Thursday, September 20, 2007

A true anti-diet recipe: The Britanny Kouign Amann cake

Some butter, some sugar and flour, plus a little more butter and sugar...
Ingredients: 150 g of flour, 300 g of butter, 200 g of sugar, a pinch of salt, 20 g of baker yeast, a yellow of an egg to give some colour (not mandatory).
Mix the baker yeast with three lukewarm water spoon then mix with the flour. Add the sugar, then the butter. Turn and roll the pastry 4 times. Let rest 15 minutes between each turn. Put in a dish covered with butter. Scratch the surface of the cake with a fork and put in the oven during 25 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar as soon as removed from the oven and served lukewarm with a glass of cider.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Laduree Paris, Chocolate Macaroons

First time I ate Chocolate Macaroons was in Paris in the famous Laduree Patisserie Salon de The. It was a real chock for my palate. I love chocolate, all my friends, my family know it. I need to eat chocolate everyday this is my drug.
California is a formidable Orchard and I bought last week Californian Almonds. Since I always have chocolate ( pure one 70%) in my Kitchen pantry,I decided to make some Chocolate Macaroons. The same as Laduree, Paris.
Actually, I was surprised to see how quickly and easily you can make those wonderful macaroons

Macaroons:1/2 cup blanched whole almonds 1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 3 Large egg whites Pinch of salt 2 teaspoons granulated sugar Filling1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Line 2 Large baking sheets with parchment paper. To make the macaroons: Pulse the almonds with 1 cup of the confectioners' sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Add the cocoa powder and the remaining 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar and pulse until well blended. Beat the egg whites with the salt with an electric mixer on medium-high speed in a large bowl just until the whites form soft peaks when the beaters are lifted. Add the granulated sugar and beat just until the whites form stiff peaks when the beaters are lifted. With a whisk or a rubber spatula, gently fold in the almond mixture. Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Pipe out 1-inch-diameter mounds about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake, one sheet at a time, for 6 to 8 minutes, until the tops are cracked and appear dry but the macaroons are still slightly soft to the touch. Transfer the cookies, still on the parchment paper, to barely dampened kitchen towels and let cool for 5 minutes. Carefully peel the paper off the macaroons and transfer to wire racks to cool completely.To make the filling: Bring the cream lust to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder. Add the chocolate and butter and whisk until smooth. Let coot to room temperature, then refrigerate, covered, for at least 30 minutes, or until the filling is firm enough to hold its shape when spread. If desired, transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Pipe the filling, or spread it with a table knife, generously on the flat side of half of the macaroons. Top with the remaining macaroons, flat-side down, pressing together gently to form sandwiches.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Temecula Farmer's Market

Every Saturday morning 70-80 farmers and vendors gather in historic Old Town Temecula to offer a wide variety of farm fresh, organic fruits and vegetables plus bakeries ( the croissants and chocolate croissants are delicious), olives, olive oils, cheeses, tamales, hand made soaps and lotions.
The produce are grown locally, sold by the grower and they meet all state quality standards.The Farmer's Market is where "REAL" farmers sell only agricultural products they grow themselves.
Last Saturday, I went early in order to do my little weekly visit. This market is crowded but there is no real problem to park your car.
First I did a quick round all around to see all different vendors. Then I knew exactly what I wanted to buy that day.
I started with my plain croissant ($1 each) those are realyy good almost French taste. Then I stopped to buy Fresh eggs. I saw also Cactus Figs. The first time I had one of these it was during my trip to Morocco with my parents. I remember this taste so particular and unique, fresh and sweet. 1 piece was today ($1), the woman said that each fig was ready to eat... and Gods know how long you need to take off every little cactus splinter. But I got 2 small for $1. Then I bought fresh purple figs, 4 huge tomatoes, fresh prunes, yellow plums....and I got a huge bag of Grapefruits for only $ 3. I also had small but exquisite crispy very sweet apples, perfect for my kids' snacks. Then when you live in Temecula you are surrounded bu vineyards, I bought some grapes too.
Everything I bought was certified organic!
Do you want to know what we are going to eat this week end and next week:
- prunes tart with almond filling served with Vanilla ice cream
- plain yellow plums tart with Puff pastry
- Ricotta topped with pistachios served with Figs cooked in honey
- Roasted Stuffed tomatoes served with rice
- soft boiled eggs served with crispy brad and butter
- grapes preserve for this winter

I urge you to visit this great Farmer's Market, you find great little treasures. Some fruits, vegetables you do not see anywhere else. And this is good for your health.