Monday, 5 October 2015

never say never

photo from here

Five minutes ago, I was thinking I am going to take a break from renovating for the next 6 months and then I saw this photo....I just need to convince French Boyfriend that it is a good idea.

Think that it may take more than a sexy dress and a bottle of champagne but I will try my best....

très bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x 

Thursday, 1 October 2015

French food Friday...Chocolate marquise with lime and coconut sorbet

photo and recipe from here

First of all I would like to say Happy Birthday to my darling Dad in NZ, miss you lots and hope you have a lovely day.

At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people

You'll need

8 egg yolks 
180 gm caster sugar 
250 gm butter, coarsely chopped 
200 gm dark chocolate (60% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped 
80 gm Dutch-process cocoa, sieved, plus extra for dusting 
600 ml pouring cream, whisked to soft peaks                                       
Lime and coconut sorbet 
100 gm white sugar
25 gm liquid glucose 
200 ml coconut cream 
50 ml lime juice                                       
Chocolate biscuits 
110 gm (½ cup) caster sugar 
60 gm softened butter 
1 egg 
80 gm dark chocolate (60% cocoa solids), melted 
150 gm plain flour 
 Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean


    • For lime and coconut sorbet, combine sugar, glucose and 100ml water in a small saucepan over low heat, stir to dissolve sugar, bring to the simmer, then set aside to cool. Stir in remaining ingredients and refrigerate until flavours develop (overnight). Churn in an ice-cream machine, then freeze.
    • Whisk yolks and sugar in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy (4-5 minutes), transfer to a heatproof bowl and whisk over a saucepan of simmering water until warm and thick (3-4 minutes). Meanwhile, melt butter and chocolate in a separate heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, add cocoa and stir to combine. Fold one-third of yolk mixture into chocolate mixture to combine, fold in remaining yolk mixture and set aside to cool (8-10 minutes; mixture may become a little grainy). Fold in cream in batches until just combined. Pour into ten 180ml dariole moulds and refrigerate until firm (4 hours).
    • Meanwhile, for chocolate biscuits, beat sugar and butter in an electric mixer until pale (2-3 minutes), add egg and beat to combine. Stir in chocolate, then flour and vanilla, place on a sheet of plastic wrap, roll into a 4cm-diameter cylinder and chill until firm (1 hour). Remove plastic wrap, slice into 5mm rounds and place on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Bake until crisp (10-12 minutes), cool, crumble coarsely and set aside.
    • Dip chocolate moulds in hot water, loosen with a knife, invert onto serving plates, scatter with chocolate biscuit crumbs, dust with cocoa and serve with lime and coconut sorbet.
bon appetit à tous, Leeann x

a smile...

photo and words from here
A smile makes you master of yourself.

- Thich Nhat Hanh, in “Moments of Mindfulness”.
(Image: Claudia Tremblay)
I just had to share this with you. This comes from Thich Nhat Hanh who established the thriving budhist community, not far from where we live.
You can find more information about the community here.
très belle journée à tous, Leeann x

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

my latest find...

Wow it is the last day in September, what happened to the other 29 days?  Let's hope that October moves at a slower pace.

On Sunday French Boyfriend and I went hunting for tresors and I managed to find a couple of beauties. One is in perfect condition and the other has "wobbly" arms and French Boyfriend is now in the process of putting her right.

I was lucky to purchase them as a couple of French laddies arrived at the same time and I did not want to get into a bidding war. Due to the problem with the arms, which FB pointed out was an issue, the others started to réfléchirai and I did the deal.

Once the deal was done, I decided to it may be a bit dangerous to leave them in case someone came along and offered the seller more money that what I had paid so we decided to carry them to a street corner and that I would wait while FB went off to search for the car.

Got tired of standing to decided to sit in one and got tired of waiting as everyone that passed liked to stop and chat about them. Thankfully FB finally appeared and we loaded them into the car.

I was not sure where I was going to put them and teased FB that I may need to buy a house to put them in. Maison No.26 came to mind and I think that they will add a lovely splash of colour for winter.

Just need a couple of matching cushions for the bed now....

à demain, Leeann x 

Friday, 25 September 2015

French Food Friday...La "Madeleine Proustienne" aux amandes

Bonjour mes belles,

A week ago I posted a photo of  my latest batch of madeleines on our facebook page and was asked if I had a favourite recipe. I have tried a lot of madeleine recipes and this is one that I like best.

In the past I have used recipes that melt the butter whereas this recipe uses creamed butter and I think that the end result speaks for itself.

For 24 madeleines

120g flour
130g sugar
40g ground almonds
3 small eggs
1 egg white
130g salted butter at room temperature
1 tsp baking powder
1 orange (zested)
A bit of honey

  1. Preheat oven to 200 C
  2. Zest the orange then place in a pot with a some water and a bit of honey and cook until tender.
  3. Brush madeleine tins with some melted butter.
  4. Cream butter then add sugar and ground almonds and mix well.
  5. Whisk the 3 eggs together then add to the butter mixture.
  6. Sift flour and baking powder. Then add to the butter mixture and stir until combined.
  7. Whisk the egg white until peaks form. Fold into butter mixture.
  8. Place the mixture into the madeleine tin, be careful do not over fill the tin.
  9. Bake for 8-10 minutes until  golden.
  10. Remove from oven and place to cool on a rack. 

très bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

bonjour l'automne...

Here in SW France the mornings are cooler and the nights are drawing in.

I am thinking faux fur throws and candelabras.

What a fabulous time of the year.....

amicalement, Leeann x

Saturday, 19 September 2015

bon week-end....

Très bon week-end à tous.......amicalement, Leeann x