It almost looks like the 2 journalists attended different events in different countries.
Once in a while, you just gotta have chocolate. This will fix any chocolate cravings. Remember to prepare the sorbet one day ahead at least.
2 cups (250 g) of fresh blueberries
3/4 cup (180 ml) of water
1 cup (250 g) of sugar
1 cup (250 ml) of red wine (Merlot)
1 Tbsp of fresh lemon juice
In a heavy saucepan, combine the blueberries, the sugar and water. Bring to a boil stirring constantly to help the sugar dissolve. Reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, let stand aside until completely cool.
When cool, transfer to a mixer or food processor and combine the blueberry mixture with the wine and the lemon juice. Process until smooth. Cover and chill for 2 to 3 hours.
Pour the mixture in an ice cream maker and process until frozen depending on the machine and manufacturer. Put the ice cream in a container and freeze. Make the ice cream 1 day ahead of possible before serving.
Mini Chocolate Lava Cakes
5.3 oz (150 g) 72% dark baking chocolate
6 Tbsp of butter (80 g)
1/2 cup (90 g) of sugar
2 big spoons of flour
Another flavored chocolate bar (ginger or mint or lavender or hazelnut & currant)
Fleur de sel
Preheat the oven to 475 ° F (240 ° C or Th 8-9) and grease 6 small silicone baking cups.
Break the 5.3 oz of chocolate in small pieces and melt them with the butter in a small saucepan until smooth. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar until completely dissolved. Slowly add the 2 big spoonfuls of flour and mix well. Add the chocolate-butter mixture and mix.
To pour the batter in the baking cups, start by filling them half way only. Break the flavored chocolate bar into small squares and put 1 square in each of the cups on the batter. Finish the operation by pouring the rest of the batter in the cups and filling them to the top.
Cook in the oven for 10-12 minutes (10 minutes for a real lava experience – 12 minutes for a slightly more cooked mini cake but still lava-ish as seen on the pictures). Let them stand for 15 minutes in the baking cups before removing and serving them.
Finish off by sprinkling a small amount of fleur de sel on top of the cakes so it sits in the chocolate cracks.
On a recent trip to Iceland, I overheard a French couple staying at the same hotel complaining about the fact that there was no croissant served at breakfast. The food available for this free breakfast, since it was included with the room, was made up of regular Continental items as well as a variety of local breakfast foods such as herrings, some other pickled fish and veggies, smoked salmon etc. While I am not used to eating herring early in the morning, I jumped on the occasion to try mixing the flavors of fish with a bitter orange jelly toast on the side: when in Rome, eat as the Romans do.
The French couple probably thought they were the only French-speaking tourists in the breakfast room since most of the languages spoken around were Danish, Swedish, Icelandic sounding as well as English. They freely discussed and argued that it was un scandale that there were no bakery items available to eat and that it was absolutely dégoûtant to eat fish for breakfast.
It got me to think about this article I had read from Time Magazine about a recent poll on the World’s worst tourists. Europeans and the French especially love to call out Americans as being the worst tourists: they’re so loud, they’re so uncultured, they’re so demanding etc. But for the third year in a row, the French won the title again for worst tourists! Now how about that?? Not just elected worst tourists… re-elected for the third time. Now that’s a title you don’t want to win over and over again.
So what did the French couple do in light of their croissant disappointment? They called the manager in charge and asked why there was no bakery available and if such items could be available the next morning. With a strong Icelandic accent, the poor manager tried to find his most polite English words and clearly explained that this was not something they were accustomed to serve and he pointed out the various toasts and small breakfast rolls. The French couple unable to come to terms with the idea that they would have to wait to land at CDG to smell the deliciousness of buttery croissants huffed and puffed – so French, I loved it… and yes, I do that too! – and said under their breath: “Let’s make sure next time we book a trip in a non-poor country”. Ouch!
Are the French forever cursed by the Ghost of Breakfast Past, Present and Future? Is the Mighty Croissant something we after all cannot live without? Or is it just that we’re so inflexible and so not ready to adapt that we do indeed deserve the Worst Tourist Trophy?
Most French lack complete awareness about American cuisine and its wonderful flavors, tastes and creativity. Here is an oldie but a goodie: the cobbler. I would like for my fellow French to know that there is more to American desserts than just cookies and brownies – I am looking at you American Bakery in Paris on rue Notre Dame des Champs!! (Evil Eye!) Seriously, bring out the cobblers, the coffee cakes, the pies… show us more than that. Surprise us!
For all the Frenchies out there craving American tastes in their kitchens, here is a rhubarb cobbler with a twist. A cobbler is an old-fashioned speciality where the fruit filling is traditionally poured into the dish and covered with a biscuit-like pastry dough. Here the twist is that the dough is not placed over the fruit filling as the traditional recipes call for. It’s delicious!
3 cups (540 g) of chopped rhubarb – about 10 long stalks
3/4 cup (150 g) of brown sugar
4 Tbsp (60 g) of melted butter
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup (120 ml) of milk
1/2 cup (50g) of flour
2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 cup (190 g) of white sugar
1 tsp of melted butter
Preheat your oven to 350° F (180° C – Th 4).
Mix the rhubarb with the brown sugar in a bowl. Mix well and set aside.
In a different bowl, mix 3 Tbsp of the melted butter (keep the last Tbsp for the end) with the eggs, the flour, the baking powder, the vanilla and the sugar. Use a whisk to beat the batter until smooth and consistent.
Use 1 tsp of butter to grease a pan (9″ x 11″ or 23 x 28 cm) and pour in the batter. Spread the rhubarb mix over the batter. Smooth and press it down so the top is even. Use a baking brush to delicately brush the remaining 1 Tbsp of butter over the top to get a nice brownish crust.
Bake for 60 min.