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Monatsarchive: May 2008

Sugar High Friday #43: Citrus! The Round Up Part One

You guys….Wow! 130 entries!! 130 recipes to try and people to thank for coming strong to make this edition of SHF such a success. Thank you!
I am whipped!! Seriously, things started slow and nice and Bang! I turn around, enjoy a few boat rides with the family and just like that my tastebuds are overwhelmed with a delicious flow of creative, funny, fun, amazing entries! I don’t have much to add..really…pictures speak a thousand words they say! Well, it’s been a few all nighters here at Tartelette’s to bring all these to you so if I forgot your entry or messed up a link…go easy on me and we’ll fix this together over the weekend.

Before we start, I need to mention that Jennifer herself will be hosting the next Sugar High Friday! The theme is "How Sweet does Canada Taste to You" and she is asking not necessarily for favourite recipes but specifically for your favourite foods… Participants will be asked to bestow their favourite sweet treat that is made in Canada; home-made OR store bought (or both!). You don’t have to be Canadian or live in Canada, you just have to have a fondness for a Canadian-favourite.

And now the round up!!

Let’s start off this round up with SHF creator, Jennifer from Domestic Goddess who made a Lemon Cloud Cheesecake, (recipe here) which she says started out as a mess but ended up as a masterpiece. Aren’t most masterpieces and discoveries made that way?!!

Susan from Food Blogga pays tribute to her dad’s limoncello in these Mini Custards With Limoncello-Spiked Rasberry Sauce. Refreshing, sweet and healthy…I think I will have to eat two just to make sure! Gorgeous!

Kristen from Something Sweet finds the time to join us while in the middle of a big move and makes these puckery good and fluffy Lime Cheesecake Squares. I’d say they are the perfect companion to share while moving and boxing!

Sihan from Fundamentaly Flawed shares a wonderful Orange and Lemon Souffle with her family and friends. What a great finale to a gorgeous table and good times spent together!! A tower of citrus goodness indeed!

Lynne from And Then I do The Dishes starts a double birthday celebration on a perfet note with these Cranberry Orange Scones! I love that breakfast can be good and good for you too. Thank you!

Ambrosia from Brozy’s Baking participates for the first time to SHF and with such a yummy creation I hope it won’t be the last! She combines two of my favorite desserts: creme brulees and cheesecake in these Lemon Brulee Cheesecakes. Brilliant!

Patricia from Patricia Furtado-Recipe Book pairs limes and caramel in a Creamy Lime Mousse with Lime Caramel Sauce. Simple ingredients and preparation but a mouth watering result.

Lysy from Munchkin Mail gets inspired by lemons and makes the cutest star shaped Lemon Mousse Cheesecakes. We still need to help her use some limes….any ideas anyone?! Just kidding!

Cathy of Aficionado made a Trio of Ice Creams that had my eyes rolling in all directions with sugar desire: Sheep’s milk yogurt sorbet, crushed raspberry ice and white pepper ice cream, all enhanced by a good dose of lovely lemon.

Shari from Whisk: A Food Blog, makes the most tempting combination of velvety smooth and sugar crunch in her Pecan Coconut Pavlova with Lemon Cream. Hands off people! They are mine!

Rachel from Fairy Cake Heaven puts a very creative spin on some favorite recipe and delivers a tempting, no scratch that, mashing display of flavors. Check out her Pomelo and Lime Curd, Orange Mousse and Lemon Lavender Butterflies Tuiles.

Candice from Mmm, Tasty! makes a batch of flavorful Orange Date Walnut Buns based on a cinnamon buns recipe that she loves. Filled with orange juice and orange zest, I already wish it were morning, don’t you?

Michelle from Thursday Night Smackdown participates in her first SHF, calling it a "personal blogging milestone" ( I know that both Jennifer and I are flattered by that line) with a smackingly good Fuzzy Navel Upside Down Cake. How creative is that?!!

Julie from A Mingling Of Tastes makes the most mouth watering Lemon Bars with more filing than crust (yeah!) and gives us her secret ingredient: lemon sugar…So good…

Kristen from Sweet Pea Patisserie recreated her mother in law’s favorite cake and does a wonderful job in this scrumptious Lemon Cream Cake. That had to score major points on the mother-in-law scale!

Liz from VeggieGirl shows ingenuity with these Lemon Gem Cupcakes by turning a runny lemn glaze into a lovely lemon filling. Great thinking, they look delicious! Is the knife to protect the last muffin from lemon cupcake lover snatchers?!!!

Oom from Vanilla Orchid makes the cutest White Chocolate Almond Cupcakes with an orange icing. The marzipan butterflies are a wonderful and whimsical touch to her dessert!

I tend to think like Ranji from Ranji’s Kitchen Corner that lemon and blueberries go perfect together and I love that she paired them in mouth watering Blueberry Muffins for the event. Those would be great for breakfast and snack time…or lunch and dinner too!

Deeba from Passionate About Baking is also passionate about citrus (yeah!) and makes this gorgeous Tangy Fresh Lime Cake with as you guessed lime in the cake and in the syrup/glaze. Yum!!

Ulrike from Kuchenlatein in Germany makes a delicious sounding Lemon Yogurt Ice Cream that is a cinch to make and will refresh the whole family in under an hour. Perfect for summer!

Rachel from The Essential Rhubarb Pie decides to come out and play with us and relax in the kitchen as well by creating some delicious Ginger Creamsicle Muffins with cardamom, cinnamon, mascarpone and plenty of orange to go around! Yum!

Ayin from Flower In The Kitchen made the most delicious souding Lemon Swiss Roll With Lemon Curd. Thank you for persevering with this one because it turned out superb!

Super sweet Steph from A Whisk And A Spoon in Australia knows how to tempt me with two delicious entries! She first made one of my childhood (ok, all around time) favorites, Lemon Yogurt Cake. She added an extra delicious ingredient with a sweet orange marmelade glaze on top. Then, she added for extra sweetness Meyer Lemon Ice Cream Bombes, filled with a caramel orange sauce, similar to Baked Alaskas. Wooza!!

Marianna from Swirl & Scramble in France, remembers Italy and shakes things up a bit with this outstanding Limoncello Tiramisu. Great take on a classic! Thanks for participating!

Joanna from Salute To Sanity chose the less traveled road with her Grapefruit Curd Cups and I could not be any more pleased to get another curd recipe! Thank you!

Abby from Eat The Right Stuff made this outstanding Lemon and Rosewater Frosted Pistachio And Orange Cake…but wait… there is also a hint of cardamom in there. Brilliant combination!

Chriesi from Almond Corner took her love for lemon sorbet to the next level by making it herslef and pairing it up with crepes in this Orange Crepes With Lemon Sorbet. Sounds decadent and refreshing at the same time!

Emily from The Sweet Gourmand makes a comeback to SHF with a wonderful and flavorful Lavender Lemon Pound Cake. Glad the theme inspired this beauty!

Minko from Couture Cupcakes put on her creative hat and came up with these Hazelnut, Lime and Cracked Black Pepper Cupcakes! I am looking forward to trying them myself!

Sweet Abby from Confabulation In The Kitchen tried to please all the women present at her Mother’s Day table by making this Almost Fat Free, Almost Sugar Free Cheesecake. I think that everyone watching those calories will be happy with it!

Mindy from Mindy’s Deli in Venezuela brings us these ubber cute Lemon Cupcakes With Lemon Buttercream. Love the candied peel and leaves. What a way to celebrate a birthday!

First time participant to SHF, Gauri from Guj Food Guide created a wonderful interpretation of the classic lemon yogurt cake with this delightful Lemon Cake.

Magali from In The Night Kitchen made good use of leftover limes and created a perfect Lime Flan to help her friend unwind. Now, that’s one cool blogger!

Zita from Simplicious made a dessert that I know I will make very soon: Lemon Sponge Pudding with Cardamom Caramel Syrup….just the title makes me swoon!

Lori from Lori’s Lipsmacking Goodness made great use of an abundance of oranges in this Orange Cake with Curacao Strawberries . Going with the flow was a great idea!

There are days I wish states were smaller around here so I could be over at Aran’s Cannelle Et Vanille in Florida and have some of her Lemon, Orange and Almond Savarin Cakes with Grapefruit Sorbet that she made while remembering her wonderful grandfather. Eskerrik asko !

Marija from Palachinka in Serbia made this exquisite Mojito Dessert: a cake filled with a wonderful mint and lime yogurt mousse. Very refreshing!

Smita from Smita Serves You Right in Rochester, New York made this inspired Olive Oil Pound Cake flavored with sherry and orange! I am putting the tea kettle on right now! Thank you for participating!

George from Culinary Travels Of A Kitchen Goddess made a wonderful Lemon Oil Cheesecake with a sweet pastry base and a pana cotta-like frosting. Now, doesn’t that scream yummy or what?

Judy from Judy Gross Eats in California reminisce of a favorite Baskin-Robbins flavor and create one which I think is to times better with this Chocolate Tangerine Sorbet.

Johanna from The Passionate Cook in the UK found some time during her move to make those scrumptious Mojito Cheesecakes. Thanks for participating and being such a pillar of SHF!

Psychgrad from Equal Opportunity Kitchen made a moist and comforting Orange Crumb Cake. Don’t wait for cooler days to crank up the oven!

Scrumptious from In My Box is a first timer to SHF and made some tasty and flavorful Candied Pomelo Peels With Bittersweet Chocolate.

Farida from Farida Azerbaijani 's Cookbook made a delicious Cheese and Yogurt Cake with lemon zest. Almost a cheesecake and a wonderful light snack at the same time!

Elizabeth from Stawberries In Paris made scrumtious Key Lime Tartlets that were devoured in no time on Mother’s Day. I believe that!

Tommi from Brown Interior made one of the most tempting treats out there: Grapefruit Tart With Candied Grapefruit Peel paired up with some beautiful lyrics and prose.

Thip from the delicious blog Bonbini made this beautiful Orange Sabayon in a tuile cup with fresh fruits. Crunchy and smooth all in one bite!

Elizabeth from Spice Girl gets her bloggin groove back for SHF and makes this delicious Lemon Olive Oil Cake. I think I could snack on it all day long!

Steph from CIA-Cooking In An Apron made some wonderful Iced Lemon Cookies. How can you go wrong with lemon on lemon, right?!! Thanks for participating!

Arfi from HomeMades reminded me with this fabulous Lemon Posset of all the possibilites of cream, sugar and lemon mixed together. Thank you for such a stylish dessert!

Basma from the yummy blog Bakerette is somebody I relate too as she can’t decide which one of her entries she likes best for the event and I thought "why not have both?". She first made the silkiest Rich Chocolate and Orange Mousse. Just give me the bowl will you?!! Best remedy to a tough day for sure! Then she tempts us with the cutest Mini Lemon Cheesecakes. Double yum!

Medena from Cafe Chocolada combined citrus and chocolate in the perfect Orange Infused Chocolate Buttercream Roll and even made marzipan type citrus fruits. Way to go Medena!

Brittany from The Pie Lady knows how to make me blush and swoon with this wonderful Citrus Creme Brulee Tart. All my favorites wrapped into one: crust, citrus, caramel crunch…yum!

Sugar High Friday #43 Citrus! The Round Up Part Two…Click here.

Sugar High Friday #43 – Citrus: Round up Part Two

Michelle from Big Black Dogs bakes out of her usual flavor comfort zone and picks tangerine and chocolate in a perfect Tangerine And Chocolate Cupcakes with Tangerine Frosting. Great pick!

Gluten Free super blogger Nathalie from Gluten A Go Go creates a gorgeous Kumquat Lychee Preserve to go along some perfectly puffed choux. Once again my hat’s off to you for making a classic available to all.

JZ from Tasty Treats goes mini with these orange flavored Petite Orange Cakes With Orange Cream Cheese Frosting. Everything is precious in this dessert, from the presentation to the taste. Well Done!

Alexandra from Addicted Sweet Tooth finds the time and energy after surgery to make these delightful Honey Parfait with Blood Orange Gratin. She kind of had me scared there with the blow torch action while on meds but everything turned out gorgeous!

Monica from Nervous Chef decides to take the plunge and post her first SHF entry! She made a fabulous Lemon Mousse Cake…and for a non citrus person that is a lot to do! I guess the subliminal messages I have been sending did work!

Meeta from What’s For Lunch, Honey? knows how to mix the classic and the sexy in a perfectly executed Lime Creme Brulee. Tap,tap,tap…that’s me cracking the top (or tapping on my screen pretending!). Thank you for joining the event!

Mansi from Fun And Food uses what was right at her fingertips to create this superb little morsels: Orange and Pistachio Cheesecakes. Not only are the flavors great but the cheesecakes are mini and no bake to boot!

Super sweet mom Holly from PheMomenon brings out two culinary giants and creates this superb Orange Mousse Creme Brulee. Everything, from the presentation to the taste looks fantastic! Thanks for baking with us!

Elizabeth from The Red KitchenAid finds inspiration in a new cookbook and makes this gorgeous Orange Cake, light and fluffy and with a touch of orange liqueur in the glaze. Perfection with a cup of tea..or for anytime of the day really!

Rita from Clumbsy Cookie may be a newbie to SHF but she sure makes a grand debut with these lovely chocolate bonbons, Orange Curd Pyramides, filled with orange curd ganache and orange curd. Bravo!!

Francois from FXCuisine makes an exquisite Sicilian Tangerine Sorbet perfect to cool us off this summer. He also included a lengthy explanatory post so you have no reason not to try your hand at making them.

Dee from ChoosandChews bakes a wonderful Asian inspired Kaffir Lime and Coconut Creme Brulee for the event. I can only imagine how fragrant this must be under the crackling crust!

Bunny from Bunny’s Warm Oven creates a local classic with this Lemon Sponge Pie, "cake like top with a nice smooth lemon flavor bottom. […] the best of both worlds". Great first participation to SHF and cheers to many more!

Koy from Pepsakoy participates for the first time in a blogging event with these Crunchy Crusted Citrus Scones. Full of lemon and tender with cream cheese, they are also light and crunch from a little sugar sprinkle. I am thrilled that the theme inpired you to dive in and post!

Future SHF host Susan, from The Well Seasoned Cook brings us a bright and tangy Lemon Fudge, bringing together the sweetness of white chocolate and the tang of citrus. Well done!

Bakenista and friend Ivonne from Cream Puffs In Venice brings us the cutest little morsels, Pistachio Lemon Bites, similar to Mexican Wedding Cookies….Ivonne, first you try to seduce me and now you make me wedding cookies…One Mr.Tartelette is going to get jealous!!

Cassandra from 202 tasks in 1001 days is a woman after my own heart as she uses lemons on almost everything from sweets and desserts to savory dishes. She brings us a batch of freshly made Lemon, raisin & yoghurt muffins. Tender, moist and full of healthy and good for you ingredients.

First time SHF participant and friend Rachael from La Fuji Mama uses another favorite recipes of mine with madeleines but adds a definite Japanese touch by turning them into Yuzu Madeleines….Glad you decided to join us!

Ali from Things We Ate For Dinner brings back memory of vacations in North Africa with this wonderfully fresh Citrus Salad spiced with cinnamon and ginger.

Jenny from All Things Edible gets inspired by this month theme and creates beautiful towering Individual Lime Souffles. Glad you joined…sneaky you!

Busy gal Peabody from Culinary Concotions by Peabody finds the time to participate in this month SHF and creates the most adorable Coconut Lemon-Lime Tassies: cream cheese pastry lemon and lime through and through a some coconut. Back on a sugar high indeed!

Robert from Amicus Cupcakes departs from beloved flavors and choses Grapefruit Curd filled cupcakes with Champagne Meringue Frosting to participate this time. Oh! How I wish I had been among his testers! Thank you for a great looking cupcake!

Natashya from Living In The Kitchen With Puppies brings us Cranberry Lemon Cupcakes With Lemon Glaze as the perfect afternoon snack on a summer day. I have to admit that I’d pass a chocolate one for one of these any day lately!

Bakenista Kelly from Sass & Veracity prepares for an Italian this summer and gets inspired to make these gorgeous Orange Rosemary Muffins With Pinenuts. Check out the cute little clay pots she used. Now that’s what I call "baking chic"!

Lori from The Recipe Girl makes the perfect after school treat, Lemon Almond Cookie Brittle. Since Jennifer is our headmaster for this SHF field trip, I’d say we all qualify for this break apart cookie with a shortbread texture…now I wish I had the whole pan!!

Priya from Live2Cook returns to blogging after a short hiatus and brings us a batch of Orange Poppy Seed Muffins. It’s like sharing breakfast with an old time friend you have not seen in a while. Welcome back!

Patricia from Technicolor Kitchen joins this edition of SHF and I could not be happier as she likes citrus as much as I do. In case we needed proof, she made Chocolate Discs With Orange Cream and Marinated Oranges. Stunning, simple and full of wonderful flavors.

Gretchen Noelle from Canela&Camino in Peru trades her favorite coffee and lemon muffin treat for a delightful Queque De Limon, a Peruvian Lime Bread topped with a dainty lime glaze. I am excited to be able to duplicate it soon in the kitchen!

Lorraine from Not Quite Nigella presents a fun alternative to the wedding tradition of the tossing of the bouquet: a "Catch The Bouquet!" Bridesmaid’s Citrus Bundt cake. No crazy hair pulling or shoving aside!

Sandy from Eat Real made me think that the warmer/hot days are already upon us and we are going to need something to cool us off and her Ginger Grapefruit Sorbet would be perfect for that.

A. from Life Is Too Short For Mediocre Chocolate has the brilliant idea to cool us off with a cocktail cake…Her Daiquiri Snack Cake combines the flavors of rum and lime in just the perfet bite.

Reading Jasmine from Confessions Of A Cardamom Addict makes me hungry. Reading Jasmine’s desserts makes me hungrier. Reading Jasmine Chilled Lemon Souffle late at night makes me hurt my head on the screen I am so hungry! Light and creamy, I agree that it is the perfect summer dessert!

Petra from Food Freak brings us a gorgeous Lemon Sorbet, Sorbetto di Limone, inspired by cutie Jamie Oliver. Look how creamy and perfectly smooth this looks! Thank you!

Susan from Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy makes my heart sing and my head cool off by also combining herbs and citrus: Blood Orange Basil Mint Sorbet. Perfect color and fragrance and perfect timing given the hot days coming up!

Lisa from Spicy Ice Scream is another first timer to SHF and goes all out (yippee!) with this lucious concoctions of herbs and fruit. Check her amazing Lemon Flan with Strawberry and Lemon Thyme Compote. Now that I got your attention….wouldn’t you say she did a fabulous job for a first time?!

Rock Star blogger Jen from Use Real Butter makes what I consider "the dessert that makes me melt": Crystal Almond Pound Cake. That’s ok that it did not turn out as the recipe said, to me it means more concentrated lemon goodness!

Denise from Chez Us makes a tempting treat to end the perfect outdoor dinner: Meyer Lemon Buttermilk Pudding Cake, served with fresh blackberries. Like her I often wonder why I wait for warmer days to make it since it is perfect for all seasons.

Bron from Bron Marshall, Classic and Creative Cuisine is my (now not so) secret anymore girl crush….just because of all the beautiful foods she dishes out not to mention that I got weak in the knees reading her post…For SHF this month she made the cutest and most delectable Meyer Lemon Kisses. I think they just called my name 🙂

Adopted blogger Evelin from Bouteous Bites stays true to her blog name by combining different textures and heat sources in the most interesting little bites: Lemon Truffles With A Pepper Warm Coating. It is true: opposites do attract!

Elsye from Dari Dapur Saya has a great eye for photograpy but also a wonderful palate wen it comes to sweets and her Baked Lemon Pudding is the perfect touch to enjoy a little sweetness after a hard day’s work!

Sefa from Food Is Love recreates a familiar dessert and brings a touch of light and color to it. Her Semolina Pudding With Orange Sauce is perfect for all seasons…comforting, light and fragrant!

I envy the scenery over at Butter&Beans written by Daniel and Angelica, deep in the heart of Bavaria…and I am thrilled about their creation: Citrus and Spruce Sorbet….that is the only way I can tolerate gin it seems! I bet eating this sorbet is like getting a giant breath of fresh air!

Heather from Diary Of A Fanatic Foodie makes a perfect holiday dessert…I am tempted to say that everyday is a holiday just so I can have a bite of this scrumptious Blackberry Lime Cobbler with Lime Basil Cream. Now you tell me if today has not just become a holiday?!!

Paula from Half Baked made me blush and laugh at the same time when she baked a favorite recipe of mine: Key Lime Squares with the added bonus of ginger. Glad she made them because I never got around to this month!!

Latifa from Flavours creates two wonderful citrus desserts for her family to share: Lemon Curd Cake and Lavender Lemon Cupcakes. They both look scrumptious and light!

Linda from Make Life Sweeter combines the tartness of rhubarb and the fragrance of bergamot in a wonderful Rhubarb and Bergamot Cream Tart. Thank you for taking the time to participate while in the middle of birthday celebrations. The pie has to be the most intoxicating one so far!

Sara from Cupcake Muffin dishes out another scrumptious and fragrant tart inspired from Martha Stewart while her sister was visiting: Lemon Chamomille Cream Tart. I have the tea kettle on and I am ready to dive into this one!

What better way to refresh after a hot day than with this scrumptious Citrus Berry Salad with Agave Mint Dressing made by Lauren of I’ll Eat You?! She paired it with ice cream but says that it would also be great on its own or with cake. Agreed!

Courtney from The Dough Ball departs from her love of all things chocolate and pairs classical flavors in an absolute finger licking good Raspberry With Lemon Cream Tart. Love it!

Katya from Second Dinner gets inspired by the works of Sir Conan Doyle and the famous Baker Street and creates a tantalizing old faashioned Lemon Cake With Lemon Frosting. Happy to see a fellow bookworm (thereis something wrong with this word in a deesert round up but anyways…) get creative while reading. Great choice!

This is why I love blogging: to see first timer SHF new bloggers like Kelly from The Pink Apron get out of her comfort zone and bake something…delicious! Thank you for this wonderful Coconut Lime Pudding Cake! Yes, you read right: put da' lime in the coconut and pudding and cake!

For Nicisme from Cherrapeno, SHF started as petits fours, morphed into a lemon Swiss roll, got threatened by a teenager with a blow torch and ended up in the most mouth watering St Clement’s Cake (!): orange cake, brushed with a Cointreau syrup, filled with lemon cream and topped off with an orange/blueberry sauce. When life gets crazy, make cake!

Tessa from Dizzee Cake makes outstanding creations and created this wonderful Cherry Blossom Citrus Bliss Cake to wish her grandmother to get well soon. I hope things are better now and I am sure she enjoyed your creativity and skills!

Isabel from Isa’s Cooking misses her vacation due to a fallen bridge in Chile but get here in the nick of time for SHF with one of my favorites (yes! Again…you guys are just spoiling me!): French Lemon Cream Tart. For me, the tart is a vacation in itself…

I am thrilled that Mimi from Mimi On The Move found time in her busy school schedule to participate this month! Her No Quite Cannoli filled with Key Lime cream would be the perfect bite with a cup of tea for a little snack in the afternoon!

Cakelaw from Laws Of The Kitchen uses the best of both worlds with citrus and almonds in this Marzipan And Lemon Cake. I know it won’t be long before it appears on my table…imagine that for breakfast…wicked!

Melody from Fruittart creates a favorite of mine pairing citrus and berries in these Lemon Meringue Cups With Strawberries. But wait, there is a bonus tart filled with gorgeous orange cream too!

First timer to SHF, Jackie from Gasterea’s Table chooses flavors dear to my heart and makes a delightful Lemon and Fromage Blanc Custardy Ice Cream. It is like having the creamiest lemon custard tart without the fuss of making the pastry base. Perfect for spending time playing outside this summer and still have time for dessert!

Allison from Sushi Day makes one of my favorites Asian treats Japanese rice cakes with a serious dose of orange flavor. Check out her recipe for Orange Mochi to get on your way to making your own!

I love that Inne from Vanille & Chocolat dropped the DIY renovations at home long enough to come out and play with us because that is something she knows to do with great success. Her Coconut Lime Cake With Mango and Mascarpone Lime Mousse marries favorite flavors (have I said that before somewhere else?!!) and different texture beautifully!

I am happy to have Deborah from Taste And Tell join us in time after her little escapade in New York! Her small batch baking is just perfect for a small household but I would ask her to make me a double batch of that frosting! Check her Cupcakes With Orange Cream Cheese Frosting for more goodness!

Lynn from Cookie Baker Lynn makes these wonderfully intoxicating Lime Cooler Cookies as a peace offering after a little quarrel with her husband over….lime coolers! What a way to kiss and pucker up!

France based Pamela from The Cooking Ninja bakes herself a delightful Orange Almond Cake for Mother’s Day. Topped with chocolate frosting this has got to be a great end to a perfect bbq with loved ones!

I am always impressed with Toontz’s baking creations at Okara Mountain made with okara (by-product of soy milk making), and her Okara Thumbelinas With Tangerine Ginger Curd do not disappoint me a bit! I can taste the tangerine from here!

Real life neighbor Kim from A Yankee In A Southern Kitchen finds herself trapped shopping online and finds a way out by concocting this lip smacking Lemon Buttermilk Sorbet topped with caramel sauce. Maybe if I leave now there will be some left…maybe not!

Madam Chow from Madam Chow’s Kitchen took luscious strawberry to another level by adding a good dose of lemon in this Luscious Strawberry and Lemon Cobbler. Citrus can definitely add some zing and life to a dessert of bright red berries!

Astra Libris from Food For Laughter recreates a childhood favorites adding a wonderful citrus twist: Cinnamon-Spice Hamantashen with Lemon Raspberry and Lemon Raisin Filling. Combining citrus and family favorites are a sure way to make for a wonderful cookie!

Suganya from Tasty Palettes discovers how to use the Buddha’s hand citron she recently purchased and creates tasty and low fat Buddha’s Hand Creme Brulee. I bet the flavor was quite wonderful!

Astrid from La Cerise in Zurich makes the most fabulous Lemon Millefeuille, inspired by the Sugar Daddy himself, Pierre Herme: caramelized puff pastry filled with a luscious lemon cream. A wonderful creation and a wonderful baking journey all at once!

Suzana from Home Gourmets in Portugal makes the perfect dessert to chase away the rain and welcome Spring: Lemon Curd Frozen Yoghurt. Tangy, refreshing, healthy and easy to share with friends during a dinner al fresco.

Catherine from Clever Monkey Studio creates her own delightful ode to citrus with these Spicy Grapefruit Blondies. Full of grapefruit marmelade, cardamom and white chocolate…Delicious!

Lisa from Confessions Of An Apron Queen makes great use of leftover margaritas and creates this amazing Margarita Cheesecake. Now that is a great ay to refresh a citrus sweet tooth on a hot summer day!

Zorra from 1x umruehren aka kochtopf makes the best use of her homegrown bitter oranges in this perfect marbled Bitter Choc-Orange Cake. Anything baked or made with the fruits of your garden is top notch in my book!

Dhanggit from Dhanggit’s Kitchen creates a most mouth watering Orange Souffle to get high on citrus with us. Aboslutely gorgeous…quick, quick..they are going fast!

Former SHF host Rachel from Vampituity, An Improvised Perspective, gathers a bunch of girlfriends for a great dinner and creates this wonderful Sorbetto Ghiacciato Arancia Sanguigna, Iced Blood Orange Sorbet. Perfect dessert to cool off during hot hot evening in!

Y from Lemonpi uses simple techniques and fresh ingredients to create this amazingly refreshing Chilled Oranges in Rum Caramel Syrup. With a touch of lavender, this is the perfect dessert to boost up your vitamin C intake and finish a dinner with fuss-free style.

Maybelles Mom from Feeding Maybelle makes great use of what is available on hand to put together Kumquat Madeleine, Citrus Curd, Condensed Milk Cream Trifles. Chock full of oranges, lemon and creay goodness, this one is sure to please the most demanding palate.

The Daring Bakers Sing An Opera: Honey And Lavender Opera

Lavender and Honey Opera-Copyright©Tartelette 2008….and I play the triangle….because I can’t carry a tune, which really is funny. No, no, really, I find it really funny that I can’t sing or barely remember three notes on a piano considering that thanks to Mr.Tartelette being a musician, I had no problem finding sheet music, a trombone, a flute, a guitar and a violin lying around the house making it easy to take pictures or get inspired when Ivonne and Lisa , along with Shea from Whiskful and Fran from Apple Peaches Pumpkin Pie announced that the Daring Bakers challenge for May was "The Opera". Early on, I started humming Madame Butterfly and Carmen which greatly influenced the decorations on the cake: lovely "tuile/tulip" butterflies for the former and shapely upside down legs in the cake. Mid-month I was not humming so much anymore as I was making the original Opera for hundreds at work. I was on a mission though…

The Daring Bakers' Opera this month is dedicated to Barbara of Winos And Foodies. Over the last couple of years, Barbara and I have become closer than just blogging acquaintances often sharing very private which each other. As Ivonne and Lisa put it "Barbara is the force behind the food blog event called A Taste of Yellow that supports the LiveSTRONG foundation started by Lance Armstrong. This year’s LiveStrong Day is in May so we decided that we could show our support by dedicating our respective challenge posts to Barbara." For that matter we were asked to keep our challenges yellow or white…my finished cake turned out both depending on the light but some of the ingredients were definitely yellow to start with. Thank you ladies for a brilliant challenge and idea! To check our wonderful Daring Bakers' creations, head over to the blogroll, you won’t be disappointed!

Barbara…I would love to sing you an Opera but if you knew how badly I sing you’d be much happier eating a bite of the one I made! This one is for you my dear dear friend! I am like you: "a cook who cannot sing who married a musician who cannot cook". If only I could give you a hug and thank you for the words of wisdom and comfort you have spoken in my ears since we "met" through Blogging By Mail… Remember I told you your dancing shoes picture was part of my screen saver mosaic? Well…I’d like to think these are the sexy legs that go along with them. You are a true inspiration of strength and compassion, humor and wit. Love you!

Honey and Lavender Opera-Copyright&copyTartelette 2008 I looked at the recipe provided by Ivonne and Lisa and the variations allowed (we could use different recipes as long as the outcome remained white or light colored) and let my mind sing me an Opera for a change…I got inspired by the flavors of my native Provence: orange, honey and lavender and incorporated those ingredients at different stages of the cake. I cannot take credit for the leg shaped tuiles as I had seen them done by a French blogger (original post here) 2 or 3 years ago but the funky idea stuck in my head thinking the right time would come along to play with it. I use tuile butterflies and other shapes a lot at work since it is easier to keep stable with the humidity here. Once I have the cookies and shapes made, I dry them off a bit in a low temperature oven to keep them crispy longer, much easier than blooming chocolate or limping caramel.

I did halve the recipe for the cake base, the Joconde, as there was just the two of us around in the neighborhood that weekend (really strange feeling by the way when you know our street) and added a good dose of orange zest. For the buttercream, I went with a Italian meringue based buttercream I had used in a Swiss Roll and replaced some of the sugar with honey and added some vanilla bean paste (thank you Holly!). I infused the syrup used to soak the cake to keep it moist and flavorful with lavender. We were given the option of adding a light colored mousse to the top of the cake before adding the glaze and here again I used a favorite recipe of mine, a soft and light (although rich) lavender infused mousse. I am a little weary of white chocolate as a glaze as I often find it cloyingly sweet so I made this one very very thin, just to brush the cake off with a nice sheen and slide off the sides.

Honey and Lavender Opera-Copyright©Tartelette 2008 Honey And Lavender Opera:

For the cake (Joconde)
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 tbsp. (30 grams) granulated sugar
2 cups (225 grams) ground blanched almonds
2 cups icing sugar, sifted
6 large eggs
½ cup (70 grams) all-purpose flour
2 Tb orange zest
3 tbsp. (1½ ounces; 45 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Divide the oven into thirds by positioning a rack in the upper third of the oven and the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425◦F. (220◦C). Line two 12½ x 15½- inch (31 x 39-cm) jelly-roll pans with parchment paper and brush with melted butter.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or using a handheld mixer), beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add the granulated sugar and beat until the peaks are stiff and glossy. If you do not have another mixer bowl, gently scrape the meringue into another bowl and set aside. If you only have one bowl, wash it after removing the egg whites or if you have a second bowl, use that one. Attach the paddle attachment to the stand mixer (or using a handheld mixer again) and beat the almonds, icing sugar and eggs on medium speed until light and voluminous, about 3 minutes. Add the flour and orange zest and beat on low speed until the flour is just combined. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the meringue into the almond mixture and then fold in the melted butter. Divide the batter between the pans and spread it evenly to cover the entire surface of each pan.
Bake the cake layers until they are lightly browned and just springy to the touch. This could take anywhere from 5 to 9 minutes depending on your oven. Place one jelly-roll pan in the middle of the oven and the second jelly-roll pan in the bottom third of the oven. Put the pans on a heatproof counter and run a sharp knife along the edges of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Cover each with a sheet of parchment or wax paper, turn the pans over, and unmold. Carefully peel away the parchment, then turn the parchment over and use it to cover the cakes. Let the cakes cool to room temperature.

For the syrup:
½ cup (125 grams) water
â…“ cup (65 grams) granulated sugar
1 to 2 tbsp. food grade lavender buds

Stir all the syrup ingredients together in the saucepan and bring to a boil.Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

For the buttercream:
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup water
3 sticks of butter (Butter should be soft but nor mushy, around 65F)
1 Tb vanilla bean paste

In a stand mixer or with a hand held one, whip the egg yolks for a minute.
Boil water, honey and sugar until the temperature reaches 238F on a candy thermometer.
Slowly pour the hot sugar syrup over the egg yolks on a steady stream, continue beating the yolks until pale in color and cooled. Beat in the softened butter until the buttercream is smooth a
and together. Add the vanilla bean paste, beat a few extra seconds until incorporated.

Caramel Lavender Mousse:(makes 5 cups as written)
Note: have the cake cut and ready to be assembled before you make the mousse
6 egg yolks
pinch of salt
1 packet unflavored gelatin
3/4 cup water, divided
1 cup sugar
2 Tb food grade lavender buds
2 cups heavy cream

The day before of a few hours before you start: combine the lavender and heavy cream in a heavy saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and let the lavender infuse the cream. Let sit for 30 minutes. Strain the buds out and refrigerate the cream until completely cold.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the egg yolks and the salt. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup water, and let it sit while you make the caramel.

Combine the sugar and 1/4 cup water in a heavy saucepan. Cover and bring to a rapid boil over medium high heat (prevents crystallization of the sugar on the side of the pan). Once boiling, uncover and cook the sugar until deep golden brown. Turn off the heat and carefully pour 1/4 cup water into the hot caramel. The syrup will bubble and spurt,so stand back. Make sure the water incorporates fully to the syrup. Return to the heat if you get caramel bits and stir until it is one smooth liquid.

Pour the caramel in a container with a spout, it will be easier to add the to the yolks. Pour the caramel slowly and into a steady stream into the egg yolks with the machine running on medium high. Melt the gelatin in the microwave for 10 seconds or into the (now empty) saucepan until dissolved. Add it to the yolk mixture and continue to whisk on medium high until it triples in volume and cools to room temperature.

In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Add it to the mousse base and fold the two gently together. Use within 30 minutes or it will be too set to spread.

For the glaze:
10 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
½ cup heavy cream (35% cream)

Melt the white chocolate with the heavy cream. Whisk the mixture gently until smooth. Let cool for 10 minutes and then pour over the chilled cake. Using a long metal cake spatula, smooth out into an even layer. Place the cake into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set.

Assembling the Opéra Cake:
(Note: The finished cake should be served slightly chilled. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 day).

Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
Working with one sheet of cake at a time, cut and trim each sheet so that you have two pieces (from each cake so you’ll have four pieces in total): one 10-inch (25-cm) square and one 10 x 5-inch (25 x 12½-cm) rectangle.

Place one square of cake on the baking sheet and moisten it gently with the flavoured syrup.
Spread about three-quarters of the buttercream over this layer.
Top with the two rectangular pieces of cake, placing them side by side to form a square. Moisten these pieces with the flavoured syrup.
Spread the remaining buttercream on the cake and then top with the third square of joconde. Use the remaining syrup to wet the joconde and then refrigerate until very firm (at least half an hour).
Spread the mousse on the top of the last layer of the joconde. Refrigerate for at least two to three hours to give the ganache/mousse the opportunity to firm up.
Make the glaze and after it has cooled, pour/spread it over the top of the chilled cake. Refrigerate the cake again to set the glaze.
Serve the cake slightly chilled. This recipe will yield approximately 20 servings.

Honey and Lavender Opera-Copyright©Tartelette 2008 I apologize ahead of time if I am very slow making the rounds checking other DB’s operas but I am putting up a huge SHF round-up and trying to enjoy my family visiting from France for a while.

Citrus And Cardamom Rum Babas

Citrus Babas-Copyright©Tartelette I have been under a shower of SHF citrus entries this past week and although I need to (happily) bathe in over 100 entries in the coming days, nothing would make me happier. Thank you in advance to all of you who participated and remember I will accept a few stragglers if you come to the party with an extra box of lemon sour candies! Before I proceed with these lovely Rum Babas, I need to announce the winner of the Cherry Blossom Extract: Congratulations to Suzana of Home Gourmets ! Please email me with your mailing address so both Rachael and I can get the 2 bottles on your way.
When I was little, I loved going with my mom to the bakery in town after church on Sundays, helping her select the little mini pastries that would end up on a dessert tray after lunch at my grandparent’s. There always was a selection of different flavored eclairs and cream puffs, a couple of mini fruit tarts and Napoleons and a couple of mini rum babas. I used to repeat that name on the way there and on the way back to the house: "baba au rum…baba au rum…baba au rum…" I just found its resonance funny and comforting, thoughts of roundness and "plentiness" and exotic places. Except for one thing: even though I was already allowed to drink a little wine drowned with a lot of water on Sundays, I was not allowed more than one bite of the rum babas because they were drenched in alcohol…and drenched they were (no wonder our baker was a happy man!).

As soon as I started working in bakeries and put in charge of babas production, I figured I was old enough to eat them too. I had my share of this traditional pastry: a yeast based cake, with a very spongy and delicate texture all bathed in a orange and rum flavored syrup. Nothing else…no gilding the lilies with whipped cream or fruit. Although it is a little more on the bready side than a cake, there is nothing heavy about it….pure rum air….try not to inhale half a dozen minis at once! It had been a long while since I had made some but the arrival of a lovely birthday present prompted me to change that situation.

Last year, my buddy Inne and I started to discuss the pastry work of Hidemi Sugino, Japanese pastry virtuoso. I have loved and admired his creations for years and when she mentioned she had a friend who could get the book in Japan and bring it back to her so she could then send it to me, I know I let out a loud "Yes!". Lucky me, it came in the mail for my birthday along with some plates I used here and here. Thank you Inne! I don’t read Japanese but thankfully in this book, the recipes are translated in English. Allright, so translated may not be the right word as the English used is really wrong in some sentences but you get the gist of it fairly quickly. I was relieved to see that the original measures in grams had been kept although there are equivalences given in spoons and cups. I can’t tell you if this part is accurate because I had no time to double check and I must add that I used the grams, my personal preference in baking.

His Citrus Babas caught my eye the first couple of minutes I started looking at the mouth watering desserts put together for the book. The dough was mixed with a citrus puree, the baked babas soaked with an orange syrup and topped with an orange liqueur flavored pastry cream. The citrus puree called for whole citrus to be poached and puree, skin, pulp and rind. Where it might work beautifully for the kumquat recipe used, I thought not so much if I did a mix of grapefruit, lemons, lime and oranges since kumquats are out of season here now. I kept the rinds of the lemon and limes and used all the citrus fruit pulp. I changed the syrup to incorporate some rum and since I had half a batch of Lime and Mascarpone Mousse left, I topped the finished babas with a dollop of these.

Citrus Babas-Copyright©Tartelette 2008 Citrus Babas:

Printable Recipe

Makes 8 small (I used square silicone molds)

For the babas:
3 gr. instant dry yeast
20 gr. lukewarm water
5 gr. sugar
100 gr. all purpose flour
2 gr. salt
1 large egg
60 gr. milk
40 g. butter, melted and cooled
50 gr. Citrus Compote, pureed

For the Citrus Compote:
100 gr. of mixed citrus fruit of your choice (I used a mixture of lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit and some of the lemon and lime rinds)
100 gr. sugar
100 gr. water
6 whole cardamom pods

Use the flesh and some of the rinds of the fruits, add the sugar and water and put all in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Let cool. Remove the cardamom pods. Puree until completely smooth.

For the syrup:
100 gr. orange juice
100 gr. rum
70 gr. sugar

Bring all the ingredients to a simmer and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool to room temperature. Transfer the syrup to a wide, shallow pan.

For the mousse filling:
Half a recipe Lime and Mascarpone Mousse

Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water and sugar and let stand until foamy. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and the milk together.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the yeast mixture, flour, salt, add the egg mixture and butter. Mix until all the ingredients are combined and you get a soft dough. Let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in volume.
Punch the dough down and add the citrus compote. Mix until well combined.
Drop the dough by tablespoons full in babas molds or muffin tins or whatever you have available. Let rise until nearly doubled. Bake at 400F for about 15 minutes. Let cool on wire racks. Unmold the babas.
Soak the babas into the syrup, upside down first and then flip them over. Let them soak a minute and transfer to a wire rack to drain the syrup. Reserve the syrup. You can keep the babas in the fridge until plating time, well covered.
To plate: top each babas with a dollop of mousse, drizzle with the reserved syrup and add some mint and lemon rind or zest if desired.


Mother's Day-Copyright©Tartelette 2008
I thought that adding one more citrus post to this month of May could not hurt and wish to dedicate these Citrus Babas to my mother for Mother’s Day. I know I am a day late but I thought that she would forgive me if I made one of our favorites, a baba…all pretty and citrusy. Plus, she was spending the day with my dad, brother and her granddaughters. Mom, I love you! Everyday, you show me the importance of giving of oneself, giving love and friendship, lending an ear and a welcoming hand and I can only hope to be half as good as you are. You radiate love and laughter to all around you and I strive to make you proud although I make you worry sometimes and sometimes I make you laugh. I know I make you scratch your head and I know I make you raise your hands or roll your eyes…but I know that you and you only understands me when I sing you Sinatra or Singing In The Rain. Mom, you are my lucky star….I love you!

Cherry Blossom and Hibiscus Macarons & A Giveaway

Mcarons-Copyright©Tartelette 2008 Thank you all for your kind words after my last post, you are all amazing to give your support and wishes like you do. I am sad for his family but relieved that the pain and suffering are over for him. I am no saint but faced with the grief that his family is going through I just do what I do best, I facilitate: I run errands, I make phone calls, etc…which really is nothing so I transmitted all your thoughts to his wife who was really amazed at the food blogging community and its strong spirits.

This makes me think, and before I tell you about the macarons, that I may not be around visiting blogs much in the next couple of weeks because my aunt and uncle are coming to visit us for the first time and I will of course play that facilitator role again…I 'll be here to update and of course post the Sugar High Friday round up but I apologize for my ghostly presence elsewhere.

Now that I have this bit out of the way, let me tell you how these macarons came about. I have had the idea of using hibiscus tea leaves in macarons ever since B. brought them back from his archaeological trip to Egypt a few years ago. He brought back a giant tin of it that I keep in the freezer and make tart hibiscus iced tea in the summer. I love its deep pink color and its intoxicating scent. It’s rather hard to describe its taste but think fruity without the froo-froo, tart without being puckery and floral without being heady. Once I made the buttercream I made a very strong small cup of tea, strained the leaves out and reduce it with some sugar on the stove until I got an extract. Once cooled, I mixed it with the buttercream and it added flavor and color in one second.

The cherry blossom macarons were made possible thanks to Rachael of La Fuji Mama in Japan. She posted about some she had one day while right in the mist of the cherry blossom season and mentionned that cherry blossom was an extract easily found over there. It is so difficult to translate a scent into a taste sometimes that I told her I was really curious about it. She quickly replied in awesome food blogger fashion that she would be happy to send me some and I agreed only if I swapped something in return….and here we are. I made some when Marcela was here but I could not wait to make them again and play with the shell designs. Obviously my attempts at drawing cherry blossoms are not that great but the taste was there for sure.

I know hibiscus tea can be found pretty well here in the US but I am not that sure about cherry blossom extract and I realise that I might have made some of you curious…this is why I decided to give one of the bottles Rachael sent me (I hope she won’t mind that I share the love!) to one of you. All you have to do is leave a comment between today and saturday and one bottle might be on its way to your home….anywhere in the world (or where there is a shortage of cherry blossom extract!) The bottle is small (see her post) but the flavor goes a long way, and I just can’t keep this great taste all to myself…

UPDATE 5/22/08: I am so tickled to add that Rachael wrote yesterday wanting to add a second bottle of cherry blossom extract. You read right: One person…2 bottles! Lucky you’s!!

Macarons-Copyright©Tartelette 2008 Cherry Blossom and Hibiscus Macarons:

Macarons tutorial available here, starting page 36.

For the shells:
3 egg whites (I like to use 1-2 day old egg whites)
50 gr. granulated sugar
200 gr. powdered sugar
110 gr. ground almonds
2-3 drops pink food coloring or 1 Tb powdered
For the hibiscus macarons I sprinkled some leaves on top before baking.

For the whites: the day before (24hrs), separate your eggs and store the whites at room temperature on a covered container. If you want to use 48hrs (or more) egg whites, you can store them in the fridge.
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue. Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry and your macarons won’t work. Combine the ground almonds and powdered sugar in a food processor and give them a quick pulse. It will break the powdered sugar lumps and combine your almonds with it evenly. Add them to the meringue, give it a quick fold and remove some of the batter that will remain uncolored. Add the food coloring to the rest and fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that flows like magma or a thick ribbon. 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 baking sheets. Preheat the oven to 300F. Let the macarons sit out for an hour to harden their shells a bit and bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool.
If you have trouble removing the shells, pour a couple of drops of water under the parchment paper while the sheet is still a bit warm and the macarons will lift up more easily do to the moisture. Don’t let them sit there in it too long or they will become soggy. Pipe or spoon some ganache on one shell and sandwich with another one.
If you use fresh whites, zap them up in the microwave on medium high for 20 seconds to mimic the aging process.
To draw on the macarons: color the small amount you set aside previously and add more food coloring to make a darker color. Use a toothpick that you dip into the dark color and draw on the macarons.

For the buttercream:
3 sticks butter at room temperature
5 egg whites1 cup sugar divided
1/4 cup water
2 tsp. vanilla bean paste

1-2 teaspoons cherry blossom extract

In the bowl of stand mixer, whip 5 egg whites until they have soft peaks. In the meantime, combine 1/4 cup water with 3/4 cup sugar to a boil in a heavy saucepan and bring the syrup to 250F. Slowly add the sugar syrup to the egg whites. If you use hand beaters, this is even easier and there is less hot syrup splatter on the side of your bowl and in the whisk attachment of the stand mixer. Continue to whip until the meringue is completely cooled.Slowly add the butter, one tablespoon at a time. The mass might curdle but no panic, continue to whip until it all comes together. Add the vanilla bean paste. Divide the batter in 2.

For the cherry blossom buttercream, add extract to taste.

For the hibiscus buttercream: boil 1/2 cup of water, add 1 Tb hibiscus tea leaves and 2 Tb sugar. Let steep, strain the leaves. Return to a boil until reduced to a thick syrup. Let cool, add enough to taste to the buttercream.

Macarons-Copyright©Tartelette 2008

Cheese Stuffed Crusty Bread – Baking With The Gals

Cheese Bread-Copyright©Tartelette 2008 Remember when a bunch of crazy gals decided to revisit a cinnamon bun recipe by making the Cinnabon knock-offs a few months back thanks to a recipe that Lisa provided? Well, another type of breadish yummy bake got into our mail boxes last month and this time Mary was tempting us with promises of hot cheesy bread on a quiet Saturday afternoon. Gruyere Stuffed Crusty Rolls from the King Arthur Flour site to be precise. Was I game? You bet I was…so where Lisa, Ivonne, Stephanie, Laura-Rebecca, Sara and Kelly. When I said I’d join in the fun I had no idea that the day in question would turn out so…weird.

Before I tell you more about it though I have to say that I may not be the most eloquent blogger today or the most "happy" one…The reason why our "Cheese Bread" day was weird is the same why I am feeling awkward posting today. B.’s band mate L. has been sick with cancer for over two years now, the same one that took my brother away, the same devastating oesophagus cancer. A couple of days before we gathered last week on Skype to make and bake our bread and chat and laugh, he was sent home after a difficult stay at the hospital. He knew the end was near and he asked to be able to say goodbye to all the musicians and friends he had played with and for over the years. His wife called the young ones who had the most energy to help make this smooth and organized and that’s why B. was on duty calling all the numbers they could find of anybody who might want to come and visit one last time. I volunteered to be in the kitchen fixing a breakfast and a lunch buffet for whoever might stopped by. I was also doing a little stint at the old restaurant that night to get them over the hump of Mother’s day…as if I had nothing more to add to make the day complete, right?!!

I had post-its everywhere to start the bread on Friday since it needs a little starter the day before. Saturday morning I took the starter, flour and cheese to L.’s house just in case I would get stuck there and needed to proceed with the bread. I ended up mixing it up, letting it rise, rolling it, filling with the cheese (parmesan and Monterey Jack), and rolling it into a ever rising and expanding log, all over there. That’s when it hit me: I have got to drive across town with that huge…giant snake of a dough in my trunk, shower, cut it, bake it…and leave it to the hungry wolves of neighbors that I have!!

I was running high on adrenaline and lack of sleep and I think that once it actually come out of the oven, I went to type that it looked like…bleep-bleep-bleep…Well, I don’t think, I know and there is actually our Skype archived conversation to prove it. Well, let’s just that my mind was in the gutter big time when the bread came out of the oven, but the smell of the cheese and the herbes de Provence I had added was too hard for me to resist and as soon as it was cool enough to handle, I ripped one round open and "oh my"…I just wanted to stay there and forget the day, the world and the reality of what was actually going on.

I left for work and I left 3 1/2 rounds of bread on the kitchen counter. When I came back that evening there was 1 1/2 loaf left….I love that I have such a generous husband, so giving in fact that he took 2 loaves down to the neighbors for our weekly get together. I would have probably done the same but…after I took some pictures!! Anyways…From what they said, it was a hit! Seriously, can you resist hot, melting cheese on/in bread fresh from the oven? Nah…me neither!
We loved it so much that I made it again later that week but rolling and cutting "the snake" in 12 rolls as if I were making cinnamon rolls minus the herbs that time. Another "oh my" came out of my mouth that day too. I urge you to go ahead and make it…it is highly comforting, addictive and simply wonderful.

Cheese Bread-Copyright©Tartelette 2008Here is the recipe as I modified it because I did not use the King Arthur brand of flour and I went with all purpose flour instead of bread (except for the starter) without a problem. I also replaced the gruyere with what was in the fridge since the crazy week and weekend made my brain very spongy and I forgot to get gruyere everytime I went to the store.

Cheese Stuffed Crusty Rolls:

1 1/4 cups (5 1/4 ounces) bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cool water

all of the starter
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (9 ounces) to 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) lukewarm water (I used the lesser amount since it was humid that day)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups (14 3/4 ounces) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

1 1/2 cups (10 ounces) grated Montery Jack cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan
2 Tb Herbes de Provence

To make the starter: Mix the 1 1/4 cups flour, salt, yeast, and 1/2 cup water in a medium-sized bowl. Mix till well combined. Cover and let rest overnight at room temperature.
To make the dough: Combine the risen starter with the water, salt, flour, and yeast. Knead by hand or with a stand mixer for a few minutes (I went with 5 minutes by hand). Place it in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until it’s nearly doubled in size. Gently deflate the dough, and pat and stretch it into a Âľ"-thick rectangle, about 9″ x 12″. Spritz with water, and sprinkle with the grated cheese and the herbs. Starting with a long side, roll it into a log, pinching the seam to seal. Place the log, seam-side down, on a lightly floured or lightly oiled surface. Cover it and let it rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, till it’s puffy though not doubled in size. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F. Gently cut the log into four crosswise slices, for mini-breads; or simply cut the dough in half, for two normal-sized loaves. Place them on one (for two loaves) or two (for four mini-loaves) lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets, cut side up. Spread them open a bit, if necessary, to more fully expose the cheese. Spritz with warm water, and immediately place them in the preheated oven. Bake for 20 minutes (for the mini-loaves), or 35 minutes (for the full-sized loaves), or until the cheese is melted and the loaves are a very deep golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack.
Note: You can also roll the log and cut 12 slices from it and set them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and proceed with the recipe as written.

Cheese Bread-Copyright©Tartelette 2008

L. went back to the hospital in the middle of the week so I brought half the rolls to his nurses and the doctors taking care of him. I hesitated posting at all about it today because Lee passed away Saturday night, one week to the day we organized this little visits-marathon weekend for him. I just would like you to indulge me in a little description of him: really tall…think over 6 feet, really big…think Santa Clause belly…about 72 years old although people easily gave him 10
years less…and one of the sweetest and most considerate guys I have met. I am a band wife…the youngest in the band actually, which means that I still go to their gigs on a regular basis and he would always treat me like a daughter, pushing his wife, to come along if he knew I was there. They were married just 15 years ago, finally finding the right companion and lover in each other. L. loved food, he loved bread and he loved desserts…so here you go big guy! This one is for you! His favorite song? "Just A Bowl Of Butterbeans"…. Love you L.! Thank you for all the giant hugs and giant laughs, you will be as missed as you were loved.

Lemon Madeleines – Sugar High Friday Continues…

Be warned, this is a loaded weekend post…

See how selfish I was coming up with the Citrus theme for Sugar High Friday?!…Gave me the "excuse" to make lemon desserts almost every other day…I know, I am evil! Not made your entry yet? That’s ok, you have until next Sunday (May 25th) to do it. One whole week….And remember, citrus does not only include lemon or lime and the entries I have received so far have been really creative in making different citrus fruits the stars of their creations or an accent to a dessert that takes the whole dish to another dimension. I know you would not mind a teaser…hmmm….No can’t do! But what I can do is to make you some Lemon Madeleines to ease the wait of the round up on the 30th.

Before I forget, because my brain is more scattered than the madeleine crumbs on the breakfast table right now: the "handmade with love" tag attached to that cool ribbon was actually part of a gift that one regular reader of this blog, Bina, sent me. She does not have a blog but emailed me a few months ago with a macaron question (with pics which was precious to help her out) and we have continued emailing even after she had "mac-success". Well, this little busy bee cross-stitched a couple of towels for me, one with lemons (!) and one with ice creams, and when I went to take the picture I had the tag in my pocket so it ended up on the plate…which also has a story: it made a long trip from Inne’s home to mine but it was just the perfect size for the madeleines. She was sending me a much coveted book and "hid" the fact that there was china and chocolate in it. Spoiled, I tell you…I am spoiled…Thank you both from the bottom of my heart.

Madeleines were almost always part of the cookie tray my grandmother would put together for our daily afternoon tea. Since there is only one house between my parents' and theirs, the ritual was to go over there around 4pm and sit down together for tea and cookies and talk about the upcoming weekend gatherings, dinner, birthday parties, communions, etc….With a big family like ours, it seemed like there was always something to celebrate and get together for. It was fairly common to buy madeleines instead of making them and with a great bakery in the village it was easy to pop a dozen in the basket while getting bread in the morning. I loved their distinct bakery-orange blossom flavor, their dense almost pound cake like texture, their sticky exterior, and most particularly their giant dome on top…or back…depending on which way you hold it.

Really, I would sit there for minutes on end just holding one, staring at this big, puffed round of cookie wondering how on earth such a classy scalloped treat could end up looking like Quasimodo. And then, I would eat it, forgetting about my questions until the next time we would gather for tea. While others were pondering over e=mc2, I did spend a great deal of my childhood wondering about the dome of madeleine, which probably surely explains what I do nowadays for a living. I think it is more about reminiscing about home that I like seeing my madeleines puff up in the oven since the taste is the same whatever the shape they end up taking!

One of our favorite things to nibble on during the weekends is madeleines. Not very original for a cookie but I know that Patricia, whom I rename the Queen of Madeleines, will agree that they are not only very cute, they are too darn good and versatile to pass up. I make a big batch on Friday nights and keep the bowl out, and they are usually gone by Sunday afternoon. I made these last night too and there is half of one left…I guess I am not the only one on a lemon binge! I think the twins ate half the bowl when we bribed them to come down from the pecan tree but still…

When I inherited grandma’s recipe box after she passed away, I was really surprised to find a handful of madeleines recipes since she never made a single one for us while she was still alive! Not a cultural thing to make them back them, maybe too much fuss to get the pans which would have probably required a day trip to Paris back then and I don’t see my grandfather going with her to get some baking equipment so she could make them since Mr. Baker next door was generously providing us with a fresh daily supply. I bet you that if she had been blogging back then, she would have taken that train or emailed a buddy to get what she needed! Like me, grandma loved anything citrusy so I was not surprised to find 4 different recipes for lemon madeleines in that box. I chose the one that was the most lemony of all: zest in the batter, squirt of lemon right out of the oven and lemon glaze to finish. Verdict? Well, let’s just say that I plan on making another batch this afternoon and hiding it….

Lemon Madeleines :

Printable Recipe

Makes 16

2 eggs
80 gr all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
80 gr granulated sugar
80 gr unsalted butter, melted and cooled
pinch of salt
3 Tb lemon juice
zest of one lemon
1/2 lemon (for squirting after they are baked)

2 cups powdered sugar
3Tb lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest

Preheat your oven to 400F.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, pinch of salt. Separate the egg whites from the yolks, and whisk in the yolk to the flour mixture. The mixture will appear quite thick, do not feel like you have to whisk in all in thoroughly. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until foamy, and add a small amount first them to the egg yolk/flour mixture and whisk vigourously with a whisk to break the flour/yolk lumpy mass. Fold in the rest of the whites with a spatula. Add the lemon juice, zest, and butter. Whisk the batter until everything is incorporated and smooth. Drop one tablespoon or so into the madeleine molds, depending on their size. Do not fill them to the rim though.
Bake for 8 minutes or until golden brown. As soon as they come out of the oven, squirt the half lemon over the madeleines and let cool completely before proceeding with the glaze.
For the glaze: mix the powdered sugar, lemon juice and zest together until you get semi thick consistency. Add more lemon juice if needed. Dip each madeleine in the glaze and set them on a wire rack over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

For madeleine pans and molds, check here for metal and silicone.

These flowers are my way to say thank you to the judges that Barbara gathered during the Taste of Yellow food photography contest. I was surprised, moved, happy, speechless when she told me that my macarons and yellow wristband picture had been selected as the winner. Big thank you again, it was an honor to participate 🙂

Mint Pana Cottas With Blackberry Coulis

Pana Cottas-Copyright©Tartelette 2008 Thank you, thank you to all of you who visited Kate and myself and leaving wonderful birthday wishes. Wow! You do know how to party!! For your comments, the dancing and singing ecards to the thoughtful emails: thank you.

We ended up gathering the usual troops, a.k.a the neighbors and the kids and grilled, drank had a fire and s’mores…and of course cake, which the twins had to adorn with those not so great never ending magical candles…argh!!! To say that my head was heavy this morning at work was an understatement but I could not get out of those appointments. However, I had planned on taking the afternoon off and take a nap, go to the beach, be productive…You know….While resting my head on the couch pillows I started to remember a conversation with our neighbor C. about pana cottas. Was there that much vodka involved that I can’t remember if I did or did not volunteer to teach her pana cottas? Ouch! That was going to be a long day… I felt a pinch and a tuck on a my brain "Hello Tartelette Smackelette! Remember! What exactly did you say? What time? How many? What flavor?" C. called and asked if I needed something from the store since she was going that way:

Me: "Painkillers?"…
C: "Oh you don’t remember do you, that’s ok we can reschedule"
{I hate rescheduling…do it now while the spirit of the moment is there. Problem.}
Me: "You know what? Whatever I said we’d do, let’s do it….it was legal right?"
{Cross fingers, take a deep breath, pray you did not volunteer yourself for another impromptu dinner for 20}
C: "Ok, now you are scaring me…You said Pana Cottas were easy and now I am freaking out!"
{My blood pressure just got back to normal, hers is now through the roof. Well done Helen!}
Me: "no no no…easy peasy….promise. Here’s the list of stuff to get. I’ll go behind the house and get blackberries."

That was just part one of the adventures. I did try to get the blackberries, I did, I promise….but looking and bending down trying to pick out the ripe ones proved to be a rather painful adventures, my head, my stomach and the vodka from the night before all colliding at the same moment. That’s when my best guys arrived and saved the day! Indeed, C’s twins came armed with baskets and in 20 minutes had blue hands, blue tongues, blue shirts and about 2 cups worth of blackberries. In the meantime I played with the computer a little, as I am trying to put a page up and a map to keep you abreast of the Traveling Eggs adventures, but bear with me on that one, time is not on my side (as if we all did not have that issue, right?!). Allright enough about our little village whereabouts and on with the pana cottas….I am not always that talkative (shshh mom), it must be old age!!

Pana Cottas-Copyright Tartelette 2008 Pana Cotta is probably one of my favorite desserts. It is rich and yet seemingly light to the palate, versatile so you can flavor or top it anyway you like. Refreshing with fruits or comforting with caramel, the possibilities are endless. Since the mint is growing like crazy (does getting old give one a greener thumb?), I infused the cream and the milk with a good handful of it and cooked down the blackberries to a puree with some sugar and lemon. We did not have quite enough for 4 glasses so I used some leftover curd from the birthday cake for one of them. Guess who got that one 🙂

Mint Pana Cotta With Blackberry Coulis:

Serves 4

1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
2 teaspoons powdered gelatin bloomed in 2 Tb water (means to pour the water over the gelatin and let it sit while you prepare the pana cotta)

Combine all the ingredients, except the gelatin, in a saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let the cream to steep for 20 minutes. Pass the mixture through a sieve or a chinois, heat the gelatin in the microwave for 8 seconds and quickly stir it in the cream mixture. Divide it evenly among small dishes, glasses, etc…Let set in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

Blackberry Coulis:
2 cups blackberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tb lemon zest

Bring all the ingredients to a simmer on medium high heat and cook until the blackberries are soft. Process to a puree with a hand held blender or in a food processor. Pass the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and strain the seeds out, discard those. Let cool completely before you divide the coulis on top of the pana cottas. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

Pana Cotta-Copyright©Tartelette 2008
Because its calcium rich components like cream, milk, blackberries and lemons, I am sending these to a favorite blogger of mine, Susan from Food Blogga , who is hosting a great event to raise awareness about osteoporosis entitled Beautiful Bones. Thank you for opening up to us and organizing this Susan!

Birthday Girls: Sharing A Lemon Meringue Ice Cream Cake

Lemon Meringue Ice Cream Cake -Copyright©Tartelette 2008 Happy Birthday to you…Happy Birthday to you…Happy Birthday to you Kate !

Happy Birthday to you…Happy Birthday to you…Happy Birthday to you Tartelette !

Yes, Kate from Aaplemint and I are doing it again! Last year we found out through back and forth banters and emails that we shared the same birthday and decided to bake each other a surprise cake. I just checked Kate’s site and she made me Apricot Financiers, and she did not even know they were among my favorites!! Yipee! We decided to make it tradition, which I hope we last as long as we are both blogging, and here we are again! So my dear Kajal/Kate, here is to you a delicious Lemon Meringue Ice Cream Cake.

The cake is composed of layer of meringue with a hint of lemon zest, lemon curd and homemade lemon ice cream inspired from one in my favorite all lemon book. I actually changed propotions, removed some ingredients, and used my usual curd recipe. I liked the idea not necessarily all of what she did. Except the ice cream….Just make that if you can!! You can make one large one or 4 (4 inches round) small ones like I did. It is best to start the meringue and the ice cream the day before you plan on serving it, assemble in the morning and keep frozen until you serve. We have had a serious bout of humidity this weekend so I made the meringue Friday night and left them to dry in the oven. I assembled the cakes about 4 hours before serving so they would still have a good crunch. I shared one with my mother in law Sunday for Mother’s Day after many excuses for a cold snack these past couple of days, there is still one left for me later today….just me, hands off Mr.Tartelette! This cake is so lemon through and through that it finally satisfied the perfect lemon dessert I have been looking for these last few weeks. Yeah baby!! is what I say!!

Lemon Meringue Ice Cream Cake-Copyright©Tartelette 2008
Lemon Meringue Ice Cream Cake:

Serves 12 (instructions provided for a 8 inch round cake, I just used the same concept for 4 small cakes)

Printable Recipe

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 Tb cornstarch
2 tsp lemon zest
6 large egg whites
pinch of salt
Lemon Custard Ice Cream (recipe follows)
1 cup lemon curd (recipe follows)

For the Meringues:
Preheat the oven to 250F. Trace 2 8-inch circles on each 2 sheets of parchment paper. You need 4 circles total for the 4 meringue layers (you can do these free handed which I did since I knew I would have to trim them a bit before assembling). Invert the paper on the baking sheet.
Whisk 1/2 cup of sugar with the cornstarch and lemon zest and set aside. Beat the egg whites with the salt until they are foamy. Increase the speed and slowly add in the rest of the sugar, one tablespoon at a time until you get a firm and glossy meringue. Carefully fold in the sugar/cornstarch mixture.
With with the back of a spoon (or with a piping bag fitted with a plain tip and filled with the meringue), fill in the circles on the parchment paper. Smooth the tops. Bake the meringues for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and let them dry in the oven overnight.

For the Lemon Ice Cream:
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups half and half
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup finely grated lemon zest
6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

In a heavy bottomed saucepan set over medium high heat, bring the cream, 1/2 cup of sugar, zest and the half and half almost to a boil.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites ad the remaining sugar until they are pale and silky. Slowly add the hot cream mixture over the egg yolks, whisking as you do so to prevent the eggs from curdling. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly until the custard coats the back of a wooden spoon, as if you were making creme anglaise. Do not let it boil.
Pour the custard into a container and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until completely cold, stir in the lemon juice and freeze according to your ice cream machine instructions. If you do not have one, freeze until firm, whisk it with a hand held mixer or stand mixer and freeze again. Repeat a couple more times.

For the Lemon Curd:
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 cup strained lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 Tb butter, at room temperature

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 refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap until ready to use.

Assemble the cake:
Remove the ice cream from the freezer 10 minutes before you start the assembly so it will be easier to spread on the meringue disks.
Remove the meringues from the parchment paper and set aside the least attractive one for the garnish. Put a large piece of plastic wrap at the bottom (going also up the sides) of an 8 inch round springform pan. Fit one meringue disk at the bottom, cover it with about 1 1/2 cups of Lemon Ice Cream, top with about 1/3 cup of Lemon Curd. Top with another meringue, another 1 1/2 cup of ice cream, another 1/3 cup of lemon curd. Repeat one more time. Crumble the reserved meringue disk and sprinkle it on top of the cake. Wrap the cake and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Let the cake soften in the fridge 15 minutes before you serve it.

I leave you with a picture of my mom and me taken in 1977. I was already trying to make people eat and my first client was my stuffed rabbit Pipou (which now sit on my dresser…yep…still).

Thank you mom for not giving up on me 30 something years ago on May 13th (the delivery story is rather a long one, not so fit for a food blog) . I love you!

Mom and Helen-Copyright©Tartelette 2008
Finally, I got an early birthday present from Barbara this morning when she posted the round ups to her Taste of Yellow event, click on One and Two to get there. Thank you Barbara for such an amazing job!

Sugar High Friday – Citrus : Reminder

Yes, I know, it seems like the 25th is weeks away and there is still plenty of time to make something for the event….and you are right…but you know what they say: time flies. I was happy to see from your comments and the wonderful entries I have already received that you dig the theme this month, but I am difficult and I want more. Pleeeeeaaaase!!! Don’t forget to send the entry at sugarhighfridaycitrus AT gmail DOT com. For all the rules, see this post.

I have been baking a lot for home and work these past few days and there will be another SHF-Citrus entry tomorrow for a special someone and a celebration but in the meantime I thought I’d give you something from the archives to entice you and maybe inspire you for this round.

Citrons Givres : one of my favorite treats as a child and still has an adult, although now I like to add a little vodka to the lemon sorbet. Funny story is that in most French restaurant a lemon sorbet with a touch of vodka is called a Colonel…interesting isn’t it? Even my dad the Army guy can’t figure out why…and he knows everything (of course, he is a dad and that’s his job!)

Full post and recipe can be found here and I have already made a couple batches this week to cool us off with this crazy humid and hot week we have had. By the way, don’t you just love the fingerprints on the lemons?….Not!!