Monday, February 25, 2013

Chocolate cake with chocolate topping (Gateau au chocolat avec glaçage au chocolat)

My daughter loves to dance. 
And I just love to look at her.

And if one day, my son reads this post and the previous one, he will take me to court and will shout that I prefer her sister than him !

And I will spent hour and hour to reassure him, explaining the Why and the How, and I will be obligated to pay him group therapy where he will explain how much I was unfair with him and why everything comes from the mother and blabla … Sigh …

But I just love to watch my daughter dances.

It doesn’t mean I don’t love when my son sings… But not every hour, every minutes of each single day !
Even Gandhi would become a murderer with those conditions !

The gnomette succeeds to do incredible things to me. She dances street dance. Which means, she’s making strange and acrobatic positions so easily ! When she begins, I can’t help myself thinking :”ouh la, be careful, not too high, ouch, slowly !”.

She succeeds to make the Indian head wave … I call it this way, you know, when your neck goes left and right and your body doesn’t move.

She asks me if I can do "the snake" ...
WHAT'S THAT ?? If you mean to get down on the floor, lying down and sleep all day long, I'm sure I can do it !
Just, please... Hide the rabbit ... We never know. The instinct, all that ... Take care.
She wants me to touch my toes, to see if I'm supple ! 
I tell her :"OK", and I sit down and take my foot in my hand ! And very proudly, I reply : "I did it !".

In December, parents were invited to a mini dance show, in her school dance. 
She’s the youngest of her dance class. Her teacher thought she had the level to dance with teenagers. She’s very proud of it.

We went to her show with my husband. She was very anxious but glad. They were dancing on “scream and shout”, from B. Spears and Will I Am.

When the music began, my husband and I saw a real transformation. She was dancing as a young girl, not like a baby. Not like OUR baby !

We were between admiration and tears.
At the end, my husband told me : 
“That’s it … She just killed me ! I feel so old, tonight.” And I replied : “… Just wait when she’ll come at home with a boyfriend.” 

I always know how to comfort him...
And for me, nothing better than chocolate !

Here's what you'll need for this demoniac cake !
  • 200 grammes of dark chocolate
  • 5 eggs
  • 125 grammes of unsalted butter
  • 200 grammes of white sugar
  • 100 grammes of flour
  • 10 grammes of baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of neutral oil
  • 3 tablespoon of light cream.
And here's what you'll need for the terrific topping chocolate ! 
  • 200 grammes of dark chocolate
  • 100 gramme sof unsalted butter.
This is definitively NOT ... a light cake. And your oven must be preheated at 180°C (350°F / Th 6).


Step 1 : 
In the microwave, melt you chocolate with oil and butter. You remember, 30 seconds after 30 seconds, stirring, just to prevent the burning taste of the chocolate. When it's melted, pour the cream and stir again. 


Step 2 : 
Whisk eggs and sugar, until they become clearer.


Step 3 : 
Pour the flour with the baking powder mixed in it and the vanilla extract. Stir slowly. 



Finally, the melted chocolate. 



In the oven for 25 minutes, then turn down the heat at 150°C (300°F /Th5) for 5 minutes. 



Step 4 : 
Turn out the cake and let it cool. 


Step 5 :
In the meantime, let melt again chocolate and butter. Stir together and pour the mixture on the cake. 




Step 6 : 
Then, spread that all around the cake and let it cool for one hour. 


Bon appétit ! 



Recapitulative for this demoniac cake !
  • 200 grammes of dark chocolate
  • 5 eggs
  • 125 grammes of unsalted butter
  • 200 grammes of white sugar
  • 100 grammes of flour
  • 10 grammes of baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of neutral oil
  • 3 tablespoon of light cream.
Recapitulative for the terrific topping chocolate ! 
  • 200 grammes of dark chocolate
  • 100 gramme sof unsalted butter.
Your oven must be preheated at 180°C (350°F / Th 6).

In the microwave, melt you chocolate with oil and butter. When it's done, pour the cream and stir again. 

Whisk eggs and sugar, until they become clearer.

Pour the flour with the baking powder mixed in it and the vanilla extract. Stir slowly. 

Finally, add the melted chocolate. 

In the oven for 25 minutes, then turn down the heat at 150°C (300°F /Th5) for 5 minutes. 

Turn out the cake and let it cool. 

In the meantime, let melt again chocolate and butter. Stir together and pour the mixture on the cake. 

Then, spread that all around the cake and let it cool for one hour. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

My mother's pasta Bolognese (les pâtes bolognaises de ma mère)

My son loves to sing.

But when I say “he loves to sing”, you just have to know two or three little things about it …


First, the Gnome has a baritone’s voice.

We use to say he changed at 3 years old...

He plays tennis and when he began, at 6, his tennis teacher told me once :
“Yesterday, I heard a teenager’s voice, behind a wall. Then the teenager walked to me and it was the Gnome ! Macaulay Culkin with Johnny Cash’s voice !”


For years, he didn’t know how to pitch his voice, when he used to sing. Sometimes, it was too high, sometimes too low.
So I told him to respect his tone. He had the chance to have a very male voice, he just had to respect it and to try to find the right way of using it.


Sometimes, in our life, we made mistake … but we know it too late.


Finally, my son found the right way to pitch his voice…
Now, he wakes up, singing. He makes his homework singing. He plays Wii singing. He eats singing …
And the best of the best, of course, under shower…


Is there someone who can explain to me why water falling from a shower brings this strange reaction to make a person “scream and shout” ?

He gives the full power of his voice, with tremolos, under water…

Secondly … I don’t know why, children don’t seem to have the same song saturation's level than us…
I mean, when I heard a song I love, I can hear it a two or three time in a row and that’s fine.
My son can hear his favourite song twenty times without growing tired.
And most of all… he can sing it fifty times without growing tired either …


And thirdly … Even if he seems to be talented for foreign languages (he’s got a very good English accent and speaks well Spanish), he doesn’t know lyrics of every English songs, of course.

So he does what we call in French : “to speak in a Yogurt way”.

We use this expression when someone doesn’t know to speak English (we use it only for English) and yet tries to make a sentence, with the right accent but with totally invented and wrong words.


PAY ATTENTION PLEASE : Here’s a game ! The first one who will guess what is this song that my son and my daughter sing together will win a CD of their performance ! …


Ready ?? GO !


“I've got cheeeese
they're must to ply in
And the bluuuuue
went to caall
So to ply in,
you're the baying
It's that you cry...
You better shake up
Cause I need a man
and my heart is spell on you
You better shup up
You better understand
to my heart I must be truue
double up, double up, oh baby too !...”


That's a good demonstration of “English yogurt”.


Now, I’m sure you can imagine the mixing of those different elements.


Some days, everything’s fine …

I’m not too much tired, I’m in a good mood, there’s sunshine, birds are in trees, love is in the air and blablabla … And I accept with resignation and a kind of proud his singing exercises.

And some days, less cool than others, the monster in me comes out. 

The gnome has just to begin … : 
“Don’t wake me uuuuup...”
And then, I smash down the separating wall kitchen between this room and bathroom, yelling like a T-Rex :
“SH….. UUUUUP !!!”


Generally … there’re five minutes of silence, then he does it again lower. For five other minutes. And he pushes on his personal volume button and sings again at the top of his voice.


Then I cry.
I'm an awful mother and I don’t have any authority with my children… 


SO... Why did I tell you all that ?

Just because I’m going to share with you my mother’s pasta Bolognese recipe and my mother is an expert in English !!!

My parents have a swimming pool, in French : “piscine”.

When our children were youngest, 
with my sisters, we used to speak in English to not be understood by them.

Years ago, in august, at the end of lunch, my mother wanted to ask us if we would authorise children to go to the swimming pool. 
So she tried in English :
“Girls ?... (one point !) We go to the piscine ?” … Which was the only word children understood.
They shouted :”YEEEEEEEESSSSS!!!”…
Our children are really talented in English !

This recipe is not the traditional bolognese recipe, but we just like it so much ! I cooked it for friends and make the ingredients double. 

But here what you'll need for 4 persons : 
  • 200 grammes of ground BEEF ... nothing else.
  • 500 grammes of tomato purée
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of dry thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • 1/2 glass of veal or chicken stock. Mine is in powder. So I mix water and powder. But if yours is liquid, just take 1/2 glass of it.
  • And 500 grammes of pasta, of course.
PS : Don't forget, on my pictures, ingredients are doubled. 

Step 1 : 
I'm sure you guessed it ... Let onion become transparent with a pinch of salt, on a low fire. Then add garlic. Let them brown a little bit.


Step 2 : 
Add your meat and let it brown too.


Step 3 : 
Pour your tomato purée and chicken/veal stock. Stir all that. Don't add salt and let it simmer for 30 minutes.


Step 4 : After 30 minutes, pour the herbs. That's it.


Bon appétit !


Recapitulative for 4 persons : 
  • 200 grammes of ground beef
  • 500 grammes of tomato purée
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of dry thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • 1/2 glass of veal or chicken stock. 
  • And 500 grammes of pasta.
Let onion become transparent with a pinch of salt, on a low fire. Then add garlic. Let them brown a little bit.

Add your meat and let it brown too.

Pour your tomato purée and chicken/veal stock. Stir all that. Don't add salt and let it simmer for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, pour the herbs. That's it.



Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lentils and sausages from my cupboard (saucisses lentilles de mon placard)

Some weeks ago, I decided to stop watching TV or internet news.


We’re living in a communication world now, which is a wonderful thing.We know almost everything that happens at the other side of the world.


But now, for my mental security, I can’t accept anymore to be drawn under bad news torrents.


I don’t know how it is in your country. It seems that journalism now is just made to make you cry on all the world disasters.


I’m just fed up about politician lies, job losses, manipulation, massacres, climate mess, pollution, rapes, bombs …


My husband uses to call me "blotting paper", because I’m unable to stand back with an information.


And you would agree with me, journalism talk much more about bad than good news.They are always focalising on bad events than on good ones.


What does it means ?...
Does it mean it never happens beautiful things through the world ?
Does it mean people are only cruel and uneducated and stupid ?
Does it mean all those great persons who save lives, humans or animal, who live for right fight… no need to talk about them ?
Does it mean  kind people are uninteresting ?
Does it mean only awful news and monsters are worthy to be famous in the world ?


I can’t change all that.
I’m just happy with my children, my husband, my family, my friends, we’re all healthy, everything is fine, so no… I don’t want to let black news go into my head and heart anymore !
I’ll become uncultivated, ignorant, I’ve got no problem with this !
I’ll be a happy stupid
You know this sentence : blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
I want to be a poor in spirit !! The best on earth !
I’ll be the happiest poor in spirit in the world ! …
I just want to make Cyndi Lauper my BFF ! I just want to have FUN !


So I said STOP ! And for sometime, everything went fine ! I felt better. I had to prevent myself to read internet news, because I was used to. But I succeed. No more emotional pollution ! I was free !


Then, my friends informed me about the Pope’s resignation, the fall of meteorites in Russia, the scandalous of horse meat in French and English food…


Ok, guys, you're right ! Just keep on without me !


Here's a very simple and incredibly flavorous recipe. I call it "from my cupboard", because you can cook it with fresh products but also with cans and frozen products. What I did. 

You'll need, for 4 persons :
  • 4 sausages.
  • 1 kg of lentils in can. Of course, you can use dry one, that you'll make soak one entire night. 
  • 200 grammes of lardons or bacon. 
  • the equivalent of 2 fresh carrots, but frozen, for me.
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 cups of chicken or veal stock.
  • 2 bay leafs. 
  • Olive oil. 


Step 1 :
Now you know it, everything begins with onion, garlic and olive oil ... Let them brown. 


Step 2 : 
I made a mistake, don't do it ...
Cook your sausages in another pan and let them grill. You'll add them at the end to the dish. No problem.

Add all the ingredients except lentils and veal stock. Let all brown a little while.





Step 3 : Then pour lentils dripped with veal/chicken stock, bay leafs and stir all that. Let it cook for 5 minutes and add your sausages. 



Step 4 : 
And finally, grilled sausages. Let it cook 5 minutes more. With frozen and canned products, it takes 30 minutes. 



Bon appétit ! 





You'll need, for 4 persons :
  • 4 sausages.
  • 1 kg of lentils in can. Of course, you can use dry one, that you'll make soak one entire night. 
  • 200 gramme sof lardon or bacon. 
  • the equivalent of fresh 2 carrots, but frozen, for me.
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 cups of chicken or veal stock.
  • 2 bay leafs. 
  • Olive oil. 

Now you know it, everything begins with onion, garlic and olive oil ... Let them brown. 

I made a mistake, don't do it ...
Cook your sausages in another pan and let them grill. You'll add them at the end to the dish. 

Add all the ingredients except lentils and veal stock. Let all brown a little while. 

Then pour lentils dripped with veal/chicken stock, bay leafs and stir all that. Let it cook for 5 minutes and add your sausages. 

And finally, grilled sausages. Let it cook 5 minutes more.



Saturday, February 16, 2013

Petits beurres cake (le gateau aux petits beurres)

My son just loves Tiramisù. And as often as I can, I use to bake it for him. 

But it takes time and most of all I have to find the right biscuits. 
I bake it the real italian biscuits Pavesini, not with sponges fingers.
And even if we're not too far from Italy, I don't find them easily.

So I found a solution.
I bake a very popular cake, in France, the "Gâteau aux petits beurres".

I don't know if "Petits beurres" can be found easily in other countries. And if they're expensive or not. Maybe you can replace them by sweet butter cookies.

Here, it's a familial biscuit and each child knows petit-beurre.
There are "le petit beurre" or "Le Petit Brun". These are two different packages, but the taste is extremely similar.

This cake is not a french Tiramisù ! Nothing can be compare to Tiramisù !
Which means "Get me out of here" ...
Just because it's eaten at the end of "heavy" dinner. And as there's coffee and a little bit of alcohol, it's supposed to, by its lightness, prevent you to fall asleep with your little belly full to die ! :)

No, the only similar taste of this french cake is the coffee. But it's a very good cake too. My son loved it !

In the traditional recipe, you would use a "crème au beurre" (butter cream). But I didn't want it to be too nauseating. It's a little bit too rich for us.
In this recipe, butter is melted with white eggs and that's fine ! 

Here' the recipe, for 6 persons : 
  • 48 petits beurres (in France, 2 packet)
  • 14 tablespoon of white sugar
  • 3 cups of strong black coffee
  • 2 eggs
  • 120 grammes of unsalted butter
  • Some black chocolate powder, in decoration, but it's not obligatory.

Step 1 : 
Whisk yolks and sugar, until it becomes clear.



Step 2 :
On the meantime, make your butter soften a little bit in your micro wave. It mustn't be melt. 
Then, add it to the sugar/yolks and whip all that until it becomes a sort of cream. Mine were ... strange ... :)


Step 3 : 
Beat your eggs whites (always with a small pinch of salt) and add them gently, to your butter cream. 




Step 4 : 
Now, take your petits beurres and soak them, one by one and quickly, in the coffee.



Step 5 : 
Arrange them in a dish, side by side and cover them with the cream butter. 



No need to be perfect ! 
You can build 6 heights of biscuits. 


Then, put it in the fridge for one hour. And you can sprinkle some chocolate before serving.

Bon appétit ! 


Dear Jamie, maybe you would like it, for your sunday diner :)


Recapitulative for 6 persons : 
  • 48 petits beurres (in France, 2 packet)
  • 14 tablespoon of white sugar
  • 3 cups of strong black coffee
  • 2 eggs
  • 120 grammes of unsalted butter
  • Some black chocolate powder, in decoration, but it's not obligatory.
Whisk yolks and sugar, until they become clear.

On the meantime, make your butter soften a little bit in your micro wave. It mustn't be melt. 
Then, add it to the sugar/yolks and whip all that until it becomes a cream. 

Beat your eggs whites (always with a small pinch of salt) and add them gently, to your butter cream. 

Now, take your petits beurres and soak them, one by one and quickly, in the coffee.

Arrange them in a dish, side by side and cover them with the cream butter. 

You can build 6 heights of biscuits. 

Then, put it in the fridge for one hour. And you can sprinkle some chocolate before serving.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Roasted Carrots and potatoes with honey and balsamic vinegar.

Years ago, it happened something terrific in my kitchen ! 

We had friends for diner and I cooked a roasted chicken. 
We had a great time, laughed a lot, talked a lot and they went away. 
Normal.
Then, my husband and I cleared the table. 
We were supposed to leave the day after, for holidays. We wanted the home perfectly tidy. 
As there was no more place on the kitchen table, I made a appalling mistake : 
I put the chicken's carcass in the spent oven, just for waiting to put it in a tupperware, after and in the fridge.

... But I forgot ...

... And we left ...

... For 10 days ...

... It was in august...

... Where I live, summer is torrid ...

... Do you think I could have a Stephen King's career, for the mystery ambient ?...

After these ten marvellous days, we came back. 

When we opened the flat's door, there was just a little and vicious smell. But not too strong.

After a while, I went in the kitchen and then, almost died. 

I said to my husband : 
"Listen to me ... In my opinion, the Mafia knew our apartment was empty during some days. So they killed someone and hided the corpse in our kitchen !"
We looked for long long minutes from where could come this awful, dreadful smell. 
Then I remembered and made the second mistake of this scenario ... I opened the oven's door ... then almost died for the second time ! 

WARNING : if you're eating, don't read anymore ! 

There were thousand maggots swarming in the chicken, some small flies flied when the door get opened ...
An autopsy scene ! 

It took almost one week to clean totally the oven and to take away this fetid smell. 

Why I tell you this ?
On sunday noon, my sister went to eat, and I cooked a gratin dauphinois. With milk ... And cream ...
And after all these years, I made the same mistake. 

Fortunately, I remembered it just the day after ! But when I opened my oven, there was just this little and vicious smell, like before ...
I thought the Mafia just found us once again.

I cleaned my oven and left it opened for one entire day ! 
PS : this is not the same oven as before. 

Here what you'll need for roasted carrots and potatoes : 
  • 1 kg of carrots
  • 5 potatoes or so
  • 1 or 2 turnip (not obligatory)
  • 2 onions (if you've got red, that's better)
  • Some garlic cloves, how much as you like
  • 4 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon of honey
  • 3 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • Some thyme
  • Some rosemary

Your oven must be clean, without smell and preheated at 150°C (300°F / th5)

Step 1 : 
Cut all your vegetables in pieces and put them in a large dish.



Step 2 : 
Pour the oil first (it will help honey to run from the spoon), honey and vinegar. 




Step 3 : 
Add the herbs and stir with your little and cute hand. Then in the oven for two hours, stirring time to time.
Your vegetables must be tender. 



Bon appétit ! 




Recapitulative : 

  • 1 kg of carrots
  • 5 potatoes or so
  • 1 or 2 turnip (not obligatory)
  • 2 onions (if you've got red, that's better)
  • Some garlic cloves, how much as you like
  • 4 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon of honey
  • 3 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • Some thyme
  • Some rosemary


Your oven must be preheated at 150°C (300°F / th5)

Cut all your vegetables in pieces and put them in a large dish.

Pour the oil first (it will help honey to run from the spoon), honey and vinegar. 

Add the herbs and stir with your hand. Then in the oven for 2 hours, stirring time to time.
Your vegetables must be tender. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Leeks and potatoes soup (soupe de poireaux pommes de terre).

Hey ! Do you remember our old friend ... Yeeees, remember !
Well ... Let me give you just some indications ...
He is white and green, long, thin and he's got some hairs on the top of his head.
Yeah, leek, you're right !

... I've have to say that this last sentence took me some long minutes to know how I could write it without being too confusing ...

Here in France, we're totally invaded by the famous ... MOMMY PORN and 50 shades of grey...! 


When we speak a different language, the real moment you belong to your new country is when you've got the right accent!
For example, even if he speaks fluently English, a Frenchman will still be a Frenchman if he pronounces “Ari PoTTer ” instead of “Harry Potter” … 


For us, “MOMMY” can be pronounced like “MOMIE”, which means Mummy, in French … or "MAMIE"  which means Granny (when you'll be on the internet page, click on the little loudspeaker to hear the french word).


And those two different words made me think to my grandmother !
She’s 91 years old, and we begin to think she’s eternal !

 … Oh come on, I’m kidding ! ... Presque :)

Anyway, some years ago, for Xmas, I asked to my mother what could I buy for ... mamie.
My mother answered me to take one or two love books, called “Harlequin”.
I don’t know if this books collection is known around the world.

This is what we call in French “roman à l’eau de rose”, that we can translate by “rose perfume's saga", love romances.
Which mean soppy books !
The guy is a handsome macho, she’s a wonderful big-busted blond hair, they are in love but they won't tell to each other, so they fight all book long, till the end when they make love.

The true life.

Well, we’ll forgive to my very old grand mother to still love those books.
At her age, imagination is better than reality. Even than memories !


So I said “ok” to my mother and I went in a supermarket to find the love story who will make my grand mother dream again !

And then … Surprise !

It was Xmas time and one entire department was dedicated to Harlequin books !!
So, I began to look for one or two books with an interesting story.


… After a while, I thought :
“OK, just give up the interesting story ! Let choose a beautiful cover !”
So there were beautiful books with gorgeous red covers. It made me think to passion, I bought them.

After Xmas, my grandmother called me :
“… Axelle ?... What the hell are those books you offered to me ??...
- You did not like them ?
- I did not like them ??!!! This was pornography !
- Pornography ?? Mamie... this is just Harlequin.
- Listen to me … there's sex everywhere ! From the first chapter ! A
t the beginning, I was surprised because it was a little bit hot, but why not … But, after …THEY NEVER STOPED !  Axelle ! Just like animals ! I did not dare to read a new page ! I was as red as a tomato ! And, finally, when a scene is over and you think you can begin to read THE real story, no ! They do it again !!! And again ! And AGAIN !! They never stop, I tell you !  And listen to me well, girl … I had two husbands (she is widowed), right ? … Neither of them never made me what they do in this book ! 
- ... Is this a regret, mamie ?

She laughed. 


WELL.
I think a psychologist would be interested by the fact than, speaking about leeks and mommy porn, it brings me to my grandma ! 

HERE WHAT YOU'LL NEED FOR YOUR SOUP, for 4 persons.

  • 4 white leeks
  • 4 normal potatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 40 cl of milk
  • 1 liter of water or chicken stock (this is what I used)
  • Some butter
  • Some nutmeg

Step 1 : 
Cut onions and leeks in slices. 


What ??... He asked the same haircut than Miley Cyrus !

Step 2 : 
In some butter, let them cook on a slow fire, stirring time to time, for 10 minutes, covered by a lid. 


Step 3 : 
Peel the potatoes, cut them in pieces and add them after those 10 minutes.
Then, pour immediately the chicken stock, the milk, the nutmeg and salt and pepper. 




Let it cook for 30 minutes, until the potatoes become tender. 


Step 4 : 
Then, as we're with old friends, take your blender and blend all the mixture.


That's it ! 
Bon appétit ! 


Recapitulative for 4 persons.

  • 4 white leeks
  • 4 normal potatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 40 cl of milk
  • 1 liter of water or chicken stock (this is what I used)
  • Some butter
  • Some nutmeg

Cut onions and leeks in slices. 



In some butter, let them cook on a slow fire, stirring time to time, for 10 minutes, covered by a lid. 


Peel the potatoes, cut them in pieces and add them after those 10 minutes.

Then, pour immediately the chicken stock, the milk, the nutmeg and salt and pepper. 

Let it cook for 30 minutes, until the potatoes become tender. 

Then blend all the mixture.