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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 Blizzard

11 Feb

The blizzard that everyone was waiting for.

A more than honorable snow coat reminding me of past Wisconsin winters.

And when it’s cold outside as the freshly dropped snowflakes sting your face like tiny bees carried out by the blizzard winds, home is where warmth makes everything better.

A honey roasted chicken.

A lemon sauce.

A home-made cumin butter to spread on a crusty bread.

And frozen lingonberries to use for a dessert.

Envious of those kids dragged by mum and dad in a shiny blue and green sledge.

My black boots now completely buried in a white mountain of icing sugar.

My knees cold from being encased.

But smiling and blinded by the white sharp light emanating from the reflection of the sun.

Memories of ending up knee-deep in the sand at the beach during the summer months.

Different season. Different scenery. Same feeling.

This post and recipe are dedicated to my friends “F. & O.” who got engaged in the snow amid this blizzard in the Boston park. 

Félicitations !

A snow storm to remember.

Lemon Zest and Almond Financiers with Lingonberries and Chia Seeds

makes about 22 small financiers

6 Tbsp (85 g) of butter – melted

4 Tbsp of teff flour

2 Tbsp of quinoa flour

1/2 cup (100 g) of blonde cane sugar

1.5 teaspoon of chia seeds

a dash of ground nutmeg

a pinch of sea salt

3/4 cup (93 g) of ground sliced almonds

3 organic lemons – finely zested

4 egg whites

1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract

4 Tbsp of lingonberries

Preheat the oven to 375 °F (190 °C).

Prepare a mini-muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, sift and mix the flours, the sugar , the chia seeds, the nutmeg and sea salt. Combine.

In a food processor, finely ground the almonds. Fold with the flour mixture.

Add  the lemon zest. Mix delicately and make sure the zest does not clump.

Beat the egg whites and the vanilla extract with a fork until combined and lightly foamy.

Pour the egg whites over the flour mixture and stir.

Pour the melted butter and stir delicately until it is all absorbed.

Divide the batter in the mini-muffin pan. Top each financier with lingonberries. With the back of a spoon, press on the berries gently.

Bake in the oven for 14 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry.

Remove the financiers from the pan right away and let them cool on a rack or a cutting board.

Frenchie and the Christmas Treats

21 Dec

Not growing up with falling snow during the Holidays, I only discovered what a white Christmas is when I moved to the States.

The snow decided to skip Christmas last year in Boston.

And it looks like this year Christmas won’t be white either.

Que faire …?

Snow or not, and a bag of shredded coconut on my kitchen counter, I baked “snowy” cookies – or rochers as I like to call them because they’re small and dense like rocks but still soft and moist like cookies.

Coconut and chocolate.

Un délice !

And a nice texture from the coconut flour mixed with amaranth flour and coconut flakes… ideal.

These cookies have been a favorite of mine now for 3 weeks.

And you don’t want to know how many batches I made!

And since we’re discussing chocolate, Christmas isn’t the same without truffles.

Add a sprinkle of orange zest, a dash of ground cloves and a sip of Armagnac… voilà !

Small treats to share with all of you before the Holidays.

Christmas treats that will please friends and family.

Joyeux Noël everyone.

May your Holiday Season be merry and cheery.

Chocolate Orange Truffles with Cloves and Armagnac

makes 25-30 truffles

7 oz (200 g) high-quality dark chocolate (at least 75%) – coarsely chopped

1/2 cup (120 ml) of heavy cream

1 Tbsp (15 g) of butter – cubed

the zest of one organic orange

1-2 teaspoons of Armagnac – or another liquor like whiskey or rum (only put 2 teaspoons if you like a strong taste)

2 dashes of ground cloves

unsweetened cocoa powder

Place the chocolate chunks in a medium bowl with the butter.

In a small saucepan, heat the cream but do not reach its boiling point. Remove from the heat right before it starts simmering.

Pour the cream over the chocolate and butter and wait 2 minutes.

In the meantime, finely zest the orange.

Stir the cream in the bowl until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth.

Add the zest, Armagnac, and a dash or two of ground cloves.

Scrape the sides of the bowl and make sure it is well stirred. Cover and place in the fridge for 90 minutes.

Line a big plate with parchment paper. Remove the bowl from the fridge.

Using a melon baller, scoop small balls of chocolate onto the plate. It does not matter if they are not perfectly round.

Scoop the entire bowl on the plate and place it in the fridge to chill again for 20 minutes.

While the truffles are chilling, sift some cocoa powder on a new plate.

Remove the truffles from the fridge and roll them in the cocoa powder. Using your hands, roll and shape them into balls.

Return them on the plate with the parchment paper and in the fridge again for at least 1 hour.

Chocolate Chip and Coconut Rochers Cookies

makes 16-18 rochers

7 Tbsp (100 g) of butter – softened at room temperature

1/2 cup (100 g) of light brown sugar or light Muscovado sugar

1/3 cup (65 g) of blonde cane sugar

1 Tbsp of almond butter

1.5 teaspoon of vanilla extract

2 eggs

3/4 cup (110 g) of amaranth flour

1/2 cup (55 g) of coconut flour

1/3 cup (60 g) of brown rice flour

1/3 cup (40 g) of teff flour

1/4 teaspoon of sea salt

1/4 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 cup (30 g) of dried coconut flakes – roughly chopped

1 cup (170 g) of chocolate – roughly chopped in small chunks

optional:

2 Tbsp of powdered sugar

2 Tbsp of unsweetened shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 °F (180 °C). Place parchment paper on 2 baking sheets.

In a medium bowl, beat the soft butter, brown and blonde cane sugars with a hand-held mixer for 2-3 minutes until creamy.

Add the almond butter, vanilla and eggs. Beat for another minute. Set aside and scrape the sides.

In a big bowl, sift and combine the flours with the sea salt and baking soda.

Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the flours. Stir until well combined.

Using your clean hands, stir in the coconut flakes in the dough. Knead until well incorporated.

Add the chocolate chunks and do the same. Make a ball with the dough.

With your hands, shape little heaping cakes of batter (1.5-2 Tbsp of batter for each). They do not need to be perfectly round and flat – this is what makes them look like rocks or rochers.

Place them on the parchment paper on the baking sheets. Make sure to leave some space between them.

Bake in the oven for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on the baking sheet before transferring them to a plate.

Dust with the powdered sugar and shredded coconut before serving.

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