“Eat me” and travel straight to France
There are two things I enjoy almost as much as being on holiday: the anticipation before the trip and the afterglow when you get back. One of my favourite ways to continue the adventure back at home, is to bring foodie souvenirs and to cook typical local dishes.
And at the moment my mind is still in France: the fabulous winding roads and the beautiful villages of the Loire valley…the rilletes, pâtés, baguettes, croissants and glasses of Saumure-Champigny wine ….I could go on and on (although I don’t think I will try pig’s ear again….)
So this weekend I decided to bring a little of the Loire region into my kitchen by baking a Tarte Tatin; the well known upside-down apple cake from the Orleans region that achieved fame through the ladies Tatin.
There are many different variations for making Tarte Tatin. Some cooks just throw some caramel sauce and apples together, cover all with pastry and shove it in the oven. But I find that this just does not deliver those soft rich caramel flavoured apples that make for a spectacular Tart Tatin. So I take that little bit of extra time and cook the apples in the caramel sauce first. The secret is to keep spooning some sauce over the apples and to shuffle them around a little in the pan to ensure even cooking.
If you are in a rush you could save some time by using store-bought puff pasty. I do however prefer the crumble of a quick home-made short crust; especially when you are planning to eat the tart at room temperature.
I should warn you though: it really is very hard to resist the scent wafting out of your oven and allow the tart the time it needs to bake all the way through.
Amboise, a Loire town that makes your mouth water
One 25cm tart
6 apples (use a firm, fresh-tasting apple like Jonagold, Cox)
90g butter (room temperature)
Optional: 1 vanilla pod
150g all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
- Use a mixer to beat together the butter and the sugar until creamy. Add the egg and combine until pale.
- Quickly add the flour, salt and vanilla (if using).
- Shape the dough into a disc, wrap in cling film and refrigerate.
- Melt butter in a round 25cm oven-proof pan.
- Add sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the sauce has turned a light caramel colour.
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Peel and core the apples. Cut them in half length-ways.
- Place the apples in the pan, cut side up. Cook the apples on a medium-low heat for about 25 min or until the apples have softened and the sauce has browned a little. Spoon some caramel over the apples about every 5 minutes. If the outside apples are cooking slower than those at the center carefully shuffle them around.
- When the apples are cooked arrange them in neat circles. Turn of the heat.
- On a floured surface quickly roll the pastry into a disk that is a little larger than your pan. Fold the pastry over your rolling-pin and transfer to the pan.
- Use the blunt end of a knife handle to tuck the dough around the apples. Do not tuck the edges of the pastry in though, but allow them to curl up against the sides of the pan.
- Bake the tart 25-30 min or until the crust is golden.
- Allow the tart to cool at least 10 min before covering the pan with a plate and turning it out.
Tips & Variations
- Ready-made puff pastry can be used instead of the home-made crust
- the apples can be replaced by pears
A dollop of ice cream, crème fraîche or vanilla yoghurt
Avocado for dessert? Yes, please!
Don’t give me that look!
Believe me: you can turn avocado into a fabulously decadent desert!
But I’ll forgive your doubt, I was skeptical as well when I first discovered this recipe. But I knew I had to try it – immediately! Some recipes are on my to-do list for years before I test them. This one made me so curious I had to try it instantly.
I was amazed by the result: super rich, creamy, thick, chocolaty. And it is incredibly quick to make….and healthy…. What more can you ask for!
Try it and be wowed!
(Found on the blog ‘Simply Dish’)
2 servings (or 1 very generous serving)
1 ripe avocado
1 ripe mango
2 tbsp dark chocolate powder
1 tbsp maple syrup
a few drops vanilla essence
a small pinch of salt
- Peel the avocado and mango and cube.
- Place all the ingredients into a food processor and whizz until very very smooth.
- Preferably chill for a few hours in the fridge. Bring to room temperature for 30 minutes. (Or skip this step and dive straight in there.)
Tips & Variations
- Replace the mango with a ripe banana
- Omit the mango and only use avocado
A cake as ligth as a cloud carrying the scent of lemon
Happy blog birthday to me! Not only that, this is actually also my 100th post!
It is incredible to realize that a whole year has passed since my first post. It has been such a fabulous experience: it began with nothing more than my passion for food. I simply decided to start an on-line recipe collection; as I was constantly chewing everyone’s ear off about recipes and food anyway. I was actually taken by surprise when I read the first comments from strangers and I was completely blown away when I got my first followers. It really is a fantastic feeling to know that your passion has touched someone else.
Whilst hunting for new taste experiences to share, I became more and more interested in healthy food. Dishes that not only taste good but that truly nourish my body. It has been a great journey with some marvelous discoveries. I found out you can replace the fat in baked goods with apple sauce (Zucchini Apple Muffin, Oat Blueberry Muffin). Also quite unexpectedly cauliflower became my new favourite vegetable (Mash, Hummus, Tabouleh, Couscous, Pasta).
So for my birthday I decided to bake myself a cake that tastes decadent but is low in fat and easy to make . It’s a good thing that this recipe is relatively healthy as I had way too much of it already; it is just so beautifully light and airy. Great with a cup of coffee in the afternoon, as desert or as a snack (and I have tested all of the above!)
Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving your messages and comments – I so enjoy reading your thoughts and feedback. I am looking forward to the year ahead and many more great discoveries and experiences!
(found on the blog ‘O Pistachio‘)
Two 15cm cake tins or one 22cm tin
butter for greasing cake tin
4 large eggs
110g (1/2 cup) superfine (caster) sugar
3 tbsp all-purpose (plain) flour
500g (1 2/3 cup) fat free Greek-style yoghurt (see tips for alternative)
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
- Preheat the oven to 175C (350F).
- Cut out a round disk of parchment paper to cover the base of two 15cm (or one 22cm) round cake tins. Grease the tin well.
- Separate the eggs. Whisk the eggs whites until they are stiff and form soft peaks.
- In a separate bowl beat together egg yolks and sugar until pale and creamy.
- Beat in the flour.
- Then beat in the yoghurt, lemon zest and juice.
- Carefully fold the egg whites under the yoghurt mix.
- Pour into the baking tins.
- Bake for about 50-60 minutes (for one large tin you might have to increase the baking time).
- The cake should be moist but springy to the touch. (The cake will rise at first, but will then collapse again.)
- Best served cold (although you might also like it warm).
Tips & Variations
Instead of Greek yoghurt you can also strain regular yoghurt in a cheese cloth for a while.
Healthy no-fuss dessert: pineapple sorbet
Lately I have not been posting very much. Why? Because I have been eating.
The last few weeks I came out of hibernation and spent most evenings eating out with friends. I almost feel like I have been on a trip around the world: enjoying Asian lounge restaurants, clattering dim sum eateries, pure Italian hospitality, French Michelin starred luxury – just to name a few of the experiences I had.
On my couple evenings at home I balanced things out by eating healthy steamed fish and vegetables. But the contrast proved slightly too much of a shock.
Enter ….. my favourite healthy “emergency dessert”: pineapple sorbet.
This recipe really only has three steps: freeze tinned pineapple, allow to defrost a few minutes, blend. See below for the long version and maybe from now on you will also keep some pineapple in your freezer. Just for emergency purposes only of course
(recipe found on the blog ‘Fat Free Vegan‘)
1 can of pineapple slices in their own juice (do not take the ones that are canned with syrup)
- Place the pineapple and juice into a zip-lock freezer bag or -container.
- Freeze until solid, overnight (or just keep some in your freezer at all times- for emergencies).
- When ready to eat. Allow to defrost at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
- Place in food processor and process until smooth.
- Serve immediately. Any leftovers can be stored in the freezer. Just briefly process again before serving.
Delicious and instant dessert
I am holding on to the feeling of late summer for as long as possible. And what food epitomizes summer more than ice cream?
Frozen yoghurt! It is just as icy and creamy but its healthier and more refreshing.
What a fabulously tasty and easy way to have your daily serving of fruit! A desert that is actually good for you!
125g frozen cherries
100g non-fat Greek yoghurt (I like using 0% Total Yoghurt)
a few drops of vanilla essence
optional: a few drops of lemon juice
- Place all ingredients into a blender.
- Blend scraping down the sides regularly (this is the only effort involved).
- You can prepare the frozen yoghurt before dinner and keep it in the freezer until desert. Take into account that after a while it will become solid.
Tips & Variations
This recipe can be made with many types of fruit:
- strawberries (allow them to defrost for 15 minutes before putting them in the blender
If you are looking for extra sweetness you can add
- 1/4 tsp stevia
- 1 tsp agave syrup
- 1tsp honey