Lunch Break: Radish and Watercress Salad

39

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mixed Up

The cray-zee schedule has officially started! Well, I kicked it off a week ealier than previously planned and I am quite glad I did. We all know that it's not because you have one important thing on the agenda that everything else takes a backseat. Every bits and pieces of life that you are trying to juggle all want a spot on the passenger seat while you are trying to drive without knocking other people over. One thing that helps me keep focused is good nutrition. Sweet or savory. Salads especially.

I always try to take time out to fix myself a proper lunch and eat by the window without any incoming noise. It helps recharge my internal batteries and ensures that I don't forget all the other things and people around me. When my friend Tara mentioned this salad from The Breakaway Cook I instantly started craving daikon radishes. I never think about adding them to my shopping list but I have done so three times in the past week. This salad? I made a version of it just about as many times. The one pictured here is probably my favorite.

Fueling Up

It's loaded with good stuff, it's refreshing, it's tasty and it'll bring you good juju for the day. Ok, I am making this last bit up but I felt energized and ready for another 12 hour shift right after eating it. The beauty of salads is their endless possibilities for adaptations. Eric makes his with daikon radishes, pomegranate seeds, avocado, edamame, orange pepper. Mine included daikon and red radishes, avocado, watercress, carrot and pomegranate seeds. It's the end of the season here for those but I needed them for work and had leftovers.

I decided to start working on the photography for Carrie's book a bit earlier than planned, mostly to find a rythm and properly organize my time. The experience has been nothing short of amazing so far. It's a lot of work to cook, style, shoot, edit that many savory and sweet recipes but loving my job makes it easy to invest every bit of myself in it. Everything I have made so far has been refreshing, succulent, different, easy to prepare. You could say I am biased since I have a stake in it but trust me, even if I had zip involved, I'd still couldn't wait to get her book pronto.

Mixed Up

And then there are all the other things in between like more gigs, friends, house, dogs, invoices bills and taxes (grrr....). You know what I am talking about. Some of you even have children to juggle into the mix. We only have a couple of very active and very snuggly creatures! I can't promise lenghty blog posts and towering piles of groovy macarons in the next couple of weeks but I can promise there will always be something good to eat, savory or sweet.

I think I'm getting a hunkering for a tart. It's been a while. Can't live off salad alone, although this one is on repeat on my plate this week.

Refreshing Daikon Radish and Watercress Salad:

Serves 2 to 4 depending on your appetite.

1/2 daikon radish (8-inch piece)
1 bunch red radishes (about 8)
2 carrots
1 small bunch watercress
1 small ripe avocado
1/2 pomegranate
vinaigrette of your choice

Wash and slice thin both kinds of radish and the carrots. You can use a mandolin if you want. I don't have one so I just used a very sharp knife. No matter what you use, watch out for your fingers!
Wash and pat dry the watercress.
Cut avocado into small dices and seed the pomegranate.
Arrange everything in a large or individual bowls and drizzle with the vinaigrette.

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Le P'tit Coin Francais.

Salade Composee De Radis et Cresson:

1 morceau de radis chinois (20cm environ)
1 botte de radis traditionels (environ 8)
2 carottes
1 petite botte de cresson
1 avocat
1/2 grenade
vinaigrette de votre choix

Coupez les radis et carottes en tranches fines a l'aide d'une mandoline ou d'un couteau. Lavez et essorez le cresson. Coupez l'avocat on petit des et recuperez les graines de la grenade.
Disposez le tout dans un grand ou plusieurs saladier et assaisonez avec la vinaigrette.

Lemon Goat Cheese Cheesecakes With Blood Orange Sauce

81

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Lemon & Blood Orange Cheesecakes

There aren't many things you'll see me do because they are cool and there are very few people I (almost always) agree with or trust (almost always) blindly. My dear B. will tell you I spend my life with an imaginary raised eyebrow and my right ear pointed up. I am not skeptical, I am curious. Sometimes cautious. Sometimes not at all.

When Shauna mentioned that she was working on gluten free graham crackers, I had my ears tuned in to her updates. When she posted them, I blindly and happily followed her trail and made a batch. Then two. Then B. said they'd be even better under a cheesecake. So I made a batch of mini Lemon Goat Cheese Cheesecakes with Blood Orange Syrup. Then two.


Lemons

I often talk about tea time as being an important ritual of my day (as much as my schedule lets me) and when I moved to the US, I became quite fond of having a few graham crackers with my tea. I was a student, they were cheap and a box lasted a while between roomie and myself.

Then I stopped having a cookie with tea altogether. Partly because it's not that much fun a ritual when done alone so I'd save those moments for when my parents would visit and partly when I discovered it was not helping my health issues. I stopped. Until last week.


Baking Cheesecakes

I made a batch of Shauna's gluten free graham crackers as soon as I came home from Atlanta. I sat down with my cup of tea and my just baked cookies and sighed. Content and thankful. Bill started saying that they were pretty close to the real thing but not quite until I stopped him, with my eyebrow raised, and asked "if the real thing is what makes us truly happy then these are it for me" and added "it's ok if you don't like them as much...more for me!"

Men don't generally take a hint and yet mine likes to give me some, especially when it comes to desserts. He starts by fidgeting around the cookie jar. Opens the fridge, closes it. Plays with the cookie jar some more. Until I break down and ask if he has a suggestion. He may not bake or cook, but he's got good ideas about eating. I had all forms of citrus laid out on the countertop for an article I was working on and he suggested we use some of the lemons and make a cheesecake if possible.


Lemon & Blood Orange Cheesecakes

Since it was spur of the moment, I had about half the quantity of cream cheese I needed but being a big fan of goat cheese in desserts, I used some to make up the difference. The tang of the fresh goat cheese worked perfectly with the tang of the lemons. I felt it needed some color though and made a quick blood orange syrup to go with it.

This first forray into a completely gluten free cheesecake was such a success that I made another batch a couple of days later. Yes. That good.

Lemon Goat Cheese Cheesecakes with Blood Orange Syrup:

Makes 8 mini cheesecakes

For the graham crakers: follow the recipe on Shauna's site blindly...you won't be disappointed, and grind enough graham crakers to make 1 cup crumbs.

For the cheesecake:
1 cup (250ml) graham cracker crumbs
4 tablespoons (60gr) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup (200gr) sugar, divided
8 oz (240r) fresh mild goat cheese, at room temperature
8 oz (240gr) cream cheese, at room temperature
juice and zest of a whole lemon
3 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 325F and position a rack in the middle. Line 8 standard sized muffin tins with liners and slighly spray with cooking spray. Place the muffin pan in a large roasting pan. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, the melted butter and 1/4 cup (50gr) sugar. Divide the mixture evenly among the prepared muffin liners and pat with the back of a spoon. Bake for 5 minutes. Let cool. Lower the heat to 300F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the remaining sugar with the cheeses and the lemon zest on medium speed until the mixture is completely smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time and beating well after each addition. Add the lemon juice and beat another 30 seconds. Divide the mixture evenly among the muffin liners. Add hot water to the roasting pan but do not worry about coming up halfway the side of the muffin pan too much. The oven temperature is already so low that the water is just to be on the safe side. Add at least one inch inside the roasting pan.

Bake the mini cheesecakes for 20 minutes or until slightly giggling (or jiggle - whatever suits your mood) in the middle still. Keep an eye on them as they bake rather fast this way. Let cool completely before unmolding and serving with the blood orange syrup.

Notes: I made 8 small ones (baked in muffin tins) but you could make two 4-inch ones and bake them for about 10 minutes longer at the same heat.

For the blood orange syrup:
1 cup (250ml) fresh blood orange juice
1/2 cup (100gr) sugar

In a heavy bottomed medium saucepan, stir together the blood orange juice and the sugar over medium high heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer down until the liquid is about reduced by half. Let cool and serve with the cheesecakes.

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Le P'tit Coin Francais:

Pour les fonds de cheesecakes: suivez la recette de Shauna ici ou utilisez des miettes de Petits Lu ou sables bretons.

Pour les cheesecakes:
250ml de miettes de petits gateaux
60 gr de beurre mou, fondu
200 gr de sucre, utilise en 2 fois
240 gr de fromage de chevre (frais et doux)
240 gr de cream cheese ou autre fromage frais
jus et zeste d'un citron
3 oeufs

Prechauffez le four a 160C. Habillez des moules a muffins avec des caissettes en papier de la meme taille et badigeonnez l'interieur d'huile avec un pinceau (ou utilisez un spray a huile comme ici). Placer les moules dans une grande et profonde leche frite par example.

Dans un bol de taille moyenne, melangez les miettes de biscuits, le beurre fondu et la moitie du sucre. Melangez bien avec une spatule et distribuez de facon egale a l'interieur des moules prepares. Tassez avec le dos de la spatule. Faites cuires pendant 5 minutes. Mettere de cote. Baissez la temperature du four a 150C.

Dans le bol d'un mixeur, battez au fouet les deux fromages, le reste de sucre et le zeste de citron jusqu'a ce que la pate soit lisse. Ajoutez les oeufs, un a un et en battant bien apres chaque ajout. Ajoutez le jus de citron et battez 30 secondes de plus jusqu'a obtenir une pate lisse.
Repartissez la pate entre les moules et ajoutez environ 2 centimetres d'eau chaude dans la leche frite. Faites cuire environ 20 minutes. Retirez les cheesecakes du four avant qu'ils soit completement cuits. Laissez refroidir completement avant de demouler. Servir avec le sirop a l'orange sanguine

Sirop a l'orange sanguine:
250 ml jus d'orange sanguine (frais de preference)
100 gr sucre

Placez le jus d'orange et le sucre dans une casserole a fond epais et portez a ebullition. Reduire la temperature sous la casserole et faire reduire le sirop de moitie. Servir avec les cheesecakes.

Sugar Coma - Get Your Fix In Atlanta!

59

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Sweet N' Sinful
Sweet N' Sinful Bakery

Revisiting last weekend's trip to Atlanta through pictures made me smile real big again. It was packed with places to see and goodies to eat. I was staying at a dear friend's house and we took time to cook traditional meals from her country and catch up with everything going on in our lives. I spent a good chunk of time with Tami, Chris and Broderick sampling some fine fares in the city. Last but not least, I almost blown up my insulin levels by following Shameeka on two Sugar Coma tours of some of the finest and hippest sweet joints in Atlanta.

I am in no way obligated to talk about the tours (I was invited to both morning and afternoon tours) and the trip but I must. I want to, if only to thank all these wonderful bakers and pastry chefs who have welcomed us and spoiled us so well during the day. They set aside precious time to talk about their journey, their careers, their craft and their products. Their generosity extended far beyond all the samples set out for us in their shops. Atlantans, I sincerely hope you will patronize many if not all of these sweet spots. You won't be disappointed.

Instead of a lenghty description of each eatery we hit, I'll just go through my food charged weekend through pics and brief captions. I'll try anyway...

Tami

That's my friend Tami. I think she is one of the most beautiful people I know. Inside and out. She is the one who instigated my coming to Atlanta and I can't thank her enough for the wonderful time I had.

Abattoir

Elderflower gimlet at Abattoir. I had two of them. I also started seeing two of everything slightly faster than anticipated.

Abattoir
Abattoir

Beside a little service miss (really slow service and fish entree not cooked through for Tami) the rabbit rillettes were excellent. Chris's duck meatballs were bathing in the most succulent broth I have had and I just wanted to go to bed with that goat cheese mousse and berry compote. Seriously.

Abattoir

So happy to see Broderick from Savory Exposure during this trip, here enjoying his pork tasting plate. Abattoir's chocolate pot de creme will make you fall off your chair. Tami almost did!

No Mas Cantina

The first Sugar Coma tour started around 9 a.m with a breakfast stop at No Mas Cantina. A memorabilia, merchandise filled restaurant where we sampled savory and sweet breakfast items. Great food, great coffee. Lots of gluten free choices.

Cacao
Cacao

Next stop was Cacao. Wow. Just wow. Exquisite shop. Talented chocolatiers. These ladies don't just make chocolates. They source the best beans and bring chocolate to a new whole level of delectable.

Joli Kobe
Joli Kobe

Joli Kobe is probably the bakery that reminds me the most of home. The pastries and desserts are French influenced with a Japanese twist. Red bean filling, matcha buttercream, lovely macarons and other classics. The display of samples was enough to make my head spin. But there was lots more to do, see and eat...

The Cookie Studio
The Cookie Studio

The Cookie Studio was next on our tour. Such a great staff and I love that the bakery devotes time and resources to a great cause. If I were in the area, I'd probably stop there everyweek for giant cookies and friendly smiles.

Our last stop was Sweet N' Sinful (opening picture) and I have to say that the sugar was working deep in my vein and I was pretty much capping out on my intake for the morning. I did not sample anything there but from everyone's oohs and ahhs, I trust that all the cupcakes and sweet bites were delicious.

Salt was in sight. Lunch. I was so ready for it that I did not take any pictures but trust me, Black Tie Barbecue did it right. Wonderful smoked salmon and the best bok choy I have ever had. And then we were off for tour #2...

West Egg

I loved listening to Patrick executive pastry chef of West Egg Cafe. We've had similar journeys to pastry and it is thrilling and invigorating to hear this much passion in someone. We stopped at their not yet open - still under construction location which holds lots of promises for people in the area. I loved that they do American classics like Red Velvet and Black Bottom Cupcakes and they do them to perfection. No fluff, just hands down good. That's how I like to roll too.

Bakeshop

Can't tell what I loved more about our stop at Bakeshop. The unassuming name reavealing a downright hip joint? The tables set up with a communal feel? The variety of sweets to choose from? The breads and viennoiseries executed to perfection? I admit that last bit always makes me happy as a Frenchie, eheheh! To sum it up: just go. No matter what you get, you won't be disappointed.

Noon Midtown
Noon Midtown

Do not let yourself be intimidated by the ultra sleek and modern look of Noon Midtown. Everything inside screams "welcome and eat me" from the donuts provided by Sublime to the little morsel of chocolate cakes and millionaire bars. It all goes down real easy with a hot chocolate and homemade marshmallows or a liquor spiked coffee like I had. I swear I did not know! No wonder it went down so easily...

Little Cake Bakery

Our last stop was Little Cake Bakery and I have to say that at this point I was all sugared out. I actually had a little moment in the car (and what a ride we had) when I looked at my phone and the thought of adding one more twitter update kinda sorta made me wish for fresh air instead. As Tami brilliantly said it: "A pickle on a crouton sounds awesome right now". Even more brilliant were the owners of the bakery for giving us a sample box to take home and eat at leisure instead. Loved that.

Bocado

Thank goodness for Bocado and a lovely meal of savoury items such as roasted brussel sprouts with capers and parmesan, gnocchi with sausage and kale and yet we could not resist their lovely persimon cake for dessert.

Thank you Shameeka for inviting me to be part of this wonderful enterprise. The Broke Socialite does it right. Be proud. Atlanta is lucky to have you.

Full Discloure: I was gifted tickets to both Sugar Coma tours and all meals that were not included in the Sugar Coma tours were at my own expense.

Roasted Vegetable Soup With Polenta Croutons

61

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Roasted Vegetable Soup

Before I talk about this soup, let me announce the winner of the Heavenly Cakes book giveway: congrats to Diane from Spice Sisters. Email your mailing address at mytartelette{at}gmail{dot}com and the book is on its way to you. Now back to our regular programming...

What an amazing five days I just had in Atlanta! The city sure knows how to do sugar! The Sugar Coma tour I was part of was nothing short of outstanding. Shameeka, hostess with the mostess of The Broke Socialite proved everyone that planners and vendors can go above and beyond everyone’s idea of a good time without robbing a bank. I will do a full recap of the weekend, macaron workshop included as soon as I properly sift (pun intended) through all my pictures.

After two tours of some of the best sweet spots of the city, I was seriously craving vegetables on my way home. And salt! I must say I was impatiently awaiting dinner so that I could have a bowl of this Roasted Vegetable Soup. We liked it so much that I even called B. from the airport this morning to make sure he had not eaten the last bit I had tucked away in the freezer. No clue what he'd eat. I would have this. Not sure I’d share either. But I did. I can't be the only one moaning at the dinner table now can I?!

Roasted Vegetable Soup


There is something about roasted vegetables that sets them in a category completely apart. I can’t tell between the natural sugar from the vegetables being released as they roast, the slightly brown and crispy edge they get, or the deep aroma permeating my kitchen, which one sends my senses in a frenzy. Something does. I guess it’s the whole package. Roast anything and you’ll be a happier human being. I’m serious.

What I love about this soup beside its simplicity of preparation is the tremendous versatility it offers you as far as flavoring and textures. One night we had it on the chunky side, with a little drizzle of avocado oil and a dash of freshly cracked peppercorn and a few parsley leaves. The day after I served it for lunch a little bit smoother with oregano and thyme and some chorizo salt from Secret Salt Sea Salts. Always with some gluten free polenta croutons. They really helped round up the flavors and textures of the soup.

Making Soup

Seems like Spring came in early while I was away but that will not deter me from making soups. Good for the soul and easiest lunch or dinner to make when you're pressed for time because leftovers are always better the next day, right?!

If you want a sneak preview of what we did during the morning session of the Sugar Coma Tour, check out Mark's pictures from the morning session and Bakerella's post on the afternoon session.

Warming up a bowl of soup as I get ready to edit my pictures. It's always fun to revisit a trip...

Keeping Warm


Roasted Vegetable Soup:

Serves 4 to 6

1 head cauliflower, broken off into small chunks
4 small-medium turnips, quartered (don't worry about peeling them)
4 cloves of garlic, smashed with the back of your knife
4 baby onion (or 1 small onion), sliced lenghtwise
2 small potatoes (mine were the size of a clementine)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 cups - 1 cup water (or chicken or veggie stock)

Garnishes: flavored sea salts, herbs, croutons, drizzle of oil (almond, avocado, pumpkin - your preference).

Preheat the oven to 375F. Place all the vegetables on a baking sheet or in a pan in one single layer and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until golden brown, about 30-40 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
Add about 1/2 cup water or stock and puree in a blender or with an immersion blender. Check if the consistency and seasoning are to your liking and adjust accordingly.
Serve with croutons and garnishes of your choice.

Le P'tit Coin Francais:


Soupe de legumes
Pour 4 a 6 personnes

1 petit chou-fleur, coupe en petits morceaux
4 petit navets, coupes en quatre (la peau y passe aussi)
4 gousse d'ail, ecrasee (peau y passe aussi)
4 petits onions nouveaux ou 1 petit onion
2 petite pommes de terre
filet d'huile d'olive
sel et poivre

Prechauffez le four a 190C. Mettre tous les legumes dans un plat ou sur une plaque a cuisson avec rebords. Ajoutez un filet d'huile et assaisonnez.
Faites cuire les legumes pendant 30-40 minutes ou jusqu'a qu'ils soient bien dores.
Laissez les refroidir un peu. Ajouter un petit verre d'eau et passez au robot pour mouliner.
Ajustez la texture en ajoutant plus d'eau si vous desirez. Assaisonnez de nouveau si necessaire.

Servir avec differentes herbes, croutons etc...

Pinch Cake Lemon Mousse Strawberry Trifle And A Giveaway!

554

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lemon Mousse Strawberry Trifle

I'm in Atlanta for the next few days and very excited to be meeting a whole bunch of bloggers and foodies I only know via the screen. I've left early to prepare a workshop and also to take time to visit with friends there and put my brain cells to rest a bit. I was off to a good start by catching up with my blogging pal Chris around a delicious bowl of Thai noodles as soon as I landed. Sweet long weekend indeed.

It's funny but without being a homebody, I am extremely happy in the "here and now" and very comfortable where my derriere was on the couch last night. Meaning, I wish it all could happen closer to me so B. could attend too. Although not surprised, I am very grateful for his mending the fort while I am away for work and he's stuck here with two crazy dogs and a pile of papers to grade. I've left a fridge full of home cooked meals and a tray of these Pinch Cake Lemon Mousse Strawberry Trifles.

Everytime I set out to leave things for him in the kitchen, you can bet that I never forget to leave dessert. This time, I went straight to the source and asked what he most wanted to have. "Something retro like a trifle or strawberry shortcakes."For the occasion, I wanted to try something different and figured it was high time I picked something from Rose Levy Beranbaum's Heavenly Cakes. I used her recipe for Pinch Cake and layered it with lemon curd mousse and fresh strawberries. They're in season in Florida which is just a skip and a hop from us (and tasty).

Strawberries And Lemons

I was attracted to this particular cake recipe for two reasons, how easy it was to convert as it contained very little flour and also because I loved the story behind the name, Pinch Cake. Paraphrasing Mrs. Beranbaum: in Spain, the cake is originally known as pinch bread and the name is partially derived from the way of eating it: by pinching out pieces between your fingers. Mrs. Beranbaum calls this version Salt because it was created in 1985 by Miquel B. Costabella, pastry chef of Salt Bakery, named after the village of Salt, close to Girona, Spain. History, baking. Happy.

But wait! While I am away rolling in sugar in Atlanta, here is a chance for you to bake it at home too: I am giving away one copy of Heavenly Cakes.

All you have to do is leave a comment (one per person) here between today and Sunday January 17th (midnight Eastern time) when the winner will be chosen at random. The giveaway is open world wide. Why not tell me what your favorite retro dessert is while you're at it? Would love to know!

Lemon Mousse Strawberry Trifle

Some updates before I leave: the macarons workshops in L.A are both sold out, but I've been asked to teach a third class on Food Photography in L.A, Saturday March 6th 2-5pm. Email rachael{AT}lafujimama{DOT}com if you are interested.

I did say I was working on one more surprise: I figured Seattle was so close to L.A not to go visit a couple of dear friends. Well, thanks to the organization skills of Viv from Seattle Bon Vivant, I am now teaching 3 workshops there. Two will be on photography and one on macarons. [Update: all classes SOLD OUT]. Can't wait to meet Seattle, its wonderful community and thrilled to be staying on Shauna's couch. After that trip I'll have two days to get the house ready for 3 weeks with my parents. Phewee...!

Gimme cake...!

Pinch Cake Lemon Mousse Strawberry Trifle

Makes 6 to 8

Catalan Salt Pinch Cake, adapted from Rose's Heavenly Cakes:

1 cup + 2 tablespoons (112gr) unblanched sliced almonds
3/4 cup plus 2.5 tablespoons (180gr) sugar, divided
6 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoons white rice flour

Preheat the oven to 325F/160C.
Line a quarter sheet pan with a sheet of parchment paper and slightly spray with cooking spray. Reserve.

Toast the almonds on a separate baking sheet until pale golden, about 7 minutes.
Cool completely and pulse the almonds with 2.5 tablespoons sugar until finely ground. Stop before the nuts start to form a paste.
Place the eggs into a 2-cup measure with a spout and whisk them just to break them up.
In a stand mixer fitter with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium low speed until foamy. Increase the speed and whisk until soft peaks. Gradually beat in the remaining cup of sugar. Continue beating until the meringue is thick and glossy. With the beater off, stir in the almond mixture until evenly incorporated.

Reattach the whisk and with the mixer on medium speed, add the beaten eggs to the meringue, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating for 2 minutes after each addition. It should take a total of 20-25 minutes but be sure to beat for a minimum of 20 minutes. Add the lemon zest.
Sprinkle the flour over the batter and fold until completely incorporated. Pour the batter onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

For the lemon mousse:
grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup (125 ml) lemon juice
1/4 cup (50gr) sugar
2 eggs
1 cup (250 ml)heavy cream

4 cups fresh strawberries

Combine the zest, sugar, juice in a saucepan, and bring to a simmer. In a small bowl, beat the eggs until light. Beat some of the lemon mixture into the eggs to temper. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan and cook stirring constantly until it thickens up, about 5 minutes. Strain and let it cool to room temperature, covered with plastic wrap until ready to use.
In a stand mixer, whip the cream to medium stiff peaks. Incorporate the cooled lemon curd in three additions. Place in a piping bag.

To assemble:
Cut out rounds in the baked caked that will fit inside the glasses that you wish to use. I got enough rounds for 2 layers for six 3-inch wide glasses.
Place one round of cake at the bottom of the glass, position strawberry halves inside facing out on top, pipe some lemon curd in the middle and repeat the layers. Top with some extra whipped cream if desired.


Le P'tit Coin Francais:

Pour le gateau:
112gr amandes emondees
180gr sucre
6 oeufs
2 blancs d'oeuf
1 cuilliere a cafe de zest de citron
80gr farine de riz

Prechauffez le four a 160C.
Mettez une feuille de papier sulfurise sur une petite plaque a biscuit a rebords. Beurrez legerement et mettez de cote.
Faites toaster les amandes sur une autre plaques jusqu'a ce qu'elles deviennent dorees, 7 minutes environ.
Laissez les refroidir completement et reduisez les en poudre dans un mixer avec 2 cuillieres a souple de sucre. Arretez la machine avant que les amandes ne forment une pate.
Mettez les oeufs dans un grand verre mesure et les battre legerement a la fourchette, juste pour les casser.
Montez les blancs en neige en ajoutant le reste de sucre au fur et a mesure afin d'obtenir une meringue ferme. Ajoutez les amandes et melangez.
Ajoutez les oeufs entiers battus, 2 cuilleres a la fois et tout en battant l'appareil pendant 2 minutes apres chaque addition. Le procede devrais prendre environ 20 a 25 minutes (au moins 20). Ajoutez le zest de citron.
Ajoutez la farine en pluie et soulevez a l'aide d'une maryse jusqu'a ce que la pate soit homogene.
Versez la pate sur la plaque preparee et faites cuires 15 a 20 minutes.

Pour la mousse au citron:
le zest d'un citron
125ml de jus de citron
50gr sucre
2 oeufs
250ml de creme entiere liquide

Amenez le zest, sucre et jus de citron a fremissement a feu moyen. Dans un bol de tailled moyenne, fouettez les oeufs pendant 2 minutes. Ajoutez en filet le jus de citron chaud tout en continuant de fouetter. Remettre la mixture dans la casserole et cuire a feu moyen jusqu'a epaississement. Passez a la passoire et laissez refroidir.
Pendant ce temps, montez la creme en chantilly et quand la preparation au citron est refroidie, y melanger la chantilly.

Assemblez:
Dans 6 a 8 verres, faites des couches successives de gateaux, mousse au citron et fraises.

A Late "Galette Des Rois" - Almond and Pistachio Frangipane Galettes

70

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Galettes Des Rois

Time flies like mad these days! I really thought this week would be calmer than the ones ahead. I even said it outloud. With a satisfactory smile on my face and a head full of light hearted things to do. So you can guess what happened. It got a wee bit crazy. One night that I was trying to sort it all out, my dear B. sat next to me with mugs of tea and a couple of tartelettes. I knew we were simultaneously feeling how wonderful it is to be able to rely on the simplicity of seasonal baking when there's combobulation around.

As my family back home was gathering around my grandfather to celebrate Epiphany, we were virtually sharing the moment with individual "Galette des Rois", the traditional frangipane filled puff pastry tarts served for the occasion. B. is well aware of my family's "must dos" and how they translate into my baking and cooking as definite advantages for him even this far away, like truffles at Christmas and galette or brioche for Epiphany.

Galettes Des Rois

Like in many a French person, galettes des rois are a big deal. A lot of families take this opportunity to gather together one last time towards the end of the holidays, have a glass of Champagne and wish one another a Happy New Year before things go back to their usual "metro-boulout-dodo" (commute-work-sleep). Since most years we were visiting my grandparents in Paris for the holidays, we would have "galette des rois" there and, once back home in Provence, we would have "brioche des rois". And sometimes both which was perfect for the gourmande in me!

When I mentioned the possibility of not baking any galette this year, you should have seen the look on my husband's face. As if I was taking his favorite toy away. My symptoms have been so greatly improved by removing gluten entirely from our diet that I did not really want to make a full batch of puff pastry and galettes. I can't stand being that selfish either but from the previous results I'd had turning puff pastry gluten free, a complete gf galette des rois was not going to happen. So I made them anyway, the regular way. I only had one bite too many to know I shouldn't have but he was happy and that makes up for a lot of things.

Galette des Rois

Back in September, I tried a couple of times to come up with a gluten free puff pastry for a Daring Bakers challenge but none of the attempts left me satisfied. I came up with a ratio for the flours I wanted to use, ran it by Shauna for confirmation and was elated to see my dough was flexible enough to roll and to fold and bake into beautiful crispy layers. Each time though I had the same problem: too much butter if I followed traditional ratios and, as Shauna pointed out, not enough protein. Shauna, Danny and I are actively working on that project again and more decided than ever to come up with a gluten free puff pastry so good and fluffy you will be proud to point out it is gluten free.

The most traditional filling for these tarts is almond frangipane (almond cream) but it's never a bad thing to change things up so this time around I replaced half the almonds with pistachios and it could well be my favorite flavor so far for these. I used tart rings to form and bake them so the filling would stay neatly encased but you can most definitely make these free form as long as you keep careful to seal the edges tight.

I prepared and baked the tarts, set the tray to cool on the countertop and just starting giggling like a child. It came to absolutely no surprise to my dear husband that I completely forgot to sneak inside that little ceramic trinket designating the King or Queen of the day. I declared him King anyway and we happily cut into a warm frangipane galette right away.

Galettes des Rois

Twitter people might already know this but I must tell you of an awesome event planned by Jen, event planner extraordinaire and writer of the blog Devour The World, Rachael of La Fuji Mama and Gaby, personal chef and author of What's Gaby Cooking. They have arranged to fly me out to Los Angeles and secure enough space and time for me to teach two macarons classes at the Academy of Culinary Education on Friday March 5th and Saturday March 6th. Zoink!

So, if you live in the area and have always wanted to know how to bake the perfect macaron here is your chance to do so in a professional but relaxed atmosphere. I just can't wait to be there and be able to help 1 on 1. Come join us! Please email Rachael rachael{at}lafujimama {dot}com for all the details as I hear both classes are filling up rather fast. Working also on another surprise for that trip...

Thanks for the positive feedback on giving out the recipes in both English and French. Starting with a salad was quite easy and I almost said "forget it" when I realized I would have to translate a recipe for puff pastry on this post but there it is after the jump!

Have a great weekend!

Galette Des Rois:

Makes four or eight 4-inch tarts

Notes: I hope you'll try your hand at puff pastry soon. It sounds harder than it is. Really. But I understand and you can get very close by using a simpler Rough Puff Pastry.

For the puff pastry:

3 cups (420gr) all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
3/4 cup (105gr) cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (7 gr)
4 tablespoons (60gr) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, well chilled
1 1/4 cups (300ml) icy cold water
1 tablespoon (14gr) all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups (3 1/2 sticks)(405gr) unsalted butter, well-chilled

Make the dough package:
In a large mixing bowl, combine both flours with the salt. Scatter butter pieces over the flour mixture; using your fingers or a pastry cutter, incorporate butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Form a well in center of mixture, and pour the water into well. Using your hands, gradually draw flour mixture over the water, covering and gathering until mixture is well blended and begins to come together. Gently knead mixture in the bowl just until it comes together to form a dough, about 15 seconds. Pat dough into a rough ball, and turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap tightly, and place in refrigerator to chill 1 hour.

Make the butter package:
Sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon flour on a sheet of waxed or parchment paper. Place uncut sticks of butter on top, and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 tablespoon flour. Top with another sheet of paper; using a rolling pin, pound butter to soften and flatten to about 1/2 inch. Remove top sheet of paper, and fold butter package in half onto itself. Replace top sheet of paper, and pound again until butter is about A inch thick. Repeat process two or three times, or until butter becomes quite pliable. Using your hands, shape butter package into a 6-inch square. Wrap well in plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator until it is chilled but not hardened, no more than 10 minutes.

Assemble and roll the dough:
Remove dough package from refrigerator, and place on a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, gently roll dough into a 9-inch round. Remove butter package from refrigerator, and place it in the center of the dough round. Using a paring knife or bench scraper, lightly score the dough to outline the butter square; remove butter, and set it aside. Starting from each side of the center square, gently roll out dough with the rolling pin, forming four flaps, each 4 to 5 inches long; do not touch the raised square in the center of the dough. Replace butter package on the center square. Fold flaps of dough over the butter package so that it is completely enclosed. Press with your hands to seal.

Using the rolling pin, press down on the dough at regular intervals, repeating and covering the entire surface area, until it is about 1 inch thick. Gently roll out the dough into a large rectangle, about 9 by 20 inches, with one of the short sides closest to you. Be careful not to press too hard around the edges, and keep the corners even as you roll out the dough by squaring them with the side of the rolling pin or your hands. Brush off any excess flour. Starting at the near end, fold the rectangle in thirds as you would a business letter; this completes the first single turn.Wrap in plastic wrap; place in refrigerator 45 to 60 minutes.
6/ Remove dough from refrigerator, and repeat process in step 5, giving it five more single turns.Always start with the flap opening on the right as if it were a book. Mark the dough with your knuckle each time you complete a turn to help you keep track. Chill 1 hour between each turn. After the sixth and final turn, wrap dough in plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight before using.

For the frangipane filling:
1 stick (110 gr) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100 gr) sugar
1/2 cup (50 gr) ground almond
1/2 cup (50 gr) ground pistachios
2 eggs
1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream

Place the butter, sugar, almond powder and the eggs in a large bowl and whisk until smooth (can also be done in a food processor). Add the cream but stir in it instead of whisking so as not to emulsify it or it will rise while baking. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

To assemble the tarts (4 at a time).
Divide the dough in half and keep one half refrigerated.
Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper or a silpat.
Roll the puff pastry to about 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured countertop. Using a 4 inch tart rings, cut out 8 rings into the dough. Place four dough circles into 4 tart rings. Top with about 2 tablespoons of the frangipane filling. Top with 4 dough circles and seal the edges well by pressing your fingertips inside the rings onto the dough edges.
If you wish to use the rest of dough and filling right away, just repeat those steps or you can refirgerate both for a week or freeze for up to 3 months and thaw overnight in the fridge.
Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until the tarts are golden brown.

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Le P'tit Coin Francais:

Pour 4 a 8 tartes.

Pour la pate feuilletee:
420gr de farine
105gr de farine a gateau (fine)
7gr de sel
60gr de beurre non sale, tres froid et coupe en petits des
300ml d'eau tres froide (glaciale a la limite)
405 gr de beurre non sale bien froid

Faire le paton:
Dans un grand bol. melangez les deux farine et le sel. Ajouter le beurre et servez vous de vos doigts ou de deux fourchettes pour incorporer le beurre au farines jusqu'a ce que le melange ressemble a de gros grains de sable.
Formez un puit au milieu et ajoutez l'eau. A l'aide de vos mains, commencer a ramener la farine vers l'eau jusqu'a ce que la masse devienne homogene. Ramassez la masse en boule assez vite de facon a petrir le moin possible. Couvrez d'un linge ou de film plastique. Refrigerez la pate pendant une heure.

Faire le bloc de beurre:
Saupoudrez une feuille de papier sulfurise avec la moitie de la farine restante. Deposez-y le beurre et saupoudrez du reste de farine. Placez une 2eme feuille de papier sulfurise au dessus du beurre et avec votre rouleau a patisserie, frappez le beurre de facon a le ramollir et l'aplatir sur une epaisseur de 1.5cm environ. Levez la feuille de papier du dessus, et a l'aide de celle du dessous, rabattez le beurre sur lui meme. Remettez la feuille de papier au dessu et recommencez l'operation 2 a 3 fois jusqu'a ce que le beurre soit bien maleable. A l'aide de vos mains et en vous aidant des feuilles de papier, formez un carre de beurre d'environ 15cm. Refrigerez le pendant 10 minutes (pas plus).

Assembler la pate:
A l'aide de votre rouleau a patisserie, etalez la pate en un cercle de 23cm de diametre. Placez le beurre au centre du cercle et a l'aide d'un couteau fin, deligner l'emplacement du beurre sur la pate, sans faire de coupure directement dans celle-ci. Enlevez le beurre et mettez le de cote. Demarrez de chaque cote du carre et roulez la pate pour obtenir 4 grandes oreilles d'au moins 10 a 12 cm de long. Vous devez obtenir un petit carre plus epais au centre de cette facon. Placez y le beurre et rabattre les oreilles dessus. Pressez du bout des doigts pour bien enfermer le paquet de beurre.
Etalez la pate a intervals reguliers de facon a bien distribuer le beurre jussqu'a ce que la pate soit de 2cm d'epaisseur environ. Farinez votre plan de travail si necessaire au fur et a mesure. Etalez la pate en un rectangle de 23 cm de large et 50cm de long, en gardant le cote de plus court pres de vous. En partant a peu pres du milieu, pliez la pate en trois de facon porte-feuille. (1er tour) Refrigerez la pate pendant 45min a 1 heure.
Apres ce premier temps de repos, repetez l'operation 5 fois de plus pour un total de 6 tours. Refrigerez entre chaque tours au moins une demi heure. Une fois le dernier tour effectue, refrigerez la pate pendant au moins 4 heure, toute la nuit si voud pouvez.

Pour la frangipane:
100 gr de beurre non sale, et a temperature ambiante
100 gr de sucre
50 gr d'amamde en poudre
50gr de pistache en poudre
2 oeufs
60ml de creme entiere liquide

Dans un bol, melangez au fouet le beurre et le sucre jusqu'a ce que le beurre soit pale et aere. Ajoutez les amandes et melangez. Ajoutez les oeufs un a un et bien melangez au fouet. Ajoutez la creme et donnez quelques coups de fouet ou de spatule pour rendre le melange homogene.

Assembler les galettes:
En supposant que l'on se sert de 4 cercles a tarte individuels a la fois.
Prechauffez le four a 350F/175C. Preparez une plaque de cuisson avec une feuille de papier sulfurise.
Quand la pate feuilletee est prete a etre utilisee, divisez la en deux, gardez une moitie au refrigerateur et etale l'autre moitie sur un plan de travail legerement farine. Servez vous de 4 cercles a tartelette de cm de diametre et decouper 8 cercles. Deposez un cercle dans chacun des cercles. Deposez une grosse cuilliere de frangipane. Ajoutez un cercle de pate et du bout des doigts fermer bien les bords. Laissez les tartes dans les cercle, et les placez delicatement sur votre plaque de cuisson. Repetez l'operation avec le reste de pate et de frangipane.
Faites cuires les tartes pendant 20 a 30 minutes jusqu'a ce que le dessus soit bien dorer.

A Winter "Salade Composee" - A Big Bowl Of Sunshine.

67

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Winter Salad

I hope you all had a wonderful times during the holidays. Like most of you I always feel blessed, loved, grateful, refreshed, relaxed but I also caught myself wishing for a little spring in my step the other morning. Beside the rich(er) foods, we also did indulge a bit more in lounging on the sofa late a night. And you know how that goes: the cozier you get, the cozier you want to stay, Unfortunately it's not conducive to getting things done. But dang, aren't holidays nice?

I like when holidays are short and sweet like this. I like working a lot more than I like lounging around (for now) so when I need to raise my mental and physical ressources I tend to pile tons of colors and clean, fresh foods on one plate. Dinners revolve around a big pot of soup and lunches are most often a big "Salade Composee" (composed salad) of some of my favorite vegetables. Roasted golden beets, fennel, radish, savoy salad, mixed greens. I admit that I have never met a vegetable I did not like and I love to build salads and meals by color.

Fresh!

I don't live with a picky eater, on the contrary, B. is alright with trying just about anything. Unless it's beets. Just say the word beets and I get the face, the swinging head, the tapping feet, the clenched fists...Ok, maybe not this bad but beets are definitely ground for heated discussions. So what is a stubborn Taurean like me to do when faced with a stubborn Leo? Yes, get golden beets instead of red and roast them instead of pickling them. And cross all fingers hoping he'll like them while not revealing my secret vegetable.

I tried to sit as normal as I could, and eat at my normal (fast) pace but really I was carefully looking at his fork aiming for the beets, missing them, diving in, missing them. Come on man! Finally it happened. He ate a beet. A roasted golden beet. And he liked it. But I had to promise to never do this again. Ahahah!

I tend to stay with simple vinaigrettes but I do like to add toasted nuts or crumbled cheese. This time I went with dried cranberries and a little bit of feta for a complete "salad as a meal" idea. There are no strict rules for the vegetables or greens to use, add-ins and extras like nuts or fruits. Add a couple of bread slices or some gluten free polenta croutons one day and you have everything covered. Use what you enjoy and what makes you feel happy to eat and share.

Simple Vinaigrette

Besides, getting refreshed after the holidays, this type of meal is ideal to prepare for a two day marathon of sweet samplings like the one I am about to undertake. All in the name of research of course. I am completely psyched to be a keynote speaker in an event called Sugar Coma. Shameeka from The Broke Socialite is the mastermind behind this event dedicated to sampling the best of Atlanta's sweet spots and you can bet that I jumped "yes" when she asked me to contribute to the event!

If that wasn't good enough already, my pal Tami asked if I'd be interested in teaching a macaron workshop at some point during my stay as she knew quite a few people, bloggers and non bloggers who wanted to learn how to make them. As the super efficient girl that she is, she had a dozen people signed up in less than 24 hours. Add another sweet surprise to the mix: Bakerella herself is taking the class/workshop! I am currently coming up with little surprises of my own and swag bags to give out to all the attendees.

Winter Salad

B. thinks I am having way too much fun planning this whole trip. Yep! The macaron workshop is full but registration for Sugar Coma is now live!. If you are in Atlanta or surroundings, I hope you will come join us for one fun day of bakery touring in the city! Sweet surprises guaranteed!

Salade Composee:

Serves 2 hungry people

For the salad:
4 golden beets
1 large handful mixed greens
1 large handful savoy salad
1 bunch radishes, washed, stems cut off and quartered
1/2 fennel bulb, washed and sliced thin
1 small handful of Italian parsley
dried cranberries
feta

Preheat oven to 350F. Wash the beets and cut the stems off. Place them in a piece of foil and close it tight. Roast the beets for about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool, and carefully open the foil packet. Peel the beets and set aside.
With your hands, tear the salads and parsley in small pieces and divide all the vegetables evenly among 2 large plates. Top with the some dried cranberries and some feta. Drizzle with the vinaigrette.

For the vinaigrette:
Check David's post on how the French like and make their vinaigrette. I nod in complete approval.
This time I used some pink salt (the bits of broken rocks are salt crystals), freshly ground mixed peppercorns and garlic instead of shallots.

Le p'tit coin en francais:

Pour la salade:
4 moyennes betterave orange
1 belle poignee de salade melangee
1 belle poignee de salade chou rouge (ou equivalent colore)
1 petit bouquet de radis, lave et coupes en quatre
1/2 fenouil, lave et coupe en tranches fines
1 petite poignee de persil plat
cranberries seches (ou autres fruits secs)
feta, en morceaux (ou chevre, feta salata, etc...)

Prechauffez le four a 350F/175C. Mettez les betteraves dans un morceau de papier d'alu et les faire cuire 20-30 minutes. Laissez le paquet refroidir avant de l'ouvrir. Epluchez les betteraves et coupez les en quatres.
Partagez les salades et legumes dans deux grandes assiettes et ajoutez les cranberries seches et le fromage. Ajoutez quelques cuillieres de vinaigrette suivant votre gout.

Vinaigrette moutarde - echalotte. Traduit de David Lebovitz:
une pincee de sel
une cuilliere a soupe de vinaigre
1/2 echalotte, pelee et emincee
1/2 cuilliere a cafe de moutarde
3 a 4 cuillieres a soupe d'huile d'olive

Dans un petit bol, melangez le sel, vinaigre et echalotte et laissez reposer 10 minutes. Ajoutez la moutarde et ensuite 3 cuilleres a soupe d'huile et melangez bien. Si la vinaigrette est trop forte, ajouter de l'huile.
Si vous desirez ajouter des herbes, faites le au dernier moment pour qu'elles restent aussi fraiches que possible.

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