Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Poached Pears in Red Wine

Poached pears...soaked in a nice Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot and served over thick Greek yogurt. This makes a lighter dessert but you can substitute it for a nice Vanilla Bean ice cream. It's essential to use a nice ice cream here for maximum flavour. Here is what you'll need to
serve 4:

2 small pears Forelle pears
250 ml red wine
1/2 cup sugar
1 large cinnamon stick
1 green cardamom pod
half grapefruit rind

Peel and quarter pears - leave the stems attached. Place side down into saucepan (don't overcrowd - they should be in a single layer). Pour over the wine, sugar, cinnamon stick and cardamom. Bring to a boil, add in grapefruit rind, cover and simmer for 15 min.

Remove pears (liquid should be reduced by half at this point) and set aside. Reduce the remaining liquid until it becomes very thick (about 5 min more...).

Fill four dessert glasses with yogurt and drizzle liquid around yogurt. Centre the fruit and garnish as desiered. Drizzle remaining liquid...Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Chocolate Guimauves (Marshmallows)

What the heck are guimauves anyway???? Think of a luscious, soft, melt in your mouth delight, bursting with flavour. This is no ordinary marshmallow my friend, this is THE marshmallow.

I googled homemade guimauves and came across this recipe on Chocolate and Zucchini's blog. My version is tweaked a bit here and I cut the portions in half to make approx 20 pieces.

square tin, parchment lined
6 1/2 gelatin sheets, soften in cold ice water and drained
2 egg whites

20g corn syrup
110g sugar
45 ml water

3 tsp cocoa powder, dissolved in 2ts hot water

corn starch for dusting
cocoa powder for dusting

1. Combine corn syrup, sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then allow it to simmer 10-15min until it has slightly thickened and coats the back of a spoon (118C). Remove from heat and add gelatin sheets - mix gently until dissolved.

2. With a wire whisk attachment on your mixer, beat eggwhites until foamy and reduce speed to medium and slowly pour in the syrup. Continue beating the whites until mixture is very thick and has cooled down - 10 min or so.

3. Add dissolved cocoa powder and whisk gently for 30 seconds or until incorporated.

4. Pour mixture into square, parchment lined tin. Cover and leave in a cool place for 12-24 hours to set.

5. In a bowl combine 1stp cornstarch/potato starch and cocoa powder.

6. Remove from pan and transfer to cutting board. Cut cubes as desired and drop pieces a few at a time in the cocoa powder and then pass through a drum or sieve. Set aside on plate and repeat with remaining pieces.

7. Ready to eat! Store in a covered container for 3 days tops! Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Double Chocolate Dacquoise

After several requests, I have finally decided to start blogging desserts - now that I have a full kitchen again in my Paris apartment! I was inspired on a whim to create a light but sinful chocolate dessert with my leftover egg whites so I decided why not throw in a bit of this and a bit of that and see if it works...turned out to be quite yummy! This is a great low fat alternative as it does not contain any butter or flour. This recipe is dedicated to a special reader that follows my blog and asked for a dacquoise recipe - sorry for the delay! This is not a traditional dacquoise recipe but just as good, if not better ;-).

Dacquoise Serves 8-10

Preheat oven to 350 F (177 C)

9 inch round cake pan (with removable bottom), greased and lined with parchment

7 egg whites, room temperature
pinch of cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups (200 g) chopped dark chocolate (good quality, 70% or more)
1 cup of ground almonds (or hazelnuts)
1 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 tsp of sea salt
3 tablespoons of cocoa powder (the good kind!)

cocoa powder for dusting (optional)
whipped cream (optional)

Whip egg whites with electric beater or food processor until soft peaks form. Slowly add in 1 cup of sugar and cream of tartar and beat on high until stiff peaks form. Whisk in cocoa powder and set aside.

In a separate bowl combined the chopped chocolate, ground almonds and salt. Gently fold into egg white mixture with spatula. Be careful not to overmix.

Gently add mixture to greased, lined pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until it has double in size. Remove and let rest on wire rack for 15 min until set. Flip onto wire rack/plate to completely cool.

Serve sliced and with whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa powder. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Zucchini Fritters

These are my favourite latke inspired zucchini side dish. I usually serve these with lamb or on their own as appetizers with yogurt. Or I really spice them up and throw in a green chili or 2 and serve with Indian fritter batter (pakoras) - but that's another recipe. This is an easy, quick and healthy (I only use eggwhites) way to get in some veggies. Enjoy!

Recipe serves 4:

3 zucchinis, coarsely grated
1 small onion, coarsely grated
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon flour (can be omitted)
3 tablespoons chopped chives
1/2 teaspoon paprika
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon oil

1 cup of full fat yogurt
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
paprika, to taste
chopped chives (or dill)

Place zucchini and onion in colander; let drain 1 hour.

In a large bowl, combine egg white, flour, paprika, salt and pepper. Mix well.

Squeeze any excess liquid from zucchini and onion and transfer to bowl. Add chopped chives and gently mix to combine.

In large skillet, over medium to high heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil and 1 tablesppon butter. Spoon in fritters batter and flatten slightly. Cook 3 minute on each side, until golden brown. Transfer to baking sheet.

Preheat oven to 200ºF. Place baking sheet in oven for 10 minutes until ready to serve.

Can be served with plain or spiced yogurt.

* For appetizer: Use 1 tsp batter for each fritter and serve with yogurt mixed with salt, pepper, paprika and chives or dill.

Lemon & Basil Lamb Loin Chops!

For dinner tonight I am making Lamb Loin Chops with lemon, garlic, shallots and basil. I thought I might experiment with a few fresh flavours - something light and easy. This recipe doesn't require too much time but the longer you can marinate the chops, the better the flavour will be. I usually make an accompanying side dish of zucchini fritters served with yogurt but you can also serve this with lemon roasted potatoes. Enjoy!

Lemon & Basil Lamb Loin Chops Recipe Serves 2:

2 Lamb Loin Chops
1/4 cup lemon flavoured olive oil
1/2 fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon of fresh basil, chiffonade
1 tsp sea salt1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp dried herbs de provence
zest of half a lemon
Combine minced garlic, minced shallot, salt, pepper, dried herbs, lemon juice and lemon zest in a small bowl. Slowly add the oil, gently mixing (do not emulsify) and add in fresh basil.
Spoon marinade over each side of lamb chop, ensure it is well coated and then place coated side down onto a large plate. Spoon over remaining marinade on the top, ensuring its evenly coated.
Leave uncovered in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.
Place lamb loin chops on grill pan over medium high heat. Grill about 5-6 minutes per side until browned on both sides. Serve immediately.

Sunday Brunch - Baked Eggs!

I've decided to start blogging recipes again, especially since I have more time on my hands and after all, I am in Paris! I made eggs for breakfast the other day, I was really craving my favorite brunch place in Toronto - wishing I had my usual poached eggs with spinach and some crunchy toasted dark rye or other nutty bread and a yummy smoothie! So I thought of making something quick and voila! My version of spinach and eggs with cheese, of course - Yum! If you don't like spinach, you can substitute with pitted baby tomatoes and finely chopped onion. It's healthy, no fuss, no mess and great for entertaining! Enjoy!

Recipe Serves 2:

4 eggs
1 1/2 cups baby spinach
bunch of chives, chopped
1 cup shredded mix of cheeses (gruyere, mozzarella, cheddar, emmental)
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
2 tblsp heavy cream

2 ramekins
butter/oil spray
sliced bread, toasted

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter ramekins or spray with oil lightly.

Gently press 3/4 cup of baby spinach in the base of the ramkein.

Crack 2 eggs into each ramekin, over top the baby spinach. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and chives.

Drizzle 1 tblsp onto each ramekin and sprinkle 1/2 cup of shredded cheese on top and place on baking sheet. Bake at 350°F until egg whites are opaque and the yolks are soft and the cheese is lightly browned. Approx 15 min.

Serve immediately - Enjoy!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Figs and Mascarpone Cream

Figs are in season and what better than to pair them with mascarpone cheese and honey for a nice treat after dinner. This is super easy and doesn't require a lot of tools or work! Enjoy!


1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
2 tblsp sugar
4-8 ripe black figs (this works well with green figs as well)
1/2 cup honey
sliced baguette (optional)

1. Whisk together the mascarpone cheese and sugar. Set aside.

2. On a plate, drizzle with honey and add 1-2 figs in the centre.

3. Spoon mascarpone over the figs and garnish with fresh sprig of mint.

4. You can also top baguette slices with mascarpone cheese and fig and dress with sprig of mint.(note : this method is optional, but great if you had a low carb meal).
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