Showing posts with label dessert. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dessert. Show all posts

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Recipe: Îles Flottantes

Îles Flottantes

Îles Flottante is French dessert that consists of a cooked meringue served with a creamy sauce make of egg yolks, in this case, the crème anglaise. The look is very similar to floating island on the plate. In our family in Brazil, it's known  as 'ovos nevados'

My mum used to prepare this recipe at least once a month for a weekend treat. At the time,  she placed each individually cooked meringue in a large deep porcelain bowl, very similar to the one below but large! And we would help ourselves. I just adore the silky yellow cream with speckles of vanilla seeds.      

This recipe for me defines sweet comfort food. Delicate and incredibly tasty carries me right way back to my childhood in the first spoonful. Try eating it with your eyes closed; It's an amazing feeling.

This recipe is a crowd pleaser. Everyone loves it, but few people think of making it.  It is not too complicated. You can prepare the custard / crème Anglaise the day before.
Îles Flottantes

Îles flottantes  recipe

Îles Flottantes

3 egg whites, room temperature
120g caster sugar
500 ml of whole milk

1)In a thoroughly clean, degreased and dry bowl beat the egg whites until soft peaks. Gently add the sugar and continue beating until it forms stiff peaks.
2)Bring the milk to a boil in a deep pot, meanwhile, with the help of two spoons cast meringue forming quenelles. It can also be cast in spoonfuls.
3)Lower the heat and place the meringue in the simmering milk, cook then gently for 15 seconds on each side. Place another batch of a maxim of three a time and place on a plate. At the end there will be some milk left, sieve it and reserve it.

Crème Anglaise

3 egg yolks (at room temperature)
300 ml of whole milk
45g icing sugar
1 vanilla bean


1)Open the vanilla bean in half, scrape the seeds and place in a separate pan with the leftover milk place over medium heat.
2)Remove the film from the yolks and beat with the sugar in a small bowl until pale. Reserve
3)Once the milk starts to boil turn off the heat and turn half of it into the yolk mixture, mixing vigorously with a whisk.
4)After that, turn the yolk into the milk in the pan and stir over low heat until thickened. To find the right pass point the finger on the back of a spoon, it should be a clean stroke.
5)Turn off the heat, allow to cool and arrange the cream in bowls with meringue quenelles on top.
6)Chill and serve cold.

 Tip: I made this dessert with coconut milk - it's delicious!
Îles Flottantes pairing with Cremant de Loire
Wine pairing: sparkling wine  from the Loire Valley, Cremant  de Loire.
Grapes: Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay, with a creamy texture in the mouth and fruity finish in the palate., complex aromas of white flowers well balanced sparkling wine is full bodied with good length.  Rich and very refreshing a great pair with desserts.

Available from Oxford Wine Company RRP: £13.99

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Sunday, 14 August 2016

Brazilian dessert: Pudim de Claras - Meringue Flan

This dessert is so good; I can’t tell you how much, you must try it!
The solution for those 8 egg whites out of the 18 used in the Quindim recipe.  In Portugal, this dish is called Pudim Molotov. Apparently, It’s origin has roots in the wartime Europe. At the time, the Portuguese prepared this pudding to use the egg whites leftover from their typical egg-yolk based puddings they are so famous for.This delicate dish is white with treacle of caramel gleaming in the light makes it so pretty too. Another childhood sweet that is always in my mind and my oven!

Pudim de claras


8 organic egg whites
200g  of caster sugar (1 cup)

caramel sauce:

200g of caster sugar (1 cup)
8 Tbsp of water ( divided)



1)Pre-heat  the oven at 180C (fan assisted) or 200C (not fan assisted)
2)Grease a pan with butter. The pan should have with a hole in the middle of 22 cm diameter.
3)Using a clean and grease-free electric mixer, beat the egg whites. Stirring constantly, gradually add the sugar until stiff peaks.
4)place the mixture in a greased pan, firmly to avoid air pockets, gently  tap pan onto the counter to avoid air bubbles.
5)bake in the hot oven (180 C), preheated in a water bath (bain-marie) for 35 minutes or until firm. It must look golden at the top.  It will raise about 4 fingers, and then it will  come down as it cools. Let cool slightly and unmold.
6) place in the fridge for at least 2 hours

caramel sauce:

1)place the sugar into a heavy-based frying pan, stir in 4 Tbsp  of tap water, then 2)place over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
3)turn up the heat and bubble for 5 min until you have light caramel colour.
4)Take off the heat. Leave the sauce to cool, if needed add 4 Tbsp of water to loosen it.

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Friday, 20 November 2015

Autumn baking, Apple lavender and brown butter tart

Autumn baking

With the arrival of autumn, baking is a perfect way to enjoy comfort food and the ideal option to use up a glut of fruit.  Apple season is upon us, and I bought quite a few bags to juice and to bake with.  There are some many English apple varieties to rediscover this autumn. The best way is to explore the local farmers markets where smaller growers proudly display their produce and farm shops.  Apple, as well as tasty, has considerable nutritional value.It contains vitamins B1, B2, minerals such as phosphorus and iron. 

Apart from apples, another inspiration for this recipe is brown butter. That is made by just melting butter until the milk evaporates and the solids start to burn; the result is a caramel coloured and nut flavoured liquid. Simply divine!

1) you can use any other nuts you prefer - I have used Brazil nuts, and it's spectacular!
2)I froze the butter for the pastry for a better result.

This post was first published at GBChefs : Apple, lavender and brown butter tart for the recipe: Great British Chefs

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Sunday, 25 October 2015

Häagen-Dazs: coffee ice cream roulade recipe

coffee ice cream roulade

I was asked to come up with a recipe using or complementing Häagen-Dazs new coffee flavour ice cream. That's is a tall order,  since their ice creams are already so tasty on its own right. Their irresistible creations have been tested and tasted to bring to their customers the perfect treat.

I like pairing flavours and playing with textures. In this recipe, I married the simple light almond sponge with scented vanilla with the cool, soft and prominent new coffee flavour Häagen-Dazs ice cream.

Coffee once roasted has a slightly 'nutty' flavour and complexity to it. One of the most famous pairings is coffee and walnut, like the coffee cake. Almonds are another classic match to coffee.  The idea to add vanilla in the recipe comes from the classic Italian affogato; vanilla ice cream topped with espresso - another match made in heaven!  
Here is a perfect end of a meal - coffee dessert served along your favourite coffee. Enjoy! 

Häagen-Dazs: Coffee Ice cream roulade recipe

 2 large organic eggs, whole

1 large egg yolk
55g(1/4 cup) + 5 Tbsp of caster sugar
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch of  salt

1 Vanilla pod, scrapped 
60g plain flour
25g of ground almond
200g Icing sugar

1 tub of coffee ice cream, Häagen-Dazs  

Icing sugar
slivers of almond

1)Preheat the oven to 175C (fan). Line 28 cm x 40cm roulade pan with parchment paper, then grease and dust the parchment with flour, tapping our any excess.

 2)Whisk the two whole eggs, eggs yolk, 1/4 cup of the sugar in a metal bowl placed over a pot of gently simmering water until it is just warmer than body temperature. Remove the recipient from the heat and whip the eggs on high speed until they have doubled in volume, about 4 minutes.

3) In a separate, grease-free and clean bowl, beat the egg whites and salt starting on low speed until they are foamy, and then increasing to high, adding the remaining 5 Tbsp of caster sugar gradually. Continue to whip until the whites hold a medium peak when the beaters are lifted.

4)Sift the flour and ground almond over the beaten whole egg mixture and fold in using a whisk, and then fold in gently the whipped whites into two parts.  Spread this batter in the prepared pan, being sure that it is levelled and even. Bake the cake for about 10 minutes until it springs back when gently pressed. Take the ice cream out of the freezer. Reserve.

5)Let the cake cool for about 2 minutes on a cooling rack. Loosen the sides with a spatula. Sift a layer of icing sugar over the surface of the cake and cover with a clean tea towel. Place a second cake pan over the towel and quickly invert the cake, removing the pan it was baked in. Peel off the parchment paper and dust this surface with icing sugar. Roll the two short sides of the cake in toward the centre with the towel (you can rest the cake on one side to get it to stay in place better) and let it cool this way to set its “memory” so the cake won’t crack once filled.

6)Carefully unroll the roulade cake and remove the tea towel. Spread the ice cream over the cake with a spatula leaving 3cm at both of the short ends. Roll the cake. Wrap the roulade in cling film and place in a plastic wrap for a minimum of 2 hours or until ready to serve.  Remove the roulade from the freezer 10 minutes before serving.  Dust with icing sugar and decorate with almonds. Serve along your favourite coffee. 

*the roulade recipe inspiration from Anna Olson  

coffee ice cream roulade

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 Disclosure: This post was written, recipe, tested and tasted by me. Commissioned by Häagen-Dazs and Great British Chefs.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Panna cotta ice cream with espresso sauce recipe

 I went to Italy last year, and I enjoyed that adventure immensely!  One city that really caught my heart was Rome, what a spectacular city!  From museums to ancient ruins to basilicas, Rome delivered an eye-full of wonders and delightful sights. It was October so you would assume Summer was over, but no!  It was hot and humid. The scorching sun and the sheer amount of people sightseeing in the city made this adventure a little bit challenging, especially in the confined  Sistine Chapel.  But even that was amazing and worth it! Afterwards, we headed for a well-deserved ice cream, one of my favourite foods!
The ice cream parlours and its selection are to die for in Italy. The displays are so pretty; it just makes you want to taste them all!!!
One ice cream flavour that I enjoyed in Italy was Panna Cotta. Here is a recipe I made back home and enjoyed while dreaming and plotting my next Italian adventure...

 For the full recipe head to : Great British Chefs

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Panna cotta ice cream with espresso sauce

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Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Wimbledon season: Strawberries and Cream Pavé, Brazilian recipe

Wimbledon tennis is a world class event that brings together some of the top talents in the tennis. However, this event is not just about tennis as it involves some interesting food traditions that separate it from other events. The following is a look at a just one of the well-known food and drink traditions around Wimbledon.

Wimbledon food – Strawberries and cream

Strawberries and cream is a customary Wimbledon season treats that event goers have been eating for a long time. In fact, this dish predicates tennis by a couple of centuries. This treat has been consumed at Wimbledon since 1542, based on what an Englishman noted in his journal. Since then, each year more than 2,000 gallons of cream and over 60,000 pounds of strawberries at consumed at the event. That is a whole lot of strawberries and cream, and the British are keen on keeping this tradition going.

Tennis and strawberries are both signs of the arrival of summer and were considered as signs of prosperity in the past. Actually, when Wimbledon tennis first started, it was commonplace to see upper-class audiences snacking on strawberries between matches. Nevertheless, this relationship between the tasty treat and tennis was formalised in 1953, as vendors officially started to sell strawberries at the concession stands at Wimbledon.

It is still unclear the exact time that cream was included to the treat to create strawberries and cream. What is clear is that lots of these treats are consumed annually during the Wimbledon tennis season. Despite the incapability of pinpointing the precise date that this tradition started, the high numbers of strawberries and cream intake mean that it will remain a British tradition for a long time.

Strawberries and Cream, the Brazilian way

The first recipes for Pavé came from France to Brazil, and there are  some speculations about the name, pavê make a connection with the floor deck, floor, pavement stones, the explanation is that this dessert is assembled from layers in the same way as buildings.

In this case, more specifically, it's kind of cold pie which the base is crackers, cornstarch or whole champagne biscuits, like soft cake soaked in juices, liqueurs or syrups and cream between the layers. There are also various supplements: fresh fruit or in syrup and chocolate are the most common.

After the lunch time comes dessert, and there is hardly anyone who does not like a pave, there may be variations in the flavors, recipes, but everyone likes this very popular dessert in Brazil. It looks good on any occasion.  It usually presented in a square or shallow oval dish. I decided to put in a large bow. Here is a recipe celebrating the start of the Summer and Wimbledon season, the Brazilian way!

Strawberries and Cream Pavé  
    1 can of condensed milk
    300ml of fresh double (heavy) cream
    100g of good quality cooking white chocolate
    2 boxes of strawberries (500g)
    100g champagne
biscuit/savoiardi biscuits
    300ml whipping cream
    1 tablespoon of caster sugar
    1 teaspoon  of vanilla extract
    Strawberry sauce:
    200g of strawberries (above)
    1 teaspoon of sugar
    25ml of strawberry liquor
    50g of hazelnut brittle, in pieces

1)First make the hazelnut brittle. This process will take about 5-7 minutes and requires attention, switch off the phone and.  In a medium, pan melts the 60g of sugar over medium heat, keep an eye as it can burn quickly.  When the sugar has dissolved and take a light caramel colour, switch off the heat and quickly add 30g of chopped hazelnuts, mix quickly and pour on a buttered surface. Let it cool.
2)Wash all the strawberries, separate 1/2 of them for decoration, the other half make a sauce.
3) For the strawberry sauce: chop 200g strawberries into bite-sized pieces, take a pan with the spoon of sugar and water Bring to low heat for about 20 minutes Transfer to a bowl and let cool.  When cold, strain the sauce and reserve.
4)In a clean bowl, add the fresh double (heavy) cream and whip it until slightly fluffy. Keep mixing gently and slowly add the condensed milk with the cream. Reserve.
5)Melt the white chocolate in a water bath. Leave to cool for 5-6 minutes and add the melted chocolate to the cream and condensed milk mixture.
4)Gently mix in the strawberry sauce.
6)Last topping: Using a mixer to prepare the whipped cream, beating the whipping cream with a spoon of sugar and vanilla extract. Reserve.
7)In a serving dish, place a layer of biscuits, top with strawberry sauce, fresh strawberries and add chocolate cream mixture, carry on until you use up all the ingredients.
8)Finish with a layer of vanilla whipped cream. Garnish with whole strawberries and Hazelnut brittle for crunch.
9)Refrigerate (overnight is best) and serve chilled. 

Happy Wimbledon and Summer 2015!
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Monday, 13 April 2015

Infusing fruit, sous vide way part 2


After I learned to preserve fruits is by poaching sous vide, next natural step was to learn to infuse using the sous vide method, which is a straight forward but a bit longer process.  Why should you go through the long process?  Because the results are so rewarding and best of all, it can be done well in advance, and you can store in the fridge in the sealing pouch for up to a week. I haven't tried to freeze it after cooked. That might be a possibility.

When buying fruits to sous vide make sue that they are fresh, ripe, firm, not bruised and within the ‘sell by’and ‘eat by’ date. Before any cooking wash and dry them thoroughly.

 Infusing method
Pear infused in red wine

Serves : 4
4 ripe and firm pears
750ml of good quality red wine
2 tablespoons of caster sugar (60g)
1 cinnamon stick whole
1 pinch of Allspice
1 vanilla pod
1 star anise

1)    start by preparing the SousVide (water bath): add water and set the temperature at 176°F/80°C . Preheat the SousVide.
2)    In a pan, combine the wine, sugar and spices, simmer for 15 mins. By cook the alcohol  to avoid the metallic taste after sousviding.
3)    Meanwhile, peel the pears, as you work, keep peeled pears submerged in water to stall browning.

4)    Rub the pears with your hands firmly to smooth the surface, a clean kitchen brush or  scrub pad can be used to help the process.

5)    Place the pears into the pouch (2 per pouch) add the wine juice  and seal the pouches.

6)    Cook the sealed pears sousvide at 176 °F / 80 °C for 30 minutes, or until soft to the when squeezed.

7)    Drain the pears after cooking and reduce the juices in a pan until thickens.

8)    Serve the pears hot or cold
Pear infused in red wine, sous vide

Monday, 6 April 2015

Poaching fruits, sous vide way part 1

Fragrant poached whole dessert apples, sous vide
As you might have guessed I am a sous vide fan!  I have tried, tested some recipes here on the blog sous vide .  One way to preserve fruits is by poaching and sous vide makes easier and keeps the fruits longer if you keep them in the food graded pouches just ready to be served to order. 

When buying fruits to sous vide make sue that they are fresh, ripe, firm, not bruised and within the ‘sell by’and ‘eat by’ date. Before any cooking wash and dry them thoroughly. 

Pouching fruits, sous vide

Fragrant whole dessert apples
Serves: 4
Food grade pouches (40cmx28cm = 3.7L)
•    4 small tart apples, peeled and cored
•    4 x ½ teaspoons  unsalted butter, softened
•    1 lemon, juice and zest
•    100ml of cider
•    1/2 teaspoon (2 g) salt
•    1 stick cinnamon
•    1 teaspoon (5 g) brown sugar
•    1 vanilla pod, split
Garnishes (optional):
•    cream
•    fresh berries
•    fresh mint leaves
•    caramel sauce
•    nut of choice

1.    start by preparing the SousVide (water bath): add water and set the temperature at 183°F/84°C. Preheat the SousVide.
2.    meanwhile, zest  and juice the lemon. In a large bowl place the lemon juice and the cider pour the mixture over the apples. Leave to stand for 30 minutes in the fridge.

3.    Divide the butter among the apples, packing it well into the core.
4.    Place the apples, 4 per pouch (40cm x 28cm) with the salt, cinnamon stick, sugar and vanilla, into a litre, sized cooking bags and vacuum seal. By now the SousVide has reached the ideal temperature.
5.    Place the pouches into the slots of the sous vide rack, that will ensure that the bag stays  submerged in the water during cooking time.
6.    Cook for 60 minutes. Carefully remove cooked apples from pouches. The apples are cooked but should  still hold their shape.
7.    Serve straight from the pouch if you plan to eat warm straightway or let them cool in their unopened pouches, place them in the fridge until needed. It will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
8.    Serving suggestions:  topped with a dollop of cream or caramel sauce, garnish with nuts and fruits of choice.


Fragrant poached whole dessert apples with cream, sous vide

Monday, 9 February 2015

Sweet Valentine: Rhubarb mousse

forced rhubarb
I always thought of rhubarb as a fruit, but it's a vegetable with a very tart finish. I love its  elongated and thick pink stick with a very light shimmering finish. It's in season right now.
There are two kinds of rhubarb: forced, grown in pots and indoor at the beginning of the year and the  intense maincrop that grow outdoors in the spring. 

The leaves should never be eaten as they are poisonous, cut them off and discard them. Rhubarb should be stored in the fridge and consumed within two days.
Rhubarb can be roasted, poached or stewed with plenty of sugar to cut through the tartness. Purée for a satin, smooth finish to a dish as a sauce.

As Valentines day approaches, I can't  think of a better way to express love than cooking for someone special. The pink colour of rhubarb evokes love on a plate. This recipe has few easy steps and chilling times; but it can be prepared in advance.

rhubarb mousse

Rhubarb mousse recipe

Makes: 6
400g of rhubarb
200g of sugar
1 teaspoon of lime juice
300ml of double cream
200g of mascarpone cheese
1 sheet of gelatin

1) in a pan cook the rhubarb, lime juice and sugar till soft, sieve. let it cool completely and reserve both separately the juice and the pulp.
2) in a mixer, beat the double cream till soft peaks, add  the mascarpone and mix it again gently
3) add the rhubarb pulp and mix with a spatula gently
4) place the mixture into small bowls and chill in the fridge
5) soak the gelatin as per package instruction
6) in a pan heat gently the rhubarb juice and add the gelatin, dissolve, let it cool  for 20 minutes (still liquid) and place on top of the mousse.
7) put the dishes back in the fridge, cool for 6 hours or overnight.

I decorated my mousses with meringues for a bit of crunch, recipe here

Topping suggestions: meringues, cream, strawberries (great combo with rhubarb) or  rhubarb compote

Rhubarb Mousse and meringue
For another Valentine sweetness head over to GBChefs  for my recipe Flan with Rose Syrup.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Dark chocolate gelato with cocoa nibs recipe

Ice cream is my favourite food, I enjoy make them at home for the pure pleasure. It’s not cheaper making homemade ice cream, but it’s fun and takes my back to many holidays and long weekends spent in Milan, Forte dei Marmi to Florence to Bologna and surroundings areas. I am yet to go South.  The country that brought us the best gelatos with endless creative flavours  compound with fantastic displays, it’s a winner in my book. Gelatos have less fat (cream) than ice cream. It’s important to use good quality ingredients. Also, in Italy they have special equipment to make gelato. Here is a recipe inspired by my Italian travels, dark chocolate gelato with added cocoa nibs – homemade with love. 
For the recipe head over to Great British Chefs Blog : Hot&Chilli

Sunday, 29 June 2014

White peaches in Rosé d'Anjou

Summer is finally here, and with it the strawberries, berries, rhubarb, white flat peaches all  good paring with Rosé wine. Hot Summers evenings, afternoon barbecues, weddings, festivals, all occasions to enjoy and relax sipping on a cool glass of Rosé wine. The sound of corks popping,  the wine pouring and  the beautiful shimmer of the light pink coloured liquids in the clear glasses scream Summer!

Last month a wine tasting and a chance to discover more about Rosé d'Anjou wines, led me to come up with my own wine and food pairing using  Rosé d'Anjou, Auguste Bonhomme as a cooking ingredient.  A delightful medium-dry wine with  Summer fruit bouquet, the ripe strawberry and raspberry notes expose its heritage. This refreshing wine is easy drinking with a clean slightly fine sweet savour finish that goes so well with this dish.  A great aperitif wine as well good pairing with Chinese, Indian and Thai spicy food, as well as salads and terrines. Here I use it as ingredient and as a sort of dessert wine to accompany this sweet recipe.
Here is my recipe for seasonal white peaches in Rosé d'Anjou syrup :

6 firm ripped flat white peaches, peeled
2 tablespoons of caster sugar
1 cup of  Rosé d'Anjou (200ml) 
1/2 cup of water (100ml)
2 cassia bark sticks
1 vanilla pod
3 cardamom pods

vanilla ice cream

topping:  lightly toasted nuts, crumbled
1) in a pan, add the water, sugar, Rosé d'Anjou, cassia bark, vanilla pod and cardamom,   over a simmering heat, poach the peaches  in the liquid for about 5 minutes. Drain and reserve.
2) in the same pan reduce the liquid by half over very low heat, barely simmering. switch off the stove and let the syrup cool completely
3)to serve: place the peach in a bow, top with ice cream, syrup and top with the nut crumble.  Enjoy with a cool glass of Rosé d'Anjou.

alternatively, white peaches can be replaced by strawberries and rhubarb compote or pears.

Some images of the Rosé d'Anjou tasting evening that took place at Queen of Hoxton, London

lovely food, interactive kebab making, a food photography talk and five excellent Rosé wines to taste
Pink Bandits: our award winning fish and seafood kebabs at the event. 

I was a guest at Loire Valley Wines event . Views are my own. 
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