Tag Archives: almonds

Sweet times and a chocolate dessert

Simple and intriguing. Sweet, bitter, solid, liquid, dark, light, brown and white. Earliest usage discovered so far : since 1100 BC in Honduras, only since the 16th century in Europe. It has been utilized as a medicine, a drink, solid food, and as a currency.

Surely you have guessed by now that I am writing about chocolate. Oh do I love chocolate in every form! Chocolate bars, chocolate cakes, chocolate mousse, chocolate fondant, chocolate souffle, hot chocolate drinks…what did I forget? If anything, my favorite restaurants are the ones where the chocolate dessert is at its best. By the way, if there is a chocolate dessert on the menu, I will order that first and make sure everything else is light enough not to spoil my appetite.

As most chocolate¬†aficionados,¬†I have tried dozens of recipes. If you are looking for sources of inspiration, you might like these two books : “The Essence of Chocolate” and “Chocolate desserts by Pierre Herme”. My favorite chocolate dessert recipes are those which mix crunchy and gooey textures and which are best eaten lukewarm.

Here is a “chocolate fondant” or “chocolate lava cake” recipe that I love to share because it is so easy to make and so rewarding. The most important thing here is timing. Once you know how much time it needs to be baked, at what temperature, and in what mold, your fondant will always be perfect.

I have tried two versions of it : just chocolate, or chocolate and a seasonal fruit. It worked really well with figs. What would be your choice of fruit?You can always change your mind and decide that half of the ramequins will have figs on them and half will be traditional chocolate lava cakes.If I was to ask myself how inspiration comes for a meal or a dish, nine times out of ten the response would be “memories”. For this chocolate dessert what first came to mind was an other type of lava formation and this Summer’s sweet moments spent with family.

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Boysenberry Amandines

This morning and for the first time this year, Loulou and I saw Boysenberries at the market. I know only one boysenberry tree and it is in Macedonia, near the Prespa Lake. Memories, memories. Running around the tree, climbing, eating, eating, eating. This tree was sooo generous. So much to eat. It was the last village before Albania. Could not go further, perfect place to stop. So my cousins and I would climb there, seat for a while until all our clothes were stained and our cravings satisfied.

I haven’t eaten boysenberries that often. After moving to France, I could only go there every so often. So here they are, just in front of me in a basket at the market four blocks from home. Loulou saw me grabbing the first basket as if it was the last one available, and I would never see another one again. She was intrigued right away “I want one please…”. Then we took an other one, and an other one, and an other one…and it would not be reasonable to go for more.

It is fresh and crunchy, flavorful and colorful. What else can one wish for?

Boysenberries are fragile, so we treated them as little gems. Small portions of a “moelleux” dessert. We ate it lukewarm with some creme anglaise and tea. A little bit of Macedonia, France and England mixed together…

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