Lemon Almond Cakes

Lemon Almond Cakes

Sweet Pastry:

150 grams cold butter, cut in pieces

3/8 tsp. salt

30 grams finely ground blanched almonds

225 grams flour

120 grams powdered sugar

1 egg

Lemon Almond Filling:

1 1/2 lemons

50 grams granulated sugar

250 grams finely ground blanched almonds

250 grams powdered sugar

3 eggs

90 grams butter, melted

2 tablespoons apricot jam, for glaze

Lemon Curd:

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

zest from 1 lemon

1 1/4 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 egg yolk

1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces

Sweet Pastry:

Place the butter,salt, ground almonds. 100 grams flour and 120 grams powdered sugar in a bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until crumbly. Blend in egg and remaining flour. Process until dough comes together. Form into a disk; wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Filling:

Working over the bowl of a food processor, cut lemon in half and remove all pulp and juice with a paring knife. Add granulated sugar and process until well combined. Pour into a separate bowl; set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade , add the almonds and powdered sugar; process until powdery. Add the eggs and process until blended. Add the butter and lemon mixture and process until smooth.

Lemon Curd:

Place all the ingredients in a heat proof bowl and whisk together. Place over a pan of simmering water; continue whisking and cook until it coats the back of a spoon. Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter well 3 inch muffin tins which are not dark metal or custard cups.

Roll out chilled dough on a floured surface to 1/8 on an inch thick. Line the prepared tins or custard cups with the dough.

Pour the filling into the lined tins until almost full. You may have extra dough depending on the pans used. Wrap, label and freeze extra dough for later use.

Place custard cups on baking sheet. Bake for about 25-35 minutes until filling is set and golden, depending on the depth of the pans used it may require a longer baking time. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Remove from pans. Heat and strain the apricot jam and brush on top of cakes. Place a dollop of lemon curd on top of each cake.

Orange-Raisin Cookies

Orange-Raisin Cookies

Delicate little cookies that will remind you of your Grandmas house. Perfect with tea or coffee.

GqgdhtHS13c213631313839353QcAQmKAX_1346357682

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/3 cup sugar

1 egg

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons finely ground almonds

1 2/3 cup flour

1/2 cup bourbon soaked raisins

zest of 1 orange

1 egg with 1 tsp. water , beaten for egg wash

In a bowl of a mixer cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and light. Add the egg and egg yolk one at a time, beating well between additions. Beat in the ground almonds and zest. Add the flour and blend just until combined, then add the strained soaked raisins. Form dough into a dusk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough out into 1/8 of an inch thick. Using a pastry cutter, cookie cutter or knife, cut into cookies and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Brush tops with egg wash. Bake for about 13 minutes or until golden.

French Raisin Buns

French Raisin Buns

dhtHSZfT13c213630363134383wWC8Or71_1346357441

These rolls must be started a day in advance but well worth the extra planning.

1/4 cup dark rum

1/2 cup raisins

Brioche dough:

1/4 cup warm water

1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. active dry yeast

4 cups flour

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

1 3/4 tsp. salt

5-6 egg, as needed

1 1/4 cups butter, cool

Pastry Cream:

2 cups whole milk

1 vanilla bean , split and seeded

1/2 cup sugar

5 egg yolks

3 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 egg, beaten for glaze

1/2 cup powdered sugar

Place the raisins into a jar with the rum, seal and let soak overnight.

Brioche Dough:

Place the warm water in a bowl and sprinkle the yeast over the water. Let stand until bloomed. Transfer yeast mixture to a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the flour, sugar and salt; mix until combined.

Add 3 of the eggs. Mix on low until blended; add another egg. Raise the speed and mix until nearly blended. Add another egg and mix. The dough should be smooth and elastic; not too dry or too soggy but should stick to the sides and bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too dry, add the remaining egg. Knead for about 10 minutes until dough is very smooth. Cover the dough and let rise until doubled.

Return the bowl to the mixer. Add the butter¬† 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing until absorbed. Don’t over mix. You do not want the dough to become warm. Transfer the dough to a bowl ; cover and refrigerate overnight.

Pastry Cream:

Combine the milk , vanilla beans and scraped seeds in a saucepan. Bring the milk mixture to a boil. Remove from heat; cover for 10 minutes. Remove the vanilla pod. In a bowl whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale. Whisk in the flour and cornstarch. Place the milk back on the heat and bring to a simmer. Temper the egg mixture with the hot milk, adding about half, whisking in until combined. Pour the egg mixture back int the saucepan with the remaining milk mixture and whisk to combine. Continue whisking mixture until it begins to boil; whisk constantly 2 minutes . Remove from heat. Place pastry cream in a bowl. Cover the top of the pastry cream with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Allow to cool. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Strain the raisins from the rum; reserving the rum. Drain well.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the cinnamon and 3 tablespoons of sugar; set aside.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll out to a 14×14 inch square. Spread the cooled pastry cream evenly over the top of the dough, leaving a small clean edge of dough at one end. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the pastry cream. Sprinkle the drained raisins evenly over the pastry cream. Gently press the raisins into the pastry cream. Start rolling the dough up like a sausage ending with the clean edge of dough; seal together. Cut the dough into 12 pieces. Place evenly on the baking sheet. Press each roll down slightly. Brush the tops with beaten egg. Reserve extra beaten egg. Place the uncovered sheet pan to rise for 1 hour. Brush the tops with remaining egg. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven; leave oven on. Slide the parchment with the buns onto a wire rack. Allow to cool. Mix together the reserved rum and the powdered sugar. Brush tops of buns with the rum mixture and place cooled buns back in the oven for 2 minutes. Remove and cool. Serve buns warm or at room temperature.

Raspberry Charlotte

Raspberry Charlotte

Lady Fingers:

100 grams flour

4 eggs, separated

90 grams sugar

Powdered sugar

Bavarian Cream:

1 cup whole milk

85 grams sugar

1 vanilla bean, split

2 tablespoons water

2 tsp. plain gelatin

2 tablespoons Framboise

4 cups fresh raspberries

3 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam, as needed

Raspberry Sauce:

1 pint fresh raspberries

75 grams superfine sugar

Lady Fingers:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lined 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift the flour and set aside. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk, beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar until stiff but not dry.  In small bowl whisk together the egg yolks. Fold into meringue. Gradually add flour and fold gently until combined. Place batter in piping bag fitted with 1/2 inch plain tip . Pipe 2 1/2 inch fingers onto the parchment. Pipe close together as they will not spread when baked. Place in oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until the fingers spring back when touch. Allow to cool briefly on baking sheet. Using a spatula , carefully remove the fingers to a wire rack and allow to continue to cool completely.

Bavarian Cream:

In a saucepan, add the milk , 2 tablespoons sugar and vanilla bean. Place the milk on low heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cover; allow to steep for 30 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean. Scrape any seeds from the vanilla bean and put back into milk mixture. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl with the remaining sugar until pale yellow. Temper the egg yolks with some of the hot milk mixture. Add tempered eggs back into the saucepan with the remaining milk. Heat and bring back to a simmer; do not boil. Continue to cook for about 3 minutes or until the mixture begins to slightly thicken. Remove from heat. Dissolve the gelatin and 2 tablespoons cold water in a small bowl. Stir in dissolved gelatin into the hot mixture until completely dissolved. Pour mixture through a strainer into a bowl. Refrigerate the custard mixture and stir every so often until the mixture is the thickness of egg whites but not set. Meanwhile, line the outside edge of a 8-9 inch springform pan with the ladyfingers round side out. Fill in the bottom of the pan with the remaining lady fingers. Brush the lady fingers with the Framboise. Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Fold the thickened custard mixture into the whipped cream. Pour one-third of the cream mixture into the line pan. Top with about 1/2 cup fresh berries. Pour another third and top with another 1/2 cup berries. Pour remaining cream mixture on top. Place plastic wrap on top of cream mixture and refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours.

Top the chilled charlotte with the remaining fresh berries. Heat the jam just until melted and lightly brush the berries.

Raspberry Sauce:

Puree the berries with the sugar in a food processor. Press the mixture through a sieve. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Remove outside ring from charlotte. Serve cold in slices with raspberry sauce.

Provencal Vegetable Soup

Provencal Vegetable Soup

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 cups chopped onions

2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts

3 cups 1/2 inch diced unpeeled boiling potatoes

3 cups 1/2 inch diced carrots

1 1/2 Tablespoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

3 qts. chicken stock

1 teaspoon saffron threads

1/2 lb. French string beans, ends removed and cut in half

4 oz. whole wheat spaghetti, broken in pieces

1 cup Pistou ( recipe to follow)

Freshly grated Parmesan

 

Heat olive oil in stockpot, add onions, and saute’ over low heat 10 minutes, or until translucent. Add leeks, potatoes, carrots, salt and pepper and saute’ another 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and saffron. Bring to boil and then simmer just until vegetables are tender. Add the pasta and green beans, bring to simmer until pasta is al dente.. To serve. whisk 1/4 cup of the Pistou into the hot soup, then season to taste. Serve with parmesan cheese and dollop of Pistou.

 

Pistou

 

4 Large Garlic cloves

1/4 cup tomato paste

24 large basil leaves

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 olive oil

 

Place all but olive oil in food processor and puree. With motor still running , slowly add the olive oil to make a paste. Store in air tight container topped of with olive oil in the fridge.

French Macarons

French Macarons

Pistachio Macarons

1/2 cup shelled unsalted pistachios

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 ground almond flour

1/2 cup egg whites

pinch of salt

3 tablespoons superfine sugar

green food coloring paste

Grind pistachios finely in a food processor along with the almond flour and powdered sugar, set aside.

In a spotlessly clean glass or metal bowl beat the egg whites and salt until they will just hold a stiff peak.

Continue whisking at medium speed adding super fine sugar one teaspoon at a time to the egg whites. The mixture should be thick, white and glossy.

At this point add coloring paste to egg whites. Blend thoroughly to ensure color is evenly blended.

Gently fold nut mixture into whites. The mixture should be thoroughly incorporated and smooth.

Place mixture into piping bag and pipe onto 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper into 20 cookies on each sheet. Tap the sheet with piped cookies on counter sharply once, to expel any large air bubbles.

Leave cookies to sit out on counter until no longer tacky , wet or sticky. Test with finger tip.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Bake macarons on middle shelf, one sheet at a time. for about 10 minutes. The tops should be crisp and bottoms dry. Leave to cool on the baking sheets.

Once cool , take 2 cookies and sandwich with chocolate ganache.

Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.

Raspberry Macarons

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2/3 cup ground almond flour

1/2 cup egg whites

pinch of salt

3 tablespoons super fine sugar

raspberry flavouring

pink food coloring paste

Mix just as you would the pistachio macarons

Filling with quality raspberry preserves.

Lemon Macarons

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2/3 cup almond flour

1/2 cup egg whites

pinch of salt

3 tablespoons super fine sugar

zest of 1 lemon

yellow food coloring paste

Fill with lemon curd.

Cherry Clafouti

Cherry Clafouti

L8TaGqgd13c213336333336313ZfTw8xWf_1346368146

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

10 inch pie plate

1 lb. pitted cherries, patted dry . Can use frozen, thaw then pat dry before placing in baking dish

4 large eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup milk

1 tablespoon Cognac or rum

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

3/4 cup flour

pinch of salt

Place cherries in baking dish.

In mixing bowl beat eggs and sugar until frothy. Beat in milk and vanilla and Cognac. Stir in flour and salt until well combined.Pour over top of fruit. Place baking dish on sheet pan when baking.

Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees and then turn down to 350 degrees for 30 -35 minutes or until golden, puffed and when a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. As it cools it will sink.

Fish en Papillote

Fish en Papillote

aGqgdhtH13c213336333334363GqgdhtHS_1346368038

Preheat over to 400 degrees

Fold in half a piece of parchment paper and cut into a large heart shape.

Any fish fillets

red pepper flakes to taste

sea salt to taste

red, yellow, orange bell pepper, sliced thin in wedges

1 fennel bulb , sliced thinly

2 cremini mushrooms, stems removed and cap sliced

lemons, sliced

green onions, sliced

white wine

butter

Assemble:

Lay out heart shape parchment and brush entire piece with butter. Begin bed of vegetables and lemon just to the side of the fold down the center of the heart shape.

Make a bed for the fish by layering the sliced lemon with the other vegetables and seasoning to taste with sea salt and red pepper flakes.

Place the fish over bed of vegetables and lemon and tuck in bed with a blanket of more vegetables and lemon, always seasoning to taste.

Fold over the parchment paper, stating at the top of folded heart, begin rolling/folding parchment as you go around the outside edge. When you get just to the end, pour a couple of tablespoons of wine into the packet and continue to seal. Place on baking sheet. Continue this way for each serving. Bake for 15 minutes. remove from oven and cut open. Be careful of the steam.

This method can be used many different ways with many different vegetables. Use your imagination. You can also swap out wine for heavy cream as well.

Ratatouille

Ratatouille

TaGqgdht13c213336333333363r71oqQcA_1346368019

9 Tablespoons olive oil

2 red onions, chopped

1 fennel bulb, sliced

2 garlic cloves, chopped

3 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into chunks

2 eggplants, cut into chunks

4 zucchini, cut into chunks

2 lbs. grape tomatoes

bunch of oregano, chopped

bunch of marjoram, chopped

bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped

sea salt, to taste

Ground black pepper,to taste

1 2/3 cups red wine or water

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil and saute about 3 minutes the onions and garlic. Add all the other vegetables except tomatoes. Cook until vegetables begin to turn brown. Add tomatoes , wine and seasonings. Bring to simmer and cook stirring once in a while for 1 hour. Add remaining 6 tablespoons olive oil and check seasoning. Serve hot or room temperature.

Blueberry Lemon Creme Brulee

Blueberry Lemon Creme Brulee

ehL8TaGq13c21333633333332371oqQcAQ_1346367982

1 pint blueberries

4 large eggs

2/3 cup superfine sugar

zest and juice from 3 lemons

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream

2/3 cup granulated sugar for topping

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Divide berries among six 8oz. ramekins.

Whisk the eggs, sugar and lemon zest and juice in medium bowl until smooth. Stir in cream. Pour equal amounts of the lemon cream into each ramekin. Place in a roasting pan and add hot water to just half way up the sides of ramekins. Carefully place in oven and bake for about 30-45 minutes until just set. Remove ramekins from roasting pan and completely cool. Then refrigerate. When ready to serve, sprinkle tops with sugar and torch the tops or place under broiler until sugar caramelized.