Pear and Roquefort pie

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I work way to much at the moment, it's buying season and instead of trying new recipes from my lovely new cookbooks I run from one fair to the other.  Hotel breakfast and the junk food one usually eats  during the day don't make me feel too good either. In the evening we usually eat out but tis time I was to late with reserving tables so all the new restaurants I wanted to try were already fully booked.
Anyway I have a weekend at home and was full of ideas of things to do and to cook. Sadly I realized very quickly ( friday evening this means) that I am way to exhausted. And that instead of cooking great dinners, sewing this new pants I intended and blog a lot I should go for a walk in the wintery landscape and sleep a lot.
At this state I wish I would know more fast but yummy dinner recipe. Usually I do THIS but this involved too much different pans and plates, means to much cleaning up afterwards ...

This is probably the simplest  dinner I know and while it's baking one can take a hot bath, read a book or watch some telly.

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Recipe:

you need:

6-7 pears
puff pastry
roquefort cheese

Roll out the dough, wash the pears cut into quarters and lay out on the dough.
Bake on 200° for 20- 30 minutes. Take the pie out sprinkle over the the roquefort cheese and put back into the oven and bake for another 10 minutes on 150°.
Serve with green salad or maybe a light soup.
Bon app!

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Apricot Half Moons

An other new discover are these little fellows. All you need is good a biceps muscle. I didn't expect it to be so hard to squeeze the pastry out of the icing bag. But after the first try I was already tired.
This is an all year round biscuit that goes wonderful with earl grey tea. I can think of many variations to this. Filled with different jam maybe orange or dipped into black chocolate at one end ....

Pastry:

175 gr Butter room temperature
75gr icing sugar
3 egg yolks
1 pinch of salt
250 gr flour
1 good pinch of backing soda

Filling:

100 gr real nice apricot jam
juice of 1/2 lemon

Mix the butter till light and fluffy. Add icing sugar, egg yolks and salt and continue stirring until light. Add flour and baking soda. Bring the dough together with your hands. Cover and refrigerate.

But the dough into an icing bag with jagged head and make half moons on greasing paper. Refrigerate again.
Bake in the preheated oven ( 175° ) for 10 minutes. Let them cool.

Heat the jam and the lemon juice. Coat the bottom of one cookie and stick two together. Dust with some icing sugar.



The cookie is pictured on an other page  of one  my favorite art books: Shades of time by the swiss photographer Annelies Strba by Lars Müller Publishing.

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Chocolate Orange Trees ( or whatever)

I found an other cookie I really like, chocolate orange cookies. They are easy to make and already the dough is delicious ( important to me because I lick to pinch ;-) ).
I'm not to much into all these christmas cookies that smell of cinnamon, cloves and nuts. Don't know why. Ginger is ok though. But if there's  chocolate, I can't resist.

Pastry

150 gr butter
100 gr sugar
1 pinch of salt
2 fresh egg yolks
1 organic orange zested
50 gr dark chocolate cut into small cubes
250 gr flour
dark chocolate glazing

Beat butter till fluffy add sugar, salt, egg yolks and orange zest. Mix till light and fluffy. Add chocolate and flour and knead to bring the dough together .
But into cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll out on a lightly floured working surface to a thickness of 7 mm. Cut into shapes with the cookie cutter of your choice.
Bake for 9 minutes in the preheated oven ( 180 °). Let them cool decorate with dark chocolate glazing.

The cookie is pictured on an other page  of one  my favorite art books: Shades of time by the swiss photographer Annelies Strba by Lars Müller Publishing.

Related Entries:
Kids cookies
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Kids cookies

Yesterday we started making cookies, rather late I realized, last year we started a whole month earlier. Must be the weather, it was way to warm to get into christmas mood.
As always we started with a kids cookie, hoping that while they are busy decorating we have time to try some new things. It worked, at least for me. My friend was very busy keeping the kid from eating all the dough, liking all the icing and pinching all the sugar decoration.
Our kids cookies are very simple, make a sablé dough and then mix many icing colors which the kid love, we always end up with way to many different color pots. Pink is a must for my boy, my friend needs at least green and yellow, her boy usually wants violet and I make a proper red. But then we still don't have a nice ice blue ....
And then I get out the big red box filled with every possible cake decoration accumulated during the last 5 years and the boys are quiet for a second, the first and last time today. My advise: if you want eat some of these cookies too, set some aside because the rest will be loaded with decoration.


Pastry:

250 g Flour
175 g Butter,
75 g Sugar
1 pinch Salt
a little bit of Vanilla pith

Beat the butter mix in all the other ingredients. Make the dough. Put into cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour. Roll out on a floured work  surface to a thickness of 7mm. Cut out your shapes and bake for approx. 8 minutes.

Icing:

Mix a little bit of fresh lemon juice with icing sugar. Color with food color.

The cookie is pictured lying on one of my favorite art books: Shades of time by the swiss photographer Annelies Strba by Lars Müller Publishing.

.

Related Entries:
Chocolate Orange Trees ( or whatever)
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Tarte Tatin

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Certainly one of my favorite desserts, warm apples a hint of caramel and double cream.... yummy.
But somehow I never mange to make it. Often I make the dough but then I am busy cooking dinner and have not time to cook the apples and after dinner when everyone wants a dessert it would just takes to long to cook and bake the cake....
I suggest it's better to make tarte tatin for afternoon tea and not as a dessert after a whole menu when you have guests.
Anyway, it's definitely worth making especially now that it's cold and grey outside.

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Pastry :
200gr plain flour
50 gr icing sugar
125 gr Butter chilled and cubed
1 medium egg yolk

Begin by making the pastry. Stir the flour and icing sugar into a large mixing bowl or food processor. Add the butter. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour or pulse the ingredients in the processor until the mixture resembles brad crumbs. Mix the egg yolk with 2 tbs water, then using a blunt knife, stir just enough of this mixture into the dough to make it come together. Wrap the pastry into cling film, pat it down into a flat disc so that it will be easier to roll out later and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.

Topping
50 gr Butter softened
125 gr caster sugar
6 large dessert apples
1 lemon finely grated zest

To make the filling spread the butter over the cold oven proof frying pan and sprinkle the sugar over the top. Place the apples around the edge, round side down. Tilt them slightly, allowing them to overlap, as they will shrink later. Place over low flame and cook for 10 minutes so the sugar dissolves slowly. Once it has dissolved, turn up the heat to a medium high flame and cook for 15 - 20 minutes, occasionally giving the pan a light shake to prevent the apples burning. The juices will start to turn a glorious rich, amber colour. Be brave you want the apples to hold their shape, but you also want the juices to darken to a colour that will give the tart that rich caramel flavor with a slight hint of burnt sugar.
Like Mahogany .
Take the frying pan off the heat, scatter with the lemon zest - a must to stop it from being too sickly - and allow it to cool for 10 minutes so the pastry doesn't melt.

Preheat the oven to 200°. Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out to a thickness of 3 mm - make it the size of your frying pan.  Place it over the apples. Patch together any cracks that appear. Place it on a backing sheet, to catch any drips - and cook for 25  -  30 minutes until the pastry is golden and dry.

Remove from the oven with proper oven gloves, the sugar will be dangerously hot and let it sit for 10 minutes.
Run a knife around it. Place a large plate over the top and flip over . If any apples are left in the pan simply scoop them out and replace them on the tart. Serve it as it is or with double cream or vanilla ice.

The perfect cake to be eaten after a long walk through winter landscapes or  a foggy autumn afternoon.

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Orange - chocolate cake

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I'm quite proud on that cake. I took a rather basic cake recipe with dried figs (which I don't  really fancy ) and adjusted it .  Quickly done but really good.

150 gr Butter at room temperature
125 gr sugar
a pinch of salt
2 eggs
75 gr walnuts roughly copped
75 gr hazelnuts roasted and roughly copped
150 gr dark chocolate chopped
1 dl buttermilk
1 organic orange peel grated
2 tbs orange juice
250 gr flour
1/2 ts baking soda

Mix the butter till soft ad the sugar  and the salt stir , ad the eggs and till fluffy and bright. Add the nuts , chocolate, the buttermilk and orange zest and juice.
The the flour and soda.
Fill into a cake form and bake for 50 minutes on 180°.

Topping:

zest an orange ( cut the peel into thin slices )
In a pan cook 6 tbs orangejuicew and 4 tbs sugar till the suger is dissolved and starts to caramelize. Add the zest an let it cook for 5 minutes.

0ake holes into the cake with a chopstick or a big needle and poure the sugar mixture over the still hot cake.

Related Entries:
Very chewy and lovely caramel flavoured chocolate chip cookies
Millefeuille poire chocolat
Truffes
Chocolate - Chestnut - Parfait
Little chocolate cakes
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Sablés au chocolat at à la fleur de sel

Chocolatesable

As you could see we had a busy weekend in the kitchen. Still in the fridge was the sablé dough, waiting to go to the oven.
The recipe comes from fanny from foodbeam, my new discovery. I love her blog, a feast to read and to look at.
I made the cookies together with my boy. We made the green tea and the chocolate at the same time. He knew immediately which ones he liked better... Already the dough is irresistible, instead of the 32 cookies we should have ended up with we had 22 rather small ones. From which only 15 survived the next hour - that's how good they are!

Here's the recipe which originally comes from Pierre Hérme from Paris

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Green tea sablé

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This spring when I was in New York  I tried out a new place the Amai Tea and Bake House. You can get the address and my review in our travelguide.They do really interesting baking. Rich brownies made with botanical ingredients like lychee and and white peach, as well as crisp tea cookies in flavors like chai almond and green tea.
Now I came across their green tea cookie recipe at my new favorite blog foodbeam. It looked easy and so I tried it to accompany my soba tea. They turned out very nice.

Green Tea Sweets from amai tea house
Ingredients:

Yield (2” leaf shape): Approx 25
3/4 cup (2.25 oz) Confectioners sugar
5 oz Unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 3/4 cup (8.5 oz) All-purpose flour
3 Large egg yolks
1.5 TBS Matcha (powdered green tea)
1 cup Granulated sugar (for coating)
Directions

• Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
• Whisk the confectioner’s sugar and green tea together in a bowl.
• Add the butter and green tea/sugar mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix until smooth and light in color.
• Add the flour and mix until well combined.
• Add the egg yolks and mix just until the eggs are fully incorporated and a mass forms.
• Form the dough into a disk and chill in the refrigerator until firm (about 30 minutes).
• Roll the dough out to ½” thickness.
• Cut the dough with a leaf cookie cutter.
• Toss each cut cookie in a bowl of granulated sugar to coat.
• Place the sugar-coated cookie on a parchment lined pan. Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes, or until slightly golden around the edges.

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Chocolate Cubes

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A lazy sunday and the nursery sweetheart coming for a visit tomorrow made us do some baking.
The recipe comes from a work mate.

For the dough:

Mix
3 eggs
250 gr Sugar

Add
2 tsp Vanilla sugar
2 tbsp Cocoa powder

mix in
3 dl Milk

combine
250gr Flower
2 tsp Baking soda

add to the dough

Add
200 gr melted butter (cooled)

You get enough dough for a 30X33 baking tray. Lay the tray with baking paper and grease the sides.
Bake for 15 min 200° on the bottom of the oven.

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Glazing:

combine
200 gr icing sugar
2 tbsp Cocoa powder
2 tsp Vanilla sugar
50 gr melted butter
4-5 tbsp Strong black coffee and whiskey

share out on the cookie (when it's still warm) and cover with

100 gr grated coconut

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White chocolate chip cookie

A rainy day and a boy who wants some action. After a hell lot of tinkering and a chocolate ice cream eaten outside in snow flurry we decided to try this recipe from a working mate.

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2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda (das ist "bicarbonat-etwas", ich weiss es nicht genau aber es gibt im Migros)
1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar (es gibt keinen braunen Zucker in der Schweiz, man kann das mit Melasse und Zucker machen)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 bar white chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 170 C.

Sift together flour, salt and baking soda.

In another bowl, beat together butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and cocoa.  Gradually stir flour mixture into butter mixture and stir until combined. Add white chocolate pieces and walnuts.

Drop cookie dough by tablespoonfuls onto greased baking cookie sheet and bake for about 10-15 minutes.  Cool cookies on a baking rack.

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We like them.

Related Entries:
Very chewy and lovely caramel flavoured chocolate chip cookies
Millefeuille poire chocolat
Truffes
Chocolate - Chestnut - Parfait
Little chocolate cakes
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