Dacquoises glacées aux saveurs de chocolat, noix et poire.

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A light biscuit dacquoise refreshed with pear and ice-cream. A French sweet plate announcing Autumn…well end of Summer…ok, the end of mid-Summer. No, we won’t have snow tomorrow, but it seems we’ve passed the peak of heat. Let’s celebrate with a little baked dessert.

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Walnut flavored mini-muffin sized dacquoises.

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Aren’t they fluffy ? The dacquoise is really great, that’s the macaron in less heavy.

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Soft-serve version of the brownie ice-cream. That would look nicer with fully frozen ice-cream but there was not enough time.

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Des poires pour la soif. Pears for thirst is a French old saying.

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This is a cake in parts…

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Sanma

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A grilled fish lunch.

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Sanma (mackerel pike) is one of my preferred Japanese fish. Ideal for Summer.

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Too long for my oven-toaster, I cut them. I simply empty, rinse, sprinkle natural salt and grill shio-yaki.

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Summer kabocha pumpkin. I cut slices, steamed them till 3/4 cooked and grilled with the fish. Rice and white cucumber (salted, let 15 minutes, rinsed) are the other savory sides.

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Dessert : Mango ice cream (frozen mango + coconut cream in the blender, frozen again).

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So simple walnut brownie ice cream

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It’s addictive… I already made it 3 times.
The idea of this delight is not from me. It’s from the shop. Walnut brownie…mmmm…. ice cream…mmm. I had to try that.
Actually, it lacked flavor of chocolate, there was nearly no bits of walnut. Names are always mouth watering but I find most commercial ice creams disappointingly bland, mostly fat and sweet. So I made mine.

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Super easy :
Slice and freeze 2 small bananas. Place them in a blender with 3 tbs of good unsweetened cocoa, a pinch of instant coffee a 1/3 cup of water. Blend it into a cream. Mix in a handful of walnuts broken in big pieces.

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Pour in 3 cups. You can eat them immediately if you like soft cream type.

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Cover with a film and place in the freezer at least one hour and your have an ice-cream texture.
And you can really feel the chocolate and walnut brownie melting in your mouth. The banana flavor is extremely light, it simply brings sweetness and enhances the nuances of the cocoa.

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Power azuki fro-yo, ready in 1 minute

A refreshing post work-out drink. Frozen yogurt with a Japanese flavor.

In the blender :

1/2 cup frozen boiled azuki beans (unsweetened)
1/2 cup yogurt
a few ice-cubes
1 scoop protein powder (unflavored)
honey or sweetener to taste

Eat immediately ! Mmmmm….

Nougat glacé aux noix et au miel

Walnut honey nougat ice-cream.

With raspberry coulis. Sweet and sour. That’s one of my favorite party dessert. I made some for the 13 desserts of Christmas and I had a few servings left. It is ice-cream so it can be stored in the freezer very conveniently.

The classic nougat is made of egg white, honey, roast nuts. This version is a honey Italian meringue, mixed with whipped cream. It is enriched by walnuts bits in caramel, a little Grand-Marnier soaked raisins and mandarin orange peel and grated lemon zest.

Then in the freezer, in a mold.

Crack… the bits of caramel nut stay deliciously crunchy. It really has the honey meringue flavor of nougat. And the citrus hints of Grand-Marnier.

The unsweetened raspberry sauce is a little sour. I didn’t add any sugar, on purpose. That makes a great contrast with the nougat.

Retro Christmas (3) : Les 13 desserts

That’s a tradition of Provence to conclude the meal with a symbolic number of desserts, often 13. The Thirteen Desserts.

I don’t have one photo with all of them.

This one. But what can you see ?
Well, you will believe me, I displayed and ate the 13 types.

And that doesn’t matter. That’s the game of superstitions. 13 like the Christ and Apostles some say, and for Christmas that makes sense. Or not. But in some families, they had only 12 or 7. Others would eat 7 dishes. And you needed 3 table clothes and 2 candles. Not everybody agrees, but everybody disagrees.
Then let the leftovers should be left on the table overnight, so the angels can come to eat their share during the night. Isn’t that a cute excuse for not cleaning ?

Very recently some kind of “official” lists of desserts have been published. They are all false. Each family has its truth.

Most have :

-La pompe à l’huile (a sort of sweet fougasse)
-Les 4 mendiants, reference to 4 orders of monks and the color of their clothes (almonds, figs, raisins, walnuts or hazelnuts or…)
-Le nougat blanc, le nougat noir (white and black nougat)
-Dates, a fruit symbol of the origine of Christ
-Pears, apples. Oranges, fresh melon, fresh grapes could be available in certain places in the South. They had techniques to preserve the last fresh melon and white grapes.
-Fruit sweets : candied fruits, jam, pâte de fruit, calisson…
-spiced hot wine

That was for 19th Century and all that was luxury for them. Now that looks like the bottom of our pantry. We should count as one of our blessings to have such an availability of sweets.
More sophisticated desserts are very recent and the dainty sweets of Christmas markets were for the princes.

So my list :

-Fresh fruits : 1.pear 2.apple 3.raspberries 4. mandarin oranges
-Dry fruits : 5. prune 6.raisin 7.apples (that I dried)
-Nuts : 8. walnuts 9.chestnuts
-Baked : 10. biscotti 11.mince pies 12. pompe à l’huile

13th : iced nougat

Nougat glacé. That’s my 21th century white nougat.

If you put an almond in a fig, you get a “poor man’s nougat”. So let’s say with the walnut that makes my black nougat.

Christmas biscotti and “convenient” mince pies made with all leftovers (dough, marinated fruits, egg yolk) and baked in a corner of oven. Of course, these 2 don’t exist in traditional Provence.

La pompe à l’huile closes the parade.

It should be broken, not cut otherwise you bring bad luck for the year.
The name means “oil pump” because it is a bread enriched with olive oil. It is flavored with orange blossom water. Today mine is made of the buckwheat dough with these 2 additions and cane sugar.

And it “pumps” the “sauce” of desserts (or hot wine).
One serving is not too decadent :