Sunday, October 30, 2011

Devil's Food Cake



Even witches have their romantic moments. And they can't seem to get enough of this devilish cake. It's so wickedly devilicious. Happy Halloween..





Jane's corner

Mrs. Jennings was very warm in her praise of Edward's conduct, but only Elinor and Marianne understood its true merit. They only knew how little he had had to tempt him to be disobedient, and how small was the consolation, beyond the consciousness of doing right, that could remain to him in the loss of friends and fortune. Elinor gloried in his integrity; and Marianne forgave all his offences in compassion for his punishment. But though confidence between them was, by this public discovery, restored to its proper state, it was not a subject on which either of them were fond of dwelling when alone. Elinor avoided it upon principle, as tending to fix still more upon her thoughts, by the too warm, too positive assurances of Marianne, that relief of Edward's continued affection for herself which she rather wished to do away; and Marianne's courage soon failed her, in trying to converse upon a topic which always left her more dissatisfied with herself than ever by the comparison it necessarily produced between Elinor's conduct and her own.

Jane Austen - Sense & Sensibility (1811)














Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pear & Chocolate Tart - Tarte chocolatée aux poires



It is well known  that granny recipes are always the best and most of them are really delicious, for example this Pear and Chocolate Tart. It is an amazing classic recipe and it's really easy to make. You can use any chocolate for this recipe but I prefer pears with dark chocolate. The dark chocolate brings out the natural flavour of the pear.



Jane's corner

"I have not a fault to find with her person," he replied. "I think her all you describe. I love to look at her; and I will add this praise, that I do not think her personally vain. Considering how very handsome she is, she appears to be little occupied with it, her vanity lies another way. Mrs Weston, I am not to be talked out of my dislike of her intimacy with Harriet Smith, or my dread of it's doing them both harm.
"And I, Mr. Knightley, am equally stout in my confidence of it's not doing them any harm. With all dear Emma's little faults, she is an excellent creature. Where shall we see a better daughter, or a kinder sister, or a truer friend? No, no; she has qualities which may be trusted; she will never lead any one really wrong; she will make no lasting blunder; where Emma errs once, she is in the right a hundred times"

Emma - Jane Austen (1816)





Friday, October 21, 2011

Bake Apple Stuffed Cheesecake


 Don't judge a book by its cover. You may not know what's hidden inside. This is how I described my bake apple with cheesecake. Some might think that it's just another boring bake apple but some may find it interesting. For me it's simply intriguing with a lovely surprise in a  baked apple...... cheesecake filling in a baked apple  ! How COOL is that !



A moment with Jane 

Colonel Brandon, the friend of Sir John, seemed no more adapted by resemblance of manner to be his friend, than Lady Middleton was to be his wife, or Mrs Jennings to be Lady Middleton's mother. He was silent and grave. His appearance however was not unpleasing, in spite of his being in the opinion of Marianne and Margaret an absolute old bachelor, for he was on the wrong side of five and thirty; but though his face was not handsome his countenance was sensible, and his address was particularly gentlemanlike.

Sense & Sensibility - Jane Austen (1811)




Bake Apple Stuffed Cheesecake
Adapted from Cheesecake by Keda Black 

Ingredients serve 4:
4 Golden apples
1 vanilla bean ( cut into 4 parts )

Base cheesecake crust:
10g graham biscuits (
1 tbsp gound hazelnut
5g butter

For cheese filling:
200g cream cheese
50g thick cream
65g light brown sugar + some for topping
1 egg
gound cinnamon

Method:

1) Preheat oven at 180°C & grease baking pan . In a food processor , combine graham biscuits  with butter & ground hazelnut till resemble crumb . Just what you do for a cheesecake base basically . With a spoon , press crumb mixture into the bottom of the apple . Set aside .

2) In a large bowl , beat cream cheese, thick cream, egg & brown sugar till well combined . Pour  the cream cheese mixture into apples till it reach the top .  Add in cut vanilla in each apple (just as shown below) , sprinkle some brown sugar & cinnamon over the apples . Bake for 30 mins . Enjoy









 Apples from our apple Orchard.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Pumpkin & Cheese Turnover



Recently my sons had asked me to make a savoury pumpkin pastry . Well, at first I  hesitated because they don't really like pumpkin. But since they liked my Cinderella soup which is a creamy pumpkin soup, I thought why not,  just let my imagination runs wild. I just grabbed anything I can find in my refrigerator & pantry, on my way for a new adventure. And guess what, it turned out very well actually. In fact they loved it so much that they suggested that I should  make it for our friends who were coming  for aperitif . Surprisingly they loved it too and told me that I should share this tasty recipe on my blog.



Jane's corner

Marianne's performance was highly applauded. Sir John was loud in his admiration at the end of every song, and as loud in his conversation with the others while every song lasted. Lady Middleton frequently called him to order, wondered how nay one's attention could be diverted from music for a moment, and asked Marianne to sing a particular song which Marianne had just finished. Colonel Brandon alone, of all the party, heard her without being in ruptures. He paid her only the compliment of attention; and she felt a respect for him on the occasion, which the others had reasonably forfeited by their shameless want of taste.

Sense & Sensibility - Jane Austen (1811)




















Sunday, October 16, 2011

Turkey & Grape Quiche- Quiche à la dinde et aux raisins





Grape picking is still very popular over here in France. We have the chance to experienced it many years ago before we had our children. We had ' vendanges' (grape harvest) at a vineyard in Rivesaltes, South of France ,where they produced Muscat. It was a fantastic experience and we learned a great deal about the hard work of grape harvesting and wine making . Not forgetting the lovely picturesque  surroundings  and a pleasant atmosphere where we got to make new friends who came all around the world just to have this fabulous experience called 'Les Vendanges' .


 
Jane's corner

Upon the whole, Emma left her with such softened, charitable feelings, as made her look around in walking home, and lament that Highbury afforded no young man worthy of giving her independence; nobody that she could wish to scheme about for her.
These were charming feelings- but not lasting. Before she had committed herself by any public profession of eternal friendship for Jane Fairfax, or done more towards a recantation of past prejudices and errors, than saying to Mr. Knightley, "She certainly is handsome; she is better than handsome!" Jane had spent an evening at Hartfield with her grandmother and aunt, and every thing was relapsing much into it's usual state.

Emma - Jane Austen (1816)






Friday, October 14, 2011

Baked apple with caramel sauce - Pomme au four et sauce carambar.



Another classic French dessert that can be done within minutes even my sons knew how to make them. Only need 4 ingredients ! Simple, easy & tasty unless you don't like caramel.  Well, in that case you can always replace it  with jam or even chocolate. Just imagine the smell of bake apples top with ice-cream & inside of the apple come the melting middle with caramel or chocolate oozing their way out. Like a piece of heaven on a plate. Well , that's how my kids described it..... heavenly ! LOL 


Baked Apple With Caramel Sauce - Pomme au four et sauce carambar
Recipe from my MIL

Ingredients:
Apple of your choice (cored about 2 cm deep)
Butter
Caramel candies (or jam , chcolate)
Water

Method:

1) Preheat oven to 180°C . Grease baking pan or ramekins & add in water . * If you're using ramekins , add only 1/2 tbsp of water .

2) Spoon in 1 tbsp of butter & add in 2 caramel candies in each apple . Place them in baking pan or remekins  & bake for 30 mins . Served with ice cream .... YUMMY




A moment with Jane

Mrs Hurst sang with her sister, and while they were thus employed, Elizabeth could not help observing, as she turned over some music-books that lay on the instrument, how frequently Mr Darcy's eyes were fixed on her. She hardly knew how to suppose that she could be an object of admiration to so great man; and yet that he should look at her because he disliked her, was still more strange. She could only imagine, however, at last, that she drew his notice because there was a some thing about her more wrong and reprehensible, according to his ideas of right, than in any other person present. The supposition did not pain her. She liked him too little to care for his approbation.

Pride & Prejudice - Jane Austen (1813)




Sorry no pictures of the melting moment .Can't wait to  indulged myself ! LOL 



Thursday, October 13, 2011

Apple Cake - Gâteau Aux Pommes



 It's a classic French cake and a granny recipes that everyone  over here knew how to bake. My hubby's grandma who taught me  this easy yet delicious cake. It's a cake with layers of apples goes dividedly with custard.



A moment with Jane
 
It was a picture which Henry Crawford had moral taste enough to value. Fanny's attractions increased- increased two - fold for the sensibility which beautified her complexion  and illumined her countenance, was an attraction in itself. He  was no longer in doubt of the capabilities of her heart. She had feeling, genuine feeling. It would be something to be loved by such a girl, to excite the first ardour of her young, unsophisticated mind! She interested him more than he had foreseen. A fortnight was not enough. His stay became indefinite.

Mansfield Park - Jane Austen (1814)



Apple Cake – Gâteau aux pommes

Ingredients :

3 apples  (peeled, cored & sliced & sprinkle ½ a lemon juice )
300g flour
10g baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
A pinch of salt
170g butter (room temperature)
2 tsp vanilla extract
150g brown sugar
3 eggs
200 ml milk
Split almonds or lightly toasted almond flakes
18 cm cake pan

Directions:

1)      Preheat oven to 180°C & grease cake pan . In a large bowl , sift flour, baking powder & ground cinnamon . Give it a good stir & set aside.
2)      Beat butter & sugar till creamy . Gradually add in eggs & beating continuously .  Stir in milk & vanilla extract .
3)      Fold in flour mixture with a pinch of salt & stir till well combined . Pour 1/3 of the batter in cake pan & alternate with a layer of apple slices . Repeat the layering & bake for 1 hour till golden brown . Let to cool .  Sprinkle some  split almonds or toasted almond flakes over the cake & serve with custard. 


 My younger son helped me to make this cake and it supposed to be many layers of apples. But he ate most of the slice apples instead of putting them in the cake pan. LOL


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pumpkin & Vanilla Jam.

Ja


Most people don't consider pumpkin as 'the' diet food but it is a low fat food full with vitamins. Pumpkin is  a high dietary fiber food and it contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. It’s a very good source of potassium, zinc and magnesium. Pumpkin contains high amounts of Vitamin C and Vitamin E as well. Both of these vitamins are known for their antioxidant properties.


  
 Pumpkin seeds are great for the overall health especially a great food for cardiovascular health. It is also an excellent source of beta-carote  which is a precursor of vitamin A. It's just like all the other orange colour fruits and vegetables.
Pumpkin seeds and pumpkin oil have anti-inflammatory properties. That’s why they are very good for arthritics pains and muscular cramps. Pumpkin oil is also good for relieving stress and works well against insomnia. 


Surprisingly this jam taste like honey.
 






Moelleux aux Framboises ( Raspberry)



If you love fresh raspberries or blackberries, you'll be glad to know how easy they are to grow. They just need a sunny site and well drained soil with  lost of organic matters. Avoid windy site to prevent cane breakage. We have summer bearing and ever bearing raspberries in our garden. Summer bearing produce fruit one time in late summer or every autumn. Ever bearing raspberries produce twice a year. One during spring time and the other in autumn.





The canes of raspberries are biennial which means they grow for one year and then produce flowers and fruits during the early summer of the second year. The second year canes die shortly after harvest and should be pruned out as soon as harvest is over. The best time to plant raspberry is during winter time.
 Raspberries are full with nutritional value including vitamin C, magnesium, manganese and calcium. They also have health benefit of being an anti- oxidant. 








Friday, October 7, 2011

Orange Poppy Seed Cake




My best friend and I shared the same passion for baking and cooking. And it was him whom initiated me into baking. Thanks to him for telling me time to time again that where there's a will there's a way. He reminded me of Mr. Knightley in Jane Austen 's novel, Emma. Sadly he had passed away 2 years ago of a heart attack at the age of 49. Since then I have not bake this cake or any of his recipes. I believe that time does heal all wounds. Although he's not  with us anymore , our friendship will last forever. I miss you my dear friend.




Flowers

It may not be the same,
But some things never change.
I feel it and I trust it,
I still believe in forever
Because that's what my heart knows.

Memories are the dew drops on our petals.
That re-open the buds that have closed.
Flowers wilt as seasons change,
Though they grow a little more with rain.

The sun will shine when in need,
And left behind , a precious seed.

By H. Barnes






Mr. Knightley, in fact, was one of the few people who could see faults in Emma Woodhouse, and the only one who ever told her of them; and though this was not particularly agreeable to Emma herself, she knew it would be so much less so to her father, that she would not have him really suspect a circumstance as her not being thought perfect by every body.
"Emma knows I never flatter her," said Mr. Knightley; "but I meant no reflection on any body. Miss Taylor has been used to have two persons to please; she will now have but one. The chances are that she must be a gainer."

Emma - Jane Austen (1816)