Saturday, December 31, 2011

Black Forest Cake

Wishing all my blogger friends a fabulous year 2012  full of joy , great achievements & amazing experiences. I'm glad to be part of the  blogger sphere where I've met a lot of fascinating & talented people around the world whose as passionate as I am for baking & cooking. May the New Year be more inspiring , full with joy & peace on earth. Happy New Year everyone ^^

Jane's corner

Occupied in observing Mr. Bingley's attentions to her sister, Elizabeth was far from suspecting that she was herself becoming an object of some interest in the eyes of his friend. Mr. Darcy had at first scarcely allowed her to be pretty; he had looked at her without admiration at the ball; and when they next met, he looked at her only to criticise. But no sooner had he made it clear to himself and his friends that she had hardly a good feature in her face, than he began to find it was rendered uncommonly intelligent by the beautiful expression of her dark eyes. To this discovery succeeded some others equally mortifying. Though he had detected with a critical eye more than one failure of perfect symmetry in her form, he was forced to acknowledge her figure to be light and pleasing; and in spite of his asserting that her manners were not those of the fashionable world, he was caught by their easy playfulness. Of this she was perfectly unaware; -- to her he was only the man who made himself agreeable no where, and who had not thought her handsome enough to dance with.

Pride & Prejudice - Jane Austen (1813)

For chocolate deco : Melt chocolate on bain-marie or double boiler. Spread the melted chocolate on the back of  a baking tray. When the melted chocolate started to set scrap with a scraper .

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Stuffed Capon with Foie Gras, Chestnut & Cognac for Christmas

For Christmas this year, my hubby  requested for capon instead of duck. Initially I was thinking of cooking a duck because last year we had deer meat with Grand Veneur sauce for Christmas. We are not a great fan of turkey especially my hubby whose a French and love to eat something new every year for Christmas. But this year he wanted to eat a capon;  I would say  the capon stuffed with chestnut & cognac is a classic French Christmas dish. It's been quite awhile that I've not cook it.  But this time around I've added some foie gras in the stuffing because my hubby loves foie gras like most the French. The capon is quite common over here in France especially during the festive season. Capon is actually slightly bigger than a chicken but smaller then a turkey. But it taste better and more tendered than turkey. It's great to come back to some classic cooking because it's always the best.

Jane's corner

Her brother and sister came back delighted with their new acquaintance,
and their visit in general.  There had been music, singing,
talking, laughing, all that was most agreeable; charming manners
in Captain Wentworth, no shyness or reserve; they seemed all
to know each other perfectly, and he was coming the very next morning
to shoot with Charles.  He was to come to breakfast, but not at the Cottage,
though that had been proposed at first; but then he had been pressed
to come to the Great House instead, and he seemed afraid of being
in Mrs Charles Musgrove's way, on account of the child, and therefore,
somehow, they hardly knew how, it ended in Charles's being to meet him
to breakfast at his father's.
Anne understood it.  He wished to avoid seeing her.  He had inquired
after her, she found, slightly, as might suit a former slight acquaintance,
seeming to acknowledge such as she had acknowledged, actuated, perhaps,
by the same view of escaping introduction when they were to meet.

Persuasion - Jane Austen (1818)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Gingerbread man cookies

Honey and spice and everything nice, that is definitely the gingerbread man. I have never make them before . This is my first time ever doing these tasty cookies. It was a huge success amongst my families and friends. Every year for Christmas and New year we'll decorate a small tree with goodies such as candies, marshmallows, pretzels and sablé . But this year I wanted to try the gingerbread man. Actually I like gingerbread man and I finally found the cutter last year. But I was too busy doing Christmas and New Year preparation that I 've totally forgotten about it. This is a recipe that I've kept for more than 15 years but never try before, so it's kind of amazing that it works.  I simply  love the smell of spice around the house that makes the ambiance truly festive. Merry Christmas everyone .

Jane's corner

When there, at her own particular request, for she was impatient to pour forth her thanks to him for fetching her mother, Colonel Brandon was invited to visit her.
His emotion in entering the room, in seeing her altered looks, and in receiving the pale hand which she immediately held out to him, was such, as, in Elinor's conjecture, must arise from something more than his affection for Marianne, or the consciousness of it's being known to others; and soon discovered in his melancholy eye and varying complexion as he looked at her sister, the probable recurrence of many past scenes of misery to his mind, brought back by that resemblance between Marianne and Eliza already acknowledged, and now strengthened by the hollow eye, the sickly skin, the posture of reclining weakness, and the warm acknowledgment of peculiar obligation.

Sense & Sensibility  - Jane Austen (1811)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Yule Log - Bûche de noël aux marrons

Before doing any other dessert for Christmas, the Yule log or well-known as the Bûche de noël is the priority in every household in France. You can find this classic dessert in most of the bakery in France during the month of December with many other varieties as well. But the chestnut Yule log or Bûche de noël aux marrons is the most famous among all. For me it's an  exquisite French Christmas dessert that makes the festive ambiance more Noël . Merry Christmas & Joyeux Noël

 Jane's corner

When the dessert and the wine were arranged, and Mrs. Dashwood and Elinor were left by themselves, they remained long together in a similarity of thoughtfulness and silence. Mrs. Dashwood feared to hazard any remark, and ventured not to offer consolation. She now found that she had erred in relying on Elinor's representation of herself; and justly concluded that every thing had been expressly softened at the time, to spare her from an increase of unhappiness, suffering as she then had suffered for Marianne. She found that she had been misled by the careful, the considerate attention of her daughter, to think the attachment of which once she had so well understood, much slighter in reality than she had been wont to believe, or than it was now proved to be. She feared that under this persuasion she had been unjust, inattentive, nay, almost unkind, to her Elinor; that Marianne's affliction, because more acknowledged, more immediately before her, had too much engrossed her tenderness, and led her away to forget that in Elinor she might have a daughter suffering almost as much, certainly with less self-provocation and greater fortitude.

Sense & Sensibility - Jane Austen ( 1811)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Wild Mushroom Soup - Potage des bois

This my favourite soup ever . Especially during Autumn where there are full with mushrooms  in every corner of the woods. For this recipe I have added few varieties of mushrooms such as Chanterelle, Girolle, Cepé and Bolet. It's always great to have a bowl of warm soup by the fire place during the cool winter months.

Jane's corner

"I do not believe," said Mrs. Dashwood, with a good-humoured smile, "that Mr. Willoughby will be incommoded by the attempts of either of my daughters, towards what you call catching him. It is not an employment to which they have been brought up. Men are very safe with us, let them be ever so rich. I am glad to find, however, from what you say, that he is a respectable young man, and one whose acquaintance will not be ineligible."
"He is as good a sort of fellow, I believe, as ever lived," repeated Sir John. "I remember last Christmas, at a little hop at the Park, he danced from eight o'clock till four without once sitting down."
"Did he, indeed?" cried Marianne, with sparkling eyes; "and with elegance, with spirit?"
"Yes; and he was up again at eight to ride to covert." 

Sense & Sensibility - Jane Austen ( 1811)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

White Chocolate & Coconut Truffles

Every year I would make truffles as Christmas gifts for my chocolate  lover friends. This year I wanted to try white chocolate truffles with  some shredded coconut and why not added some hazelnuts . Surprisingly it turn out quite good even though I'm not a huge fan of  white chocolate. I really hope that my friends will like it too. Keeping my finger cross.

Jane's corner

Catherine's silent appeal to her friend, meanwhile, was entirely thrown away, for Mrs Allen, not being at all in the habit of conveying any expression herself by a look, was not aware of its being ever intended by anybody else, and Catherine, whose desire of seeing Miss Tilney again could at that moment bear a short delay in favour of a drive, and who thought there could be no impropriety in her going with Mr Thorpe, as Isabella was going at the same time with James, was therefore obliged to speak plainer. "Well, ma'am, what do you say to it? Can you spare me for an hour or two? Shall I go?"

Nothanger Abbey - Jane Austen (1818)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Parmentier with Duck Confit - Parmentier de canard

A couple of months ago I've made this recipe for my cousin Sarah and her husband Adrian  whom came all the way from Malaysia to visit us during their Europe tour. Had a great time cooking and baking for them. Always a great pleasure to have families come over to visit us especially all of those who lives the other part of the world.  As promised her that I'll add this recipe in my blog to share with everyone. I did not make the duck confit  because I don't really know how to make it . Well, even my mother- in -law bought it from the store and she told me it's quite time consuming .  Especially if you wanted to do it right, you have got to get the best quality ingredients ... duck fats! Nevertheless there are very good quality of duck confit in the market nowadays. Almost everyone I know bought duck confit to make this exquisite yet simple recipe . A classic French recipe that I'm sure a lot of you will like for this festive season.

Jane's corner

ELIZABETH'S impatience to acquaint Jane with what had happened could no longer be overcome; and at length resolving to suppress every particular in which her sister was concerned, and preparing her to be surprised, she related to her the next morning the chief of the scene between Mr. Darcy and herself.
Miss Bennet's astonishment was soon lessened by the strong sisterly partiality which made any admiration of Elizabeth appear perfectly natural; and all surprise was shortly lost in other feelings. She was sorry that Mr. Darcy should have delivered his sentiments in a manner so little suited to recommend them; but still more was she grieved for the unhappiness which her sister's refusal must have given him.

Pride & Prejudice - Jane Austen (1813)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Chocolate, Banana & Hazelnut muffins

Having teenage sons does need a lot of cooking & baking. It seems that they are forever hungry! Every time , the first thing that they'll  say  to me was " Anything to eat ?" I was wondering , am I some sort of walking pantry to them! The best part was, they love to hang out in my kitchen and spending most of the time eating while watching music clips. It's driving me nuts, so this time I've asked them to help me make some muffins. They have chosen to make this recipe chocolate, banana and hazelnut muffins. Well, it's their favorite muffins and also because the bananas were spotty. I like to use spotty bananas to bakes or cook them. I don't like to waste food so why not make the most of it  by making something delicious.

 Kate from Turquoise Lemons came up with a great idea  by hosting No Waste Food challenge & this time it's about spotty bananas. I really love the idea of  sharing recipes so that we don't waste foods & at the same time save some money. Do check out her blog & join in the fun  by share some amazing recipes.

Jans'e corner

 They were interrupted by Mrs. Allen: "My dear Catherine,"
said she, "do take this pin out of my sleeve; I am afraid it
has torn a hole already; I shall be quite sorry if it has,
for this is a favourite gown, though it cost but nine
shillings a yard."

     "That is exactly what I should have guessed
it, madam," said Mr. Tilney, looking at the muslin.

     "Do you understand muslins, sir?"
     "Particularly well; I always buy my own cravats,
and am allowed to be an excellent judge; and my
sister has often trusted me in the choice of a gown.
I bought one for her the other day, and it was pronounced
to be a prodigious bargain by every lady who saw it.
I gave but five shillings a yard for it, and a true
Indian muslin."

     Mrs. Allen was quite struck by his genius.  "Men commonly
take so little notice of those things," said she; "I can
never get Mr. Allen to know one of my gowns from another.
You must be a great comfort to your sister, sir."

Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen (1818)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Croissant With Almond Cream- Croissant aux amandes

Jane's corner

Fanny had by no means forgotten Mr. Crawford when she awoke the next morning; but she remembered the purport of her note, and was not less sanguine as to its effect than she had been the night before. If Mr. Crawford would but go away! That was what she most earnestly desired: go and take his sister with him, as he was to do, and as he returned to Mansfield on purpose to do. And why it was not done already she could not devise, for Miss Crawford certainly wanted no delay. Fanny had hoped, in the course of his yesterday's visit, to hear the day named; but he had only spoken of their journey as what would take place ere long.

 Mansfield Park - Jane Auten (1814)