Tag Archives: Almond

Cumin Roasted Eggplants, Feta, Almonds and Pomegranate Salad

18 Nov

I know, this is not really a seasonal dish that I am writing about today but sometimes you need sun in your plate as well as color.

As Autumn definitely turned our great blue sky into a low grey mess, I thought about that salad that many of you kept asking me about during the past few months.

What really brings the flavor together is the use of pomegranate molasse that is pretty hard to find in France.

So if you look for it, go to a Lebanese shop or order it online. I found mine at Izrael, that great shop located rue François Miron where you find any spice, nut, condiment…. you are looking fot but also where you have to be patient if it is a bit busy. The owners are an old passionate couple and when they serve a customer, they do it properly which means….. they take the time! So don’t be in a hurry and take the time to spend some time in that Aladdin’s cave.


Result large plate


  • 4-5 aubergines (cut in diagonal chunks)
  • 3 red onions, cut into wedges
  • 3 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 100g toasted almond flakes
  • 1/2 bunch of coriander, washed, dried and picked
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded
  • 250g of fresh Feta cheese, crumbled

Ingredients for the Dressing

  • 4 tbsp of pomegranate molasse
  • 6 tbsp of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 garlic clove crushed


Preheat your oven to 220°C.

Place the aubergines chunks on baking trays lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle them with olive oil, salt, pepper and the cumin seeds.

Roast them in the oven until they get soft to the touch and lightly browned on the edges.

Sprinkle the red onions with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast them the same way you did with the aubergines.

Spread the flaked almonds on a baking tray or in a heavy bottom pan and toast them in the oven or on the stove until lightly browned. Put a timer, they burn very quickly.

Ingredients Aubergines Salade_edited-1

Pick whole coriander leaves

Cut the pomegranate* into 2 and bash it with a wooden spoon to release the seeds- making sure there is not a lot of white ‘membrane’ coming with it.

In a big bowl or on a large serving dish, layer the aubergine chunks and red onion wedges then add coriander, Feta cheese crumbs, pomegranate seeds and almond flakes.

In a bowl, whisk together all the ingredients of the dressing then drizzle it on top of the salad.

*follow the link to see how to proceed

Result Focus  Result Small Bowl

Salade d’Aubergines grillées au Cumin, Feta, Amandes et Grenade


  • 4-5 aubergines (coupées en morceaux de 3-4cm)
  • 3 oignions rouges coupés en quartiers
  • 3 cas de graines de cumin
  • 100g d’amandes effilées
  • 1/2 bouquet de coriandre lavé, séché
  • 1 grenade
  • 250g de Feta émietté

Ingrédients pour la sauce

  • 4 cas de molasse de grenade
  • 6 cas d’huile d’olive
  • sel et poivre
  • 1/2 gousse d’ail écrasée


Préchauffez votre four à 220°C.

Placez vos aubergines sur une plaque recouverte de papier sulfurisé. Enduisez-les d’huile d’olive et assaisonnez de sel, poivre et cumin.

Faites-les cuire jusqu’à ce qu’elles soient tendres à cœur et prennent une jolie couleur brune aux angles.

Faites de même avec les oignons rouges.

Dans une poêle à fond épais ou sur une plaque, dispersez les amandes effilées et torréfiées les 2-3 minutes jusqu’à ce qu’elles prennent une jolie coloration dorée. Attention, comme elles sont fines, elles peuvent très vite bruler.

Prélevez les feuilles de coriandre.

Emiettez la feta en cubes grossiers d’1cm.

Coupez la grenade* en 2 et à l’aide d’une cuillère en bois, égrenez-la en prenant soin d’enlever les morceaux de membranes blanches.

Dans un bol, fouettez les ingrédients de la sauce et gardez à portée de main.

Dans un grand saladier ou sur un grand plat de présentation, disposez les aubergines et les oignons rouges, dispersez les cubes de feta puis les graines de grenade.

Assaisonnez de sauce et finissez avec les amandes et les feuilles de coriandre.

*cf lien de la grenade pour la méthode


Middle-Eastern Almond and Orange Cake with Orange Blossom Water Syrup

15 Sep

After a few months away from the blog…. I am back, hopefully on a regular basis and with fresh ideas to share with you.

As I spent a few months as a Chef at Cafe Pinson which is a gluten-free, dairy-free & vegetarian restaurant (with raw and vegan options…. ), I thought it would be great to start with a gluten-free recipe which is also one of my favorite deserts that I used to prepare in London.  

This cake is very smooth and rich in flavor as well as atypical…. Indeed, there is no butter, milk or oil… the texture comes from the boiled orange puree and the ground almonds. The syrup makes it easy to preserve for a few days and the optional chocolate layer will definitely make the difference….



  • 4 oranges washed
  • 375 g caster sugar
  • 575g almond powder
  • 9 eggs
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 75 ml orange blossom water


  • 225ml orange juice
  • Zest of 2 oranges cut into julienne
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 75 ml orange blossom water


  • Greek Yogurt
  • Homemade Orange Peel  cooked in the syrup


Place the oranges in a deep pan and cover them with water. Bring to the boil and cook with the
lid on for 30-40 minutes at least then remove them from the pan and let them cool down for another
20 minutes.
Cut them in halves and remove the seeds then place them in a food processor and add
the sugar. Process 30 seconds then add almonds, eggs, baking powder and 75ml of rose
water and process another 10 seconds.

1-Boiled Orange

Pour the mixture into a 30 cm spring form cake tin lined with baking paper and bake 60
minutes at 180º.
Let the cake cool in the tin.

2-Mix Cake


Put all the ingredients except orange blossom water in a pan over a low heat and slowly bring to the
boil and simmer til syrupy. Remove from the heat and add the orange blossom water.
Pierce the cake with a skewer and pour the syrup on top of the cake.


Serve each slice with a generous spoon of Greek Yogurt on which you will sprinkle the orange peel that you cooked with the syrup.


5-Result with Choco Ganache

Gâteau Oriental à l’Orange et aux Amandes

& son Sirop de Fleur d’Oranger


  • 4 oranges lavées
  • 375 g de sucre
  • 575g d’amandes en poudre
  • 9 oeufs
  • 1 cas de levure chimique
  • 75 ml de Fleur d’Oranger


  • 225ml de jus d’orange
  • Zest de 2 oranges en julienne
  • 225g de sucre
  • 75 ml de Fleur d’Oranger


  • 1 pot de yaourt grec
  • des écorces d’orange confites ou du gingembre confit


Recouvrir de papier sulfurisé la base d’un moule a fond amovible de 30 cm de diamètre et enduire les bords de beurre mou a l’aide d’un pinceau de cuisine de la base vers l’extérieur.
Prechauffer le four a 180°C.
Mettre les oranges dans une grande casserole et les recouvrir d’eau. Porter à ébullition
et cuire à couvert au moins 30-40 minutes. Laisser reposer 20 minutes.
Couper les oranges en 2, ôter les pépins et passer les oranges au blender jusqu’à obtention d’une purée. Ajouter le sucre et blender 30 secondes.
Transférer dans un saladier et ajouter les amandes, les oeufs, la levure et la fleur d’oranger.
Verser le mix dans le moule et cuire 1H jusqu’à ce que la lame d’un couteau sorte nette.


Apple Crumble with Raspberry Jam

9 Feb

    It’s been a few years since I started this blog now and I just realized that one of my favorite recipe is missing.
And such a well-known one….! The Crumble…..
Of course you have thousands of variations on the crumble and I have mine as well but I keep it pretty simple and if you happen to be short on almond powder and/or can’t find raspberries, just deal without it! Replace almond with flour and raspberries by whatever you like and maybe just a couple more apples!
What we need to keep in mind is just that we want to enjoy the combination of the crunchy crumbs and the melting cooked fruits….!


Ingredients for 8-10 people

For the fruit base:

  • 12-14 small cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into quarters or cubes
  • 100g of butter
  • 1/2 cup of honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 400g of raspberries fresh, frozen or in a jam (in that case, don’t put the sugar and reduce the honey to 1/3 cup)
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • the seeds of a vanilla pod

For the crumble:

  • 200g of butter cut into dices
  • 200g of almond powder
  • 200g of flour
  • 75g of sugar


In a large pan, melt the butter and start to cook the apples on medium heat.
Add the honey, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla seeds and cover with a lid. Stir from time to time until the apples start to soften.

2-Apples Cooking

In the meantime, prepare the crumble mix. In a bowl, mix together by hand all the ingredients until you obtain nice crumbs. If you keep working the mix it will become a dough. You have to stop just the step before.


Preheat your oven to 180.
When the apples are slightly cooked, pour them in a oven dish. Add the raspberries or raspberry jam on top and swirl them in or cover them with some more apples.
Layer evenly the crumbs on top and bake for 30-40 minutes until the top gets a nice golden brown color.


Serve it hot or cold with cream, ice-cream or custard.


Crumble Pommes Framboises

Ingredients pour 8-10 personnes

Pour la base aux fruits:

  • 12-14 petites pommes pelées, coupées en quartiers ou en cubes
  • 100g de beurre
  • 100ml de miel ou de sirop d’érable
  • 120g de sucre
  • 400g de framboises fraiches ou surgelées ou en confiture (dans ce cas, retirez le sucre et réduire la quantité de miel à 75ml)
  • 1cc de cannelle en poudre
  • les graines d’une gousse de vanille

Pour le crumble:

  • 200g de beurre coupés en dés
  • 200g d’amandes en poudre
  • 200g de farine
  • 75g de sucre


Dans une grande casserole, faites fondre le beurre et commencez à cuire les pommes en ajoutant le miel, le sucre, la cannelle et la vanille. Couvrez et laissez cuire sans trop remuer pour éviter l’effet compotée et garder le fruit intact.
Préchauffez votre four à 180°C.
Préparez le crumble. Dans un saladier, travaillez à la main tous les ingrédients jusqu’à obtention de grosses miettes, les crumbles. Si vous travaillez trop le mix, vous obtiendrez une boule de pâte et si vous ne le travaillez pas assez, le mix sablera mais ne formera pas de petites boules.
Répartissez les pommes dans un plat allant au four et dispersez les framboises ou la confiture à la surface. Incorporez-les en sillon à l’aide d’une cuillère ou recouvrez-les ensuite d’une autre couche de pommes.
Dispersez ensuite les crumbles à la surface pour obtenir une couche homogène.
Faites cuire au four 30-40 minutes jusqu’à ce que la surface prenne une jolie coloration dorée.
Servez chaud ou froid, avec de la crème, de la glace ou une crème anglaise.

Fruits and Frangipane Tartlets

4 Nov

Yes indeed, it’s only 5pm and the sky is dark and you still have a few hours to keep yourself busy at home because you do not even think about going out in the rainy and windy streets even for shopping….

If you happen to have a cupboard full of pastry ingredients and some fruits in a basket or in the freezer, here is a recipe that will keep you busy long enough!

On the pictures, you’ll see some variations but also some ideas to present them: whip some cream and fold caramelized nuts in it, serve with a small vodka glass filled with custard or with a spoon of ice-cream for example.

photo 3

Apple and Frangipane Tart


Fig and Frangipane Tartlet with Caramelized Slivered Almond Whipped Cream

INGREDIENTS FOR THE SWEET PASTRY DOUGH (Makes 1 large tart or 8 individuals)*

  • 250g of flour
  • 5g of salt
  • 100g of icing sugar
  • 125g of butter cold and diced
  • 1 egg whisked
  • Plain flour to roll out the dough
  • Iced water if necessary

*To make your pastry more original, you can add spices or flavor to it. For example, I add a tbsp of poppy seeds, a grated lemon zest, a tsp of ginger, cinnamon or sometimes I put only 180g of flour and 70g of almond powder. It will make the difference….!


By hand: Place the flour, icing sugar, salt and cold diced butter in a bowl and start bringing the ingredients together until they form a light bread crumb consistency.  Now, add the egg and combine completely. Add a little water if the dough is to dry. Form a ball with the pastry and wrap it in cling film. Let it rest in the fridge for at least half an hour.  This freezes beautifully.

With a Magimix: Sift the flour, salt and icing sugar into the bowl of a food processor and add the cold diced butter.  Pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Whisk the egg and add to the pastry mixture and stir well to bring together, adding a little more iced water if necessary.  Bring the pastry together into a flat disc, wrap it with cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.

Once the pastry is firm enough to roll out, sift a little flour on a clean surface and on your rolling pin and start rolling out your dough until it is 3-4mm thick. As the dough is very fragile, you can either fold it from the center into 4 like a “crepe” or roll it gently on your rolling pin and unroll it on top of the pastry case.

Once it is on top of your pastry case, press gently towards the bottom of the case so that the dough perfectly fits to the pastry case. Remove the excess of dough using a sharp knife around the edges of the case or simply roll once the rolling pin on top of the case. The excess will fall in a very clean way.

In a preheated oven (200°) bake the pastry case blind for 10-15 minutes until it gets a nice golden color. The dough is cooked but still need to cook longer as you will add the almond cream. Remove and let it cool down on a rack or fill it straight away.

** As usual, if you are in a hurry, you can use a ready to roll sweet pastry, it will save you a little time. You’ll just have to go straight to the baking instruction.


  • 150g of butter at room temperature
  • 150g of sugar
  • 150g of ground almond
  • 150g of eggs (about 3 medium eggs)
  • optional flavor: 1tbsp of rose water or orange blossom water, seeds of a vanilla pod, 1 tbsp of rum, 1 lemon zest, 1 tbsp of pistachio paste…


In a bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar until it gets white, creamy and fluffy.

Add the ground almonds then the eggs. You will obtain a thick and smooth paste.

You can use it straight away or keep it refrigerated up to 3 days in an airtight container or with clingfilm in contact.

photo 5


Fresh seasonal fruits:

  • figs cut into 4 base still attached
  • sliced pears or apples
  • apricots cut in halved
  • peaches or nectarines quartered
  • cherries stoned and halved
  • red fruits whole or sliced into 2 for strawberries
  • prunes stoned and halved


Spoon the almond cream in the tart shell until it reaches half its height.

Press the fruits in it so that it looks nice.

Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until the almond cream gets a nice golden brown color and a knife comes out clean when inserted inside.



Red Berries Tartlets
  IMG_4620 Fig and Frangipane Tartlet with Caramelized Slivered Almond Whipped Cream

photo 2  Apple and Frangipane Tart

Summer Salad: Nectarines, Mozzarella and Nuts Salad with a Sumac Marinade Dressing

15 Jul

At last….. holidays time! Which means countryside, family and weekdays off!

As I went in my family house, I spent a lot of time with my uncle Daniel on the markets in order to get the best fruits and vegetables but also fishes, spices and fresh goat’s cheese for our family. As all the kids are here, we are always happy to treat them with sweet and ripe fruits rather than biscuits and ice creams.

As a result, the boot gets loaded with fresh products that will unfortunately last only a few days.

Last Wednesday, we went to Sancoins which is one of the most well-known market in the neighborhood and we spent some time chatting with Armando Forte the spices seller who always provide us with amazing salt and pepper but also teas, mixed spices and generous vanilla pods. I wanted to get some sumac because I had told my cousins about that spice earlier in the week and none of them had ever heard the name…. It was high time to get them to taste it!

Sumac is often used in Middle Eastern food and especially Lebanon. It’s good with white meat, fish but also with salads as it has a lemony flavor and a vibrant red color that really make the difference.


Catch of the day at the market….


Armando Forte: owner of the shop Aux Gouts du Monde in Bourges also comes on a regular basis in Sancoins to sell his best spices.


The Spices stall in the Halles of the Market

Ingredients for 4 people

  • a handful of mixed leaves or 2-3 baby gem lettuces
  • 4 yellow or white nectarines, ripe but still firm
  • 1-2 good quality Mozzarella di Buffala or Burrata
  • a handful of nuts such as slivered almonds or pecans
  • 1 tsp of butter
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil
  • a lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp of Sumac



In a pan, melt the butter and gently fry the nuts to give them a nice golden brown coloration and release their flavor. Let them cool down on the side.


Wash the nectarines. Working around the stone rather than trying to remove it by hand, slice the nectarines into 6 to 8 depending on their sizes.

Carefully shred the Mozzarella or Burrata in a bowl.

Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper then add the sumac. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Pour the marinade on top of the cheese and nectarines and let them rest at least 10 minutes.

2-Ingredients and Marinade


If you have baby gem lettuce, get rid of the first leaves if they don’t look good then cut them into 6-8 slices. Remove the core.

Start to layer the salad in a large serving dish. Spread a generous layer of mixed leaves or cover the base with the sliced baby gem lettuces.


Spread some marinated nectarines on top and do the same with the cheese.

Finish with the nuts so that each ingredients is equally present on the dish.

2-Ingredients Prep

Drizzle some of the marinade leftover on top and decorate with a pinch of sumac or fresh herbs if you wish (chervil, thinly chopped mint…).

Here you are… First one is with baby gem lettuce, white nectarines, Burrata and pecans…



Second one is with yellow nectarines, Mozzarella and slivered almonds.



Salade Nectarines, Mozzarella Marinées au Sumac

Ingrédients pour 4 personnes

  • 1 poignée de mesclun ou 2 cœurs de laitue
  • 4 belles nectarines blanches ou jaunes, mûres mais encore fermes
  • 1-2 Mozzarella di Buffala ou Burrata
  • une poignée de noix telles que des amandes effilées ou des noix de pecan
  • 1 cc de beurre
  • sel et poivre
  • huile d’olive
  • un jus de citron
  • ½ cc de Sumac


Faites fondre le beurre dans la poêle et faites revenir les noix pour qu’elles prennent une jolie coloration dorée et qu’elles développent leurs arômes. Laissez-les refroidir sur le côté.

Lavez les nectarines et sans chercher à retirer le noyau, travaillez autour de ce dernier en découpant les nectarines en 6-8 tranches selon la taille du fruit.

A la main, détaillez la Burrata ou la Mozzarella en lanières et réservez-les dans un bol.

Mixez l’huile d’olive, le jus de citron, le sel et le poivre dans un bol et ajoutez le sumac. Goûtez et ajustez selon votre goût.

Versez la marinade sur les nectarines et le fromage et laissez reposer une bonne 10aine de minutes pour qu’elles s’imprègnent.

Otez les feuilles fatiguées des cœurs de laitue si il y en a puis coupez-les en 6-8 quartiers selon leur taille.

Dans un plat de service, disposez généreusement la salade pour bien recouvrir toute la surface. Disposez ensuite les nectarines marinées puis le fromage de façon homogène et harmonieuse. Finissez avec les noix et éventuellement, ajoutez des herbes fraîches telles que le cerfeuil ou la menthe.

Ajoutez un peu de marinade si il en reste et si vous pensez que c’est nécessaire.

Finissez avec une généreuse pincée de Sumac pour apporter de la couleur et du goût.

Let’s blog! and start with the Pistachio Financiers

23 Feb

As many of my friends ask me all the time about some of my cakes recipes, I decided weeks ago to creat a blog and I did’nt do it and they kept asking and I kept promising and so on….

So, here we are, me, myself and my blog…..

To begin with something usefull, I’ll put one of my recipies as an introduction…..

The ultimate Pistachio Financiers

  • 170 g butter
  • 120 g almond powder
  • 140 g icing sugar
  • 40 g flour
  • 4 white eggs
  • 1 tsp of pistachio concentrate

Preheat your oven at 150°

Put the butter in a pan and melt it until it gets a hazelnut color…. don’t let it burn!

Mix well together the almond, flour, icing sugar and white eggs.

Pour the butter in the mix and keep on whisking.

Add the pistachio concentrate or another flavor if you have any other preferences. Just be careful to keep the mix not to liquid.

For example you can put some rose or lavender concentrate, keep it just almond or replace half of the almond powder with coconut powder or any other nut powder…..

Pour the mix in your mold (silicon is better as you don’t need to fight to get the cakes out of it!) and cook it for about 15′.

Let them cool on a backing rack and enjoy….