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.

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.

 

Quick Almond Cake

This is very unique recipe. All you have to do is whisk all the ingredients together in the mixer bowl for 1-2 minutes, bake for 30 minutes and voilà, you can enjoy the cake with your favorite cup of tea.

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Quick Almond Cake
You can use any cake pan you like or have. My favorite one is loaf pan, and I usually make it without the almonds on top. Easy to cut and easy to pack for lunch or picnic.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 380 degrees F. Grease a cake pan.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk all the ingredients together until combined.
  3. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan. You can sprinkle with almonds if desire.
  4. Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Remove your cake from the oven and allow it to cool. Transfer to a plater. Dust it with powdered sugar before serving.

Easy Madeleines

Very light, fluffy and tasty French cookies.  I’m not sure if anything beats these madeleines, but I’m very positive that nothing beats a fresh homemade one. 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.
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