Pavlova is a dessert, named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who toured Australia and New Zealand in 1926. It is a meringue dessert with crisp crust and soft light inside, topped with cream and fresh berries.
You can make meringue shells ahead of time and freeze them. I usually make the cream the same day I want to serve my Mini Pavlova. And as always this dessert is a perfect mini dessert for my Cafe Gourmand.
I rarely use food coloring when baking. I like my desserts to have their original color. But if you are cooking for Valentine's Day or for a Princess party, you may add some food coloring to your dessert. This time I used one tiny drop of red coloring to make the cream pink.
Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles is one delicacy that no one can refuse. The roasted hazelnut compliments the rich cacao powder. Store the truffles in container in the fridge for up to 5 days, but they will disappear from the fridge a lot faster, trust me on this.
Chocolat Hazelnut Truffles
If you don't have hazelnuts, feel free to use almonds, cashews, walnuts or any other nuts you like. Just don't forget to roast them in the oven before making the truffles. Fresh nuts taste way better.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the nuts in an even layer on the baking sheet, and roast it for 10-15 minutes. Stirring every 3 minutes. Check the nuts. You are looking for the color to be a few shades darker. When the nuts are browned and smell nutty, remove from the oven and transfer onto a plate. Cool it and clean from the flakes. I like my truffles extra tiny, so I cut each hazelnut in half. You don't have to cut them if you are making large truffles.
Bring the heavy cream to a boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips. Wait 1-2 minutes until chocolate melts.
Whisk until smooth. Place it in the frizzer for about 2 hours, until firm enough to roll.
Use a teaspoon or small cookie scoop to portion the ganache, hide one hazelnut inside each piece, roll the balls between hands, until smooth and place on a plate.
Very light, fluffy and tasty French cookies. Classic small sponge cakes shaped like seashell, usually made with lemon zest. I love lemon, but I decided not to add any to my madeleines. I just like them plain.
You can find molds for mini-madeleines. That’s really nice and you can savor them for a cafe gourmand.
To make an authentic madeleine, you will need a madeleine pan. But you can use a muffin pan or any cake pan.
In a medium bowl combine eggs and sugar. Whip until light. Add milk and mix well.
Carefully fold in the flour, baking powder and pinch of salt.
Add melted butter and mix throughly until smooth. Let the batter rest in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter madeleine pan. My pan makes 12 cookies at a time. From this receipe you'll make 24 cookies.
Spoon batter into the prepared molds, filling 3/4 full. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges are golden and the tops spring back. Remove the madeleines from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes.
With a knife or fork carefully loosen the madeleines from the pan and then tip the whole pan out to a prepared plate.
If you want to make it in a loaf pan, it will take much longer, about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake come out clean.
Absolutely amazing what a little cream, a little sugar and couple of eggs can turn into…. Perfect restaurant quality dessert. A rich custard topped with a hard layer of caramel. This Vanilla creme brulee is very easy to make if you follow all the steps correctly.
It will perfectly complete your cafe gourmand if the crème brûlée is served in small ramekins.
Use vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean, if you don't have vanilla bean. You could add 2 Tbsp. of rum into the cream if desired. If you don't own a blow torch, you can always use your broiler as well. You will need to move the top rack in your oven up as high as it will go.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape the seeds into the cream. In a medium bowl, combine together sugar, eggs yolks, vanilla and whisk.
Add the cream a little at a time and stir. Remove the scum with a tea spoon.
Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and pour it into the ramekins. Divide cream mixture among ramekins (about 6 ramekins).
Arrange the ramekins in a baking pan with deep sides. And carefully pour water around ramekins so that the water level must reach about 2/3 of the ramekins.
Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. You will know its ready when the custard is wobbly and jiggle from side to side when nudged (it looks like jello).
Remove the custard from the water bath and let cool completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 hours (overnight).
Before serving, cover each cold creme brulee evenly with sugar (1 tsp).
Caramelize using a propane torch.
If you don't have one propane torch, use the broiler: put the oven rack about 6 inches away from the broiler. Place the custards on the baking sheet and broil for about 3-5 minutes, or until sugar bubbles and turns golden brown. (Keep a close eye on them, they can burn quickly)
Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate… Each layer has different taste and texture. You can use any size glasses you desire. And of course, as always, I choose mini portions. Ideal for a Cafe Gourmand.
Only 2 ingredients are needed to prepare this delicious French chocolate mousse. No dairy products and no sugar added; all you need is dark chocolate and eggs. So simple and so tasty! The only downside is that you should allocate about 4 hours to chill the mousse before serving.
In small individual glasses, the chocolate mousse will be perfect for a cafe gourmand!
French Chocolate Mousse
Use very fresh eggs and do not refrigerate the mousse for more than 24 hours. I recommend keeping the mousse in the freezer if it needs to be stored for an extended period of time.
Melt chocolate in a microwave (or use a double boiler) until the chocolate is completely melted. If you use a microwave: put the chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl, microwave for 25 seconds, then stir. Microwave for 25 more seconds and stir again. Continue microwaving and stirring until the chocolate is liquid, smooth, and shiny.
Separate egg yolks from the egg whites. Add egg yolks in melted chocolate and mix well.
Whisk egg whites with salt until stiff.
Carefully fold the egg whites into chocolate using a spatula.
You should have a smooth and fluffy mousse.
Divide the mousse among individual glasses. Refrigerate your dessert for 4-6 hours.
Profiteroles – French cream puffs filled with vanilla ice cream and topped with chocolate sauce. Chocolate sauce on this profiteroles is the “live jazz”. Don’t let the long recipe scare you, it is very easy and worth all the time involved. It is a great dessert you can impress your family and friends with.
Profiteroles With Vanilla Ice Cream And Chocolate Sauce
For chocolate lovers, use chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla.
Preheat oven to 390 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium pot, add water, butter and salt. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat.
Add sifted flour and mix well.
Mix until the dough comes away from the walls and forms into a ball.
Add the eggs, one by one and mix well. (If the eggs are large, use only 3 eggs.)
The dough should become smooth and shiny. Return saucepan back on the heat and keep mixing for about 30-50 seconds, to dry out the moisture. Remove from the heat.
Transfer the dough to a piping bag to pipe specific shapes (size of the walnut is the best). Space the puffs slightly apart on the baking sheet, because the dough will rise.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until the puffs are puffed and golden brown in color. Do not open the oven while baking. Remove from the oven, let it cool completely and carefully transfer to a flat surface.
Cut puffs in half. Place one small scoop of ice cream ball on the bottom of each puff.
Replace the top. As soon as you done, place them in the freezer, until they are ready to be served.
In a small, saucepan bring milk to boil, remove from the heat and pour the liquid over the chocolate. Allow it to sit for 1 minute.
Mix it until the mixture is smooth.
Remove the profiteroles from the freezer. Arrange 3 puffs per plate. Drizzle each serving with chocolate sauce and Voilà! 😉 Bon appetite.
Treat yourself with this mini dessert that is perfect for any occasion. It takes minimum time to make and looks fabulous. Fruits can be fresh or frozen, don’t worry : it will taste the same. This fresh whipped cream with blackberries will be perfect with a cafe gourmand!
Fresh whipped cream with blackberries
The proportion for this recipe is for the mini glasses. If you are using regular wine glasses you'll get 2-3 servings.
Мacarons (Macarons au chocolat) – elegant french cookie made with almond flour. There are hundreds of different fillings, but the chocolate ganache is the most popular. This recipe is simple enough to make, but they sometimes crack or have imperfect “feet”. Don’t worry they’re still delicious, and don’t give up, only practice will make them flawless.
French Chocolate Macarons
Please don't eat your macarons right away, wait until they reach ambient temperature. Macarons can be stored in the refrigerator for 5 days. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.
Mix almond flour and powdered sugar in food processor (40-50 seconds).
Add cacao powder to almond mixture and pass through a fine sieve.
Add a pinch of salt to egg whites and beat until foamy.
Slowly add sugar and beat until firm peaks form.
Fold the dry mixture into the meringue, keep folding the batter until it reaches a honey-like consistency.
Transfer the batter to the pastry bag.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. To make all macarons look the same size, print out a 2.5 cm macaron template, place under parchment paper and trace the outlines. You can also use a silicone mat.
Holding the bag vertically and close to the baking sheet, pipe circles. Tap the baking sheet a few times on the counter to release any air bubbles, and to make them look round. Let them sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes, until skin forms on the shells.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 12-13 minutes (one sheet at a time). Each oven temperature is different so keep an eye on them. Allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheet before removing them. Pair the cookies up according to size.
Add heavy cream to a small saucepan and heat on high heat. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips. Allow to stand for 1 minute to soften the chocolate.
Stir briskly until smooth.
Add the sour cream and stir again.
Transfer ganache to the pastry bag or small ziplock bag. Allow to cool for about 2 hours at room temperature or 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Pipe the ganache filling in the middle of one shell (about 1 tsp).
Sandwich it with empty shell. Store them in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours before serving. They'll taste even better next day. 😉