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:

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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

Method

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 

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-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

Method

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.

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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.

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

Bisous

S

Posted in Dessert

Les Desserts de Printemps: La tarte au citron

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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.

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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

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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

Method:

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.

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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.

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C’est tout – bon ap’!

xoxo

 

 

 

 

Posted in Dessert, Mains

Automne à Melbourne

 

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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.

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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:

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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

Method

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.

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

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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

Method:

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).

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

Bisous,

Sophie

Posted in Dessert, Snacks and light meals

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

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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.

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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:
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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

 

Method

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.

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

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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!

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Bon appétit!

 

Sophie

Posted in Dessert, Mains, Snacks and light meals

Tarte Tatin: Two ways

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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.

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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 taste.com.au

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

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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

Method

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.

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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.

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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.

Enjoy!

Now for something a little sweeter…

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

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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

Method

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.

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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.

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I hope you enjoy this tarte tatin feast!

Bisous,

Sophie

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

Posted in Dessert

Dessert: Bastille Day Puddings (Soufflés chocolat noisette)

 

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Joyeux 14 Juillet!

For the uninitiated, Bastille day is the celebration of the storming of the infamous Bastille prison in Paris at the start of the French revolution in 1789. It was a reaction against the oppression of the Monarchy and the ancien regime. An enormous gap between the rich and poor in France saw most of France crippled by famine and disease, while the royalty and aristocracy enjoyed a lavish life of luxury.

In the lead up to the revolution, those who did not resign themselves to the absolute power of the King (Louis XVI) were incarcerated in the Bastille prison in Paris. The storming of the Bastille was therefore a momentous occasion for la liberté (freedom) of the French. However, it also officially marked the beginning of a very turbulent time for France. The French revolution did not end until 1799.

 

Visiting Versailles in winter, the Palace of Louis XVI before he was fled
Visiting Versailles in winter, the Palace of Louis XVI before he fled

The legacy of the revolution continues in France today. La révolution française established the motto of France: liberté, fraternité (brotherhood), égalité (equality) which still underlies French culture. Today, many French people are passionate about fighting perceived inequalities, and fervently stand up for their rights. You don’t need to visit Paris (or any other French city) very long to witness a French protest. Whether it’s about racial diversity, train drivers’ working conditions (you’re almost guaranteed train delays while you’re visiting), or right-wing politician Marine Le Pen’s latest crazy idea, the French sure do love a good strike, and it’s this passion, evident in almost every aspect of la vie française, that draws me to their culture.

So to celebrate the glorious fête nationale, I have baked rich, fluffy soufflés which I think would please even the fussiest eater. As usual, they are vraiment façile (really easy)! This is a great recipe, the soufflés are gooey in the middle and crispy, almost meringue-like on top.

On an interesting language note, the term soufflé comes from the verb souffler which means to blow, and is a testament to the airiness of the soufflé, and the way it very quickly puffs up when it is in the oven.

Soufflé au chocolat noir et aux noisettes (Dark chocolate and hazelnut puddings)

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Recipe from Gourmet Traveller 

Serves 4

Cooking time: 20 minutes prep + Approx. 20 minutes to bake

55g butter

265g quality dark chocolate (at least 53% cocoa), chopped

3 eggs, separated

2 Tbs caster sugar

35g roasted hazelnuts (or roast yourself on low heat until golden), peeled and chopped

Cream or ice-cream to serve

Method:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsuis. Very slowly melt butter and sugar, preferably over a double boiler to ensure they don’t burn.

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Once chocolate is melted and glossy remove from stove and stir in chopped hazelnuts, egg yolks and sugar. Beat egg whites until they form soft peaks and gently fold through chocolate mixture.

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Immediately divide among four small ramekins and bake for about 15 minutes or until the soufflés have puffed up and just set. Serve with cream or ice-cream.

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Bonne journée et bon appétit!

 

Posted in Dessert, Snacks and light meals

Sunday dinner: Jerusalem Artichoke (Sunchoke) Soup and Pears in Red Wine

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I love markets. There’s something about the combination of fresh produce, crazy vendors and strange fruits and veggies that inspires me to cook with rare and interesting ingredients. Le français agree with me. Paris alone has several major food markets (namely marchés Bastille, Mouffetard, Saxe-Breteuil and the one on Rue Montorgueil). Parisians of all walks of life flock to them for fresh meat and fish, fruit and veg, and great cooking advice.

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This week I went to South Melbourne market. In Melbourne we have a couple of nice food markets: the famous Queen Victoria Market in the CBD, Prahran market with all of its cheese, but my favourite is South Melbourne for its lively atmosphere and excellent range of everything from high-range olive oil, to fresh produce, to the perfect coffee. This week I resisted the huge salted caramel macarons and fresh seafood and instead went for the Jerusalem artichokes (topinambour) and beautiful fresh pears (poires) with the perfect easy Sunday meal in mind.

Jerusalem artichokes are funny looking things. They look a little bit like ginger root: very knobbly and beige in colour. Inside they are a creamy colour, and have a delicious buttery flavour. Apparently, they are not related to the artichoke at all.  In fact the Jerusalem artichoke plant highly resembles a sunflower plant. The part you eat are the tubers. French explorer Samuel de Champlain sent the first samples of Jerusalem artichoke to France, describing them as similar in taste to artichoke. You could really do anything with them: fry them, put them in a salad; but today I’m making a soup.

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This is a slight variation of a soup my Mum makes at home. It’s creamy, buttery and perfect on wintery days.

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup:

Cooking time: 20 mins prep + About an hour to cook

-750 grams Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes), scrubbed and cut into chunks

-2 Tbs unsalted butter

-2 celery sticks, chopped

-2 garlic cloves, chopped

-1 cup milk (slight variation from linked recipe)

-1 Bay leaf (also slight variation)

-4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock

-Salt and pepper

Method:

Scrub artichokes well. There’s a common misconception that they must be peeled, however so long as you scrub them well with a hard brush this can be avoided. Melt butter in soup pot and cook onions and celery until soft. Add garlic and fry until fragrant. celery Add a pinch of salt. Add  Jerusalem artichokes, bayleaf and cover with stock. Bring the pot to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for about an hour until artichokes start to break down and are soft. Remove the bay leaf and puree the soup using stick blender or food mill, adding the milk as you blend it. bayleaf Add salt and pepper to taste.

NOTE: I felt a little strange not adding many herbs to this soup, however it’s important to remember that the taste of Jerusalem artichokes is very subtle, and can be easily overpowered. My addition of a bay leaf enhanced the flavours, but I would avoid adding other herbs. If you wish to bring out the flavour more, you could add less celery, or avoid it all together. For extra creaminess, you could add cream too. Serve with crusty bread or my rainy day muffins.

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Le Dessert: Poires pochées au Vin Rouge (Poached Pears in Red Wine)

Makes 4 Pears

Cooking time: 10 mins prep + 1 hour and 15 mins to cook + at least four hours in fridge (if you prefer chilled)

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It’s always nice to celebrate (or mourn) the end of the weekend with a dessert. This is a really easy one that’s both foolproof, and elegant enough to pull of for a dinner party or social event.

My favourite part about Paris in winter is the Christmas markets. Tiny little cubby-house like shacks are draped in Christmas lights and sell everything from gorgeous gifts, to buttery crêpes and spiced vin chaud (mulled wine). They’re especially charmant (charming) when the city is under snow and you get a sense of a true white Christmas, something that we miss out on in Australia.

A Christmas market on Les Champs Elysées
A Christmas market on Les Champs Elysées

These pears could be done the night before a party or event, making them the perfect winter dessert. They are my homage to Parisian Christmas markets.

Ingredients:

-4 peeled pears (Packhams work best, just-ripe)

-2 cinnamon sticks

-2 whole star anise

-2 cups dry red wine

-1/3 cup caster sugar

-1 vanilla bean, split

Method:

Combine wine, sugar and spices in saucepan big enough to fit pears. Over a low heat, stir until the sugar dissolves. Add pears and bring to the boil, then reduce heat and cook for an hour, turning occasionally to ensure the pear soaks up the wine.wine Once tender, put the pears in a heatproof bowl.

Increase heat to high and bring the wine to a boil. Stir for around 10 minutes or until the wine has thickened slightly into a syrup. Serve pears individually and pour over syrup. Serve with cream or ice-cream. Alternatively, you could make this rosewater-infused mascarpone from Taste.com.

If  you’re after a more summery dessert, cover pears in syrup. Cover heatproof bowl in cling wrap and place in fridge for about four hours.

C’est tous! An easy two-course Sunday dinner that is très deliceux!

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À bientôt!

Sophie