Galette de Rois with Lemon

Sorry about the big white blank on my last post. My computer went a bit haywire that day, and even my son couldn't sort it out, so we left it!

It's a tradition in our family that I make a Galette de Rois for Epiphany. They sell them in all the pâtisseries and supermarkets in France in January, with golden cardboard crowns for the person who finds the fève or china figure in the galette.
I wanted to try something different, having made chocolate ones in the past as well as the usual almond ones. I decided to add one of my lemons from my tree in the greenhouse.
Am amazed at how well this tree does in its big pot. It still has 8 large lemons ripening and many small ones, as well as some flowers. Not bad in Northants!

Back to the Galette! It's easy to make - you need:

2 packs puff pastry [butter puff if possible]
125g ground almonds
100g caster sugar
80g butter
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
3 drops vanilla extract
juice of 1 lemon

Preheat oven 180C/gas4             A tart tin about 23 cm

Roll out the first pack of pastry and line the tin.
In a bowl cream the butter till white then add the ground almonds and sugar and mix together well.
Beat the 2 eggs and add to the bowl, and finally add the vanilla and lemon juice. Beat together.
Spread the mixture onto the pastry in the tin hiding a bean [or fève] then roll out the second pack on top. Use a fork to join the edges together and brush the top with the beaten egg yolk. Mark the top of the galette with a knife.
Bake for 35 mins and cool before eating.

The almond cream filling smelt delicious with a lemon perfume, and it had a lovely fondant texture, contrasting well with the pastry. Not sure the lemon added anything much to the galette, so prefer the original version.


Chocolate and Hazelnut Cake

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I was asked to make a chocolate cake for a friend's get together, but I can never make up my mind which recipe to make. This is one of my favourites, and as I found a bag of ground hazelnuts in the supermarket the other day, decided to make this version, but using my bundt mould.

Make sure you grease the mould thoroughly - I use the spray.

Preheat oven 180C/gas4

In a bowl over simmering water melt - 150g butter and 150g dark chocolate. Take bowl off the heat and add 4 egg yolks, 175g caster sugar, 80g ground hazelnuts, 100g plain flour, another 50g dark chocolate which has been chopped up and a pinch of salt. Beat it all together.
Whip the 4 egg whites till stiff then add gently into the mixture.
Spoon into the tin and bake for 50 mins.
For the icing:
Chop 100g dark chocolate and melt it over water with 50g of butter. Pour it over the warm cake and leave to set.

A good tip for chopping up the 50g of chocolate is to put it in a polybag and hit with a rolling pin! Stops the pieces flying everywhere!
The cake has a lovely texture and you can really taste the hazelnuts. The chocolate pieces melt in your mouth. A lovely occasion cake with the added bonus of a really simple icing.

In a bowl over simmering water, melt 150g butter and 150g dark chocolate. Take bowl off and add 4 egg yolks, 175g caster sugar, 80g ground hazelnuts, 100g plain flour, 50g dark chocolate chopped up and a pinch of salt.
Beat the 4 egg whites till stiff and fold into the mixture.
Spoon into the tin and bake for 50mins. Remove from tin and cool on a wire rack.

For the icing:
Chop 100g dark chocolate and melt it over water with 50g of butter. Pour it over the warm cake and leave to set.

One trick I learnt was to put the chocolate bar in a poly bag and tap it with a rolling pin to break it up. I usually end up with bits of chocolate everywhere!

The cake has a great chocolate flavour, and you can really taste the hazelnuts. The chunks of chocolate had just about kept their texture, but then melted in your mouth. I like the easy way you decorate it - no faffing with glacé icing or buttercream - just pour the chocolate over.


Chocolate and Raspberry tarts

I made these recently for a family tea. They're delicious and the filling is rather like a brownie. I found the recipe in my scrapbook, so not sure where it originated.

I bought a pack of shortcrust pastry, but you can make your own.

For the filling you need -  
1 egg, 100g caster sugar, 55g melted butter, 1/2 tspn vanilla extract, 20g cocoa powder, 20g ground almonds, 1/2 tspn instant coffee and a pinch of salt
  • raspberries, crème fraîche and flaked almonds for the top. 

  • Preheat oven 180C/gas4           Grease a 12 hole cupcake tin [or a little tart tin].

Roll pastry out thinly and cut out 12  x 4" or 10cm circles. Press gently into the holes in the tin and put in the fridge while you make the filling.

Beat the egg till thick and frothy with an electric hand beater. Add the sugar and keep on beating till light and fluffy. Pour in the melted butter and vanilla, beating all the while. Fold in the cocoa, ground almonds, coffee and salt  till all the dry ingredients have been mixed in.

Pour the filling into the pastry cases and bake for 25-30 mins. Cool in tin for a few minutes before cooling on a wire rack. 

  1. Before serving, put a blob of cream, a raspberry and some flaked almonds over the top of each tart.

I love these little tarts. There are a lovely mixture of textures - the crunchy pastry, the fudgy chocolate filling, then the soft cream, the raspberry which balances the sweet chocolate filling, and finally a crunch again from the almonds.


A Normandy Apple Tart

Lovely Autumnal look to the trees around here, so thought of making something with apples. I love apple cakes, but having just made 2 for a leaving lunch, thought I'd make a tart. Having yet another sort out in a cupboard, I found a bottle of Calvados with just enough left to put in my tart! Got to be a Normandy Tart with Calvados!

This is yet another recipe I got from my lovely neighbour in France, and I've made it many times for friends and family.

You need: 1 pack of butter puff pastry, 4 medium apples, 160g caster sugar, 50g butter, 1/2 tspn cinnamon, 2 eggs,100ml crème fraîche, 1 tbspn Calvados and some flaked almonds

Preheat oven 210C/gas7                       Grease a tart tin lightly

Peel and core the apples and cut into thick slices.
Melt the butter in a pan and add the apples, 30g of the sugar and the cinnamon.
Cook gently for a few minutes, but be careful they don't stick to the bottom and burn!
Roll the pastry out and line the tart tin. Prick all over with a fork then add the apples. Put in the oven for 15 mins.
Whip the cream and eggs together then add the rest of the sugar and the Calvados. Mix together till smooth.
Take tart out of the oven and pour over the cream mixture. Sprinkle over some flaked almonds and return to the oven for a further 15 mins.

For a special occasion, my neighbour would sprinkle some sugar over the tart and pour over a glass of Calvados then set it alight!
I love the mixture of textures - the crumbly pastry, the soft cream mixture and the caramelised apples. A lovely treat!


Salted Caramel and Walnut Tart

This is a nice easy tart to make, but gives the impression it's luxurious. It's one of my family's favourite desserts.
Here I go reminiscing again, but in France my neighbour over the road had a walnut tree, and gave me carrier bags full of them. Ahhh!  No carrier bags full, but a special offer on walnuts in a supermarket was the incentive for making this tart.

For the shortcrust pastry - 250g flour, 130g butter, 2 tspn sugar, pinch salt and water.
Am not going to tell you how to make pastry!

Preheat oven 180C/gas4                Line a tart tin with the pastry.

For the filling - 250g chopped walnuts, 2 eggs, 400ml crème fraîche, 2 tbspn salted caramel and 2 tbspn soft brown sugar

Beat the eggs with the cream and the caramel. Sprinkle the nuts over the pastry, keeping a few back to decorate afterwards. Pour over the cream mixture and sprinkle on the soft brown sugar.
Bake for 35 mins.
Decorate with some walnuts before serving.

I love this tart. It's rich and has a lovely gooey, crunchy filling which contrasts well with the pastry. I bought a jar of salted caramel, but you could make your own!


Raspberry Bakewell Cake

What to make for a friend coming to tea? I bought some ground and flaked almonds last week so wanted to use them.

I love Bakewell tart, so searched for a recipe with similar flavours and found this one. Couldn't wait to try it as a cake.

It's from the BBC Good Food site
The recipe suggests you blend it in a food processor, but as mine is broken, I used an electric hand mixer and it worked fine.  There's ground almonds in the recipe so it's quite a thick batter. You put a layer of the batter into the tin, spread the raspberries over, then spread the rest of the mixture on top.

It's mentioned in the recipe that it's better to use your fingers to spread the mixture on top of the fruit, and this is good advice, as it's impossible to spread with a spoon or spatula!

It has a lovely almond flavour and the fresh raspberries give another texture and aren't sweet. It does feel and taste like a Bakewell tart. My friend loved it, and took a large piece home!


Chocolate Praline Cake with Nougat

I belong to a French Conversation group, and we had a get together last week with coffee and cakes - French recipes. This is one I made many times in France, but not since I've been back in the UK. Praline chocolate and nougat seemed to be more readily available there, or maybe I haven't been looking in the right places!

You need: 60g sr flour and 1 tspn baking powder, 100g praline chocolate, 50g nougat chopped into small pieces, 70g caster sugar, 60g butter 
Preheat oven 180C/gas4          Grease and base line a 24cm cake tin.

Break the chocolate into pieces, add 5 tbspn of water and melt in a microwave. In another small bowl, melt the butter, and in a 3rd bowl beat the eggs and sugar together till fluffy. Fold the flour and baking powder into the batter, then pour in the melted chocolate and butter. Mix together. Add the pieces of nougat and mix again.
Pour into the tin and bake for 35 mins. Cool the cake in the tin .
Serve with ice cream, crème fraîche or a crème anglaise.

Above is the French recipe, but I added a chocolate ganache to the top and some more nougat bits to make it more decadent! I love the crunchy bits of nougat inside the cake which give it another texture. You can't see them in the photo, but they are there. You get a nice hint of nuts from the chocolate and the nougat, and the cake has a nice soft crumb.

I learnt from Phil at asstrongassoup.blogspot.com that August will be the final time for 'We Should Cocoa' on tinandthyme.uk I've joined in with the chocolate challenges in the past, and am sad that there will be no more. There have been some fabulous chocolate recipes in the challenge. So I'm going to join in with the final challenge and submit this cake. Oh dear, I think I've done something wrong and not put in the proper url for this blog!