September 15, 2014

Early Autumn Frozen Cheesecake


We’ve been blessed by the most beautiful of Indian Summers. Days are still incredibly hot and sunny and the ocean is at its warmest. September is a bit of a magical month, the time of year when beaches have become empty again, but it all still retains the glory of summer days. At the market I’ve however noticed that the produce on the stalls are more and more tending towards autumnal flavours and colours. There is such abundance to choose from.


I don’t make cheesecakes very often, but I am totally fond of this one, which we had a couple of times already, varying the fruits used. The base layer is so good that I thought it could also be used for making energy bars, if you fancied trying that. The honey marries to perfection with the sheep yogurt, and the lot is vibrant, fruity and refreshing – a purple power cheesecake!

PS: one of my recipes is featured in the latest issue of Yummy Magazine. Click here to read the mag.


Early Autumn Frozen Cheesecake – serves 12
•6 red plums, pitted and chopped
•1tbsp vanilla sugar
•150g sunflower seeds
•150g almonds
•12 medjool dates, pitted
•2tbsp coconut oil
•A pinch of salt
•500g sheep’s milk yogurt (or yogurt of choice)
•100ml runny honey
•Plums, grapes, figs and blood peaches, to top up

1.Start by preparing a plum compote by stewing the plums with the vanilla sugar in a small saucepan on a gentle heat until soft and cooked. Set aside to cool down completely.
2.Preheat the oven to 170°C. Place the sunflower seeds and almonds on a large baking tray and put in the oven for about 10min until fragrant and golden. Leave to cool down.
3.In a food processor, blend the seeds and almonds together with the dates, coconut oil and salt, until you obtain a sticky paste. Spread it across the bottom of an 18cm round loose-bottom cake dish, lined with baking paper. Press the mixture with your hands across the bottom of the dish.
4.Pour the compote over the base, in an even layer.
5.Mix the yogurt with the honey and pour over the compote. To create swirls, insert a skewer in the yogurt and swirl in some of the compote.
6.Place in the freezer overnight to set.
7.Take out of the freezer at least 1hour before serving. Unmold from the cake tin and spread over the fruits of your choice.
8.Place leftovers back in the freezer.

Cheesecake Glacé de Début d’Automne – pour 12 personnes
•6 prunes rouges, dénoyautées et émincées
•1cs de sucre vanillé
•150g de graines de tournesol
•150g d’amandes
•12 dattes Medjool, dénoyautées
•2cs d’huile de noix de coco
•1 pincée de sel
•500g de fromage blanc de brebis (ou yaourt au choix)
•100ml de miel liquide
•Prunes, raisin, figues et pêches de vigne pour décorer

1.Préparer une compote de prunes, en les faisant frémir sur feux doux dans une petite casserole avec le sucre vanillé, jusqu'à ce qu’elles soient réduites en compote. Laisser refroidir complètement.
2.Préchauffer le four sur 170°C. Répartir les graines de tournesol et amandes sur une plaque à four et les enfourner pour environ 10min, jusqu'à ce qu’elles soient dorées. Laisser refroidir.
3.Mettre dans un mixeur les graines et amandes avec les dattes, l’huile de coco et le sel, et mixer jusqu'à l’obtention d’une pâte collante. Verser dans un moule rond de 18cm de diamètre à fond amovible, recouvert de papier sulfurisé. Presser le mélange dans le fond du moule avec les mains.
4.Verser la compote sur la base.
5.Mélanger le fromage blanc avec le miel et verser sur la compote. Pour créer des petits tourbillons, insérer une pique en bois dans le mélange liquide et tracer des spirales pour faire apparaitre la compote dans le fromage blanc.
6.Mettre à prendre au congélateur pendant une nuit.
7.Sortir du congélateur 1h avant de server. Démouler et parsemer de fruits, juste avant de servir.
8.Remettre les restes au congélateur.


September 08, 2014

Chia Blackberry Jam


When nature gives us blackberries, I am never short of ideas for how to eat them. You might remember from articles posted in previous years such as in tarts, parfaits, cooked and raw crumbles, smoothies, or fruit parcels that I particularly love this antioxidant-rich fruit. This year, I’d like to introduce you to one of the easiest way to prepare jam: it will take only a couple of minutes to prepare and is ideal to make a small pot whenever takes your fancy. The blackberries can also be substituted by other berries such as raspberries or strawberries.


We’ve made a little video to show you how easy it is (available at: http://youtu.be/Pf7zm8bo9VU). Enjoy x

video

Chia Blackberry Jam – makes 1 small pot
•1 large handful wild blackberries
•3tbsp chia seeds
•2tbsp liquid sweetener (such as maple syrup or agave syrup)

1.Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
2.Transfer to a jar. Keeps in the fridge for about five days to a week.

Confiture de Mûres et Graines de Chia – pour 1 petit pot
•1 grosse poignée de mûres sauvages
•3cs de graines de chia
•2cs de sucrant liquide (sirop d’érable ou sirop d’agave par exemple)

1.Mettre tous les ingrédients dans le bol d’un mixeur plongeur et mixer de façon à réduire le mélange en purée.
2.Transférer dans un petit pot en verre. Se garde au réfrigérateur de 5 jours à 1 semaine.


August 29, 2014

Three Beans Salad & Lemony Millet


Beans come in a large variety of shapes and colours. As part of a mostly plant-based wholesome diet, they naturally find their place in my plate more often than not. However, for most of the year, I would tend to cook them from dried or canned form, so it is really an occasion to celebrate when they are finally in season and you can prepare them and cook them from fresh. In my family, we’ve always loved French beans, and as kids, we used to gather around the table with my mum to help prepare them all together. This year I decided to be a bit adventurous and to try cook fresh white beans too. They were easy enough to prepare and oh so delicious. I now wish I could eat fresh beans all year round!

Here is a recipe for a salad served on a bed of lemony millet. The beans are really the centrepiece of it. Although it will require a few pans and a little bit of time to prepare, it is so worth it. It is not every day you can eat fresh beans after all, and it is therefore worth having a feast, isn’t it?


Three Beans Salad & Lemony Millet – serves 6
•200g fresh white beans (weight once peeled)
•2 cloves garlic, peeled
•A sprig of thyme
•500g of a mix of yellow and green string beans, ends removed
•2tbsp almonds
•250g millet, rinsed
•Zest and juice of ½ lemon + juice of ½ lemon
•5tbsp olive oil
•1 large spring onion, finely chopped
•1 stick celery, finely chopped
•A bunch of parsley, roughly chopped
•Salt and pepper
•1tsp maple syrup
•1tsp wholegrain mustard

1.Place the white beans with one whole clove garlic and the sprig of thyme in a saucepan of boiling water. Cook for 20min, then add a good pinch of salt and cook for another 10min until tender. Drain and set aside.
2.Place the green and yellow beans into another large pan of boiling water and simmer for 15min, until tender. Drain, rinse under cold water and set aside.
3.Place the almonds on a baking tray and put into a preheated oven (180°C) for about 10min until golden and fragrant. Leave to cool down, then chop roughly.
4.Place the millet in another saucepan, cover with water and simmer on a gentle heat for about 20min, until cooked and all the water is absorbed. Add the zest and ½ lemon juice and 2tbsp olive oil to the pan and mix well.
5.Place all the beans in a large salad bowl, add the almonds, spring onion, celery and parsley. Prepare the dressing by mixing in a small bowl some salt and pepper with one finely chopped clove garlic, the maple syrup, wholegrain mustard, juice of ½ lemon and 3tbsp olive oil. Pour over the salad and mix well.
6.Place the lemony millet on a large serving plate, top up with the bean salad and serve.

Salade aux Trois Haricots sur un Lit de Millet Citronné – pour 6
•200g de haricots blancs frais (poids une fois écossés)
•2 gousses d’ail, pelées
•Un brin de thym
•500g d’un mélange de haricots verts et haricots beurre, dont on aura enlevé les extrémités
•2cs d’amandes
•250g de millet, rincé
•Zeste et jus d’1/2 citron + jus d’1/2 citron
•5cs d’huile d’olive
•1 gros oignon de printemps émincé
•1 branche de céleri, émincée
•1 poignée de persil, émincé
•Sel et poivre
•1cc de sirop d’érable
•1cc de moutarde à l’ancienne

1.Mettre les haricots blancs écossés dans une casserole d’eau bouillante avec une gousse d’ail et la branche de thym. Faire cuire 20min, puis ajouter une pincée de sel et poursuivre la cuisson encore 10min jusqu'à ce qu’ils soient tendres. Egoutter.
2.Pendant ce temps, mettre les haricots verts et beurre dans une autre casserole d’eau bouillante et laisser frémir 15min jusqu'à ce qu’ils soient tendres. Egoutter et rincer à l’eau froide.
3.Mettre les amandes sur une plaque de cuisson, puis mettre au four préchauffé sur 180°C pendant 10min jusqu'à ce qu’elles soient dorées. Laisser refroidir puis émincer.
4.Mettre le millet dans une autre casserole, couvrir d’eau puis laisser frémir à feu doux pendant environ 20min jusqu'à ce que l’eau soit absorbée. Ajouter le zeste et jus d’1/2 citron, ainsi que 2cs d’huile d’olive et mélanger.
5.Mettre tous les haricots dans un saladier avec les amandes, l’oignon, le céleri et le persil. Préparer l’assaisonnement dans un ramequin en mélangeant du sel et du poivre avec le sirop d’érable, la moutarde à l’ancienne, le jus d’1/2 citron et 3cs d’huile d’olive. Verser sur la salade de haricots et mélanger.
6.Etaler le millet citronné sur une assiette de service et recouvrir de salade de haricots, puis servir.

August 18, 2014

Berry Mini Cakes


Summer always surprises me in allowing simplicity. It is as if suddenly life could slow down and we could let go of the unnecessary, going back to a simpler pace of life. I guess it is the essence of summer holidays: letting go of our daily routines and finding an easy going way of life. Even if I haven’t actually taken a holiday this summer, I have tried to allow this to happen. Taking things simple.


Right now, nature abounds with fresh produce, such as a simple bowl of fresh berries. For this recipe, I simply tweaked my pear and vanilla financiers recipe from back then, using a short list of ingredients and adding fresh juicy berries. In just a few mouthfuls, they were all gone – they were that good! Happy Monday to you all and have a beautiful week :)


Berry Mini Cakes – makes 9
•120g ground almonds
•30g sugar (I used vanilla coconut blossom sugar)
•A pinch of salt
•50g butter, melted
•3 egg whites
•A handful of berries/currants

1.Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2.In a bowl, mix together the ground almonds, sugar, salt and butter. Whisk the egg whites until foamy, then add to the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
3.Pour the mixture into small silicone moulds. Top up each cake with a few berries and place in the oven for 25-30min, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
4.Leave to cool down for a bit before unmolding and cool down completely on a wire rack.

Mini Cakes aux Fruits Rouges – pour 9
•120g de poudre d’amandes
•30g de sucre (j’ai utilisé du sucre de fleur de coco)
•Une pincée de sel
•50g de beurre, fondu
•3 blancs d’œufs
•Une poignée de fruits rouges

1.Préchauffer le four sur 180°C.
2.Dans un bol, mélanger la poudre d’amandes avec le sucre, le sel et le beurre. Fouetter les œufs jusqu'à ce qu’ils deviennent mousseux, puis ajouter dans le bol et bien mélanger.
3.Verser le mélange dans des petits moules en silicone. Déposer quelques fruits rouges sur le dessus de chaque cake et mettre au four pour 25-30min, jusqu'à ce qu’une pique en bois insérée au milieu en ressorte sèche.
4.Laisser refroidir quelques instants avant de démouler et laisser refroidir complètement sur une grille.


August 08, 2014

Summer Sunshine Lunch Bowl


With the risk of you thinking that I am totally obsessed with salads AND mixing fruits & vegetables together, I couldn’t resist sharing the recipe for this summer sunshine bowl. Except from the avocado, it was made using local ingredients that we had shopped at the market. The colours for this dish are vibrant like the reflection of a hot summer’s day. If you’re sceptical about using strawberries in a savoury dish, I promise this won’t disappoint you. They add that extra touch of ‘je ne sais quoi’ to the dish, a fruity note. We had it with a slice of dark rye bread, in what made a wholesome lunch.

I made this lunch bowl for the first time a couple of weeks ago when we went away for a weekend. We had the whole three days completely disconnected from any internet, phones, etc. and I was reflecting on how amazing this felt and how important it is to have breaks from all the modern technologies. Don’t get me wrong, they are wonderful tools and as a blogger, they serve my purpose of sharing beautiful recipes and connecting with people from all over the world. I also love browsing other blogs or play with social media. However, I do think that it is so beneficial to disconnect from the digital world on a very regular basis, and take time to reconnect with yourself, with others around you and with nature. And summer is definitely the best time of year to do this, especially if you’re able to go on holiday, when routines do not really exist anymore and we are able to open ourselves to new adventures. So this summer sunshine lunch bowl was kind of created in that spirit: reconnecting with the land that provide the food that we enjoy, eating it with full awareness, and sharing the meal with loved ones.

So let’s celebrate summer, sunshine, fresh and vibrant foods and reconnecting! Happy weekend x


Summer Sunshine Lunch Bowl – serves 2
•2 large handfuls cherry tomatoes
•1 small yellow courgette, very finely sliced
•1 avocado, peeled, stoned and cubed
•100g strawberries, hulled and halved
•A bunch of basil, leaved picked
•2 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and halved
•Salt and pepper
•2tbsp balsamic vinegar
•3tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1.Arrange the ingredients in a large salad bowl.
2.To prepare the dressing, mix some salt and pepper with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Pour over the salad when ready to serve.

Assiette Estivale Ensoleillée – pour 2 personnes
•2 grosses poignées de tomates cerise
•1 petite courgette jaune, coupée en fines tranches
•1 avocat, pelé, dénoyauté et coupé en cubes
•100g de fraises, dont on aura retiré la queue, coupées en deux
•Une poignée de basilic
•2 œufs durs, pelés et coupés en deux
•Sel et poivre
•2cs de vinaigre balsamique
•3cs d’huile d’olive extra-vierge

1.Arranger les ingrédients dans un saladier.
2.Pour préparer l’assaisonnement, mélanger le sel et poivre avec le vinaigre et l’huile. Verser sur la salade au moment de servir.