{FFWD} Butter and Rum Crepes

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So this is my first FFWD post for 2014. Apologies. I’ve been really busy with a string of random stuff that experimenting with French dishes has taken a back seat. This week is rather calm and as I looked at the dish for this week, I was excited. It could well be Faith’s breakfast minus the rum, that is and I set about preparing the batter yesterday. Crepe batter has to rest and chill in the refrigerator to become perfectly blended and to thicken. Two hours is the minimum; 12 hours or more is ideal.

To make the crepe batter,

Rub these ingredients until the sugar is moist and very fragrant.

Rub these ingredients until the sugar is moist and very fragrant.

I thought this can be used when decorating cakes! Idea!

I thought this can be used when decorating cakes! Idea!

Using the food processor and in my case, food chopper,

Add these and blend them well, making sure that the flour is blended but don't overmix the batter.

Add these and blend them well, making sure that the flour is blended but don’t overmix the batter.

Then you pour into a pitcher. For me, I divide the batter into two as I do want some (1 tsp) Grand Marnier in mine.

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Yum!

This morning, the batter was ready and to make the crepes, I rub my nonstick pan with lightly oiled crumpled paper towel and put it over medium heat. I poured about 5 tbsp of the batter each time.

The crepe is ready when the underside is specked with brown spots. Use your finger to flip!

The crepe is ready when the underside is specked with brown spots. Use your finger to flip!

The sauce to match this crepe uses 1/3 cup honey, 1/3 cup fresh orange juice, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice and 7 tbsp unsalted butter at cool room temperature. After heating the honey, I added the juices and then used a whisk to whisk in the butter, a tbsp at a time. The sauce should be smooth and slightly thickened however mine turned out rather runny. Could it be the type of honey used?

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The little girl was enthusiastic about her breakfast initially until she took a first bite and spit it out! I was so surprised! She didn’t take to the texture well. In the end, I added banana to the crepe. Oh well, perhaps she prefers the crispy version of the crepe. I’ll try it tomorrow!

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I enjoyed mine though, complete with Cafe Au Lait. Love the citrus in the sauce. It definitely helps to perk me up!

20140221-111101.jpgThe little girl soon forgot about the breakfast after a wonderful time at the playground.

This is a weekly attempt at French food via French Fridays with Dorie. If you are interested in French cooking, why not join us?

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FFWD | compote de pommes two ways

The name above is basically applesauce in French and being a lover of apples, I’ll definitely avail myself to make this! I used20131108-211629.jpg NZ colt apples and Fuji apples for this and it takes a while for the colt apples to soften. In the end, the chopper did the mashing for me.

I proceeded to do apple turnovers since mom loves these. Knowing she doesn’t really appreciate very sweet desserts, I have scaled down the amount of sugar by a bit and didn’t add anymore during the cooking process. And the best thing is, she likes the turnover, saying that the sweetness is just right!

Makes my day, I tell you.

This is the first way that Dorie talked about, the traditional way. I’ve yet to try the second way which is to add salted butter and vanilla extract. Next time.

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This is a weekly attempt at French food via French Fridays with Dorie.
If you are interested in French cooking, why not join us?

 

FFWD | Hurry Up and Wait Roast Chicken

Loving this recipe because I just have to add some oil, salt and pepper to this combination and put the skillet into the oven. It saves a lot of time too since I can do my stuff while waiting for the chicken to be ready. Since there are only two of us, I used two chicken thighs instead of the whole chicken. Of course, in my family, vegetables are important and to complete this meal, potatoes, cauliflower and carrots are thrown in.

Both Ken and I had a scrumptious dinner! Yummy!

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This is a weekly attempt at French food via French Fridays with Dorie. If you are interested in French cooking, why not join us?

FFWD | Salade Niçoise

Yay! I’m in time for FFWD this time round. It helps a lot that the dish is quick and easy to create – Salade Niçoise. I had thought that this will not satisfy but after this experience, I realised that it is truly a one-dish meal, just like what Dorie had warned.

Salade Niçoise [niˈswaz] gets its name from its hometown Nice and comprises tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, lettuce, hard-boiled eggs, Nicoise olives, anchovies and dressed with a vinaigrette. Of course, this dish cannot do without tuna which is the salad’s linchpin and it seems that traditionally, canned tuna is used. Suits me real fine as it is so much easier to use canned tuna. Hah! I had wanted to omit the olives since my family does not appreciate them but thought it wouldn’t be a true blue Salade Niçoise if it is without them. And, I’m glad I added them because the combination works really well.

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So, I didn’t bother to lay them in order. I thought a mess can be nice too.

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Mom gave us some snow crab and this completes our meal.

This is a weekly attempt at French food via French Fridays with Dorie. If you are interested in French cooking, why not join us?

conversation with Dorie Greenspan.

FFWD | Rice pudding and caramel apples

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I’m late again! But it’s better late than never.

I’d never thought that I would like rice pudding but I thought I should just try this and surprisingly it’s good. Rice pudding or riz au lait as Dorie revealed is what little children grow up on and what adults crave for when they want comfort. This rice pudding can be served in little canning jars or martini glasses.

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For this recipe, Arborio rice is first precooked in water then in milk to achieve a creamy and slight chewy state. This is quite an easy recipe though it takes time to make it. And since I’ve no martini glasses, I’ll reuse my jam jars. ;p

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This is a weekly attempt at French food via French Fridays with Dorie. If you are interested in French cooking, why not join us?

FFWD | Fresh tuna, mozzarella and basil pizza

I know I have been distracted from fulfilling FFWD weekly so I’m doing catch-up now.

Love these simple-to-make pizzas.

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I went to the supermarket today and the one I visited did not sell sushi-grade tuna and since I love salmon more, I have tweaked the recipe to include salmon instead. No basil as well so I used mushrooms instead.

IMG_7084This recipe uses frozen puff pastry as the base so you could imagine how fast this meal can be created. After cutting out 4 to 5 rounds from a sheet of frozen puff pastry, bake them for about 15 minutes till they are well-browned and crisp. Thereafter, just top each round with sauteed onions and mushrooms (in my case), sliced salmon, cherry tomatoes and season with a little salt and pepper and extra-virgin olive oil. Oh, don’t forget about the mozzarella cheese!

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This is my version.

This is a weekly attempt at French food via French Fridays with Dorie. If you are interested in French cooking, why not join us?

FFWD | Tzatziki

What’s that?

You might ask.

I asked the same question.

Tzatziki [pronounce Zat-ZEE-key] is actually a yogurt-based (best is greek yogurt – 2 cups) blend of cucumbers, fresh herbs (in this case, dill and mint), lemon juice, garlic and a little olive oil. According to Dorie, this is a recipe that is very low in calories although it tastes rich.

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Tzatziki should be served cold and simply. It’s often served as a dip for raw vegetables and is good with crackers, thick toasted country bread or sandwich.

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I spread it on my croissant.

Refreshing and heavenly. I’ll have it for breakfast again tomorrow.

This is a weekly attempt at French food via French Fridays with Dorie. If you are interested in French cooking, why not join us?

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FFWD| Sable Breton galette with berries

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So I know that today’s not Friday but I’ve been so far behind the French Fridays with Dorie project that I have to catch up. Earlier, I have resolved to attempt 3 times a month for FFWD but for June, I found myself struggling due to certain commitments but hey, being late is better than never!

The sable breton galette is such a beauty that I couldn’t resist baking. It would be a good dessert for a gathering! So, the day before, I prepared the dough and the lemon curd since the former needs to be chilled for at least 3 hours. The following day, all I need to do is to bake the dough and then just before serving , top the galette with the lemon curd and beautify it with the berries.

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I suspect I would be making this again. Try it if you have the time for it certainly seeks to please.

A similar recipe can be found here.

I had so much fun whipping up French food with FFWD and I’m encouraging you to do so too! Join us in the fun!

FFWD | back-of-the-card cheese and olive bread

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How is this a bread, I’m not so sure for it doesn’t use bread flour nor yeast. Perhaps, a quick bread?

Dorie explained the origin of this recipe which was initially printed on a card produced by the Comte cheese makers’ organisation and distributed to fromageries all over France. She and Patricia Wells picked up the card and each tweaked the recipe to call it their own.

I tweaked it as well. Our family is not fond of olives (pity!) and thus to increase the chances of the bread being eaten, I replaced tapenade (what is that??) with diced ham and olives with sundried tomatoes.

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When the hubs came back and had a first bite, his comments was, “I can’t tell whether it wants to be a bread or something else. It’s neither here nor there.” What a statement. Did I do it wrongly? But thankfully, he finished what was given still. I guess, the ham did the magic.

How is this bread served in the true French fashion way? According to the writer, the loaf is meant to be served as a predinner nibble with a glass of Champagne or white wine. You will have to cut the loaf into slices about 1/2 inch thick, then cut the slices in half the long way. It is not French custom to serve this bread with a meal but Dorie commented that it is awfully good with salads.

So, that’s it for this bread. It’s another recipe that makes me hunt for the ingredients, not to mention learning more about them. If you are interested in French cooking, why not join us in French Fridays with Dorie?

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FFWD | Goat cheese and strawberry tartine

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So this is one of the easiest recipes, out of the so many others. However, it did take me out of my comfort zone because the main ingredient required is goat cheese. So, I need to tell you that I am not fond of cheeses. Yes, I don’t mind the common ones like cheddar, mozarella, gruyere, cream cheese and mascarpone. Apart from that, I don’t venture out. So goat’s cheese is…what’s that?

To the supermarket I went and yes, there’s plenty of cheeses. After much search, I found it! Yay!

I know tartines are made on slices of country bread but it happens that I still have a new loaf of wholemeal bread and I’ll just have to bear with it.

It makes for a good breakfast though I don’t really quite fancy it. I’m not a goat cheese person. :p

If you are interested in French cooking, why not join us in French Fridays with Dorie?

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We are the DinoFamily

FFWD | Asparagus soup

This week, we are having Asparagus soup (p. 58)! Does it remind you of spring? Of course, in Singapore, we do not have the four seasons but tropical climate throughout the year. Nevertheless, seeing these greens makes one feel refreshing and joyful no doubt.

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I like my soup served hot (typical Chinese) but I realised this tastes good too even when it is cold. I’m surprised the hubs was willing to finish the whole bowl even though he is not so much of a veggie person. It’s a terrific change to the usual Chinese soups that we are so used to.

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If you are interested in French cooking, why not join us in French Fridays with Dorie?

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Food Revolution Day

It’s Food Revolution Day today! For the uninitiated ones, Food Revolution Day is a chance for people all over the world to come together and stand up for good food and essential cooking skills. It’s a chance for people to come together in homes, schools, workplaces and communities to cook and share their kitchen skills, food knowledge and resources. Food Revolution Day is a global day of action to raise awareness about the importance of good food and better food education for everyone.

The theme for this year’s Food Revolution Day is “Cook it. Share it. Live it” and here I am, sharing with you what I have prepared for breakfast today – my Asian-inspired Sliders

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I’ve been meaning to make sliders or mini-burgers for a while and wanted to do every thing from scratch. Yes, even the bread. So, I chose to bake Brioche through Dorie Greenspan‘s Around my French Table as part of the French Fridays with Dorie project.

IMG_3803Err…yes, food education starts early for my little one. Faith was so amused by the flapping of the dough that she chuckled the way through. The mom felt bad for the Kitchenaid though since the dough took soooo long to be ready. Well, that’s brioche for you. Be patient and you will reap the reward.

From the recipe, I should be able to yield 2 loaves of brioche but I decided to apportion about half of it to shape it into burgers while the rest into a loaf.

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The best thing about baking bread is that your kitchen will be perfumed by the aroma that it gives when it is in the oven. *Drool*

With my bread ready, I went on to make the lemongrass-infused pork patties. They are not at all difficult to make if you have the right tool, the Philips Chopper! I just put all the ingredients into the chopper and within minutes, the patties are shaped and ready to be cooked.

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About 400g ground pork
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/3 cup shallots, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small stalk lemon grass, minced (about 1 1/2 tbsp)
1/4 cup coriander stems, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp cornflour
Light cooking oil

1. Combine first 8 ingredients gently in bowl being careful not to overwork or meat will bind up and become tight. Season lightly with ground black pepper.

2. Divide the mixture into 8 patties (depending on how big you want) – first forming gently into balls and then flatten gently as to not overwork mixture.

3. Heat oil in a large saute  pan and saute until just cooked through – about 2-3 minutes per side (depending on thickness of the patties; I used 5 minutes per side).

To assemble everything, I added cheese and Alfalfa sprouts to complete my asian-inspired sliders! Asian because of the ingredients used – lemongrass and fish sauce.

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The hubs love it but he probably is not in the least interested in how to make this dish so I’m sharing with you!

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FFWD | Coupetade (french-toast pudding)

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I had a rich breakfast today, all thanks to this recipe which is French toast soaked in custard. It is a dessert from central France and it is said that you can achieve best results by using brioche or challad. Since I had neither at the time of baking, just a normal loaf of white bread did the job for me.

The steps are relatively easy:

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1. Make the French toast.
2. Arrange the cut slices of French toast in the baking pan and moist raisins, dried cranberries or cherries under, over and between the slices.
3. Make the custard and pour it over the bread and fruit.
4. Bake it.

Obviously, there are tiny details within these few steps but really, it’s a breeze making this.

If you are interested in French cooking, why not join us in French Fridays with Dorie?

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FFWD | Creamy mushrooms and eggs

Because of this recipe, my hubs and I could enjoy a delectable cafe-style breakfast. I’m so loving it that I intend to make this again, with poached eggs and brioche, if I have the time. :p

For now, it will be this. But I’m already satisfied.

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If you are interested in French cooking, why not join us in French Fridays with Dorie?

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FFWD | Swiss chard pancakes

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Ok, the first thing I asked myself upon looking at the title is what on earth is swiss chard? It sounds like some cheese and after googling, to my surprise, it is some greens! This is how ignorant I am. Do pardon me.

I wonder if there is any chinese name to this vegetable in my current context. I have seen and surely eaten swiss chard but didn’t know that they have such a name. Over here, the vegetables could be given some Chinese and dialect names so I could only look for swiss chard by how it looks. Apparently, the supermarket I visited yesterday did not stock up on this and I am going to replace it by using red spinach.

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Farcous as these pancakes are called in France, are a staple throughout Southwest France and in French homes, they are a main course, most often served with a salad. The portion can be as large as a skillet but Dorie prefers them smaller, to be served as an hors d’oruvre.

IMG_0523I have eaten some form of vegetables pancakes as well during my travels to Taipei and Shanghai. Their versions include a lot of chives and are sold along the streets. I remember eating them like this.

Anyway, the pancakes are easy to make. First blend the ingredients (like milk, eggs, flour, shallot, onion, garlic cloves) together before adding swiss chard and in my case, red spinach, to the mixture and continue blending. I do not have a blender at home but thank God, Mom lives near me and I could borrow hers.

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Farcous could be made a few hours ahead and kept covered at room temperature and then reheated before serving. Alternatively, they can be packed airtight and frozen for a longer period. Just reheat as needed.

FFWD participants do not publish the recipes on our blogs but a version of the above can be found here. If you are interested in French cooking, why not join us in French Fridays with Dorie?

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FFWD | Cod and spinach roulades

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I admit I nearly gave up on this dish. It’s rather troublesome and especially with a baby who constantly vies for your attention, the making of these roulades can prove a tad too much to handle.

In short, this dish is made of a light fish mousse that is filled with lemony spinach. It is rolled into a sausage shape and steamed. Dorie explained that this dish used to be prepared by chefs working in grand French restaurants and of course the tedious work of getting perfectly smooth mousse was done by the apprentices. In our case, we just need to use the food processor and viola, we can have the same product too!

The morning saw me making the tomato-lemon sauce and my senses awoke when IMG_0432the aroma of melted butter and garlic filled the air. Hmm… and when I added the tomatoes, I decided then that I had to persist and make this dish work!

I didn’t use cod but replaced it with Sutchi fillet since the recipe calls for any other white fish fillet. To make the roulades, we basically have to put the small pieces of the fillet, egg whites and cream, together with salt and pepper into the processor and let the machine do the work. The next step then is to use the cling wrap to wrap and roll the mousse and the spinach into a sausage. Once this is done, it is a breeze thereafter. Just steam it!

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I’m so glad that I persisted. Everything about this dish is new to me – the tomato lemon sauce, making the roulade with spinach and steaming with cling wrap! It feels good to learn new stuff! And the best part? I do enjoy having it for my dinner. It’s well worth the effort!

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If you are interested in French cooking, why not join us in French Fridays with Dorie?

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FFWD | Financiers

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This would be my second type of financiers that I have baked, the first being David Lebovitz’s Green Tea Financiers.

Financiers are domed-shaped French tea-cakes with a soft and springy texture which taste of caramelized butter and almond. According to Dorie, these cakes were invented at Patisserie Lasne which was a favourite of the stockbrokers who worked at the nearby Bourse. The brokers, financiers, would rush in, looking for a sweet and then rushed out. Lasne then realised that they needed “fast food” like a pastry that they could eat without knife or fork and resulted in these small cakes.

The batter for Financiers is made by combining all-purpose flour with ground almond and sugar. To that is added lightly beaten egg whites and brown butter (beurre noisette). Brown butter is just clarified butter which has been cooked until the milk solids have dropped to the bottom of the saucepan and turned golden brown. This butter gives the Financiers their rich caramel flavor. The batter could be made in advance, say, one day and then bake the next day. However, if you areIMG_0385 in a rush, one hour of chilling in the refrigerator might do the job too. The batter can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

I do not have a financier pan but made do with a pan that I have bought years ago but have not used before! Alternatively, mini-muffin pan will do just fine and pass off as petit fours (I’ll use this tomorrow). I top the financiers with strawberries and kiwiberry but they are good by themselves.

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Yummy! But what do you do with the unused egg yolks?

If you are interested in French cooking, why not join us in French Fridays with Dorie?

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FFWD: Pierre Herme’s olive sables

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I am all excited for this week’s item for the following reasons:

1) I have not cooked using olive before. Olive oil, yes, but not olive itself. Growing up, mom has never introduced this so it is alien to me. Most of the time, when they exist in a salad that I order, I would put them aside, even though I know how they can benefit the body.

2) This recipe was given to Dorie by Pierre Herme. How can you not bake it??

3) I have not baked sables before and a savory one? This is going to be super exciting!

IMG_3186The other day, I went to the local supermarket to purchase the pitted black olives. The lady at the counter asked me what I would be doing with it. My reply, “I’m going to bake cookies with it.” Her eyes widened. Huh? Olives? I have never heard of that! Neither have I.

So, you can imagine my excitement.

I started preparing this yesterday since it is advisable to chill the dough for at least several hours, or, better yet, overnight. And since I cannot wait to taste it, I baked about 6 slices of them, just to try.

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The dough for these slice and bake sables (French for shortbreads) includes the grated yolk (whoah!) of a hard-boiled agg, potato starch and confectioners’ sugar and the dough is super soft which explains why we need to chill it.

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So, how does a sable taste like? Personally, I’m not quite sure but mine is rather tender. I like the savory twist to a cookie. Brilliant.

Note: Try not to use canned black olives. They will fall apart or turn mushy when chopped.

If you are interested in French cooking, why not join us in French Fridays with Dorie? Next item on the list is Financiers. Can’t wait!

FFWD: Lemon-steamed spinach

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I’m late for this post but I’m sure the FFWD community will forgive. I love it that this is a fuss-free dish (I used 5 minutes in all for this) and is most helpful when we are faced with a busy weekend.

I must confess that I didn’t follow the recipe to a tee because as I opened the fridge door, I realised, lo and behold, there wasn’t any lemon!!! I have forgotten to top them up! In the end, I added orange zest and a little lemon juice to create that tangy taste. IMG_0109

I would not normally use such a method to steam my veggies. Instead, I would do the reverse – steam the veggies and then add the seasoning sauce. Perhaps, I would use this method the next time I steam my the greens.

So, thanks to this, I have a slightly heartier breakfast. Nope, today is not Friday. It is a Saturday morning.

I can’t wait to attempt the next recipe though.

Join us in this adventure – French Fridays with Dorie.

FFWD: ispahan loaf cake

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I have decided to resurrect the French Fridays with Dorie adventures after more than a year of absence. Yes, blame it on relocation to home, getting our new apartment, getting pregnant and having a kid. No, I have not abandoned the cookbook. In fact, I have revisited some of the dishes that I have attempted before and now I’m craving for more French in my cooking.

I must say that I’m excited about this recipe – ispahan loaf cake (pg 440) –  simply because rose syrup is one of the ingredients needed. It is easily available here and it reminds me of a drink that I used to have when I was in elementary/primary school. It is called bandung and is essentially milk with rose syrup. The eager beaver in me is excited to find out the outcome of this cake. And since Dorie mentioned that the great pastry chef Pierre Herme has made his collection of Ispahan desserts to be among his best sellers, how could I not bake this cake?

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I didn’t get to purchase rose extract but I replaced it with rose essence. The cake took more than the stipulated time to bake and even after putting it in the oven for another 10 minutes, the interior is a tad moist. I have to turn up the temperature and put it in the oven for another 10 minutes before it is all baked.

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The turnout? Pinkish, soft, tight and springy just like what Dorie described in her cookbook. Love the use of fresh raspberries too!

After this baking attempt, I have to take a break from it. The hubs was not pleased with the fact that I did not rest my wrists (I’m not supposed to cook/bake for the time being). Hopefully, my wrists will be better and I could continue with French Fridays with Dorie next week!

 

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FFWD: Coconut-lemongrass-braised pork

Ok. I know I’m lagging wayyyyy behind the project. I don’t seem to be around on Friday to prepare the FFWD’s dishes! So, I’m trying to catch up now.

Had Coconut-lemongrass-braised pork for lunch. This dish pairs up well with rice. Didn’t add much coconut milk (even though the recipe calls for it) since I don’t quite like too strong a coconut milk taste. Think I didn’t choose the right cut for the pork. Should use pork butt but I bought lean ones since the latter was available in the market.

FFWD: Bacon and eggs and asparagus salad

Spring is here and asparagus aplenty! What a good pairing of eggs and asparagus. I love the lightness of the vinaigrette as compared to the creamy dressing. The addition of nuts and bacons lends a crunchy effect when eating the greens. It’s a nice combination and I love it!

Join us for French Fridays with Dorie!

FFWD: Spinach and bacon quiche

I’m on time again!

As usual, when it comes to tart, I prefer to rub the dough in rather than roll it out which basically achieves the same result, just that it might not be as neat as it should be. But it’s ok!

Join us for French Fridays with Dorie! It’s fun!


I can do with more spinach the next time. =)

FFWD: Tourteau de chevre

I confess I’m not good with cheeses. In fact, I only count the common cheeses – cream cheese, mascarpone, cheddar, Gruyere, Parmesan –  as friends. All the others are perfect stranger to me. Imagine the agony that I go through when I have to purchase a type of cheese which I am not familiar with; I spent a long time at the counter and asking within me, “Where on earth is xxxx?”

For FFWD this week (yes, I’m on time! Finally!), goat cheese is used. All right, I know this is quite a common cheese but yours truly has no clue but I thought it is a good chance to get acquainted with this new friend.

Tourteau de chevre, according to Dorie, is a cheesecake of sorts and that the cheese was chevre, goat cheese. Unlike the usual American cheesecake we so commonly eat, this is not soft, creamy, moist or even rich. Instead, it’s a fairly dry cake (like a sponge cake, and the hubs thought it smells like butter cake) that you cut into wedges and eat out of hand.

The special thing about this cake is that the bottom is made of tart dough and then top it up with chevre batter, making it different from the cheesecake that we are familiar with.

Something that baffled me. The batter was to be put into a 400F oven for 15 minutes and subsequently the temperature to be reduced to 350F and the batter baked for another 35 minutes. A dark brown , cracked top is what you want to see in the end. For mine, Not only does it not crack, it doesn’t achieve the dark brown status even though I have put in an extra 30 minutes!

Nonetheless, the cake turns out fine. I wasn’t a great supporter of goat cheese (not yet) and prefer the usual cheesecake that I consume. Friends like it though and that’s more important.

Join us for French Fridays with Dorie!

FFWD: Coffee Eclairs

This week for FFWD, we are baking eclairs! As usual, I’m a little late in completing this since my Friday was filled with activities. I did make the Coffee Pastry Cream though yesterday.

This recipe allows you to do some of the stuff in advance, i.e. cream puff dough and the filling which for me is the coffee pastry cream.

This is one of the creations by using choux pastry. I had, in my very initial phase of baking, attempted this and failed quite miserably. I didn’t understand the science of it until I did a little reading on it.

I only did a batch of eight eclairs for this morning, reserving the rest of the eclair shells for the next two days (you can freeze the shells and bake them when you need them). I would much prefer to use chocolate ganache as the glaze but my bittersweet chocolate supply was running low. No worries, I would be heading out this evening to get it!

* Note to self: In future, use a bigger tip or cut the tip to be about 2cm to result in a bigger/fatter eclair.

FFWD: Salted butter break-ups

Hello, good morning! It’s Friday! Weekends’ here!
This large, buttery, flaky, salty-sweet rectangular cookie made the day! It’s rather easy to make though the dough needs to be chilled for at least an hour. So, I had prepared the dough the night before and then baked it in the morning.

In addition, I have also made Hot Chocolate using a recipe adapted from La Mason Du Chocolat. It’s truly intense!

Serves 2-3
100g bittersweet chocolate
1 cup whole milk
1 1/4 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Finely chop the chocolate. In a saucepan, combine the milk, water, cocoa powder and vanilla extract and bring to a boil. As soon as the mixture boils, add the chopped chocolate and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally.

Pour the chocolate milk through a fine-mesh strainer set over another saucepan. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.

Just before serving, reheat the chocolate so that it is warm, but not boiling.

Tip: Prepare the drink several hours in advance to intensify the flavour and texture of the chocolate.

FFWD: Beggar’s linguine

I must admit that I doubt the outcome of this dish. This is pasta mixed with browned butter, chopped almonds raisins, grated Parmesan and peanuts. In Dorie’s recipe, she used Mission figs which I do not have and I did without orange zest too.

It’s surprisingly tasty! It’s easy to prepare too.

FFWD: Savory cheese and ham bread

The original recipe calls for chive but knowing that our man prefers meat to vegetables, ham is used instead. This ingredients used are highly flexible in the sense that you could play with whatever hard cheese you have on hand rather than sticking strictly to the ones indicated. I have Swiss cheese and cheddar and I like the combination. I’ve also added chopped toasted walnuts and thinly sliced scallions. Instead of using white pepper, I used black pepper and in the end, I felt as if I have created my own version of this bread.

This bread is easy to bake and requires no special equipment. In many ways, it’s like a muffin and it’s prepared in much the same manner. It may well look like a good old American quick bread but according to Dorie, it has got a French soul. In fact, she was inspired to make it after having had so many versions in many places across France, particularly in the Champagne region. The basic loaf bread in France usually contains some cheese.

FFWD: Orange-almond tart

Nope, it’s not Friday yet and this is not for this week. I missed baking this tart two weeks back because I couldn’t find almond flour but this time round, I’ve got it.

I made this for breakfast but it’s not an easy bake. The crust/shell was half-baked yesterday. Rather than rolling out the sweet tart dough, I did a press-in and freeze it before half-baking it. If you could recall my first attempt at baking tart – Quiche Lorraine, the shell came out boo boo and I had to do repair work. But this time, I think the freezing helps!

The night before, the almond cream was also made before assembling everything together this morning (which was just 2 hours before!).

It was nice! But I should be more extravagant in my oranges. Sigh! I thought it would not be good to crowd the tart…Sigh!

FFWD: Pancetta Green Beans

I’m grateful for this week’s dish because it’s so fuss-free. To make things a lot easier, I bought those pre-washed, ready-to-eat green beans from Trader Joe’s. This dish can be served alongside steaks, roasts, chops or chicken but I had none of the above at the point of cooking. I did have noodles and decided to do a East-meets-West dish.