Tartelette au citron

Lemon and Limes! Two of my absolute favorite fruits ever. They are so versatile and enhance the flavor of any dish they are used in, sweet or savory. I love lemons so much that my hubby thought it fit to surprise me with a lemon cake for my birthday. 🙂
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This recipe is perfect for the summers. The tartness of the lemon lime cream is well balanced by an element of surprise that comes from the sweetness of the tart. The cream can be made as tart as your taste buds enjoy.

Tartelettes Au Citron

Tartelette Au Citron

Makes about 2 dozen mini tartlets or 12 muffin sized tartlets
Ingredients:

Sweet Tartlet :
150 g all purpose flour, extra for dusting
1 pinch baking powder
75 g sugar
zest of 1/4 orange (optional)
75 g butter, softened
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp cold water

Lemon Lime Cream :
1 1/2 (3g) sheets gelatin
150 ml lemon juice
50 ml lime juice
60 g sugar
3 egg yolks
1 egg
75 g butter, diced and softened
2 drops green food colouring

Instructions :
Sweet Tartlet :
Preheat the oven to 180°C

Place the flour, baking powder, sugar and orange zest on the work surface.

Add the butter. Using your fingertips rub the butter into the dry ingredients.
Continue rubbing until you get a crumbly texture.

Make a well in the center and add the egg yolk and water.

Knead until the dough is smooth.Cover with plastic wrap and chill for an hour.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough slightly less than 2mm thick. Chill for 10 minutes.

Prick the dough with a fork.
Using a cookie cutter, stamp out rounds. Line the mini muffin pan or muffin pan with the rounds.

Bake for 10 -12 minutes or until firm and lightly brown.

Let cool slightly in the pans and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
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Lemon Lime Cream:
Soak the gelatin sheets in a medium bowl of cold water until softened, 5 – 10 minutes.

Combine the lemon juice, lime juice and sugar in a heavy saucepan.
Whisk in the egg yolks and whole egg.

Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil.
Remove from the heat.

Add the food coloring and whisk until well mixed.
Squeeze the gelatin and whisk until dissolved.
Whisk in the butter until smooth.

Strain the cream through a sieve and blend it with a blender until smooth.
Remove into a bowl, cover and chill for 2 hours.

Spoon the cream into a piping bag and pipe mounds of cream into the tart shells. Or use a spoon.

Freeze until set, about an hour.

Remove from the refrigerator and serve at room temperature.

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!

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Faworki (Angel Wings)

Faworki or Angel Wings, are traditional Polish sweet pastries shaped in the form of thin ribbons. They are deep fried and dusted with loads of icing sugar. As legend has it, women in medieval times tied coloured ribbons on their knights’ armour before they went into battle. This was a symbol of good luck and a sweet reminder that they awaited their return. Faworki are named for such “favours”

I came across these sweet, crisp bow pastries in a Polish Piekernia (bakery) and took an instant liking to them. They should be delicate and melt in the mouth. I thought to give it a try and they turned out pretty decent for my first attempt. 🙂

This recipe has been adapted from RECIPES & STORIES FROM A SUMMER IN POLAND.

Angel Wings

Angel Wings

Ingredients :

500 g All purpose flour
5 egg yolks
2 tsp white vinegar
4 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
Vegetable oil for frying

Instructions :

Sift the flour and icing sugar on the work surface.

Make a well in the center and mix in the eggs, vinegar and sour cream to form a dough.
Knead the dough well until smooth.

Divide the dough into chunks and dust the work surface with some flour. Roll out each piece so it is about 4mm thick.
Cut the thin dough into strips about 3 cm wide and 15 cm long.
Dust the pastry with extra flour if it is too sticky to handle.
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Cut a slit in the middle of each strip.
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Take one end of the rectangle and put it through the center to make a bow shape.
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Heat the oil and deep fry till the strips are golden but not brown.
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Drain on a kitchen paper and sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!

Sablée (Butter Biscuits)

I was going through my school photo album and reminiscing the most carefree, fun-filled days of my life. I was telling my better half all the silly things me and my friends would do at school.Diving further into past I remembered that we, my brother and I would pester our mom to get us cream biscuits. They are nothing but two biscuits with a flavored cream or jam within them. Much to my mother’s annoyance and amusement, we would open up the cream biscuit, lick off the delicious cream and discard the biscuits! 🙂

The ones filled with jam were called Jim Jam and my family loved to have this with tea.

In memory of my childhood days, I have made butter biscuits and topped the jam on two biscuits instead of making it as a sandwich so I don’t embarrass my hubby. 🙂

Mini Sablés

Mini Sablés

Makes about 325 g dough – Makes about 24-26

Ingredients:

125 g all purpose flour
100 g butter, cut into small pieces and slightly softened
50 g icing sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
1 egg yolk

Instructions :

Preheat the oven to 170°C.Line a baking tray with baking mat or baking paper.

Heap the flour on the work surface and make a well. Put in the butter, icing sugar and salt.
With your fingertips, mix and cream the butter with the sugar and salt, then add the egg yolks and work them in delicately with your fingertips.

Slowly, draw the flour into the center and work the mixture delicately with your fingers until you have a homogeneous dough.

Using the palm of your hand, push the dough away from you 3 or 4 times until it is completely smooth.
Roll into a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

There are a lot of ways you can bake these biscuits!You could just bake them the way they are or if you have kids, they would love to have Strawberry jam biscuits.You could also just top them up with some almond flakes and voila!
You have a treat to serve for a tea party.

Roll out the dough to a 2-3 mm thickness.Using a cookie cutter, cut out as many discs as possible.
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Make the sablés as below:

Strawberry Jam:
Place an even number of cut out dough (discs) on a baking sheet and moisten lightly with pastry brush dipped in cold water.You could also just pat water with your fingertips.

Cut a hole in the center of half of the discs and place them on top of the solid discs.
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Use a teaspoon to fill the cavities with the jam, then brush the borders with egg wash.

Almond:
Place the desired number of pastry discs on a baking sheet, brush with egg wash and arrange 5 or 6 almond flakes on each one.
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Bake the sablés:
Bake the sablés for 6-10 minutes, depending on their thickness.

If you’d prefer more color, increase the temperate to 180 for the last minute or two.

Transfer to a wire rack and cool before serving.

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My mom would serve tea in the pretty tea cups with saucers. I have none, 😦 and we Indians like our tea in glass too, this one is french…. 🙂
ummmm..masala chai in a french glass served with french sablés, pretty neat I’d say 😉

Chai Biscuit

Chai Biscuit

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!

Strawberry Crumble

Yes, we have yet another post on Strawberries.My friends think I have a strawberry abuse problem…haha.Just make the most of what you can when you can, I’d say. 🙂

Apologies that I have not taken pictures for this post,I have a couple that were taken by my iphone which should give a pretty decent idea of how the dessert looked on the plate.We were having a very busy week and I realized it had been a long time since we had a special meal together.One evening,I decided to make a quick and easy meal which would also be a treat for the eyes.I love Raymond Blanc’s recipes and was quite inspired to make his version of the strawberry crumble.It has a subtle twist to the traditional Strawberry Crumble.

It was super easy to make and boy, did it turn out delicious.I would surely make this again, may be for a dinner party too!

Strawberry Crumble

Strawberry Crumble

Ingredients :
480 g Strawberries
60 g Caster sugar
2 tbsp Water
30 g butter
1 tsp Lemon juice
1 tsp Maple Syrup (optional)

For the crumble
80 g Plain flour
50 g Caster sugar
20 g Brown sugar
55 g butter

Instructions:
Halve the strawberries, place in a bowl and sprinkle with half of the caster sugar. Set aside while you prepare the crumble.

To make the crumble, in a food processor, pulse all the ingredients together to a light crumbly texture, then press together and cut into 2-3cm cubes. Place on a small baking tray, cover and freeze for 1 hour until solid.

Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5. Pulse the cubes of dough in a food processor to break into small pieces of crumble. Spread evenly on a baking tray to a 5mm thickness and bake for 7 minutes until golden brown. While still warm and pliable, cut out 4 discs with an 8cm cookie cutter. Bake these for a further 3 minutes.

To prepare the berries, put the water into a large, heavy-based saucepan, add the remaining 30g sugar and leave for a few minutes, then dissolve over a medium-high heat and cook to a very pale blond caramel. Immediately add the butter, then the strawberries, lemon juice and maple syrup, if using. The original recipe calls for kirsch, but I don’t usually stock kirsch, hence i have used maple syrup.Heat for 30 seconds.

To serve,divide the warm strawberries between individual dishes and top each serving with a crumble disc.I just made one serving with two crumble discs.
Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or a dollop or whipped cream if you prefer.

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!

Berry Tart

 

Summer Berry Tart

Summer Berry Tart

It’s Spring time……….which means it’s time to get berrilicious.I can have strawberries any time of the day, so I sure am making most of the berry season.Back home in India,we would travel to Mahabaleshwar,a hill station located in the Western Ghats, just for the strawberries..There was never enough of the strawberry jam,jellies,the ice creams!
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Back to the tart story, I along with my hubby was invited to a friend’s dinner party and decided to present them with a beautiful summery berry tart.It seemed like a good idea to take a break from all the chocolate desserts,a breather for my dear hubby as he is not into chocolates.Who can hate chocolate!

Well,I had picked up a lot of strawberries,raspberries and blackberries and ta da….here is a sweet,fresh,light, tangy dessert which will have you wanting for more.

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Ingredients

220 g pâte sucrée (Sweet pastry)
250 g fresh strawberries
250 g fresh raspberries
250 g fresh blackberries
300 g chantilly cream
150 g Crème Pâtissière (Pastry Cream)
a few mint sprigs

Pâte sucrée  (Sweet pastry) :

250 g plain flour
100 g butter, cubed and slightly softened
100 g icing sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
2 eggs, at room temperature

Chantilly Cream :
250 ml whipping cream, well chilled
50 g icing sugar
vanilla essence or seeds scraped from a vanilla pod

Crème Pâtissière  (Pastry Cream) :
4 egg yolks
65 g caster sugar
15 g plain flour
15 g cornflour
350 ml whole milk
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
icing sugar, for dusting

Instructions:

For the Pâte sucrée   (Sweet pastry):

Put the flour in a mound on a work surface and make a well.Put in the butter, icing sugar and salt, and mix these ingredients together with your fingertips.
Gradually draw the flour into the centre and mix with your fingertips until the dough becomes slightly grainy.
Again, make a well and add the eggs.Work them into the flour mixture, using your fingertips, until the dough begins to hold together.
When the dough is well amalgamated, knead it a few times with the palm of your hand until smooth.
Refrigerate for an hour or so.
Roll out the pastry to a round,2- 3 mm thick, and us to line an 18cm diameter tart tin.Chill for at least 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 5.Prick the pastry base with a fork.Line the pastry with baking paper and fill with a layer of beans to weight the pastry down and prevent it from rising unevenly.Bake for 30 minutes removing the beans for the last 10 minutes.
Remove the pastry from the tin and cool.

Chantilly Cream :

Put the chilled cream,icing sugar and vanilla into a chilled bowl and beat using an electric beater at medium speed for 1-2 minutes.
Increase the speed and beat for another 3-4 minutes until the cream starts to thicken to a light ribbon consistency,do not overbeat.
Use immediately.

Crème Pâtissière (Pastry Cream):

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until they turn a pale gold colour.
Whisk in the flour and cornflour and set aside.
Place the milk and vanilla bean paste in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring to a gentle simmer, stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for 30 seconds.
Slowly pour half of the hot milk onto the egg mixture, whisking all the time, then return the mixture to the remaining milk in the pan.
Bring the mixture back to the boil and simmer for one minute, whisking continuously, or until smooth.
Pour the cream into a clean bowl and dust with icing sugar to prevent a skin forming. Cool as quickly as possible, by sitting the bowl of pastry cream in another larger bowl of ice water. When cooled, refrigerate until needed.

Assembling the tart:

Halve the strawberries if they are large.
Delicately fold the chantilly cream into the pastry cream and fill the pastry case with this mixture.
Arrange the berries on top, heaving them up slightly in the centre.
Decorate with mint sprigs and serve.

Bon Apetit!