Puff Pastry Apple Tart

Very simple puff pastry apple tart recipe with minimum ingredients and maximum flavor. You don’t even need a mold for it. Sour apples work the best. I use brown sugar, it gives the apples that caramelized taste. Can be served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or cold with some powdered sugar on top.

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Puff pastry apple tart
Taste first your apples, then add more or less sugar to make tart perfect to your taste.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
servings
Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 380 degrees F. Place the dough on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Poke all over with a fork.
  2. Peel the apples, core and cut into wedges. Slice the wedges thinly and arrange the slices on the pastry, overlapping as you go. Dot apple slices with butter.
  3. Fold the edges of the pastry.
  4. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the pastry is golden and apples are tender.

Normandy Apple Pie

My version of Normandy Apple Pie, with calvados and sour cream, of course.

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Normandy Apple Pie
Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
servings
Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 380 degrees F. Thaw one sheet of puff pastry until room temperature. Roll the pastry dough into circle and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Prick with a fork.
  2. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
  3. Peel the apples and cut them in half through the stem. Remove the stems and slice the apples cross wide in very thin slices. Add lemon juice.
  4. Arrange the apples slices in an overlapping spiral pattern.
  5. In a medium bowl beat the eggs with sugar. Add calvados, sour cream and almond powder, mix well.
  6. Pour the mixture over the apples.
  7. Bake for another 15 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and keep baking for 30 more minutes until golden.
  9. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan. Transfer to serving plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Green Tomatoes Jam

Don’t know what to do with the left-over green tomatoes from your summer harvest? Jam, of course! This recipe is extremely easy. Try it for breakfast, on top of bread, or as an appetizer with some cheese.

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Green Tomatoes Jam
For this recipe, I like to use green cherries tomatoes, so that they don't need to be peeled. However, if your tomatoes are big and have thick skin, you may need to peel them.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Passive Time 10 hours
Servings
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Passive Time 10 hours
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cut the tomatoes into wedges. Peel and grate the ginger, and press the lemon.
  2. In a pot, combine the tomatoes, sugar, ginger, and lemon juice. Cover and let sit all night.
  3. The next day, remove the cover and bring to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and simmer for about 35 minutes, stirring frequently. Skim if needed. The cooking time depends of how much water is in the tomatoes. Don't over cook. When the jam is cooled down, it will be less liquid.
  4. Pour the jam into a clean jar and cover it with its lid.

Russian Apple Cake Sharlotka

Apple Sharlotka cake is one of the most popular desserts that each Russian kid will remember from their childhood. The recipe is so simple that you don’t even need to write it down. It will be very easy to remember once you’ve made it: 3 apples, 3 eggs, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of flour. That’s it, enjoy!


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Russian Apple Cake Sharlotka

If the apples are too sweet, sprinkle with freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Course Dessert

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes

Servings
servings


Ingredients

Course Dessert

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes

Servings
servings


Ingredients


Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 370 degrees F. Grease and flour a round cake pan or line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

  2. Wash, peel and dice apples into 1-inch pieces. Lay out the diced apples on the bottom of the pan.

  3. Using a mixer beat eggs with sugar, until its two times in volume. Using a spatula carefully fold in sifted flour. Pour the batter over the apples.

  4. Bake for about 45 minutes or until а toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Once the cake cools off a little, transfer to plate.

  5. Dust it with powdered sugar before serving.

Easy Madeleines

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.

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Madeleines
To make an authentic madeleine, you will need a madeleine pan. But you can use a muffin pan or any cake pan.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 15 minutes
Servings
pieces
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 15 minutes
Servings
pieces
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl combine eggs and sugar. Whip until light. Add milk and mix well.
  2. Carefully fold in the flour, baking powder and pinch of salt.
  3. Add melted butter and mix throughly until smooth. Let the batter rest in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. With a knife or fork carefully loosen the madeleines from the pan and then tip the whole pan out to a prepared plate.
  7. 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.

Berry Charlotte Cake

This is a famous French dessert made of ladyfinger biscuits, light mousse and topped with fresh fruits. My Berry Charlotte Cake is very easy to make, although it seems like not. The only downside to a charlotte is that it is not always easy to assemble the ladyfinger in the spring form.

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Berry Charlotte Cake
Even though the berry season is only a few months out of the year, frozen berries allow us enjoying the sweet taste of summer year round. If it is winter time or you happen to not finding any good berries at the store, use frozen ones, for the mousse and fresh ones for the decor.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Passive Time 6 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
For decoration
Course Dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Passive Time 6 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
For decoration
Instructions
  1. Rinse and drain berries, add sugar and puree until smooth.
  2. Pass the puree through a fine sieve, to remove all tiny seeds.
  3. You will need about 1/2 cup of puree for dipping the ladyfingers. The rest pour into the saucepan.
  4. Add 4-5 Tbsp of cold water to gelatin, and set it aside.
  5. Place the saucepan with berry mixture over medium heat on the stove (don't boil), remove from the stove and add gelatin. Whisk well until the gelatin is dissolved. Let it cool to room temperature. ...
  6. Pour the very cold heavy whipping cream into a large bowl and whisk, until the cream reaches the soft peaks stage. Do not over beat!
  7. Once the berry puree is completely at room temperature, gently fold it into the whipped cream and set it aside.
  8. Line the inside and walls of a springform pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap. ...
  9. Measure the length you need.
  10. You can trim off one end of each ladyfinger.
  11. Dip one side of the ladyfinger in the puree mixture. Let the excess syrup drip off, then line the ladyfingers (dipped side needs to be inside) in a tight ring, cut side down, around the spring form pan.
  12. If you having trouble fitting the last ladyfinger in, you can cut it in half.
  13. Pour the berry mousse into the springform. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
  14. Carefully remove springform walls and plastic wrap. Transfer cake to the plate.
  15. Dust with cocoa powder.
  16. Garnish with some fresh berries, fresh mint, whipped cream and shredded chocolate.
  17. You can decorate with ribbon, but don't forget to remove the ribbon before cutting the cake. 🙂

Vanilla Creme Brulee

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.

Look at this short video on a creme brulee “drama”! 🙂

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Vanilla Crème brûlée
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.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Passive Time 6 hours
Servings
servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Passive Time 6 hours
Servings
servings
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. Add the cream a little at a time and stir. Remove the scum with a tea spoon.
  3. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and pour it into the ramekins. Divide cream mixture among ramekins (about 6 ramekins).
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. Remove the custard from the water bath and let cool completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 hours (overnight).
  7. 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)
Recipe Notes

With remaining eggs white, you could make some Coconut cookies.

Pâte brisée Pie shell

Shortbread dough is very popular when making quiche, pie, tart and tartelettes. You’ll be amazed how easy it is to make this unsweetened pie shell. It turns out light, crumbly, crunchy and deliciously buttery. After trying making this recipe you will never go back to store-bought crust again.

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Pâte brisée Pie shell
Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap, then freeze. It can last up to 3 months.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl or on the clean table surface combine salt and flour together. Add chunks of softened butter.
  2. Use finger to combine until crumbly.
  3. Add egg yolks and start to knead the dough, only add as much water as dough needs. Do not over-knead.
  4. Shape into a ball.
  5. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 380°F. Unwrap dough and roll into a thin circle between two pieces of parchment paper.
  7. Fit dough into a tart pan, press firmly on bottom and sides. Trim any extra dough. Pick all over with a fork.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until pie shell is lightly golden.

Three Layer Chocolate Mousse

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.

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Three layer chocolate mousse
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Passive Time 6 hours
Servings
serving
Ingredients
Dark chocolate ganache
Milk chocolate mousse
White chocolate mousse
For garnishing
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Passive Time 6 hours
Servings
serving
Ingredients
Dark chocolate ganache
Milk chocolate mousse
White chocolate mousse
For garnishing
Instructions
Dark chocolate ganache
  1. In a small pan, boil the heavy whipping cream. Pour the boiling cream over the dark chocolate. Wait for one minute and mix it until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Divide dark chocolate ganache among six glasses. Refrigerate for one hour.
Milk chocolate mousse
  1. Separate egg yolks from the egg whites.
  2. Melt milk chocolate in microwave until the chocolate is completely melted. Add egg yolks in melted chocolate and mix well.
  3. Whisk egg whites with salt until stiff.
  4. Carefully fold in the egg whites into chocolate.
  5. Remove glasses from the fridge, spoon the mousse over the chocolate gonache and chill for another hour.
White chocolate mousse
  1. Bring the heavy whipping cream to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the white chocolate. Wait 1-2 minutes until white chocolate melts.
  2. Whisk until smooth. Place white chocolate in the fridge for about 45 minutes. Chocolate should chill completely but at the same time still liquid.
  3. Beat the chilled chocolate until soft foam.
  4. Using piping bag or small spoon, spread the mousse into the glasses.
  5. Refrigerate your dessert for 4-6 hours.
  6. Before serving, garnish each glass with fresh berries. If the portion is mini, you can cut raspberries into 2 pieces.

Mini Pavlova

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.

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Mini Pavlova
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.
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Meringue
Cream
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Meringue
Cream
Instructions
Meringue
  1. Using mixer, begin beating your egg whites and salt on a low speed, steadily increasing up to medium high.
  2. While beating on a medium speed, slowly add the confectioner's sugar, about 1-2 Tbsp at a time. Once all the sugar is added, keep beating until the egg whites hold stiff peaks.
  3. Preheat oven to 230 degrees F. Draw circles of approximately 4-8 cm diameter (you can use a pint glass as a guide) on each of the parchment lined sheets.
  4. Spoon meringue into piping bag, fitted with 3/4 inch tip. Pipe meringue to cover circles on prepared baking sheet. Pipe two more rings of meringues on top of outer edge to form walls of Pavlovas.
  5. Bake in center of oven until dry and crisp, about 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Turn off the oven and let the meringues completely cool in the oven. Once cooled, you can top them with whipped cream and berries.
Filling
  1. With mixer, beat together very cold heavy cream and mascarpone cheese, until whipped gradually adding sugar. Add food coloring. Don't overbeat the cream, or you will end up with butter.
  2. Spoon cream into piping bag.
  3. Right before serving, pipe frosting on the pavlovas and top with fresh berries.
  4. If you have some leftovers cream, you can pipe it into a small glass and garnish with some fresh berries.
Recipe Notes

Pease don't waste your egg yolks, you can always make Creme brûlée.

 

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