STRAWBERRY AND PISTACHIO TART ( Adapted from Michalak recipe)
In Southern Caifornia, the first strawberries appear usually in January. Then their pick season is around Easter. Then during Summer we have the best fruits, sweet, soft, ripe and perfect: stones fruits, then figs, grapes… we forget about … strawberries. But I guess Strawberry is still one of my favorite fruit because it is so versatile raw ( juice, smoothie, salad, yogurt, in tart…) or cooked ( marmelade, jam,….). A good strawberry should be small, smell like heaven, sweet not too firm not too soft.
Last week was “back to school” and even if my son is sick ( and is still sick from a bad virus) I wanted to share with you one lovely Strawberry recipe because the one you see now at the market may be the last ones…
Do not forget to eat Organic Strawberries the conventional ones are full of pesticides and yuky stuff. True they are more expensive but if I like better eat less organic that plenty conventionional.
For this tart, I used Michalak recipe to make the shortbread and decor but I decided to go with something simpler working with different layers:
The shortbread dough + creme anglaise + marmalade + fresh strawberries. The result ” une tuerie” how my French Foodies Friends would say.
For the Shortbread dough:
- 4 g baking powder
- 20 g caster sugar
- 110 g butter at room temperature
- 20 g almond flour or meal
For the Creme Anglaise
- 235 ml heavy cream
- 10 ml vanilla extract
- 4 egg yolks
- 65 g white sugar
For the Strawberry marmalade:
- 1/2 kg of fresh strawberries, very thinly sliced
- 50 g pistachios, finely chopped
- In a small, heavy saucepan, heat cream and vanilla until bubbles form at edges.
- While cream is heating, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Slowly pour 1/2 cup of hot milk mixture into egg yolks, whisking constantly. Gradually add egg yolk mixture back to remaining milk mixture, whisking constantly. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.
- In a saucepan place water, strawberries and sugar.
- Cook on medium heat and stir.
- Cook until the fruits are tender and smooth.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- In a food processor, with “paddle” combine the flour, baking powder, powdered sugar, cut into small pieces of butter, almond flour and salt. The finished dough, roll out to a thickness of 2 mm, place on a pan tart ( I used the long Rectangle quiche pan with fluted edges and a removable bottom lined with parchment paper .
- With a fork pok the Surface of the dough very well. Bake shortcake 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and set aside. Do not remove the frame.
- On the baked shortbread dough delicately spread the crème angaise then place back in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Then later spread the marmalade. Place strawberry slices on the marmalade.
- With a knife spread the jam all around the cake and place the pistachios with your fingers and press it with the back of a spoon.
- Place in the fridge for a few hours. With a sharpened knife cut slices then leave them a few minutes at room temperature .
As you may know I am French and I live in suburban Southern California. I often crave for French dishes, treats or desserts like: éclairs, tarte aux pommes, or croque monsieur. Since I can’t find any of those where we live I make them at home, in my own kitchen.
A few weeks ago, I saw on Asmaa Lahlou Instagram feed (@Theglobaltaster) located in Philadelphia a gorgeous picture of a Paris Brest pastry she bought at her local Pastry shop and just looking at the picture I wanted to taste one….so badly… it looked so scrumptious.
I never thought of making a homemade Paris Brest from scratch before. In fact,as most classic French pastries I thought it was almost impossible to make it at home… only trained French Pastry Chefs could make it. So I decided to make my own and asked Asmaa if she would like to make one also from scratch and may be open this project to other people who wanted to participate to this challenge, just for fun on Instagram.
She loved the idea and we decided to make our own Paris Brest and start this challenge.
For this challenge, few steps would need to be done and we would need to coordinate our actions. Since Asmaa is working full time and a busy mother as I am and being on east/west coast have been already a challenge to coordinate everything.
Here is what we ‘ve planned so far:
a) We will make our own Paris Brest,
b) We will post / share it on the same day on Instagram and will invite people with an Instragram feed to join the challenge
c) We will post our recipe on our blog
I do not know Asmaa personally. But after we decided to start this project, we exchanged some emails and even Skype. She is Moroccan, lives in Philly and studied in France. Like me she wants to share her country ‘s traditions, roots, culture and food witn her family. It was so great to talk to her and this is so much fun to share a passion like this with someone else. I guess technology can bring people together. This is why I L O V E Instagram this is a wonderful way to visit the world, discover talented people and met strangers that you would have never met in another way.
So what is a Paris- Brest? The Paris-Brest is a classic French pastry traditionally made of a ring of choux pastry/ pate a choux filled with a praliné mousseline cream .
It was invented in Maisons-Laffitte (FR) by Louis Durand (pastry maker) who was on the route of the Paris-Brest-Paris bicycle race in 1891 (one of he oldest cycling race still being run) and he decided to make a celebration cake called Paris-Brest to honor the race.
The round shape is meant to evoke a bicycle wheel.
There are many possible ways to make a Paris-Brest. The choux shell is a constant, but they can be any size, , filled with either pastry cream, buttercream or whipped cream (or a combination) and flavored with praline, coffee, vanilla….
The genuine recipe calls for praline or pralin, a paste made by mixing caramelized hazelnuts and almonds: it can be store-bought or homemade and I opted for this one. This is a dream rich cream.
My recipe uses a regular pate a choux topped simply with powdered sugar when baked. The filling is a mixture of homemade whipped cream, pastry cream, buttercream and praline paste combined together for a unique and delicious mousseline a la praline…. to die for. Mine was a little too liquid. I guess I should use less whipped cream of leave the mousseline longer in the fridge.
This is definitely one French amazing dessert and everyone can make it, you just need to be organized and ready. I recommend to make the praline paste, pastry cream, buttercream and whipped cream in advance and to keep everything in the fridge. Then bake the pastry choux, then let it cool, assemble the cake and then to keep in the fridge.
135 grams all-purpose flour
1 tsp granulated white sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
85 grams unsalted butter
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup water
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Instruction for the Choux pastry
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and place the rack in the center of the oven.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw an eight inch (20 cm) circle ( I used a plate) on the parchment paper to use as a guide when piping the choux pastry.
Pipe the choux pastry using a large star tip or use a large pastry bag and cut the end. Pipe one circle on the drawn circle
Place the butter, milk, and water in a heavy saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and, with a wooden spoon, quickly stir in the flour mixture pour at once in the saucepan. Return to heat and stir constantly until the dough comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a thick smooth ball. Transfer the dough to a large bowl and stir to release the steam from the dough. Once the dough is lukewarm, start adding the lightly beaten eggs, in small additions, and continue to mix until you have a smooth thick shiny paste.
Transfer the dough to a large piping bag Pipe a 2 inch thick ring of dough just inside the 8 inch (20 cm) circle that is drawn on the parchment paper.
Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F . Bake for extra 35 to 45 minutes or until the Paris Brest is a golden brown color, puffed. Turn the oven off and, with the oven door slightly ajar, let the shell dry out for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and finish cooling on a wire rack.
1 cup whipping cream or heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions for the whipped cream
- Pour the cold cream in the bowl of a stand mixer add
- Begin whipping and increase mixer speed to medium and begin whipping and whip for 7 minutes. To check if the cream is ready take your whisk out of the cream: the peaks in the whipped cream will hold firmly . Store it in the refrigerator until needed.
60 g Praline paste ( see recipe)
90 g unsalted soft butter
In a large bowl mix the butter with the paste.
1 cup milk
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
Instructions for the Pastry Cream
Bring the milk to a simmer in a saucepan.
In a large heat-safe bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until slightly pale. Add in the cornstarch and mix until combined. Pour the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture while whisking, transfer the mixture back into the saucepan, and cook over low heat while stirring with a whisk until slightly thicken. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
Pour the custard into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap (touching the surface of the custard to prevent a film from forming), and let cool. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
Hazelnut – Almond praline paste
200g of raw hazelnut
40 gr of raw almonds
160g of white sugar
Instructions for the praline
- Pour nuts into a dry saucepan and roast under medium heat for a few minutes only.
- Add sugar and stir well
- Keep stirring under medium heat.
- The sugar will dissolve and caramelized (darker color) after few minutes.
- When the caramel is formed stop the heat.
- Pour the mixture onto a plate covered with a wax or parchment paper sheet
- Let it cool.
- Pour the caramelized hazelnut into a stand mixer.
- Mix until a paste is forming.
- First you obtain a powder.
- Keep mixing and it will form a nice paste.
- If not add with drops of water or olive oil
In a large bowl mix gently the pastry cream with the praline, the buttercream and the whipped cream. Transfer to a pastry bag.
To Assemble: Split the pastry round shell in half horizontally. Then pipe the praline mixture whipped cream into the center of the round shell. Place the top half of the pastry shell on the mousseline praline and dust with powdered or icing sugar.
The Paris-Brest can be served right away or refrigerated, but must be brought out thirty minutes before serving
Makes one large 8 inch (20 cm) Paris Brest.
SUMMER BAKING AND COOKING CAMPS FOR KIDS/TEENAGERS IN MURRIETA
Tuna in Tomato-stuffed tomatoes / Pack a Lunch cookbook
During these camps, kids whip recipes while learning: a pinch of math, world geography, health, culture, science and above all will have a lot of fun!
Not only do the children get to taste their creations, they learn about nutrition, they receive a diploma, along with the recipes of the dishes they made.
Camps have daily/weekly themes, which may focus on location-specific cuisines or on skills and techniques.
Spaces are still available and registrations are taken until the camps are full. Some Camps are Monday to Friday for 1.5 hours per day and other are Monday to Thursday for 2 hours per day.
- 6-13 years old:
Baking Camp 20234 07-07-2014 to 07-11-2014 – 9:00AM – 10:30AM
Baking Camp 20235- 07-21-2014 to 07-25-2014 – 9:00AM – 10:30AM
Culinary Camp 20230 -06-16-2014 to 06-19-2014 – 1:00PM – 3:00PM-
Culinary Camp 20228- 06-23-2014 to 06-26-2014 – 4:00PM – 6:00PM-
Culinary Camp –20231 – 06-23-2014 to 06-26-2014- 1:00PM – 3:00PM-
Culinary Camp 20229 – 07-14-2014 to 07-17-2014 – 4:00PM – 6:00PM-
Culinary Camp – 20232 – 08-04-2014 to 08-07-2014 – 1:00PM – 3:00PM-
-9-15 yrs. old
Master Chefs camp- 20237 : 6/30-7/3 12:00-2pm-
$80 per camp/ per kid
For details please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.celinescuisine.com
Kids Cooking Camp via Celine’s Cuisine
Our new children’s Summer Culinary and Baking Camps are designed to give kids and teenagers, real, in-depth, hands-on cooking experience as well as exposure to a wide selection of ingredients, recipes, techniques, and equipment while having fun and making new friends.
During these camps, kids learn skills, recipes, nutrition and cooking ideas that lead to a lifetime of good health and cooking.
Located in our new-brand renovated TCC’s kitchen in Temecula, guided by Celine Cossou-Bordes a French born cooking instructor and a cookbook author, kids all ages and all levels gain the confidence to explore, taste and enjoy cooking and baking while learning new flavors, textures, expand their palates, reinforce academics, nutrition, teamwork, and kitchen and food safety.
Each day session is 2 hours a day in the morning or afternoon over four consecutive days. Each camp is based on a different cooking theme: Around the world, Chocolate lovers, French Pastries, All American classics….
Camps start in July and run through first week of August. At the end of each class, kids will eat or will bring home their creations. At the end of each camp, kids will receive a Cooking Diploma and copies of all the recipes they made. Twelve kids per camp maximum.
6- 14 years – 2 hours – Price: $85.00 per camp plus Materials Fee: $5 due to the instructor.
3-5 yrs “Pots and tots” Camp – 1 hour – Price: $ 55.00 per camp plus Materials Fee: $5 due to the instructor.
Registration is open now! Register online at www.cityoftemecula.org or call (951) 240-4266. today!
Week #1 Jul 7-Jul 10
1020.301 11:00am-1:00pm Culinary Camp Around the World
1022.301 1:15pm-3:15pm Sweet Treats Camp French Pastries
1022.302 3:30-5:30pm Sweet Treats Camp Cookies, Cakes & Brownies
Week #2 Jul 14-Jul 17
1021.301 9:00am-10:00am Pots & Tots Camp
1020.302 10:30am-12:30pm Culinary Camp American Classics
1022.303 12:45pm-2:45pm Sweet Treats Cupcake Wars
Week #3 Jul 21-Jul 24
1020.303 11:00am-1:00pm Culinary Camp Around the World
1022.304 1:15pm-3:15pm Sweet Treats Camp Chocolate Lovers
1022.305 3:30-5:30pm Sweet Treats Camp Cookies, Cakes & Brownies
Week #4 Jul 28-Jul 31
1021.302 9:00am-10:00am Pots & Tots Camp
1022.308 10:15am-11:15am Pots & Tots Camp
1020.304 11:30-1:30pm Culinary Camp American Classics
1022.306 1:45pm-3:45pm Sweet Treats Camp French pastries
Week #5 Aug 4-7
1022.311 9:00am-10:00am Pots & Tots Camp
1022.312 10:15am-11:15am Pastry camp
For more information, contact: Celine Cossou – Bordes (951) 285 9487
Sometimes the simple dishes are the best. But the ambiance, the souvenir, the memory, the surrounding, and the specific situation makes what you eat super delicious and unforgetable.
I discovered “Spaghetti alle vongole ” in my not even 20′s travelling with Joel to Italy.
We spent two amazing weeks discovering, visiting, drinking, eating, tanning, exploring Italian cities treasures ( Capri Island, Napoli, Roma, Pompei ruins…). We were starving and strugling students but so into adventures, travel, discoveries, freedom….nothing was stopping us.
We enjoyed so much our Italian escapade and loved every minute spent in our little and so cute Sorrento town and the surroundings. The coast was stunning.
One morning, we decided to spend the day at the beach. We did not have a car so we usually took the bus, hitchhiked, rented a vespa or we had to walk. Someone mentionned a fantastic little beach not too far from our camping, but it was deep down the hill, and not having a car and it was pretty hard to get down there and it was always taking us (me) long time to arrive at the beach. It was a little creek with turquoise cristal warm water just located between Almafi and Sorrento, a few small restaurants were lined up their feet into the sand and water. One day, we spent the morning snorkelling into the clear waters. But when we reached our beach towel the delicious smells from the restaurants wanted us to taste their food and we decided to eat al fresco in one of the little family owned restaurant. . It was the perfect spot to watch Italian kids and families having fun at the beach and stay cool during a super hot August day drinking up some “cafe al fredo” and “iced tea’.
The menu was simple but very promissing. We ordered “Spaghetti alle vongole ” .
And it was all we could expect, fresh, tasty perfectly cooked and seasonned with plenty of fresh caught up seafood and perfect al dente spaghetti.
We then ordered some espresso and gelato. We finished to spend the day at the beach. Then on our way up (already exausted at the thought of walking up the hill) an Italian mama stopped her tiny Fiat car and proposed us to drive us back to the top. It was a kind of epic drive the car was so small and the turns so deep… but we managed to arrive… alive. And I guess this is a fun and memorable souvenir. We were so thankful to have a ride up.
Today I am sharing a similar recipe with a lot of shortcuts and not as perfect and fresh as the one served in Italy but it was very good…. .and I was so happy to eat this dish years later again with the same person I did years and years ago.
Spaghetti alle vongole (Adapted from Jamie Oliver Recipe)
- 1 16 oz package Steamers clams in garlic butter sauce
- 1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped or chives
- 2 cloves of garlic, pressed
- 1/3 cup white wine
- ½ package =8oz High fiber dried spaghetti
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 12 oz package frozen langostinos
- lemon juice
* All Trader Joe’s Ingredients
Cook your pasta in boiling salted water according to packet instructions, until al dente, then drain.
Meanwhile, get a large pan on a medium heat and allow it to get hot. Put 2 generous lugs of extra virgin olive oil into the hot pan and add the garlic, langostinos, clams with butter juice,half the parsley and pepper. Stir everything around constantly and pour in the wine. Put the lid on and shake the pan as they cook. Take the pan off the heat.
Add the spagetti to the pan of clams along with the remaining parsley and an extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Stir or toss for a further minute or two to let the cooking juices from the clams be absorbed into the pasta.
Serve right away with fresh hunks of bread to mop up the juices.
Viva Italia and Buon Appetito
When I discovered and drank my first Almond Milk a few years ago I loved it right away. It was velvety, not too sweet, light and delicious.I was hooked.
I still buy my store-bought almond milk once in a while, since we also love and drink our Straus Organic Whole milk.
But after reading a lot about it I found out than you can actually make your own Almond Milk at home. You know me I like to make homemade things from baguette, cheese, cakes, pasta….
I had some leftover almond meal from my previous French Macaron Cookies cooking class, some Medjol dates from our local farmer’s market so I decided to make some yesterday…. and to enjoy it today…
I do not think that I will buy the one from store anymore, it is easy to make and you can really flavor it the way you want: You like Vanilla add some Natural Vanilla extract, chocolate add some cocoa powder, sweet add some honey, thicker add more dates….
Here below is the simplest recipe I came out using on 3 ingredients.
Homemade Almond Milk
• 1 cup raw almond meal , soaked 3 cups filtered water
• 1-2- pitted Medjool dates
1. Place almond meal and dates in a bowl and cover with water and soak overnight (for 8-12 hours) in the water.
2. Place into a blender along with pitted dates.
3. Blend for 1 minute or so.
4. Place a thin nut milk bag, muslin or cheesecloth over a large bowl and slowly pour the almond milk mixture into the muslin .
5.Gently squeeze the muslin to release the milk.
6. Pour into a glass jar to store in the fridge for up to 3-days.
7. Shake jar very well before using as the mixture separates when sitting
What to do with the leftover almond meal I mixed it with some honey, cinnamon, and make my own spread .
Happy New year! Actually in France you can send your “voeux” (Happy New year wishes) until January 31st, so I am not that late.
I hope you had a great holidays as I did. I took a break from my Iphone, meaning no Instagram, no Pinterest, no Twitter, no FB.
I loved every minute of it. It was relaxing, sumptuous, lazy. My kids were as usual great, fun, full of energy. We enjoy days at the beach, we hiked, we biked, we had fantastic picnics, we visited new places in LA area and we had the best time at home playing ping-pong (Santa brought us a nice set incuding a net, racket, balls….to place on our wooden table), the perfect gift.
Joel even organized a fun Ping-pong tournment with our great friends Jackie/Michael and Robin/Rick and their kids. So much fun…Actually my son won….
So, true the holidays are over, but it does not mean that you can’t enjoy some chocolate treats. A fews weeks ago, I found on Pinterest David Lebovitz picture of his amazing Chocolate- almond Buttercrunch toffee and could not think of a better treat for the holidays. So I made it once, then twice……and I should have made it more. I will. My family could not resist.. can you believe I only had one. I am always an advocate for homemade meals, cookies, snacks and now treats. You can use any nuts you like. For my recipe I used Trader Joe’s Mix Trader Joes with seeds and nuts, and put it in the food processor. I like it crunchy so I did not process too much but it is up to you…I am sure some bits of caramel, or ever dried fruits will be great too.
Here is the link to this amazing treat… go ahead do not be shy. The only equipment you need is a candy thermometer – available now at any major grocery stores. Another important point: do not leave the kitchen, you need to check your oven quite often to be sure your nuts are not burning and you need to pay attention and look at the color of the caramel constantly….
Here is the link for the recipe. click on it ….
Chocolate- Almond Buttercrunch Toffee recipe
Happy Snacking my friends!
Happy Holidays and Happy New year
Cream puffs with light vanilla cream filling
Some cream puffs can be too heavy and too rich. In this recipe, I am using a light cream filling that makes these Cream Puffs just exceptional. Once you eat one, you want another one then another one.
In fact, this recipe is the result of Laduree -Paris French Pastry shop- (for the cream filling) and David Lebovitz -an American Pastry chef who lives in Paris, France- (for the choux pastry).I swear this will be one of your best French dessert….
The “choux” part is pretty easy, I teach kids to make chouquettes, choux and eclairs in my baking classes.
The more difficult may be the cream. Be sure you have enough time to be in front of your stove and not texting someone….the only requirement is to be focused while making it and reading well the recipe from A to Z.
Bon Appetit mes amis, regalez vous.
Continue reading Extraordinaire Cream Puffs (with light cream filling): the other French pastry trend after macarons
Olive and Cheese loaf cake
This savory loaf bread is called : “Cake sale” in France. Yes we call it “Cake” an English word… In this recipe I used a mix of Black and Green olives, gruyere/ mozzarella grated cheese. But you can use any other fillings you like : cooked chicken, tomato, zucchini, mushroom, bacon…endless possibilities.
Once you try it you will adopt it, it will become a staple in your own kitchen and cooking repertoire.
This savory cake is in my Cookbook : Pack a lunch -Cooking with Trader Joe’s serie cookbook-
It can be eaten as a main dish, hot, with a salad on the salad. Or cold, cubed, for Aperitif and drinks. Also great for picnic, potluck… Well wrapped you can keep it for a few days in the fridge. You can also reheat it in the oven on chilly day and use it as a bread or tartine with a soup. I spread it with some hummus or goat cheese. I cut in small pieces and place in my kids’ lunchbox.
Olive and Cheese Loaf Bread
Lovely Olive Loaf : Olive and Cheese Loaf Bread Recipe
prep time 15 minutes
Hands-on cooking 45 minutes + 6 minutes for the ham
1/2 lb applewood cured ham steak
3 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup warm milk – 2%
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese or Swiss cheese
1/2 cup chopped pitted green olives
1/2 cup chopped pitted black olives or Kalamata olives
1 dash fresh black pepper
Preheat oven to 350F
Cook ham steak as per package instructions and cut in 1/2 inch cubes.
In a bowl, beat eggs, and then add flour and baking powder. Add milk and olive oil, a little at a time, whisking until smooth. Mix in ham, cheese, olives and pepper.
Pour mixture into an oiled floured standard loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a knife instered in center comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes and cut into serving slices.
Note: I like to add some spreadable cheese on my slices… yum.
Bon Apetit !
Olive and Cheese Loaf Bread
Olive and Cheese Loaf Bread