Apricot Almond Tart - Tarte Abricots Amandes

98

Friday, May 28, 2010

Apricot Almond Tarte

I have started this post about five or six times and erased them all. I have no idea how emotional I am going to get writing this but here goes. There would not be an Apricot and Almond Tart in my life without my grandmother, Mamie Paulette. There would not be a lot of things in the way I work, live, eat and breathe without my grandmother (beside the obvious being born thing). She did not teach me how to cook or bake but she certainly gave me the basics of what restaurant kitchens would finess years later.

I have talked about her and my grandfather many times before. My grandparents were married 71 years before my grandmother passed away and would have celebrated their 76th anniversary this year. They are truly the glue to our whole family. As my grandfather reaches 100 years old this year, I feel the glue getting more fragile than ever. It's just good old (and stupid) family dynamics but remembering my grandparents through writing and posts is my way of keeping things together in my mind.

Apricots

Nearly every Sunday, you can bet that there was family visiting, an unplanned lunch and table setting growing by the minute, followed by an afternoon watching the French tennis open, a soccer game or a Formula 1 race. Mamie Paulette loved to get people together and just visit, chill, laugh and have a good time. I inherited that trait from her by doing the same thing here with our friends here. And just like my grandmother I don't really care about how crazy the day can be or how much it can rain as long as there is a ray of sunshine.

I know she would have loved it here.

Apricot Almond Tarte Ingredients

When friends of ours living on an island nearby stopped by the house with a couple of handfuls of perfectly ripe and juicy apricots, I knew exactly what would become of their fate. The first apricot almond tart of the season! One we could all share together around a tall glass of iced tea, complaining talking about our families.

There is nothing complicated or fancy about this tart. A simple crust filled with an almond cream and topped with deliciously ripe apricots. A drizzle of honey, some time in the oven, a couple of friends and you'll want to make the hours slow down for a long while. What I love about it is that any stone fruit will work perfectly well with it and you will still get the same tingle down your toes as you bite into it. Plums, peaches, mirabelles, nectarines, etc...

Apricot Almond Tarte

Come to think of it, any fruit will work with this tart! More reasons to make it throughout the year and gather friends and family on a sunny afternoon.

Papi & Mamie


Apricot and Almond Tart:

Serves 6 to 8

Notes: if you are not baking gluten free, replace the rice, millet, sorghum flours and cornstarch with 1.5 cups of all purpose flour and omit the xanthan gum.

For the crust:
5 tablespoons (70gr) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 egg yolks
pinch salt
1/2 cup (80gr) superfine sweet white rice flour
1/2 cup (60gr) millet flour
1/4 cup (30gr) sorghum flour
1/4 cup (40gr) corn starch
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup cold water (optional if the dough seems too dry)

For the filling:
1 stick (115 gr) butter, softened
1/3 cup (115gr) honey
1 cup (100 gr) ground almonds (blanched, slivered, whole, your call)
2 eggs
1/4 cup (60gr) heavy cream

8-10 apricots, halved and pitted

Prepare the crust:
In a mixer, whip the butter on medium speed until light and airy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time and beating well after each addition. Mix until incorporated. Add the salt, and all the different flours, and the xantham gum and mix briefly. Add some water, one tablespoon at a time if the dough feels too dry. Dump the whole mixture onto a lightly floured (use more rice flour) board and gather the dough into a smooth ball. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
Preheat oven to 350F and position a rack in the center.
When the dough is nice and cold, roll it out on a lightly floured board or in between two sheets of plastic to fit your prefered pie pan. If the dough tears while you roll or/and transfer into the pan, just patch it with your fingertips. Line the dough with a piece of parchment paper, fill with pie weights or dy beans and par bake for 10-15 minutes until almost completely baked. Remove the weights and parchment paper. At this point you can refrigerate the baked crust for up to 3 days before using.

Prepare the almond filling:
Place the butter, honey, ground almonds, 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 not to emulsify it or it will rise while baking.
Arrange the apricots halves at the bottom of the pie crust and pour the cream over them. Bake 25-30 minutes at 350F. Drizzle with a bit of extra honey if desired when still warm.

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Tarte Abricots Amandes:

Pour la pate:
70gr beurre mou, non sale
3 jaunes d'oeuf
pincee de sel
80gr farine de riz
60gr farine de millet
30gr farine de sorghum
40gr de maizena
(ou de 210gr de farine blanche)
1/2 cc de gomme de xantham

Pour la creme aux amandes:
115gr beurre non sale, a temperature ambiante
115gr de miel
100gr d'amandes en poudre
60gr de creme entiere liquide

8 a 10 abricots, coupes en deux et denoyauttes.

Preparer la pate:
Dans le bol d'un mixer, battez le beurre pendant 1 minute. Ajoutez les jaunes d'oeufs un a un, tout en melangeant bien apres chaque jaune. Ajoutez le sel et les farines sans gluten, le sel et la gomme de xantham. Melangez brievement et verzes le contenu sur un plan de travail. Ramassez en boule et metter au refrigerateur pendant une heure.
Prechauffez le four a 180C et positionnez une plaque au milieu.
Etalez la pate sur un plan de travail legerement farine (farine sans gluten de preference), ou entre deux feuilles de papier sulfurise. Foncez en un plat a tarte, mettre une feuille de papier sulfurise dans le fond, et des pois/riz. Faire pre-cuire 10-15 minutes. Sortez la tarte du four et laissez refroidir.

Preparer la creme:
Dans un grand bol, melanger le beurre, le miel et les amandes en poudre. Ajouter les oeufs et melanger bien. Ajouter la creme et ne pas melanger longtemps ou la garniture gonflerait trop pendant la cuisson.
Positionner les abricots dans le fond de la tarte et verser la creme aux amandes. Cuire 2530 minutes at 180C.

Grapefruit and Anise Macarons

61

Monday, May 24, 2010

Grapefruit Macarons With Anise Buttercream

I am always happy to help my friends or lend a hand. When they have baking questions, I generally have an answer or know where to find it (mom). When that baking question involves my making macarons to help illustrate the answer, you can bet I am happily whipping up a batch. If anyone asks me the ins and outs of food chemistry or needs some kitchen mystery answered, I send them to my friend Brian also knows as "The Food Geek".

Not only is Brian the ultimate nice guy, he is also a true geek of food, always exploring and researching. I have had the pleasure to meet Brian on a foodie trip last year and really enjoyed his theories and explanations. Let's just say that if my computer would pass out on me for no obvious reason I'd call him first and have him troubleshoot things.

He asked me one day if I knew why a particular recipe for macarons that he emailed would have a strong meringue flavor. It took me just about 2 seconds to message back that the recipe did not yield traditional French macarons and relied solely on meringue as the building block. Hence the strong meringue flavor. I mentioned the balance of almonds to egg whites in macarons which usually balances out a strong egg white flavor.

Grapefruit

Brian asked if I could create a macaron that would fit the criteria asked by one of his readers: grapefruit or blood orange, not strong on the egg white flavor. I did not change much to my original recipe and used grapefruit zest to flavor the shells.
I did however have fun with the buttercream and used a nice complimentary flavor by adding some Pastis (anise liquor) to the buttercream. Any non alcoholic anise flavoring would work but Pastis reminds me of long summer days back home and a cold Pastis at the local cafe.

I am biased when it comes to macarons so I did ask Bill if he thought they add a strong meringue taste. He nodded "nope" but mentioned that the grapefruit made his upper lip numb.

So...here is a question for Brian: given that it was an organic, pesticide free grapefruit, what could have caused his upper lip to go numb? The citric acid? An alkaline ph? Any ways to fix or prevent this?

His job never ends...You can read his full article on the subject of meringue cookies by clicking on this link.

Oh and look....A French Word A Week review: pamplemousse!

Grapefruit Macarons With Anise Buttercream


Grapefruit and Anise Macarons:
Makes 25-30 filled cookies

For the shells:
90 gr egg whites (use eggs whites that have been preferably left 3-5 days in the fridge, covered or 24-36hrs at room temperature, covered)
25 gr granulated sugar
200 gr powdered sugar
110 gr almonds (slivered, blanched, sliced, whatever you like)
1 teaspoon finely grated grapefruit zest

Prepare the macarons:
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, (think bubble bath foam) gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue (think shaving cream). Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry. Place the powdered sugar and almonds and grapefruit zest in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add them to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself after counting to 10. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (Ateco #807 or #809) with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper or silicone mats lined baking sheets. Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells a bit. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 280F (convection - 300F regular). When ready, bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool. Once baked and if you are not using them right away, store them in an airtight container out of the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer.

For the buttercream:
1/2 cup (100gr) sugar
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-2 tablespoon Pastis (or Ouzo, or anise flavor, extract)

Place the sugar and egg whites in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly, keeping the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture will look like marshmallow cream (temperature should be about 235-238F). Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat the meringue on medium speed until it cools and forms a thick shiny meringue, about 5 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment and add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, beating until smooth. Once all the butter is in, beat in the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 6-8 minutes. Add the liquor or extract and fold with a spatula. Fill a pastry bag with it and pipe on the macarons.

French Word A Week: Abricot

20

Friday, May 21, 2010

First Apricots

I have to say that I am quite relieved not to have to record the French Word A Week this go around. I could not even if I desperately wanted to. I have absolutely no voice. Zip. Zero. Nada. There is a strange mix of air and shattering of vocal cords everytime I try to talk. So I don't. Allergies have the talent of attacking my vocal cords. No runny nose, watery eyes or cough. Just zipping the wind from under my wings, my vocal cords. It's always like that isn't it? When you are swamped with work, your health gives you some lip. That's ok.

So yes, I am very glad I did not have to record the word "Abricot" (click on hot link to hear)for you to pronounce or listen to this week. But I surely have enjoyed the first ones we have gotten from our friends. I love apricots. In financiers, tea cakes, cookies, panna cotta, just to name a few. I miss the apricot tree we had in Apt and the one we had in Calas (near Aix) two villages where I grew up.

It took every bit of me not to eat them all in one sitting and to free some time to bake with them. I made (and we devoured) my grandmother's Tarte Aux Abricots. I promise to share it with you next week.

When I say "free some time", I am not kidding but it's all good. Work is good. Work allows me to go play, ahaha! Carrie's cookbook is in the final stages of lay out and editing before being sent to the printer and her publisher requested more pictures to make it spiffy gorgeous. I jumped out loud (in my head since I can't speak) "oui oui! Right away". I love Carrie's recipes so that was a no brainer and the feedback from reputable people in the know is already more than positive. I am nervous. And happy. And stoked. (Release date is September ya'll - send the Xanax my way!).

Now if you excuse me, my "boss" (and soon to be co-author) needs a chocolate cookie picture and Bill said he'll help carry them upstairs to the studio. How many will disappear between the kitchen and the work table?

Will there be any apricot recipe in our dessert cookbook? You can bet on it even if I have to tackle Carrie down. Well maybe not, she's way taller than me, ahah!

Have a great weekend!

Petits Farcis A La Provencale - Provencal Filled Zucchinis

53

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Provencal Petits Farcis

I know I did not post a new French Word feature last week so I thought I'd bring you a little bit of Provence where I grew up by sharing these "Petits Farcis a la Provencale" or Provencal Filled Vegetables. To say that I could eat these all 365 days of the year is no exaggeration. Even when I am sniffling and coughing away as I am today, I still want a piping hot mini zucchini filled with all the goodness that Spring and Summer can bring.

The vast majority of the people I know call these "petits farcis nicois" or little stuffed vegetables from Nice. We don't. At least not in my family. We are not from the Alpes Maritimes where Nice is but from the Bouches Du Rhone where Provence is. We may all be different in this world but we are all proud of naming our roots, our region, our village. It's by far lots more telling than race. It explains upbringings and traditions, identities and personalities. And food.

Preparing Provencal Stuffed Zucchini

Just with a multitude of other recipes, there are as many variations for "petits farcis" as there cooks to make them. Every town or cook on the Mediterranean coast has a preferred recipe. Some like to use rice, sausage and tomatoes as a filling. Others exclusively use torn day old bread pieces. Some add cheese. Some don't. Some use traditional seasonings like oregano, basil, or herbes de Provence (without lavender where I am from - thank you very much). Others become more adventurous and add a pinch of cinnamon and raisins.

A picadillo inspired stuffed zucchini does sound really good right about now for some reason...Yes, you realize now that I am not one to lose my appetite when sick or coughing. I always marvel at people saying "could not eat a thing I was so sick".

Happy Mother's Day!

I absolutely love this time of year in Charleston. It is when I feel the strongest connections between my life in Provence and the one I am building here. I get to the market around 8am like we used to do back home and enjoy the quiet time before it gets crowded so I can get to know the vendors, exchange recipes, tips. No longer are they surprised that I buy headcheese at 8.30am or that I stuff eggs and milk in my bag next to a giant pork shank. They're not surprised either when I bear a smile as wide as the Cheshire Cat when I find out they carry leaf lard for my pie crusts or garlic flowers to pickle them.

Many months, sometimes years can go by before I get the chance to go home for a visit and being able to connect the dots that make me who I am today here with Bill is by far the greatest gift I have received in this life. Oh geez, it does sounds like I just had a birthday and got smacked with a little wisdom on the head...oops!

Purple Spring Onions

When I found that the guys selling pink radishes and purple onions also had eight balls zucchini, I literally jumped up and down inside my head. Or did I do it in real life? I don't know! They did look at me funny. Oh wait! That could be because I bought a dozen of these at once. at $1 for two, who wouldn't?! Yes, the ones I made here are all filled with local produce (except for the rice, salt and pepper) I was inspired. I had a plan.

Every week, my friend Anita posts gorgeous still life pictures of her farmers shopping on her Flickr stream which makes my excitement about our farmers market all the more understandable. She inspires me daily to kick butt but her new weekly blog feature Dinner On A Deadline also inspired me to get 12 zucchini instead of 6 the other day and make a double batch of petits farcis, just in case I would have to get dinner done fast but well one busy day.

Provencal Petits Farcis

Like Anita, I thoroughly plan our meals and food budget and even though I already implement many of the steps she and her readers share, I look forward to the weekly post for newly creative ways to balance it all and I love the recipes she shares. I love how openly she made her system available to all to learn from, contribute to or simply read and move on. That's what I love about the food blogging community. And yes, I do love having Anita and Cameron as friends in real life too.

Like my mother and grandmother before me I tend to use tomatoes, sweet onions and eight ball zucchinis in the Spring. These little round squash are abundant at the farmers market here in town right now and so darn cute easy to use. Scoop, fill, bake. Eat. Mange! Use leftover rice, couscous, quinoa, use veal sausage, pork or mixed sausages. Skip the mushrooms, add some bell peppers. The possibilities are endless. Hope you give these a try!

Provencal Petits Farcis


Petits Farcis a la Provencale - Provencal Filled Zucchinis:

6 eight ball zucchinis (or tomatoes, peppers, etc..)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound sausage
1 cup shitake mushrooms (or your prefered kind), chopped
2 tomatoes
1 cup cooked brown rice
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350F and position a rack in the center.
Cut the top off the zucchini and scoop the inside out. I don't use it in the recipe but you could absolutely use it along with the other ingredients or to replace the rice. I save the insides for soup. Place the zucchinis in a baking pan and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the oil and sautee the shallot and garlic for a minute. Add the sausage and cook until brown. Add the mushrooms and tomoates, and as soon as they start to release their moisture, add the rice. Cook for another couple of minutes and add the herbs, salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and let cool a few minutes.
Stuff the zucchini with the mixture, place the caps on and bake covered with tin foil for 15 minutes and uncovered for another 15 minutes.

Design*Sponge Feature: In The Kitchen With

42

Friday, May 14, 2010

Rhubarb Financiers & Coconut Ice Cream  In The Kitchen With

Thanks for the birthday wishes, emails, ecards and presents you sent. You made my day - week - month! It's been a week full of work which suits me just fine since I don't really know how to relax and take it easy. Seems like I am playing a game of "Catch me if you can" this summer and you know what? I am loving it. I am loving the work, the pressure and the adventures. I've never felt this alive and this happy . Our household depends on it too. It's not just for the fun ya'll. Although... hot dang, this much fun on the job should be illegal!

Coconut Ice Cream And Strawberries

What's even more fun is to do a little feature for the gals of Design*Sponge. Grace and Kristina are always so thorough and dedicated to their craft that it's always a pleasure to work for them. Kristina asked if I wanted to do something gluten free this time and I had no problem coming up with a few items making the best use of some of my favorite seasonal fruits.

Strawberries & Cream

For some reason we have been hooked on vanilla and coconut ice cream lately and as soon as the first strawberries showed up at the market we started having ice cream and lemon-thyme marinated strawberries almost every other night for dessert. That alone satisfies my better half just fine. I, on the other hand, always desire something else to sink my teeth into so I usually make a quick batch of gluten free shortbread cookies but with my crazy habit to load up on rhubarb at the market, I decided to use some of the poached one I prepared for the panna cotta and tart and use it in financiers.

Local Strawberries

Financiers, or friands in some parts of the world, have to be one of the easiest tea cakes to adapt gluten free and pretty hard to mess up too. And who can resist the addictive smell of browned butter? Obviously not us because these did not last long once all the shots were in the box. Maybe five minutes because we had to drink the ice cream first it was melting so fast?!

Our lemon-thyme and lemon balm plants have been growing wildly and we try our best to include them in most of the foods we eat this Spring. Salads, berries, spring rolls, marinades, etc... and we have been throwing whole stems in homemade lemonade a lot lately for a little extra flavor boost. Lemon thyme is milder than regular thyme and obviously on the citrus-y side which makes it a good substitute, replacement, change from mint. Hope you can give it a try one day!

Rhubarb Financiers

Head over to Design*Sponge for the recipes and more pictures and say "hello" if you can!

Tartelettes a la rhubarbe: Rhubarb Tartelettes

79

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rhubarb Tartelettes

With our schedules packed to the gills I often wonder if I can make a post "short and sweet". Sweet? Yes I can! Short? Yeah....not likely. I may start thinking I don't have much of a story to go along with a post and three paragraphs in, I realize I will never have nothing to say. Why? Because I love to listen and pay attention.

When I was a little girl, maybe three or four years old, I was on the train with my mom actively listening to a conversation between the 2 ladies seated on the same banquette. I think I made them uncomfortable listening to them with such purpose that at the next stop, they moved to the banquette right behind us. Not even five minutes went on that I turned around, tapped on one of the ladies's shoulders and exclaimed " Parle plus fort, j'entends pas!". "Speak louder I can't hear!"

Baking With Rhubarb

I remember to this day what they were talking about. Embroidered handkerchiefs. See? I register everything. Down to the scent of the rhubarb tart my grandmother used to make for us in the summer. Since this year's first ventures and posts with rhubarb, I have had a craving for Grandma's rhubarb and custard tart and a couple of attempts left me seriously bruised in my hopes of finding that elusive scent. That one enticing flavor I could not pinpoint until last week when I was organizing the spice cabinet and exclaimed out loud "Je sais! C'etait de la cardamome!" (I got it! It was cardamom!)

Rhubarb Tartelettes

I have made her tart twice in tartelettes format (and plenty of other sweet treats) since I spotted local rhubarb at the farmers market (more fragrant and tart than store bought) and each time that precious scent of cardamom permeated the air and everything around the house transporting back to the days she was still around. The woman knew her tarts, that's a fact. Apples were a fruit of choice but her custard rhubarb pie was something to come home to. Always. A slice of her tart and you will remember it forever.

Where am I going with all this "remembering this" and "nostalgia that"? Well, this coming Thursday is my birthday and I can't remember for the life of me what I did last year to celebrate. I know what I made to celebrate (blogs are precious tools for that!) but can't figure out if we stayed in and went out. How much Champagne did I have to completely forget?! Ha! I also get nostalgic around this time which was the perfect opportunity to make her famous pie. I made 8 small ones. Bill had one. That leaves one for every day of the week that I am celebrating being a year older.

Rhubarb Tartelettes

This year, we are starting the celebrations tonight with dinner. Tomorrow with drinks with friends and more celebration on the due day, Thursday. I figured it would be a sure way to remember next year what I did if I packed the week with plenty of opportunities to create memories find trouble. Eheheh! Right now I am knee deep in strawberry jam with the 20 pounds or so that Fanny and I picked up at Ambrose farm yesterday. The house smells divine. I did put a couple of bowls aside to mix with creme fraiche and serve along side the tartelettes. The resulting scene this morning (yes, tarts for breakfast!) was as delicious as it tasted.

I will do my best to save one for Thursday, the actual birthday. They are so good as they are with cardamom in the dough and custard and softly poached pieces of rhubarb. Not sure I can make them last.

Rhubarb Tartelettes - The Aftermath


Rhubarb Tartelettes

Makes eight 3-inch tarts or one 9-inch tart.

For the crust:
5 tablespoons (70gr) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 egg yolks
pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup (80gr) brown rice flour
1/2 cup (60gr) millet flour
1/4 cup (30gr) sorghum flour
1/4 cup (40gr) corn starch
(or 1.5 cups of all purpose flour if not using gf flours & cornstarch)
1/2 teaspoon xantham gum
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup cold water (optional if the dough seems too dry)

For the filling:
3 eggs
1 cup (200gr) sugar
1 cup (250ml) creme fraiche (or sour cream)
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
Poached rhubarb

Prepare the crust:
In a mixer, whip the butter on medium speed until light and airy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time and beating well after each addition. Mix until incorporated. Add the cardamom, salt, and all the different flours, and the xantham gum and mix briefly. Add some water, one tablespoon at a time if the dough feels too dry. Dump the whole mixture onto a lightly floured (use more rice flour) board and gather the dough into a smooth ball. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
Preheat oven to 350F and position a rack in the center.
When the dough is nice and cold, roll it out on a lightly floured board or in between two sheets of plastic to fit your prefered pie pan or eight 3-inch tart rings. If the dough tears while you roll or/and transfer into the pan, just patch it with your fingertips. Line the dough with a piece of parchment paper, fill with pie weights or dy beans and par bake for 10-15 minutes until almost completely baked. Remove the weights and parchment paper. At this point you can refrigerate the baked crust for up to 5 days before using.

Prepare the filling:
Preheat the oven to 350F and position a rack in the center.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until the mixture is pale and airy. Add the creme fraiche and cardamom and whisk until well blended.
Divide the poached rhubarb pieces (you may not need the whole quantity but you can freeze it for up to 3 months if needed) at the bottom of each pre baked shell and divide the filling accordingly. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden.
If you have leftover filling, place in a baking cup and bake alongside the tarts. Bonus baked egg custard!

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Le P'Tit Coin Francais:

Tarte a rhubarbe:

Pour une tarte ou 8 minis

Pour la pate:
70gr beurre mou, non sale
3 jaunes d'oeuf
pincee de sel
pincee de cardamome
80gr farine de riz brun
60gr farine de millet
30gr farine de sorghum
40gr de maizena
(ou de 210gr de farine blanche)
1/2 cc de gomme de xantham

Pour la garniture:
3 oeufs
200 gr sucre
230 gr creme fraiche
1/2 cc cardamome

Preparer la pate:
Dans le bol d'un mixer, battez le beurre pendant 1 minute. Ajoutez les jaunes d'oeufs un a un, tout en melangeant bien apres chaque jaune. Ajoutez le sel, cardamome et les farines sans gluten, le sel et la gomme de xantham. Melangez brievement et verzes le contenu sur un plan de travail. Ramassez en boule et metter au refrigerateur pendant une heure.
Prechauffez le four a 180C et positionnez une plaque au milieu.
Etalez la pate sur un plan de travail legerement farine (farine sans gluten de preference), ou entre deux feuilles de papier sulfurise. Foncez en un plat a tarte (mini ou pas), mettre une feuille de papier sulfurise dans le fond, et des pois/riz. Faire pre-cuire 10-15 minutes. Sortez la tarte du four et laissez refroidir.

Preparer la garniture:
Dans un grand bol, fouetter les oeufs et le sucre jusqu'a ce que le melange blanchisse. Ajouter la creme fraiche et la cardamome et battre jusqu'a obtention d'un melange homogene.
Placer des morceaux de rhubarbe au fond des tartes, ajoutez assez d'appareil a garniture pour les recouvrir et faites cuire 20-25 minutes a 180C.

French Word A Week: Pomme de terre

51

Friday, May 07, 2010

Saturday At The Market
Start with good potatoes.

I don't know if you have noticed but I am not very good with routine. Monotony. Habits. I have my moments with continuity, stillness and straight lines. But as soon as Spring comes around, whoop-de-doo, I am like a butterfly. Especially when it comes to carbs as I found out while conversing with friends about our favorite carbohydrate.

I started with "Potatoes for sure!" only to recall a sudden love affair between my fork and a bowl of stir fried rice the week before. And let's not forget the month I fixed myself a plate of spaghetti, sprinkle of basil, parmesan and olive oil everyday for lunch. Well, and beans. More so if they are surrounded with cassoulet. But deep down? I am a potato girl.

Potatoes
Wash them well and place in roasting pan.

So, you guessed it, the French Word A Week is "Potato" = Pomme de terre (click on word to hear the pronunciation).

I'm not "potatoes any way all day" though. Short of being able to cook them in the ashes of a good fire like we used to do back home, I'd rather have mine roasted than mashed. Come Spring and Summer and one of my favorite side dishes to make and eat is a simple bowl of warm roasted potatoes.

Potatoes
Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Every week at the farmers market, I load up on the tiniest white, red and purple potatoes I can find, wash them well, spread them out in a baking dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and voila! A light accompaniment to a nice steak on the grill or a weeknight omelette. Add some chopped oregano, thyme or basil and you can pair this with almost anything you like.

Roasted Potatoes
Roast at 375F until the potatoes are cooked through.

If you are planning a brunch or a picnic for Mother's Day this weekend this salad would be particularly great to bring along. It requires very little actual making time, roasts itself up in 30 minutes and keeps well for hours at room temperature.

maychscover

If you need more picnic ideas as the warm days roll in, you can find more options in this article I styled and photographed for Charleston Magazine. The print version with the full length article with more pictures and recipes will be available on news stands this week I hear. No one on the staff asked me to promote them but I do love when they hire me(obviously!) and I love that we have such high quality prints, artisans and creative minds here in town. Makes me proud. Thank you for indulging me.
Simple Roasted Potato Salad
Tada! Warm potato salad with oregano.


Props:
- wooden bowl: Star Provisions, Atlanta
- dark Ovenex roasting pans (8x8 and 9x13): ebay.com
- wooden cutlery: Sprout Home
- other flatware/serving sets: etsy.com

Tamarind Coffee Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Chocolate Frosting

Tamarind Coffee Cupcakes

Dear Breakfast,

I have tried. Really I have. I just can't seem to get you. Or you aren't that captivating enough to me. Not after that many years trying. I am willing to sacrifice more time getting to get you though. Really, I am. Even the little time I have left these days in the morning is not without a thought or two for you. Unfortunately it's been the extent of our relationship lately. "The thought of you". Well, until I made these Tamarind Coffee Cupcakes. Now it's all about "the very thought of them".

You and I are comfortable with each other. We're not bored and we're not indifferent but we just can't seem to get wild and crazy about each other either. Let's recap a little here. We tried early on to build a solid foundation with a cup of coffee and a piece of toast. Until I got burned out on the toast with butter and jam, dunked in my coffee because I wanted that just about 10 more times before heading out the door.

Tamarind Coffee Cupcakes

So we decided to make it bit more structured and add an egg and piece of bacon to that toast. Oh. Beautiful mornings ensued. Definitely. Until I got lazy in our relationship and refused to do this much clean up before work. You would not compromise and a full break-up followed. Months without a nibble. Until a roomate made a piping hot bowl of oatmeal topped with a splash of honey and a handful of roasted hazelnuts.

I wanted to marry you then. We did have a long engagement. It became clear though that I do have a "coeur d'artichaut", even for you. It just was not enough. So we made pancakes with oatmeal and honey and nuts. Then waffles. And crepes. More pancakes. Eventually I started forgetting the toasted nuts. The honey too. Then one day I woke up and hit the snooze button and gave you the silent treatment. Sorry.

Last Four

I went back to the eggs. Soft boiled. Poached. Sunny side up. You name it. I had it. It was almost indecent. Then I had a smoothie period. A green juice period. A funky smoked fish and German bread period. A bowl of fruit, sprinkle of flax seed period. Virtuous is not me. That also went out the window. I cheat with mid-morning snack. A tomato with sea salt. A handful of nuts, etc... You see?

It's not you. It's me. I'm not just fickle. I am a gourmande. Of life. Of food. Of emotions. If I didn't have to watch for certain health issues, I'd have croissant, pains au chocolat, chaussons aux pommes and other French delicacies every day for breakfast. And I would not get bored. All that butter. But if I did, I'd rapidly wear them on my derriere. So the Frenchies and I have a Sunday rendez-vous instead.

Tamarind Coffee Cupcakes

I was about ready to give up on the whole thing and remain a breakfast spinster until Dan Lepard posted these Tamarind Coffee Cupcakes. The coffee makes them incredibly versatile while the tamarind provides the perfect hint to wake up your tastebuds. In the morning I have one without frosting on my way up to the studio and in the afternoon a dollop of cream cheese-chocolate frosting is just a reminder that a sweet pause and a cup of tea is just what the doctor ordered during a long day on the job.

I used a mix of superfine sweet rice flour (info previously here and here), cornstarch as we don't like tapioca flour but you can substitute either or according to your preference and millet flour. I did half butter and half coconut oil and used raw honey which intensifies the coffee in the cupcakes and brings out the chocolate when frosted.

Tamarind Coffee Cupcakes

Even B. agrees that this kind of love affair is also to his benefit. Indeed, I can't possibly eat all 12 cupcakes in one sitting so I must share with him. We might finally find our groove you and I, dear Breakfast.

Yours truly,
Helene.

Tamarind Coffee Cupcakes With Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting, adapted from Dan Lepard.

Makes 12

For the cupcakes:

55g unsalted butter, at room temperature
55gr extra virgin coconut oil
1/3 cup (110gr)honey or light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground coffee
1/4 cup tamarind paste
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (100 gr) superfine sweet rice flour
1/4 cup (50 gr) millet flour
1/4 cup (50 gr) cornstarch (or use tapioca flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt

For the frosting:
1 block (8 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup (170gr) semisweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled

Prepare the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Place 12 muffin liners inside a muffin pan and lightly brush with melted butter (or cooking spray).
In an electric mixer, whip the butter, coconut oil and honey until fluffy at medium speed, 2-3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the tamarind and coffee. Still on low, add the eggs, one at time and scraping the bowl after each addition. In a separate bowl, mix together the flours, cornstarch, baking soda and salt and slowly fold this in with the butter - tamarind mixture until the mixture is smooth. Divide evenly among the muffin liners and bake 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting or enjoy warm without.

Prepare the frosting:
In a large bowl, whisk together the cream cheese and semisweet chocolate until smooth. Fill a pastry bag with the mixture and pipe on top of each cupcake.

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Petits gateaux au tamarin et glacage au cream cheese chocolat:

Pour 12 petits gateaux

55 gr beurre, non sale, a temperature ambiante
55 gr d'huile de noix de coco, a temperature ambiante
110 gr de miel
1 cs de cafe moulu
70 gr de pulpe de tamarin
2 oeufs
100gr de farine de riz
50 gr de maizena
50 gr de farine de millet
1 cc de bicarbonate de soude
une pincee de sel

Pour le glacage:
210 gr de fromage frais, type Philadelphia, a temperature ambiante
170 gr chocolat (pas trop corse), fondu et legerement refroidi

Prechauffer le four a 175C. Aligner 12 caissettes a muffins dans une plaque a muffin et beurrer legerement l'interieur (pinceau et beurre fondu).
Dans un grand bol, mixer le beurre, l'huile de noix de coco et le miel jusqu'a ce que le melange soit leger, 2 a 3 minutes. Ajouter le cafe et le tamarin et ensuite les oeufs a un a jusqu'a obtention d'une pate homogene. Ajouter les farines, la maizena, le bicarbonate de soude et le sel et battre jusqu'a ce que le melange soit lisse.
Repartir dans les caisettes et faire cuire 20 a 25 minutes.

Pour le glacage:
Battre dans un grand bol le cream cheese et chocolate fondu jusqu'a obtenir un melange homogene. Le mettre dans un poche a douille et en glacer les petits gateaux une fois que ces derniers sont refroidis.

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