Magic cake (3 layers) matcha-rapsberries

[LOVE TIP]  First mushrooms, first figs, first root vegetables.. and first soups are coming! Hence I could have posted on a celeriac-horns of plenty purée, a delicious bowl of banh canh (the Vietnamese version of udon).. but I couldn’t pass the current serious buzz on “magic” cake : one batter, 3 layers with different textures :  dense custard, onctuous cream and airy sponge cake.. How tempting is that? And how magic is that? :)

For all the lazy ones and/or the undecisive ones (“what should I pick on the menu? You!- go ahead..”) and/or  the 3in1 fans (why do you think BB cream-CC cream-.. ZZ cream are so successful?), this is THE cake to try. Plus it requires only 15′ of setting up for 3 hours of rest. Isn’t it an eligible activity for the we?

One of the funniest part of this cake, is that you can bake it with some vanilla but you also get to customize flavors to your tastes. Options are endless.. I am thinking of pandan coconut, matcha rapsberries, black sesame and strawberries, osmanthus and yellow peaches, coconut and banana, rose pistachio, well… at this stage you ‘ve guessed I’m always the last to order in a restaurant! Matcha and rapsberries are going to make it for a first run !

Recipe (6-8 ). 15′ of preparation, 1h of baking, 3h of rest in the fridge

4 eggs, 125 g of butter, 100 g of brown sugar, 3 ts of matcha powder diluted in a ss of water,  1 ts of vanilla extract, 120 g of flour, 50 cl of milk , 100 g of rapsberries, 1 pinch of salt , 1 mold of 20 cm diameter covered with baking paper

1. Preheat the oven at 6. Melt the butter

2. Whisk the eggs whites with the pinch of salt. Separately whisk the egg yolks with the sugar.

3. Incorporate to the yolks -in this order- : melted butter, matcha and vanilla, flour and milk. Then carefully add the whipped eggs without breaking them. They should float at the surface of the batter which is quite liquid. Don’t worry, this is normal.

4. Pour half of the batter in the mold. Add the rapsberries and then the rest of the batter

5. Bake for 50′ at 5-6 without convection heat or else diminish the baking time by about 15′. The cake is ready when the center is still shaking… If you overbake it you will loose the cream layer so don’t hesitate to check and shake your mold… Once ok, retrieve from the oven, set aside and after one hour you can store it in the fridge for 2 more hours. You could prepare this magic cake the day ahead, even better !

As it was a first, I had to extend the baking time twice because my oven was not hot enough for indications at 5… So really you should adapt to your oven specifications, these are really indicative, and sorry for that, but this is the only “critical” part of the magic cake. Then it is sooo good that I found it was really worth the trial! Will definitely bake it with other flavours..

What about you? what do you feel like to try?

 

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Fragrance to drink: chrysanthemum petals, white peach and Earl Grey

[HAPPY VEGGIE] Not real summer anymore, not yet autumn.. What could we drink? I opted for a fresh floral iced tea water : petals of chrysanthemum infused with white peach pearls and some Earl Grey to bring some “zing”.. Chrysanthemum are delicately fragranced and recall chamomile. They are very easy to find in China and appreciated for their cooling effect. You will find them in any Asian store. Otherwise, get hold of chamomile and increase the amount..pétales2

This herbal tea is most of the time drunk with honey in Asia. As for me I prefer the natural sweetness of fruits. Melon dew and white peach do marvels with chrysanthemum. Add further some iced Earl Grey and you will get the perfect ressourcing after yoga sunday drink…What do you currently drink? still iced drinks or already switched to warm ones?

pétales1Enjoy your week end!

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Banh Beo, the middle path #Trungđạo

[LOVE TIP 45'/WEB BANQUET] Some dishes bring you back to childhood. This one reminds me of these pleasurable and endless meals on Sundays …

Banh Beo trace back to the Hué imperiale cuisine (just like Bánh bột lọc ). They are named after cai bèo, the aquatic fern with rounded leaves.

They are mellow rice pancakes garnished with shrimp “cotton” and mungo beans purée flavoured with coconut. To be served with lots of “aromatic confetti” : scallion oil, deep fried shallots, cilantro petals, sharp red chili bites, and a generous pour of  fish and lime sauce.banhbeo7

These delicacies are well-balanced in salty-sweet-sharp-tangy flavours and are representative of the center of Vietnam cooking. They will  appeal easily to most people. The middle path!

Recipe step by step:

 

For 12 pieces (2 people).  1h+ 2h of soaking     FUSSY but manageable  LONG but ok if you are organized EXQUISITE, to savour...

Batter : 100g of rice flour, 15g of tapioca flour, 20 cl of warm water, a pinch of salt, 1 ss of oil. 

Garnish: 100g of dried shrimps, 100g of mungo beans, 1 ts of grated coconut, 2 stems of chives, cilantro, 1 fried shallot 

Sauce : 1 ss of fish sauce, 1 ss of lime juice, 2 ss of brown or palm sugar de nuoc mam, 1 red chili, 1/2 garlic clove, 6 ss of water 

1. Pancake batter: Mix rice and tapioca flour with water at least 2 hours ahead of time to ensure the perfect mellow consistency. Oil and salt to be added at the end.

2 . Shrimp cotton : Rehydrate the shrimps and mix them very briefly. You can also use fresh shrimps to marinate, ground and dry in a pan.

3. Scallion oil and fried shallots: Mix neutral oil with minced scallions and a pinch of salt. Cook briefly for one minute. Golden the sliced shallots and absorb the extra oil with paper napkin. Set aside

4. Mungo beans : rince, soak and boil them. Ground coarsely and mix with grated coconut (traditionnaly coconut milk and/or scallion oil)

5. Cooking:  pour the batter in the molds and steam for 4 minutes. You should see a cavity in the middle. Texture should be translucid and supple.

6. Sauce : combine all ingredients, don’t forget to retrieve the seeds of the chili..

7. Finishing : garnish each Banh Beo with a ts of mungo beans purée, the shrimp cotton, fried shallots and scallion oil. Pour the sauce. Enjoy!

Are you ready to try?

banhbeo4Sniffkiss also to like, follow, share on FacebookInstagramTwitter. Or suscribe by email (register on top right) to receive weekly recipes! 

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Home-made almond milk and okara apricots cookies

[HAPPY VEGGIE] A lot of people can’t digest lactose (especially Asian). Hence plant-based milks made of almonds, walnuts, pistachios or cashews but also oat, rice and soy are excellent alternatives. But even if you don’t have any intolerance or allergy I totally recommand you to try and pick the one you prefer. They are so tasty and good!  I now regularly prepare home-made almond milk. It comes in more or less creamy versions, depending on the season. To all those who loved the Cleopatra glue smell, this is a dedicated post…

Prepare home-made almond milk is really easy, satisfying, delicious and much cheaper than buying it . You only to need to soak the almonds ahead of time (at night before sleeping is the perfect option, otherwise count preferably at least 2 hours ahead). This is for healthy reasons, the taste will not change. Should you lack time you can of course proceed and in no more than 10′ you will be done!

Then you can drink it as is or flavor it with some vanilla. You can also use it as a basis for smoothie : with banana and matcha tea, with cacao and/or chai spices (cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, clove, and some black pepper for those who like it).. Endless options…

For 1 liter of almond milk : 1 generous handful of almonds, 3 times its volume of water. 

Soak the almonds (at least 2 hours). Rince them, mix with  water and filter. Done! You can keep the almond milk from 3 to 5 days in the fridge. Store it rather in a glass bottle. The cashew milk can be prepared in a similar way. I find its taste more neutral. As for soy milk it requires  some cooking (recipe for soy milk here)

Did you know that soaking almonds  (between 4-8h) will help them to be more easily digested, while facilitating their nutrients assimilation ? Nuts contain  some enzymes that can slow down digestion and diminish the assimilation of nutrients (esp. iron and calcium). Soaking them will activate the germination process and partially neutralize the enzymes. 

Once you have filtered the almond milk, keep the grounded pulp (okara)  I used it to bake 6 delicious apricot gooey cookies.

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home-made almond milk and okara apricot cookies http://wp.me/p3iY4S-CS

I confess that all measures have been very approximative.. And although pastry generally call for precision I can tell you that some intuition can also perfectly work for these mellow and rustic cookies!:) As you add flour you should be able to feel if the texture is dry and not sticky…

Add an egg, 2 soup spoons of honey, 3 ss of flour. Shape 6 cookies (10 cm of diameter). Slice apricots and press them into the dough. Bake for 20′ at medium temperature until it has a nice golden colour.

Apricots and almonds : an obvious and perfect combination . You may know that some apricots stones are often added to  jam to bring a delicate almond flavour. The stones of prunus fruits (apricots but also cherries and plums) contain indeed a derived component from cyanide.. which smells of bitter almond (we’ve come full circle!).

For all those who enjoy the almond fragrance, think of coumarine (extracted from tonka bean..) and heliotropine (powdery and vanilla…). Go and check the eternal Apres L’Ondée by Guerlain or the more recently launched Satine by Lalique.. And tell me which one you prefer!

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Grilled eggplants with lemongrass and other Vietnamese delicacies

[LOVE TIP/ WEB BANQUET] Some swear only by the 7-jour lamb. I would rather go for the 7-hour lunch. Count 3 hours to prepare and 4 hours to share.. hello Summer!

Sylvie and Cricri, come back soon ! :)

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Grilled eggplants with lemongrass http://wp.me/p389oa-17L

A traditional Vietnamese meal with a dish slowly simmered, a clear soup, raw veggies, cooked veggies, tons of fresh herbs and of course white steamed rice! 

And to close the meal: double dessert with a fresh sweet soup (“chè”) in which loads of things float .. and something more creamy with coconut! 

Wild salmon in caramel and lime  

Sweet and sour soup with black tomatoes and calamari 

Yellow tomatoes salad with green olive oil and thai basil  

Grilled eggplants with lemongrass and spicy cashew nuts 

White steamed rice with fig leaves (slightly obsessed with fig leaves I must say)

Peaches soup, spearmint, rapsberries, basil and chia seeds 

Coconut-fig-matcha and white chocolate cream (yes, here again I slipped some fig leaves…)

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Back from the market with an array of eggplants and aromatic herbs; mint, thai basil, spearmint and cilantro. I love how eggplants can be versatile. When cooked it becomes mellow and meaty. I also sometimes pickle the small white ones in salty water. But I mostly steam and bake them so avoid to add extra oil (check my recipe of eggplant with miso and 5 spices here)

Grilled eggplants with lemongrass 

For 4 : 2 eggplants, coriander, mint, 1 lemongrass stem, 1 garlic clove, 1 ss of sugar, 1 ss of oil (optional), 1 ss of vinegar de sucre, a handful of cashew nuts

1. Grill the eggplants in the oven (40 at 7-8). The grilled skin gives an enticing smell to the pulp.

2. Wash and cut the herbs

3. Prepare the sauce mixing lemongrass, garlic, sugar, fish sauce, rice vinegar and oil (which is optional but I like to have a light emulsion) . I also filtered the sauce to remove the lemongrass fibers but you don’t have to. It will be as good with it.

4. Peel the eggplants. Pour the sauce and add the grilled cashew nuts. Here I used raw ones that I caramelised with chili and salt but plain old grilled ones are also perfect to bring some crunchy texture. Enjoy!

Vietnamese cooking, do you like it? do you prepare some?

tomates

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Iced cheesecake fragranced with midsummer’s night dream : figs, mulberries, avocado and lime

[LOVE TIP] Midsummer’s night dream : fig leaves, wild mulberries, rose petals fill the air with their fragrance.. What if I could capture them in an iced cheesecake?

 

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I go and pick bravely all the ripe mulberries. In the midst of bees, spiders and nettles I would say this bowl of fruits is a real treasure !

figue avocat

In the summer I also always enjoy the mesmerizing smell of the fig leaves. They remind me of vegetal and greeen coconut. I pick some leaves and prepare a fig leave oil. Beware all flavoured oils should be refrigerated and consumed within a week to avoid botulism. This infection is severe and risks are increased if 1) there is no oxygen ( here oil prevents the air contact) 2) no acidity 3) humidity (leaves or aromatic herbs contain more water than spices) 4) oil kept at ambiant temperature will facilitate profileration of spores responsible for the infection..

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I am now ready to proceed and prepare an iced cheesecake with avocado and lime on an almond and dates crust. Raw cheesecake perfect for the summer, no baking

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Recipe of iced cheesecake fig leaves-avocado- lime and mulberries. For 8.

40’+3h of freezing

Ingredients for the cream: 2 avocados, 2 lime, 100g ofricotta cheese, 2 white eggs whipped up, 2 g of agar agar diluted in 25 cl of hot water, 2 ss of sugar or agave syrup 

Ingredients for the crust : 30 almonds,  10 dattes (retrieve the stone!) , 1 grated apple, 1 ss of fig oil or coconut oil, 1 pinch of salt

1. Mix the almonds with the dattes, grated apple, 1 ss of coconut or fig oil, 1 pinch of salt. Display on the mold and set aside in the fridge.

2. Mix the avocados with the lime juice, the ricotta cheese, the sugar or agave syrup. Add the white eggs (whipped up) and the agar agar.

3 Spread on the crust. Put the mulberries. Freeze for 3 hours

You can totally skip the eggs and agar agar. Then you could add 2 avocados and have something very creamy. I favored something more airy and light like a mousse.

What about you? what if you wanted to capture the essence of your holidays in a cheesecake, what would you choose?

Enjoy your we!

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Cook it raw in the bush…

[HAPPY VEGGIE] Holidays have officialy started! Want to celebrate with a glass of raw zucchini, nectarines, lime and harissa?

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I just arrived in the South of France and quickly check what’s in the fridge : brousse, a local and delicious goat cheese, perfect!

Some zucchini and aromatic herbs (chives, mint, parsley, rosemary) will do the trick with it.

I get hold of olive oil, salt, harissa, chili and lime; and mix eveything.  Add a peeled tomato. A teenager passes by, asks what I’m doing. He tastes and approves “super good, what’s in there?” I’m considering selling this to him as.. ketchup. After all, since “healthy food” and “vegetable” sound like punitions for these voracious eaters, I will not mention them but will certainly put them on the table..And this may be a way to do it..

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Craving for something salty and tangy, sour and sweet, I grab some nectarines that will perfectly balance this salad.

brousse9I arrange hoops of raw zucchini and nectarines. Then I spread the brousse generously. Again some zucchini and nectarines. Some drops of olive oil and pinch of salt end up the dish. I also sprinkle some seeds.

Ready! You can dress this as a big dish to share or in individual servings. Some cured ham can’t do any harm with this..

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I can’t stop cooking now and prepare a nectarine- wild blueberries crumble with oats and chestnut honey.. Recipe will come soon..

 For 6 : Raw in the bush

2 zucchini, 2 nectarines, 1 tomato, 1 brousse (fresh goat cheese), olive oil, “fleur de sel”, chili and/or harissa, lime, aromatic herbs (here I used parsley, mint, rosemary and chives)

1. Rinse and slice the zucchini and nectarines thinly

2. Peel and cut the tomato in cubes

3. Rinse the herbs and slice them

2. Mix the cheese with 2 ss of olive oil,  1 ts of harissa, juice of a lime, 2 pinches of salt, tomato cubes and herbs

4. Arrange in a dish to share or individual servings. Enjoy!

Have a wonderful we!

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