Friday, October 31, 2008

Mes Chouquettes comme a Paris

When we used to live in Paris, as everybodyelse we were living near a great Boulangerie/ Patisserie. For traditional 4 heures on week ends ( Afternoon Snack) I usually stopped to buy a bag of Chouquette. Usually before I reached our apartment located on the 4rd floor without elevator, there was none chouquette left in the bag . So when I felt guilty because I knew that my boyfriend ( now Husband) could not taste them ( and God knows how he loves them he has a big Sweet tooth), I had to run down again to the Boulangerie/ Patisserie and buy another bag of Chouquettes. And for the second round I was good, when I arrived in front of our apartment the bag was still full. Joel would ask if I want some and I would say OK just one or two.....

Now leaving in Southern California where only Trader Joe's display nice desserts and time to time Vallee d'Brumes Pastry Shop, the only way to enjoy delicious desserts is to bake them!
This is why joining Daring Bakers was a great move!
Now I can make my own Chouquettes, it takes no time and everybody love them!
And when I make batches.... up to 30 puffs is pretty good...

Those little cloud puff are light, very versatile. You can use then savory or sweet. Just plain with Coarse Suagr on them or you can stuff them with Creme Chantilly, and top with chocolate sauce, you can make Profiteroles ( stuffed with Vanilla Ice cream) and topped with warm chocolate sauce, or you can stuff them with Blue cheese/ walnut for a great appetizers or Buffet Froid.

Here is the recipe of the cutest, round, light and beautiful name C-H-O-U-Q-U-E-T-T-E-S!

Chouquettes Parisiennes

(About 25 Puffs)

Shaping the mounds of dough is easiest to do with a pastry bag, although you can use a teaspoon.
1 cup (250 ml) water1/2 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons sugar 6 tablespoons (90 gr) unsalted butter, cut into small chunks1 cup (135 gr) flour4 large eggs, at room temperature
Glaze: 1 egg yolk, mixed with 1 teaspoon Coarse sugar is available in the US from Ikea.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees (220 C.) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Heat the water, salt, sugar, and butter in a small saucepan, stirring, until the butter is melted. Remove from heat and dump all the flour in at once. Stir rapidly until the mixture is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the pan.
Allow dough to cool for two minutes, then briskly beat in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth and shiny.
Using a spoon, pastry bag make a mound of dough with one spoon roughly the size of a walnut and scrape it off with the other spoon onto the baking sheet.
Place the mounds evenly-spaced apart on the baking sheet. Brush the top of each mound with some of the egg glaze then press coarse sugar crystals over the top and sides of each mound. Use a lot. Once the puffs expand rise, you'll appreciate the extra effort (and sugar.)
Bake the cream puffs for 35 minutes, or until puffed and well-browned.
(If you want to make them crispier, you can poke a hole in the side with a wooden spoon after you take them out of the oven to let the steam escape.)
The cream puffs are best eaten the same day they're made.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A room of my own- Part 1

Welcome to my favorite room in the house. This is the room where I read my e-mails, work on my blog, read books, prepare my Cooking Classes menus, listen to my favorite music, drink morning black with sugar coffee, drink my afternnoon Organic tea, snack on some food, call my parents, and friends in France, organize all my paper work...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Retour de Marche ( Back from Farmer's Market)

It was a such beautiful Saturday morning in Temecula Valley to go to the Temecula Farmer's Market. All fruits and veggetables were beautiful and the wonderful scent of Goyava fruits and persimon were every where!
Since I decided to try a " One-day energy fast" based on fresh vegetables and fruits juices tomorrow October 19, paying a visit to my favorite place was again a wonderful experience. I ususally share myvisit with my daughter, she was helping me on counting each apple, plum, tomatoe.. she was holding my wallet for the entire visit. Together we were talking about our future menus: Stuffed large tomatoes, Ratatouille, Plums Clafoutis...Yes, yes I will show you all of that...soon!
What you see on the picture above is what I bought for $ 28. What you do not see is a 10lbs of Valencia oranges.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Almost empty fridge

The weather is still warm in Southern California, but yesterday night I was craving for a Autumn/ Fall meal. I made some Organic carrots with herbs. Because I always have Smoked Salmon in my fridge, I thought it will be nice to have some "pink " fish ( I like this name given by my 4 years old daughter... at this age everything has to be pink) served with Organic Blue Cheese dressing, and Tandoori Nanns. I add some rice leftover.

I liked the carrots a lot. You do not think about eating carrots nowadays. And this is a mistake. When you cut them small thy cook very fast. Mine were perfectly cuts in small slices and cooked, with fresh thyme, salt and pepper.

It was a light but delicious meal: vegetables, fish, rice, sauce and bread. A very healthy meal.. que demande le peuple!

NB: Sorry about quality of my pictures taken late yesterday after the political debate.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Simply Rasberries jam

Last week end we went to Oak Glen, CA located in Yucaipa/ Beaumont area. From Temecula you need about 45 minutes to reach this lovely , bucolic place. In the hills, Applesgrowners associated together to make a " Touristic" place. Of course you find the most of American fair stuffs but also you can pick up your own fruits.
Last week we were lucky to grap the last Rasberries. Our kids loved it. You buy litte square basquets and you fill them with Rasberries you find in the cultivated bushes.
You have tons of differents apples and pears trees. All different sorts and names, colors.... All families, children visiting this place were smiling everybody had a good time. Quality time for everybody. You breath fresh air. You drink fresh Apple cider, grap one apple from a tree... We had great time!
Some rasberries left from last week so I decided to make some little jam.

Add some water and a lot of sugar to your rasberries. Cook for 15 minutes. ready.
It was yummy on my bread this morning.