Category Archives: France

~mousse au chocolat~

This quick mousse is as delicious as the other and just as quick! In this mousse there are simply 2 ingredients – chocolate and eggs.


The quantities of chocolate and eggs can be varied depending on how many you’re making for –

For 5 little dishes use 150g chocolate (dark or milk) with 1 and 1/2 tbsps water and 3 eggs, for 10 little dishes use 300g chocolate with 3 tbsps water and 6 eggs.


How to: Break the chocolate into small pieces, melt it with the water in a clean bowl over a pan of simmering water -make sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Leave to cool a little. Separate the eggs and whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl unitl they form stiff peaks. Add the yolks, 1 at a time to the cooled chocolate and beat together until well combined. Finally gently fold in the egg whites and divide among your serving dishes. Chill for about 3 hours before serving.


These little chocolate pots can also be frozen for up to 1 month!


Filed under chocolate, Christmas, Dessert, France, no-bake

~ Chocolate and red wine cake ~

This is a recipe slightly adapted from ”Décors et recettes de Noêl – traditions d’Alsace” which I recently got my hands on!

Also called Gateau au vin rouge or Roewin un Mûesbollekûeche, it’s a deliciously easy and moist chocolate cake perfect for freezing and defrosting later when needed.


It’s another of my favourite – “mix everything together and bake” recipes and is really simple and tasty.

The red wine doesn’t give a strong taste, it’s very subtle and the chocolate vermicelli means that the chocolate is evenly dispersed and doesn’t sink to the bottom!



110g Sugar

200g soft butter

200g plain flour

1Tbsp cocoa powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 sachet of baking powder

100ml red wine

4 eggs

100g chocolate vermicelli

How to:  Put everything into the processor and whiz until you have a smooth cake mixture.

Pour the mixture into a grease proof paper lined cake tin, I used a circular 20cm tin but it’s also often made in loaf tins.  Bake at 180°c for 1 hour then test with a skewer to check if it is fully baked. When the skewer pulls out clean, remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

As with all chocolate cakes this one can be decorated with any kind of icing. It’s not a very sweet cake so the touch of icing on the top is a little extra. It’s also delicious served with cream or custard.

CIMG5175 - Copie

Wrap well and freeze when cool (un-iced) if there is too much or it’s been made in advance.


Filed under Alsace, cakes, chocolate, Christmas, Dessert, France

~schankala 2013~

It’s almost carnival time so I made these traditional Alsatian Schankala this morning.


The recipe is the same as last year and can be found here on ~lovely buns~


Delicious bite sized doughnutty pieces!

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Filed under Alsace, biscuits/cookies, cakes, France

~galette des rois 2013~

This year I made a galette filled with a mixture of frangipane and soft apple pieces.


Pretty similar to the traditional galette des rois but with less almond paste and lots of apple!

Ingredients (for 6 big people):

2 rounds of puff pastry or about 500g of puff pastry

80 g ground almonds

80 g sugar

1 large egg

80 g of butter

2 tablespoonfuls of créme fraîche or natural yoghurt

3 apples, peeled, cored and cubed

1 egg yolk to brush onto pastry before baking

A lucky charm (a figurine, a fève) to hide inside the cake

How to : Place 1 pastry round on the baking sheet and prick all over with a fork. Sauté the apples in a little butter and a tbsp of brown sugar until softish. Leave to cool. Meanwhile mix all the other ingredients (almond powder, sugar, egg, butter, créme) together in the processor or in a bowl until you’ve got a thick paste. Mix the apples into the paste then spread the mixture over the pastry circle, leaving about a 2cm gap between the mixture and the edge of the pastry. Position the charm somewhere in the mixture – preferably towards the edge of the circle to minimize the chances of finding it when cutting the cake later.

Paint round the pastry edge with warm water, lay the second pastry circle on top and press the edges together well. Use a knife to gently score the pastry which will leave a nice pattern when baked. Paint the top pastry with beaten egg to ensure the cake is glossy when it comes out of the oven.  Finally, to avoid the cake swelling up or drying out, pierce a small hole in the center to allow air to escape. I read somewhere that the galette should then be chilled for 20 mins or so before being put in the hot oven as the sudden temperature change makes the puff pastry rise more evenly, so I put mine in the fridge and then baked it at 210 ° C for approximately 25 minutes (check the cake after 20 mins, but don’t hesitate to leave it for up to 35 mins if necessary). It can be eaten warm or cold, on its own or with ice-cream, with a cup of tea or a glass of wine…



Filed under Alsace, cakes, Dessert, France

~chocolate fondant dessert~

Rich, hot and chocolaty – the perfect prepare-ahead dessert for a cold day!

This is a Gordon Ramsey recipe and although I don’t make these very often, this is the fail-safe recipe I always go to when I need a fancy chocolate dessert!

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Filed under cakes, chocolate, Dessert, France

~apple compote~

This quick apple compote, or apple sauce, is great for using up apples!

It’s extremely easy to make and it can be sweetened just as you like it!

The above photo makes it look like there are chunks of apple in the compote, but there aren’t – it’s deliciously smooth and thick!

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Filed under France, fruity, no-bake, vegetarian

~langues de chat~

These lovely thin biscuits are perfect for nibbling!

Golden, crunchy and not too sweet.

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Filed under biscuits/cookies, Dessert, France

~chocolate mousse~

This is a very easy, quick chocolate mousse!

Delicious served with thin vanilla biscuits like langues de chat.

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Filed under chocolate, Dessert, France, no-bake, vegetarian

~grated carrot side salad~

This is a lovely juicy side dish.

Nothing difficult about this one!

Grate about 500g carrots or as much as you think you’ll eat!

In a jug mix the following and whisk together with a fork –

1tsp mustard

1tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp veg. oil

1 tbsp olive oil

1tsp runny honey

salt and pepper to season

optional : a handful of raisins soaked in orange juice

Pour over the grated carrots – the aim is not to soak the carrots, more to glaze them with the dressing. Add raisins if using and chill in the fridge until ready to eat. Bump up the quantities as required.

It’s even better the following day after the carrots have softened.

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Filed under France, no-bake, salads, vegetarian

~almond cake with fresh raspberry center~

This is a really fresh moist cake made with almonds and raspberries.

It’s juicy and the slight tartness of the raspberries sets off the almonds brilliantly.

It’s a wonderful one-bowl recipe and after making it more than a dozen times, has always given great results!

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Filed under cakes, Dessert, France, fruity, tarts

~alsatian apple cake~

This apple cakes makes a nice change from apple tart and is very quick to make. I found the recipe in an Alsatian cook book “Kougelhopf & Cie”. It’s made in a tart tin or a cake tin (dia 23cm)  so it’s wide and flat – like a tart.

Like all my favourite cakes, this one is quickly made, without any fussy creaming or 101 steps!

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Filed under Alsace, cakes, France

~chunky coconut macaroons~

Coconut macaroons, umm so simple and scrumptious!

In Alsace these beauties are found in every picturesque village, usually right at the front of the pâtisserie window. Sometimes they have a selection of 7 or 8 flavours ranging from chocolate to pistachio to rum and raisin.

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Filed under Alsace, biscuits/cookies, cakes, France

~left over ricotta and juicy lemon cake~

This lemon ricotta cake is deliciously lemony !

It’s fairly big and dense, nothing airy about it and it’s the perfect way to use up that forgotten tub of ricotta!  There’s no cheesy taste at all, the ricotta simply makes it moist.

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Filed under Alsace, cakes, Dessert, France

~schankala.. is that a swear word?~

Like so many other countries, France has its Mardi Gras traditions and each region in France has its own interpretation. Naturally something tasty, like these schankalas, is involved!

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Filed under Alsace, cakes, France

galette des rois – twelfth night cake with raving rabbit !

Christmas may be over but the French are still eating cakes and mine has a raving rabbit in it!

At this time of the year, all over France the bakers windows are filled with their famous « Galette des Rois »  or  Twelfth Night cakes which are basically puff pastry pies stuffed with a frangipane filling – all nice and flaky and almondy, uumm. The name explains it doesn’t it – round about the twelfth day of Christmas, (Epiphany)  the wise men visited Jesus and according to tradition, the galette des rois, was to “draw the kings” to the Epiphany.  And so this day is celebrated by eating cake. What’s new? It’s Epiphany on the 6th January and galette is eaten on this day and at both weekends surrounding the 6th. No chance of missing it then!

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Filed under Alsace, cakes, Christmas, France

Manala, mannele, männele- little fluffy bread (brioche) men for Saint Nicolas on Dec 6th

Manala, mannele, männele  –  same thing, it just depends which part of Alsace you come from, how you spell the Alsatian for the  « wee man » eaten on December 5th and 6th.

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Filed under Alsace, bread/brioche, Christmas, France