Strawberry Frangipane Cake

Frangipane is a cream of ground almonds with sugar, eggs, and butter, and is a common ingredient in cakes. In the Netherlands strawberry cakes are often made in an elongated shape, are made with frangipane, and then called “aardbeienslof”. They … Continue reading Strawberry Frangipane Cake

Tarte Tatin

One of the most famous French tarts is the upside-down apple tart that according to legend was created by mistake by the Tatin sisters in the 1880s. Baking the cake upside-down helps to keep the crust crispy. The other success factor is the combination of apples with caramel. It sure is delicious and not that hard to make — the tricky part is turning it at the end.

A few weeks ago I made a very simple Tatin cheat using store-bought puff pastry but without turning the tart. Many recipes for Tarte Tatin use store-bought puff pastry, but I’m quite sure that the Tatin sisters used more simple pastry so instead I made pastry dough from scratch. Here’s my version. You will need an oven-proof flat pan with a diameter of 28 cm (11″). Continue reading “Tarte Tatin”

Apple Tatin Cheat

We’re back home from our trip to Australia. After cooking for 4 weeks in a very small primitive kitchen inside a camper van I was really looking forward to cooking in my own kitchen again. During our absence, the wooden floor in our living room and ground floor has been sanded and varnished to make it look as good as new again. It was convenient to have this done during our absence, as all the furniture needed to be removed and the varnish needs to harden for a few days before you can walk on it again.

Unfortunately, when we came home we saw that they had not done a good job and so now an additional layer of varnish will be applied. This means that I won’t be able to use my kitchen for another week 😦 But luckily I have friends who don’t mind having me come over to use their kitchen 🙂

Since a lot of my supplies and equipment are stored in the garage and cannot be reached easily and it’s always difficult to cook in a strange kitchen, for dessert I resorted to this ‘cheat’ to make something that is like tarte tatin, but a lot simpler to make.

Continue reading “Apple Tatin Cheat”

Foie Gras Sous-vide with Sauternes, Beetroot and Roquefort

Georges Pralus of Restaurant Troisgros in Roanne, France, discovered that foie gras cooked sous-vide kept its original appearance, did not lose excess amounts of fat and had better texture. This was a major step in the development of sous-vide techniques for the restaurant and home kitchens. Although I’ve been cooking sous-vide, I had not cooked foie gras sous-vide yet. Since it was such a breakthrough dish, I felt I had to give it a try. The combination of foie gras with the botrytis dessert wine sauternes is famous, and since sauternes is also good with roquefort and roquefort is good … Continue reading Foie Gras Sous-vide with Sauternes, Beetroot and Roquefort

Pear Tart

I’ve been baking pie crusts from scratch for years, but I was never completely satisfied with the results. Thanks to tips from CampariGirl and Emmy as well as using proper (pastry, low-gluten) flour I am now finally happy. I made this pear tart based on CampariGirl’s recipe for peach tart and the crust was perfect: crunchy and flaky, even under the moist filling. This is a a very simple but lovely dessert: tender fragrant sweet pears on a great crust. Nothing fancy, but who needs fancy if simple tastes this good? Feel free to make this with another type of seasonal fruit like apples … Continue reading Pear Tart

Strawberry Cake

We have a group of young friends that we like to have over for dinner because they know how to enjoy good food and wine and like to learn about it. Recently 8 of them came over for a do-it-yourself dinner party, where everyone was helping with the shopping, cooking, etc. and we had a great time. You can imagine it was a bit chaotic, so I don’t have photos of everything. We started with home-made sushi and sashimi, of which I don’t have enough photos to blog about. So we’ll leave that for another time. Then we made home-made … Continue reading Strawberry Cake

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

I decided to make Emmy Cooks’ strawberry frozen yogurt when my parents came over for dinner, as I remember my mom loved frozen yogurt when we visited the US together back in 1991. I substituted the kirsch with 12-year-old balsamic vinegar and some of the sugar with honey. Thanks Emmy for the idea! This dessert was part of the following dinner: Antipasto: Octopus carpaccio; wine pairing: Villa Bucci Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Riserva 2006 Primo: Jerusalem Artichoke risotto; same wine Secondo: Roe deer venison with roe deer jus and roasted green asparagus; wine pairing Elio Grasso Barolo Vigna Chiniera 1998 Dolce: … Continue reading Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

Pairing wine and cheese, revisited

Four weeks ago I had organized the first cheese & wine tasting event for friends at my house. Last night was the second evening with mostly the same wines and cheese, but some differences and better pictures. For the full story, please check out my post about the first evening. Soft cheese with light white wine With a caprese salad this time we had an Arneis instead of a Gavi. Both are good matches, but if memory serves me right this was slightly better because this specific Arneis was a bit ’rounder’ and therefore a slightly better match for the … Continue reading Pairing wine and cheese, revisited