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Zaalouk is prepared with roasted eggplant, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and some spices, It is often served as an appetizer as a warm or cold salad or just as a dip but it can also be served as a side dish next to the main meal. Zaalook is often eaten with a slice of baguette or Moroccan spongy semolina bread or crusty bread.

Cooking the eggplant the right way is worth the effort. We need to cook it to the point that the flesh can be easily scooped out of its skin like butter,  some cooks call it “caviar.”

 

 

 

Zaalouk - Moroccan Roasted Eggplant Dip | Chef Rachida - YouTube

 

Ingredients

  • 2 large aubergines (eggplants) cut in half lengthwise
  • 5 to 6 medium plum tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic sliced into half, lengthwise
  • 1 large onion
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions

Roast Eggplants

Eggplant has a natural bitterness it a good idea to remove it before cooking. Cut one eggplant in two halves, longitudinally, and score each  half in a criss-cross fashion and then rub the surface with salt. This allows the salt to pull out the bitterness and the moisture. Insert slices of garlic inside the eggplants. Liberally drizzle with olive oil. Sear the eggplant in a hot heavy pan then bake in the oven at 400ºF (200ºC) for 40-60 minutes or until fully cooked, wilted and collapsed. The flesh should be very soft and easy to scoop. They will shrink during cooking time leaving behind a concentrated smokey eggplant flavor. 

Cook onions

Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a pan or skillet and cook the chopped onion over medium-high heat until lightly browned about 20- 35 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Tomato Confit

Preheat the oven to 300 °F / 150 °C. Place a pot of water on the stove and bring it to a boil. Drop 2 to 3 the tomatoes into the boiling water for few seconds. Remove them when the skin begins to peel and put them into the bowl of very cold water or ice water. Place your tomato on a cutting board, and cut the tomato down into two halves. Use a small spoon to scoop the tomato seeds and any tough white core out of the four cavities. Toss the tomatoes with the olive. Season with salt and pepper. In a baking sheet arrange the tomato halves cut-side up on the rack. Cook the tomatoes until tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Roughly chop the tomatoes, transfer to a large bowl, and set aside.

Mix

In a skillet, heat 1/8 cup olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the cooked onions with roasted chopped eggplants and the chopped tomatoes confit and cook about 2 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and the pepper (if needed). 

Serve!

Allow the Zaalouk to cool to room temperature, then garnish with crumbled feta cheese and chopped parsley. Zaalouk can be kept up to 4 days in the fridge.

The post Zaalouk – Moroccan Roasted Eggplant Dip appeared first on Chef Rachida.

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Chef Rachida by Rachida - 1M ago

Tart Tatin or Tarte Tatin is a French apple pie – the legendary tart of caramelized apples that are cooked upside down but served with the right side up! With just four ingredients: apples, butter, sugar and puff pastry or pie crust. It has a buttery crust underneath. Tart Tatin was first served at Maxim’s restaurant in 1926 in Paris. To this day it remains a world-renowned, all-time French classic dessert.


Apple Tart Tatin INGREDIENTS

Frozen puff pastry sheet (18-ounce or 1/2 kilo)
110 grams unsalted butter
115 grams granulated sugar
Medium size apples (3 to 4 pounds -1.5 to 2 kilo), peeled, cored, and cut in half lengthwise.
Special Equipment
A well-seasoned 10 or 9-inch cast-iron skillet or the apple tart Tatin pan.


Apple Tart Tatin DIRECTIONS

Preheat your oven to 400° degrees Fahrenheit (205 °C) .

Peel the apples and cut them in half and remove the seeds and
core with a knife.  Turn the halves flat side down and cut them in half again to make quarters.

Flour the puff pastry and roll it out to about 1/4 to 1/8 -inch thick. Place the tart tatin pan over the dough and cut a circle around. Transfer the circle of dough to a tray or large plate and let it chill in the fridge.

Classic Tart Tatin - French Apple Pie | Chef Rachida - YouTube

DRY CARAMEL

I prefer using the dry than the wet caramel in this recipe because the cooked apples release a lot of water. To make a dry caramel, sprinkle a little of the sugar into the surface of a heavy bottom pot (a very thin layer of sugar) and wait until it starts to melt. Continue to sprinkle the remaining sugar on the top of the melted sugar when the sugar started to melt. Once all of the sugar has been added, and it has started to melt and caramelize around the edges, you can slowly stir it with a wooden spoon.

Once the sugar has fully melted, turn the heat to low and let the caramel take on a rich, golden color (very important). This will happen very quickly. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the caramel in the tart pan. Be careful not to touch the caramel, as it is extremely hot.

There are two ways of adding the butter:
Add the melted butter on the top of the hot caramel, or add it to dry cold caramel. The caramel will start to seize because of the room temperature, this is very normal.

Arrange the apple halves on the warm caramel or cold powder caramel. Hold them vertically for a while. making sure they are arranged in a tight pattern. They will reduce in size while baking and they will shrink considerably during cooking, so it is important to pack them in as many as you can. Place them as nicely as possible so when we flip tart it will have later a pretty presentation.

Place the pan in the hot oven for 10 to 15 minutes. This method will allow to pre-cook the apple to absorb the caramel.

Remove the pan from the oven. Remove the dough from the fridge and place it over the hot apples. With a knife cut the dough to allow the steam to escape. Quickly place it into the oven. Bake for about 15 to 35 minutes until the puff pastry is golden dark brown.

Using an oven mitt, while it’s still hot, place a large plate over top the pan. Very carefully flip the pan to pour the excess of apple juice in a bowl. Then flip it over to release the tart. If any pieces of apple are stuck to the bottom of the pan, gently remove them and place them back in the tart.

Let the Apple Tart Tatin cool slightly. Serve this delicious it warm or at room temperature with Chantilly Cream (Crème Chantilly) or vanilla ice cream.

The post Apple Tart Tatin appeared first on Chef Rachida.

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Mille Feuille – French Napoleon cake  (or mille-feuille or millefeuille) is a classic French dessert consisting of layers of (usually three) puff pastry sandwiched with layers of vanilla pastry cream (crème pâtissière) or mousseline cream and topped with confectioners’ sugar (icing or powdered sugar) or white fondant icing.

It is a decadent and impressive cake, but it isn’t difficult to make at home. 
Allow enough time for (La mise en place)  baking the puff pastry, and making the pastry cream.

First of all, complete the following recipes ( puff pastry  and pastry cream, and come back to the assembly process.

Watch all the steps mentioned in the following video.
Mille Feuille - Napoleon Cake | Chef Rachida - YouTube

Instructions

Get the puff pastry out of the freezer, and store it in the fridge for few hour to thaw it until it is ready to be used.  Roll out the puff pastry dough to between 1/4 and 1/8 inches (3 to 6 mm) thick. 

Preheat oven to 390°F / 200°C. Line a half sheet baking pan with parchment paper, then powder it generously with icing sugar. Roll the dough on
parchment paper. Powder the dough generously with icing sugar, place a second parchment paper on the dough. Put another baking sheet on top of the dough and lightly press the dough to keep it flat, then bake between 15- 20 minutes or until it is golden brown.

Assemble the Mille Feuille

Trim the edges and cut the sheet into pieces of identical size. In my case, I cut each sheet into a large rectangle ( 12 X 4 inch) or small ones (4 X 2 inch).

Get the pastry cream from the fridge, and place it in a pastry bag.

  • 01. Pipe half of the pastry cream over one layer of baked puff pastry.
  • 02. Top with another layer of baked puff pastry, press down gently.
  • 03. Spread the pastry cream over the second layer of pastry.
  • 04. Top with the third layer of pastry and press again down gently.

Make the white royal icing by mixing the egg whites and lemon juice or cold milk until very smooth, lump free, and glossy. Spread the icing evenly over the entire surface of pastry. Drizzle the melted dark chocolate across the icing in parallel lines. With the tip of a small knife, drag it through the lines of chocolate from one side of the pastry to the other one, and then in the opposite direction to create a chevron pattern.
This creates the classic decorative pattern shown in the photo.


 Or you can just sprinkle with powdered sugar. Et voila!


Allow an hour or two to chill before cutting into individual portions for serving. If you have to carry this dessert to another location, I would recommend to freeze it for few minutes before you transport it to another location, because it is so fragile.

Happy baking!

The post Mille Feuille – French Napoleon cake appeared first on Chef Rachida.

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Inverted Puff Pastry – Pâte Feuilletée Inversée is a magic and wonderful dough. No yeast, and yet it puffs up into a thousand (actually 729) layers. The secret of the layers is the steam from the butter trapped by the careful folding of the layers. It is important to bake this thoroughly, or you will get a chewy dough. Your goal is crunch from beginning to end. Most commercial puff pastry is not made with real butter, and it isn’t worth using it. The only one I know made from butter is called Dufours, but it very expensive. It is well worth the effort to master Inverted Puff Pastry – Pâte Feuilletée Inversée . I usually double the recipe and make it a few times a year and freeze it. It keeps very well and it is always ready to roll out. Great for making quick simple fruit tarts, sweet or savory miniature  elephant ear (palmiers) cookies as appetizers, and many other things.

I find that the Inverted Puff Pastry – Pâte Feuilletée Inversée quite forgiving. Instead of the butter block being wrapped by the dough, it is enveloping it. It bakes rather light and produces very flaky results. I know that it can be time-consuming. I normally pick a day when I am around the house so I can come back to it every couple of hours to execute the next turn. Find the best quality of butter you can afford, personally, I use trickling springs butter because of its high butterfat (91%+).

Making homemade puff pastry can be overwhelming, that is why this recipe is doubled. It is big enough for two batches. because it takes the same amount of time and effort to prepare one batch or two batches.

Inverted Puff Pastry – Pâte Feuilletée Inversée Ingredients

Butter block (Beurre manié)

  • 210 grams bread flour
  • 480 grams butter

Dough

  • 450 grams bread flour
  • 100 grams unsalted butter
  • 1.5 ml of vinegar
  • 180 ml of water
  • 15 grams of salt

Inverted Puff Pastry - Pâte Feuilletée Inversée | Chef Rachida - YouTube

Directions

01. Place the flour and the butter in a stand mixer. Mix on low speed until the flour is incorporated into the butter.

02. Since this recipe is quite big, split the butter block in two equal parts, then place them in a plastic bag. Store them in the fridge.

03. Place the flour and salt in the same bowl of the stand mixer (we don’t need to clean it to make our dough). Mixing on low speed, add the water a bit at a time, and the vinegar, then the butter until the dough begins to come together. You can finish kneading it on the work surface.

04. Since this recipe is quite big split the dough in two equal parts. place them in two plastic bags (or two containers with a tight lid). Store them in the fridge for at least two hours or overnight.

05. The next day, get one of the dough from the fridge and roll it into a 8X8 inch square between two plastic sheets.

06. Use a rolling pin to roll over the butter block between two plastic sheets to flatten it into a 16×8 inch rectangle.

07. Place the dough on the half of the butter, and fold the opposite half of the butter on the dough like closing a book.

08. Store it in a plastic bag, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to let the dough rest.

09. Unwrap the chilled dough and place it on a work surface between two plastic wraps. Roll it out into a 16-by-8-inch rectangle.

We are starting the lamination process which means the process of folding butter into dough multiple times to create very thin alternating layers of butter and dough.

10. First turn- Fold up the bottom third of the rectangle to the center, then fold the top third down and over it, as you would fold a letter. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to let the dough rest. The dough should be pliable but still cold, it should bend (not break) when you fold it over.

11. Second turn – Rotate the dough a quarter turn (90 degrees), (it doesn’t matter if the seam is on your right or left, but keep it consistent). Roll out the dough into a 16-by-8-inch rectangle. Be careful not to let the butter come through the dough. If the room is warm, the butter may become too soft and break through the surface. If so, stop and refrigerate the dough until the butter hardens again.

12. Repeat the process of rolling and folding up to six times.

13. You can use it at this point, but it will benefit from another refrigeration of at least 2 hours and up to 2 days. If you want to freeze it, cut it into the desired portions, roll it out ½ inch thick, wrap it well, and freeze it for up to 1 month.

Defrost the dough overnight in the refrigerator before using.

A little of math to calculate the number of layers

  • First turn: 3 Layers of fats
  • Second turn: 3 X 3 = 9 Layers of fats
  • Third turn: 9 X 3 = 27 Layers of fats
  • Fourth turn: 27 X 3 = 81 Layers of fats
  • Fifth turn: 91 X 3 = 243 Layers of fats
  • Sixth turn: 243 X 3 = 729 Layers of fats
That means you will end up with 3x3x3x3x3x3 = 729 layers of layers. If you want to reach the mille feuilles (thousand layers), all you have to do is to fold the dough in half, then you get 1458 layers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The post Inverted Puff Pastry – Pâte Feuilletée Inversée appeared first on Chef Rachida.

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Chef Rachida by Rachida - 3M ago

One of my favorite baked goods is brioche (especially Brioche Mousseline) because of its texture. Its crumb is very airy with a golden crust and buttery aromas. Simple and divine at the same time. This version was slightly adapted from Philippe Conticini recipe. This brioche has NO milk and it is high in butter. The kneading is quite long because the eggs and butter need to be well absorbed, but it’s worth it. I suggest 15 minutes in a stand mixer at a lower speed before adding the butter.

All my life, I have tried different brioche versions, with different butter ratio, but brioche mousseline is my best brioche- LA BRIOCHE par excellence. It is very light despite the high amount of butter and eggs.

Brioche is not sweet but it’s rich, all the eggs and butter make it soft, sticky, and slippery. Traditionally, bakers developed the gluten by slamming it repeatedly on a marble counter — it is messy and very labor-intensive and it takes some real muscle to do the job. Instead, I will be using my KitchenAid mixer to do the work. This dough needs a longer kneading than most other kinds of bread dough because of the amount of fat which prevents gluten from forming easily.

 Brioche Mousseline

Brioche Mousseline - YouTube

Brioche Mousseline Ingredients
    • 750 grams very strong bread flour
    • 140 grams granulated sugar
    • 12 grams dry yeast
  • 11 grams salt
  • 420 whole eggs (8 medium eggs)
  • 40 grams egg yolk (2 medium eggs)
  • 460 grams butter

Prep 20 min
Rising 2-4 hours
Baking 30-45 hour

Equipment

  • Stand mixer with bread hook attachment
  • Rubber spatula
  • 2 loaf pans (8x4X4-inch) or 8 individual brioche molds
  • Pastry scraper for dividing the dough
  • Cooling Rack

With this basic dough, you can make any number of baked creations.

  • Grande brioche à tête
  • Cinnamon rolls
  • Dinner rolls

Directions

01. Let the butter soften before you start working, place the butter on the counter for few hours.
The butter should be spreadable, but not melted.

02. Combine the salt, the flour, the sugar, and the yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer.

03. Gradually, add eggs the to flour until well combined, then knead for 8-10 minutes.

04. Take time adding the butter a few pieces at a time, and don’t panic if it makes the dough fall apart. It will come together after more kneading.

05. The dough will be very very soft – don’t worry.

06.  Knead the dough for 20-45 minutes until the dough comes together. Stop and scrape down the sides of the mixer as needed.

07. When finished, the dough should look glossy, and it should jiggle slightly when you shake the bowl. It will look like a firm custard.

08. Shape the dough into a ball, place it into a bowl, cover with a tight lid or plastic sheet.

09. Rest the brioche dough overnight in the fridge or up to 2 days. It’s best to let it chill because the slow overnight fermentation improves the flavor and texture of the brioche. The dough is much easier to work with once it is completely chilled.

10. Butter the pans and set aside.
11. Shape small balls about 70 – 110 grams each, and with your hands, and place it into the mold.

Or just shape the dough so its volume is between 1/3 and 1/2 volume of the container.

12. Repeat until no dough remains.

13. You have to work fast, as the dough becomes soft quickly.

14. Place the molds on a baking tray, cover with cling film or kitchen towels and let proof until the dough reaches close to the edges of the mold (when the proofing is almost done, remove plastic wrap so it does not stick to the dough).

15. Meanwhile, heat fan oven 340°F-170°C.

16. Brush the brioches with egg wash (one tablespoon whole milk mixed with one egg yolk), sprinkle with pearl sugar.

17. Bake between 15 to 35 minutes, or until they are nicely brown.

18. Once they are out of the oven, remove them immediately from the molds.

19. Let cool before serving. You can freeze the brioche up to 3 months.

Can you see the silky and tender texture?

Note

If you are interested in using the exact molds I am using (the long cylinders), you can try the Pop over molds, they are perfect: Nordic Popover Pan

The post Brioche Mousseline appeared first on Chef Rachida.

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Flourless chocolate sponge or biscuit au chocolat is scrumptious and lighter than air. This is actually very much like a sponge cake, even though it has no flour. It’s really quite simple, rich and indulgent, it has been a classic way to end many a restaurant dinner for generations. You may need to make this chocolate sponge when you make chocolate yule log, or a cake layered with chocolate mousse, or buttercream, or chocolate ganache. I like this sponge cake because it has an airy texture and intense chocolate flavor.

Usually, I double the ingredients to make four flourless Chocolate Sponge meaning four layers – 8 inch square 4 mm (between 1/8 and 1/4 inch) height.

Flourless Chocolate Sponge – Biscuit Au Chocolat - YouTube

Flourless Chocolate Sponge  Ingredients

YIELD: Makes two 8-inch round layers

• Egg white 100 grams (2 medium eggs)

• Sugar 50 grams
• Egg yolk 85 grams (3 medium eggs)
• Sugar 50 grams
• Dark chocolate (70% cocoa or higher) 120 grams
• Melted butter 45 grams
• Pinch of salt

 “Mise en Place” to make baking experience easier. Direction

01. Break and separate the eggs one at a time, making sure that no yolk is mixed in with the whites. This time I didn’t have enough egg yolk so I pulled some from the frozeer one the day before. I used a hand held mixer to mix it before using it.

02. Break the chocolate, add the butter, and melt them over a double boiler while whisking it – don’t over heat the mixture. Set aside.

03. Whip the egg white in a dry and clean bowl. When the egg white turned foamy, add the 50 grams sugar. Keep beating. Don’t let the egg whites form hard peaks as they can produce a drier cake.

04. In a second bowl, combine the yolks and 50 grams sugar and whip about five minutes on high until thick ribbons form or until fluffy and light, it may take more than 5 minutes.

05. Add the egg yolk mixture to the melted chocolate mixture. and whisk with spatula or a whisk.

 

06. Add ½ of the meringue to the chocolate mixture, and fold.
07. Fold the remaining ½ of the meringue with a spatula.

08. Spread the batter on the baking sheet and level with a large spatula until you get a thickness between 3/16 and 1/4 inch (4 mm to 6 mm).

09. Bake for 25 minutes in the oven at 320°F. I use the 4 mm inch frame to make sure the layer is perfectly even.

10. Remove the cake (sponge) from the baking sheet and let it cool down on the liner.
11. Freeze the cake until you’re ready to use it.

You can use it right away, or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap until you need it. Make sure to place plastic wrap as a liner between the layers.
When baking, the freezer is your friend. I am obsessed with the freezer!!!!

Notes
Eggs separate better when they are cold. This is key in any recipe that involves whipping egg whites. Then let them sit at room temperature before whipping them.

The post Flourless Chocolate Sponge – Biscuit Au Chocolat appeared first on Chef Rachida.

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Chef Rachida by Rachida - 3M ago

Sable Breton – biscuit Breton is a crumbly, thick, and buttery French shortbread cookie, from the region of Brittany, which is located in northwestern France. They rely on high-quality butter and salt. The sandy texture is due to a high proportion of butter and egg yolks in them. Traditionally, almond flour is used not only to add flavor but also for the texture. Plus almond flour extends the shelf life of the cookie.

Ingredients Sable Breton – biscuit Breton

Ingredients for 20-30 pieces

Butter 300 grams

Icing sugar 180 grams

Egg yolk 45 grams (2  or 3 egg)

Vanilla 1/2 teaspoon

Sea Salt 1/2 teaspoon

Flour 250 grams

Almond powder 90 grams

TOOLS

Cylinder silicone baking mold, cupcake pan or muffin molds. We can even find today BRETON SHORTBREAD BISCUIT RINGS.

DIRECTIONS

Creaming is one of the most important methods used in this recipe because it incorporates the maximum amount of air bubbles created by sugar and butter. The texture becomes aerated and is creamy. This technique will help us to get a typical sable Breton or biscuit Breton.

Start with the soft butter (at room temperature). Mix in the sifted icing sugar. Cream the butter and sugar together for five minutes using a stand mixer with a flat beater, until everything is light and fluffy.

Add the egg yolk, salt, and mix very well.

Add the almond flour and stir into the mixture until combined. Add the flour and continue mixing. Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill. I like to give most of my dough a nice long sit before baking. Usually at least eight hours. it’s good to chill it overnight because it gives the dough time to fully absorb the wet ingredients.

The next day, get the dough out the fridge and bring it up to room temperature. Roll the dough between two layers of plastic wrap, so we don’t need to add a lot of flour.  The height of the dough should be between 1/2 to 1 inch (13 to 25 mm).

Using a 1.7 to 2.2 inch (4 to 5 cm) cookie cutter, cut out the cookies. They must be placed in special molds. If you don’t have them, you can use the muffin baking molds. Place the baking sheet of cookies in the refrigerator for few minutes to chill the dough before baking. Then gather all the scraps and re-roll. You may need to refrigerate the dough again before cutting out the cookies.

These cookies easily spread, you do not need to brush the surface of the cookies with egg wash. Place the rings around the cookies or place them in the silicone molds and bake for about 20-35 minutes or until golden brown in a pre-heated oven at 325°F / 160 °C. After baking, remove the metal rings and let the cookies cool down on a cake rack. If you are using the silicone mold, allow to cool completely before removing them.

Note about almond flour

If you can’t find it in the store, you can grind up your own.

The post Sable Breton appeared first on Chef Rachida.

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In French, the pound cake is called quatre-quarts (“four-fourths”) because it is made with equal parts eggs, butter, flour, and sugar. All the ingredients are weighed and used in equal proportions. It is a very simple but it has a deliciously fragrant and it is moist and addictive. When I was growing up, the pound cake was a weeknight dessert staple.

This version gets its volume and lightness from the beating of butter and sugar (at least 7 minutes), baking powder, sour cream or creme fraiche.

POUND CAKE / QUATRE-QUARTS INGREDIENTS
  • Weigh 2 medium eggs and one-half. They should weigh about (120 grams)
  • 120 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 120 grams all-purpose flour
  • 120 grams granulated sugar
  • 12 cl (1/2 cup) sour cream (or creme fraiche), room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 grams (1/2 teaspoon) salt
  • 6 grams (2 teaspoons) baking powder

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 325 ° – 163 °C.

Lightly butter and flour two loaf pans. You may need to line the bottom of the pan with  parchment paper. The pan I am using are 11.5″ x 6.5″ x 2.75″ ( 28 X 15 X 7 cm)

Using an electric mixer with a flat beater, in a large bowl, beat butter and sugar, vanilla and salt on medium-high until very light and fluffy for at least 7 minutes. The butter is “creamed” when it has almost doubled in mass and it has light yellow color.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating between additions, and scraping down the bowl as needed.

Beat in the cream.

Mix the baking powder with the flour.

Gradually add flour, beating well to combine and scraping down the bowl as needed.

Transfer batter to the pan. Tap the pan to remove any air bubbles that may have gotten trapped in the batter.

Bake up to 75 minutes or until it is cracked down the center, golden on top. If you insert a toothpick into the center it should come out clean.

Let cool in pan on a wire rack,  15 to 30 minutes. Remove cake from pan and let cool completely on a rack before slicing.

Storage

To store, wrap in plastic and keep at room temperature, up to 3 days, or wrap in plastic and freeze for up to 3 weeks. The cake can be kept at room temperature, covered, for up to 3 days.

Here are some ideas how to use this cake as Christmas centerpiece.

Pound Cake, le weekend cake, or quatre-quarts. - YouTube

Pound Cake / Quatre-Quarts

In French, the pound cake is called quatre-quarts (“four-fourths”) because it is made with equal parts eggs, butter, flour, and sugar. All the ingredients are weighed and used in equal proportions. It is a very simple but it has a deliciously fragrant and it is moist and addictive. When I was growing up, the pound cake was a weeknight dessert staple.

This version gets its volume and lightness from the beating of butter and sugar (at least 7 minutes), baking powder, sour cream or creme fraiche.

  • 120 grams eggs (Six medium eggs)
  • 120 grams unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 120 grams all-purpose flour
  • 120 grams granulated sugar
  • 12 cl sour cream (or creme fraiche) (1/2 cup , room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 0.5 teaspoon salt (3 grams salt)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (6 grams)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 ° – 163 °C.

    Lightly butter and flour two loaf pans. You may need to line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. The pan I am using are 11.5″ x 6.5″ x 2.75″ ( 28 X 15 X 7 cm)

  2. Using an electric mixer with a flat beater, in a large bowl, beat butter and sugar, vanilla and salt on medium-high until very light and fluffy for at least 7 minutes. The butter is “creamed” when it has almost doubled in mass and it has light yellow color.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating between additions, and scraping down the bowl as needed.
  4. Beat in the cream.

    Mix the baking powder with the flour.

    Gradually add flour, beating well to combine and scraping down the bowl as needed.

  5. Transfer batter to the pan. Tap the pan to remove any air bubbles that may have gotten trapped in the batter.
  6. Bake up to 75 minutes or until it is cracked down the center, golden on top. If you insert a toothpick into the center it should come out clean.
  7. Let cool in pan on a wire rack,  15 to 30 minutes. Remove cake from pan and let cool completely on a rack before slicing.

To store, wrap in plastic and keep at room temperature, up to 3 days, or wrap in plastic and freeze for up to 3 weeks. The cake can be kept at room temperature, covered, for up to 3 days.

 

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I love roasted vegetables and I love ratatouille. So I combined both of them in one single dish – Roasted Vegetable Ratatouille!

Ratatouille is often a stew cooked on top-of-the-stove. But roasting vegetables in the oven intensifies the flavors and bring out their natural sweetness in an amazing way. The good news –  Roasted vegetables is the easiest most versatile healthy side dish. The vegetarian mini tarts make great finger food. A puff pastry dough topped with roasted vegetables can turn into a fancy pizza. Or just serve them on toasted brioche canapés. So many possibilities…..

 

Roasted Vegetables Ratatouille Ingredients
  • 250 grams (1/2 pound) onion
  • 250 grams (1/2 pound) eggplant
  • 250 grams (1/2 pound) zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 500 grams (1 pound) plum tomato, cut into 4 wedges
  • 250 grams (1/2 pound) sweet red pepper
  • 2 head of garlic
  • 3 tablespoon herbs of province or fresh thyme (or dried)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 cup olive oil

Cooking Roasted Vegetable Ratatouille

Preheat oven to 450°F / 232°C for at least half hour.

Chop all the vegetables into bite-sized pieces, toss them with some good olive oil. Use enough to coat completely the vegetables. The oil helps the vegetables to crisp up in the oven and  adds a rich smoky flavor.

 

 

Add salt and pepper. DON’T add the herbs of Province yet, we have to wait until the roasting process is completed, because it burns under this high heat.

 

Using a sharp knife, cut 1/4 from the top of garlic cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic. Drizzle a couple teaspoons of olive oil over the head. Cover the bulb with aluminum foil.

Spread the vegetables on in the baking dish in a single layer. This is very important so the vegetables roast instead of steaming.

 

 

Place the baking sheet and the garlic in the preheated oven. Cook for 50 minutes to 1.5 hours.  Every 20 minutes, stir them to help the roasted vegetables brown evenly and keep them from burning.

The moment the roasting is done, take the pan out of the oven, stir in the herbs of Provence, salt, and pepper to taste while it hot.

 

Allow the garlic to cool, using  your fingers pull or squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins, mash it with a fork, then add it to the vegetables and combine.

 

In a medium size pan over high heat, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water that contains enough ice water to cover a number of tomatoes you need to peel. Carve a shallow X in the bottom (blossom end) of each tomato. Working in batches of four, drop the tomatoes into the boiling water, a few at a time, for 45 to 60 seconds. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the ice-water bath for 3 to 5 minute. Once cooled, transfer the use your fingers or a paring knife to peel back the tomato skins.

 

Chop all the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces, toss them with some good olive oil, herb of Provence, fresh ground pepper, and sea salt. Roast the tomatoes in the oven for 1 to 2 hours a with cup of olive oil at 400 °F / 205 °C.

This time, we are adding the herbs of Provence at the beginning since the tomatoes have so much juice in them, it will protect the herbs from burning.

Transfer the vegetables and the tomatoes into a container, and wait until it reaches room temperature then cover and leave overnight in the fridge to let the flavors develop – even for a couple of days. DON’T skip this step.

 

let your imagination run wild with endless possibilities with this side dish – you can pile the ratatouille  on a baked puff pastry dough or fillo dough, or on toasted brioche as canapes, or serve them as a side dish,  or use them in lasagna.

 

Note

A shallow baking dish or pan that is no more than 1 to 2 inches deep is perfect for roasting to allow the heat to circulate efficiently.

Roasted Vegetable Ratatouille
Author: Chef Rachida
Recipe type: side dish
Cuisine: French
Serves: 10
 
Ratatouille is often a stew cooked on top-of-the-stove. But roasting vegetables in the oven intensifies the flavors and bring out their natural sweetness in an amazing way. The good news - Roasted vegetables is the easiest most versatile healthy side dish. The vegetarian mini tarts make great finger food. A puff pastry dough topped with roasted vegetables can turn into a fancy pizza. Or just serve them on toasted brioche canapés. So many possibilities.....
Ingredients
  • 250 grams (1/2 pound) onion
  • 250 grams (1/2 pound) eggplant
  • 250 grams (1/2 pound) zucchini, cut into ½ inch rounds
  • 500 grams (1 pound) plum tomato, cut into 4 wedges
  • 250 grams (1/2 pound) sweet red pepper
  • 2 head of garlic
  • 3 tablespoon herbs of province or fresh thyme (or dried)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 cup olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F / 232°C for at least half hour.
  2. Chop all the vegetables into bite-sized pieces, toss them with some good olive oil. Use enough to coat completely the vegetables. The oil helps the vegetables to crisp up in the oven and adds a rich smoky flavor.
  3. Add salt and pepper. DON'T add the herbs of Province yet, we have to wait until the roasting process is completed, because it burns under this high heat.
  4. Using a sharp knife, cut ¼ from the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic. Drizzle a couple teaspoons of olive oil over the head. Cover the bulb with aluminum foil.
  5. Spread the vegetables on in the baking dish in a single layer. This is very important so the vegetables roast instead of steaming.
  6. Place the baking sheet and the garlic in the preheated oven. Cook for 50 minutes to 1.5 hours. Every 20 minutes, stir them to help the roasted vegetables brown evenly and keep them from burning.
  7. The moment the roasting is done, take the pan out of the oven, stir in the herbs of Provence, salt, and pepper to taste while it hot.
  8. Allow the garlic to cool, using your fingers pull or squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins, mash it with a fork, then add it to the vegetables and combine.
  9. In a medium size pan over high heat, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water that contains enough ice water to cover a number of tomatoes you need to peel. Carve a shallow X in the bottom (blossom end) of each tomato. Working in batches of four, drop the tomatoes into the boiling water, a few at a time, for 45 to 60 seconds. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the ice-water bath for 3 to 5 minute. Once cooled, transfer the use your fingers or a paring knife to peel back the tomato skins.
  10. Chop all the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces, toss them with some good olive oil, herb of Provence, fresh ground pepper, and sea salt. Roast the tomatoes in the oven for 1 to 2 hours a with cup of olive oil.
  11. Transfer the vegetables and the tomatoes into a container, and wait until it reaches room temperature then cover and leave overnight in the fridge to let the flavors develop - even for a couple of days. DON'T skip this step.
  12. let your imagination run wild with endless possibilities with this side dish - you can pile the ratatouille on a baked puff pastry dough or fillo dough, or on toasted brioche as canapes, or serve them as a side dish, or use them in lasagna.
Notes
A shallow baking dish or pan that is no more than 1 to 2 inches deep is perfect for roasting to allow the heat to circulate efficiently.
3.5.3208

 

The post Roasted Vegetable Ratatouille appeared first on Chef Rachida.

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Chocolate mousse or mousse au chocolat! It is divine. This traditional chocolate mousse with CRÈME ANGLAISE is just as velvety and delicious,  your guests will be impressed! It is a luxurious and chocolate-rich dessert with very little effort.

CRÈME ANGLAISE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE - YouTube

 

INGREDIENTS

60 grams (3 mediun)  egg yolks

150 ml whole milk

150 ml heavy cream

450 grams dark or milk chocolate

450 ml whipped heavy creamy

Directions CRÈME ANGLAISE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

Break and separate the eggs, one at a time, making sure that no yolk gets in the whites. I usually pour the whites into freezer silicone containers, and freeze.

In a small, heavy saucepan, heat cream and milk until it starts bubbling.  You don’t need to bring it up to a full boil.

 

Whisk together egg yolks until smooth. Slowly pour 1/4 cup of hot cream / milk mixture into egg yolks while whisking constantly.

Gradually add egg yolk mixture back to remaining cream / milk mixture while whisking constantly.

Continue to cook – DON’T STOP WHISKING. The custard should be thick enough to nap the spoon and leave a clear path when your finger is drawn down its center. The temperature would be around 185 °F / 85  °C.  Remove it from the heat, and quickly pour it through the sieve.

Add the chocolate to the strained custard, and use a whisk to stir the chocolate until it is completely melted and smooth.

Keep whisking, you may use an immersion blender to speed up the process until the temperature reaches 95 °F / 35  °C.

Pour the cold heavy whipping cream (450 ml) into a large bowl (or a mixer), and whisk using a large whisk for approximately 3–5 minutes, until the cream reaches the soft peak stage.

With a large whisk or spatula, fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Keep gently folding until well combined.

Pipe or spoon mixture into serving bowls. Immediately refrigerate until completely chilled or overnight.

Note

I use all kind of containers to serve the chocolate mousse: edible chocolate dessert cups, regular glass, espresso cups, silicone molds, and martini glasses topped with more whipped cream and shaved chocolate or custom chocolate mold design.

I brush the inside of the silicone molds twice (two coats), if the chocolate is correctly tempered the first coat dries in a minute.  If not put them in the freezer to firm up. Fill each shell with the chocolate mousse, and freeze.

You can refrigerated and airtight the chocolate mousse no more than 3 days. You can also freeze up to one month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and gently fold to re-fluff before serving it again.

 

 

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
CRÈME ANGLAISE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
Author: Chef Rachida
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Prep time:  45 mins
Cook time:  20 mins
Total time:  1 hour 5 mins
Serves: 12
 
60 grams (3 mediun) egg yolks 150 ml whole milk 150 ml heavy cream 450 grams dark or milk chocolate 450 ml whipped heavy creamy
Ingredients
  • 60 grams (3 medium) egg yolks
  • 150 ml whole milk
  • 150 ml heavy cream
  • 450 grams dark or milk chocolate
  • 450 ml whipped heavy creamy
Instructions
  1. Break and separate the eggs, one at a time, making sure that no yolk gets in the whites. I usually pour the whites into freezer silicone containers, and freeze.
  2. In a small, heavy saucepan, heat cream and milk until it starts bubbling. You don't need to bring up to a full boil.
  3. Whisk together egg yolks until smooth. Slowly pour ¼ cup of hot cream /milk mixture into egg yolks while whisking constantly.
  4. Gradually add egg yolk mixture back to remaining cream / milk mixture while whisking constantly.
  5. Continue to cook - DON'T STOP WHISKING.
  6. The custard should be thick enough to nap the spoon and leave a clear path when your finger is drawn down its center. The temperature would be around 185 °F / 85 °C. Remove it from the heat, and quickly pour it through the sieve.
  7. Add the chocolate to the strained custard, and use a whisk to stir the chocolate until it completely melted and smooth.
  8. Keep whisking, you may use an immersion blender to speed up the process until the temperature reaches 95 °F / 35 °C.
  9. Pour the heavy whipping cream (450 ml) into a large bowl (or a mixer), and whisk using a large whisk for approximately 3–5 minutes, until the cream reaches the soft peak stage.
  10. With a large whisk or spatula, fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Keep gently folding until well combined.
  11. Pipe or spoon mixture into serving bowls. Immediately refrigerate until completely chilled or overnight.
Notes
You can refrigerated and airtight the chocolate no more than 3 days. You can also freeze it up to one month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and gently fold to re-fluff before serving it again.
3.5.3208

The post CRÈME ANGLAISE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE appeared first on Chef Rachida.

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