Posted in Dessert, Mains

Quel Désastre: Clafoutis


Disclaimer: Not a regular Roquette Noisettes blog, sorry. There are recipes though. Promise.

So this blog is a long, long time in the making.

The story begins in February, when I had great intentions to do a summer blog on clafoutis – a French pudding-like dessert that is normally baked with cherries or red berries. As we had visitors staying, I seized the chance to make a dessert and the clafoutis turned out beautifully. It was a sunny day and I make use of the sunshine to take nice photos on my DSLR camera before we would devour it after dinner that night. From there it all started to go downhill…

We went out for dinner, but of course didn’t have dessert because it was waiting for us at home. As we reached our apartment, we noticed that a side window was cracked, and the window was ajar. Walking into the apartment, the first thing we saw was that the TV and desktop computer were still there. So maybe, someone had tried to break in unsuccessfully? Perhaps they heard a noise, or someone came around the corner and they lost their nerve. After a brief look around the house, we decided that there was no immediate reason to panic and continued on with our night. Time to serve dessert!

As I started serving the dessert I glanced at our desk and panic started to set in again. I was certain I had left my good camera on the desk after using it that afternoon, but it wasn’t there. I started searching the house. The camera was gone. My laptop and hard drive were gone. My work laptop and phone were gone. As I searched the list grew. Police were called. Clafoutis was sadly not devoured as per schedule. Le salaud (language note: that’s French for bastard).

Nearly four months on and the sort-of happy end to the story is that the culprit has been arrested and will likely be getting some jail time too thanks to his extensive criminal history. The not so great news is that my stuff is long gone and I’ll need to replace it out of my own pocket (life note: get contents insurance – it’s cheap).

The other bad news is that my photos were on the camera that was taken, so I do apologise for sub-par iPhone photos. Take it up with the burglar. To make up for the lack of content, I’ve thrown an extra main recipe in that you will love.

The GOOD news is that both of these recipes are impressive and very easy. We did end up eating the clafoutis the next day, and it was fantastic. Although I made it in summer it could easily be a warm winter dessert and you could replace the figs and raspberries with whatever fruit is in season for you (or, just use chocolate because it’s delicious). 

The chicken roasted in red wine is an adaptation of a Rachel Khoo recipe from My Little French Kitchen and it is incredible. The wine gives the chicken so much sweetness, and the vinegar has that tang that keeps you going back for more. The vegetable instructions seem a little finnicky – but it is so worth it for the perfect veggies. This would be a parfait meal for a dinner party!

Poulet rôti au vin rouge:

poulet roti

Serves 4

Cooking time: Approximately an hour and a half including roasting time

-150ml red wine

-100g tomato paste

-3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked

-1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (or fresh if you have it)

-100ml red wine vinegar

-4 decent sized chicken thighs – bone removed

-500g washed baby potatoes

-4 small onions, peeled and quartered

-6 carrots, peeled and quartered

-125ml water

-Salt and pepper


In a bowl mix the wine, vinegar, tomato paste and herbs, then place in a marinade bag with the chicken thighs. Massage to make sure the marinade has coated the chicken and leave the bag in the fridge for half an hour or longer if time allows.

While the chicken marinades, place potatoes in saucepan of cold water with the lid on, and bring to boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes then drain.

Arrange the onions, carrots and cooked potatoes in a large baking dish and pour over the water. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.

Arrange the marinated chicken over the vegetables, skin side up. Pour the rest of the marinade over the chicken. Cover with foil or baking paper and roast for 30 minutes. Remove the foil or baking paper and baste the chicken with the marinade, then roast uncovered for a further 15 minutes. Serve with green beans or peas.

Clafoutis aux figues et framboises 


-1 cup full cream milk

-2/3 cup caster sugar,

-3 eggs

-1 Tbs vanilla essence

-1/2 cup flour

-A pinch of salt

-1/2 punnet raspberries

-2 to 3 figs, quartered


Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsuis. Combine milk, 1/3 cup sugar, eggs, flour, salt and vanilla in a blender and blend until smooth.

Butter a round baking dish and pour about a 1cm layer of your mixture on the bottom of the pan dish. Bake for 7-10 minutes until the batter is set but not baked. Remove from the oven, but leave the oven on.


Place raspberries and quartered figs over the set batter and sprinkle with remaining sugar. Pour over the remainder of the batter and return to the oven for 45 minutes to an hour or until the clafoutis is puffed and brown.

A word of warning, when you take the clafoutis out of the oven it will be puffed, but it will quickly sink. This is meant to happen, so don’t worry.

Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with cream or ice-cream.


Bon appétit and may the clafoutis bring better luck to you than it did me.



Posted in Dessert

Les Desserts de Printemps: La tarte au citron


Bonjour à tous!

The weather is finally warming up, which means it’s time to pull out some fresh, summery recipes!

Lemon tart is my favourite dessert of all time. A lemon tart that is parfait has a zesty filling that’s not too sweet, and a thin pastry that’s not too crumbly or dry.

La tarte au citron originates from around the French-Italian border, but is popular all over France.

A shot from my 2011 Eurotrip: Crowded beach in Nice

It’s a bit of a scary dish to make if you haven’t done it before. There are only two elements (the crust and the curd), so it’s important you get both right. This recipe isn’t baked, so you’ll need to leave the tart in the fridge overnight to set. Initially I found this time very stressful as I wondered whether the curd will set properly, mais ne vous inquiétez pas (don’t worry), follow the steps and it will.

The tart is incredibly versatile. Add meringue if you like, or keep it simple and decorate with fresh berries, passionfruit or lime rind (like I did below). For a fancier take on the recipe below see Rachel Khoo’s Little Paris Kitchen for grapefruit and pepper meringue tartlets (yum!)

The recipe below is the easiest version of a lemon tart you could possibly make. It doesn’t use real pastry (although you could use the shortcrust pastry from my Quiche Lorraine if you wanted to make your own) and the curd is relatively painless – just be prepared to stir!

La tarte au citron


Cooking time: Approximately 10 minutes + 25 minutes cooking (note: tart should be refrigerated overnight)  

-1 packet Marie biscuits

-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

-Pinch of nutmeg

-120g melted butter

-Rind of one small lime, to serve (if desired)

Lemon Curd:

– 3 lemons (you could use lime if you wish)

-4 fresh eggs

-1 cup caster sugar

-125g butter


Lightly grease 24cm flan plan. Blitz biscuits in a food processor until they have a sandy texture.dsc_1070

Combine the crumbs with butter, nutmeg and cinnamon. Press the mixture evenly into the flan pan using your hands, then put it in the fridge to set for about an hour.

To make the lemon curd, zest one lemon and juice all lemons. In a heatproof bowl (steel or pyrex work well) whisk eggs and sugar together. When really well combined, add lemon juice and rind, and combine again. Place the bowl over a simmering saucepan of water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the surface of the water. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon for about 25 minutes, or until it is as thick as honey (this does take a long time – be patient and don’t stop stirring!) Make sure the mixture doesn’t boil – if it starts to, take it off the heat for a little. Once thick, remove the mixture from the stove and whisk in butter.

Action shot – keep stirring!

Pour curd into set tart case, cover with plastic wrap (try not to let the wrap touch the curd), and leave overnight. The next day top with lime curd, icing sugar, meringue or berries and serve.


C’est tout – bon ap’!






Posted in Mains

Taking it slow: Beef cheeks

The backstreets of Bayeux, Normandie

The first time I went to France I was cooked a delicious, meaty stew in a thick, dark gravy, similar to a beef bourguignon. It was delicious, but as I almost reached my last spoonful, I was informed by the cook that the meat was pigs trotters.

Dieu merci (thank god) I found out after, as I’m not sure I could have eaten it if I was told before the meal. This experience gave me the nerve to try all sorts of new (and slightly scary) things, including snails and foie gras – délicieux!

In the 1600s, meat was a rare commodity for many French peasants, and was usually only eaten on special occasions. City people had much better access to meat, but could often only afford the cheap offcuts that required a lot of cooking. These days, some of these offcuts have made their way back into some of the fanciest restaurants.

If you have the time to both cook and prepare it (or are lucky enough to own a slow-cooker), using cheaper cuts of meat can be both cost effective and delicious. Look out for cuts like cheek, osso bucco (shins) and ox tail.

Searing your meat before putting it in the oven (or slow cooker) gives it a deeper flavour and caramelised texture on the outside.

Some tips for searing your casserole meat:

  • Make sure your pan is hot and has a thin coating of oil.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan – cook the meat in batches if necessary.
  • Leave it alone! Give it a couple of minutes on each side, but don’t constantly play with it (this is one I struggle with!)

On my quest to discover new cuts of meat, I stumbled across beef cheek at the butcher recently. As I mentioned in the last post, I really enjoyed eating beef cheek in France, and set out to recreate a version of the dish I had eaten at Le Fumoir in Paris. Despite a surge in popularity recently, I discovered that beef cheek was about the same price as buying any other cheap casserole meat such as chuck steak.


When trimming your beef cheek, you’ll need to make sure you have a very sharp knife, as the raw cheek is very tough. In fact, I discovered just how blunt my knife had become when trimming the cheeks. I recently bought a good quality knife sharpener, and can’t recommend having one more.

Cooking stews like the one below is great for winter, and adding mandarin or orange puts a twist on more traditional recipes. They do take a good 3-4 hours (the longer the better), so pour yourself un verre du vin (glass of wine), crank up the heater and have a relaxing afternoon as your meat slowly braises.

Joues de boeuf aux mandarines:

Serves 4

Cooking time: Approximately 45 minutes + 3-4 hours in the oven (or more if you can wait!)

-2 Beef Cheeks

-4 Cloves garlic, crushed

-1 Brown onion, roughly diced

-2 Carrots, roughly diced

-3 Sticks celery, roughly diced

-Rind of one mandarin or orange

-2 Tbs plain flour

-Salt and pepper

-2 Cups full-bodied red wine (like a Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon)

-1 Cup beef stock

-4 Bay leaves

-6 Sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1 1/2 tsp of dried)


Preheat oven to 120 degrees celsius.

Trim the excess fat and gristle off the cheeks. This is hard work, but you don’t need to be too fussy as most of it will melt off as it braises (making for a delicious sauce).

Cut your cheeks in half and put them in a large zip-lock bag with the flour and some salt and pepper. Shake the bag around until the meat is coated in flour.

In your casserole pot, fry the meat in a little oil for a couple of minutes on each side until it has browned. It’s best to cook the meat in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan.


Put the meat aside and deglaze your dish with a little red wine, scraping any burnt meat off the bottom of the pan (again, this will make your sauce better). Coat the pan with oil again and fry your onion and garlic, followed by carrot and celery until it has started to soften.

Re-introduce your meat and add the wine, beef stock, mandarin rind, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to the boil. Once boiling, put the lid on your pot and put it into the oven.


After 3-4 hours or once the meat falls apart when you gently scrape it with a spoon, take the meat out of the braising liquid and set aside (you can put it in a dish, cover it with foil and put it back in the oven if you’re worried it will cool. Turn the oven off first – there should be enough residual heat).

Using a stick blender, blend your sauce until there are no lumps. On a low heat, reduce the sauce until it reaches your desired thickness. If the sauce is a little too zesty, balance it out with about a tablespoon of sugar, and a pinch of salt.

Pour the sauce over the meat and serve with mashed potato, polenta or crusty bread.



Bon appétit!



Posted in Dessert, Mains

Automne à Melbourne



Sadly, the days are getting shorter and the weather cooler in Melbourne, but the local markets are buzzing and overflowing with beautiful apples, figs, bananas and pears. I’m getting excited about baked apples, and fruity crumbles.

As it get colder, I’m thinking more and more about my trip to Paris last September, at the end of the French summer. We covered all of the staples that I really miss – moules marinieres (muscles in white wine and garlic), soupe a l’oignon, lots of delicious, slow-cooked meat and a healthy dose of red wine, cheese and Normandy cider.

Moules frites à Bayeux

But the one meal that really stuck out was an endive and scallop salad, followed by beautiful braised beef cheek in a tangy but rich gravy with hints of orange, and lots of garlic. The restaurant was Le Fumoir – a bustling bistrôt on the non-touristic side of Le Louvre. We sat in the library; a small, beautifully lit room away from the main service area where I’m told bookings are essential. Staff were friendly, and fortunately for me, spoke little English (it’s hard to practice French in Paris sometimes!)

As a last little tribute to summer, this blog contains une autre tarte tatin with tomato and basil. It’s sweet, fresh and light – and really hard to stop eating! The tarte tatin is so versatile – and you really can use any of your favourite flavour combinations.

For dessert, there’s a zesty strawberry, lime and coconut parfait that would be an impressive and easy dessert for dinner parties. Trop délicieux!

 Tarte tatin à la tomate et au basilic:


Serves 4 with salad

Cooking time: Approximately 15 mins prep + 30 minutes baking

-2 Tbs butter

-1 Tbs brown sugar

-1-2 sheets puff pastry, thawed

-6 Roma tomatoes (seeded and halved)

-1 Tbs balsamic vinegar

-1 Tbs chopped oregano (fresh)

-Handful of fresh basil leaves


Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Grease a round cake pan or casserole dish.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add sugar and cook until dissolved. Add tomatoes, cut sides up. Turn down heat, and cook tomatoes for about 10 minutes or until they release juices. Add vinegar and cook for a further 2 minutes.


Take tomatoes out of saucepan and place in cake pan or casserole dish. Sprinkle oregano and season. Place whole basil leaves on top.


Cut pastry into triangles and arrange over tomatoes, forming 2 layers of pastry. Tuck pastry in at edge, then bake for approximately 30 minutes or until golden. Stand for 5 minutes.

Serve with salad.

Coconut, lime and strawberry parfait:IMG_1100

Serves 4

Cooking time: 20 minutes to prep, 6 hours to chill

Strawberry layer:

-1/4 tsp lime rind

-2 tsp lime juice

-2 tsp caster sugar

-250g punnet of strawberries, hulled

Coconut parfait:

-1 Tbs hot water

-1 tsp gelatine powder

-125ml evaporated milk

-1 Tbsp caster sugar

-2 tsp shredded coconut, toasted


Process a third of the strawberries, lime juice and rind, and sugar into a blender and process to a puree.

IMG_1046Thinly slice strawberries. Divide puree among four dessert glasses and top with remaining sliced strawberries.

IMG_1053To make the coconut parfait, place hot water in heat proof dish and sprinkle with gelatine. Place dish in small saucepan and add enough boiling water to come half way up side of dish. Whisk with a fork until gelatine dissolves.

Beat gelatine mixture, evaporated milk and sugar in large bowl until fluffy (approx. 1-2 mins). Spoon mixture over strawberry mixture and chill for approx. 6 hours (until set).


Enjoy! And keep an eye on this space for some winter recipes coming soon.



Posted in Dessert, Snacks and light meals

C’est automne! Madeleines au citron (lemon-scented madeleines)


Bonjour à tous!

It’s that time of year again – it’s Autumn in Melbourne, which means it’s time to curl up inside with some good books, a cosy fire et bièn sûr, some delicious treats.

These gorgeous little cakes carry fond memories for me. During my last stay in France I stayed with a family in a beautiful village outside of Grenoble, just at the foot of the French Alps. This is classic French countryside, with snow-capped mountains, ancient cathedrals and hidden chateaus.


To my delight, the family I stayed with carried my passion for food, and were excited to show my friend and I dishes from all over the country. One morning, I wandered down from the little attic to the delicious smell of the buttery little cakes. Mais non – my host was very apologetic, she had overcooked the madeleines!

P1010201The French love their madeleines. Shaped like a cute little shell, they are a sort of hybrid between a cake and a biscuit, crunchy on the outside, and soft and moist in the middle. They are also extremely versatile, and could be flavoured with any citrus fruits, berries or cherries.

The madeleine is said to originate from Commercy and Liverdun, communes not far from the city of Nancy in the Lorraine region. A rather famous cake, the madeleine was chosen to represent France in Café Europe, a cultural initiative of the Austrian President of the EU on Europe Day 2006.

The madeleine will go well with cup of tea, or if you’re like me, will provide the much needed inspiration to get you through that large pile of work that’s been piling up.

A word of warning first though, the madeleine is delicate, so to avoid the same mistake as my host (quelle catastrophe! But really, they were still delicious…) make sure you have a timer on hand when baking them.

The following is a basic recipe for lemon-scented madeleines from Rachel Khoo’s beautiful “Little Paris Kitchen”:

Madeleines au citron:

Makes about 15 madeleines

Baking time: Approx 40 mins prep + several hours to rest + 22 minutes to bake

-3 eggs

-130g sugar

-200g plain flour

-2 tsp baking powder

-Zest of 1 lemon

-20g honey

-60ml milk

-200 grams melted butter, cool

-Icing sugar to serve



Beat eggs and sugar until pale and frothy. Mix flour and baking powder in separate bowl and add lemon zest. Mix honey, milk and butter then add to eggs. Very slowly add the flour. Cover mixture with cling-wrap and refrigerate for several hours to overnight.


Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius. Butter and flour a madeleine tin (the tin is important, you will see why when they are baked).


Spoon batter into each madeleine shell until almost full. Bake for 5 minutes, then turn oven off for 1 minute to allow madeleines to form their peaks. Turn oven to 160 degrees celsius and bake for further 5 minutes. When cool enough, transfer madeleines to wire rack and repeat baking process with remaining batter. Dust madeleines with icing sugar and serve immediately.

photoglassMadeleines go perfectly with a cup of tea!




Bon appétit!



Posted in Dessert, Mains, Snacks and light meals

Tarte Tatin: Two ways


Bonjour à tous!

Ça fait trop longtemps (it’s been too long!)

I have been busy finishing uni (yay!) and planning a very exciting trip to Europe in September. I’ll be flying to Paris for a week of delicious food and wine, before heading to Greece. Mais ne vous inquiétez pas, I’ll be sure to report back with photos of everything I eat while en France.

To make up for my absence I have a jam-packed post for you. Today, we’re talking tarte tatin – upside down tart for the uninitiated.

Trusty wiki claims that the tarte tatin was developed in the 1800’s about 100km south of Paris at the Hotel Tatin. One of the owners, Stephanie Tatin, was so run off her feet in the kitchen while making an apple pie that she forgot about leaving her apples, butter and sugar cooking on the stove. In a desperate attempt to save the tart, Stephanie quickly put the pastry on top of the apple mixture and baked it in the oven. After turning it out, Stephanie found the hotel guests were surprisingly impressed with the caramelised apple tart. And the tarte tatin was born.

While the apple tarte tatin is most common, many cooks have created their own (savoury and sweet) versions.


I’ll show you a traditional and more modern version of the tart. You really can’t go wrong with this one so feel free to combine your favourite ingredients for the topping. Les fabuleuses tartes (the fabulous tarts) are sophisticated yet deceptively easy to make, making them perfect for your next dinner party. You could even have a French theme and cook one for dinner and dessert like I did here. Pourquoi pas?

For the sake of simplicity, I have used frozen puff pastry in both recipes below, but absolutely feel free to make your own if you have the time! The use of red and green apples makes for an interesting mix of sweet and slightly sour in the traditional tarte tatin.

NB: Both savoury and sweet recipes are my own take on ones from

Tarte tatin au potiron et aux oignons caramélisés (Pumpkin and caramelised onion upside-down tart):


Serves 4-6

Cooking time: 20 mins to prep + about 1 hour 40 to bake

-1/2 butternut pumpkin, cut into 2.5cm wedges

-1 medium red onion, diced

-Garlic head, cloves separated and unpeeled

-1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

-2-3 sheets puff pastry, thawed

-Thyme, to serve

-Salad leaves, to serve


Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Grease and line a tray with baking paper. Place pumpkin, onion and garlic cloves on tray and coat with good olive oil. Season well, then roast for about an hour or until tender. Leave aside to cool.


Cook balsamic vinegar and sugar on low heat for about five minutes until sugar has dissolved. Pour the mixture into the bottom of a cake pan. It’s best to use a round cake pan, but if you don’t have one (like I didn’t on the day), a square or rectangle pan will be fine.


Arrange the pumpkin and onion over base. Remove skin from garlic cloves and arrange over vegetables.

Turn oven up to 220 degrees celsius. Cut pastry into triangles (for a round dish) or rectangles (for square/rectangle dish) and arrange pastry over vegetables. Fold back any excess pastry and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden. Leave to sit for several minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Sprinkle with thyme and remaining pan juices, then serve with salad greens.


Now for something a little sweeter…

Tarte tarin aux pommes (apple upside-down tart):


Serves 4-6

Cooking time: 20 to prep + about 25 to bake

-50g quality unsalted butter

-2 medium green apples

-2 medium red apples

-1/2 cup brown sugar

-2 Tbs cold water

-1-2 sheets puff pastry, thawed

-Cream or ice-cream, to serve


Preheat oven to 220 degrees celsius. Grease and line a round cake pan.

Melt butter in large pan over medium heat. Add apple and cook for several minutes until golden. Add sugar and water then cook for 2 minutes or so until sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for several minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly.


Arrange apple in prepared pan and spoon over the caramel. Cut pastry into triangles and arrange over apple mixture, forming 2 layers of pastry. Tuck pastry in at edge, then bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Stand for 5 minutes, then turn onto plate. Serve with cream or ice-cream.


I hope you enjoy this tarte tatin feast!



P.S Happy Valentines to those who celebrate! What did you cook/bake for your lucky person on the weekend?

Posted in Uncategorized

Je suis Charlie

Disclaimer: the following is an opinion piece about recent tragic events in France, if you are after tasty treats please come back soon!

I’m not sure if this is the place to publish this, but as it is somewhere dedicated to my love for France and French culture, it seems as good a place as any. When I turned on the French news yesterday morning I was greeted by a speech about the strength of la république and its foundations – liberté, fraternité, égalité. Urgh. As I got ready for work, I rolled my eyes at the overwhelming patriotism of President Hollande’s speech, reminded of some of the Sarko speeches we had to analyse in French culture at uni. Then I realised why – and suddenly, the reminder of the strengths of la patrie all made sense. Merci, Monsieur Hollande.

The events in Paris on Wednesday were a brutal and tragic violation of free speech in the name of religious extremism. As a journalist, I was shocked by the massacre of 12 people who were just doing their job. Sadly, the  8 journalists killed will be added to the ever-growing list of journos who are killed each year for trying to do their job. This is not good enough, and it must be stopped. In December, Reporters Without Borders published a roundup of violence committed against journalists in 2014. Last year saw 66 journalists killed, 119 kidnapped, 178 imprisoned and 138 flee their country. It’s a journalist’s fundamental responsibility to speak truth to power – whether civil or religious – and this is what Charlie Hebdo did, in their own satirical way.

Reflecting on the Charlie Hebdo attacks now, some things have become abundantly clear. These are:

-That these attacks must not be used to justify further violence targeting Muslim people. People need to be tolerant, now more than ever. Thanks largely to political interference, there is already a strong culture of Islamophobia in France (as there is in Australia), and this must not be aggravated by the attacks.

-That we must be critical of everything we read and hear. Yes, certain Australian politicians will be strutting around inciting fear and issuing travel warnings. Think critically, engage properly with the information and keep informed on the topic. Fear is what terrorists aim to achieve. As a side note, don’t listen to politicians who try to use terrorist attacks to justify xenophobic policy. Nothing good has come of Sarko’s ban the burqa campaign, or Morrison’s inhumane treatment of refugees deported to Papua New Guinea and Nauru, or Marine Le Pen’s batshit crazy hate speeches targeting the Muslim community in France. I really, really hope that the attacks don’t trigger more of this xenophobia, but sadly, they probably will. But that doesn’t mean we have to accept it.

-We have to stay positive. Thankfully, rallies in Paris and around the world are showing that we are. Shows of support from crowds of thousands of people holding up signs showing “We are not afraid”, the #JeSuisCharlie hashtags trending on social media and the outpouring of support from people around the world has shown that the terrorists have already lost. The Charlie Hebdo massacre was a catastrophic violation of free speech and civil liberties. But it is only going to make our voices louder.

Je suis Charlie. Vive la France. Vive la liberté.

If you would like to learn more about Reporters Without Borders or to make a donation please follow this link to their website.

Posted in Snacks and light meals

Snack time: Lemon yogurt muffins (muffins au citron et au yaourt)

Bonjour mes amis!

Good news: Les printemps est arrivé (spring is here)!
The sun is out, my garden is bursting with citrus fruits (lemons, grapefruits, clementines) and I finally have some spare time to give Roquette et Noisettes a bit of love!

Lemons are practically coming out of our ears at the moment, so if you have any delicious lemon recipes please share them in the comment section below, I would love some suggestions! In fact, if there’s anything at all you’d like me cover, just let me know.

Alors, today’s topic is muffins. If you enjoy baking like I do and you haven’t tried baking with yogurt before, then you really should! Yaourt (yogurt) is an amazing addition to muffins and cakes as it keeps them light, fluffy and very moist, and often means you don’t need to add butter or milk. Great news if you’re health conscious.

The French are just as keen on their yogurt as us Aussies, and it can be bought in any supermarket en France. Les Français like their yaourt so much that it’s often served as a dessert in many restaurants along with fresh fruit. Not exactly gourmet, but it’s delicious and healthy, so who are we to judge?

Anyway, bonne chançe with your baking and I hope you’re all enjoying this sweet sunshine as much as I am.

Disclaimer: In the photos you’ll see I used a silicone muffin tray. Unfortunately I didn’t have a choice at the time, but please do NOT use these for your own sake. The silicone means they are very wobbly and difficult to take in and out of the oven, and you will probably spill your mixture everywhere. They are my pet hate. Go the old-school tin, you won’t regret it.

NB: This is a recipe I derived from one on

Muffins au citron et au yaourt

Makes 12 medium muffins

Cooking time: 15 mins to prep + about 20 mins to bake

-2 1/2 cups self-raising flour
-3/4 cup caster sugar
-1 cup vanilla yogurt (I used low fat, but don’t have to)
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-1 egg, lightly beaten
-1 Tbs lemon rind
-1/2 cup fresh lemon juice


Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease two 6-cup regular muffin pans.

Mix flour and sugar together, forming a well in the centre of the bowl. Add egg, oil, yogurt, lemon juice and rind. Mix until just combined.


Using a tablespoon, spoon the mix into muffin pan.


Bake for about 20 minutes (the original recipe said about 12 minutes, I found this not to be nearly enough). Always keep an eye on your muffins as every oven is different. Bake until just golden.

Et c’est tout! Ils sont délicieux!


A bientôt!


Posted in Uncategorized

Midweek meals: Soufflé


Soufflé. The thought of making it is enough to instil fear in some of the bravest of cooks. The soufflé has got a bad rep over the years due to its delicacy. Yes, there are plenty of things that can go wrong: it doesn’t rise, it rises but collapses, it’s over-cooked, the eggs are over-whisked – but with a bit of love a good soufflé really isn’t hard to make. Read on, my friends…  

As mentioned in an earlier post, the word soufflé comes from the verb souffler, meaning to blow. Un bon soufflé should be crispy on top, and light and fluffy in the middle – like a breath of air. 

Mum’s cheese and sweet corn soufflé was my favourite dinner growing up (yes I know, quite the gourmet child), and I’d request it every birthday. I’ve only recently found out that my sister never liked it, so these requests only brought her sadness and misery. Sorry Anna.  

The secret to easily whipping your egg whites is to place the eggs in a bowl of luke-warm water beforehand. Fridge-temperature eggs aren’t going to do you any favours. 

The recipe below is for a cheese and sweet-corn soufflé, but the corn is just an option. You could add capsicum, ham, mushrooms – really whatever you feel like. If you want to achieve a perfect flat-topped soufflé, simply run a knife over the mixture just before putting it in the oven to smooth it out et voila – just like in a Michelin-starred restaurant!

Soufflé au fromage et au maïs:

Serves: 4

Cooking time: Approx. 20 mins prep + 45 mins to cook


4 eggs

1 cup milk

1 tbsp butter

Approx 1 tbsp plain flour

1 cup cheese (tasty or gruyère would work best)

1 can corn kernels, drained (or fresh sweetcorn if you have it)

Salt + pepper, to taste


Place whole eggs in bowl of luke warm water and set aside. Grease a ramekin or round casserole dish. 


 Make basic white sauce: melt butter over low heat and stir in flour until thick paste, then very slowly add milk, whisking to avoid any lumps. Continue to stir until sauce thickens. Set aside.

Add cheese and corn.

Separate eggs and lightly beat egg yolks in one bowl. Beat egg whites until peaks form, taking care not to over-beat.

This is how you want your whites to look
This is how you want your whites to look

Fold yolks into white sauce mixture, then carefully fold in the whites until just mixed. Over-folding can beat the air out of your perfect eggs.

Don't over-fold your mixture
Don’t over-fold your mixture

Pour mixture into ramekin. If desired, run a knife over the top to achieve the perfect flat-topped look.

Bake for approx. 45 minutes or until golden.



Serve with baked potatoes, or potato gratin. 


Bon appétit et bonne chance!





Posted in Mains, Snacks and light meals

Using leftovers: Soupe au pistou (Pesto Minestrone Soup)

In 2011 I decided to take the year off uni and spend four months gallivanting around Europe with one of my closest friends. We had barely any plans, aside from that we wanted to go to La Tomatina (the tomato throwing festival just outside of Valencia, Spain), meet up with a friend in Paris, and just spend a lot of time seeing the sites, partying, eating and meeting other travellers.

Meeting up in Bangkok to break up the 20-something hour flight, we sat on Khao San Road with dozens of other tourists, sipping what we were told was vodka but tasted suspiciously of terrible local spirits and pouring over our Lonely Planet guide. Our plan was this: We wanted to go to Spain, I wanted to go back to France and we both had a mild interest in Italy. From there, we had no idea.

The first pizza in Rome
Our first pizza in Rome!

In the end we saw Italy, Austria, Germany, The Netherlands (well, Amsterdam), France, Belgium, Spain, England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. We saw The Colosseum, Pompeii, Brandenburg Gate, Dachau Concentration Camp, the town of Salzburg, the Danube river, Viennese coffee houses, the Eiffel Tower, Sacré Coeur, the canals of Amsterdam AND Bruges, The Alhambra in Granada, all of the Gaudi buildings in Barcelona, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, a dozen English markets, Loch Ness, Edinburgh Castle, the Cliffs of Moher, the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, a proper student house party in Cardiff and the list goes on and on and on…

About half-way through the trip, exhausted from not staying in the same place for more than a few days, sleeping only in hostels and on trains, and a few too many late nights with other travellers, we both got the flu. It was inevitable really, apart from the exhaustion, our diet mainly consisted of free hostel breakfasts, our regular picnics of just baguette and cheese (which were an excuse to explore local parks), and two-minute noodles (to save funds, obviously). We were both very sick for about a week, but by the end of it came to one conclusion: we had to change our eating habits. We shopped at local markets, cooked for ourselves in the communal hostel kitchens, and found the easiest (and cheapest) recipes we could possibly make with the highest nutritional value.

Wandering through Nice’s old town

The recipe below is one of our saviour recipes. It’s really easy, doesn’t take long to cook and is bursting with veggies and nutrition. This Minestrone is my Mum’s really easy take on a traditional Italian one (although is also considered to be Provencal recipe, as seen in Rachel Khoo’s book The Little Paris Kitchen). You can have it with or without the pesto, but the pesto really adds a kick. Buy a jar from the supermarket, or make your own a la Rachel Khoo.

Soupe au pistou:


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Serves: 6-8

Cooking time: 15 minutes prep + about an hour to cook

2 cloves garlic

1.25 litre bottle of V8 (vegetable) juice

1 can borlotti (Roman) beans

1 cup pasta (conchiglie – the shell pasta – works best)

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

Pesto to garnish

Parmesan cheese to garnish

Leftover veggies (you can use almost anything but I generally use onion, celery, broccoli, beans, carrots, potatoes, parsnips etc.) – just make sure you have at least a few different types


Chop veggies, making sure they are roughly the same size. Fry garlic and onion (if using), then add other veggies and top with V8.



Add stock and bring to boil.


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Add borlotti beans, cover the soup and leave to simmer for about 40 minutes, or until all of the vegetables are cooked. Cook pasta separately and add just before serving.

Garnish with pesto and parmesan cheese and serve!

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If you want to make your own pesto:

Rachel Khoo‘s Provencal Pesto:

1 bunch basil

3 cloves garlic

3-4 tablespoons good olive oil


Pound to a smooth paste, or whizz up the pesto in a blender.

Note: Unlike Italian pesto, French pesto doesn’t contain pine nuts or Parmesan, but you can add them if you like.

A small town just outside of Grenoble, France
Backpacking through a small town just outside of Grenoble, France


Bon appétit!