Spring….

 

It is officially SPRING TIME!!!! I am so happy about it that I need to say it out loud.

Somehow I feel like I don’t have enough words to say how much I love spring and the  warm weather and the blue sky and the sun and the birds singing and the happy faces that you see everywhere ….and my list can continue forever.

and what is better than creme caramel to celebrate such a great season? …my answer is nothing. You would think creme caramel is sugary, has a smooth texture and it would match better the winter, but for me is smooth, it has the caramelized sugar competing with the delicate texture, is just like spring sometimes sunny but trying to fight the morning chill, full of contrast but yet so great.

To make the creme caramel I used the recipe of Julia Child (with a little twist), I am still gathering some courage to try her coq au vin or her boeuf bourguignon.

crème renversée au caramel 

serves 4-6 people

 

caramel

110 grams sugar

60 ml water

custard

480 ml  milk (I used 200 ml heavy cream and 280 ml milk)

150 grams sugar

2 eggs

4 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla bean

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan, combine ½ cup sugar with ¼ cup water. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Increase the heat to high and cook, without stirring, until the syrup turns a light caramel color. Remove the saucepan from the heat and dip the bottom into cold water to stop the cooking. Pour the caramel into a 4-cup charlotte mold, and tilt so that it covers the bottoms and sides. Let cool.

In a small saucepan, bring the milk and vanilla to a boil. In a heat-proof bowl, beat the eggs, egg yolks and cup sugar until blended. Whisking constantly, pour the hot milk into the egg mixture; let rest for a few minutes, then strain. Pour the custard into the caramel-coated mold.

Put the mold in a small but deep baking or roasting pan, and add hot water to come about two-thirds up the sides of the mold. Place the pan on the stove over medium heat, and bring the water to a simmer. Transfer the pan to the oven. (The water should stay at a low simmer at all times; do not let it boil or the custard will over cook.) Bake until a knife inserted into the center of the custard comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Keep the custard in the baking pan until the water cools. Remove from the pan to finish cooling. To serve, run the tip of a knife around the top of the custard to loosen it. Invert a serving platter over the mold and quickly turn it over again. Carefully remove the mold.

Source : NY Times

Cheesecake macarons

I told you about my macaron obsession, once I started making them somehow I couldn’t stop. For the New Year Eve’s dinner I was the one that had to take care of the dessert – not a particularly tough request, since I am always looking for a ocassion to try new cake recipes.

And of course this made the perfect occasion to try a new type of macarons – cheesecake macarons.

I tried cheesecake macarons before in Paris, at Christophe Roussel’s shop and I loved them, they were fresh and amazingly delicious. So here is my attempt to re-create those macarons. Even though they were quite tasty, I have to re-make them few more times until I get the perfect cheesecake macaron :-).

cheesecake macarons

yields 24  macarons

120 g almond meal

200 g powdered sugar

100 g egg whites

30 g granulated sugar

food coloring gel

The directions on how to make the macarons can be found here

cheesecake filling

250 grams cream cheese (Philadelphia or any other cream cheese would do)

2 tablespoons whipping cream

3-5 tablespoons lemon curd

lemon rind

vanilla

Whip the cream cheese and the whipping cream together, until fluffy and homogeneous and then add the vanilla. Gently add the lemon curd and a bit of lemon rind.

Use a piping bag or spoon to fill the macarons with the cheesecake filling. Store in the fridge in an airtight container.

Happy 2012 !

Happy 2012!

It is a bit late to wish everybody a happy 2012, but better do it later than never. I thought this year I will be more active on the blogging side, however until now I failed miserably at it. I abandoned my blog for quite a while, but now I am back …and I am back with a new type of recipe. 

No, my new years resolution is not to drink more alcohol :-). But I discovered this cocktail a while ago and I thought it would be good to share it. First time I tried the virgin version, but I must admit, the spiked one has its advantages.

It is based on the idea of a mojito, but there are few extra ingredients in it, that make it a bit more special:

rum

limesraspberries & mintand lychee

lychee mojito

Ingredients

5-6 fresh mint leaves

6-7 lychees (canned or fresh)

1 tablespoon sugar

the juice of one lime or half lime (depending of your taste)

30-50 ml rum

150 ml club soda or lychee syrup (if you use the canned fruits)

2-3 raspberries

ice

Place the mint leaves in a cocktail shaker and muddle them together with the lychees and sugar. Add the lime juice, rum and ice. Top up with club soda/lychee syrup. Shake well and strain it in chilled glasses decorated with sugar. Garnish with raspberries, lychees and mint leaves.

Alternatively, you can omit the alcohol, makes a great drinks for kids.

Tweak a bit the taste by puree-ing some raspberries in.