Smoked Salmon Puffs

These irresistible little puffs are filled with a delicate cream made of smoked salmon. Excellent as an appetizer with a glass of Champagne!

Ces petits choux dorés sont fourrés à la mousse très délicate au saumon fumé. Ils sont tout simplement irrésistibles. A servir avec du champagne lors d’une occasion spéciale.

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Smoked Salmon Puffs
Course Appetizers
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings
small puffs
Ingredients
Dough
Salmon filling
Course Appetizers
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings
small puffs
Ingredients
Dough
Salmon filling
Instructions
Dough
  1. Preheat oven to 390 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a pot, add water, butter and salt. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat.
  2. Add flour and mix well, until the dough comes away from the walls and forms into a ball.
  3. Add the eggs one by one. Stir well. The dough should become smooth and shiny.
  4. Place saucepan back on the heat and keep mixing for about 30-50 seconds, to dry out the moisture. Remove from the heat.
  5. Transfer the dough to a piping bag.
  6. Pipe puffs (no bigger than a walnut). Space the puffs on the baking sheet, because the dough will rise.
  7. Lightly brush the top of puffs with egg yolk.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the puffs are puffed and golden brown in color. Do not open the oven while baking. Remove from the oven, let them cool down completely and carefully transfer to a flat surface.
Smoked salmon filling
  1. In a food processor, combine the smoked salmon with the onion, garlic, sour cream and olive oil. Process until smooth.
  2. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Mix once more.
  3. Whip heavy cream, until soft peaks form.
  4. Gently fold in salmon mix into the whipped cream. Add the minced fresh dill.
  5. Cut puffs in half. Transfer the filling to a pastry bag and fill the puffs. Replace the top.
  6. Dust puffs with paprika. Serve right away or keep in the refrigerator.

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.

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.

French Chocolate Macarons

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.

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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.
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 26 minutes
Passive Time 8 hours
Servings
macarons
Ingredients
Almond cookies
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 26 minutes
Passive Time 8 hours
Servings
macarons
Ingredients
Almond cookies
Instructions
Almond cookies
  1. Mix almond flour and powdered sugar in food processor (40-50 seconds).
  2. Add cacao powder to almond mixture and pass through a fine sieve.
  3. Add a pinch of salt to egg whites and beat until foamy.
  4. Slowly add sugar and beat until firm peaks form.
  5. Fold the dry mixture into the meringue, keep folding the batter until it reaches a honey-like consistency.
  6. Transfer the batter to the pastry bag.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
Chocolate ganache
  1. 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.
  2. Stir briskly until smooth.
  3. Add the sour cream and stir again.
  4. 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.
  5. Pipe the ganache filling in the middle of one shell (about 1 tsp).
  6. Sandwich it with empty shell. Store them in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours before serving. They'll taste even better next day. 😉
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