Semolina, orange and coconut cake

There is such a thing as love at first sight with a recipe. When I read semolina, orange and coconut in the same sentence I could have signed a blank check it was gonna be my kind of jam. Had I signed that blank check, it would have been a good investment !

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Madeleines

Some questions you dread asking : like asking a 3 year old what’s his wish for a birthday cake, as you never know if a wild young imagination is not gonna ask for a spaceship cake and put your baking skills to a serious test.

Turns out some 3 year olds have simple tastes, one them lives in my house and Madeleine were his only request for his birthday. The trickiest part of it all was for me to go get the specific molds which I did not have yet.

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Sweet dough

Finding a good dough recipe is a little bit like finding a good man : you want to hang on to it because you know you will have lots of wonderful moments in the future. Also, let’s face it both are not run-of-the-mill !

I won’t share my man, but I can share my best sweet dough recipe…

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Rhubarb pie and apricot coulis

No matter how long you’ve lived abroad and spoken English there will always be this idiomatic expressions from your mother tongue that you struggle translating. It’s somehow frustrating because they convey in a few words EXACTLY what you want to say. In this instance : ‘A la bonne franquette !’ 

It means informal dinner among friends where you’re not ashamed to bring dessert leftovers at home because you want so badly your son to taste your pie.

I also want you badly to taste it, and the recipe is below …

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Far breton ( Breton custard pie with prunes)

There is an interesting story about this custard : it is said the ‘far breton’ used to be a very simple custard until the pirates in the harbor of Saint-Malo ( France) added the vanilla, rhum and prunes. All those ingredients were coming from plundered vessels, which not only adds an richer taste to this dessert, but also the taste of adventure. Now, we’re in the 21st century and you’ve probably bought legally all your supplies… but still think about the pirates when enjoying this dessert.

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Chocolate soup, nuts crumble

Let’s not be narrow-minded : a soup does not have to be eaten at the beginning of your meal, nor does it have to be a topic of quarrel between a mum and her children. Here is the glorious proof : when “Eat your soup !” is no longer a threat and does not need to be repeated twice.

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Gift roses : pistachio and rose Basboussa (semolina cake)

It takes all sorts to make a world. At a smaller scale, it also seems to hold true to make a couple. Take that pistachio and rose Basboussa for instance : no finger pointing but one of us just does not get just yet the beauty of this recipe. Given that it’s a recipe for 10 to 12 people, it’s a pretty good thing it does not go stale overnight because I end up eating the whole thing by myself and it takes me a couple of days.

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Wild Blackberry Jam

Come beginning of spring, I get antsy like a squirrel in front of its depleting nuts reserve : the count down to September starts as it is only then when I will be able to make a fresh batch of blackberry jam. You’ll think, why tease us with a recipe we won’t be able to make before another 5 to 6 months ? Well, because there is preliminary work to be done ! Finding your wild blackberry spots is the name of the game : you want them accessible enough not to get too many scratches in the process, but hidden enough not to be within everybody’s reach; sunny enough so that you can get beautiful ripe fruits, but not overexposed for they would get dry; also, make a mental note to pray for some rain, to get juicy fruits… Once nature played its part, you can play yours. This is how it goes :

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Pate à choux & éclairs

Key takeaway of this pastry class from yesterday : if your nerd in school, a nerd always you’ll be. Here I was scribbling notes on the side of the recipe sheet that was handed over to us, and asking all kinds of questions… imagine my joy when I realized I was heading home with homework : empty choux to fill with the pastry cream 🙂

But first things first, as a respectable nerd, I’m sharing my notes for those who skipped the class. Then I’ll submit myself to the hardest jury one can think of : mother-in-law and husband will assess my work…

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