Classic French Macarons

Today’s recipe is probably the most difficult recipe you will see on the blog but I had to share. I’m not sure if it’s the rainbow of color, the infinite list of possible flavors or the adorable two-bite size but I never have enough of those classic french macarons.

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It is definitely not the easiest pastry to make but with the good recipe and some patience you will do great, believe me !

Ready for the challenge?

Ingredients:

Meringue:

  • 80g (40gx2) egg white, at room temperature
  • 20g white sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt

For the sirup:

  • 100g sugar
  • 35g water

Mix of Almond Meal:

  • 100g almond meal
  • 100g powdered sugar
  • food coloring of your choice

* I recommend using grams and only grams for this recipe. You will need to be really precise and so it is best to use an electronic scale.

Utensils:

  • 2 baking sheets
  • parchment paper
  • template for macarons, here
  • cooking thermometer
  • electronic scale
  • mesh shieve

Method:

1 . Separate the egg whites: Weigh 40g egg whites 2 times and store them in the kitchen at room temperature in 2 small containers covered with plastic wrap.

2 . Prepare the almond meal mixture: grind almond meal with the powdered sugar in a food processor until fine. Sift the almond meal-powdered sugar mixture through a mesh sieve. This step is very important because it will define the smooth look of your macaron shells. Set aside.

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3 . Preheat the oven to 290ºF and position 2 racks in the lower section of the oven. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

4 . Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer), and begin to beat on medium-high. When the eggs are frothy, gradually add granulated sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until fully incorporated.

5 . Meanwhile, prepare the syrup. In a small pan, add 100g sugar and 35g water. Stir a little before turning to heat on over medium heat and immerse the cooking thermometer in it. Wait until the syrup increases temperature up to 230°F.

6 . When the syrup is at temperature, slow down the bowl mixer and slowly incorporate the boiling syrup by slowly pouring it on the edges of the bowl.  Continue to beat the egg white mixture for 10 minutes to let it cool.

7 . Add the last 40g egg white into the almond meal mixture and the food coloring of your choice.

8 . Add half of the sifted almond mixture, and gently fold it into the meringue using a flexible silicone spatula. Lift from the bottom, up around the sides, and toward the middle. Once the almond mixture is predominantly incorporated, add the second half and repeat the folding motion.

9 . When the almond mixture is just incorporated, you will need to transform the batter into the appropriate texture. Using the flat of the spatula, scrape batter from the sides to the center. You will need to repeat this until the batter slowly and continuously drips back into the bowl when you scoop it up with the spatula making like a « ribbon »

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10 . Pour batter into a pastry bag fitted with a 0.4-inch tip. On your prepared baking sheets, pipe out 1-inch rounds in the circles.

*You can place a macaron template under your parchment paper to help you make regular macarons. You can find my template here.

11 . Holding the baking sheet in both hands, rap each baking sheet firmly on the counter two or three times. This smooths out the tops and helps form the frilly foot on the bottoms of the macarons. Allow the piped macarons to dry, uncovered, for at least 20 minutes.

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12 . Bake for 13 minutes and then remove them from the oven, and let it cool. When fully cooled, assemble the macarons with your choice of filling. For those ones I chose strawberry jam !

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Homemade Bagels

Hey Guys,

I just came back to the States more precisely in Cleveland, Ohio for 2 weeks to visit some friends. I spend 4 years of my life there and so I got the chance to discover a bit of the american culture as well as their food. As soon as I got there I fell in love with bagels which could sounds weird since bagels are so common in the States. But in France bagels weren’t so popular at the time and I just love how we could eat them savory or sweet. So here is my bagel recipe, you can add any topping to this base. I personally love sesame seeds, cinnamon.crunch, asiago cheese or everything bagels.

I opted for oats and plain bagel this time and they were delicious !

Ingredients for 12 medium size bagels:

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Toppings: You can add pretty much whatever you like but here are some suggestions:

  • sesame seeds
  • poppy seeds
  • onion flakes
  • asiago cheese
  • cinnamon sugar (2 tablespoons of sugar for 1 tablespoon of cinnamon)

Method:

1 . Combine flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed using the dough hook and slowly add the butter, and lukewarm water. Keep mixing until well-developed for about 10 minutes. The dough should be elastic and stretchable.

2 . Preheat your oven on the lowest temperature and turn it off. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with a kitchen towel, and place it in your oven.* Let rise for 2 hours, the dough should double size.

*this step is important as it will help the dough to rise. Although, make sure it isn’t too hot.

3 . Punch the dough down, place it on a lightly floured work surface, and use a knife or dough scraper to divide the dough into 12 pieces.

4 . Now, take a dough ball, and press it gently against the counter-top moving your hand and the ball in a circular motion until a perfect dough ball forms and repeat with the other dough pieces. Let the bagels rest for 15 minutes.

5 . Coat a finger in flour, and gently press your finger into the center of each dough ball to form a ring. Stretch the ring to about ⅓ the diameter of the bagel and place on parchment paper. Repeat the same step with the remaining dough and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400ºF.

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6 . Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil the bagels, until they rise to the surface of the pot, about 1 minute per side. Place them on the same parchment paper.

7 . Whisk the egg and add the tablespoon milk. Brush the bagels with this mixture and add the topping of your choice.

8 . Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown and cool on a wire rack. It’s ready !!!!

 

It’s Mardi Gras ~ Oreillettes, a traditional french pastry

Hey Guys, it’s Mardi Gras ! A traditional way to celebrate Mardi Gras (besides the famous carnaval)  is to to eat “Oreillettes“. It is a traditional pastry from the south of France with a sweet orange flower taste. Hope you will enjoy !

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of orange blossom water
  • 1/2 cup of canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons of baking powder
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying

Methods:

1 . In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, salt, eggs, orange blossom, baking powder and canola oil. Slowly add the flour into the mixture.

2 . Mix until you have a firm rough dough.

3 . Roll out the dough (on a flat, floured surface) as thinly as possible (about 2 mm) in a somewhat rectangular shape. This should be fairly easy as the dough should be elastic and moist.

4 . Cut out stripes about 1 1/2″ to 2″ wide. Divide the stripes into smaller rectangles, approximately 4″ long and with a knife, make a 1 1/2″ long slit in the center of each rectangle, lengthwise.

5 . Heat the oil in a frying pan (oil should be about 1″ or 1 1/2″ deep) until boiling hot. Place a few of your small rectangle of dough in it, making sure they don’t touch each other. Flip once, after only a few seconds, then wait a few seconds longer.

6 . Take out as soon as the oreillettes have a nice golden color. Drain on paper towels placed in a plate.

7 . Once all the oreillettes are cooked, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

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Yogurt Apple Cake

Hi Guys ! Happy Monday !

Today’s recipe is an unbelievably moist cake that’s loaded with chunks of apples. Once you eat your first slice, you’ll be begging for more! It’s a big cake that’s really easy to make. Full of fresh apples, vanilla extract and yogurt for the moisture, it is a fabulous fall/winter dessert.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3 apples* (peeled, quartered, diced)
  • 1 apple* (peeled, quartered, sliced for the top of the cake)

*I used pink lady apples for this recipe but you can use any other types of apple.

Method: 

1 . Preheat oven to 360F. Grease and line base and sides of a 20cm round cake pan.

2 . In a large bowl, add the greek yogurt, the sugar, the eggs and the vanilla extract.

3 . Gently fold in the flour, the baking powder and canola oil.

4 . Add the 3 apples at the bottom of the pan and then add the mixture on top of it.

5 . Arrange the apple slices on top of the cake, then bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Creamy Coconut Lentil Curry

Hey Guys !

If you like spices this meal is full of delicious Indian flavors. This easy to make Creamy Coconut Lentil Curry takes less than an hour to make & is super easy to make as well.  It’s a healthy vegan recipe, perfect for a meatless lunch or dinner !

Ingredients for 4 persons: 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon curry
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup green lentils (dried, not canned, make sure to rinse them before cooking)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 15 ounce can coconut milk

Methods :

1 . Peel and dice onion and carrots. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes.

2 . Add the cumin and curry and cook until they start to get brown for about 45 seconds.

3 . Add the lentils and 4 cups of water to the pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for 35-40 minutes. Stir the pot a few times to prevent the lentils from sticking to the bottom.

4 . Once the lentils are soft, add the coconut milk and salt to taste. Bring the pot back to a simmer. Remove the pot from the heat, it’s ready. You can serve it with some basmati rice. Enjoy !

Pour la version française c’est par ici: Lentilles au Lait de Coco et Curry

Stuffed Tomatoes with Basmati Rice ~ Gluten Free

Hi there!

Today’s recipe is again a classic in french cuisine. It is a familial meal that my mum used to make very often. Hope you will enjoy xx

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Ingredients for 6:

  • 1lb (450g) of ground pork
  • 6 medium tomatoes
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon of grounded nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup of rice

1 . Heat oven to 375 degrees. With a paring knife, core tomatoes. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the center of each tomato. Season tomatoes with salt and pepper and place in a baking dish.

2 . Mix together the grounded pork, fresh chives, a pinch of salt and pepper, grounded nutmeg and the egg. In a pan, cook for 10 minutes until the meat is fully cooked.

3 . Put 2 to 3 tablespoons of the meaty mixture in the hollow of each tomato and keep any leftover aside. At the bottom of the baking dish, add the rice and add water until it is fully cover. Sprinkle any leftover of meaty mixture into the rice.

4 . Bake for 45 minutes.

Ombre Chocolate Cake

Happy Sunday !

This fabulous Ombré Chocolate Cake is perfect for any celebration. I had family over last weekend and thought it was a perfect occasion to test this recipe.

Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Supplies:  4 (six-inch) cake pans

Cake Batter:

  • 500g of flour
  • 100g of sugar
  • 10g of baking powder
  • 250g of butter, melted
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 100 g of cocoa powder

Frosting:

  • 300 ml of heavy cream
  • 250 g of mascarpone
  • 1/2 cup of sugar

Methods:

The cake batter

1 . First of all, separate the yolk from the white of each egg in two different bowl. In the yolk bowl, mix together the sugar, the melted butter and the yolk until mixture become whiter.

2 . Then add the milk, the baking powder and the flour.

3 . Add a pinch of salt into the egg white. Whip egg whites until foamy using an electric mixer.

4. Preheat the oven to 360°F. Next, butter and flour 4 (six-inch) cake pans. If you don’t have 4 pans, you can do this in batches of two.

5 . Slowly add the whipped egg to the previous mixture.

6 . Divide the batter amongst four bowls, each should weight 200g.

  • For the first layer (the whitest), pour into the cake pan and smooth out the top with a spatula.
  • For the second layer: add 15 g of cocoa powder, pour into the cake pan and smooth out the top with a spatula.
  • For the third layer: add 35g of cocoa powder, pour into the cake pan and smooth out the top with a spatula.
  • For the fourth and last layer: add add the rest of cocoa powder (50g of cocoa powder), pour into the cake pan and smooth out the top with a spatula.

7. Transfer to the oven to bake for 17 to 20 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

8 . Let the cakes cool down for 30 minutes.

Mascarpone Frosting 

1 . In a bowl: add the mascarpone, the heavy cream and the sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form.

To assemble the cake:

1 . Add a layer to the base of a cake board or cutting board. Top with a few tablespoons of the  frosting, smoothing it out to the edges. Repeat with the following layers.

2 . Add a few tablespoon of frosting all around the cake. Using a big off-set spatula, smooth out the sides. You can add any decorations on top of the cake, like chocolate chips or nuts. Enjoy !

 

Candlemas or Crêpes Day

Hey guys!

Today is a special day in France as everyone celebrate Candlemas or “La Chandeleur“. Nowadays it’s a family time most simply associated with eating crêpes, delicious thin French pancakes.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes + 30 minutes rest
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Supplies:

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 cups (750 ml of milk
  • 3 cups (375g) of flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil + 1/4 cup for the pan
  • 1 tablespoon of orange flower water

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Methods:

1 . Put the eggs, oil, sugar, milk and orange flower water into the blender. Mix for couple seconds.

2. Then add the flour and mix for 1 minute. Allow the batter to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature before making the crêpes.

3. Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium. Lightly coat with a bit of vegetable oil. Add 1/3 cup batter and swirl to completely cover bottom of skillet. Cook until underside of crepe is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Loosen edge of crepe with a rubber spatula, then quickly flip. Cook one more minute. Slide crepe out of skillet and repeat with remaining batter.

5. Add any filling that you like: sugar, chocolate, jelly.. you have an infinite choice !

Mushrooms and Peas Risotto ~ Gluten Free

Hello there!

A simple but excellent risotto. Like all risotto, it requires a special attention while cooking.

Cooking Time: 18-20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups low sodium vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
  • 2 tablespoon of unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 lb of button mushrooms
  • 1  cup of rice special risotto (type Arborio)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup of fresh peas (frozen can work as well)

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Methods:

1 . In a medium saucepan warm vegetable stock over low heat.

2 . In a bigger saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and cook the mushrooms cut into 1/4″ slices. When they start to brown, set aside.

3 . Add the last tablespoon of butter in the same saucepan and add the shallot. Add the rice and let it cook for 1 minute. Then, add the wine and stir until it is absorbed for about 2 minutes.

4 . Bring to a boil and reduce to medium heat. Add the mushroom and the peas. Ladle in 2 cups of warm stock and continuously stir until rice absorbs most of the liquid. Repeat until you have used all the stock. It should take 18-20 minutes for the rice to absorb all the liquid.

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Pour la version française c’est par ici: Risotto aux Champignons de Paris et Petits-Pois

French Sugar Puffs ~ Chouquettes

Hello everyone,

Chouquettes are little sugar puffs of choux pastry, sprinkled with pearl sugar. Making the dough is simple and chouquettes will be perfect as a snack.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • 1 cup (250 ml) of water
  • 1/2 cup (125g) of butter
  • 1 1/4 cup (150g) of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 5 eggs

1 . Preheat oven to 360ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2 . Heat the  water, butter, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. (Make sure it is not boiling!!). Remove from heat, and add flour all at once, stirring vigorously. Return the pan over medium-low heat and keep stirring until the dough forms a smooth ball that pulls away from the sides of the pan.

3 . Let the dough cool for 3 minutes then whisk in 4 eggs, one at a time, until shiny and smooth. Whisk the last egg but only add half of it into the preparation.

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4. Use a piping bag fitted with a star tip to form small ball of batter.

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5 . Make sure you are spacing the dough enough to give them a little room to spread. Brush with egg left-over using a pastry brush and sprinkle the dough balls generously with pearl sugar. Bake for 20 minutes. Once it is cooked, slightly open the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes. It will help to keep them fluffy. Enjoy !

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Pour la version française c’est par ici: Les Chouquettes