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Coconut Cherry Petits Gateaux

Coconut Cherry Petits Gateaux

The temperatures have dropped here in the last few days which is extremely bizarre for us this time of year. Humid is a given, hot is pretty much the norm, hotter is, well, summer. I always take the dogs out barefeet in the morning. I love to feel the dew tickling my feet and waking me up. The other morning was no exception only for the fact that my ritual was paired with a sounding "Oh la vache c’est froid" ("Holy cow, it’s cold"). Hurried my little flock back inside, made hot tea and sat with Bill with a few Coconut Cherry Petits Gateaux while he was reading the morning paper.

Obviously, I have forgotten what cold really is having been in the South so long but I actually look forward to a good wind and a cold front. I take it all in, making "cold memories" to dip into when August rolls around and I wilt going from the house to the car. Times like this usually give me an urge to make cakes and tea cakes. When I see cherries I am immediately thrown back to our house in Provence where we had two giant cherry trees giving us what seemed like a house full of fruit each year. Maybe it looked that dramatic because I was 4 and everything seems disproportioned at that age.


Yes, I know, cherry season won’t be in full force until June here but a patron asked me to come up with an anniversary dessert containing cherries. I sampled a few at the store and while they were ok, it was not something I would have spent my money on this early in May, but it was a job not a choice. I dropped by her house so she could taste them and she turned to me and said "yeah you are right, why don’t you keep them then. I am sure you’ll know how to doctor them up". Geez, thanks! I think I did allright though.

I love the fact that B indulges me in making him repeat in French all the ingredients I am using. He appeals to his inner teenager and I just about crack a rib everytime we do this. "Pour le petits gateaux" (for the tea cakes)"commence par le sucre" (start with sugar), "ajoute les oeufs" (add the eggs). It quickly became a mix of English and French: "add the lait de coco" (add the coconut milk), "now les cerises" (now the cherries). He stopped abruptly and exclaimed "you know, even in French I understand you are trying to make me eat two things I dont' care for, coconut and cherries even though it sounds way better this way!".

Ha! I did not trick him though, he likes coconut milk and he likes cooked cherries. I can’t never get him to eat them fresh from the bowl while I can go through a pound of them without fliching. Well, when these came out of the oven, he grabbed a couple and a glass of milk and went back up to his study. I only found the wrappers and a happy man later on.

Since I wanted to boost their flavor a bit, I used coconut milk instead of cow’s milk in the batter, added a drop of coconut extract and sprinkled them with chopped raw pumpkin seeds to change from pistachios.

Coconut Cherry Petits Gateaux

One year ago: Cherry Blossom and Hibiscus Macarons
Two years ago: Floating Islands

Coconut Cherry Petits Gateaux:

Makes 8 to 10

1/2 cup (100gr) sugar
2 eggs
1/2 (125ml) coconut milk
2 tablespoons (30gr) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
1 3/4 cups (220gr)all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup cherries, pitted and halved
3 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350F and position a rack in the center. Lightly spray or butter muffin tins or cupcake molds. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with hand held beaters) whisk together the sugar and the eggs on medium speed for 5 minutes. With the machine running on low speed, add the coconut milk, melted butter and coconut extract. Beat for a minute to incorporate all the ingredients thoroughly. Add the flour and baking powder and mix until smooth. Stop the machine and fold in the cherries with a spatula. Divide the batter between the prepared muffin tins and sprinkle with the chopped pumpkin seeds. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clear.

Raspberry Pistachio Teacakes

Tea Time - Raspberry Pistachio Cakes

Well, I guess there has to be a first for everything…This is my first time missing a Daring Bakers' challenge. Ever. In over 2 years. And does it feel weird!! But there are thousands of wonderfully executed challenges to be seen there. Just too much discombobulation here to do it justice.

My mother was thrilled to see your enthusiasm regarding her ratatouille and the fear of "being out there" for others to see quickly dissipated with yet another bite of it! My parents are leaving on Sunday and we have been packing activities, visits, friends and family in as much as possible. All this between work, shopping and a few baking sessions of course. Mom and I did find time to bake Grandma’s apple tart as well as these easy and delicious little tea cakes filled with raspberries and pistachios.

One thing we never fail to do as a family is to take time for tea. When 5 o’clock rolls around, the kettle is on and the cookie tin finds its place on the table. Even miles away, this is a little "home away from home" tradition I still have. Helps me stay connected. I can picture my grandfather and my parents sitting together for tea and cookies or cake. Sometimes there are friends dropping by. Sometimes, it is a wordless conversation of comforting gestures. I tend to do the same. I close the notebooks and take a minute to breathe. Sometimes it is a bunch of kids and friends stopping by. Same as home. One thing for sure is that our tea time never goes without a sweet nibble.

Raspberry Pistachio Cakes - To Fight The Flu

These teacakes are pretty straightfoward and lend themselves to all sorts of variations. We went through the pantry and the fridge and prepared mini cakes with fresh raspberries, but you could use strawberries or blueberries just as well. We went for pistachios but almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts would work beautifully here too. I like the flavor that the dark brown sugar imparts to these but feel free to use light brown or granulated sugar instead. I think I’ll try to find time to bake them another batch to take on the plane ride back home and sneak some into their carry-ons!

Raspberry Pistachio Teacakes Recipe:

Makes about a dozen

1 cup (120gr) pistachios, raw, divided
1/2 cup (110gr) dark brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 stick (113gr) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon (5gr) vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (205gr) cake flour
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon (4.6gr) baking powder
1 1/2 cups (185gr) fresh raspberries

Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly spray or butter 10 to 12 muffin cups or tins.
Coarsely chop the pistachios and set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with hand held beaters), whisk together the sugar and the eggs on medium speed, until thick, about 2-3 minutes. Lower the speed and with the machine running, add the butter, vanilla extract, cake flour, salt and baking powder. Increase the speed to medium and whisk until just incorporated. By hand, fold in the raspberries, being careful not to break them up too much and half of the reserved pistachios. Divide evenly between the muffin tins (or other small molds). Sprinkle the remaining half a cup of pistachios evenly over the cakes. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on wire racks.


Have a wonderful weekend!

Cold Strawberry Mint Soup and Apricot Tea Cakes

Sweet Shot - Strawberry Mint Soup

Some things are meant to be paired. You know, that cute mug and that lovely tea, cookies and milk, cupcakes and frosting, apple pie and vanilla ice cream, etc.. They are tasty on their own, and we can survive without one or the other, but they make sense together so why pass on the opportunity to have them both, at the same time, together, dunked, dipped, smeared, spooned, and scooped?….

This is what happened the other day with apricot teacakes and cold strawberry mint soup. I had a long night ahead of me and decided to make some tea cakes to help me through hours of file organizing instead of popping open a bag of chips and mindlessly muching my way through the entire bag. Withing 40 minutes or so I had about one dozen dried apricot tea cakes cooling down and we could not resist sampling one. Delicious and satisfying on its own.

Teacakes and Strawberries

That same day I also had become the instant parent of a 6 pound box of strawberries (they are in season right now in the Southern US) and after making ice cream, sorbet, strawberry scones, shortcakes and coulis, I still had about two cups left. That’s when the idea of refreshing little shots of strawberry mint soup popped into my head. A mini detoxing shot in the morning to boost creative juices or a light way to end a rich meal. It was a breeze to put together, mixing mint simple syrup and strawberries in a food processor and a delight on its own.

B. said he’d keep me company for a little while and sat at the dining room table with a plate of teacakes and a couple of strawberry soup shots. I was my nose one inch from the screen looking for a file I kept passing when he asked if I was going to blog about these. I said "yes, sure, don’t know when though". He added with his mouth full "well, when you do, make sure you blog about them together!". He is a dunker and a spooner. He’ll spoon peanut butter or jam on just about anything and dunk just about anything ressembling a cookie or a cake into coffee, tea, or milk. Surprising combinations have taken place but some yummy discoveries have occured that way too so I tend to trust his musings in the kitchen. Hence, you get them both today! Have them as singe items, have them as a tandem, they are the perfect snack break!


Apricot Teacakes Recipe:

Makes about a dozen

1/3 cup (67g) sugar
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons (56.5gr) butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup (58gr) sour cream
1/2 cup (62.5gr) all purpose flour
1/2 cup (125gr) dried apricot halves, diced

Preheat the oven to 350F.
Whisk together the eggs and sugar until pale and thick, about 2-3 minutes. Add the butter and sour cream. Whisk well and add the flour. Add the dried apricots and mix until incorporated. Divide evenly between muffin tins (or other small molds) coated with cooking spray and cook for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on wire racks.

Cold Strawberry Mint Soup Recipe:

1/4 cup (50gr) sugar
1/3 cup (83ml) water
2 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
2 cups(290gr) fresh strawberries

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water and mint and bring to a simmer. Cook for about a minute, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool (it will give the mint time to infuse the syrup).
In the meantime, hull and halve the strawberries and place them in a blender or food processor. Once the mint syrup is cooled, process the strawberries, adding the syrup, one tablespoon at a time until the mixture is nice and smooth. The more syrup you add, the thinner your soup will be. Serve in shot glasses.

Teacakes and Strawberries

Lastly, I was psyched to hear from my friend Anita that Tartelette was named one of the world’s 50 best food blogs. You can find the whole article here. Wow! I think there is going to be a giveaway here soon to celebrate!! Thank you all for your visits and comments, it is an honor.