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Chorizo Risotto with Seared Scallops or Prawns

This Chorizo Risotto is my trump recipe card when I haven’t had time to go shopping yet need a quick recipe that delivers the goods! It’s perhaps in my Top 20 dishes that you can make in no time – as long as there is some chorizo in the fridge.

As chorizo keeps for a long time, it’s a handy ingredient to have in stock – that pun is totally intended!

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chorizo risotto prawns seared scallops

This recipe was first published as Chorizo Risotto with Prawns on 7 October 2016. This post has now been updated to include a printable recipe card, updated text & photos. However, as it was previously using a template, I have lost all lovely comments and recipe reviews – so please give this recipe some new love!

Chorizo Risotto with Scallops, Prawns, Fish or Chicken

Not only is it so simple and great on its own, but it’s even more delicious served with seared scallops, fried prawns (shrimp), with fish, with chicken, or just with a few greens.

Chorizo risotto is a handy and versatile recipe for a quick and rewarding family dinner – or for when friends pop in at the last minute, as the ingredients are usually always at hand in the fridge or in our cupboards – and I love to keep some scallops or prawns in the freezer.

chorizo risotto

Chorizo Risotto – French Restaurant Inspiration

I remember having a much more sophisticated version of this chorizo risotto a few years ago in a chic restaurant in the Champagne region – and it was unforgettable, served with a Premier Cru Champagne. Bliss together on a special occasion! The dish was so elegant, served with a filet of the most buttery, flaky fish on top, and the sauce was served apart, which was quite a revelation to me for serving a risotto!

This sauce was so mousse-like that I’m sure it was prepared using a Siphon. The chorizo sausage was blitzed so there were no bits in it. Personally, over time, I love also having bits of chorizo in it – it adds to the textures. But it’s your call – try both and see.

chorizo shrimp spicy risotto

While the flavour combinations played in my mind, I couldn’t resist playing with food back home and trying out a simpler take on it, serving the chorizo sauce around the risotto and topping with seared scallops or prawns/shrimps.

Gradually, I’ve tried it with wine – great! But try it instead with a splash of French Pastis (Ricard or Casanis – all makes of aniseed liqueur).  It adds that je ne sais quoi! Try it.

how to make chorizo risotto pastis

After experimenting happily on the family over the years, here it is – et voilà ! So chic yet so easy.

chorizo risotto scallops

Top with edible herb flowers for a special occasion or scatter with a few toasted sesame seeds.

More Seafood or Fish Recipes

Prawn, Lemon & Asparagus Spaghetti

Smoked Haddock Fish Cakes with Homemade Tartare Sauce

Herb & Parmesan Crusted John Dory (à la Viennoise)

Cullen Skink Scottish Smoked Haddock Chowder

Salmon with Smoked Tea Beurre Blanc

French Monkfish Stew: Lotte à L’Armoricaine

Salmon Fish Cakes from Christina’s Cucina

Cioppino Italian-American Seafood Stew from Christina’s Cucina

chorizo risotto scallops

 

5 from 1 vote
Chorizo Risotto with Leeks & Scallops
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French, Italian
Keyword: chorizo recipes, leek risotto
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 431 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
Chorizo Sauce
  • 110 g (4oz) chorizo sausage medium or strong, according to taste
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 1 litre (1.75pints) chicken stock (or vegetable or fish, depending on accompaniment)
  • 150 ml (5fl oz) single cream (15% reduced fat or 30% full cream)
Risotto
  • 1 leek or onion (medium), finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 250 g (9oz) risotto rice (Arborio or Carnaroli)
  • 3 tbsp Pastis (Anis liqueur) or white wine a good splash
  • 25 g (1oz) butter salted (or unsalted and add salt)
  • 25 g (1oz) parmesan grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped (or other herbs or choice)
  • 12 fresh scallops (defrosted if frozen)
  • 2 pinches salt & pepper to your taste
Instructions
  1. First make the chorizo sauce: In a small saucepan, dry fry half of the chopped shallot with the chopped chorizo until the shallots are translucent, chorizo-coloured and there’s no fat left in the pan. Add about a quarter (250ml/9fl oz) of the stock, boil then leave to simmer until the sauce reduces by a half.

  2. Make the risotto: Heat the olive oil in a large pan and sauté the chopped leek (or onion) until translucent. Add the risotto rice and toss in the oil and leek until also translucent then add a good splash of Pastis/Ricard (or wine).

  3. As soon as the Aniseed liqueur (or wine) is absorbed, add a large ladle at a time of the HOT stock and stir until the stock is well absorbed by the rice. Repeat this for 15-20 minutes or until the rice is cooked.  

  4. Add the butter, parmesan, seasoning and chopped parsley. Add the cream to the chorizo sauce 5 minutes before the risotto is ready and continue to simmer. Blitz the sauce with a hand-blender if you like it smooth, otherwise keep the chorizo pieces in. Keep the sauce warm until ready to serve.

  5. In a small frying pan, heat the butter just until it browns slightly and smells nutty.  Sear the scallops or prawns (3 per person) until they are just cooked.

Recipe Notes

Serve the chorizo risotto in bowls (I like to push the risotto into large inox rings or cookie cutters to mould it into shape quickly), top with the scallops or prawns and drizzle around the chorizo sauce. Top with herb flowers or scatter over some toasted sesame seeds.

Choose either mild or strong chorizo, depending how spicy you like it.

Matching wines: Chardonnay or Chenin Blanc or Champagne.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: 431 calories per portion; 19g protein; 36g lipids.

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com

 

 

 

French Onion Tarte Tatin with Cheese

This French Onion Tarte Tatin is one of my favourite quick and easy savoury dishes. It’s so handy to make using basic ingredients I like to keep in stock in the fridge and pantry. This recipe is healthy too – as onions are naturally sweet, there’s no need to add any sugar or honey; the onions caramelise themselves!

French Onion Tarte Tatin

With some chèvre goat’s cheese hidden under the onions before hitting the crispy puff pastry, the flavours are divine – especially with a touch of fresh rosemary and toasted walnuts sprinkled on top, almost as an afterthought. I took inspiration for the accompanying flavours in this recipe from the classic French salade de chèvre chaud. For those of you not keen on goat’s cheese, however, you can replace the cheese with Comté, Emmental or your own favourite cheese – or omit the cheese entirely.

Serve with a salad of lamb’s lettuce with extra toasted walnuts and for those not vegetarian, go the full monty with added bacon bits (lardons).

A version of this recipe was first published on le blog on 10 December 2013, and as a guest at Ann Mah’s  Tuesday Dinner series. The text is now updated with a printable recipe card and includes an accompanying VIDEO.

Jump to Recipe

French onion tarte tatin

Story of the Tarte Tatin

According to my old 1984 edition of Larousse Gastronomique, the Tarte Tatin dessert of caramelised apples (see my recipe here) was first served in Paris at Maxim’s giving a bow to its creators, the famous Tatin sisters.

Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin came up with this irresistible dessert quite by accident at the end of the 19th century while running their hotel/restaurant in the French Sologne region, south of Paris.  The story goes that, as the apples were caramelising in sugar and butter in the oven for their tarte solognote, they either realised they’d forgotten the pastry or that they’d burned the apples, so they simply plopped the pastry on top, baked then flipped the tart upside down, et voilà. From then on, it was served as their speciality until they retired in 1906, although they never called it a Tarte Tatin until Maxim’s took it on by storm in Paris on their dessert menu.

Onion Tarte Tatin – No Sugar!

Onions are naturally sweet: they contain about 5% sugar, which is good news for making an onion tarte tatin.  So there’s no need for making any caramel or adding any sugar. Cooking the onions slowly first means they caramelise themselves without the sugar.

If you do have a sweet tooth, however, you could add a touch of balsamic vinegar to the onions, to add a bit of acidity and extra rich colour.

Perfect Vegetarian Starter for Entertaining

It’s a handy recipe for all seasons and, depending on who’s sitting at the table, it can be dressed either up or down for something simple to oh-là-là effective as a starter at dinner.

It’s also vegetarian (it’s not vegan), happy food served with a side salad.

One large onion tarte tatin serves 6-8 slices. Cook it in advance for no longer than 25 minutes until light golden, upturn on to a serving plate that can transfer to the oven then leave to cool. Just re-heat in the oven for 10 minutes and it’s an easy, stress-free dish that’s ready to serve to your guests.

Mini French Onion Tarte Tatin

Onion Tartlet Tatins

If you’d like to be more chic, make individual onion tartlet tatins using non-stick tartlet moulds (this recipe makes 6 tartlets). Watch my VIDEO here to see just how quick and easy they are to make, just like the large onion tarte tatin.

I made them with regular onions – the best of French’s ‘Roscoff’ onions with some comté cheese.

Chevre Red Onions

Onion Tarte Tatin with Cheese – What’s Best?

French Onion Tarte Tatin with Goat’s Cheese

Like a French goat’s cheese salad or this goat’s cheese and walnut pasta sauce, don’t skimp on using good quality goat cheese. I like to use a couple of Crottins de Chavignol made with raw goat’s milk (lait cru). Not creamy fresh and not too mouldy mature, either – just somewhere in between which is perfect for cooking and full of flavour.

Can’t find Crottin de Chavignol? No worries – use a good quality farm goat’s cheese and about 6 thick slices in total for a whole onion tarte tatin. It depends on your taste.

French Onion Tatin Tartlets

Comté or Emmental Cheese for Onion Tarte Tatin

Otherwise, replace the goat’s cheese with a few slices of comté cheese (as I use in the tartlet tatins on the video) o

Not keen on cheese at all? Omit the cheese entirely and the tatin will be just as good – just don’t forget the walnuts!

Wine pairing: serve with a chilled Sauvignon Blanc and the sensation with the goat’s cheese brings out honey flavours. Ideally, serve a wine from the Loire Valley since it’s The French region for goats cheeses (Sancerre, Quincy, Menetou-Salon, Pouilly, Reuilly…)

French Onion Tarte Tatin – without Cheese

Made without the cheese, I love this on its own just as much. However, topped with a few slices of Stornoway black pudding it gives it a stunning touch of the Scottish alliance on a French plate!

French Onion Tarte Tatin

 

5 from 1 vote
French Onion Tarte Tatin with Goat's Cheese
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 

A crispy and soft upside down tart of caramelised onions without any added sugar or honey with rosemary or thyme, toasted walnuts and a hidden layer of melted goat's cheese. Ready-made puff pastry makes this onion tarte tatin even easier to prepare along with staple pantry and fridge items.

Course: Appetizer, Light Lunch, Main Course, Starter
Cuisine: French
Keyword: onion tarte tatin, savoury tarte tatin
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 284 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
  • 4 large onions red or yellow
  • 1 packet (230g) ready-rolled puff pastry, all butter (or defrosted puff pastry, rolled into a circle)
  • 25g (1oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary or thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried Herbes de Provence)
  • handful walnuts
  • pinch salt & pepper
  • 100g (4oz) goat's cheese or comté (optional)
Instructions
  1. Peel and cut the onions into thin slices. Meanwhile, over a medium-low heat, melt the butter with some olive oil in a non-stick frying pan (ideally that can be transferred to the oven otherwise use a 23cm non-stick cake pan to bake the tatin). Add the onions to the pan and leave to soften and cook for about 15 minutes, turning a few times to coat the onions in the butter and oil.

  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6.

  3. Add chopped fresh herbs (or a teaspoon of dried Herbes de Provence) and season the onions. Transfer to a cake pan, if using. Slice the goat cheese (3 slices per person) and place them on top of the packed caramelised onions.

  4. Top with the larger disk of puff pastry, tucking it in around the sides of the pan. Prick the pastry (to stop the puff from rising in the oven) then transfer to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown.

  5. Remove from the oven. Place a serving plate larger than the pan over the top. Carefully turn the tatin upside down on to the plate.

Recipe Notes

See accompanying video demonstration here.

Serving Suggestions:

A side-salad of lamb's lettuce (mâche) tossed in olive or walnut oil, white balsamic vinegar and extra toasted walnuts.

Wine pairing with onions:

With goat's cheese: serve with a chilled white Sauvignon Blanc and the sensation with the goat's cheese brings out honey flavours. Ideally, serve a wine from the Loire Valley since it's The French region for goats cheeses (Sancerre, Quincy, Menetou-Salon, Pouilly, Reuilly...). A Sancerre red is also a good match.
Otherwise with onions: serve with a fruity Chenin Blanc (e.g. Vouvray, Savennières) or rosé.

.

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com

Lightest French Chocolate Mousse – without cream

Trust the French to transform just a few simple yet good quality ingredients into a most elegant dessert. This dark chocolate mousse is also an extremely light chocolate mousse. This recipe essentially consists of 70% dark chocolate with whipped, organic egg whites. It’s fluffy yet still an intensely chocolatey, dark French chocolate mousse – without any cream!

A version of this recipe was originally posted on 8 October 2018 but is now updated to better explain the recipe process along with a short video.

Dark chocolate mousse recipe

It’s not unlike this egg white-based light-as-a-feather white chocolate mousse with orange blossom.

This dark chocolate one is intense and rich for serious chocolate lovers.

dark chocolate mousse

Egg Tips for Making Chocolate Mousse

The recipe is basically just using a few best quality ingredients: good bittersweet (couverture) chocolate – I use 70% cacao; a spoonful of unsweetened cocoa powder, a little sugar, fresh, organic egg whites and only one egg yolk.

My tip? Ensure your egg yolk is at room temperature.  It doesn’t matter for the egg whites, but the yolk if cold and added to the chocolate will seize the chocolate up while added.  If this does happen, then just add a spoon of boiling water to fix it.  Otherwise, to make it EVEN EASIER, I add the egg yolk to the whites at the end of whipping.

Problem completely solved!

dark chocolate mousse recipe method

Classic French Chocolate Mousse Recipe

As you can see from the recipe card below, the recipe is so easy: it’s basically melting (good quality) dark chocolate and unsweetened chocolate powder together over a pan of simmering water, then folding in whipped egg whites with a little sugar and an egg yolk as if as  an afterthought. Although slightly tweeked with more dark chocolate, less powder and the addition of salt, this is my favourite recipe originally inspired by chef Raymond Blanc. I also added the yolk in the egg whites rather than adding it to the chocolate.

Speaking of Blanc, this recipe uses many fresh egg whites. Only ONE egg yolk is used, so I’d suggest making any of the recipes from the egg yolk recipe database in advance. That way you can put aside plenty of egg whites (I normally store them in a clean jam jar in the fridge for up to 5 days) to make this mousse – and indeed, homemade macarons!

 

dark chocolate mousse

French Chocolate Mousse – No Cream!

A classic French chocolate mousse like this doesn’t need any cream. The egg whites make this light and fluffy and we can appreciate the good quality of the chocolate.

According to my Larousse Gastronomique, a French Mousse is literally a foam and can be savoury as well as sweet.  It’s created by whipping up many egg whites to achieve this and cream is normally not used – although many recipes add a touch of cream to lighten it up.  Personally I prefer it without the cream; that way the chocolate shines through completely.

See a demonstration of this recipe – NOW ON VIDEO

 

Little Sugar in a Chocolate Mousse

Little sugar is used in this chocolate mousse, too.  Too much sugar not only makes the mousse become grainy but it also interferes with the flavour of the intense chocolate.

“What’s the point of having good quality ingredients if you mask it with too much sugar?” I agree with many French pastry chefs that shout this out from the Parisian rooftops here!

Wood Cottage like chocolate

As the dark chocolate mousse was chilling nicely in the fridge, we popped along to Wood Cottage in Le Vésinet (just west of Paris, in les Yvelines), for a FREE (!) jazz concert.  It’s an annual event at the end of the summer – and a real treat. Now classed a historical monument, the 1864 Wood Cottage buildings look remarkably like chocolate, don’t they?

While we’re on the subject of chocolate, stay tuned for the most incredible Parisian chocolate shop personality just 5 minutes’ walk from Le Moulin Rouge in Montmartre, à l’Etoile d’Or with Denise Acabo. Meanwhile,

French dark chocolate mousse no cream

Have you made any of the recipes from le blog, my books, or fancy making this dark chocolate mousse recipe?  Please leave a comment below or take a picture and hashtag it #MadAboutMacarons on Instagram / Facebook, or just tell your friends to join me on le blog! Thanks so much – I love to see you enjoying the recipes!

French Dark Chocolate Mousse Recipe

5 from 7 votes
dark chocolate mousse
French Dark Chocolate Mousse
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Chilling Time
2 hrs
Total Time
2 hrs 30 mins
 

A French classic dessert with no cream: a light yet intensely bittersweet dark chocolate mousse for serious chocolate lovers who love their chocolate rich and airy.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: chocolate mousse recipe without cream, lightest chocolate mousse recipe, French chocolate mousse recipe
Servings: 5 people
Calories: 243 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
  • 170 g (6oz) 70% dark (bittersweet) cooking chocolate (a cup)
  • 10 g (2 tsp) unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Van Houten)
  • 170 g (6oz) organic egg whites (from 5 large fresh eggs)
  • 30 g (1oz) sugar
  • 1 organic egg, separated (at room temperature)
  • pinch salt fleur de sel*
Instructions
  1. Melt the chocolate and cocoa powder together in a bowl over a pan of simmering water (Bain-marie), taking care not to overcook the chocolate (don't have the water at a rolling boil, just simmering gently). As soon as the chocolate begins to melt, switch off the heat and stir until completely smooth, then take the bowl off the heat.

  2. Separate the extra egg, keeping the yolk aside for later (it's important the yolk is at room temperature).

    In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites (using a stand mixer or electric beaters) with the sugar until soft and strong peaks form. Add the extra egg white and continue to whisk.

  3. When the whites are strong and hold well, continue to whisk in the egg yolk and add the fleur de sel.

    Gradually add the whipped egg whites to the chocolate using a strong yet flexible spatula, folding each carefully until well blended together. Repeat folding gently until the consistency is completely mixed together, light and airy.

  4. Either transfer the bowl to the fridge or pour/spoon into serving glasses and place in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours until ready to serve.

    Serve chilled and top with fresh fruit, shaved chocolate or a sprig of mint.

Recipe Notes

Serve chilled with chocolate macarons (see the recipes in both my books), crispy almond tuiles, or garnish with a sprig of mint, edible flowers or fresh fruit. If you really want the cream, add a dollop of freshly whipped Chantilly cream.

* Variations: Omit the salt and add a teaspoon of soluble coffee granules for a mocha treat - or add the zest of an orange or lime for a citrus take on the recipe. Add a tablespoon of Cognac or Grand Marnier liqueur for a special occasion (adults only). 

Note: see list of egg yolk recipes for the leftover egg whites needed for this recipe.

Recipe demonstrated fully on VIDEO HERE.

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com

French Chocolate Mousse

Mint Omelette – Corsican Style

Let me show you one of our favourite easiest, summer lunches: a Corsican Mint Omelette. This recipe was first published on 8 June 2018 but now updated to include a new video.

I make this mint omelette often in summer (totally copied from Antoine’s Corsican mum) to help contain our friendly-but-wild mint varieties, as it makes a deliciously refreshing dish, served with plenty of fresh, crusty baguette. It’s a change from Mojito Macarons!

When I first posted this photo on social media, your reactions were, “What? There’s just mint in it?”

Yes, there is.

Mint Omelette, Corsican style

My mother-in-law always makes it just with mint – but there are two versions to a Corsican Mint Omelette: one is with mint, the other with mint and cheese.  However, I didn’t tell you the best part about a Corsican mint omelette.

Firstly let me tell you, if you’re new here, that my husband is Corsican. He’s from l’Ile de Beauté, the beautiful island that sits southeast of  France’s hexagone and above the Italian island of Sardinia. While Corsica has officially been part of France since 1768, its culture is still predominantly Italian.

See my video HERE

Corsican Mint Omelette Recipe Video

It’s fascinating listening to my mother-in-law speak the Corsican language with her neighbours, with its Italian and French lilts. To give you an example, bonjour is bonghjornu and au revoir is avvèdeci. Admittedly, I’m too shy to attempt the lingo, as there’s a particular accent that sets the Corsicans apart – you could say it sets their ‘bones apart’ (Sorry, couldn’t resist an awful pun, as Napoleon Bonaparte was born here). My only two words are va bè (ça va), said slowly with a positive shoulder-shrugging gesture that probably says, “I may sound ridiculous but yes, everything is cool”.

Two-thirds of the island is made up of dramatic mountains with perched hilltop villages, which influences Corsica’s cuisine. Although fresh fish and seafood are popular in the touristy coastal resorts, inland there’s trout from the rivers – always served simply – but good, rustic food from the land features most.

Corsicans love their meat (namely lamb, boar and lots of veal: try this Corsican Veal and Peppers recipe here), their own cheeses (notably brocciu – read more here in my recipe post for Fiadone, Corsican Cheesecake), vegetables and wild herbs from the unique maquis, the most unmistakably Corsican fragrance of the surrounding shrubs that cover the island.

Corsican herbs like mint in cooking

Corsican dishes rely on the land, using herbs and vegetables fresh from the garden or surrounding maquis

 

Antoine’s family hilltop village is nearest the mountain town of Corte. Homegrown vegetables and herbs are in nearly all of the villagers’ gardens and, while there are plenty of dishes I could cite here, let’s focus on mint – otherwise I can feel the next book coming on!

It’s a powerful, yet subtle ingredient that’s added to many of the most memorable dishes I’ve had in Corsica, including the traditional Cannelloni au Brocciu. Ever since I tasted the mint coming through the cheese in a restaurant in Rogliano (in Corsica’s top finger) I make a lazy version of it (without stuffing cannelloni tubes). Adding mint just gives it that special, extra intriguing taste to this Corscian Brocciu Lasagne and stuffed cheesy courgettes – like, “What is it that I’m tasting?”

It’s peppermint.

Differences between a French and Corsican Omelette

I left the best for last. So, what makes a Corsican omelette different to a regular French omelette?

Mint Omelette

One is folded over, the other is served flat but still runny and soft inside

Authentic Corsican Omelettes

Authentic Corsican omelettes are made using OLIVE OIL and, instead of being folded or rolled over, they are SERVED FLAT – cooked more underneath and just a quick minute (maximum) more on the facing side.

As with the regular French omelette, it’s still deliciously runny inside; as the French say, it’s an Omelette Baveuse – literally dribbling.

Corsican Mint Omelette with cheese

Best Substitute for Brocciu Corsican Cheese

Traditionally, brocciu cheese is often added to a mint omelette – but as it’s difficult to find (often expensive) and not widely available during the summer months (it’s normally produced between November to June, when the milk is at its richest – otherwise it’s known as ‘brousse’ if it’s not 40% fat by AOC standards), we need an alternative. A Corsican chef told me to use la Faisselle in France, which is good, but I believe the best substitute for brocciu is a good quality, soft fresh goat’s cheese – although a good, salty ricotta cheese also works well.

Mint Omelette Corsican recipe - step by step

Have you made any of the recipes from le blog or fancy making this Mint Omelette recipe?  Please leave a comment below (it motivates me to continue posting here) or take a picture and hashtag it #MadAboutMacarons.  I love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook. Thanks so much for popping in!

Corsican French mint omelette

Mint Omelette – Corsican Style

A frittata incu a menta (e brocciu)

5 from 16 votes
Corsican Mint Omelette
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

A simple omelette dish, popular in Corsica made with mint and often includes Brocciu cheese. If you can't find fresh Brocciu, a good fresh goat's cheese or ricotta is excellent.

Course: Light Lunch, Main Course, Supper
Cuisine: Corsican, French
Keyword: Corsican,, easyrecipes,, Mint, Omelette,
Servings: 3
Calories: 241 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
  • 6 Large eggs Organic
  • pinch each salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil Extra Virgin
  • 10-15 Fresh mint leaves (peppermint) chopped finely
  • 50 g (2oz) Brocciu or fresh goat's cheese roughly chopped or crumbled (OPTIONAL)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a fork just until the eggs and whites are mixed together. Add the salt and pepper, according to taste.  

  2. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick omelette pan over a medium heat.

  3. Tip the egg mixture into the pan with the hot oil. As the eggs cook, quickly move around the mixture away from the sides, tilting the pan so that the liquid from the middle goes all around the outside, to enable more even cooking.

  4. Top evenly with the mint and cheese (if using) and, while still a bit liquid, top with a large plate and tip the omelette onto the plate.  Carefully, slide the omelette back into the pan, cooking the other side just for a minute then serve the omelette with the least cooked side upright.  The omelette should be soft and runny in the middle ("baveuse" or dribbling, as the French say).

    Corsican Mint Omelette recipe - step by step
Recipe Notes

Corsican omelettes are served flat and not folded over like French omelettes.  It doesn't matter if the omelette isn't coloured - it's normal! Just ensure the eggs are cooked but the omelette is still a bit runny or baveuse (juicy). 

See quick recipe video here.

Nutritional information: provides 21g protein

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com

 

 

Palets Bretons: French Salted Butter Biscuits

Put just a few good quality basic ingredients together – salted butter, sugar, egg yolks, flour and baking powder – and what do you get? Irresistible Palets Bretons, the popular French salted butter biscuit or cookie from Brittany.

Enjoy them plain as they are for teatime or dress them up to celebrate Spring.

Jump to Recipe

Palets Bretons

This recipe was originally published 10 April 2016. As it’s one of the most popular recipes on Mad About Macarons’ website, I have updated it to include a better, printable recipe card, additional ideas and a video. 

See the video

click HERE

 

Palets Bretons Recipe

Homemade Palet Breton Recipe

These delicious sweet-yet-salty butter biscuits (cookies) may not be found easily in patisseries in and around Paris these days – but I guarantee you’ll find them lining the aisles of sweet munchies in French supermarkets. But let me warn you: once you make them, you’ll not want to buy the regular brands again.

You will, however, find them disguised in French patisseries.

Palets Bretons French Butter Biscuits

Pastry chefs often use Palets Bretons as a base for individual creamy strawberry cakes, topped with chocolate or crunchy nougat, for example.

Palets Bretons Chocolate Easter Eggs

Chocolate toppings are the best during Easter – think of all the possibilities you could make!

If you’ve made them already, please do leave me a comment below and tell me how you like them – plain or decadent for a tea party.

Palets Bretons Recipe

Sablés and Palets Bretons: What’s the Difference?

Very like Sablés Bretons, Palets Bretons (meaning “Breton disks”) are much thicker, airy and lightly crispy.

Sablés Bretons are thinner and are a shiny salted biscuit/cookie resembling shortbread. Sablé means sand in French, referring to the crumb-like texture of the dough.

What Butter is Best to Use for Palets Bretons?

Perfect with an afternoon cup of tea, the best part is that Palets Bretons are not that sweet since they contain a large amount (about 20%) of the famous Breton salted butter from the North coast of France. This is what makes them compulsive eating!

Ideally, use good quality salted butter from Brittany for this recipe but – as this isn’t always easy to find outside of France – use unsalted butter and add good quality salt from Brittany such as fleur de sel from the Guérande, so that the resulting taste is more authentic.

Palets Bretons Chocolate Easter

How to Serve Palets Bretons?

I know you may be tempted to add vanilla, cinnamon, or lemon zest – but there’s nothing to beat enjoying Palets Bretons plain to enjoy their irresistible, salty and buttery addictiveness.

Somehow, the word ‘plain’ doesn’t do them justice! Taste them for yourself and tell me in the comments below how you prefer them.

Ideas for Palets Bretons Biscuit Toppings

This is also a handy French recipe to have up your sleeve as it serves as a base for many chic yet easy desserts like cheesecake, mousse or even if it’s just a topping of pastry cream and fresh strawberries.

  • Here I piped on some pistachio pastry cream, taken from my recipe book, Teatime in Paris. Many of the cream variations are good: e.g. coffee, hazelnut and chocolate;
  • A blob of chocolate ganache (or chocolate spread if you don’t have time) would also be perfect with the salt and sweet – especially for Easter: stick on some mini Easter eggs, edible flowers, raspberries – let your imagination go mad;
  • As this is part of the egg yolk recipe collection, USE UP THE EGG WHITES to make this Chocolate Passion Fruit Mousse (and macarons, of course!)?
  • Top with crunchy nougatine – I saw a Parisian pastry shop carry this in their window – great idea, as the salty biscuit goes heavenly with the nuts.  Get the easiest French nougatine recipe here;
  • A simple dollop of Chantilly cream or even crème frâiche with a strawberry on top will be simply and utterly delicious.

Palets Bretons French Biscuits

How to make Palets Bretons: roll the dough into a sausage, chill, then press into unbuttered muffin moulds

How to Make Palets Bretons – or French Salted Butter Biscuits

Many French chefs tell you to roll out the dough between two baking sheets, cut out circles using cookie cutters and bake them directly in pastry rings. As I’m making them at home and don’t have that many pastry rings (who does?), I find it so much quicker and easier to roll out the dough into a sausage shape and bake them in muffin moulds.

This recipe makes enough for about 10 large Palets Breton biscuits using regular muffin moulds (at 156 calories per large biscuit). I love making these mini versions (using mini muffin moulds) but if you prefer the bigger version, then just double the recipe quantity below -the dough also freezes well up to a month in its sausage shape. Defrost in the fridge before use and cut to size for the rest of the recipe.

Your Oven and Over-Baked ‘Bitter’ Biscuits

Just a quick word: be careful not to over-bake them.  You know your own oven best: all recipes stating oven temperatures are there as a guide. So if after 15 minutes your Palets Bretons already look golden brown, then they’re ready. If you’re not sure about your ovens and temperatures, then check yours out with an oven thermometer, just to make sure it’s doing what it says it’s doing.

If they’re dark brown, then they’re over-baked and could even taste a bit bitter.  In fact, they’ll no longer be French Salted Butter Biscuits but Bitter Biscuits!

Egg Yolk Recipe

For those of you who love to make macarons, macaron trifles, meringues, financier cakes, tuiles, etc. you need just egg whites. This recipe uses 2 egg yolks (or 4 yolks if you make a bigger batch of larger biscuits), so is ideal to make if you’re planning to make any of them later.

Don’t forget that there’s an egg yolk recipe database for you on the website, searchable by number of egg yolks!

Palets Bretons French Butter Biscuits

Best Buttery French Teacakes & Biscuits

Love buttery French teacakes and biscuits like these Palets Bretons? Enjoy similar, quick and easy French teatime recipes in the first chapter of my second book, Teatime in Paris!
You’ll find Financier teacakes (including gluten-free chocolate hazelnut), chocolate-filled Tigrés, Madeleines, Diamond biscuits, almond Tuiles, Canelés, Coconut macaroons … and that’s just part of the FIRST chapter, out of 6 main French pastry types.

 

5 from 8 votes
Palets Bretons French Butter Biscuits
Palets Bretons - Salted French Butter Biscuits from Brittany
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

Easy French recipe for the best buttery, salted cookies using just 6 easy-to-find ingredients and ideas for teatime toppings

Course: Dessert, Snack, teatime
Cuisine: French
Keyword: French butter cookies, palets bretons, Salted butter biscuits,
Servings: 20 Mini biscuits
Calories: 78 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
  • 90 g (3oz) butter (unsalted)* at room temperature
  • 75 g (2.5oz) sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt (fleur de sel) omit if using good quality French salted butter
  • 2 egg yolks organic
  • 125 g (4oz) Plain flour (all-purpose)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
Instructions
  1. Using a mixer, beat together the softened butter, sugar and salt until light and creamy.  Mix in the egg yolks then the flour and baking powder until a lovely soft dough forms. (If you don’t have a mixer or electric whisk, this can be done by hand in a large bowl).

  2. Using the palm of your hands, roll the dough back and forward to create a sausage shape until the diameter is the size of your moulds (here I used mini muffin silicone moulds @5cm diameter). Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180°C/360°F/160°C fan (gas mark 4)

  4. Cut disks of 1.5cm (3/4 inch) and press them into the muffin moulds (unbuttered – there’s enough butter in the biscuits!)

  5. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

  6. Leave to cool in the moulds then turn them out on to a baking rack, pretty side up.

Recipe Notes

* As finding good quality salted butter from Brittany is difficult to find outside of France, I make this recipe using unsalted butter and add good quality 'fleur de sel' from the Guérande.

Delicious on their own with a cup of tea (such as Jasmine green tea or Ceylon).
They’re also ideal as a base for easy French individual desserts. For example, top with Chantilly cream, chocolate ganache, chocolate mousse, lemon curd, or French pastry cream and strawberries.

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com

Palets Bretons French Butter Biscuits

French Semolina Cake (Gâteau de Semoule)

Who has a packet of semolina sitting in the pantry? It’s just waiting to be transformed into a delicious family dessert. Truth be told, I’ve been meaning to make this Gâteau de Semoule for so long: it’s a baked French Semolina Cake topped with caramel.

If you have less glamorous memories of semolina pudding, then put them aside and make this!
Moreover, if you have some jam handy, just dribble over a few spoonfuls of warmed jam for the ultimate comfort pudding – more ideas below.

French Semolina Pudding Cake

French Inspiration

How many of us earmark a recipe book and put it aside thinking, “I must make that one day”…?  The time came this week when that pack of semolina jumped out at me as I was tidying out the pantry, taking stock of what we actually had.

Turning to page 283 of Bernard and Dominique Loiseau’s recipe book, ‘Cuisine en Famille‘, I always fancied the look of this Gâteau de Semoule – even if there are no pictures.

As stated in the book, there’s no need to make the caramel. Just dribble over some warmed  homemade jam or a fruit coulis.

Semolina Pudding vs Semolina Cake

How many of you remember hot Semolina Pudding from the 1970s and 1980s? While some don’t consider them fond memories, I do. Delicious family memories of Mum and Dad serving this as one of our most comforting winter desserts, as my brother and I were growing up in Scotland.  We’d enjoy it scalding hot in large, purple-rimmed bowls with a blob of strawberry jam on top.

Sheer Bliss.

At this point in the recipe – before even adding the eggs – I leaned in for a taste. Semolina pudding; my Madeleine de Proust. Happy memory taste indeed but this time it doesn’t stop there!

Even without that jam, I couldn’t help myself from taking a spoon, then another spoon, a larger spoon – until I had to stop to continue this recipe! Needless to say – at this point you could serve the semolina pudding just like this, without the rest of the recipe.

French Semolina Pudding Cake

So, to continue – I made it! Willpower can be tough.

NOTE: if you don’t have fresh milk, UHT milk is ideal – or any other nutty or oat milks of your choice. Likewise, no vanilla? Grate in the zest of an orange.

Just whisk together the sugar and 2 egg yolks until light and creamy then add to the hot, creamy semolina.

For Caramel Lovers

Meanwhile, caramel lovers prepare the bubbling caramel.  It’s rather therapeutic to watch it bubble for a few minutes until it turns beautifully brown and the smell wafts around the kitchen. Pour the caramel immediately into a non-stick cake mould of your choice.

I used a fluted brioche mould, turned upside down to resemble a large jelly mould. I can just imagine it as being the shape of a dessert that Alexandre Dumas would have created in his demure up the road from us in Port-Marly, at his residence of the Château de Monte Cristo.

Whisk up the egg whites, adding to the semolina then pour on top of the caramel and bake. Leave to cool then upturn the mould on to a serving plate.

How to Serve French Semolina Cake

French Semolina Cake Slice

French Semolina Cake is best served chilled or at room temperature.

Dessert Topping Ideas

Here are some ideas for toppings:

  • Top with fresh or tinned fruit and/or with a fruit coulis sauce. (The good news is that fruit coulis sauces have a long shelf life and so it’s handy to keep in store);
  • Warmed jam or marmalade of your choice;
  • Chilled Crème Anglaise, thin French custard sauce. See my recipe for a spiced Chai Tea Crème Anglaise sauce;
  • Fried apples in vanilla sugar and butter (thanks, Martyn!):
  • Roasted rhubarb: roast chunks in orange juice with a sprinkling of sugar in 180°C/160°C fan oven for 10 minutes;
  • Spoon over this refreshing rhubarb & hibiscus (or ginger) compote;
  • Antoine thinks this looks like a French ‘Flamby‘, so why not flambée with Grand Marnier and orange juice or rum? Let’s make a festive pudding out of it!

French-Semolina-Cake

 

French Semolina Cake (Gâteau de Semoule)

5 from 2 votes
French Semolina Cake (Gâteau de Semoule)
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 

Our family favourite adapted by Bernard Loiseau's recipe: semolina pudding given a French cake makeover, topped with caramel and served with fruit coulis, fresh (or tinned) fruit or just a topping of warmed jam for the best comfort dessert

Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: French dessert, French recipes, pantry recipes, semolina pudding, semolina,
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 209 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
  • 1 litre (1.75 pints) Milk (or your milk of choice)
  • 125 g (4.5oz) Semolina fine or medium
  • 1 vanilla pod/bean Cut horizontally (or 1/2 tsp vanilla powder/extract)
  • 1 tbsp orange blossom water (optional)
  • 2 organic eggs (separated)
  • 110 g (4oz) sugar
Caramel
  • 150 g (5.5oz) sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
Instructions
Cook the Semolina:
  1. In a large saucepan, boil the milk with the vanilla pod or extract (plus orange blossom water, if using). Rain in the semolina and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until thickened for about 10 minutes.

    If using a vanilla pod, remove it to scrape out the seeds and add them back into the milk (discard the rest of the pod)

  2. At this point the semolina pudding can be eaten hot with a spoonful of jam. However, to carry on with the recipe - in a large bowl, whisk together the 2 egg yolks with the sugar until light and creamy. Add the hot semolina to this mixture and whisk or stir until well combined. Set aside to cool and stir now and again to prevent a skin forming.

Caramel:
  1. Meanwhile, prepare the caramel by placing the sugar and water in a saucepan over a medium heat. Once boiling, leave it to bubble without touching it and keep an eye on it for about 5 minutes. The caramel should turn brown and smell beautifully of caramel. Take it off the heat immediately and pour into the bottom of the mould.

Cook the Semolina Cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/Gas 6

  2. Whisk the egg whites separately in another bowl using either an electric hand whisk or stand mixer. Stir into the semolina mixture until well combined.

  3. Pour into the mould over the caramel and bake for 25-30 minutes, covered with aluminium. Leave to cool on the counter then upturn the mould on to a serving plate.

Recipe Notes

Serve either chilled or at room temperature with either a topping of fresh (or tinned) fruit, fruit coulis (sauce) or warmed jam of your choice. Also good with a chilled Crème Anglaise sauce. Perfect for dessert but also good for breakfast.

Alternatively, grate in the zest of an unwaxed orange or lemon to replace the vanilla, adding to the milk at the beginning of cooking.

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com