Grandma’s baked apples

Grandma's baked apple_006

Baked apples are such a gourmet dessert that fits a healthy diet. I feel it’s not as common to serve this dessert as it used to be. Though this dessert has it all. It’s delicious and low carb – depending of course how much butter and rum you add. I really like this version using honey and rum; my grandma’s favorite.

Grandma’s baked apples

Ingredients (2 servings):

  • 2 apples (boskoop or similar)
  • 2-4 teaspoons of honey
  • 2 teaspoons of rum
  • 2 salted butter curls
  • 1/4 Lemon juice

Grandma's baked apples_009

Directions:

Preheat oven to 180°C/355°F.

Wash apples. Cut the top of the apples and keep it apart. Remove cores using an apple corer if you have and make holes about 3/4-inch wide. Use a bit of lemon juice to avoid apple oxidation. In the hole, add one or two teaspoons of honey. Add one teaspoon of rum. Then add, one salted butter curl. Close the apple with its top.

Bake for 35 minutes. Baste the apples with the pan juices from time to time.

Serve warm with crushed butter cookies on top.

Grandma's baked apple_002

Treat your traveller friends to all the best of French cuisine

Gift ideas: A Basket of French Goodies

Treat your traveller friends to all the best of French cuisine

Photo credit: BeautifulBlooms.com

Photo credit: BeautifulBlooms.com

 

Everything about the French exudes romanticism, from the beautiful architecture of the streets of Paris to the drawling accent of its people, down to the scrumptious, luxurious food that the French have become known for. There are many elements to the complete French experience, and no singular item can truly stand to represent French culture.
If you have any friends who have travelled to Paris to experience the lifestyle of the French, you could give them a head start by offering them a basket of the most traditional French goodies. Food baskets are a great way to bundle a group of presents into one, and although they’re more common in the Yuletide season, they can also be built around certain themes. The Belfast Community Telegraph once gave away a Marks and Spencer hamper of easy-to-use eco products to help their community become more environmentally-aware, and you can also give away gift baskets of little French delicacies to give your friends a taste of something truly French.

Building the hamper itself should be easy, as all you would need is something to put the goodies into. You could go for something traditional like a wicker basket, or something more contemporary like a cookie tin. There are some specialised cookie tin makers out there like the Independent Can Company that allow customers to design their own cookie tins, so you could make a great French- or Paris-themed goodie hamper for your friends.
You could then stuff the tins with your favourite French delicacies — everything from chocolate éclairs, mini-croissants, and French macarons, and even contemporary versions of classic French desserts like crème brulee cookies. Alternatively, if you decide to get a wicker basket, you could even add in some of the more savoury French classics, like delicious fromage and bottles of Bordeaux or Champagne – my favorite :).
Gift baskets are always appreciated, especially if you make the goodies contained in them yourself. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Les macarons !
Photo credit: Xiaolu Hou Photography

Photo credit: Xiaolu Hou Photography

 

  • Les Palmiers
Photo credit: Jessica Williams of butterwithasideofbread.com)

Les Palmiers – Photo credit: Jessica Williams of butterwithasideofbread.com

 

  • Les mignardises
Mignardises - Photo credit: Roger de Percin Berendes

Photo credit: Roger de Percin Berendes

 

  • Le Paris Brest
Paris Brest - Photo credit: Say Hello to My Kitchen

Photo credit: Say Hello to My Kitchen

 

  • Les beignets
Les beignets - Photo credit: TriedAndTasty.com

Photo credit: TriedAndTasty.com

Sablés bretons – French butter cookies from Brittany

Sablé breton recipe - French butter cookie

This recipe of sablés bretons (French butter cookies from Brittany) is inspired by Christophe Felder cookbook “Patisserie”. The biscuits are delicious and can also make an original and easy base for individual tartlets.

Sablés bretons – French butter cookies from Brittany

Ingredients for 10 cookies:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 85g/3oz sugar
  • 100g/3,5oz soften butter
  • 130g/4,5oz flour
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 5g/1 teaspoon of baking powder

 

Sablés bretons_recipe

Directions:

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until whiten. Add the soften butter (at room temperature) and mix until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt and mix until homogeneous dough.

Flaten the dough until it is 1/2 cm thick. – It’s recommended to put it in the fridge for one hour before working the dough, it will be easier ( (I usually don’t wait that long). - Cut the cookies using 5 cm round stainless steel cookie cutters (not greased or floured) that you will leave around the cookies during the baking. That’s the only way to get the specific shape of the cookies. Bake the cookies for 20 minutes at 170°C. Let them cool before removing the cookie cutters.

Sablés bretons_recipe

The most Parisian sandwich : grilled salmon club sandwich

Parisian grilled salmon sandwich_002Most of the time, I just like to make quick and simple dish for dinner. And what is easier than a sandwich ? According to TNS Sofres, the most popular dish in Paris is grilled salmon coming first before the fillet of duck breast, the most popular dish in France. Also for the most Parisian sandwich, I imagined a salmon club sandwich revisited. I used a low carb yogurt sauce for a healthy and diet-friendly recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 once piece of salmon, preferably wild, bones removed
  • 2 tablespoons of yogurt/fromage blanc
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 pinch of 4 spices mix (nutmeg, peppercorn, ginger, cloves)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Sliced rye bread
  • Chives
  • Red mustard leaves (or salad)
  • Olive oïl

Parisian grilled salmon sandwich_004

Directions :

Place the salmon in a hot frying pan and cook it in olive oil for 10 minutes (5 minutes each side).

In a bowl, mix the yogurt and the lemon juice. Peel and finely chop 1 inch piece of fresh ginger. Chop chives. Stir in the chopped ginger and chives, 1 pinch of 4 spices mix, salt and pepper to the sauce.

Toast the bread in the toaster or in the oven.

Remove the skin from the salmon, then flake into small pieces.

Spread rye bread with a bit of lemon yogurt sauce. Layer on the salmon, more sauce, and red mustard leaves. Sprinkle on chopped chives.

Sweet potato and orange melting cake

Sweet potato and orange melting cake

Carrot, beetroot, zucchini, … Vegetables are often great allies in cakes. They bring a nice melting texture. And this is true with sweet potato. I found a recipe using sweet potato and orange in Clea’s cookbook “Recevoir en Bio”. I was first skeptical but eventually convinced by the match. The recipe below is slightly different from the original.

Sweet potato and orange melting cake

Ingredients (8 servings):

  • 450g/15oz sweet potato
  • 150g/5oz apple
  • 1/2 orange zest and juice
  • 150g/5oz flour (T55 or T65)
  • 60g/2oz butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 120g/4oz sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • 1 ts agave syrup
  • 1 cs baking powder
  • 1 cs cinnamon
  • 1 cs gingerbread spices
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2-3 drops pure vanilla extract

Use a 9×9 inches brownie mold.

Spicy sweet potato and orange cake_004

Directions:

Peel the sweet potato and apple and cut in big pieces . Steam for 20 minutes. Mash it.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.

In a big bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, spices and salt.

Whisk the eggs with sugar and agave syrup until whitened. Add the melted butter, orange zest and juice and pure vanilla extract. Then, add the mashed potatoes and apples and mix it well.

Pour the mixture in the greased and floured mold. Cook for 45 minutes.

Let it cool before removing from the mold. Serve lukewarm or cool.

Spicy sweet potato and orange cake_001