Sun dried tomatoes, feta, bacon and olive cake

In my article Courgettes and goat cheese cake, I gave the basic recipe for cakes and some ideas of different things you can add to the basic batter. I wanted to try a new one and made this sun-dried tomatoes, feta, bacon and olive cake. It was absolutely delicious.
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Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 45 minutes
Servings: 4-6
Level: Easy

Equipment: large bowl, measuring glass, cake tin, oven

Ingredients:
– 150 g flour
– 125 mL milk
– 100 g grated emmental
– 3 eggs
– 1 sachet of baking powder
– 80 mL olive oil
– sun-dried tomatoes
– black olives
– diced bacon (lardons)
– 50 g feta
– salt, pepper, oregano

Cook the dices of bacon in a pan and reserve.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and eggs. Add milk and oil. Mix until it is homogeneous.
Then add the emmental, tomatoes, feta, olives and bacon. Add salt, pepper, herbs.
Pour in the tin and cook in the oven at 180° for 45 minutes.
Let it cool down before eating.

Can be eaten cold or hot. Can be kept in the fridge several days.
Nice with a salad.

Sarah Bernhardt Cakes

These nice bites will delight you for tea time or after lunch with coffee. I have no credit for the recipe which I found on Mimi Thorisson’s blog Manger. I let you discover the recipe there! This blog is absolutey wonderful and the photos are gorgeous.

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These small cakes are delicious and very practical because you keep them in the freezer. So you can prepare them in advance and have them ready in case you have guests (or if you just want to treat yourself!) I made a box of them a few days ago and it is all gone already. My family loved them!

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Peach clafouti

Now that I am back in France, I am cooking a lot for my family. Today I baked these delicious peach clafoutis in individual ramekins for my brother and my sister. It is very quick to prepare but it has to cook for 40 minutes. I love the sweet and soft texture of the clafouti with the fruits.

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Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 40 minutes
Servings: 3 ramekins
Level: Easy
Cost: Cheap

Equipment: oven dish (like pyrex dish), bowl

Ingredients:
– 2 peaches
– 10g butter + some for the dish
– 30g flour
–  25g sugar
– 1 egg
– 75 mL milk

Optional:
– almond flakes
– vanilla sugar

Preheat oven at 180ºC
Peel and cut the peaches in quarters. Spread butter in the ramekins and spread the peaches; it must cover all the surface (I like it with a lot of fruits!)
Then whisk the egg and sugar. Add the flour, a pinch of salt. Add the melted butted, then the milk. Stir well. The batter is very liquid.
Pour the batter in the ramekins.
You can add some sugar and almonds on top.
Cook in the oven for 40 minutes.
Let cool down a bit before serving.

Notes:
– you can do it a big dish. In that case do 3 or 4 times the proportions. The proportions given here have a lot of fruits and little cream.
– you can do with other fruits. The original clafouti recipe is with cherries but it also works well with apricots or plums.

Apricot clafouti

Apricot clafouti

Apple crumble

After doing this recipe for a dinner with friends, they begged me to post it, so here it is. This is actually a super easy and good recipe, not to heavy after a dinner (there is fruit you know. Well with a little bit of butter…)
This recipe is one of my favourite and a classic: my mother has been making it since I am a child. And as a kid, I loved to prepare the crust (of course, when you mix it with your hands, it is much more fun than with a spoon!)

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Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Level: Easy
Cost: Cheap

Equipment: oven dish (like pyrex dish), bowl

Ingredients:
– 8 apples
– 100g butter
– 100g flour
– 100g sugar
note: quantities are a bit random and I often add some flour or sugar while making the crust until I get the right texture, and according to how sweet or crispy I want the crust to be. You can also increase or decrease the quantities if you want a thicker or thinner crust.

Peel and cut the apples. Put them directly in the oven dish. You can spread some sugar or cinnamon on top.
Prepare the crust: Pour the flour and sugar in the bowl and add the butter in cubes. With your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour and sugar until you have a mixture that resembles coarse breadcrumbs with no large lumps of butter remaining. Add some sugar or flour if needed.
Then spread the crust on top of the fruits and bake for about 20 minutes in the oven until the crust is crispy and golden. During the cooking, apple cook and caramelize nicely.

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Notes:
– Best way to eat it is warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream
– Apples are often a basis but you can mix fruits: apple and red berries, apple and plums, apple and peach, apple and pear (the one on the photos!), pear and chocolate, etc. Be imaginative! But usually it is better to still put some apple because they don’t get completely liquid when cooked.
– This cake requires a plate and a spoon to be eaten!

Enjoy!

Veal aubergines and mozzarella millefeuille

Continuing the Italian series, here is an other recipe I like to make, even though I haven’t made it for a while. So I didn’t make last week but I once tried something similar in an Italian restaurant and I created this recipe.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Servings: 2
Level: Easy
Cost: Medium

Equipment: pan, oven, oven dish

Ingredients:
– 1 aubergine
– 2 cutlets of cushion of veal
– mozzarella
– olive oil
– mixed herbs

Slice the aubergine in the length. Cook them in an oiled pan. Reserve.
Cook slightly the veal in a pan (not too much otherwise it will become super dry in the oven!)

In an oven dish, put two large slices of aubergine (they must be more or less the size of the veal cutlets), put a veal cutlet on top of each (in fact I don’t remember if I put the aubergine or the veal first but it doesn’t really matter). Then add slices of mozzarella on top.
Put in the oven for 5 minutes for the mozzarella to melt (use the grill)

Serve immediately with mixed vegetables (courgettes, aubergines) or with pasta (with fresh tomato sauce)

The most amazing French Tarte Tatin

At the beginning of the year (the blog had not been created yet), I made a tarte tatin for friends and they keep asking me for the recipe. So here it is!
It is adapted from a recipe found on the blog “le palais des délices” (the blog is in French but you can have a look at the article, the photos are gorgeous!). It takes a very long time but the result is absolutely amazing and it is definitely worth it!

And it is not so difficult to bake!

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Preparation: 30 minutes
Resting: 30 minutes
Cooking: 50 minutes + 30 minutes
Servings: 8
Level: Medium

Equipment: oven, round 24cm diameter cake tin, large bowl, rolling pin, pot

Ingredients:
– 1,5 kg apples (about 8-10 big apples, slightly sweet that are good for cooking, like boskoop or Reinette du Canada)
– 130 g salted butter
– 200 g sugar
– ground cinnamon

For the pastry
– 200 g flour
– 100 g butter at the room temperature
– very cold water

1) Prepare the pastry

Here is the recipe

Pour the flour in the bowl and add the butter in cubes. With your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until you have a mixture that resembles coarse breadcrumbs with no large lumps of butter remaining. Then add some water and mix to form a dough. Be careful, it must not be sticky nor dry.
Wrap it in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge while preparing the rest.

2) The apples and the caramel

Peel and cut the apples into quarters. Reserve.

In a sauce pan, put the butter in dice and the sugar. Let caramelize at medium heat. Very important for a good caramel: you do nothing! don’t try to stir your caramel with a wooden spoon. Just leave it. You can just very gently move your pan to spead the sugar in the butter but very gently and only once when the butter is melted.
When it has a nice golden color it is ready. (don’t let it become to brown, that would mean it is burnt)
Pour it into your cake tin.

Then add the apples. Be careful there is a very specific way to arrange them. You have to put the quarters vertical and as tight as possible: there must be almost no space between the apples.

Then cook them in the oven for 50 minutes. After half the time, cover with foil.
(you can after 15 minutes turn the apples but that is optional)
After 50 minutes the apples must be really soft.
Let cool down completely before assembling.

3) Assembling!

Take your pastry and spread it using a rolling pin.
Then put it over your apples and make sure it is entirely covered. Fold the edges around the apples on the side.
Pierce some small holes with a fork.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
When it is ready, get it out of the oven and let cool down.

It is very important that you do not turn it out of the tin in advance, because the pastry would lost its crisp.

4) Serving

Just before serving you can reheat in the oven if you prepared it in advanced (it is better when it is a bit hot). Then turn it out of the tin. Be careful, because the liquid caramel spreads on top, so go for a very large plate with edges if possible.
Then enjoy alone or with vanilla ice cream or with fresh cream (best one is “crème fraîche d’Isigny”)

This tarte tatin is mind blowing! (if you have a lot of time and want to impress your guests, definitely go for it!)

Advice: do not plan a too big dinner before serving this dessert, it is quite filling!

Almond and pear quick cake

The advantage with cakes is that since you put only good things in them, you do not take much risk creating new recipes or improvising on quantities! (Well it depends… My beloved siblings sometimes come up with surprising tastes and mixtures! But it is always worth trying)

Inspired from two of my recipes: Yoghurt cake and Financier, here is the recipe of the cake I made for a friend’s birthday and after exam treat!

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Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Servings: 6-8
Level: Easy
Cost: cheap!
Equipment: bowl, cake tin, oven

Ingredients: (1 measure = 1 volume of yoghurt)
– 1 yoghurt
– about 1/2 measure of honey (or 1 measure sugar)
– 1 1/2 measures of flour
– 100g of ground almonds
– 1/2 measure of melted butter About 100g
– 3 eggs
– 1 sachet baking powder
– 3 pears, peeled, diced

In a bowl, pour the yoghurt and keep the pot to use as a measure. Add the eggs and mix.
Add honey baking powder, almond and flour, mix. Add the butter and pears, mix.
Pour in a cake tin and cook in the oven at 180°C for about 20 minutes (to test whether it is ready, put a knife in the cake: it is ready if the knife remains dry)

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Note: you can decorate the cake with flaked almonds (to spread before cooking)