April 18, 2013

Pistachio frangipane tartelettes with tonka bean scented dark chocolate pastry cream and port wine poached sour cherries

Sour cherries? Oh, of course it is no season yet, I got these from my freezer, besides it is almost impossible to find these in Switzerland. It is always good to do a sort of spring cleaning in the freezer to make place for the upcoming rich vegetable season. Right? But now let's see those tartelettes! Sour cherries were born to be flavoured with tonka bean and if you get some dark chocolate to this pairing, you will be in heaven! I trust it might work almost equally gorgeous with cherries. And the pistachio frangipane is not only there to give an extra texture and taste. I am pretty sure that without that layer the composition wouldn't work. I am kind of addicted to these flavors. Therefore it would be awesome if someone would come over and put a huge lock on the fridge's door!


makes 15 á 10 cm tartelettes

for the dough:
250 g flour
100 g butter, softened
100 g icing sugar
2 eggs
pinch of salt

for the pistachio frangipane:
100 g butter, softened
100 g icing sugar
70 g ground pistachios
30 g ground almond
1 egg
10 g cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

for the dark chocolate pastry cream:
250 ml milk
100 ml whipping cream
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoons flour
100 g dark chocolate
1/2 freshly grated tonka bean

for the port wine poaches sour cherries:
150 g pitted sour cherries (i used frozen one)
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons port wine

you will also need:
coarsly chopped pistachios
white chocolate for decoration

Sift flour into a bowl, then pour it onto a working surface and make a well. Put in the icing sugar, butter and salt. Mix together with your fingertips until it becomes slightly grainy. Make a well again and add the eggs. Work it together with the flour mixture, until the dough begins to get togeher. Knead it quickly together so you get a smooth dough. Form a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours before using. After that roll out and cover baking forms with the dough, prick with a fork.

Place butter, sugar, ground almonds, ground pistachios into a bowl and mix together until smooth. Add egg, vanilla extract and mix well, sift cornstarch over it and mix until it is well combined. Put about 1 1/2 teaspoons of the batter onto the prepared tart shells and chill for 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 180°C and bake tartelettes shells for 10-15 minutes. Let it cool completly on a wrack.

For the dark chocolate pastry cream bring milk and whipping cream with the freshly grated tonka bean to the boil. In the meantime beat egg yolks with sugar until plate, add flour, conrstarch and combine well. While stirring constantly pour hot milk-cream mixture into the whisked egg yolks. Put it back to the stove and over low cook it until it thickens, while stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the previously over bain-marie melted dark chocolate. Sprinkle some icing sugar on top, that will prevent it from forming a skin and let it cool. Chill cream for a few hours or better to make it the day before.

Bring sour cherries together with the sugar and port wine to the boil, then remove from the heat and let it cool. Sieve and set aside until needed.

Once the tartelettes are cool, pipe cream on top in any shape you desire, top with sour cherries and decorate with melted white chocolate and coarsly chopped pistachios.

April 16, 2013

Spinach-goat cream cheese quiche with spring greens and sorrel

Well, now it is "official": I love spinach. Okay, I am still only falling for baby spinach, but who cares for such a tiny detail, spinach is spinach after all. I wanted something light for lunch today, also something that is preapred easily and can be eaten outside. Spinach quiche with goat cheese seemed to be perfect. So I took my camera, a good book and I spent almost the whole afternoon enjoying the sunshine, listening to birds singing. Once in a while we all need a little break, right?


for 6 quiche á 12 cm

for the pastry:
250 g flour
150 g soft butter, cut into pieces
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon salt

for the filling:
150 g goat cream cheese
100 g ground mature goat cheese or pecorino
1/4 teaspoon butter
150 g spinach
1 shallot
1 clove garlic
3 egg yolks
150 ml cream

Put flour into a bowl, add butter, salt and egg and start to work everything together with your fingertips, until it starts to form crumbs. Then add water and knead a smooth dough. Chill for an hour. Any leftover can be stored in the fridge for a week or frozen for up to 3 months.

Melt butter in saucepan, satuee diced onion, add sliced garlic and spinach and keep on stirring util the spinach is wilted. Press out any excess liquid from the spinach. Puree spinach with cream cheese, cream egg yolks. Stir in cheese and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cover quiche forms with the pastry pour filling into it and bake for 10-15 minutes.

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