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

Advertisements

Pistachio panna cotta with red berries gelee

Whenever I crave something sweet, delicate and light, the first this that comes in mind is panna cotta.

This little cooked wonder is so light and easy to make …and so forgetful with the muffin top.

Luckily, you can make it such, that it will not show forever on your hips or belly or any other body parts where good food tends to localize. To make it even lighter, just replace the full fat cream with some light version, instead of sugar use some stevia or any other sweetner.

So, to summarize it, it is a great summer sweet. Well, its italian roots already recommends it as a great dessert.

It consists of simple, basic ingredients – cream, milk, gelatine, sugar and vanilla. Most importantly, making it doesn’t require too much technique nor work.

panna cotta with pistachio and red berries gelee

red berries gelee

300 grams red berries (strawberries, raspberries, red currants)

6 tablespoons water

5 tablespoons sugar

2 gelatine sheets

vanilla

Pre-soak the gelatine in cold water for 10 minutes. In a pot bring the red berries, water, sugar and vanilla to a boil. Remove the pot from the fire and mix in the gelatine. Set the mixture cool down and then pour it gently in the serving bowls or glasses making sure there are not too many air bubbles into the gelee. Place the bowls into the fridge to set, for about an hour.

pistachio panna cotta

500 ml whipping cream

100 ml milk

100 grams finely ground pistachio nuts

4 tablespoons sugar

8 grams gelatine (about 6 sheets of gelatine)

vanilla

Pre-soak the gelatine in cold water for 10 minutes. In a pan,bring the whipping cream, the milk, sugar and vanilla to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat, add the pistachio and the softened gelatine and stir well, making sure that the mixture is homogenous. Let them infuse  for 10-20 minutes. Before pouring the panna cotta into the serving bowl, you can strain the mixture, to insure a smoother consistency. Pour the mixture into the serving bowls on top of the set fruit gelee and place into the fridge to set for about an hour.

 Serve the panna cotta with fresh fruits (red currants, passion fruit, strawberries, etc. ).