This cake is incredibly melty and will delight chestnut lovers. It’s a specialty from Ardeche, in the south-east of France. Amateurs would even prefer it flourless which makes it a great gluten-free option. The recipe is about 6-7 minutes of preparation. So quick and easy for a so delicious homemade desert. I love it served with a warm chocolate sauce on the side.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Mix the chestnut spread, melted butter, flour (optional), egg yolks, salt and pure vanilla extract. Whisk the egg whites until firm peaks. Add to the preparation and mix gently. Pour the mixture in a greased springform pan. Cook for 45 minutes.
Coconut bites (“Congolais”) The coconut bites were one of my favorite treat as a child. And I still think it’s really enjoyable. The recipe is extremely simple and quick. A homemade 4 o’clock in just a minute. I tried to use a pastry bag to shape the bites but the texture is really thick. It might work if you have a big tip. Otherwise, just have fun – with or without kids – shaping them with hands.
Ingredients (for 18 coconut bites):
150g/5,3oz grated coconut
3 egg whites
Directions: Preheat the oven to 200°C/390°F Mix all the ingredients together. – Optional: Christophe Felder, French pastry chef, recommends to cook the ingredients for 10 minutes in a bain-marie before cooking in the oven. It reduces the oven cooking time and help keeping the cake’s heart more tender. – Make some small pyramids and shape the bites as you like. Place them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Cook for 15 minutes.
Fall rimes with pumpkin and chestnuts. And the Halloween star is also a cooking favorite. Sweet or savory, it is delightful. As the cold is back, this soup recipe is very comforting. Hope you’ll enjoy it!
Confit pumpkin and chestnut soup
450g/1lb pre-cooked chestnut
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons of olive oil
salt and pepper
1 pinch of nutmeg powder
roasted squash seeds
Preheat the oven to 150°C/350°F.
Remove the pumpkin skin if necessary (you don’t need to if it’s young and organic). Cut the pumpkin in half. Take the seeds out. Cut in thin slices. Peel and slice the garlic. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the pumpkin slices on it and insert the garlic. Spray the olive oil. Cook for 40 minutes, turning the pumpkin over halfway through.
Boil 1 liter/US liquid quart of water. In a bowl, mix the pumpkin, garlic, chestnuts and boiling water. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg powder.
Serve with a teaspoon of cream on top and sprinkle some roasted squash seeds.
Financier cakes are lovely little rectangular cakes for tea time. It’s usually made with whisked egg whites. But running out of eggs and having tofu, I tried this variation replacing the eggs by soft tofu and so reducing the fat too. Result : a good low-fat option for sweet spongy cakes with the inconvenient of having to be consumed quickly (within the day is better) to keep a nice texture. The ordinal recipe can be kept longer.
Green tea (matcha) financier cakes – egg-free
200g/7oz soft tofu
150g/5,3oz icing sugar
50g/1,8oz all-purpose flour
80g/2,8oz almond powder
1 teaspoon of green tea powder (matcha)
1 pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
In a robot, mix the soft tofu, almond powder , flour, tea matcha and salt. Melt the butter and add it to the preparation. Mix again.
Pour the preparation in financier mold – I use silicon mold so I don’t need to grease it.
White mushrooms, also called champignons de Paris in France, have an important place in French gastronomy. Very few of them are now grown in Paris and I’ve met one of the last mushroom grower in Paris, Angel Moioli. He’s surely distributing some of the best mushrooms around here, including healthy Shiitake. If you have the opportunity to pass by someday, here is the address where you can buy directly the mushrooms from the farm : at the crossing of avenue Général de Gaulle avenue and rue Jean Macé, 78360 Montesson.