12 August 2008

Raspberry frenzy

While there are still raspberries on the bushes it is time to make a variation of Tiramisu, with raspberries, it is totally rich and decadent but SO good.

Raspberry Tiramisu
For 8 to 10
2dl heavy whipping cream
250 gr mascarpone
250 gr low fat quark
A couple of drops of vanilla extract
120 gr sugar (I use icing sugar)
Biscuits cuiller/ladyfingers (I use sponge roll base - see separate recipe)
500 gr raspberries (I freeze them before to prevent smashing them too much)
1 cup orange juice
1 dash Cointreau

Whip the cream, not too hard
Add Mascarpone, Quark, sugar and vanilla to the whipped cream, then pour in half of the raspberries and gently fold them into the mix.
Place the sponge cake at the bottom of a deep serving dish
Soak the cake with a mixture of orange juice and a dash of Cointreau
Mix the other half of the raspberries into small pieces (still frozen) and pour them over the sponge cake, then cover all with the cream mix.
Place in refrigerator for a couple of hours, or over night, the taste will be even better.

Tip: I was once hosting a party of 100 and made this dessert in advance of time and froze it, it came out perfect on the day of the party (after thawing of course...)

Sponge roll/Gâteau roulé

A very handy and quick to make Sponge roll

For a 30 x 20 cm / 12 x 8 inches pan
2 eggs, separated
6 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp flour (I usually do 1/2 with regular flour and 1/2 with corn starch to make an even lighter cake)

Beat the egg whites stiff
Mix very well the egg yolk and the sugar until you obtain a whitish and creamy mixture, then add the flour and finish by folding in the egg whites very gently
Pour the mix in a parchment paper lined roll pan spreading evenly
Bake in pre-heated oven at 210 C/410 F for 10 to 20 mn depending on your oven

Tip: When cooked if you intend to use this cake for a rolled cake turn it over on a damp towel and remove the parchment paper and cover with the damp towel to keep the cake moist, it has a tendency to dry out very quickly.
In my family we have always used this base to make the Christmas log cake.

10 August 2008

Chicken liver pâté

Morsels of pâté on a plate with home made petit pain (small bread rolls). I say morsels as the entire terrine was devoured in a very short time! My grand mother used to make this recipe, then my mother and it is always a great success.

Pâté de foie de volaille/Chicken liver pâté
200 gr chicken liver grossly grounded (I find it fresh at Don & Joe's meat in Pike Place Market Seattle)
600 gr coarse ground pork (also at Don and Joe's)
10 gr salt
2 gr pepper
1 egg
60 ml cognac
125 ml dry white wine
1 medium size onion thinly chopped
2 tsp fresh Thyme
Note: proportions are 1/4 liver for 3/4 coarsely ground meat, you can change and use pork or lamb liver if you prefer

Mix all above ingredients with a fork, pour in an oven proof terrine and level, place a laurel leaf on top, cover the terrine with a lid or tin foil if no lid is available.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/355 F
Place the terrine in a water bath and bake, time will depend on the weight of mix, rule is 1 hour per pound.
Once cooked let the terrine cool down and serve chilled with freshly baked bread (here petit pain, recipe will follow) and cornichon (small pickled gherkins).

06 August 2008

Raspberry galore

My good friend and neighbour P. is wonderful, she has planted a lot of raspberry bushes that produce a ton of fruit, in fact enough for the entire neighbourhood so P. invited all of us to come and pick the raspberries, so I did and made a few projects, like seedless raspberry jam, cordial and crème de framboise, in other words raspberry liquor. This recipe has been handed down to me from my mother. Be sure to set aside 2 days to make it.

Crème de Framboise
1 kg raspberries
1 litre red wine
Sugar (weight is determined by the above 2 ingredients)
1 glass of Everclear 95% alcohol content (eau de vie pour fruit) I couldn't find this here so instead I used 105 proof vodka (50% alcohol content)
A few nice empty and clean bottles

Crush the fruits and pour the wine over, let the mix rest for 10 h at least (overnight).
After 10h stir, and sieve through a very fine grate (in fact I used my champion juice maker to waste no juice at all).
Weight the liquid obtained and add the same weight in sugar.
Bring the mix to boil for only 20 seconds then remove from the heat and let it cool, add the Everclear/vodka... and bottle.
It is best to let this rest a few months in a dark and cool place before using.
It goes very well with champagne or a dry white wine as a pre-dinner drink. You pour a little in the bottom of your glass and pour the champagne or wine over it.

04 August 2008

Let them have Brioche!

What better way to start a Sunday than a freshly baked brioche spread with home made seedless raspberry jam and a glass of kir royal à la crème de framboise (see future post for recipe).
I have made this brioche for many years and it seems to taste better every time I make it.
It is simple to make but you need to have some time around the house as there are a few rest times.
The recipe comes from a small bread recipe book "Les carnets de cuisine - No 37 Pains, brioches, gâteaux" at PML Editions.

Brioche surfine/Luxury brioche
for a 35 cm/14 inches long bread pan
500 gr unbleached white flour
2.5 tsp dried yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
6 eggs
2 tsp salt
350 gr butter at room temperature

Dilute the yeast in 5cl warm water (no more or the dough will be too sticky and wet), and let it rest while you measure the other ingredients
In a mixing bowl with dough hook attachment pour the flour, salt, sugar, eggs and yeast and start mixing on speed 1 for 5mn then on speed 2 for another 5 mn (it is important to do this first kneading step for at least 10mn as you want to develop the gluten).
Then add the butter in small chunks and continue kneading on speed 2 for 10 to 15mn.
Cover your bowl with a towel and let it proof at room temperature for 2h (if in the winter place near a heat source it will help the leavening process).
After 2h punch down the dough and knead for 3mn.
Cover and let it proof for another 2 hours at room temperature.
At the end of this time punch the dough down and place the covered bowl in the fridge for at least 8 hours (I usually do this overnight).
2 hours before cooking take out of the fridge and punch down (I also knead it a bit in small portions to bring it back to room temperature with the heat of my hands), then you can either shape it in small baking pans or a big pan like shown above (place balls of equal size 2 side by side for the length of the pan) and let rise at room temperature when doubled in volume place in pre-heated oven at 210 C/410 F and bake for 20 to 30mn (time will depend on the size of the brioche).
When baked remove from oven and let it cool on wire rack for 10/15 mn before enjoying.

Seafair impressions...

This past week end I had the opportunity to witness one of Seattle's tradition, the Seafair, a display of power, audacity and technical prowess, by this I specifically talk about the pilots of the airplanes (Blue Angels, Harrier and others) doing all sorts of aerobatics, one more impressive than the next and the drivers of the hydroplanes.
I also met with the Seafair Pirates "sailing"on their Moby Duck (they are a group of currently 52 men appearing at festivals over the US, Canada and the Cayman islands and raising money for charity), the pirate I interviewed was telling me about his best day being last Friday taking a child from the Make a wish foundation on a crabing tour. Here you can see them giving a hard time to a youngster who was minding his own business and reading a book.
If you happen to be in Seattle around this time of year it's a fun event to attend.