Tag Archives: cheesecake

Frenchie to Go…. simply yummy!

20 Sep

The Frenchie saga seems to be never ending and since I came back to France, I have been trying to go to any of there places without success! Lack of organization or place overcrowded!

Today, I got organized and told my friend Charles to be there at 12.20 to be sure to get a seat.

People don’t have lunch too early in this area…. arriving at 12.20 is almost like coming for breakfast!

The place is small but nice, simple but comfortable. High iron and wooden stools, same for the table. Open windows and very large kitchen with a good and silent extraction…. which means you do not smell like a fried sandwich when you leave the place!

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As the menu is short and simple, we made-up our choice pretty quickly…. a Reuben’s sandwich and a Lobster roll to start and a Cheesecake to share with our coffee!

It was simply delicious….

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The Lobster roll is in a very soft grilled brioche bun, the lobster (from Brittany) is perfectly cooked and dressed in a delicious butter sauce with celery. Of course, 22 euros is pretty expensive for a sandwich but it’s worth the price if it does not become your everyday habit.

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The Reuben’s sandwich was great too but very different. Closer to the street food that you expect when you go to Frenchie to Go.

The beetroot coleslaw is fresh and well dressed, the bread is well grilled and crispy and you have a lot of Pastrami, Bacon and Cheddar. Maybe the bacon was a bit too smoky for me and overpowered the Pastrami but in the end, we were both happy and satisfied.

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Was the Cheesecake the best part? I really don’t know but it was a delight for sure. Made with Brillat Savarin, Figs and Walnuts, it was really creamy with a citrus hint (orange zest?). The portion was not too big, just the perfect side to share with a coffee. The strawberry puree on top was a perfect balance as well and you know when you taste it that it’s an homemade puree.

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Of course, you also have lots of other treats and options but those were the one we choose and they made us happy.

Take the time to give it a try…. it’s really worth it and the service is fast, professional.  Also, unlike many places in Paris, the waiters and waitresses are genuinely smiling!

Also, we did not try them but they have a great range of Beers.

Frenchie to Go

5-6 rue du Nil

Paris 2eme

Metro: Sentier

The Oak Private Room

10 Jun

Last week-end, I went to London to meet some friends and enjoy the spring in the parcs…. The first task was fully completed…. the second…..

Anyway, on Friday evening, JC, my friend Pauline’s husband had organized a great dinner for her. He had booked the Private Table at the Oak and had her best friends in France coming over for the week-end. She was very surprised and we were happy to be part of the fun!

The Oak is one of my favorite pub in Westbourne, I used to go there almost every week-end to order the Zucchini pizza. With kids, with friends, in the Winter or Summer…. all the occasions are worth going there. Even if you want to share a drink with friends, you can go upstairs at the bar they have at the 1st floor. They have nice boards of cheese, mezze and patés served with amazing bread. The cocktails as well as the wines are just what you are looking for when you come during the week for a casual drink. And the atmosphere is just slightly more sophisticated than downstairs.

It’s also a good alternative when the restaurant downstairs is full and the waiting list too long….!

The Bar at the 1st floor:

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The Private Table:

The Private Table at the Oak is also upstairs and you have to walk through the bar to reach it.

You can have a drink at the bar while waiting for all the guests to arrive or seat around the large wooden table straight away to enjoy the privacy of the room.

You just need to close the white doors to get separated from the bar.

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A tasty Italian wine: Valpolicella 2011 Allegrini Veneto

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For the menu, the person organizing the party has to make a pre-selection of dishes in order to make it easier to deal with for the kitchen. Still, you have 3 choices of starters, mains and desserts!

We were pretty lucky as JC really made a great choice and we had a taste of the whole list…. Here is what we had:

Starters:

Burrata di Puglia, Prosciutto di San Daniele, Bruschetta

The Burrata was very creamy and fresh, the olive oil tasty and the prosciutto very thinly sliced. A perfect starter!

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Dorset Crab Salad, Fennel, Black Olives, Dill, Radish, New Season Felsina Olive Oil

That was my starter as I love Dorset crab and Fennel! As you may guess, I loved it! Fresh and light, really what I expect for a starter.

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Sautéed Scallops, Broad Bean Puree, Crisp Pancetta, Truffle Oil

A great starter that can also be a great dish served in a larger proportion. The scallop is sautéed in butter and almost caramelized. Soft as butter, it really gets well with the crispy Pancetta served with it. The broad bean puree and truffle oil bring some more complexity to the whole dish and brings it one step further in comparison with many other places serving the same dish.

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Mains:

Fillet of Sea Bass, Globe Artichoke Puree, Lemon Oil, Parsley Salad

The fish was fresh and cooked to perfection, the Artichoke puree creamy and light and well enhanced by the lemon oil and fresh parsley salad.

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Grilled Corn Fed Chicken Breast, Asparagus, Jersey Royals, White Wine & Tarragon Sauce

That one was a very earthy dish, served with tasty potatoes, soft asparagus and light but powerful tarragon sauce.

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Seared Tuna, Insalata Primavera, Basil Mayonnaise

Not a huge fan of raw fish, this was not one of my choice obviously but the salad was fresh and crispy and the mayonnaise was very tasty too. And for those who like raw fish, it was cooked just the way they wanted it.

IMG_1303Desserts:

We were a bit disappointed indeed. By the presentation but also the taste….

Semifreddo Zabaglione, Confit Lemon, Baci Di Dama Biscuits

The Zabaglione was too sweet and not creamy enough, the confit lemon did not really sparkle and the biscuits were just adding some more sweetness to a dish that we expected to be more on the citrus feeling.

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A Selection of Ice Cream & Sorbets

The ice cream was OK but nothing to crave for in the future.

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Cheesecake, Hazelnut Base, Banana, Rum & Caramel Sauce

The cheesecake was actually the good surprise among the desserts. The hazelnut base brought some crispiness and flavor and the cream cheese batter was very airy and fresh. Not too sweet in order to enjoy the sweetness of the caramel sauce.

The portion was just the right size also…. Neither too big nor too small. A perfect ending!

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Basically, we were just delighted to have a great room to chat and to enjoy a wonderful dinner that we did not have to prepare. The privacy of the room makes it even more special as you are not disturbed by the noise of the other tables or the constant flow of the waiters.

Just keep in mind that you have to be at least 10 to book it and also that the waiting list can be very long in the week-end and the months before Christmas!

Oak London

137 Westbourne Park Road

Westbourne Grove

London W2 5QL

tel. 020 7221 3355

e-mail.sean@theoaklondon.com

http://www.theoaklondon.com/

Polka Dot Cheesecake by Julie Leclerc

1 Sep

I have waited soooooo long to post that recipe…..

Actually….. almost a year as I first tasted it when I started to work at Travers Smith.

On the day of your birthday, you get to choose the cake you want and usually, it’s Philippa who makes it as she is the Queen of the Pastry in the kitchen!

Also, as she excels in that recipe and because everybody loves it, she often has to do that one!

Even the Cheesecake skepticals such as Sue…. go for it and even go for another slice sometimes!

That cheesecake recipe is just amazing, it is sweet, fresh and airy and you also get your chocolate daily dose thanks to those magnificent dots dispersed all over the cake! 

As usual, Philippa reminded me to write that she found that recipe in one of Julie Leclerc‘s recipe books in which you can find plenty of amazing traditional pastry recipes.

Hope you will like it because I really do!

 

Ingredients

  • 315g digestive biscuits crushed
  • 160g melted butter
  • 150g chopped quality dark chocolate
  • 750g cream cheese at room temperature (Philadelphia is the best!)
  • 1,5 cup caster sugar
  • 1,5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs

Method

  • Grease a 20cm springform tin and line it with parchment paper.
  • Mix the crushed biscuits with the melted butter then pour it in the tin. Press it firmly with the palm of your hand to get a great thick base for your cheesecake! Chill it for at least an hour.

  • Preheat your oven to 150℃.
  • While that time, gently melt the chocolate in a bain-marie or in the microwave (I usually heat it 20′ by 20′ until it gets melted) then let it cool down a little.
  • In the bowl of your Kitchen Aid, cream together the cream cheese and sugar until it gets smooth and fluffy. Then add the vanilla extract and the eggs.

  • In a separate bowl, put 5 tbsp of the mixture and incorporate the melted chocolate to it. Once it is done, pour it in a piping bag and reserve.
  • Get your tin out of the fridge and pour the white mixture into it. Flatten the surface by shaking it a little or use a spatula.
  • If you use a disposable piping bag, cut the end of it and insert the end of it in the mixture, press gently to insert piped dots of chocolate deeply and evenly in the cake.
  • Repeat the same process all over the cake but be sure to be far enough from the other so that they do not touch.

  • Bake 25 minutes until the cheesecake is set but not dry. The edges are slightly colored and the surface does not crack because it is cooked at low temperature.
  • Let the cheesecake cool down in the tin.
  • If you can let it rest overnight, it is even better the day after!

Speculos Cheesecake…. this one is a light one!

8 Jun

Back from a week-end “surprise” in Lisbon, I intended to write about their “pasteis” and the wonderful weather we had over there when it was raining all over Europe…. but my best friend made it different by asking me my Speculos Cheesecake recipe….

Like me, she must have written it on some piece of paper and kept it in a safe place and like me, she must have moved a few times since and forgot about the safe place!

It gives me the opportunity to let you know about the way to cook a light cheesecake! (depending on haw many slices you will get out of it of course)

Indeed, if you look at the list of ingredients, you’ll be surprise not to find any cream cheese, ricotta, mascarpone or crazy amount of eggs…. there is just a little bit of double cream to help the greek yogurt getting more consistent…!

If you don’t trust me….. let’s cook and try…..!

For the crust

  • 200g of speculos
  • 60g of melted butter

For the filling

  • 600g of greek yogurt or “fromage blanc”
  • 20cl of sour cream or “crème fraîche épaisse”
  • 22g of vanilla sugar (2 packs)
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp of maple syrup
  • additional sugar to your taste

Optional: the homemade red fruits coulis

  • 2-3 cups of any red fruits
  • sugar

Line the base of a loose base cake tin with greaseproof paper and grease well the hedges.

Preheat your oven at 150°

For the base

Crush the speculos in your food processor or with your fingers if they are soft enough.

Mix them with the butter and pour the mix in the tin. Press the surface with your hand so that it becomes flat and that the crust has the same height.

For the filling

Whisk the yogurt and the sour cream and add successively the vanilla sugar, the cinnamon, the salt and the sugar.

Once you are satisfied with the taste, add the eggs one by one and finish with the maple syrup.

Pour the mix on top of the crust and cook it 35 minutes. The center must not be too wobbling by the end of the 35 minutes. If it is, let it cook another 5 to 10 minutes but not too much as it will keep on cooking out of the oven.

If you are in a rush, don’t increase the temperature of your oven otherwise the surface of your cheesecake will get brown and you will loose its specific moisture….

Let it cool down 15 minutes and get it out of the tin. Keep refrigerate for at least one hour.

For the coulis

If you have some frozen fruits or a leftover of fresh red fruits, put them in a pan and slowly reduce them into a soft “compotée”.

Add a little bit of sugar if it is too bitter but not to much as it will balance the sweetness of the cheesecake.

Depending on how you like it, you can blend the “compotée” but you can also keep it with some nice bites.

Let it cool down and spread a spoon or two on top of each slice.

Version Française :

Le Cheesecake au Speculoos

& son coulis de fruits rouges

Ingrédients pour la base

  • 200 g de spéculos émiettés
  • -60 g de beurre

Ingrédients pour la garniture:

  • 600 g de fromage blanc/greek yogurt
  • 20 cl de crème fraiche épaisse / sour cream
  • 20 g de sucre vanillé
  • 1 pincée de sel
  • 3 œufs
  • Sirop d’érable au goût
  • Sucre en poudre au goût
  • Cannelle et autres épices au goût

Ingrédients pour le coulis de fruits rouges:

  • 1 ou 2 barquettes de fruits rouges (frais ou surgelés)
  • Sucre en poudre
  • Jus de citron, menthe

Méthode pour le cheesecake:

Préchauffer ou réduire la température du four à 150°.

Beurrer les bords d’un moule à fond amovible (springform pan) et munir la base de papier sulfurisé.

Mixer les spéculoos avec le beurre fondu, étaler ce mix au fond du moule en essayant d’obtenir une surface plane et homogène, réserver au réfrigérateur / congélateur.

Fouetter le fromage blanc et la crème fraîche puis ajouter le sucre, sucre vanillé, la cannelle, le sel tout en continuant à fouetter. Ajouter les œufs un à un puis incorporer le sirop d’érable.Rectifier l’assaisonnement puis verser sur le biscuit et enfourner 35 minutes jusqu’à ce que la surface prenne une légère couleur dorée et que le centre soit cuit mais légè rement tremblotant (façon fesse de mémé….).
Laisser reposer puis garder au réfrigérateur quelques heures.

Méthode pour le coulis de fruits rouges

Pendant ce temps, verser dans une casserole les fruits rouges et faites cuire à feu doux, plus vous ferez cuire, plus le coulis sera « compotée ». Sucrer et citronner selon l’acidité souhaitée.
Si vous souhaitez un coulis lisse, passer le mix dans un écumoire et réserver.

Couper des tranches de cheesecake, verser un filet de coulis et décorez avec des feuilles de menthe, du sucre glace…

Pour la pâte à spéculoos maison:

  • 180 g de beurre tempéré
  • 100 g de sucre
  • 160 g de sucre roux
  • 1 œuf
  • 360 g de farine
  • 4 g de levure chimique
  • Cannelle, gingembre
  • Sel

Méthode:

Préchauffer le four à 180°

Battre le beurre et les sucres. Ajouter l’œuf puis la farine, les épices, le sel et la levure.

Faire une boule et la réserver au frais. L’étaler et la couper selon la forme souhaitée.

Cuire 5 à 10 minutes puis laisser reposer. Garder dans une boîte en fer ou hermétique et dans un endroit sec.