My oven is no more. Last week as I was recipe testing, I noticed that the thermostat light did not go off to indicate the oven had reached the right temperature. I also noticed that my food was either coloring too quickly or not cooking well at all. We looked into getting it repaired, but ultimately decided on buying a new one, which is exciting because it’s really pretty! It’ll be installed on Thursday and I can hardly wait!
But what to do when it’s Friday and you want to make a nice dessert for the family?! My solution came to me in the form of French (OK, English too!) inspiration: a beautiful trifle made with French madeleines, cherries, sweetened cream and dark chocolate!
Enjoy and have a delicious weekend!
PS: Oh, and I think this will make a great Valentine’s Day dessert, too! Should you want to make your own madeleines, check out my recipe here.
French Madeleine & Cherry Trifle
- 100ml crème fraîche d’Isigny
- 2 sachet vanilla sugar (8g)
- 125ml cream
- 1 small jar cherries in syrup, drained (you will need 4 tbsps of the syrup and 6 tbsps of the cherries)
- 6 Bonne Maman madeleines, chopped (I chopped each one into 8 pieces)
- dark chocolate
Put the crème fraîche in a bowl and loosen it with a fork. Whip the cream with the vanilla sugar until stiff. Fold the whipped cream through the crème fraîche. Place the chopped madeleines in a shallow dish and drizzle with the 4 tbsps of cherry syrup. To assemble the dessert, place a layer of madeleine bits in each glass. Top with 1 tbsp of cherries and half of the cream. Grate in some dark chocolate and repeat with one more layer, ending with the grated chocolate.
In France, the gâteau au yaourt is a true classic and part of the repertoire of all home cooks. There’s a wonderful simplicity about this cake. Even children and the most novice of cooks can make it with excellent results. All of the main ingredients are weighed with a pot of yogurt, hence the name. But the charm of this beautiful yogurt cake is in its tender crumb and versatility. You can flavor it with citrus zest, stir in some fruit or serve it with Nutella or jam. A Twitter friend, Jeremie, suggested stirring in blackberries, assuring me it would be a “taste of heaven”.
Though the cake is suitable for almost all occasions, I like to serve it with tea, on pretty plates with a dollop of crème fraîche, fresh strawberries and perhaps a few shavings of dark chocolate.
By the way, you can replace the yogurt with sour cream, Greek yogurt or even crème fraîche. All would work beautifully in this cake.
Happy weekend and enjoy!
Note: Check the 20 minutes into the baking time to make sure the cake is not getting to brown. Should that be the case, cover with aluminum foil.
Gâteau au Yaourt
- 1 pot of yogurt (125 g)
- 2 pots of all-purpose flour
- 2 pots of sugar
- 2 tsps baking powder
- 3 eggs
- ¾ pot sunflower oil
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- zest of 1 organic lemon
Preheat oven to 190° C. Lightly grease a 20 cm springform tin, and dust the sides with flour. In a large bowl whisk all of the ingredients until thoroughly mixed and the batter is smooth and satiny. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool on a rack before unmolding.
Though they’re available year-round, there’s nothing as delightful as seasonal strawberries. The kind that have had plenty of sunlight and time to grow, and certainly not the imported, golf ball-sized, pale ones you see in plastic boxes at the supermarket in the dead of winter! From the middle of May until approximately the end of July, the beautifully sweet aroma of seasonal Dutch strawberries perfumes many farmers’ markets in the country, enticing all those who walk by to purchase at least a few baskets – one to eat while walking around the stalls, and the rest to take home. It’s best to use them as soon as possible after purchase though; strawberries do not like to sit around for long, especially in a cold refrigerator which will completely ruin their delicate taste and scent.
Looking through old files is a good thing. Perhaps somewhat akin to looking through photo albums in the good ol’ days, except that back then, you didn’t shoot 800 plus photos during a one-week vacation, but two rolls of film at most. Every now and then hubby nags me to clean up my files, and sometimes, when I find myself with a little time on my hands, I follow his advice and do just that. I suppose that’s not a bad piece of advice, considering that I can take an almost obscene amount of pictures when shooting food!