla beans, and want to use them in everything, including this vanilla bean, honey and lemon-zest roasted turkey. He prefers a more traditional bird, one roasted with chestnuts, just like his Mom used to make. While planning my NYE menu, I knew exactly what I wanted. Aside from the aforementioned turkey, I decided on spicy crab cakes with tomato ginger jam, sautéed sunchokes and homemade eggnog. When I told my man what the plan was, he smiled politely. I knew that I would have to go all out for the dessert, and make it traditional-French-boyfriend-friendly.
And what he loves, what he even suggests we make from time to time (which is saying a lot from a man with no apparent sweet tooth), is French chocolate cake. French chocolate cake is more like a brownie, made not with cocoa powder and lots of flour, but with butter, melted dark chocolate and just a spoonful or two of flour. I decided to spice up this classic with a little bit of mint, his other sweet weakness. Of course, throwing in a bit of alcohol with the crème de menthe couldn’t hurt my chances of making a 100% Jérôme-approved dessert.