As the end of the month has come it’s time for the ‘Cookbook of the month’. In our first post in this blog in which we presented ourselves, we wrote that I’ve been in France for an exchange and that I would post some french recipes as well but some time ago I recognised that I haven’t really done this since yet which is kind of sad because the food over there is AMAZING. In reason I decided to present you a french cookbook which I bought during my exchange. The book is titled ‘Plus belle la vie – Les recettes du Mistral‘. In the link you can find an article about the book. It’s in french but you can use google translation if you don’t speak french. In this book you can find sweet dishes but main meals as well. I love the photos because the food looks so real and good. Well I chose two main dishes and two sweet dishes that I will present you. I varited a bit with the ingridient as you will see in the recipes. For some basic recipes like the dough for the tartes which weren’t noted in the book I used a cookbook for basic recipes which I also bought in France. I is called ‘Recettes de la base’. In this book you can find recipes like: pâte brisée, pâte sablée, pâte à choux, crème anglaise and many other things. (:
cake feta-épinards de Nathan et Raphaël
(feta and spinach cake)
The original recipe does also contain bacon but as I am vegetarian I cut it out. Anyway if you wanna use bacon just slice 100g of it and add it to the dough. I like preparing salty cakes for picnics or parties. They are easy and quick to prepare and there are many variations you can actually add everything you like. If you are not a big fan of olive oil you can also colza oil.
- 3 eggs
- 200g flour (I used 100g white flour and 100g whole spelt flour)
- 100ml milk
- 100ml olive oil
- 1 package baking powder (I used less and it was enough)
- 200g feta
- 1kg baby spinach (I didn’t need more that 260g)
- salt an pepper
1: Wash the baby spinach and let it dry. Cut off the stalks that seem to be too thick. Cube the feta and preheat the oven to 180°C.
2: Beat the eggs and add the flour, then the sifted baking powder. Add the milk and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and add the feta and bacon (if using). Mix well.
3: In a pan, cook the baby spinach without adding water, oil or any other liquid. Place it on any kind of absorbing paper until using.
4: Brush a loaf tin with melted butter (about 20g) and pour in about half of the dough. Cover with all the baby spinach. Cover with rest of the dough. Bake for about 45 minutes (or less long, it depends on your oven).
You can enjoy it warm or cold as a snack.
tarte parmesan, oignons et artichauts de Charlotte
(parmesan, onion and artichoke tarte)
Tartes. They can be salty or sweet. I love both and I like them especially with cheese and fresh herbs. I was a bit confused about the dough in the recipe because it is described as a pâte brisée but doesn’t contain milk what a pâte brisée actually does. I even prepared the dough as described in the recipe but it didn’t come together because it was too dry so I added the remaining egg white (the recipe only uses the egg yolk) to make the dough smoother, hoping that it would come together and it did. So I suggest using a whole egg instead of only using the egg yolk. I didn’t have thym but as we had fresh rosemary at home, I simply used it instead and it tastes great as well. For the parmesan: 200g might seem very much but as it is the only ingredient that has a really strong taste, I recommend using all of it.
for the ‘pâte brisée’ (or which ever dough it is):
- 250g flour (I used 125g plain flour and 125g whole spelt flour)
- 125g butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg yolk (I recommend using a whole egg)
for the topping:
- 3 onions
- 2 garlic cloves
- 30g butter
- 1 small pot artichokes in olive oil
- 200g Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- some thym leaves (I used rosemary)
1: Start with the pâte brisée. Put all the ingredients for the dough in a bowl and knead with your handy until you can form a ball. Roll it in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 1 hour (or until lightly firm, it depends on how cold your fridge is.). Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2: Peel the onions and finely chop them. Melt the butter in a pot and roast the chopped onions in it. Add mashed garlic clovevs and artichokes.
3: Roll out the dough into a circle on a baking sheet, turning the edges. Trasfer the baking sheet on a baking tray. Top with the onion mixture and sliced Parmesan. Sprinkle with olive oil as toss over about a handfull of thym (or rosemary). Bake for about 20 minutes.
Enjoy it warm from the oven!
gâteau au chocolat de charlotte
A must for all the chocolate lovers out there! It isn’t a runny chocolate cake but it is vers soft and fluffy. For this cake I used a tarte-tin with a removeable base which I bought during my stay in Sweden with my host family. It is very practical because it helps you to remove the tarte without breaking it. Use a chocolate with at least 50-60% cacao chocolate for a verry intense and chocolaty taste. I had to beat the egg whites by hand! It was so hard I’m defenetely never going to do this again! (;
- 200g dark chocolate
- 125g ground almonds
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 125g caster sugar
- 125g butter
- 5 eggs
1: Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2: Melt the chocolate in a bowl, set over a pot with simmering water. Remove from heat and add the butter in small pieces, allowing it to melt slowly without stirring. Trasfer to a bowl.
3: Seperate the eggs. Add the egg yolks to the chocolate mixture while stirring constently. Add the sugar, then the sifted flour and aat least the ground almonds.
4: Beat the egg whites until firm and carefully fold into the chocolate mixture.
5: Brush a tarte tin with removeable base with melted butter and put in the chocolate dough. Bake for about 30 minutes.
tarte aux noix
Well I think that this is the richest and heaviest tarte that I have ever eaten even if it doesn’t seem to be. It contains walnuts but hazelnuts as well. For the filling I used maple syrup instead of sugar because I thougt that it would taste quiet good with the nuts and it really turned out to be a good idea. This tarte is especially for people who prefer less sweet treats. For the dough I chose a recipe for a pâte brisée for sweet tartes from Recettes de la base.
for the pâte brisée:
- 300g flour (I used 150g plain flour and 150g whole spelt flour
- 150g butter
- about 150ml lukewarm milk (you will need less)
- 1 sprinkle of salt
- 50g sugar
for the filling:
- 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
- 200g ground walnuts
- 200g ground hazelnuts
- 3 tablespoons sugar (I used maple syrup)
- 30g melted butter
- 1 egg
- 1 pinch of cinnamon
The pâte brisée sucrée:
1: Remove the butter from the fridge about 1 or 2 hours before using.
2: In a large bowl, combine butter, egg and salt. Add the flour and sprinkle with a little milk just until lightly moist. Add sugar.
3: Add just as much milk as you need to get a smooth but firm dough. Form a ball. Cover with clinfilm and place in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
4: Brush a tarte tin with melted butter and press in the dough, using your fingers.
1: Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2: Put the crème fraîche in a bowl. add sugar, walnuts, hazelnuts, melted butter and cinnamon. Mix well. Add the egg and mix well again.
3: Equally spread the dough on the pâte brisée and bake for about 40 minutes.
Enjoy hot from the oven!