Easy French seasonal recipes including many traditional dishes from my travels. Includes a database of egg yolk recipes and many gluten-free dishes, cakes and desserts.

Guest Recipe: Mango Egg Tarts

Do you ever get all soppy sentimental over certain foods?  It may sound silly, but mine is simply with egg tarts.  When I initially came to live in Paris, it was sometimes overwhelming trying to cope with the language.  Everyone spoke so fast!  As a lost Scottish chatterbox, I often felt dumbstruck following tongue-twisting euuh-ahh-oooh French lessons at Alliance Française. Antoine, who had the sweet tooth, would buy egg tarts frequently to cheer me up.  They remain a sweet comfort whenever I’m feeling a bit numb dumb.  Yes, even 20 years on, it still happens when my children now correct my French!

Just recently, I discovered a wonderful blog, Roti n Rice. Its author, Biren, was preparing fascinating recipes that were a mix of Asian dishes but somehow seemed familiar with Western influences.  Biren was brought up in Malaysia and so was used to her family serving a mix of Chinese, Malay, and Indian cuisines.  As she grew up, Western, Japanese, and other East Asian cuisines were thrown into the mix.  Now Biren lives in Minnesota. What more can I say?  Biren mixes the two cooking cultures of Roti (meaning bread in Malay, Hindi, and other South Asian languages) with rice and noodles.

I was delighted when Biren accepted to do a guest post for us today, to add to the egg yolk recipe series.  What kind of twist would she do to an egg tart?  Well hang on, folks; wait until you see how my humble studenty egg tart has been given the new dinner party treatment.  Let me hand you over to Biren.

mango egg tart egg yolk recipe

Biren, Roti n Rice

Greetings to all you Macaronivores! I am Biren of Roti n Rice and I am much honored to be here today, contributing to Le Blog’s new series on egg yolk recipes. First of all, I would like to thank my gracious host, Jill for the invitation and to congratulate her on “Mad About Macarons”.  I have heard many good things about the book.

This new series on egg yolks is such a brilliant idea. It fills a niche in using up egg yolks, saving the whites for macarons. I have enjoyed the recipes from the other guest posts and look forward to more in the coming days.

Now, it is my turn to share a recipe with you that is reminiscent of the egg tart, a dim sum favorite. Instead of a pastry crust, I made an easy pressed graham cracker crust* filled with a mango custard. The custard is light and slightly tangy, contrasting beautifully with the crust. These tarts can be made ahead if you are having guests. Cover and leave to chill in the fridge until ready to be served. Enjoy!

(* Graham crackers may not be found outside of the US. Please substitute with Marie biscuits or Digestive biscuits. Ginger snaps would also work.)

mango egg tarts for teatime

 

Mango Egg Tarts

(makes 6 tarts)

Graham Cracker Crust

1¼ cups (140g) finely crushed Graham crackers (Marie biscuits, Digestive biscuits, or ginger snaps)
2 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp (70g) unsalted butter, melted

Mango Custard

1 cup (240ml) mango puree
¾  cup (170ml) coconut milk
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp (30gm) butter
2 tbsp rice flour

Line a standard size muffin pan with 8 foil liners.

Graham Cracker Crust

Stir together crushed graham crackers, sugar and butter until well combined. Press mixture evenly onto the bottom and sides of lined muffin pan. Bake in a 350?F (180°C) oven for 8 minutes. In the mean time, work on the custard. When crust is ready, remove and cool on a rack. Leave oven on.

Mango Custard
In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks lightly. Set aside.  Heat butter in a pan and cook flour. Pour in mango puree, coconut milk, and  sugar stirring over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in egg yolks until well combined. Pour warm filling into baked tart shells. Bake in a 350?F (180°C) oven for 12 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack. When it is cool enough to handle, transfer baked tarts to a flat pan. Cover with foil and chill for at least 4 hours in the fridge.
Mango egg tartlets yolk recipe
Many thanks, Biren, for sharing such a delicious yolky recipe with us.  Don’t forget to drop by Biren’s blog, “Roti n Rice” and say hello for me.  She has plenty more gorgeous sweet and savoury recipes to share.

Guest Recipe: Chocolate Crunchy Trifle with Egg Yolk Buttercream Frosting

Nice driveway“, Kate had on her personal blog profile.  I was instantly intrigued.  What on earth? Then it all clicked.  Kate – or Katerina – hails from Macedonia and nice driveway is phonetic for Na Zdravje, which means “to your good health” in Macedonian.

It sums up Kate brilliantly.  She is herself a perfect picture of health and her mouth-watering recipes echo that via her blog, Diethood.com.  When I first got to know Kate, I realised just what a sincere person she is: I felt I’d known her for ages!  She had been looking at my book and asked me to do a guest post on her site, since she wanted to tell her friends about it.  I was – and still am – extremely flattered. We have a number of things in common: one of them is our love for a good trifle. Except the trifle I grew up with in Scotland is very different to the royal one she is sharing with us today. It’s not just creamy, it’s crrrrunchy!  So my friends, let me hand you over to the lovely Kate now…

Kate, at Diethood.com

A few months ago I asked my now dear friend, Jill, if she would do a guest post for me. When she accepted the invite, I was incredibly excited! I think I even did a cheer. Then, just a couple of months later, she invited me to guest post for her – How lucky am I? I was on cloud nine when I received that email. I thought, “Are you kidding me?! Of course I accept!”

Jill had only one requirement; egg yolks. I can do that!!  Or can I?!?

I went through lots of recipes, including my mom’s, but I kept coming back to the one that I always go to when I have a few egg yolks left – my egg yolk buttercream frosting! I got this recipe many years ago from my Aunt Sneshka when I was visiting my home back in Macedonia. She used this frosting as a filling for some cookies that were seriously the best cookies I had ever tasted. At that time she informed that this was a very popular frosting that was used in Macedonia during and after Easter because of the abundance of eggs.

If I only had the recipe for those cookies…sigh. But we’re in luck because at least I have the recipe for the frosting!  I use this frosting for cupcakes, cakes, cookies – whatever needs to be frosted or filled, this is the recipe I will use 99% of the time when I have some yolks that need to be used up.

Today I will share a dessert with you that I usually make when I need something creamy, something crunchy, and something delicious!  This is a three part recipe, and it may seem a bit overwhelming, but it’s not! Please trust me.

chocolate crunchy trifle egg yolk recipe

Chocolate Crunchy Trifle with Egg Yolk Buttercream Frosting

You will need:

For the Cake:
2 ½ cups graham crackers (or digestive biscuits), ground
1 cup walnuts, finely ground
Orange zest from 1 orange
1 orange, juiced
1 stick of butter
4 squares of Baker’s Unsweetened Baking Chocolate, melted with 1 tablespoon Vegetable Spread

For the Egg Yolk Buttercream:
1 stick of butter
1 cup of powdered sugar
4 egg yolks, poached
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the Pudding Topping:
1 (5.1 ounces) package Jell-O Instant Pudding, Vanilla Flavored
1 (8 ounces) tub Whipped Topping (Cool Whip)

Directions:

First we are going to make the graham cracker/digestive crust.

In a large bowl put in all the ingredients for the cake and let your hands do the work. Or the wooden spoon. Mix well and combine. Set aside.

Poach the egg yolks by dropping the yolks, one by one, into almost boiling water; allow the yolk to cook for 1 minute. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let the yolk sit for another 4 minutes. Do this with the rest of the yolks. Set aside.

Into the bowl of your mixer cream together the butter and the powdered sugar; cream for 5 minutes. Add in the poached yolks, one by one, and the vanilla extract, and cream together for another 10 minutes.

Take out some aluminum foil and spread the graham crackers mixture on it. With your fingers press the graham crackers tightly together, just as you would do for a pie or a cheesecake.

Spread the frosting on top of the graham cracker crust.


At this point you can do one of two things; you can roll the cake like a log and put it in the freezer, or you can lay it flat and put it in the freezer. I usually roll it into a log because there is no room in my freezer to put it in flat. If you roll it into a log you also have the choice of cutting the cake into cookies! I do that, too, sometimes.

You can leave it in the freezer for at least 3 hours, or up to 1 day.  When ready to use, take out the cake and let it sit on the counter for about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, you can make the pudding.

In the bowl of your mixer prepare the vanilla pudding per the instructions on the package.

Add in the whipped topping and beat until well combined. Set aside.

Begin by crumbling the cake into a trifle bowl. Just break it off – don’t need to be fancy. It will be covered up with the pudding. 😉

Spread the pudding mixture over the top.

Put it in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Before serving, add chocolate shavings on top and serve with berries (optional).

Kate trifle 3

 

Before I go, I just want to thank my beautiful friend Jill for inviting me to do a guest post for her; I am truly honored! Thank you, my dear! xoxo

That looks one incredible trifle, Kate!  With 4 egg yolks in this, there are lovely egg whites left over for our macarons.  Thank you so much for sharing this.  Fabulous trifle and nice driveway! 🙂

Don’t forget to click over to Kate’s blog, Diethood, for many more delicious recipes and say cheers from me, will you?  I see she’s just made a batch of the most scrumptious strawberry cheesecake ice-cream…

Thyme to be Sage with Buttered Asparagus

This past week I was so ashamed of the garden. I had run away from it for too long. The weather didn’t give me an excuse, either, as the sun was shining. It was time to JUST DO IT! My back has been killing me since (the computer doesn’t help, either!) but the effort was worth it.  The cherry tree is now covered in netting (yeh, as if that will prevent the wood pigeons from pecking at them!) and the raspberries are well on their way.

chives mint herb garden

 

The only part of the garden that’s in full bloom is the wee herb corner. Once the major weeds disappeared, I discovered we actually had flowers: on the chives, lemon thyme, and they were popping out in their full glory on the sage plants.

sage in flower

 

Just seeing the word, sage, makes me laugh.  In French, sage means wise (if you’re referring to an adult), and good (when you’re referring to a child). I keep meaning to ask my husband how this works; I mean, at what point will it no longer be wise to shout, “Soyez sage!” as you drop the kids off at a party?

sage flowers close-up

Delicious and stunning sage flowers

I’ve never seen such gorgeous looking flowers that you can eat!  I just had to do something with them. When I did my usual weekly shop at the market, I also had to asparagus myself.  Well, that’s what they kept shouting at the market: “Aspergez-vous!”, “Aspergez-vous!”

asparagus and strawberries at the French market

Asparagus season at the French market

The French normally serve asparagus with hollandaise sauce, or toss it in butter.  With such beautiful and delicate sage flowers, I wanted an excuse to use them for friends coming to dinner. Nothing fancy. What could be easier than tossing them in butter infused with sage and decorating them with the edible flowers?

white asparagus with sage butter

White asparagus tossed in sage butter

For the sage butter, it’s not even a recipe – so not worth putting it as a recipe post on the site. It’s a no-brainer! Just take about 1/3 pack of unsalted butter, melt it over the most gentle heat you can, along with several sage leaves and a few leaves that have been chopped finely.  Stir it now and again with a wooden spoon – still on a very low heat – then discard the large leaves.  The butter is beautifully perfumed.  Toss the asparagus (peeled, trimmed & steamed in boiling water for about 5 minutes) in the butter and serve.  Et voilà!

Just so the green asparagus didn’t feel left out, I did the same again for more guests.  The sage flowers were a real talking point.  They really taste of sage and it went well with the asparagus.

Asparagus, sage butter and flowers

Asparagus, sage butter and flowers

Hm.  Last week you may have been disappointed that I didn’t make a stinging nettle macaron.  I know, how could I not join in the fun?  Well, truth be told I preferred the nettles mixed with ricotta cheese and mint in some homemade ravioli, tossed in the sage butter and served with some crispy sage leaves.

ravioli with sage butter and sage flowers

Homemade nettle ravioli, sage butter and sage flowers

I don’t want to disappoint you this time, though.  Why not take a glass of wine, sit back and enjoy it with a mini sweet garden herb macaron?  And if you have the book handy, then just turn to page 97 for the recipe. Cheers!

Sweet Garden Herb Macarons

 

Making macarons but don’t know what to do with the egg yolks? Don’t despair. Check out this week’s guest recipe post from Joshua at Just Eat! He’s making us some Biscuits Bretons to use up our egg yolks.

If you missed the others, take a look at Liz’s silky Chocolate Pots de Crème (guest from That Skinny Chick Can Bake), Erin’s Blueberry or Pineapple Curd (guest from BigFatBaker), and Manu’s Genovesi Ericine Sicilian pastries (guest from Manu’s Menu).

Stay tuned, folks, since there are more guests coming soon to share their egg yolk recipes with us.

Before you go, I just wanted to say a huge thank you for some blog awards.  I haven’t forgotten: just stuck for time to post it all – will be up on the next post!

Guest Recipe: Biscuits Bretons

When my friend, Joshua, told me he had the perfect French recipe to use up egg yolks for this series, I was overjoyed.  It’s my absolute favourite French biscuit: it’s buttery, but not too heavy or sweet.  What’s more – like macarons – they’re addictive.

If you don’t know Joshua already, you soon will.  He was the one who came up with that magnificent macaron for the Royal Wedding macaron procession.  So let’s bring on the royal trumpets to welcome Joshua to the guest recipe egg yolk series.  Ladies and Gentlemen, let me hand you over to the Monsieur himself…

Joshua, author of Just Eat!

I’m Joshua Alan, a food blogger for “Just Eat!” and aspiring pastry chef. Currently, I live and study French in Normandy, France, which I will terminate this coming June. In the United States, I am a college study and small business owner, a baking and cake decorating business, in Nashville, Tennessee. I absolutely love all things sweet! Just about everytime I walk the streets of my French city, I am trying a different pastry! It’s magical. A world without dessert is not a world that I want to live in. My blog is all about these adventures and recipes inspired by the travels of my taste buds!

This recipe is a favorite of mine and is a great way to use up all those left over egg yolks! Le biscuit breton is a specialty of Bretagne, France, located just below my current city. These cookies are rich, sweet, and buttery. What more can you ask for? The smell as they bake is entirely intoxicating, but does the taste no justice! I could seriously eat an entire batch by myself, and I have.

Recipe: Les Biscuits Bretons

Ingredients:

3 Egg Yolks
1 1/4 cup Sugar (125 g)
1 cup Butter (Room temp) (230 g)
3 cups Flour (370 g)
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Water + 1 Egg Yolk

Makes 4 Dozen Cookies

1. In a clean bowl, place 3 egg yolks, the butter, and the sugar.
2. Mix until fluffy.
3. Add in flour and salt, mix well.


4. Turn dough out onto floured surface and form into a ball. Add water, if needed.
5. Wrap dough in parchment paper or plastic wrap, than place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
6. Roll dough out to approximately 1/6″/ 4 mm thick.


7. Using a cookie cutter, preferable a fluted one, cut the dough and place on a baking sheet.
8. Mix water and egg yolk, then brush each cookie with the mixture.
9. Using a fork, drag the tips across the top of the cookies, making a criss-cross pattern.
10. Bake at 350F/180C for 10-12 minutes.

Many thanks, Joshua, for joining in the egg yolk recipe collection with my favourite French biscuits.  Don’t forget to drop by Joshua’s blog, “Just Eat!” for many more delicious French-inspired treats.  At the moment he’s travelling around Europe, so we’re looking forward to hearing all about his adventures!

Stinging Nettle Pesto

Nettles are full of healthy nutrients.  So this Stinging Nettle Pesto is particularly high in iron, packed with other minerals and vitamins, plus it’s a great detox for the liver.

Nettles are best in the Spring.  Ideally, pick nettles that are quite high (you don’t want them “sprayed” by animals) and the younger leaves are best since the older, outer leaves can be quite bitter.  Never pick nettles from the side of the road, as they are in danger of being sprayed by herbicides.  It’s best to get them far into the forest, as nature intended. Check out my previous post about picking nettles in the forest.

Stinging Nettle Pesto

Like classic pesto, this nettle variation is handy to have in the fridge.  It can keep for 3-4 days (just keep topping it up with olive oil after use) and it freezes well, too.  Pesto is SO quick and easy to make, it’s a crying shame if you buy that mass market stuff sold in jars at the supermarket. Although – this nettle version does take a bit longer but it’s worth it.

stinging nettle pesto

 

Stinging Nettle Pesto

Ingredients

100g stinging nettle leaves, stalks removed
30 pine nuts, (or walnuts) toasted
2 cloves garlic, core removed
40g parmesan, freshly grated (reggiano, although grana padano will do)
1 tsp sea salt
freshly cracked pepper
200ml extra virgin olive oil

1.  Keep your gloves on at this point, as the nettles still have their sting!

Don’t forget the gloves!

2.  Remove all the leaves from the stalks then soak them in cold water for a few minutes.

3.  Still with gloves on, plunge the leaves into salted boiling water for 2 minutes.  The salt keeps the green colour bright.  Blanching the nettle leaves like this removes their sting.

4.  Strain the leaves and cool.  You could reserve the cooking water (for stock, soups etc.)

5.  Once cool, squeeze out any excess water and place in a food processor or blender with the other ingredients. Add the cheese at the end.

Toss the pesto into cooked pasta.  There is no need to heat the sauce.  That way you get all the beautiful flavours oodling their way between the noodles…

stinging nettle pesto

 

Garnish the dish with crispy nettle leaves which have been deep fried for 30 seconds in 150°C and left to drain off excess oil on kitchen paper.  That way you get Le Crunch and not a sting…

Enjoy with a glass of red Bordeaux, such as a Fronsac, a chilled fruity rosé or a white Vermentino.

Santé! To your good health!


Guest Recipe: Chocolate Pots de Crème

It has been a while since we’ve seen chocolate on the site.  Passing by a few chocolate shops this week, it has been uplifting to see beautiful pots of lily-of-the-valley arrangements, traditionally associated with 1st May to bring good luck. When my friend, Liz Berg told me that she had a recipe for chocolate pots to share for today’s guest post, I was so excited. It was just perfect!

Lily-of-the-valley pots in chocolate shops, Paris

A self-confessed chocoholic, one look at Liz’s blog, “That Skinny Chick Can Bake” and it’s confirmed.  She has – to date – 85 recipes for chocolate and more recipes including chocolate chips.  That can’t be bad for a skinny chick, n’est-ce pas?

Liz is not just a blogger but a friend to us as well.  Injected with humour, through her blog she shares her enthusiasm for cooking and baking in the family (even the dog isn’t left out!)  Liz is also so generous with her recipe tips and suggestions, and tempts us with her drool-worthy photos.

I am so proud that she has come today to share her pots of chocolately deliciousness for the egg yolk recipe series.  On top of that, they contain not just one or two but SIX egg yolks!  Topped with raspberries and white chocolate whipping cream.  No more from me – it’s over to Liz.

Liz of “That Skinny Chick Can Bake

I was delighted to receive an invitation from Jill to write a guest blog.  Jill is such a delightful blogger and friend…her warmth and good humor shine with every word she posts.  She’s seen me crank out dessert after dessert, so it was fun to be challenged to dig up a recipe which utilizes a lot of egg yolks.

Chocolate pots de crème are often found on our Christmas menu…and today’s version was for Easter.  I live in a household of chocoholics, so every holiday must have a chocolate dessert. You can serve these plain or, for special occasions, top them with a luscious white chocolate whipped cream.  If you use smaller dishes as I did, check for doneness early and often by doing a jiggle test…the outer edges should be set, though the middle may still wiggle when you gently tap the ramekin.

These make a stunning dessert…and use up 6 egg yolks.  I think I may have to whip up some macarons this week! Hope you all enjoy…thanks for this opportunity, Jill.

chocolate pots egg yolk recipe

Chocolate Pots de Crème

…loosely adapted from Bon Appetit

2 cups heavy cream
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla

1.  Preheat oven to 300º. Place six 6-ounce ramekins in large baking dish.
2.  Add cream to a saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Remove from heat and add chocolate.  Stir till chocolate is melted.
3.  Whisk eggs and sugar in a large bowl, till thick and pale.  Drizzle a bit of the hot chocolate mixture into eggs to temper, whisking constantly.  Continue slowly adding hot liquid while whisking till all liquid is incorporated.  Avoid incorporating air into mixture if possible. If you find you have some small, unmelted particles of chocolate at the bottom of the saucepan, gently heat till melted and add to bowl.
4.  Place a fine mesh sieve over a large measuring cup.  Strain custard.  Pour custard into the ramekins, then pour enough hot water into pan to reach halfway up ramekins.  Cover pan with foil and poke a few holes in foil to allow steam to escape.  Bake 25-30 minutes or till outer inch of custard is set.  Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate till serving time.
Serve with a dollop of white chocolate whipped cream and garnish with berries.

custard set in the ramekins

Now for the white chocolate cream…

White Chocolate Whipped Cream

…adapted from Bon Appetit

2 ounces good quality white chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup whipping cream

Combine chocolate and the 2 tablespoons whipped cream in small microwave safe bowl.  Gently microwave stopping and stirring frequently, till chocolate is melted and smooth.  Cool 10 minutes.  Whip the remaining cream to soft peaks.  Whisk in white chocolate.  Cover and refrigerate.
Et voilà: Chocolate Pots de Creme

Et voilà: Chocolate Pots de Creme

Many thanks to you, Liz, for sharing such a scrumptious yolky chocolatey dessert with us.  Now you’ve given us plenty of egg whites to put aside for macarons!

Don’t forget to pop by “That Skinny Chick Can Bake!” for many more tempting and delicious recipes from Liz and say hello from me!