Collection of easy gluten free recipes – both French and inspired on my travels

1st Guest Post: Pineapple Curd

I am so excited.  Not only for hosting my first Guest Post but also launching a NEW SERIES of recipes entirely devoted to using egg yolks.  What better way to kick off the series than with the organic guru herself, Erin, author of BigFatBaker.com.  When I read her blog post the other day that she had found a new passion in eating and making curd, I thought: this is it! EGG YOLKS!  She’s brilliant.  As macaronivores, we’re always looking for ways to use up these yolks and what’s more, we can use curd to FILL macarons, too.

Now sit back and pay attention.  You are heading for Erin’s most tangy pineappley curd which you can use to fill your macarons for an extra special exotic touch. Coconut ones would be beautiful, for example.  Like macarons, this curd is gluten free.  Now without my further ramblings, it gives me great pleasure to hand you over to Erin…

pineapple curd egg yolk recipe

 

Erin, author of BigFatBaker.com :

I am so honored to be a guest here on MadAboutMacarons.com. When Jill invited me to share my egg yolk recipes, I was overjoyed. I can’t think of a better place to do my first guest post! This is my first, in a series of three, guest posts on curd recipes – Enjoy!

If you are new to the curd making process, do not worry. Making curd is surprisingly simple! All you have to do is follow the steps, and pay attention. What’s even better is the ingredients list for curds is short, and easy to keep organic.

When Jill initially asked me about a guest post I was in the process of making a pineapple curd. Pineapple is one of my all time favorite fruits, and I was intrigued to see if it would be tart and tangy like lemon curd, or more subdued and sweet.

Ultimately, I was pleasantly surprised with how the curd turned out. It is different from lemon curd in the sense that it doesn’t use butter. The lack of butter results in a slightly different texture, but it was still smooth and pudding like.

Remember how I said making curd is easy? It is. Promise.

PINEAPPLE CURD

1 medium sized, organic pineapple or 2 ¼ cups pineapple juice
6 large egg yolks
¾ cup white sugar
5 tbsp cornstarch

1.  First, juice your pineapple. Try and get as much juice as you can, you will need 2 ¼ cups.

Slice off the top and bottom, then carefully cut down the sides of the pineapple to remove the rind. Try and remove as little of the fruit as possible!

Cut into 1-inch pieces, and move all pineapple pieces to a blender. Add in 2-3 tbsp water, and blend. You could also use a food mill, or juicer.

You could also use the canned pineapple juice to make things even easier, but I highly recommend the fresh stuff.

2.  Next, in your saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Add in the cornstarch and pineapple juice, and whisk until everything is combined.

Hey, using egg yolks now to make macarons later!

3.  Set your burner to low (between 2 and 3 on my stove), and slowly bring up the temperature of your mixture. Over the next 3 minutes gradually increase the heat to medium (about 4 ½ on my stove) while you continue to whisk.

4.  After about 10 more minutes of whisking your curd will be starting to thicken up. Once this happens turn off the burner, remove from the heat, and continue to whisk for 5 more minutes.

5.  Allow the mixture to cool for 5-10 minutes before pouring into the jars. And you are done!

You now have fresh, organic pineapple curd to fill macarons, cakes, or eat by the spoonful.

pineapple curd yolk recipe

 

Thank you so much, Erin.
Don’t forget to check out Erin’s blog at BigFatBaker.com and say bonjour from me, ok?  She has many more gorgeous organic recipes to share with you.  She also has the most delicious organic raspberry curd.  I can tell you’re going to share a curd passion, too, very shortly…

Lime Macarons with Marinated Mango, Coconut, Vanilla, Lemongrass & Passion Cream (gluten free dessert)

 

 

 

 

lime macaron with mango, passion fruit, coconut and lemongrass cream

 

This photo does not do justice to the flavours of this dessert.  Lighting awful, not enough time and a dinner party to serve these tout de suite!

Enough of the excuses; this gluten-free dessert was inspired by one of my favourite chefs in Paris, William Ledeuil, from Ze Kitchen Galerie.  He has a remarkable touch of fusioning Asian flavours with French cuisine.  His spectacular dishes are not too heavy and they’re typically infused with lemongrass, lime, ginger, wasabi, coconut and vanilla, to name a few.  My favourite part of his Michelin-starred restaurant is the large glass screen separating the diners from the kitchen.  The last time I was there, I was so carried away in awe watching the chefs working harmoniously together in such a small kitchen that I nearly forgot my friends at the table!

When it comes to light desserts, this is my kind of end to a meal.  It’s also dead easy to prepare so you can enjoy your guests instead of spending ages in ze kitchen.   Even easier, prepare the giant macarons in advance: the day before or reach for your stock from your macaron bank in the freezer!  It’s perhaps not the prettiest dessert to look at but believe me, the taste is divine!

Giant lime macaron shells

Prepare the giant macarons using the basic recipe in the book, adding green colouring (perhaps a bit less here than I did!) and the zest of an untreated lime to the batter.  Then pipe out in giant spirals, leave to dry as usual and bake for up to 15 minutes.

Adapted from William Ledeuil’s recipe for Marinated Mango & Pineapple in Vanilla and Coconut.

Serves 4

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Chilling Time: 1 + 1 hour

4 giant green lime macarons
2 mangoes (sweet yellow varieties)
15cl coconut milk
1 vanilla pod
1 stick of lemongrass
30g sugar
250g tub of mascarpone
1 passion fruit
1 untreated lime

1.  In a saucepan, heat the coconut milk.  With a sharp knife, split the vanilla pod down the middle, scrape out the seeds and add to the milk.  Take off the outer shell of the lemongrass and cut each hard end off the stem.  Cut the lemongrass in two horizontally and also add to the coconut milk plus the sugar.  Bring to the boil then take off the heat and leave to cool.

Infuse the lemongrass with the coconut & vanilla

2.  Peel and chop the mangoes into chunks.  When the coconut infusion is cool, strain off the lemongrass, add the mangoes.  Top with cling-film and leave to marinade in the fridge for an hour.

Marinade the mango in the coconut mixture

3.  Remove the mangoes from the coconut infusion and set aside.  In a bowl, mix the mascarpone, the grated zest and juice of a lime plus the seeds and juice of a passion fruit.  Then mix in the coconut infusion.

4.  Spoon out the cream onto each giant macaron shell and top with the marinaded mangoes.  Chill for another hour until ready to serve.

Serve this with a late harvest Gewürtzraminer for a special end to a meal.

Salted Caramel Sauce (Caramel au beurre salé)

This has to be one of the most satisfying of homemade sauces: it’s so handy to keep in the fridge. Ever since my sweet French friend, Emmanuelle, showed me how to make it, I have been in salted caramel heaven; in Autumn and Winter there’s now a constant supply of this sticky nectar in the fridge. And I mean it’s so constant, it’s on a drip!

It can jazz up scores of desserts, adding an extra wow factor to the most simplest of sweet treats. What’s more, it keeps for up to a month sealed in the refrigerator.

When ready to serve, transfer to a small milk jug, reheat gently in the microwave and dribble or zig-zag over vanilla ice cream (see p125), waffles, profiteroles, chocolate fondants, crêpes, rice puddings, poached pears, apple crumbles, apple fritters, etc.

It also makes a perfect Autumn/Winter treat served with giant caramel macarons “tatin-style” (see p113 of the book.) You can also use this sauce for filling salted caramel macarons. To make the sauce more manageable for macarons, make a ganache using 80g white cooking chocolate (I love using Valhrona) and melt together in a saucepan with 30g of whipping cream. Add half of the caramel sauce (save the rest for further pleasure) and leave to cool for a good couple of hours until an easy consistency to pipe on to your macarons.

Salted Caramel Sauce

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

160g sugar
200g single cream, warmed
120g salted butter

1. Put the sugar with a few drops of water into a small saucepan. Using a wooden spoon, stir it now and again over a medium heat until a golden syrupy caramel forms.  This should take about 10 minutes maximum.

2. Turn down the heat and add the warm cream gradually, stirring constantly.

3. Mix in the butter, still over the gentle heat and keep stirring until thickened.

Pour the caramel into a serving jug at room temperature and set aside until needed.

The caramel can last up to 3 weeks if stored in a sterilised sealed jar in the fridge – so why not make double? 😉

UPDATE !

Passionfruit Caramel: Sieve out the seeds of a passion fruit and stir the juice in with the sugar in step 1 instead of the water.
Coffee Caramel: Add a tablespoon of granulated coffee to the caramel for a perfumed coffee caramel.
Orange Caramel: Add the zest of an orange for extra zing – or why not limes, kumquats, meyer lemon…


Rose & White Chocolate Panna Cotta with Cherry & Cardamom Coulis

Love is in the air. I have fallen in love with this dessert for St Valentine’s Day.

rose pannacotta and cherry cardamom coulis

rose & white chocolate panna cotta with cherry cardamom coulis

What I love about the Panna cotta is it’s so simple.  It’s the kind of dessert you can rattle out when in a rush and don’t have time to think of anything over the top or fancy.  It does the job.  Once you have the basic recipe you can make all sorts of flavour combinations – even savoury.

Informal? Serve them in funky little yogurt pots or shot glasses for parties with some fruit or purée dolloped on top. Something more formal? Pour into silicone moulds and turn them out on serving plates surrounded with a fruit purée and be creative on decor.  For a touch of Parisian elegance, mes amis, add a rose macaron or two, serve with a glass of bubbly and feel the toes curl…

Talking of bubbles, I needed a flute of pink Champagne just for the sake of a romantic shot.  In the end, the bottle and stem of the flute are barely visible.  I tried to get the Champagne in view but the angle was wrong; drank some more to see if a lower level would work.  No use.  Drank the whole lot and it still didn’t show.  In fact, there’s maybe a bit of camera shake?  Never mind.  It was deliciously fun!

rose, cardamom and white chocolate panna cotta

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours

Panna Cotta:

3 gelatine leaves @ 2g each
400ml single cream (min 30% fat)
100ml rosewater*
few drops of red colouring
80g white cooking chocolate
3 tbsp caster sugar

Coulis:

2 cups cherries, pitted
2 tbsp water
4 tbsp sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
Seeds from 2 cardamom pods

1.  Soak the gelatine in cold water for 5 minutes.

2.  Heat together the cream, rosewater*, colouring and sugar in a saucepan and gradually melt in the white chocolate.  Stir until smooth.
(* Rosewater: I normally use half litre bottles of light rosewater from North Africa that I get in France.  When I was in Scotland this week I could only find small 60ml bottles, which was so much more concentrated.  I would suggest the smaller the bottle, the smaller the dose needed. Ideally it should be water with essence of rose no more than about 6%)

squeeze gelatine

3.  Squeeze in the gelatine and stir to dissolve into the warm cream.

4.  Pour into non-stick silicone moulds.  Here I used briochette moulds but you could use muffin moulds.

5.  Leave to cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

cherries and cardamom

6.  Meanwhile, make the coulis: place the cherries in a saucepan with water (no need for water if your cherries are frozen since not in season), sugar, lemon juice and the cardamom seeds.

7.  Cook for about 10 minutes until the cherries are soft.  Transfer to a blender and blitz to a smooth sauce.

cherry and cardamom sauce

8.  When ready to serve, run the underside of the moulds briefly under hot water then carefully turn them out directly on to the serving plates and pour around the coulis.

rose and white chocolate panna cotta with cherry and cardamom coulis

Et voilà !


 

This dessert recipe was featured as a Guest Post for St. Valentine’s on Kate’s blog at Diethood.com


Chocolate Beetroot Flourless Fondants

Why is it that most people pull a face when you mention chocolate-beetroot and ask, “Can you taste the beetroot?” Well in a carrot cake, can you taste the carrot? Well no, you can’t really taste the beetroot as such, but it gives the chocolate a luxurious, natural red velvet colour, adds that perfect moisture and gives a fudgy sensation to the fondants.

Chocolate beet flourless fondant cakes and praline macarons with chocolate-beet fondants

 

I just love the combination of dark chocolate and beetroot (beet).  I’d read about it a couple of years ago in my aunt’s health book for beating cancer. I never noted the recipe down as the cake seemed a bit too dry and not good quality chocolate – but the idea stuck with me. As a Scot, we love our beetroots. As a gourmande, I love my squidgy chocolate cake.  This is based on a simple, classic French flourless chocolate cake but the added beetroot gives it that moist, extra squidginess.

They can be served warm as a dessert with vanilla ice-cream; or add a touch of ginger or orange to some Chantilly for alternative combinations. I personally love them on their own without any extras: served at room temperature with a noisette (espresso coffee with a dash of milk). Don’t forget they always taste better after some maturing, just like wine and macarons…

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes
Maturing Time: Minimum 24 hours

225g dark chocolate (min 64% cocoa solids)
few drops of coffee essence
200g butter, softened
175g caster sugar
150g pre-cooked beetroot, grated (but not cooked in vinegar!)
4 eggs
1 tbsp ground almonds

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Set a bowl with the broken chocolate pieces over a pan of boiling water. Add the coffee essence and melt in the butter.
  2. Continue to stir then add the sugar. Squeeze out any excess liquid from the beetroot then add the grated beetroot to the mix. Gradually break the eggs into the mixture, stirring well after each addition, then mix in the almonds.
  3. Pour the mixture into non-stick silicon mini muffin moulds and bake for 20-25 minutes. The cakes should still be quite moist in the middle but cooked enough on the outside to come clean out of the moulds when cool. Leave to cool completely before turning them out.
  4. Now the hard part! Wrap the cakes in foil and set aside for at least a day to mature them.

See? It’s not just macarons that need maturing time. Patience…

This recipe accompanies the blog post, “Blushing Beetroot Flirting with Chocolate

Orange Blossom & Cinnamon Pannacotta

Moroccan-style panna cotta


A quick, light and easy dessert that can either be served at parties in little shot glasses or for dinner parties by using non-stick silicone moulds.  When ready to serve, sprinkle with ground pistachios and serve with sliced oranges, toasted pinenuts and sprigs of mint for a Moroccan-style version. Needless to say, serve with orange blossom macarons (see page 77).

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours

3 gelatine leaves (2g each)
400 ml organic single cream
100 ml orange flower water
4 tbsps caster sugar
1 cinnamon stick

  1. Soak the gelatine in cold water for 5-6 minutes.
  2. Heat together the cream and orange flower water in a pan with the cinnamon stick and the sugar.
  3. Remove the cinnamon stick.  Squeeze in the gelatine and stir to dissolve into the warm cream.
  4. Pour into shot glasses or into silicone moulds (here I’m using briochette moulds).
  5. Leave to cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  6. When ready to serve, run the underside of the moulds briefly in warm water then carefully place them directly on the serving plates.