Tag Archives: Chocolate

Frenchie and a Year in Review – 2013

2 Jan

Wishing you a very happy New Year 2014.

Une très Bonne Année… full of good food, adventures, colorful travel experiences and health.

And starting the new year with a chocolate recipe is a good way to start the year.

Resolution for 2014? More chocolate!

Looking back at 2013 – the most popular photos and posts – the delightful memories of a busy year full of excitement.

Los Angeles, Malibu and a Boston blizzard in January.

The preparation for the move – from the Northeast to the Southeast.

A leap of faith. A new region.

Boxing up my Boston life and saying goodbye to lovely New England.

Financiers and roasted vegetables to gather friends around last meals before the movers take everything away.

Setting up and creating a new life in North Carolina.

A thirst for discovering places, flavors and what the area has to offer.

Un changement de vie.

Fresh ingredients for a quinoa tabbouleh.

Fresh air experience with Relish Carolina and their roaming dinner club.

Oh the joys of exploring Charlotte through food.

2013 took me twice to Mexico.

Puerto Vallarta and Mexico City.

The vibrant colors of a culture and country yet unknown to me.

The fond memories of times well spent with friends on the beach and at a wedding.

France, summer, a peach and cherry mousse, a chilled cucumber soup, and summer weather in Charlotte were also in the cards for me.

Spending time with family, photographing life as it happens, and finding food inspirations in Charleston,  Newport and Wisconsin travels.

Bright green countryside and golden sandy beaches.

Parisian walks and quaint cobblestone Charleston streets.

This past summer included everything needed for an escape and break from setting up a new home – all thanks to friends and family for welcoming and inviting me.

And if the anticipation for fall wasn’t high enough…

Not only my favorite time of the year.

But a Tahiti trip was in the works – comme un rêve.

French Polynesia vs. North Carolina’s autumn transformations.

A tale of two worlds apart. Each with their own unique colors.

And frankly, it’s probably impossible to take a bad picture in French Polynesia.

Le paradis.

And with a New Year resolution to eat more chocolate, it is only appropriate to share the first recipe of the year – with chocolate of course!

Neither a cake nor a gratin.

But a delicious treat to start the year.

And what about you? Any New Year resolutions to share?

May 2014 be full of joy and health.

Happy New Year!

And thank you to the Charlotte Observer, the Journal of the American Chestnut Foundation and NoshOn.It for featuring F & Y last year.

Un grand merci!

Orange-Flavored Warm Chocolate Cakes with Sour Cherries

makes four 2/3-cup ramekins

1 egg + 1 yolk

1/3 cup (65 g) Turbinado sugar

zest of half an organic orange + 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice

2 Tbsp hazelnut flour/meal

1 Tbsp millet flour

1 Tbsp Dutch cocoa powder

1 Tbsp black onyx cocoa powder – it gives a more intense color/taste to the cakes (replace with another Tbsp of Dutch cocoa if needed)

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

pinch of sea salt

2/3 cup (155 ml) coconut milk

3.5 oz (100 g) of dried sour cherries – roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 °F (180 °C) and butter the inside of the ramekins. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg, yolk, sugar, orange zest and orange juice together.

In a medium bowl, combine the flours (hazelnut and millet), the cocoa powders (Dutch and black) with the cinnamon, ginger and salt.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Whisk until well mixed.

Pour the coconut milk slowly while whisking until well combined.

Put 1 Tbsp of chopped dried sour cherries at the bottom of each ramekins.

Fill each ramekin with batter, over the dried cherries. Top each ramekin with 2 Tbsp of dried cherries.

Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 min. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 min.

Frenchie and the Gluten-Free Easter Teacakes

4 Apr

With Easter fast approaching, I remembered that I used to spend Easter brunches with my friends “E. and D.” back in the Midwest until I moved to the East Coast.

Isn’t it always the same feeling? When punctual yearly Holidays come right around the corner and remind you of joyous past times spent with friends and family.

A gesture, a smell, a sight and the memories rush back.

A group of friends you hear heartily laughing as you walk by. The warm smell of baking a cake early on Sunday morning for breakfast. Or the brisk breeze coming through the window left ajar as you set the Easter table for a brunch with friends.

It works every time for me.

I have been obsessed with the unusual marriage of dried sour cherries and tarragon since last summer when a friend served them in a colorful salad on a hot bright evening thus creating a new combination of flavors for me, which left me thinking…

Why haven’t I thought of that before? And most importantly, how can I turn this strange marriage into a sweet treat?

I tried many variations from tarts, loaves, cakes. Nothing was satisfying.

And then I forgot.

So when my Midwestern Easter brunch friend “E.” recently told me he has been missing and craving my baked goods, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to experiment again with that subtle and peculiar blend.

“E.” taught me everything there is to know about celiac disease – maladie cœliaque ou intolérance au gluten, en français – as well as gluten-free diets, traps to watch for, pitfalls to avoid etc. when he was diagnosed with it.

At the time, I used to joke that my house would most likely be a treacherous and dangerous landmine for him because, let’s be frank – French cooking or baking is all about white flour.

So it’s only fitting that my Easter post would feature a gluten-free recipe.

Nutritiously delicious, these teacakes are everything I’ve been wanting for Easter: different, moist, unusual, simple and, yes, addictive!

I eat them as snacks. As desserts. As breakfast.

In the street too – they fit nicely in my pocket.

Round or square, they’re just that cute.

The teacakes even made it to Wellesley, MA on a beautiful spring weekend to admire the blooming colorful trees and cherry blossoms.

A long day spent outside rewarded with more teacakes once back home.

And I certainly took it upon myself to try as many batches as possible to find that perfect magic formula.

Yes, only the best for my friend!

Adding milk in the recipe when needed so they are not too dry. Dropping chocolate chunks for extra texture. I tried it all!

In the end, with tea or coffee, dunked in milk or plain – the eating combinations are endless.

And with every Easter spent in the U.S. comes my favorite hunt of the year – like the Hunt for Red October with a tiny sprinkle of Raiders of the Lost Ark, I make it my Easter mission to find a chocolate hen.

For those who are already familiar with my Easter menagerie post, it will come as no surprise that my dedication to the chocolate hen hunt is intense and, well… obsessive!

This is when random acts of kindness can turn your whole world around. When a friend drops off an unexpected present at my door one night.

A beautiful, plump, deliciously appetizing chocolate hen.

And the best part? It’s home-made!

Une beauté !

I now know what will be proudly displayed on my table Sunday.

And there might just be more teacakes too, who knows?

Both will make Easter than much more special as they represent friendship, old and new.

Happy Easter! Joyeuses Pâques !

Coconut, Chocolate, and Dried Cherry Teacakes with Tarragon

5 Tbsp (60 g) of cane sugar

2/3 cup (75 g) of hazelnut meal/flour

3 Tbsp (21 g) of coconut flour

1/3 cup (52 g) of sweet white rice flour

a pinch of sea salt

2 Tbsp packed of finely chopped tarragon

1/8 teaspoon (0.7 g) of baking powder

1 egg

1/3 cup (78 ml) of whole milk

1/2 stick (56 g) of melted butter

6 Tbsp (45 g) of dried sour cherries, roughly chopped

2 Tbsp (40 g) of semi-sweet chocolate chips or use coarsely chopped chocolate (60 to 70%)

Optional

2 Tbsp of unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 teaspoon of powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon packed of finely chopped tarragon

Preheat the oven to 400 °F (200 °C). Make sure to read until the end – the oven temperature will need to get lowered during the baking process.

Butter a mini-muffin pan. This recipe will make 12 teacakes the size of mini-muffins.

If you are using square tins like on the pictures, the cooking time will differ a little – see below.

In a big bowl, sift the sugar, flours, salt, and baking powder together. Add the tarragon and mix well.

Melt the butter and let it cool at room temperature.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg and the milk. Fold in the flour bowl until you get a coarse sandy paste.

Pour the butter slowly over the sandy dough and mix well until completely absorbed. You should end up with a smooth, sticky batter.

Fold in the dried cherries and chocolate. Mix well.

Using 2 big spoons, fill the mini-muffin pan. I find it easier to use 2 spoons because the dough is sticky. Flatten the surface of each cakes with the back of a spoon.

Bake in the oven at 400 °F (200 °C) for 10 minutes.

Lower the temperature to 300 °F (150 °C) and bake for an additional 20 minutes if you are using a mini-muffin pan.

If you are using thinner tins (square or round) to bake the teacakes in, only bake them for an additional 15 minutes instead of 20.

Remove from the oven and unmold right away. Let the teacakes cool on a cooling rack or a cutting board.

These teacakes stay moist for at least 2 days as long as you keep them in an air tight container in the fridge. They are best eaten at room temperature.

Optional: mix the shredded coconut, powdered sugar and tarragon in a bowl and sprinkle on top of the teacakes before serving for stronger coconut/tarragon flavors.

Frenchie and a Clafoutis for the Insider Awards

6 Feb

What a wonderful surprise to receive an email on February 1 and find out Frenchie and the Yankee was nominated for an Insider Award by the BostInno crowd in the Lifestyle/City category.

Both a shock and an honor to even be considered for an Award and included in that category with 4 other wonderful Boston blogs/sites.

Being part of this ceremony is an excitement of its own.

Of course, I wrote down the day of the special reception right away in my calendar. I wouldn’t miss it!

You can cast your votes by visiting the BostInno Insider Awards voting page here. You can vote until February 15 - the winners will be announced February 23.

Thank you for your continued support for Frenchie and the Yankee if you decide to vote for my blog. Merci beaucoup !

When the weather outside looks mid-gray, damp, with Boston misty rain whipping your face unpleasantly, there is always comfort to be found in whisking old fond memories, lightly sprinkled with recollections of smells and tastes, and paired with a tiny dash of reminiscences of the past.

Springtime sadness.

A day spent inside baking will do the trick!

Les plaisirs de la pâtisserie.

Unlocking my box of failed made up recipes, ideas that ended nowhere, concepts that were abandoned.

A perfect time to try one of them again.

A clafoutis would be perfect as daydreaming about the tiny round shiny droplets of rain suspended upside down from the branches outside my window seems to give me some inspiration.

We’ll need 2 sorts of sugars after all. C’est décidé.

What are you planning to do with all these eggs and chocolate bars? 

The cashier at the local supermarket asked inquisitively.

A clafoutis – I joyfully replied.

A WHAT? Is it edible? – doubtfully looking at me.

Oh you don’t know what you’re missing! I was raised eating clafoutis.

And I wonder when will clafoutis-in-a-box be available for all?

The desire to create a dessert to share with a loved one.

One medium dish. Two hungry spoons. Four caring eyes. One tasty dessert.

And a sweet conversation.

C’est bon et c’est goûteux.

Perfect for the end of meal lit up with candles, elbows on the table, heads resting in hands.

Those moments, they’re unbelievable.

I like to revisit old posts and watch how this blog evolved through the years when it comes to the pictures, aesthetic of the pages and the writing.

Last year, I made this clafoutis, which is still a favorite of mine.

It’s interesting to go back, compare and see the transformation. And with the Insider Awards in mind, it was fitting to take a trip down memory lane.

I thought for a minute of retaking some of the pictures from old posts and update them.

But the traces of the past are important so I decided not to.

So here’s to a fun Insider Award race.

Mini Chocolate Apple Clafoutis

3 eggs

3/4 stick (85 g) of butter

1/2 cup (95 g) of Muscovado sugar

2 Tbsp (25 g) of powder sugar

1.5 cup (35 cl) of milk

2 Tbsp of brandy or liquor (use apple brandy Calvados, or a pear brandy if available)

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/3 cup (40 g) of white flour

1/3 cup (40 g) of almond meal

2 Tbsp of unsweetened cocoa

2-3 Granny Smith apples – sliced (4.5 mm)

3 oz (85 g) of coarsely chopped chocolate (70%)

vanilla sugar

Note: you will have enough batter to fill 4 mini gratin dishes like on the pictures or a 9-in (22.86 cm) round baking dish

Preheat the oven at 400 °F (200 °C).

In a big bowl, whisk the eggs with the melted butter until combined and pasty.

Add the sugars, milk, brandy, cinnamon, vanilla extract and salt. Whisk until smooth.

Sieve the flour, almond meal and cocoa over the batter. Delicately incorporate them until the batter is smooth again.

Peel and core the apples. Slice them thinly (4.5 mm). Butter the gratin dishes.

Pour the batter in the dishes – fill them to 3/4 so it does not leak when the apples are placed over the batter. Arrange the slices of apples on top and sprinkle with vanilla sugar.

Note: I use about half an apple for 1 mini gratin dish. If you feel gourmand like me and if you prefer more fruit over cake, feel free the use 1 apple per dish and layer them. Spread a first layer of apples directly at the bottom of the dish. Cover 3/4 with batter and arrange the rest of the apple on top. If you decide to use a round backing dish, arrange the apples at the bottom of a buttered dish and pour the batter over.

Place in the oven and bake for 35 min.

Let cool at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle each dish with the coarsely chopped chocolate. It will melt instantaneously. Serve immediately.

Each mini gratin dish can be split between 2 people.

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