Tag Archives: Spices

Leek Fondue…. still looking for comforting food!

17 Mar

After a few days of great weather with shining sun and cool temperatures we are back to winter weather with snow and negative temperatures.

As a consequence, I did not move forward spring recipes with fresh peas, radishes or asparagus but thought about that traditional recipe with leeks.

Leeks are like endives, I have grown-up with them all winter long…. We have had them in our soups, stews but also “à la vinaigrette” (with a French Dressing) or cooked in a terrine. I even wondered once whether my Mum would find a dessert recipe to get rid of the crate of leeks that our farmer used to bring us weekly…. she did not but I don’t resent her.

I gave up my  leek-free diet only recently as I tried a delicious scallops and leek fondue. Very simple but efficient because it was prepared to perfection with great care for the choice of the products.

Properly cooked, the leek will melt in your mouth, it will not be stringy anymore but tender and sweet as you let it caramelize.

If you are already mouth-watering, here is the recipe.


  • 6-7 leeks, preferably white part only (sweeter than the green that you can keep for a soup base)
  • 30g of butter
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of white wine
  • 1/2 cup of double cream
  • salt and pepper
  • optional: spices such as curry, coriander, saffron…



Cut your leeks lengthways and thinly slice them.

To get rid of any dirt remaining, wash them in a deep container filled with cold water. The dirt will sink at the bottom. Drain the leeks in a colander and reserve.

2-Sliced and rinse

Pour the butter and olive oil in a deep and large frying pan and pour the leek in it. Season with salt and pepper and cover with a lid.

The leek will release a lot of water and start reducing.

3-cover and reduce

Once they become soft, uncover them and add the white wine then the cream. Let it reduce another 5-10 minutes on low heat, stirring from time to time.

4-add cream and wine

When all the water has evaporated and that the leeks start to caramelize thanks to the cream and butter, taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve it straight away or use it as a base for a quiche for example.



  • 6-7 blancs de poireau (gardez le vert pour une bonne base de soupe ou pour vos fonds si vous avez le courage de les faire!)
  • 30g de beurre
  • 15ml d’huile d’olive
  • 70ml de vin blanc
  • 10-15cl de crème liquide
  • sel et poivre
  • optionnel: épices telles que curry, coriandre, safran…


Coupez les poireaux en 2 dans le sens de la longueur et émincez-les finement.

Plongez-les dans une grande quantité d’eau pour vous débarassez des résidus de terre. La terre coulera au fond de votre récipient. Récupérez les poireaux dans une passoire et réservez.

Dans une grande poêle, faites chauffer le beurre et l’huile, versez les poireaux et laissez-les réduire à couvert à feu moyen. Les poireaux vont rendre une grande quantité d’eau. Au bout de 5-10 minutes, quand une bonne partie de l’eau s’est évaporée, retirez le couvercle et versez le vin blanc puis la crème.

Continuez à faire réduire les poireaux 5 à 10 minutes en prenant soin de bien les remuer pour qu’ils ne brûlent pas.

Une fois que les poireaux sont fondants et commencent à caraméliser, ajustez l’assaisonnement et servez les directement ou réservez-les pour vous en servir comme base pour une quiche par exemple.


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


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.

The Carrot Cake with Philadelphia Icing

4 Mar

I have to say it is because of that recipe that I started to think about creating a blog.

We had a dinner at home and when I announced that the dessert was a carrot cake with Philadelphia icing on top…. I saw all our men making strange and funny faces and already thinking that I should stick to my basics i.e. the chocolate cake or the pistachio financiers!

Anyway, I did not let them time to say they did not have any place left for dessert and served them a small portion of the cake…. and told them as I’m used to tell my nieces and nephews “just to try”!

And they tried and they asked for more….

Since that day, Flo has been asking me week after week for my recipe and I promised her that I will create a blog with my recipes so that she can choose anything she’s in the mood for….

A few months later, as Flo is having a great time in LA and on the West Coast, I thought it was high time for me to write the recipe so that she has it when she returns from the U.S!

  • 250g finely grated carrot
  • 200g flour
  • 150g brown sugar
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 50g almond powder
  • 10g vanilla sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 table spoon of cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 100ml of olive oil
  • 100ml of milk


  • 200g of Philadelphia
  • 4 tablespoon of icing sugar
  • 4 tablespoon of lemon juice

Preheat the oven at 180°

Mix all the dry ingredients together.

Add milk and oil.

Add the eggs 1 by 1 until the mix becomes smooth.

Add the carrots and stir again.

Pour it in a round mold and cook it for 40 min.

Let it cool down and put it upside down to have the bottom on top for the icing.

Whisk the Philadelphia with the icing sugar and the lemon juice, taste it and add lemon or sugar to get the taste you prefer. You just need to keep in mind that the icing has to be smooth but not liquid so that it makes a nice cover on the cake.

Spread the icing all over the cake and put it in the fridge for 1 hour.

If you want a thick icing you can add another layer of icing when the first one is cold. Just keep in mind that the icing is pretty sweet and that it may be too much sugar in the end…

The small ones….

Small Carrot Cakes glazed with Philadelphia

And the large one… for this one, I cooked three different layers and cut the top of two of them so that it be flat and easy to superpose…