August 20, 2016 § Leave a comment
Just back from my annual visit to family and friends in the homeland…and I am salivating all over again, going through pictures of our food and dessert orgy! Well, not exactly. We do exercise self-control and don’t indulge at every meal…but to be honest, it is a bit of a challenge when every ‘boulangerie” and “patisserie” window beckons you with their baguettes, pains au chocolat, tarts, cakes, petits fours and other delicious-looking treats!
So, I want to share some of these so you fully realize what you must deal with when spending time in “la douce France”…
Breakfast at a B&B:
Mini caneles, brioche, baguette, a huge basket of pains au chocolate, apple turnovers and other “viennoiserie”, plus a vast selection of jams and honey…
Visit of “la Grande Epicerie du Bon Marche” in Paris ( a must if you are looking for adorably-packaged goodies to bring back for family and friends; they will be eternally thankful):
Chocolate bars, cookies, sugar, candy, jordan almonds…just a few of the many treats…
And if you got to Lyon, my home town, visit Pignol bakery and try to not get dizzy with the selection:
Dessert time: “Ile flottante” (Floating Island), lemon-Meringue tart, Raspberry crumble, Ice-cream, Apple tart…the list goes on and on…
When friends entertain you, it’s more of same: Strawberry Cake (Fraisier), Frangipane Raspberry tart and Apricot tart…
And our grand finale at the one-Michelin star restaurant in Vaux-enBeaujolais (better known for its novel counterpart “Clochemerle”), the well-named “Auberge de Clochemerle“…beautiful hotel and delicious food:
Lemon Sabayon with fresh herb ice-cream…
Apricot and Peach plate with an Apricot nectar fizz…
The mignardises plate with Sesame Snaps, Mango Fruit Paste, Passion Fruit and Pistachio bites, Chocolate Caramel truffles and Chocolate Puffs..
July 15, 2016 § Leave a comment
Don’t know about you but in the summer time, I love salads of all kinds with a side of bread or a slice of quiche or maybe a piece of Pepper and Anchovy Cream Loaf. Since SWEETTABLESCAPES makes sweet loaf cakes all the time, it really isn’t much of a stretch to make savory versions to accompany a meal or as an aperitif treat.
This recipe is easy and the result is a delicious mix of veggie cake with a nice kick of anchovy flavor. If you really are not into anchovies, you can easily skip the addition, of course.
100ml olive oil + 2 Tbsp
100 g grated parmesan cheese
1 red pepper (or a mix of peppers for even more color and appeal!) We actually used a mix of these yummy mini bell peppers that are sold everywhere now.
1/2 tube of anchovy cream. (This, I have not found on this side of the Atlantic so I just made my own. In the bowl of a small electric mixer, I used a small can of anchovies, added one garlic clove and some heavy cream. Mix all ingredients until you have a smooth paste. Add some pepper to taste)
1 Tbsp chopped oregano
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 350F and butter a loaf pan.
Wash pepper (or peppers), remove core and seeds and cut into small strips.
Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a small skillet and cook peppers for about 5 minutes to soften.
In a medium bowl, mix eggs, milk and oil until blended. Add flour, baking powder, cheese, pepper and oregano while still mixing. Add some pepper and mix thoroughly.
Pour half of the batter in loaf pan, spread some anchovy cream on top and pour the rest of the batter on top of anchovy cream.
Bake for about 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let cool for a few minutes before removing from pan. The let cool on a wire rack.
Slice or cute into small cubes!
July 1, 2016 § Leave a comment
Meringue has a reputation…a bit intimidating but oh-so-delightfully-crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside! Whether you’re already a fan or need some convincing, this recipe will most likely seal the deal! At SWEETTABLESCAPES, we decided to go for it, in spite of a lack of enthusiasm from the family.
Well, let’s just say that the feedback was overwhelmingly positive and that we probably had a few converts! The meringue-fresh fruit combo is a winning one and it looks stunning too! Give it a try next time you have a few leftover egg whites in need of a transformation!! This recipe is from Better Homes and Gardens. May 2016
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon rose water or 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 cups sliced mango and strawberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
Edible pink rose petals
- Allow egg whites to stand at room temperature 30 minutes (this helps create more volume). Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment. Draw a 9-inch circle on the paper. Invert paper so circle is on reverse side.
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. For meringue, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment* beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt on medium speed until soft peaks form.
Add the 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form and meringue is no longer gritty (18 to 20 minutes), scraping down bowl as needed.
Beat in lemon juice and rose water. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in cornstarch.
- Spread meringue over circle on parchment, building up edges slightly to form a shell. Bake 1 1/2 hours (do not open door). Turn off oven; let dry in oven with door closed 1 hour. Remove; cool completely on sheet on wire rack.
- In a large bowl toss mango and berries with the 2 Tbsp. sugar. ( We used the blackberries, strawberries and raspberries we had on hand) Let stand 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl beat cream and mascarpone with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form.
- Place meringue shell on a large platter. Spread cream mixture into meringue shell. Spoon fruit mixture on top. Serve immediately.
June 28, 2016 § Leave a comment
The SWEETTABLESCAPES collection of dessert recipes is slowly taking over filing cabinets because in spite of easy internet access to pretty much any recipe you are in the mood for, I still cut out from magazines. Just like I would not read from a tablet when the feel of a book in my hands is still so much a part of the reading experience, I cannot quite ignore the many recipes I stumble upon in any given mag. This one was published in People Magazine, November 2011 and of course I had to cut it out; especially since my husband is a big “bread pudding” fan.
When he requested Bread Pudding as a Father’s Day dessert, I just pulled this recipe out, and it did not disappoint.
So here we go with this English Bread and Butter Pudding, attributed to Lisa Vanderpump, the Real Housewife of Beverly Hills.
6 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
14 slices firm white bread (here we used Challah, the Jewish brioche)
2/3 cup dried currants, golden raisins or seedless raisins
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg, divided
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
10 Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325F. Lightly butter (or use cookie spray) a 9X13-in baking dish.
2) Butter the bread slices on one side.
Stack the slices and cut in half diagonally. Arrange half of the bread slices, buttered side up, in the dish in two layers, letting the slices overlap as needed. Scatter half of the currants on top and sprinkle with half the nutmeg. Arrange the remaining bread in the dish and add the remaining currants.
3) Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a medium bowl with electric hand-held mixer until thickened and pale. Whisk in the milk, cream, vanilla and remaining 1/4 tsp nutmeg. Pour slowly and evenly over the bread mixture in the dish. Press the bread in the custard to be sure it is thoroughly moistened, and let stand for 10 minutes.
4) Bake until top is lightly browned and a knife inserted in the center of the pudding comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Easy comfort dessert, anytime of year…Enjoy!
June 22, 2016 § Leave a comment
Summer, summer, summer!!!! There are not enough exclamation points to express our enthusiasm for the new season and the fresh fruit bounty it offers. For SWEETTABLESCAPES, that means delicious desserts from start to finish. We never get bored by the juicy, sweet and fresh taste of summer’s delicious fruit.
And when it comes to “galettes”, no need to fret, just pile on a nice mix of fruit onto your dough and indulge in the juicy results with a bit of whipped cream if you really want to splurge!! We made this yummy Peach Raspberry Galette and reaped many compliments!
The recipe is from Martha Stewart Magazine, June 2013.
- 1 disk Galette Dough
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for parchment
- 2 1/2 pounds peaches (about 5), halved, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Pinch of coarse salt
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
- 6 ounces raspberries
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coarse sanding sugar
- 1 cup plain yogurt
Roll out dough to an 18-inch round on lightly floured parchment (parchment should measure at least 18 inches square; overlap 2 pieces, if necessary).
Combine peaches, lemon juice, flour, salt, and 3/4 cup granulated sugar. Gently stir in raspberries and place in middle of pastry, leaving a 3-inch border. Dot top of fruit mixture with butter. Fold up edges of pastry to partially cover fruit; brush pastry with egg wash and sprinkle with almonds and sanding sugar. Slide galette on parchment onto a rimmed baking sheet (trim parchment to fit, if necessary). Refrigerate until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake galette 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake until pastry is golden and juices are bubbling, about 30 minutes more. Let cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 hours.
Optional: Stir together yogurt and remaining tablespoon granulated sugar. Cut galette into wedges and serve with sweetened yogurt.