Today’s recipe is a cheese & tomato tart! Our neighbors grow their own tomatoes and gave us quite a lot of them so we had to do something before they rot. We grew our own too but the rain destroyed most of them (our neighbors had the good idea to grow them under a greenhouse unlike us!)…
For one big tart, you’ll need:
• 1 flaky/puff pastry (although I used shortcrust/ pie crust pastry because it’s all I had!)
• 2 big tomatoes
• about 100g of the grated cheese of your choice (I used Swiss Gruyère)
• basil, tarragon
• salt & pepper
• olive oil
Pre-heat your oven at 210°C.
Peel your tomatoes so they don’t sweat too much and the bottom of your tart is not cooked.
Spread the pastry in a big mould and prick the base with a fork. Add a first layer of cheese, then the tomatoes then cheese again and a final one of tomatoes. Keep a bit of cheese to sprinkle some on top so you have a nice brown tart. Then add the basil and tarragon (chives work too if you like them!), add a dash of olive oil and the salt & pepper.
Put in the oven for 45 minutes.
For the tartlets you’ll need:
• 1 medium sized tomato or ½ a big tomato
• about 50g of feta cheese
• a bit of another grated cheese of your choice to sprinkle on top
(I’d suggest on with not too much of a strong taste to not cover the taste of the feta cheese, e.g. mozzarella)
• basil, tarragon
• salt & pepper
• olive oil
Spread the pastry in small moulds and prick the base with a fork. Sprinkle the feta cheese that you’ll have previously crumbled in tiny pieces with a fork. Add a slice or two of tomatoes and top it with a bit of grated cheese.
Then add the basil and tarragon (chives work too if you like them!), add a dash of olive oil and the salt & pepper.
Put in the oven for 40 minutes.
Let it cool down a bit and enjoy!
Pâtés (or feuilletés) au coco from Martinique
For Mother’s day this year I baked apple pie roses, some canelés (my mum’s favorite!) and made apple juice with the rest of the apples for breakfast.
Later in the afternoon we decided to keep baking make coconut pastries.
You see, last April I went back to Martinique for a well-deserved break. And as usual my mum took advantage of returning to her island to bring back some local (and organic!) products! So she made her own coconut jam! Yep. That’s right, coconut jam.
How do you make such a thing you wonder? Well, you need a dry coconut, just grate it (keeping the brown skin is fine, but you can remove too), and boil it for 30 minutes with:
• 50cL of water,
• 200g of sugar,
• 1 vanilla pod slit in two,
• the zest of 1 lime
• ½ tsp. cinnamon
• a pinch of nutmeg
And you’re done! I guess most of you reading this won’t make their own coconut jam so this was more to satisfy your curiosity!
Now on to the pastries’ recipe. You’ll need:
• 1 roll of flaky pastry (although here it’s not what I used because I didn’t have any!)
• your homemade coconut jam
• 1 egg yolk
You can make the pastries more or less big, I chose to make tiny ones.
Just put a small piece of dough on the bottom, a spoonful of jam and cover with another piece of dough. Spread egg yolk on top so your pastry becomes a nice browny color!
Bake 30 minutes at 220°C and enjoy!
…Have lunch with me…
Chicken with Feta Cheese and Caramelized Onions
Super easy to do, for one person you’ll need:
• 1/2 onion (or a whole one if you like)
• 1 chicken breast
• Feta cheese
• Sugar, salt, pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar
Pre-heat your oven at 200 degrees Celsius.
Cook the chicken in a pan with some olive oil. You don’t need to fully cook it, I would actually not recommend it, or the chicken might be overcooked and too dry. Just cook it for 5 to 7 minutes. Add some salt, pepper, and herbs (I like tarragon and Herbes de Provence) and a bit of balsamic vinegar.
Crumble enough feta cheese and cover the chicken breast with it. Put in the oven for about 10 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, slice your onion and cook it in the pan on medium heat with olive oil. After a minute, add a pinch of sugar and some balsamic vinegar. It will caramelize quickly so be careful not to burn it!
Top the chicken and feta cheese with the onion.
As you can see, I accompanied this with a mix of quinoa and bulgur and a piece of homemade bread.
Wow, I haven’t posted anything for a while! But I’m back! For this recipe, Pinterest was the source of my inspiration as often!
According to Wikipedia:
Gözleme is a savoury traditional Turkish pastry dish, made of hand-rolled dough that is lightly brushed with butter and eggs, filled with various toppings, sealed, and cooked over a griddle.
There. Now you know what gözlemes are and can shine in society with your newfound knowledge. You’re welcome.
My recipe is inspired by Cakelets & Doilies’
For 2 rather large gözleme you will need:
For the dough:
• 125mL warm water
• 200g plain flour (mine was self-raising, also good because…)
• 7g dried yeast (…I didn’t have yeast and couldn’t be bothered to go to the shop around the corner. I know.)
• ½ teaspoon of sugar
• 1 teaspoon of salt
• ½ tablespoon olive oil
For the filling:
• 3 spring onions
• ½ small brown onion
• 200g lean beef mince (you can see I used a beef patty)
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 50g feta cheese
Let’s start by the dough. Guys it’s super easy.
Mix the warm water, sugar, salt and flour (and yeast if you were proactive enough and went out to get some. Good for you. Check Cakelets & Doilies, they’re more specific about the yeast)
Add the oil.
Knead for about 10 minutes (that’s just a recommendation I don’t remember myself kneading for this long, who are we kidding).
Cakelet and Doilies says:
You should get a very pliable elastic tacky dough that is not overly sticky. (Note: If the dough does not pull away from the sides of the bowl after 10 minutes, the dough is too sticky. Add 1/4 cup of flour, and continue to beat for 5 minutes.)
The next step is to place your dough in a lightly greased bowl in a warm place, cover with cling film and wait between 30mn to an hour for it to double in size BUT I believe this is for those who used the yeast. I didn’t so I still put it aside but only for the amount of time it took me to cook the meat and veggies. So not that long.
I chopped my spring onions and regular onions in small pieces and cooked it along with the beef, I added it after the beef was almost cooked because I wanted it to stay crispy.
Then I separated my dough in 2 - or 4 if you want smaller servings (in case you’re wondering, I don’t believe it changed too much in size after I left under the cling film) and spread it on a floured surface.
Now you just need to fill half of it with your minced meat and onions, and add feta on top. Don’t get carried away and put too much filling!
Fold the dough over to enclose your filling and press edges together to seal. Lightly brush one side of your gözleme with oil and cook on medium heat.
Brush the other side with oil and turn. Your gözleme should be gold/brown and crispy.
You can serve with a side of salad and as suggested by Cakelet & Doilies, lemon wedges.
PS. I’ll post a variation of this recipe with chicken and leek, and instead of using a pan I cooked it in a George Foreman type of grill (forgot to brush with oil though, but it was still tasty, maybe not as crispy!))
Purple Glittery Icing for a Layer Cake
So once you’ve done your chocolate cake , or any cake of your choice really, you need to decorate it!
You’ll actually need to have 2 or 3 (3 is better) layers of cake to make a layer cake. My mould was not very deep so I made the recipe for one normal cake but managed to bake two out of that mould. The second one was a bit thick so I sliced it in two. If your mould is deep enough, make just one big cake and then slice it in 3. If you’re feeling extra fancy you can make several thinner cakes that do not involve chocolate and add food coloring like so or make a rainbow cake! (but honestly ain’t nobody got time for that)
My friend Kaia’s favorite color being purple I chose that one for the icing but you’re free to choose another color. Obviously.
Ok so for the icing you’ll need:
• Extra thick double cream 2x227mL (or you can buy double cream and whip it yourself)
• Food coloring
• Vanilla extract
• Edible glitter
I had extra thick double cream so I skipped the whipping stage.
Just pour the cream in a bowl and add the coloring one tablespoon at at a time. Mix with a wooden spoon or a whisk but nothing electrical or your cream will become more and more liquid. And be gentle please.
In total I used about 3 or 4 spoons of food coloring - I’m sorry I forgot exactly how many, but as you might have noticed, my cooking is no exact science!
Once you achieve the color you want, add a tablespoon of vanilla extract.
Add 3 tablespoons of sugar and start tasting it. If it’s not sweet enough add one more and then another etc. I think I added 6 in total.
Now taste again and if you feel it doesn’t taste enough of vanilla, add a little more.
So now the icing is ready! Next step, cake! Take the plate you want the cake to be on when served because it will be hard to transfer from plate to plate when you’re done!
Take the first layer of cake, generously ice the top (I didn’t and then when you cut the cake you could barely see the layer of icing) but make sure you’ll have enough for the whole thing!
Then carefully place the second cake layer and ice the top of it again.
Place the final layer of cake.
Now you’ll need to ice the whole cake, top and around. Don’t bother trying not to put icing all over the cake plate, it will happen. Embrace it. We’ll deal with that later. Don’t try to make it pretty yet either. Just cover that damn cake with icing.
Be careful of crumbs getting in the icing! Wikihow advise you to have a “crumb layer”.
Once your cake is fully covered with icing, take your butter knife and dip it into warm water. Now we’re trying to make it look nice! So shake the water off the knife and use it to smooth out the icing on top and around.
Now that your cake looks presentable you can add the edible glitter!
Take a sieve and slowly pour the glitter through it and move around so it will uniformly cover the icing.
I chose white glitter and the cool thing with it is that, as you can notice on the first and last pictures, the glitter took the color of the icing!
Now take a paper towel and carefully clean the plate of all the icing and glitter mess you might have done previously (be careful not to touch the cake!).
Now you’re done! Put the cake in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to let the icing set.
Moelleux au chocolat
As I was explaining in this recipe it was my friend Kaia’s birthday recently so I decided to surprise her with a magical cake!
This chocolate cake can definitely be served by itself cause it’s so good but since it was for my friend’s birthday I decided to make it special (see link at the end of recipe).
First, the recipe for the cake.
• 200g of dark chocolate
• 4 eggs
• 125g of butter (take it out of the fridge 30 minutes beforehand)
• 150g of sugar
• 4 tablespoons of flour
• 1 tablespoon of baking powder
• 4 tablespoons of liquid light cream
Preheat your oven at 180 degrees Celsius.
Mix the baking powder and the flour together. Melt the chocolate. You can do it in the microwave. I did it old school because I’m cool like that. Also mainly because there’s no microwave in the house we’re renting. Student life.
But you can see how I messed up too and melted my housemate sieve. I kinda knew it would melt but I tried to convince myself it wouldn’t. Well it did.
Add the soft butter, then the egg yolk and then the sugar mixed to the sifted flour. The dough should be liquid but not too much.
Now, whip the egg whites until stiff (you can see I failed: we didn’t have a mixer and I have weak arms. Student life I’m telling you… Can’t wait to be a grown-up and have a fully equipped kitchen dammit!).
TIP: Add a tiny bit of water and a pinch of salt to help the process. It also helps if you mix it in a bowl with a round/curved bottom. You can do it with an electrical whisk or in a mixer too, way faster!
Delicately add the egg whites to the mix.
TIP: do not beat aggressively, FOLD the egg whites into the mix to maintain the volume.
Add the cream. (You can see I used extra thick double cream (I don’t think it gets fatter than that!) but that’s just because I needed it for the icing! I would normally use light liquid cream. Here I only used two tablespoons)
Pour the mix in a buttered mould and put in the oven for 30 minutes.
Once cooked, the cake must be slightly melting in the middle but cooked enough to maintain its softness.
PS. If you’re awesome, you can make your cake look like a freakin’ unicorn made it. Find the recipe for a delicious PURPLE GLITTERY icing here!
Mini Pressed Party Sandwiches
It was one of my best friend’s birthday last week, so we decided to throw her an awesome party involving barbecues, piñatas, homemade ice creams, Bloody Marys and other fun stuff. So I contributed by bringing mini sandwiches and a cake (recipe to come!)
I followed this recipe, we’ll all agree that hers looks better. The sandwiches were a hit at the party though: ZERO leftovers, so we’re good here.
The recipe is very easy! For 2 salami sandwiches and one vegetarian one, you’ll need:
• 3 large ciabatta breads
• 1 pack of salami (that one had 15 slices)
• Green pesto Pine nuts (but I used sunflower seeds)
• 4-5 small calibre tomatoes
• 3 mozzarella balls
Slice the bread in half and spread pesto liberally on both sides. Sprinkle the pine nuts or sunflower seeds.
For the salami sandwiches, put the salami first then the mozzarella ball (that you’ll have cut in slices beforehand) and add some more salami!
For the vegetarian friendly sandwiches, put the tomatoes first then mozzarella ball, then the lettuce and finish with more tomatoes!
For both sandwiches you could add basil leaves (I didn’t have any).
Ok now all you need to do is wrap the sandwiches tightly in cling film/plastic wrap.
Put them in the fridge and place some heavy books on top of the sandwiches. As you can see I didn’t have enough books (I didn’t feel good about putting my library books in the fridge overnight and I needed them to study too anyway!) so you can just add on top of that any heavy objects you have. I added beers, a glass bottle filled with water, a bottle of yoghurt… Be creative!
Then just leave this until the next day, although if you can’t wait that long 3-4 hours should be ok.
I would advise you to cut when you’re ready to eat. For example I brought the whole sandwiches still wrapped at my friends house and cut them there.
I would also advise that BEFORE cutting the sandwiches you pour just a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar to add a litlle extra taste but also mostly because I found the sandwiches were dry without it!
You can see I cut them quite small because I thought it would last longer like this. And it did. However they were all gone by the end of the day!
This recipe is so easy to make and so yummy! So now you don’t have any excuses anymore to arrive at a party with just a bag of Doritos!
Gelato alla fragola
EASIEST. RECIPE. EVER.
Attempting to study outside. Failing.
I had some frozen strawberries in my freezer so I initially decided to make a smoothie. And then I went for a gelato.
Here’s what you’ll need for 1 person:
• 6-8 frozen strawberries
• 1 tablespoon of sugar
You don’t want your strawberries to be TOO frozen so you can either get them out 5 minutes beforehand or dip them in some water.
Put the strawberries in a mixer with the sugar. Mix. Done.
Do the same and add some exotic juice to the mixer like pineapple, apple & passion fruit, orange & mango, etc. Be creative!
I used to make crumbles very often last semester but that’s not super healthy so I decided this could not go on any longer. And then it happened… I went out for sushis with my housemate Margaux, and it was delicious! But one does not simply get full on sushis. (weirdly my housemate did… Like most girls) Well I don’t. That girl gotta eat.
So on our way back we picked up apples and it happened. Just like that the apple crumble was back in my life..!
Here’s the recipe, you’ll need:
• 3 apples
• 5-6 tablespoons of sugar + 1 to sprinkle the apples with
• 6 tablespoons of flour
• 75g of butter (take it out 30 minutes beforehand!)
• 1/2 lemon
Preheat the oven at 210 degrees Celsius.
Peel and dice the apples. Put in an oven friendly dish (maybe “oven friendly” is not a thing, but I felt it sounded right - also if it’s not a thing, why is that?? It should be! Where can I patent that? - Remember, English is NOT my first language :P - French is, in case you’re wondering)
Pour the lemon juice on them apples ☺ and sprinkle with cinnamon and the tablespoon of sugar.
In a salad bowl mix the flour and the rest of the sugar (plus some more cinnamon if you’re crazy about it like me - well not THAT crazy).
Add the butter in small dices and mix with your hands (yes it has to be with your hands! Or maybe the mixer will do but I firmly believe the hand method is more authentic). Now you see why you have to take the butter out 30 minutes beforehand (I always forget to though…).
So mix everything with your hands until you obtain a lumpy dough. You need to either choose a bowl bigger than the one I chose (I’m improvising with the various recipient I find in the house - I’m a student guys, ok? Ok.) If you choose a small one like me, you’ll have to mix the ingredients above the sink. Do NOT fool yourselves, you WILL spill flour and such everywhere. The sink is the easy option. You stand warned.
Next step, crumble that dough on top of the apples to fully cover all of them.
Put in the oven for 30 minutes.
You can serve this with vanilla ice cream.
Chicken noodles with mushrooms, peppers & asparagus
Summer is coming and I’m trying to be healthier! (Not that I’m eating unhealthy stuff usually but still!)
I planned on only eating chicken and vegetables. And no more, well, less carbs.Of course that only happened for a week.
So to make this yummy noodles, you’ll need:
• 1 portion of noodles
• 1 chicken breast
• 5 mushrooms
• 1 red pepper
• 5 asparagus
• Olive oil
• Balsamic vinegar
• Soy sauce
First I made a marinade for the chicken: I poured 1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon of honey and 1/2 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar in a bowl and I let the chicken sit in while I moved on to the next step.
Take your portion of noodles and run cold water on it. Drain the excess water and set aside.
Wash the mushrooms, red pepper and asparagus. Chop them in small strips similarly to picture 5.
Start cooking the chicken in a hot frying pan, be careful to diminish the heat as you go otherwise the chicken will burn!
Once the chicken is golden brown and cooked set aside in a plate.
In the same frying pan (you might want to scrub it a bit as the honey might have burnt in some places) cook the vegetables. In a second frying pan, cook the noodles in about 4-5 tablespoons of water and 1 of soy sauce.
When the vegetables are cooked, add the chicken and then the noodles.