Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fraisier





Since we had our strawberry patch 15 years ago, I have tried many recipes base on strawberry. And our all time favourite is the Fraisier. A typical French pastry that can be found in any bakery in France. I like to use the French strawberry - Gariguette to make the Fraisier during summer time. It taste simply divine. With a little imagination I've made a Kiwisier too.





Captain Wentworth had no fortune. He had been lucky in his profession; but spending freely, what had come freely, had realized nothing. But he was confident that he should soon be rich: full of life and ardour, he knew that he should soon have a ship, and soon be on a station that would lead to everything  he wanted. He had always been lucky; he knew he should be so still. Such confidence, powerful in its own warmth, and bewitching in the wit which often expressed it, must have been enough for Anne; but Lady Russell saw it very differently. His sanguine temper, and fearlessness of mind, operated very differently on her. She saw in it but an aggravation of the devil. It only added a dangerous character to himself. He was brilliant, he was headstrong. Lady Russell had little taste for wit, and of anything approaching to imprudence a horror. She deprecated the connexion in every light.


Persuasion - Jane Austen (1818)
















Thursday, August 25, 2011

Courgette & Mint Clafoutis



One thing I like about summer is that I don't have to the market to get fresh vegetables. I can find almost everything in our vegetable patch. Today I've collected few courgettes, salad & some mints . Instead of doing the usual Gratin au Courgette, today I am going to do our favourite Courgette & Mint Clafoutis. Easy & yet delicious , goes very well with salad & why not some Nusturtium flowers from our garden. Adding some beautiful colours in the salad & not forgetting their amazing pepper and radish taste.





Catherine's expectations of pleasure from her visit in Milsom Street were so very high that disappointment was inevitable; and accordingly , though she was most politely received by General Tilney, and kindly welcomed by his daughter, though Henry was at home, and no one else of the party, she found, on her return, without spending many hours in the examination of her feelings, that she had gone to her appointment preparing for happiness which it had not afforded. Instead of finding herself improved in acquaintance with Miss Tilney, from the intercourse of the day, she seemed hardly so intimate with her as before; instead of seeing Henry Tilney to greater advantage than ever, in the ease of  family party, he had never said so little, nor been so little agreeable; and, in spite of thier father's great civilities to her-- in spite of his thanks, invitations, and compliments-- it had been a release to get away from him.


Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen ( 1817)






 Nusturtium from our garden



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pansie & Blueberry Roll.


 I was wondering how to make an ordinary roll look more appealing or for my case more girly. Then my sister gave me the idea of using Pansie flowers . Well, I do love to use flowers in my salads , haven't try any in my cakes yet. I only use them in essence  but never try baking them. I love Pansies in my salads so why not give it a try in a swiss roll with some homemade jams.





I grow my own organic flowers to be sure that no pasticides or fungicides sprayed on them.






"It is impossible that Emma should not miss such a companion," said Mr. Knigthley. "We should not like her so well as we do, sir, if we could suppose it. But she knows how much the marriage is to Miss Taylor's advantage; she knows how very acceptable it must be at Miss Taylor's time of life to be settled in a home of her own, and how important to her to be secure of a comfortable provision, and therefore cannot allow herself to fell so much pain as pleasure. Every friend of Miss Taylor must be glad to have her so happily married."
And you have forgotten one matter of joy to me," said Emma, " and a very considerable one- that I made the match myself. I made the match, you know four years ago; and to have it take place, and be proved in the right, when so many people said Mr. Weston would never marry again, may comfort me for anything."


Emma - Jane Austen ( 1816)


Thank you to my dear sister who gave me this brillant idea . It turn out beautifully & she even made one herself .http://www.desperatehousewife.blogspot.com






Friday, August 19, 2011

Rose & Raspberry macaron or Violette & Cassis macaron...

   

Recently I have invited few friends over for dinner & I can't think of what to serve for dessert. Since they are macaron lovers so with a little imagination I have decided to make Macarons for dessert. But not the usual small macarons , something that looks like a dessert. Rushing into my garden looking for inspirations from some ripe seasonal fruits. And look what I found.....


 


Since it's a dessert , I have filled them with Chantilly cream & the fruits puree



Jane's corner

"Come, Darcy," said he, "I must have you dance. I hate to see you standing about by yourself in this stupid manner. You had much better dance."
"I certainly shall not. You know how I detest it, unless I am particularly acquainted with my partner. At such an assembly as this , it would be insupportable. Your sister are engaged, and there is not another woman in the room, whom it would not be a punishment to me to stand up with."
"I would not be so fastidious as you are," cried Bingley, "for a kingdom! Upon my honour, I never met with so many pleasant girls in my life, as I have this evening; and there are several of them you seem uncommonly pretty."
"You are dancing with the only handsome girl in the room," said Mr Darcy, looking at the eldest Miss Bennet.


 Pride & Prejudice - Jane Austen ( 1813)




 


 


Violette & Cassis Macaron







Monday, August 15, 2011

Rose Macarons






 
Jane's corner

"But indeed this is quite another thing. I am sure they will be married very soon, for he has got a lock of her hair."
"Take care, Margaret. It may be only the hair of some great uncle of his."
"But indeed, Elinor, it is Marianne's. I am almost sure it is, for I saw him cut it off. Last night after tea, when you and mama went out of the room, they were whispering and talking as fast as could be, and he seemed to be begging something of her, and presently he took up her scissors and cut off a long lock of her hair, for it was all tumbled down her back; and he kissed it, and folded it up in a piece of white paper, and put it into his pocket-book."


Sense & Sensibility - Jane Austen (1811)





Thanks to my sister ( Desperate housewife in Holland) for sending  me these lovely dry rose buds.












Some of my homemade macarons


                               Photos courtesy of my sister Desperate Housewife In Holland






Making macarons might be quite tricky but we all learned from our mistakes. Never give up and keep on trying. Personally, I have failed many times before getting it right. So my  advice to all the beginners is " Practice Make Perfect".  


For my Chocolate ganache macaron recipe, please refer to http://www.desperatehousewifeinholland.blogspot.com





Friday, August 12, 2011

Red Velvet Ruffle Cake with red beets



 
The scrumptious Red Velvet cake is the  hottest cake of the moment. Some even consider it sexy with it's distinctive and dramatic red colour . This famous Red Velvet cake was featured as the signature cake of the New York City's Waldorf- Astoria.





 Red Velvet cake is a traditional cake from American South. It is actually a red beet cake. But nowadays they use red colouring instead of the red beets. This cake is usually topped with cream cheese frosting. But honestly I prefer the red beet and cocoa cake. It is deliciously moist and it taste even better than chocolate cake! Unbelievable!! The only downside was the natural colours turn brown not even a slightest red colour. But still it taste simply divine.





This is how I interpret my Red Velvet cake . With layers of Red Velvet cake and Red Beet cake , frost with Swiss meringue butter cream.




Jane's corner

I have been a selfish being all my life, in practice, though not in principal. As a child I was taught what was right, but I was not taught to correct my temper. I was given good principals, but left to follow them in pride and conceit. Unfortunately an only son (for many years an only child) I was spoiled by my parents who, who though good themselves, (my father particularly, all that was benevolent and amiable,) allowed, encouraged, almost taught me to be selfish and overbearing, to care for none beyond my own family circle, to think meanly of all the rest of the world, to wish at least to think meanly of their sense and worth compared with my own. Such I was, from eight to eight and twenty; and such I might still have been but for you, dearest, loveliest Elizabeth! What do I not own you? You taught me a lesson, hard indeed at first, but most advantageous. By you, I was properly humbled. I came to you without a doubt of my reception. You showed me how insufficient were all my pretensions to please a woman worthy of being pleased."


Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (1813)















Thursday, August 11, 2011

Moelleux Au Chocolat








" I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than women, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most undeviating, in F. W

I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father's house this evening or never."


Persuasion - Jane Austen (1818)



  Is even better with homemade cherry ice- cream






Moelleux au chocolate with white chocolate 





Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Croquembouche




For our 20th anniversary, I wanted to bake something special, something to remember. So I was wondering if I should try to make a croquembouche. And I did.





The croquembouche is well known as pièce montée over here in France. It is usually served at weddings, first communions & baptisms. A spectacular gateau, it is a fantasy of choux puffs filled with crème patissière , piled into a pyramid, veiled in fine toffee and studded with sugared almonds, ribbons, macarons, fresh or crystallised flowers. I remembered for our wedding we had a basket shape pièce montée. Truly a memorable wedding cake! 




"My dearest Emma," said he, "for dearest you will always be, whatever the event of this hour's conversation, my dearest, most beloved Emma- tell me once. Say 'No', if it is to be said." She could really say nothing. "You are silent," he cried, with great animation; "absolutely silent! at present I ask no more."

Emma was almost ready to sink under the agitation of this moment. The dread of being awakened from the happiest dream, was perhaps the most prominent feeling.

"I cannot make speeches, Emma," he soon resumed; and in a tone of such sincere, decided, intelligible tenderness as was tolerably convincing. "If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am. You hear nothing but the truth from me. I have blamed you, and lectured you, and have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it. Bear with the truths I would tell you now, dearest Emma, as well as you have borne with them. God knows, I have been a very indifferent lover. But you understand me. Yes, you see, you understand my feelings- and will return them if you can. At present, I ask only to hear, once to hear your voice."


Emma- Jane Austen (1816)