Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Veal Stew Blanquette de veau


Cooking time-30 min / 1 hour

3 lbs veal (stew meat cut into 2-inch cube)
1 onion
1 clove
1 or 2 carrots
18 white/pearl onions (peeled)
1/2 lb mushrooms
Herbs: 2 sprigs thyme, 3 parsley, 1 rib celery, 1/2 bay leaf
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 lemon juice
6 / 7 cups water

Veal Stew Recipe serve 6

Step 1: Cut the veal into 2-inch cubes. Stick the onion with a clove. Tie together the celery, thyme, bay and parsley.

Step 2: Melt 3 tablespoons of butter with oil in a dutch oven or casserole. Add the veal. Brown on all sides.

Step 3: Add the carrots, onion, herbs and salt. Add water to cover the meat.

Step 4: Cook over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

Step 5: Peel the white pearl onions. Clean the mushrooms and cut them into quarters. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a skillet. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper. Sauté until lightly browned.

Step 6: Remove the mushrooms. Add 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet, add the onions and sauté for 1 or 2 minutes. Return the mushrooms to the skillet and keep warm.

Step 7: Combine the egg yolks with the cream and half of the lemon juice in a bowl.

Step 8: Remove the meat, the mushrooms and onions and place them in a serving dish.

Step 9: Pour the cream with the egg-yolk in the meat juice in the casserole. Cook over very low heat for 10 minutes. Do not let the sauce boil. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper if needed.

Step 10: Pour the sauce over the meat in the dish.

Serving: Veal stew is usually served with rice.

Wine suggestion: red Bordeaux Supérieur or Graves, red Loire, Chablis, Vouvray (French Wine Guide).

Bon appetit!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chocolate Truffles


For the chocolate truffles
1 1/2 cup chopped good quality dark chocolate
1 cup 35 % cream
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup maple syrup

For the topping
1 cup good quality melted dark chocolate
1 cup maple flakes


In a saucepan, roast the pecan on medium heat, stirring regularly for 2 minutes until they start to be fragrant.

Reduce the heat to minimum and add the maple syrup.

Continue cooking for 10 minutes until the syrup starts to crystallize on the pecans stirring regularly.

Let cool on parchment paper.

Place chocolate in medium-sized bowl and set aside.

In a saucepan, heat the cream with the vanilla bean over medium-low heat until simmering, about 5 minutes.

Pour the hot cream over the chocolate.

Stir until totally smooth.

Roughly chop the maple sugar pecans and add them to the chocolate mixture.

Place the bowl of chocolate mixture in an ice bath.

Using a spatulat stir it constantly for 5 minutes, then place in the fridge for 10 minutes.

After the mixture has chilled, remove from refrigerator.

Wearing latex gloves and using two spoons, scoop out rounded sections of the chocolate into palms and form into balls.

Use spoons to roll each ball in the melted chocolate then in the maple flakes.

Place on a baking tray covered with parchment paper.

Chill until firm, about 1 hour.

Do ahead: Can be made 1 week ahead.

Store in airtight container and keep chilled.

Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mixed Berry Pavlova

I first made a Pavlova a couple of years ago for my birthday. Its such a pretty, girly dessert, and its something fun and different for a birthday. Unfortunately, my birthday is in early July, and its not exactly berry season at that time.

This year, I really wanted a Pavlova on my birthday, but I convinced myself to wait until the berries would actually taste good. As I was thinking about what kind of dessert to post for today, I realized that the berry Pavlova would give me the red, white, and blue color scheme I was looking for. Though its not your typical bbq fare, this dessert is both pretty and delicious, a wonderful addition to any celebration.

Mixed Berry Pavlova

4 large room temperature egg whites
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup superfine sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
½ pint fresh blueberries
Raspberry Sauce
Whipped Cream

Preheat oven to 180*F.

Draw a 9 inch circle on a piece of parchment. Flip the parchment over and place on a large baking sheet.

Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high until firm. Gradually add sugar while beating until the egg whites reach stiff, shiny peaks.

Fold the cornstarch, vinegar, and vanilla into the egg whites. Spread the meringue onto the parchment circle, building up the edges slightly. Bake for 1 ½ hours, then turn off the oven for another hour to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, combine the strawberries, blueberries, and raspberry sauce.

Transfer the meringue to a plate or cake stand and top with whipped cream. Pile the berries on top of the whipped cream, allowing some sauce to drizzle down the edges.

Whipped Cream

8 ounces heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Place bowl and whisk in the freezer for 15 minutes. Beat cream on high speed; as it starts to thicken, add the confectioners sugar and vanilla. Continue to beat until soft peaks form, being careful not to overbeat.

Raspberry Sauce

1 bag frozen raspberries (about 10 ounces), thawed
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Whirl the raspberries, sugar, and cornstarch in the food processor until the berries are liquefied. Transfer to a medium saucepan and add the lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until you can scrape a path across the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and pour through a sieve into a bowl to remove the seeds. Cool and refrigerate until ready to use.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chocolate Cream Cake


1/4 cup/60 ml espresso
1/4 cup/60 ml Cognac or rum
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
16 ounces/460 g bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces
6 eggs
1/2 cup/100 g sugar, more to taste
1 cup/250 ml heavy cream, chilled
Gold leaf (optional)


Heat the oven to 350°F/180°C.

Grease and line a 10-inch/25 cm cake pan, with quite high sides.

Boil a full kettle of water and set aside.

Have a roasting pan at the ready that will accommodate the cake pan comfortably.

Put the coffee, rum, vanilla and chocolate into a saucepan and melt over a bain-marie.

Break the eggs into a large glass or metal bowl with the sugar, set the bowl over a pot of warm water, and beat until the mixture has tripled in volume and has the consistency of whipped cream.

This will take about 10 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whip the cream into peaks.

Partially fold the chocolate into the egg mixture.

Add the cream and continue folding until evenly combined.

Pour into the cake pan.

Set the pan into the roasting pan, and slide it into the oven.

Now, pour the hot water from the kettle into the roasting pan to come half way up the sides of the cake pan.

Bake until set, about an hour.

Turn off the oven, open the door and let the cake sit for 15 minutes to sink evenly back into the pan.

Remove the cake from the oven and let it sit 30 minutes in the water bath.

Remove from the bath and flip the cake onto a platter.

Press gold leaf on the top to decorate.

Serve with sweetened whipped cream on the side.

Baked Chocolate Tart


5 oz unsalted butter
5 1/2 oz best quality cooking chocolate, (70 percent cocoa solids)
8 tbsp cocoa, powder, sifted
1 pinch salt
4 egg
7 oz caster sugar
3 tbsp golden syrup
3 tbsp sour cream or 3 tbsp creme fraiche
1 10-inch flan or tart shell, baked blind


Place the butter, chocolate, cocoa powder and salt in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and allow to melt slowly, stirring occasionally until well mixed.

In a separate bowl beat the eggs and sugar together until light and well creamed, and then add the golden syrup and sour cream or crème fraiche.

Stir the chocolate mixture into this mixture, scraping all the chocolate out with a spatula.

Once you've mixed it well, pour it into the pastry shell.

Place into a preheated 150C/300 degree F/Gas 2 oven for 40 to 45 minutes.

During cooking a beautiful crust will form on top.

Carefully remove the tart from the oven and allow to cool on a rack for at least 45 minutes, during which time the skin will crack and the filling will shrink slightly.