Pavlova with Coconut Yoghurt, Chia Seeds and Fresh Summer Fruits

Pavlova with Coconut Yoghurt, Chia Seeds and Fresh Summer Fruits

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Ingredients:

  • 4 egg whites (approx. 60 eggs)
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 3 teaspoon cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 5 fresh lychees
  • 1 ripe mango
  • ½ punnet raspberries
  • ½ punnet blackberries
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 4 figs
  • 1 container coconut yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon lavender flowers (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven at 150°C (300°F)
  2. Place your egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until soft peak.
  3. Slowly add the sugar and beat until the mixture is glossy and all the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Sift the cornflour over the meringue, add the vinegar and fold through.
  5. Tranfer the meringue into a 18cm round baking dish lined with non stick baking paper.
  6. Place in the oven, reduce the heat to 120°C (250°F), and bake for 1 hour. Then turn the oven off but leave the meringue in until it has cooled down.
  7. Place the meringue on a serving tray and top with the coconut yoghurt, chia seeds and fresh fruit!

Bon Appétit

Le Fermier

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France Culinary Travel Diary – La Dordogne (Part 2)

Le Fermier

France Culinary Travel Diary – La Dordogne (Part 2)

There’s so much so say about this department of France that I simply couldn’t squeeze it all into one installment. If you’re not the market faring kind but want to sample the Dordogne’s bounty of famous produce, then visiting one of its countless restaurants is a must.

By no means do you need to dine in the most fancy establishments to eat well either, as when the produce is local and seasonal even the more humble restaurants can serve a quality meal without breaking your budget.

That being said, if you are in the Trémolat area and can justify treating yourself to a Michelin star meal (you only live once!), then I highly, highly recommend you making a booking at Le Vieux Logis. A boutique hotel and gourmet restaurant belonging to the acclaimed Relais-Châteaux group, you can enjoy a degustation dinner with matching wine for €115 or there’s an à la carte menu to choose from. The food is beautifully presented and tastes exquisite, and the service is faultless but personable.

20150502_200831   Confit Salmon in walnut oil

20150502_201833Green asparagus topped with Crab and Fennel

20150502_211922Quercy lamb with broad beans, “ail des ours”  and Pistou

20150502_204921Grilled Turbo, oyster “Meunière” and Foie Gras

20150502_222644“Gariguettes” strawberries, meringue and violette chantilly

20150502_225029Amuse Bouche with our coffees

As delicious as the dining is at Le Vieux Logis, my favourite place to eat in the Dordogne doesn’t have a Michelin star, nor is it fine dining. It’s a rustic, family run restaurant in the charming town of Cadouin, called Le Restaurant de L’Abbaye, and I know the food is great because this happens to be where I completed my cooking apprenticeship! Every meal starts with their house specialty Tourin à l’ail (garlic soup), their menu is full of country classics like magret de canard, foie gras, and salade perigourdine and their mousse au chocolat is a guilty pleasure I treat myself to every time I visit. If you’re travelling in the summer months, a booking is essential.

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As a special treat, the head chef of the Restaurant de L’Abbaye has kindly agreed to share the recipes for both his garlic soup and chocolate mousse. Look out for them on the blog in the coming days!

My top Dordogne picks:

  • Le Vieux Logis -Le Bourg 24510 Trémolat 1 Michelin star
  • Restaurant de L’Abbaye – Place de L’Abbaye 24480 Cadouin
  • Chez Julien 24510 Paunat
  • Chez le Gaulois 9 rue Tourny 24200 Sarlat-la-Canéda

Christmas Eve Dinner “à la Française”: Part 3

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Classic Bûche de Noël

Ingredients for the Génoise (sponge):

  •  4 eggs
  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 125 g plain flour

Method:

  1.  Preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius (392 F ).
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together until it triple in size. The mixture should be light and fluffy.
  3. Sieve the flour. Slowly fold in the flour with the egg/sugar mix using a rubber spatula. Make sure you scrape the side and bottom of the bowl and that all the flour is mixed through.
  4. Line a flat baking tray with greaseproof paper and evenly spread the mixture on the tray.
  5. Bake for about 12 minutes, until golden on top. Once cooked put the sponge on a cooling rack and leave to cool.

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Ingredient for the “ Crème au Beurre” (butter cream):

  •  4 egg whites
  • 130 ml water
  • 400 g caster sugar
  • 440 unsalted butter

Method:

  1.  Put the sugar and water in a medium size saucepan and cook to 118 degrees Celsius (244.4 F).
  2. Start whisking the white on medium speed when the sugar reaches 110 degrees Celsius (230 F). When the sugar is ready, slowly poor it over the white and whisk on high speed until cooled down (almost room temperature).
  3. Add the butter little bit a the time while whisking, make sure the meringue has cooled down enough before you add the butter, otherwise it will split and turn into a soup!
  4. Once you’ve added the butter, whisk for a couple of minutes and keep aside.

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For the sugar syrup:

  •  200 g caster sugar
  • 200 ml water
  • 30 ml rum

Method:

  1. Bring the sugar, water and rum to the boil in a medium saucepan.
  2. Place the sponge on the bench. Using a pastry brush slightly wet the sponge with the sugar syrup.
  3. Using a pallet knife evenly spread the “Crème au Beurre”. Sprinkle shaved coconut and finely grated white chocolate on top. Roll the sponge on itself, make sure you roll it tightly to avoid it from collapsing later on!
  4. Cut a piece of cardboard half the width of the “Bûche”, wrap it in foil and place it under the Christmas cake.
  5. Using a pallet knife evenly spread the “Crème au Beurre” on top and around the sponge.
  6. Take the Bûche out of the fridge 30 minutes before dessert time!

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With this delicious Christmas dessert I recommend a chateau Chateau “Coutet” Sauternes-Barsac 2006 available from www.airoldifinewines.com.au

 

Lemon and Meringue Tart

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Lemon Meringue Tart is such a beautiful dessert. The acidity of the lemon and the sweetness of the Italian meringue balance each other beautifully. In this recipe I use home grown lemons which I think make a different, as they are sweeter and free of any chemicals. This tantalising tart used to be my reason for going to the market back in the village I grew up in, in France; going to the patisserie stall to get one of those delicious treats was very exciting every time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Sweet Pastry:

–          140 g caster sugar

–          160 g beurre

–          400 g plain flour

–          2 whole eggs

Method : Dice the butter into small pieces and put it into the mixer • Add the sugar and mix until well combined • Add the egg one by one then add the flour, mixing until combined • Do not over mix the dough • Put the dough on the bench and flatten it a little. This will make it easier to roll later • Wrap it in glad wrap and put in the fridge for 1 ½ hours • Take it out and let  the dough come to room temperature • Flour your bench and roll the dough to about 2-3 millimetres • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees • Carefully put the dough in the tart tray, put a layer of baking paper over it and pour rice over it making sure it goes all around the sides (alternatively you can use pie weights if you have them) to prevent the sides from falling during the cooking. This process is called blind baking • The reason we are blind baking the pastry is because we are not cooking the mix as it is already cook • Cook for about 4 minutes or until the sides colour a little bit, take the baking paper off and bake for a further 1 minute • Once the pasty has cooled down, fill it with the lemon curd to about 2 millimetres of the top.

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Lemon Curd:

–          140 ml lemon juice

–          150 g butter

–          2 lemon zest

–          10 eggs

–          450 g sugar

Method: Juice and zest the lemon and pour it into a pot • Add the butter and cook on medium heat until melted • Add half the sugar and whisk • Whisk the eggs and add the rest of the sugar • Whisk for a minute then add to the lemon and butter mix • One the mix starts bubbling, cook on medium heat for about 5-6 minutes while whisking • Once cooked, pour into a clean bowl and whisk to cool down once every few minutes.

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Italian meringue

–          2 egg whites

–          200 g caster sugar

Method : Put the sugar in a sauce pan with a little bit of water, just enough to melt the sugar • Whisk the egg white on medium speed • Using a cooking thermometer, once at 118 degrees, slowly pour the sugar in the egg whites while whisking • Once the sugar is all in, whisk on full speed until cooled. Spread the meringue on top of the tart using a spatula or a pipping bag with a nozzle • Blow torch the meringue lightly to give it a bit of colour.

Ready to serve

Bon Appetit