Pickled Radishes

These pickled radishes add a punch to just about anything. Add them to a grilled cheese sandwich, charcuterie plate or even as nacho toppings!

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Picked Radishes
1/4 litre jar

from David Lebovitz’s pickled radishes recipe

1 bunch of small red round radish
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon crushed peppercorns
1 clove of garlic, peeled

Slice the radishes into rounds.

In a saucepan, bring the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar or honey to a boil, until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from heat and add the peppercorn and garlic.

Pack the radishes and garlic in a clean 1/4 litre jar, and pour the hot liquid over them.

Cover and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate.

Orange Blossom Madeleines

The trick to the madeleine’s characteristic bump is a chilled batter and cold madeleine pan. But bump or no bump, these classic shell-shaped teacakes are dainty and absolutely lovely with tea or coffee.

Back when I was studying in London, there were brief periods of time when all I had for breakfast was a madeleine with coffee. It became part of a daily routine: wake up, make coffee, have madeleine (Bonne Maman brand), check Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, watch an episode of Bob’s Burger or Archer, maybe have a second madeleine, and, finally, get dressed and leave room to join the rest of humanity (sometimes). Student living wasn’t the most glamorous, but the weeks when I did have madeleines on hand, even though they were store bought, just felt a little bit special.

My breakfasts have been more hearty lately. But… I do make madeleines at home now! My lovely Mom gifted me a set of madeleine pans for my birthday back in October, and I’ve made about 12 dozen madeleines since then. I think it’s about time I share them with you!

So, today, I’m sharing Bouchon Bakery’s traditional madeleines. The only tweak I made was to substitute lemon oil with orange blossom water.

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From experience, I find that my madeleines rise much better when the batter has had a long time to chill in the fridge. Freezing the madeleine pans also helps. I’m not exactly sure of the science behind this, but it does have something to do with the interaction of the cold batter and heat from the oven.

Bouchon Bakery's Traditional Madeleines

  • Servings: 12 madeleines
  • Print

From Sebastien Rouxel’s and Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery book.

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Ingredients

All-purpose flour – 68 grams | 1/4 cup + 3 1/2 tablespoons
Baking powder – 2.2 grams | 1/2 teaspoon
Salt – 0.6 gram | 1/4 teaspoon
Eggs – 83 grams | 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon  (about 2-3 large eggs, room temperature, beaten)
Granulated sugar – 55 grams | 1/4 cup + 1 1/4 teaspoons
Unsalted butter, room temperature – 66 grams | 2/3 ounces
Dark brown sugar – 9 grams | 2 teaspoons
Honey – 9 grams | 1/4 teaspoons
1 to 2 drops lemon oil OR 1 teaspoon of Orange Blossom water

Preparation

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Combine eggs and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Mix on medium-high speed for about 1 minute. Gently warm the bowl to dissolve the sugar. (I do this by setting up a bain marie, placing the stand mixer bowl on top of a pot of gently boiling water.) Once the sugar has dissolved, bring the bowl back to the stand and mix on high speed for about 4 minutes, until the batter doubles in volume.

Meanwhile, melt the butter, brown sugar and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat, bout 1 minute. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and fold in half of the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula. Fold in remaining dry ingredients until just combined.  Pour the warm butter mixture over the batter. Add the lemon oil and/or orange blossom water, and fold until the mixture becomes a smooth batter. Place batter in a covered container and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

While the batter is in the fridge, prepare madeleine pan. Brush the pan with butter and refrigerate or freeze to harden the butter. When ready to bake, remove the pan from the fridge and dust with flour.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Spoon the batter into the molds (1 tablespoon each). Tap the bottom of the pan against table to smooth the top of the batter.

Bake for 7 to 8 minutes in convection oven, 8 to 9 minutes in standard oven, until the tops are lightly browned and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Immediate unmound the madeleine and cool on a cooling rack.

Enjoy!

 

Green Smoothie with Spinach, Avocado and Matcha

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A thick and rich green smoothie for days when you think your stomach needs a break. I tend to like my smoothies on the thicker side and often end up eating it with a spoon. Adjust accordingly.

Green Smoothie with Avocado and Matcha Tea 

1/2 avocado
2 teaspoons matcha green tea powder
1-2 handful of baby spinach
1 kiwi
1/4 cup plain or vanilla yoghurt
1 cup of milk (dairy, soy or nut milk)
Juice of half a 1/2 lime

Blitz and blend all the ingredients. Add more milk if too thick.

Montreal: Kem CoBa

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Kem CoBa is an artisanal ice-cream shop in the ever so hip neighbourhood of Mile End, Montreal. It’s next to Fairmount Bagel, a great tactical move on the owners’ part, and serves up a wide range of flavours from around the world with a slight bent towards Southeast Asia. Between my three friends and I, we tried about seven different flavours: Soursop, Pandan (La Dua), Chai Tea, Crème Fraîche, Dulce de Leche, Mango, and Passion Fruit! (My soft serve was dulce de leche ice-cream and a mango sorbet.) After what seemed like a trek to get there — and in Montreal’s heat, walking for longer than 15 minutes becomes a struggle — it felt rewarding to just sit under some shade, eating heavenly churned cream and ice. 

Kem CoBa
60, av. Fairmount Ouest, Montreal | Website

Cashew Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free)

If you follow Canadian food blogger Tara O’Brady’s Instagram account, you probably already know about these amazing chocolate chip cookies she’s perfected for her first book, Seven Spoons: My Favourite Recipes for Any and Every Day Cooking. Despite my history of drop cookie failures — my cookies were either hard balls of dough OR complete softies that just merged together — I couldn’t resist trying them. And lo and behold. It worked. Fantastically well. The cookies had lovely crispy edges, chewy all throughout and the right amount of chocolate at every bite.

The true beauty of Tara’s recipe though is that it’s a no-fuss, throw together dough that doesn’t require “ingredients at room temperature” (an eternity for impatient midnight bakers). You don’t even need an electric mixer (it’s all by hand, baby). Safe to say this is definitely a keeper.

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But, I did make a few changes to the original recipe: I halved the recipe and replaced the flour with homemade cashew meal.

Why cashews? Once during a baking session, my friend suggested we replace a portion of our flour with ground roasted cashew nuts. I really enjoyed the texture it produced and it’s been one of my favourite thing to do with cookies ever since. The nuttiness, aroma and the colour of using roasted cashew meal gives the cookies an oomph that regular flour doesn’t. Making the cashew meal yourself is easy. You just need a food processor or a blender with the helicopter blades. Unlike the store-bought stuff, the homemade version will have little bits and pieces of nuts, which I think adds a nice texture and speckled look to the cookies.

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Note: Because I halved the recipe, it was easier (and more accurate) to list the ingredients by their weight than volume/cups.

Continue reading “Cashew Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free)”

Profiteroles

Here is something sweet and simple to celebrate new beginnings.

Choux pastry is relatively easy to make. Assembling them into profiteroles takes a while, but who wouldn’t love to receive these cute little bit-sized ice-cream sandwiches on a plate? For a savoury version, you can fill the plain choux pastry puffs with a mushroom pate, which would make lovely appetizers.

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The recipe I used comes from the Bouchon Bakery recipe book. It makes 48 medium choux puffs.

Continue reading “Profiteroles”