La chinoise, the mythical brioche from the East

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Chinois, it’s Chinese people, it’s over-complicated language, that’s it, just this cake.

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Te recipe is secret… Even myself, I don’t know what I put in it.

another chinois
Yes, that changes each time.

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Yum….

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Left over make over

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A meal to empty the fridge around a big piece : a roast of white sweet corn. OK, that’s not a Christmas dinner. The idea was to use all the parts of veggies I had around before going shopping for fresher produce.

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White cucumbers, salted. Rinsed after 20 minutes. They are juicy like melon.

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A chilled kabocha and sesame soup. It’s deliciously creamy.

DSC06932-002 I had used the flesh of steamed kabocha for a salad. The skin is edible. So I used it in the soup.
I’ve added sesame seeds, miso, green chili, yellow paprika. Blended.

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Boiled green soy beans and romanesco were in the freezer. Simply with yuzu lemon and chili flakes.

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Grated daikon, goji berries, cashew nuts and black pepper.

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I steamed the corn cob, then grilled in the oven toaster.

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Galette des noix. My pie is a nutcase.

You knew French 3 Kings’ cake, la galette des rois . Here it’s the galette des… noix. Noix are nuts. It went a little crazy.

It was going to look like that. Something like this :

galette des rois au chocolat

But it would be filled with a classic crème d’amande. It became that :

MDR (ROFL).

It’s made like a crème d’amande but…

It’s a crème with two nuts, cashew nuts and a few walnuts. Both are infinitely cheaper than almonds, and just as good.

Then… a mistake : not waiting enough to chill the filling. Bref, the crème was runny, no way to properly seal the pie.

Then… oops, the fève (token) is not inside : forgot it !
Bref, that was too late.

Then… the pie burst in the oven.
Bref, some filling leaked.

Then… the runaway filling fell in the bottom of the oven, burnt and made tons of smoke, the cooking sheet started burning.
Bref, the whole city of Osaka was totally burnt.

Then… the pie was not burnt at all.
Bref, the monster survived the tragedy and came to scare guests on the table.

Then…1/3 of the pie wedges had no filling ! And no king, no queen, no quiing, this year.
Bref, we are all losers (yes, everybody picked one of the damned wedges).

Then… we’ve eaten the good wedges after that.
Bref, we’ll be super-fatty losers.

Besides, for 2/3 of it : it’s perfect. Great fun, great dessert.

The quick baker’s compil’

SAVORY

Grits’in corn bread

Fava beans and pesto cakes
Pounti (herb and prune peasant cake)
Express sesame buns
Cake salé au fromage et aux piments jalapeños

SWEET


Mikan orange cake

Quatre-Quarts, the simple butter cake
Saint-Nicolas Nonnettes (mikan stuffed ginger bread muffins)
Banana breads with nuts
Gâteau au pamplemousse – Grapefruit cake
“Hattaiko flour” cake
Millas (raisin corn bread)
Softy apple banana muffins (not on the photo)

And (click here) many variations of ok’cakes (soy fiber okara cakes).

Let’s finish with the lemony buckwheat soda bread (special post here).

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 :

Iced spicy Silvana

This is crispy, nutty, spicy and iced. Pure bliss ice-cream sand.
This is a free interpretation variation of Silvana cakes from the Philippines.

Silvana is the little sister of Mr Sans-Rival, the big dacquoise cake. So it is the same base of cashew dacquoise as here.
The only differences are the smaller size (like a cookie) and the addition of a good amount of curcuma powder to the batter.

The dacquoises were then opened in the middle, like muffins.

They dried and become crispy around after 2 days.

Coriander, anise, cardamom cream cheese ice cream. I have added the spices slightly crushed to some bought ice-cream, which is not too fat nor sweet.