Friday, 5 February 2016

French Food Friday...Chocolate and Cointreau self-saucing puddings


photo and recipe from here


Bonjour mes belles,

I have not made a self saucing pudding in quite some time and  I think that these may be perfect for a romantique dîner pour deux.
Yesterday I realised  that valentine's day is a week away so I am starting to think about what I am going to make. French Boyfriend prefers eating chez nous as opposed to eating in a restaurant which I am not sure is a good or a bad thing....


Chocolate and Cointreau self-saucing puddings

Ingredients

Puddings
  • 100g of unsalted butter, softened plus extra for greasing
  • 150g of caster sugar
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 2 oranges, zested and juiced
  • 175g of plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp of cocoa powder

Sauce

  • 6 tbsp of cocoa powder
  • 100g of soft brown sugar
  • 400ml of water, boiling
  • 30ml of Cointreau

To plate

  • 1 tub of vanilla ice cream

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas mark 4 and grease 4 ramekins


2. Cream the butter and sugar together, and then add the eggs, orange juice and zest. Mix the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder together and then fold this into the butter mixture
-100g of unsalted butter
-150g of caster sugar
-2 free-range eggs
-2 oranges
-175g of plain flour
-2 tsp baking powder
-2 tbsp of cocoa powder


3. Divide the mixture evenly between the ramekins and use any leftover to make small additional puddings

4. For the sauce, mix the cocoa powder and brown sugar together and sprinkle over the ramekins

5. Pour 100ml boiling water over the mixture in each ramekin, and then place the ramekins into the oven for 10-15 minutes. Add the Cointreau evenly to the ramekins, then bake for a further 5 minutes

6. Serve with a large dollop of vanilla ice-cream

très bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x

Thursday, 4 February 2016

the secret ingredient...



Today is market day in our village and I could not resist buying a bouquet of mimosa.

It has the most stunning fragrance and as I write this, the parfum is wafting from the hall into our kitchen.

Did you know that it is one of the "secret ingredients" used to make chanel no.5?

It is all thanks to Australia as the mimosa tree arrived in France from Australia in the mid-19th century as a decorative plant for gardens and still forms a luxurious forest on the Tanneron hills west of Grasse. 

You can read more about the fabulous mimosa plant here.

à plus tard, Leeann x

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

simply adorable...



Today I am busy giving French Boyfriend a hand in the boutique, every time that I visit it changes and a lot of the stock disappears before I get to see it.

 I just had to share this photo with you, the two girls are adorable in this photo and I would love to know all about them. If only they could speak......

à demain, Leeann x

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Bonjour fevrier...


Bonjour mes belles,

A brand new month to play with, how very exciting. I have decided that this month is the month to reorganize and get rid of any items that are sitting around.

Speaking of reorganizing, how do you like my new dressing table?

I was en route to my bank when I stopped at our friend's depot de vente.  Popped in for a quick look and came out with this dressing table.

I applied a couple of coats of Annie Sloan Old White chalk paint and all is required now is to sand the edges a bit and then apply some wax.

The small drawers are the perfect place to store makeup and I have the large drawer under the table, which will no doubt come in very handy should I need additional space.





Back to the reorganizing I go, I have piles of magazines everywhere  so these are next on my "hit list".

Bon début de semaine à vous tous, Leeann x

Friday, 29 January 2016

French Food Friday...Mandarin and Cranberry Friands


Bonjour mes belles,


As requested by one of my lovely followers on Facebook, here is the recipe for the friands that I made last weekend.

Note if you do not have a friand pan, a muffin pan will do.


Mandarin and Cranberry Friands

Makes around 10 friands

Ingredients

160g ground almonds
200g butter
240g sifted icing sugar
60 sifted plain flour
6 medium egg whites
48 fresh cranberries (dried will do if fresh are not available)
4 mandarins, zest only
2 Tablespoons caster sugar
2 Tablespoons flaked almonds

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180 C.
  2. Melt the butter gently and leave to cool slightly.
  3. Sift the icing sugar and flour into a bowl, stir in ground almonds and mix well. In another bowl whisk the egg whites until they are frothy.
  4. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the egg whites and orange zest. Combine well and then add the melted butter.
  5. Toss the cranberries with the sugar in a small bowl.
  6. Grease the friand pan and then place the mixture into the pan, be careful not to overfill. Top with the cranberries and the flaked almonds.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. Leave to cool in the pan for 5 minutes then remove and place on a wire rack.
  8. Dust with icing sugar before serving.  

très bon week-end à tous, Leeann x


Monday, 25 January 2016

Bonjour à tous...


Yesterday French Boyfriend suggested a drive in the country as he had a delivery to make, to a client who lives in a hunting lodge about an hour and a half's drive from us.

We bumped into this cheeky fellow en route, isn't he adorable!

The hunting lodge was amazing and has an award winning garden which we are planning on visiting in Spring.

We are always on the look out for addresses that are special and unique and this one will be included in our Insider Guide to the Dordogne.

à très bientôt from a sunny SW France, Leeann x






Friday, 22 January 2016

French Food Friday...Raspberry and Vanilla Bean Friands


photo and recipe from here


Bonjour mes belles,

Thanks to amazon's speedy delivery, I am now the proud owner of a friand pan. I tried a recipe earlier in the week using a muffin pan and although we were both happy with the results, I thought that  I would treat myself to a proper friand pan.

My plan is to spend the week-end baking up a storm as I am in the mood to try out some new recipes.

Out with the old and in with the new. My grandparents owned a bakery hence I think the love of baking is in our blood.

INGREDIENTS
5 egg whites, room temperature
150g unsalted butter, melted
1tb vanilla bean paste
90g almond meal
50g plain flour
185g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
2x punnets or fresh raspberries or 200g of frozen raspberries

METHOD
  1. Preheat an oven to 180C (350F).
  2. Grease a 6 or 8 holed oval friand pan well with butter.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, lightly whisk the egg whites to just combine.
  4. Add the melted butter, almond meal, flour and sifted icing sugar and combine well.
  5. Mix in three quarters of the raspberries into the batter and pour into prepared pans to two thirds full.
  6. Place two or three raspberries on top of each friand and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted comes out the center clean.
  7. Let the friands cool slightly and then remove from the pan carefully and dust lightly with icing sugar.
  8. Serve warmed and with extra fresh raspberries, if you like.

très bon vendrredi à tous, Leeann x