Spring is here, and there’s nothing better than gathering a few friends together for a casual get together with some canapés and cocktails featuring the fresh produce of the season mini stuffed tomato with olive tapenade, asparagus with parma ham and parmesan cheese are a few of my favourites that start popping up in April and May with the first bloom of Spring.
How to Make a Tantalising Crudité Platter
Crudités are a superb choice as this is a fun, colourful, healthy and tantalising appetiser. Creating an attractive platter can be challenging, but with a bit of advice, you can create one which your guests are sure to love.
Are you hosting a party in the near future? If it’s true, then you will want to dazzle your guests with some tasty dishes, but knowing what to serve is tricky. A crudité platter is an excellent choice for an appetiser as it can look fantastic and is incredibly healthy.
It’s a platter that consists of raw vegetables that you cut into small pieces or served whole. It often includes celery sticks, cucumber sticks, carrot sticks, broccoli, bell pepper strips and fennel. They are then dipped in a vinaigrette or similar dipping sauce. In addition to being very healthy, crudités can also look amazing with so many bold colours and different shapes.
To make a platter that will satisfy your guests, it is important that you use a wide range of vegetables – four or more is ideal. Try using what is currently in season for the freshest taste and select vegetables that are bright in colour to make it visually appealing. In addition to vegetables listed above, consider throwing in a few of these alternative types:
It is wise to purchase the vegetables on the day of the party or perhaps the night before. This ensures that they are fresh, bright and flavoursome. If you are unable to purchase them on the same date, ensure you follow the storage instructions to keep them fresh. On the day, do not cut the vegetables earlier than a few hours before the party to retain their freshness. When cutting, try experimenting with different shapes to add variety and texture to the platter.
In addition to vegetables, make your platter stand out by adding some meat or cheese (first ask if any of your guests is a vegetarian). You could also serve bread on the side to make the dish slightly more filling. When it comes to assembling the dish, try to be creative and arrange the vegetables in different ways to make it aesthetically pleasing. Alternatively, you could arrange by colour for a neat and tidy look.
Mother’s Day is just around the corner and I know that the strawberry cake is always the girls & lady’s favourite cake.
Baking a cake for your mum or your wife is always the best present you can do for Mother’s day celebration. However. if you don’t have any knowledge on how to bake one, just buy one!
This fresh strawberry cake is perfect for any holiday, but it’s also perfect to celebrate any Spring and summer day
My recipe is very easy to make for anybody with a little knowledge of baking. This strawberry and cream sponge cake is essentially a French light genoise sponge cake filled with fresh strawberries, vanilla chantilly cream and fresh strawberry coulis (optional) The making of the French genoise cake is not as daunting as most people might think, all you have to do is to follow a few simple sponge cake making tips outlined below and watch your cake rise as light as a feather.
The french genoise recipe
For the génoise sponge
250g/9oz caster sugar
8 medium free-range eggs
250g/9oz plain flour
50g/1¾oz butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 180C/185c Fan/Gas 4. Grease and line two 22cm/9in round cake tins.
For the génoise sponge, place the sugar and eggs into a large bowl and whisk with an electric whisk until thick and pale.
Gently fold in the flour and melted butter until smooth.
Bake for 30–40 minutes, or until the cakes are risen and springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
method to build the cake
1/ Place a 20-22cm/8-10in stainless steel ring onto the flan case and use it to cut through, discarding the outer rim of sponge. Cut the flan in half horizontally so you end up with two thin layers.
2/Place the steel ring onto a large, flat serving plate. Place one of the sponge layers inside and press down lightly.
3/Place the double cream in a bowl with the vanilla bean from the pod, and the caster sugar. Whip until semi-firm peaks form when the whisk is removed.
4 Line the ring with the large strawberry halves with some fresh strawberry coulis . – reserve the rest of the strawberries.
5 Carefully spoon the whipped cream into the centre of the flan and spread out gently to fill the whole mould – adding as much cream as necessary to cover to the top of the strawberries. Place the remaining flan case on top and press down lightly and cover the top of the ring with whipped cream.
6 Remove the ring by carefully warming the edges with a hot cloth and lifting it straight upwards.
Carefully heat a metal skewer over a direct flame until very hot (use oven gloves). Use the hot skewer to score the top of the cake with lines to create a diamond pattern.
Now is time to be creative and you can use a piping bag for the decoration and garnish with a fresh strawberry, you can use the remaining vanilla pod for the decoration.
The beignet is a French -style, square donut, decked in powdered sugar. And it is delicious! Beignet means fried dough in French and is similar to fritter in English.
Beignets originate from France and, depending on the region, can be prepared in many different ways, hence carrying a variety of names: bugnes, merveilles, oreillettes, corchevets, vautes, etc.
My beignet recipe is so easy to make and you can enjoy it with so many different dips flavour, cinnamon, chocolate or raspberry Jam .
• 125ml water
• 1 tablespoon yeast
• 50g butter or lard
• 100g caster sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 250ml boiling water
• 250ml evaporated milk
• 2 eggs, beaten
• 950g plain flour
• 1L vegetable oil for frying
• 125g icing sugar for dusting
Prep: 30 mins | Cook: 30 mins
1.Pour 125ml room temperature water into a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let stand for about 5 minutes to dissolve.
2.Combine the butter or lard, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over the butter mixture and then stir in the evaporated milk. Wait for the mixture to cool down until it is lukewarm. Then, add the yeast and water mixture and beaten eggs.
3.Slowly mix in the flour until the dough forms a ball. Cover the dough with clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
4.Working with a small portion (a little larger than a baseball) at a time, roll out the dough 3mm thick. Cut the rolled out dough into strips 5 to 8cm wide, then cut again in the opposite direction and at an angle, making diamond shapes.
5.Heat your oil for frying in a deep and wide, heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium-high heat to 180 degrees C.
6.Slide dough slowly into the oil to avoid splattering and deep fry until they puff up and are golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Carefully remove onto a rack with kitchen roll underneath and allow to cool until you can handle them. Place in a clean paper bag with icing sugar and shake gently until covered generously or, use a sifter to dust the beignets with powdered sugar.
Italy is famous for their Cioccolato Caldo, especially during the fall and winter months. This hot chocolate is sometimes served so thick (like a pudding), that you need a spoon to actually eat it! this recipe doesn’t make it that thick. The luxurious richness comes from using top-quality chocolate.
What You Will Need:
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate 70% or higher
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons corn starch
What To Do:
Into a saucepan over LOW heat add chocolate and a drop of milk. Stir with a wooden spoon until melted.
SLOWLY add remaining milk until it’s well combined. Add sugar. Mix to combine. Whisk in corn starch.
Continue cooking over LOW heat until it becomes thick, creamy and coats the back of the wooden spoon.
Hot chocolate Italian-style is one of the most amazing treats in the world! You have to try this pudding-like chocolate decadence! Add some Irish cream, cinnamon, and whipped cream for a fun variation, or create your own!”
I suggest some petit four or sweet canapes and sandwich to serve your afternoon tea
a delice !!!
for Chocolate lover watch the chocolat movie you will like it !!
The orange drizzle is an English institution in the UK and I love it! I’m pleased to share my home recipe with a touch of French flavour. In France, we have the same cake that we call Le gateau a l’orange . The recipe is from Lyon in France’s Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.
The Orange Drizzle is perfect for an afternoon tea or for a Picnic .
4 eggs (large )
300g of butter unsalted
300g of sugar
10g baking powder
230g white flour
250g icing sugar
3 large spoon of orange juice
1 cake ring for about 10 people
Preparation time 30 minutes
Cooking time 20 mins
Serves 10 t0 12 people
1/ Wash the orange, With a zester burner, 4 oranges zest keeping the 4 oranges for the juice
2/ Melt 300g of unsalted butter in a pan
3/ Flour and butter the cake pan
4/ In a mixer, add 300g of sugar and 300g melted butter. Mix until Creamy.
5/ Chop the Orange zest in very small bites
6/ Add the juice of 4 oranges to 2 eggs
7/ Sift in the flour, baking powder and add the zest of the orange. Mix until well combined.
8/ Add the last 2 eggs, one at a time,
9 / Line a loaf tin with grease-proof paper, spoon in the mixture and level the top.
10/ Preheat the oven to 180C/Fan/Gas Mark 4.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until a thin skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
11/ While the cake is cooling in its tin , pour over the juice of 3 oranges on the cake.
12 / For the icing, mix the orange juice with the icing sugar.
Prick the warm cake all over with a fork and drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake, and top with candied orange
Traditionally, the galette des Rois is made to celebrate Epiphany, which falls on the 6th of January, twelve days after Christmas. The cake is eaten in celebration of the arrival of the three kings who have travelled from afar with gifts for the newborn baby. In practice, people eat this galette throughout January and, dare I say, it is a rather unreligious event for most.
A dried bean, known as la fève, is hidden in the cake, and whoever receives the bean in his piece of cake, is crowned king or queen for the duration of the party. Other popular traditions, include having the youngest member of the gathering sit under the table and designate to whom each piece of cake should be served.\
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 30 min
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup ground almonds
2 eggs + 1 egg for painting
1 tablespoon rum (optional)
1 pound puff pastry (2 rounds)
1 large dry bean or fève figurine
To make the frangipane, blend the butter with the sugar until well combined. Blend in the almonds thoroughly. Beat in the 2 eggs one at a time and then the rum if you are using it.
In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg.
Roll out half of the puff pastry into a round about 12 inches in diameter. Place it on a wax paper lined baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, paint the outer 1 1/2 inch circumference of the pastry with beaten egg.
Spread the frangipane in a round in the center of the pastry so that it just meets the painted on egg. Press the bean into the frangipane somewhere close to the outer edge.
Place the other puff pastry (rolled out into an equally sized round) on top of the first. Use the times of a fork to press the edges closed. Brush the top of the galette with the beaten egg.
Use a paring knife to etch a pretty pattern into the top of the galette. Traditionally this is in a cross-hatch pattern, or concentric half circles, but you can make up your own pattern if you are feeling creative. Don’t cut through the pastry, just etch.
Cut a small hole in the center of the pastry to allow steam to escape. Place the galette in the refrigerator to cool for at least 30 minutes before baking. You can make it a day in advance as well – just be sure to keep it refrigerated.
Preheat the oven to 200°F. Place the refrigerated galette in the center of the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the top is dark golden brown. Serve warm.
Quinces are rather odd fruit; they look half-way between an apple and a pear, they are not good to eat off the tree, they are quite hard, they are loaded with pectin (a natural jelling agent), and they make the most lovely rose-colored jelly.
Wash the quinces, scourer off the down, and then quarter them roughly. Put the cut up quince into a preserving pan with the water and simmer long and slowly until they become soft. It can take over an hour to reduce well.
Strain through a jelly bag overnight (by jelly bag, I mean a tea towel or very fine sieve – whatever you have at your disposal that fits within that criteria will be fine). Do not force the juice, as it will make it cloudy.
Measure the juice into the preserving pan, and for each 600 mls of juice add 375g caster sugar. Bring juice to simmering point, add the sugar and the strained lemon juice. Dissolve over a very low heat. Boil fast and begin testing for a set after 10 minutes. When soft set is reached, pour into small, sterislised, hot jars and seal.
This jelly stiffens during storage, and looks like a ruby jewel in the jar. It is delicious is served with lamb or boiled or baked pork, or simply as jelly with toast and butter for breakfast.
This is on of the best Pea soup recipe for Spring and Summer !
600 g shelled peas
4 spring onions
6 lettuce leaves or a big heart
1 tsp tablespoon olive oil
1 liter of water
4 c. tablespoons heavy cream
Salt and pepper
Shell the peas, peel and chop onions, wash the lettuce leaves.Heat the oil in a skillet on medium heat, add onions and let them meltwithout browning, then add the lettuce and peas, pour water, add salt, bring to a simmer and simmer for 20 to 25 min.When the peas are cooked, blend the soup in a blender or hand blenderuntil smooth.Put on low heat, add pepper and heavy cream, stirring, remove from heat tothe first stirrings.
Who does not love a Macaron? These chewy, delicious French cookies are truly a sweet treat. Filled with almonds, sugar, egg whites and a creamy ganache. They can be made into a variety of flavors, chocolate, vanilla, almond, pear mousse; the list goes on and on.
480g icing sugar
280g ground almonds
7 egg whites
A few drops of flavoured food colouring such as strawberry