Chocolate Rocks / Rochers au Chocolat


Chocolate Rocks The only thing that can go wrong in this recipe is if you overheat the chocolate. Continue reading

It’s quick to prepare and it’s a nice treat to enjoy oven a cup of coffee or just like that, because you feel you deserve it…  This recipe is dedicated to my grandfather. In ten days it will be one year he is not with us anymore and I felt like remembering him. About three years ago he gave me this recipe which has been hanging on my fridge since then. Unfortunately I can’t tell where it comes from because I only have one single page of the magazine it came from. And my grandfather read a lot of them.

I adapted the recipe to my taste as the recipe only calls for cornflakes or almonds. I chose to use both and to add some dried fruits. I will surely make these treats again and next time I will give other ingredients a try such as walnuts or hazelnuts or sprinkle on some coconut or use dried pears or mangoes or… Well, the choice is there and it comes down to personal taste.

 

Happy Easter to everyone!

 

Chocolate Rocks 6Chocolate Rocks 4

Chocolate Rocks

 

Makes about 14-16 pieces

Time: 25 min

 

Ingredients

150 g dark chocolate

100 g milk chocolate

30 g butter

½ vanilla pod

20 g dried cherries chopped

45 g cornflakes

35 g slivered almonds

 

Recipe

Break up the chocolate into pieces and placed in a bowl. Scrape out the vanilla seeds and add them to the chocolate along with the butter.

Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie. The water shouldn’t touch the bowl and the chocolate should not become too hot.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and gently stir to coat the cornflakes, cherries and almonds.

On a tray lined with parchment paper, using a couple teaspoons, make little piles. Leave to solidify completely but avoid placing them in the fridge (they will lose shine). Store them in a hermetically sealed tin box for up to two weeks.

 

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Version Française

 Chocolate Rocks 5

La seule chose qui peut mal se passer en préparant cette recette, c’est si on chauffe trop le chocolat. Il faut peu de temps pour préparer ces friandises qui sont à déguster avec une tasse de café ou juste comme ça, parce que on se dit qu’on le mérite… Cette recette je la dédie à mon grand-père. Dans dix jours ça va faire un an qu’il n’est plus avec nous et j’avais envie de faire quelque chose pour me rappeler de lui. Il m’avait donné cette recette il y a environ trois ans et cette recette est restée collée sur mon réfrigérateur tout ce temps. Je ne peux pas dire d’où vient cette recette car c’est une page provenant d’un des nombreux magazines qu’il lisait.

J’ai adapté la recette selon mes gouts vu que sur la feuille on parlait que de cornflakes ou de amandes en bâtonnets. J’ai utilisé les deux et en plus j’ai ajouté des fruits secs. Ces friandises je vais surement les refaire mais la prochaine fois j’essaierai d’autres ingrédients comme des noix ou noisettes, ou ajouter de la noix de coco, ou utiliser d’autres fruits secs comme des poires ou des mangues… Enfin, le choix est la et tout ça dépend de notre goût personnel.

 

Joyeuses Pâques à tous !

 

Chocolate Rocks

Rochers au Chocolat

 

Pour 14-16 pièces

Temps : 25 min

 

Ingrédients:

150 g chocolat noir

100 g chocolat au lait

30 g beurre

½ gousse de vanille

20 g cerises séchées hachées

45 g cornflakes

35 g amandes en bâtonnets

 

Recette

Cassez le chocolat en morceau et placez le dans un bol. Grattez les graines et ajoutez-le au chocolat avec le beurre.

Fondre le chocolat dans un bain marie. L’eau ne devrait pas toucher le bol et le chocolat ne doit pas non plus devenir trop chaud.

Ajouter le reste des ingrédients au bol et mélanger délicatement pour couvrir les cornflakes, les cerises et les amandes.

Sur un plan de travail ou un plateau couvert de papier sulfurisé, à l’aide de deux cuillères, former des petits tas. Laisser refroidir en évitant de les placer dans le réfrigérateur (il perdent leur brillance). Conserver dans une boite en fer blanc hermétique jusqu’à 2 semaines.

Spring Quinoa Salad with Ricotta Dressing / Salade de Printemps au Quinoa avec Vinaigrette à la Ricotta

Spring Quinoa Salad with Ricotta Dressing and Ramsons I’ve been into asparagus the whole month but this recipe is something I have already been  making about three times over the last couple of weeks. Continue reading

The most memorable I had this dish was when I could watch the view of the blossoming trees from my terrace  with some light music in the background… just relaxing and delightful. I love the freshness of this recipe and it’s a good idea for a light lunch with some fibre. The main theme in this recipe is spring’s ingredients: asparagus, peas and wild garlic. I enjoyed this salad on my terrace in this mild weather on my terrace…

Spring Quinoa Salad with Ricotta Dressing and RamsonsSpring Quinoa Salad with Ricotta Dressing and Ramsons

 

Spring Quinoa Salad with Ricotta Dressing 

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time : 10 min

Cook time : 10 min

 

Ingredients

240 g quinoa

20 asparagus stalks

160 g fresh peas

4 tbsp chopped wild garlic

1-2 sliced spring onions

 

For the dressing:

100 g ricotta cheese

1.2 dl lemon juice (8tbsp)

1.2 dl olive oil (8tbsp)

Zest of one lemon

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

To make the dressing mix all the ingredients together and set aside.

Remove the woodier part of the asparagus and with what’s left cut them at an angle into pieces of about 3 cm long.

Place the quinoa in a pan with about two times its volume in water and boil on a low heat for 10 min.

In another pan bring water to a boil add the asparagus for about 3 min. After 1-2 min add the peas to the water.  Remove the vegetables from the pan and place them in icy water.

Add the vegetables to the quinoa with the dressing the spring onions and the wild garlic. Toss and serve.

 

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Version Française

Spring Quinoa Salad with Ricotta Dressing and Ramsons

 

J’ai bien profité des asperges pendant tout le mois mais cette recette je l’ai faite au moins deux à trios fois ces dernières trois semaines. La meilleure que j’ai dégusté ce plat c’était sur le midi, sur ma terrasse entrain de regarder le arbres entrain de fleurir, avec un peu de musique et en regardant le paysage… un moment juste relaxant et délicieux.  J’aime surtout la fraîcheur de cette recette, surtout pendant le déjeuner. J’ai beaucoup aimé la fraîcheur de cette assiette et c’est une bonne idée pour un repas léger avec une bonne dose de fibres. Le thème de cette recette sont surtout les ingrédients du printemps :asperges, petit-pois et de l’ail des ours.

 

Spring Quinoa Salad with Ricotta Dressing and Ramsons

 

Salade de Quinoa de Printemps et Vinaigrette à la Ricotta 

 

Recette pour 4

Temps de preparation: 10 min

Temps de cuisson: 10 min

 

Ingrédients

240 g quinoa

20 asperges

160 g petit pois frais

4 cs ail des ours haché

1-2 oignons nouveaux coupés en lamelles

 

Pour la vinaigrette:

100 g ricotta

1.2 dl jus de citron (8 cs)

1.2 dl huile d’olive (8 cs)

Zeste de 1 citron

Sel et poivre

 

Recette

 

Pour faire la vinaigrette mélangez tous les ingrédients et mettre de côté.

Enlevez la partie ligneuse des asperges et les couper à un angle en pièces de environ 3 cm.

Placez le quinoa dans une casserole avec deux fois sa quantité en eau et cuire à feu bas pendant 10 min.

Porter à ébullition de l’eau dans une autre casserole et ajouter les asperges pendant  environ 3 min. Après 1-2 min ajouter les petit pois. Sortir les légumes la casserole et les mettre dans un bain glacé.

Ajouter les légumes au quinoa avec la vinaigrette les oignons nouveaux et l’ail des ours. Mélanger et servir.

 

 

 

Polenta Topped Cottage Pie / Hachis Parmentier Recouvert de Polenta

Polenta Topped Cottage Pie Does the cooking method contribute to categorizing a dish as comfort food ? Continue reading

I think that it’s the case at least for the oven. One of my favourite dishes is a cottage pie and usually I make it the traditional way with potatoes but sometimes it’s nice to give it a change and so this time I topped it with polenta. Instead of using only water I prepared the corn mostly with milk which makes the mass creamier. Actually, in Ticino it’s quite common to eat polenta in a bowl filled with milk. This used to be a poor man’s meal. For the meat instead I began with a “mirepoix” which is also the base I use for a bolognese sauce. For the rest I more or less followed Gordon Ramsay’s  shepherd’s pie recipe; especially for cooking times. It was some time I had not made this dish.

 

Polenta Topped Cottage Pie

Polenta Topped Cottage Pie

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 50 min

Ingredients

 

For the beef :

2 carrots

1 celery stalk

1 onion

3 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves

650 g minced beef

1 large tbsp tomato puree

1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

1 tbsp chopped rosemary leaves

0.5 dl red wine

0.5 dl stock

(optional: a small tsp cornstarch to thicken)

A dash of Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper

 

For the polenta:

180 g fine polenta

6 dl milk

3 dl water

(optional: 1-2 knobs butter)

120 g grated cheese

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

Heat oven at 200°C.

Finely dice the carrots, celery and onion. Pass the garlic through a garlic crusher. In a pan with one tbsp olive oil, add the carrots, celery and onion to soften for 5 min.

In another pan  (or use the same  and set the vegetables aside) heat the rest of the olive oil and add the minced meat. Cook until the meat is browned. Once done remove excess liquid and fat ( I used a sieve). Place the meat back in the pan with the rosemary and thyme. Add the tomato puree, the vegetables and finally pour over the wine. Reduce by half. Now add the Worcestershire sauce and the stock. Cook for about 20-25 min. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the polenta bring the water and milk to a boil. Sprinkle in the polenta and cook for ten minutes on a low fire and constantly stirring. When done add in the butter  and 90 out of the 120 grams of cheese with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the meat to a baking dish ( I used individual ones), top with the polenta evenly spread and finally sprinkle over the rest of the cheese. Bake for 20-25 min, until the top is nicely browned.

 

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Version Française

Polenta Topped Cottage Pie

La méthode de cuisson contribue-t- elle à rendre un plat réconfortant ? Je pense que c’est le cas, du moins pour le four. Un de mes plats préférés c’est le hachis Parmentier et d’habitude je le fait de la manière traditionnelle avec des pommes de terre mais de temps en temps j’aime bien changer. Cette fois je l’ai fait en utilisant de la polenta. Au lieu d’utiliser que de l’eau ou du bouillon j’ai préparé la farine de mais avec une majorité de lait. En effet, ici au Tessin c’est une chose commune de manger la polenta servie dans un bol rempli de lait. Ce plat était un des repas de l’homme pauvre. Pour la viande j’ai commencé avec un mirepoix (la base que j’utilise aussi quand je prépare une bolognaise). Pour la suite j’ai plus ou moins suivi une recette de Gordon Ramsay ; surtout pour les temps de cuisson car ça faisait un moment que je n’avais pas fait de hachis Parmentier.

Polenta Topped Cottage Pie

Hachis Parmentier Recouvert de Polenta

 

Recette pour 4

Temps de préparation: 20 min

Temps de cuisson: 50 min

 

Ingrédients

Pour la viande:

2 carottes

1 branche de céleri

1 oignon

3 cs huile d’olive

2 gousses d’ail

650 g viande hachée de bœuf

1 grosse cs purée de tomates

1 cs de feuilles de thym

1 cs feuilles de romarin coupées finement

0.5 dl vin rouge

(optionnel: une petite cc de maizena pour épaissir)

0.5 dl bouillon

Un soupçon de sauce Worcestershire

Sel et poivre

 

Pour la polenta :

180 g polenta fine

6 dl lait

3 dl eau

(optionnel: 1-2 noix de beurre)

120 g fromage râpé

Sel et poivre

 

Recette

Allumez le four à 200°C.

Coupez finement les carottes, la branche se céleri et l’oignon. Passez les gousses d’ail dans un presse ail. Dans une poêle avec une cs d’huile d’olive, ajoutez les carottes le céleri et l’oignon et faites cuire pendant environ 7 min.

Dans une autre poêle (ou utilisez la même et mettez les légumes de coté) ajoutez le reste de l’huile d’olive et la viande. Cuire la viande jusqu’à quelle soit brune. Enlever l’excès de gras et liquide (j’ai utilisé une passoire). Replacer la viande dans la poêle avec le romarin et le thym. Ajouter la purée de tomate, les légumes et verser le vin. Laissez réduire de moitié environ. Maintenant ajoutez la Worcestershire sauce et le bouillon (éventuellement ajouter la maizena). Poursuivre la cuisson pendant 20-25 min. Assaisonner selon le gout.

Pour la polenta, porter l’eau et le lait à ébullition. Ajouter en pluie la polenta et faire cuire 10 min sur un feu bas en remuant constamment. À la fin ajouter le beurre, 90 des 120 g de fromage et assaisonner avec du sel et du poivre selon le goût.

Transférer la viande dans un plat à four (dans mon cas j’ai utilisé des plats individuels) étalez la polenta de manière régulière et parsemez le reste du fromage par-dessus. Placez dans le four pendant 20-25 min, jusqu’à que le haut soit bien doré.

Tomato Tartare / Tartare de Tomate

Tomato Tartare Yesterday morning, while I was doing my daily run, I began thinking and took two decisions: soon I’ll have to take my shorts out because my legs are sticking to the trousers and my I will write my next post in French too. Lately more than one person have been asking/telling me why I write in English rather than Italian or French. I like to write in English and here in Ticino it’s one way not to forget the language. With the echo of those words running through my mind I have finally decided: from this post on I will also post in French.

Anyway, today’s recipe personally strikes more than one point as it’s full of vegetables, it’s light, it’s healthy and it’s something versatile.  I have often made this for different occasions and have served it as it is, served with some bread or in summer I love to combine it with a nice dish of pasta. Just one recommendation, if you can (unlike me) chose tomatoes which are still on the firm side.

 

Tomato Tartare

Tomato Tartare

Recipe for 4

Prep time : 20 min

 

Ingredients

600 g meaty tomatoes (such as the beefsteak variety)

8 pieces sun dried tomatoes in oil

2-3 spring onions

12-15 olives

3 tbsp chopped parsley

2 small chilies

2 garlic cloves

6 tbsp finely chopped roasted bell pepper in oil

1 small tbsp balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

Cut the tomatoes into pieces and remove the seeds. Chop them finely and place them in a sieve with a pinch of salt to remove excess moisture. Set aside.

Finely chop the sun dried tomatoes, the onions, the olives and the chilies. Pass the garlic cloves through a crusher. Place all these ingredients in a bowl and add the bell peppers, the parsley and finally the tomatoes with the vinegar. Mix the ingredients together and add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve either as an appetizer, a first course with a little toasted bread or, what I really like to do is to use this in a nice plate of pasta.

 

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(Version Française)

 

Tomato Tartare

 

Hier matin, en faisant mon jogging je réfléchissais et j’ai pris deux décisions: bientôt je sortirai les short pour courir vu que le pantalon colle trop à mes jambes et à partir de mon prochain post, j’écrirai mon blog aussi en français. Dernièrement plusieurs personnes dans mon entourage m’ont demandé/dit pourquoi est-ce que mon blog était en anglais plutôt qu’en italien ou en français. J’écris en anglais parce que j’aime cette langue et ici au Tessin c’est une manière de ne pas l’oublier. L’écho de ces mots résonnait dans ma tête depuis un moment et j’ai décidé : à partir de maintenant j’écrirais aussi en français, voilà.

Enfin, la recette d’aujourd’hui a plusieurs points positifs à mes yeux car elle est pleine de légumes, c’est léger, c’est bon pour la santé et c’est une recette versatile. J’ai souvent fait cette et pour différentes occasions. Je les sers avec du pain grillé comme apéritif ou entrée et d’autres fois, en été, je l’utilise comme sauce pour les pâtes. Si c’est possible (pas comme moi), il vaut mieux choisir des tomates qui sont encore plutôt fermes.

 

Tomato Tartare

 

Tartare de Tomates

Recette pour 4

Preparation: 20 min

 

Ingrédients:

600 g tomates charnues (style Cœur de bœuf)

8 pièces tomates séchées dans de l’huile d’olive

2-3 oignons nouveaux

12-15 olives

3 cs persil haché

2 petits piments rouges (graines enlevées)

2 gousses d’ail

6 cs poivrons rôtis dans de l’huile

1 petite cs de vinaigre balsamique

Sel et poivre

 

Recette

Coupez le tomates en pièces et épépinez-les . Hacher finement et placer les tomates dans un tamis avec une pincée de sel pour enlever l’excès d’eau. Mettre de coté.

Hacher finement les tomates séchées, les oignons nouveaux, les olives et les piments. Ecraser l’ail à l’aide d’un presse ail. Placer le tout dans un bol et y ajouter les poivrons hachés, le persil, les tomates et le vinaigre. Bien mélanger tout les ingrédients et ajouter du sel et du poivre selon le gout.

Servir come apéritif, comme entrée ou alors même comme sauce pour les pâtes.

 

Beetroot and Onion Tarte Tatin

Beetroot and Onion Tarte Tatin The other day, over a nice cup of coffee, I was talking to a friend of mine who is French and she told me how much she loved a nice Tarte Tatin. Continue reading

This got my mind working and so decided to try it. I wanted to make this recipe as a savory dish and chose to make it with beets and onions as both the ingredients work well with caramel like flavours. Before anything I went online to learn well about the process and in the end I went midway between shallot tatin and a beetroot tatin. The difference in my tart I used shortcrust pastry instead of puff pastry (a personal preference). I went out, bought what I needed and got to work. I was excited and in the same time a little stressed about the outcome. I enjoyed the final result twice… I shouldn’t have done so because in the evening I was out to dinner with my boyfriend and was not hungry at all.

 

Beetroot and Onion Tarte TatinBeetroot and Onion Tarte Tatin Beetroot and Onion Tarte Tatin

 

Beetroot and Onion Tarte Tatin

 

Recipe for 6

Prep time: 35 min

Cook time: 45-50 min

 

Ingredients

300 g possibly small cooked beetroot (best if home made, but I didn’t have a choice as I couldn’t find fresh ones)

300 g red onions roughly the same size as the beetroot

2 tbsp olive oil

2.5 tbsp sugar

1 tsp thyme leaves + couple springs

1 tsp chopped rosemary leaves + 1 spring

4 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 crushed garlic cloves

30 g butter

Salt and pepper

Butter shortcrust pastry 26 cm diameter

100 g fresh goat cheese

 

 

Recipe

Heat oven at 200°C.

Put the onions in a pan and pour over boiling water to cover them. After 8-10 min remove the water and peel the onions. Cut them in half. Cut the beetroot into roughly the same size as the onions.

Heat the oil and butter (without browning) in a pan and add the onions and garlic to brown for 10-15 minutes. At mid cooking time add the beetroot to the pan and cook with the onions. Add in the vinegar, the sugar and the herbs. Cook until caramelized.  Remove the pan from the heat, season with salt and pepper to taste. If your pan is not oven proof, transfer the vegetables to a round cake tin (without loose bottom). Place the rosemary and thyme springs in the centre of the pan (or cake tin) and evenly spread the onions and beetroot.

Trim the dough to a round shape if it’s too large. Delicately place it on the pan and tuck in the edges (you can help yourself with the thinner part of a teaspoon). Prick the dough with a knife and place in the oven  until the crust is nicely brown for 25-30 min.

Remove the tart from the oven and leave to set for 5 minutes. Place a dish on top of the pan and flip it. Add the goat cheese either crumbled or like I did: cut into slices.

Walnut Breaded Aubergine with Sour Cream Dip

Walnut Breaded Aubergine with Sour Cream Dip

I am an absolute fan of breaded and/or battered vegetables. Continue reading

So a couple of days ago I was doing my groceries  found some Swiss grown aubergines. Since I knew I wouldn’t see my boyfriend in the evening, I decided I’d enjoy them with a nice glass of wine and while watching the film Milk. Stefano (my boyfriend) doesn’t eat aubergines and usually when we eat together I often make something with meat. This was an evening to enjoy with and by myself. After consulting The Flavour Thesaurus (fortunately it’s in e-book version or the ink would have faded from the pages). I liked the idea of Aubergines and walnuts, so I decided to go with this. Instead of frying it in a pan like I did last year with my breaded zucchini, I decided to bake them in the oven and followed the directions I found here.

Walnut Breaded Aubergine with Sour Cream Dip

Walnut Breaded Aubergine with Sour Cream Dip

Walnut Breaded Aubergine with Sour Cream Dip

Recipe for 3-4 as an appetizer.

Prep time: 15-20 min

Cook time: 12-16 min

 

Ingredients

For the aubergines:

1 medium aubergine

4 tbsp breadcrumbs

3 tbsp finely chopped roasted walnuts

¼ tsp chili powder

Zest of 1 small lemon finely chopped

Salt and pepper

1 egg

1-2 tbsp water

2 tbsp flour

(optional: a drizzle of oil on the slices before baking)

 

For the dip:

150 ml sour cream

1 tbsp chopped parsley

1 small crushed garlic clove

1 tbsp chopped spring onion

 

Recipe

Switch the oven on at 230°C.

For the dip, in a bowl, mix all the ingredients together and set aside.

In a bowl place the flour. In another mix the egg with the water and in the third the combine breadcrumbs, walnuts, chili pepper and lemon zest.

Remove the top and bottom of the aubergine and two extremities on the side. Cut lengthways making slices of about 1 cm thick. Cut each slice into four parts.

Season the aubergine pieces with salt and pepper. Take one piece and coat it with the flour, then with the egg and finally in with the breadcrumb mix. Place on a parchment lined baking tray. Repeat with the rest of the aubergine pieces.

Now you can eventually drizzle with the olive oil. Place in the oven and leave to cook for 6-8 min. Turn the slices and cook for another four minutes. Remove from the oven and serve warm with the sour cream dip.

This recipe could also work as a side dish topped with a little tomato sauce.

Asparagus Goat Cheese Flatbread Pizza

Asparagus Goat Cheese Flatbread Pizza Lately I really feel like making more finger food and light plates. With the trees blossoming and the days becoming longer and (sometimes) warmer, I want lighter and/or fresher dishes. Continue reading

I didn’t feel like having a normal size pizza so I made these instead and for me they it worked well a lunch dish with a salad on the side. I decided to use asparagus and goat cheese as a topping because I love this flavour combination and find it goes well with the nuttiness of sesame.  For the dough I used the 5:3 ratio for flour to water and added a little sesame oil. Because this time I wants to bake my flatbreads rather than placing them in a pan, I followed the directions I found on the bbc.co.uk  site. Once the flatbreads were done I was a little worried they’d be too dry, but once I tasted them I was happy with the result, I found that the asparagus and the cheese brought enough moisture.

 

Asparagus Goat Cheese Flatbread Pizza

Asparagus Goat Cheese Flatbread Pizza

Recipe for four flatbread pizzas, for 6-8 people as an appetizer or 2-3 as a main meal

 

Prep time: 10 min + 30 min rest

Cook time: 6 min

 

Ingredients

For the flatbreads

140g flour

140g whole wheat flour

180 ml lukewarm water

½ tsp instant yeast

2 tsp olive oil + more to grease the baking tray

¼ tsp sugar

salt

 

For the topping

16 thin cooked asparagus

200g crumbled goat cheese log (or grated hard goat cheese)

Zest of ½ lemon, chopped

1.5 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

4 tbsp thinly sliced spring onions

toasted sesame oil

 

Recipe

In a bowl place the water and the yeast, mix and set aside. In another bowl place the flours, the salt and the sugar. Make a well in the middle of the flour, add the water and combine. Add the sesame and olive oil and knead the dough for 5 minutes; until the dough is soft and elastic. Shape the dough in a ball, cover with a tea towel and leave to rest for a half hour.

Heat the oven at maximum temperature.

Take the dough and divide it into four parts. On a lightly floured surface, using your hands or a rolling pin, flatten the flatbreads out until they are about ½ centimetre thick.

Place the flatbreads on a lightly oiled baking tray and leave the oven under the top burner for 2-3 min. Turn the dough and evenly add the asparagus topped with the goat cheese, sesame seeds and lemon zest. Continue to bake for another couple of minutes, or until the dough is nicely browned.

Remove from the oven and top the flatbreads with the sliced spring onion and a light drizzle of toasted sesame oil. Serve as soon as possible.

Carrot cake

Carrot Cake One thing I really appreciate since having a blog is that, bit by bit, I am recollecting my mother’s recipes which gave such great taste to my childhood. Continue reading

Last Thursday we got together and made this carrot cake. She arrived home with all the ingredients and while we were having coffee at the kitchen counter I saw she was eager to start. My impression was confirmed when she said:

“So, two more minutes and then let’s bake.”

But then, she is always a little stressed…As a reminder of the ingredients and procedure she took a picture of the carrot cake recipe which is part of an actual cooking encyclopaedia from the 70′s-80′s (there are 18 volumes or so). We moved to the kitchen and while she grated the carrots I prepared the batter. This moment felt like going back in time, when we would bake something or make cookies together. One recipe I used to particularly like was the Cola cake which was a recipe I had gotten from a children’s book. By twelve the cake was out of the oven and I prepared a with spelt salad. We didn’t have dessert but as soon as she left, I have a couple slices of my share of the cake and I was just delicious. The lemon zest gives a fresh taste to the cake and the almonds add to the texture.

 

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Carrot cake

Recipe for a cm cake mould

 

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 45 min

 

Ingredients

250 g grated carrots

4 eggs

150 g sugar

100 g flour

100 g almonds

Zest of 1 lemon

4 level spoonful raising powder

1 three fingered pinch of salt

 

Recipe

Heat oven at 180°C.

Separate the egg whites form the yolks. In a bowl mix the sugar with the yolks.  Sift the flour and the raising powder and blend it well with the yolk and sugar and mix.

Whisk the egg withes with the pinch of salt to a peak.

Chop the almonds and add them with the carrots and lemon zest to the batter.

Add the pinch of salt to the egg whites and whisk them to a peak. Gently combine them to the batter; just remember not to over work the mass.

Grease a cake mold with oil and add the batter. Place in the oven for 45 minutes. Check if center is done by inserting a toothpick in the middle. If it comes out dry, remove the cake from the oven and leave it to rest. After 10-15 minutes remove it from the mold and place it on a rack to finish cooling.

Serve with a little icing sugar sprinkled on it or a lemon icing.

 

Goat Cheese and Apple Endive Wraps

Endive Wraps with Goat Cheese and Apple This past week the weather has bending towards summer rather than spring and we have reached 27°C. Continue reading

Because of these temperatures I felt like having something seasonal but refreshing so I made these endive wraps. With a friend we enjoyed these wraps with a nice glass of wine; sitting on the (not so comfortable) wooden church benches on my terrace. It was great to feel the outdoor air only wearing a sweater. I had in mind of making some kind of lettuce wrap but instead I found some nice endive a took those instead. The tanginess of the endive leaves with the creamy goat cheese and the sweet but slightly sour apples are a combination I always enjoy. I added some walnuts chives and dried cranberries to complete the flavour.

Endive Wraps with Goat Cheese and Apple 1Endive Wraps with Goat Cheese and Apple Endive Wraps with Goat Cheese and Apple

Goat Cheese and Apple Endive Wraps

 

For 14 pieces

Prep time: 10 min

 

Ingredients

140 g goat cheese log

1 apple (I used braeburn)

3 tbsp chopped dried cranberries

4 tbsp chopped chives

3 tbsp chopped walnuts

4 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice

Salt and pepper

14 endive leaves

 

Recipe

Cut the goat cheese into cubes of a small centimetre. Peel and core the apple and cut into cubes the same size as the goat cheese.

Place the cheese and apples in a bowl; add the dried cranberries, the chives, the walnuts and mix.

In another bowl mix the olive oil, the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add ¾ of the dressing to goat cheese and apple and mix. Fill the endive leaves with this mix and drizzle the rest of the dressing on top them.

Serve as an appetizer.

Funivin – Wine Tasting and a Ride on the Funicular Crans-Montana Sierre

Last Saturday I went again to Crans-Montana and with a couple of old friends and my boyfriend we headed to the funicular for an excursion I was really looking forward to. Continue reading

 Before we went down we got our tickets and the man explained us where we had to walk to in order to reach the “Château de Villa” in Sierre (a short walk away from the Muraz stop). We went all the way to Sierre and from there we reached the place in about 10 minutes.

I hoped the weather would be sunnier (the pictures would have gained some shine) but in the end it was so warm that by the time we got to the “Château de Villa” I had removed my coat and a couple of layers. I already know this place because we sometimes come here for dinner. I recommend it because the food is good and traditional and I love the possibility of tasting different raclette cheeses for around the canton Valais. This time we were there for the wine so we entered the cellar and handed our tickets to the girl at the bar.

With the tickets, besides the ride and the wine tasting there is also a free entrance to the wine museum next door. I guess we were supposed to visit the museum before heading to the wine tasting and since the staff was not too aware of how we should proceed we began by the tasting session.

The first wine we had was a Fendant

Funivin Excursion 11

Petite Arvine

Funivin Excursion 13

Sauvignon Blanc

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Humagne Rouge

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Cornalin

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All the wines were very nice but my favourites were the petite Arvine and the Sauvignon Blanc. We enjoyed the moment so much that when we were done with the wine tasting we ordered a bottle along with a couple of plates of dried meat. Meanwhile we didn’t even realize that time was going by and in the end it got too late to visit the museum. It would have been nice to see it although I think, actually I’m sure that this is not the last time I will go on this excursion. I promise I will make an update on the museum when I return there.

The ride on the funicular always makes me dream of flying and the “Château de Villa” is a beautiful destination outside and inside. Inside, I also have to say the service was very friendly and this something of personal importance. The only thing is that I guess that not many people take advantage of this offer. When I asked the young waitress whether this excursion is popular she said that about once a month they get someone doing this activity. I had to make a few phone calls before I got all the answers I needed. Now I know and it’s an easy thing as there is no need to book anything. Thanks Bibbo, Fabio and Stefano for the company and thanks to the fruits of the land.

Funivin Excursion 18

Links:

www.sierre-anniviers-booking.com

www.chateaudevilla.ch

For who: Adults

When: From March to October – the last ride of the funicular is at 21:15.

What: a return ticket with the funicular Montana-Sierre or Sierre Montana, a visit to the vine museum and a tasting session of 4 wines and a welcome drink.

Price: 33.- CHF (instead of 52.-)