Classics, Dinner

Duck a L’Orange

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/duck-a-lorange-233535

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Classics, Cookies

French Macarons

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Ingredients

  • For the Macarons

    • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
    • 3/4 cup almond flour
    • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
    • Pinch of cream of tartar
    • 1/4 cup superfine sugar
    • Seedless raspberry jam and melted chocolate, mixed for the filling
  1. Pulse confectioners’ sugar and almond flour in a food processor until combined. Sift mixture 2 times.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk whites with a mixer on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and whisk until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low, then add superfine sugar. Increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Sift flour mixture over whites, and fold until mixture is smooth and shiny.
  3. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip, and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets, dragging pastry tip to the side of rounds rather than forming peaks. Tap bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 10 minutes. After each batch, increase oven temperature to 375 degrees, heat for 5 minutes, then reduce to 325 degrees.
  4. Let macarons cool on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. (If macarons stick, spray water underneath parchment on hot sheet. The steam will help release macarons.)
  5. Sandwich 2 same-size macarons with 1 teaspoon filling. Serve immediately, or stack between layers of parchment, wrap in plastic, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Classics, Comfort food, French, Meat, Stew

Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon

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This past weekend I wanted to inaugurate my new caste iron dutch oven and my very own copy of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”  I followed the recipe exactly so here is the link to it.  By far the best beef stew I have ever had or made !  Enjoy !

http://knopfdoubleday.com/marketing/cooking/BoeufBourguignon.pdf

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Towel dry the cubes of beef, otherwise they will never brown.

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sauté the vegetables.

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Add the wine and bay leaf and let is cook away in the oven !

Cupcakes

Le Brantome

When I was five, I just so happened to have two Birthday parties.  Well, the second one was more like using my birthday as an excuse for the grown-ups to have another party.  Needless to say the cake was a quite grown-up too.  I remember this beautiful sheet cake coming out of the box decorated with soft pink sugar roses. And the cake, was light and fluffy yet it tasted so rich and decadent.  It was a walnut cake and that was the last time I had tasted something like that.  Till last fall.  I was watching old “The French Chef” re-runs on PBS when Julia Child whipped up Le Brantome, a walnut cake for a “very important person” (my guess would be that it was Paul Child).  The cake did not have a buttercream filling or sugar roses but looked and sounded just like that birthday cake.  I had to make it.  And, so I did–with a modern twist–cupcakes ! And my VIP — my dear friend Eilish.

Ingredients:

3 eggs

1 1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla and a pinch of salt

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour, sifted

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup ground walnuts

1 1/2 cups heavy cream, lightly whipped over ice water

1.Preheat the oven to 350 and fill a cupcake pan with lines.  This batter with yield 24 cupcakes.

2.whip the cream over ice and set it aside.

3. Beat the eggs and sugar together until they are thick, creamy and light yellow – about 5 minutes.  Then add the vanilla and salt.

4.Sift the flour and baking powder into the eggs in parts, alternating with the walnuts and cream.  Fold in a third of the flour, then a third of the walnuts, then a third of the cream, then another third of the flour and so on until it’s all folded together.  This is a beautiful creamy looking batter.

5. I used an ice cream scoop to portion out the batter into the cupcake pan.

6. Bake on the middle rack for 25minutes.

7.  Let the cupcakes cool completely before you frost them.  I cheated and used store bought buttercream frosting.

You will need about two cans to frost 24 cupcakes.

To see Julia in action:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQcwjETtCT8