Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Almond Tuile..or is it a Taco!

I had discovered the 'tuiles aux amandes' while on a visit to Paris 2 years ago. I shall blog about it in another post, but since that day, I am in love with this yet another French treat! But a wonderful twist to this biscuit came in the form of a dessert at a restaurant here in Zurich. It was a giant tuile - probably better to call it a taco, filled with fresh fruits, served with some chocolate sauce! It was wonderful! And the tuile was very light! The entire dessert made for such a wonderful end to an excellent meal.
I looked up the net, and found just the perfect dessert for the odd day when I have a lot of fresh fruit that I want to deck up and serve. Here is the quick and easy (of course!) recipe

- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 3 tablespoons sugar(of course you could double or triple(quadruple?) the sugar!)
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons water
- Fresh fruit
- Chocolate sauce - either a ready made one - or melt your favourite chocolate!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, add in the almond meal (you could use almonds as well, and grind them to a powder), sugar, water and blitz for a few seconds. You should get a paste that is not too runny, but not stiff either - some sort of a goopy consistency means you are good to go. Line the baking sheet with wax/parchment paper. Drop the batter (batter?) onto the sheet, and spread it out into a thin circle - make the biscuit as thin as you can - the oven will do the rest.
Bake it for about 10 minutes. As soon as it is out of the oven, take the wax paper with the biscuit and make it into a U shape. Let it rest like that - you could place the sheet between 2 glasses or something. This is what will give you the taco shape.
Once cooled, place it on a plate with some chocolate sauce, fill in the taco with fruit, throw in a mint leaf for colour. There you have it. A light and refreshing dessert with all the goodness of almonds and chocolate. Share

Monday, October 19, 2009

Swiss autumn

I had the season's first 'Heisse Marroni' today, or 'Hot Chestnuts' in English. Nothing quite dictates the beginning of fall here in Switzerland as a 'Marroni' stand at all the busy spots in the cities selling hot chestnuts in small paper bags. On those cold evenings when both husband and I can manage to catch the same train back home, we buy some to munch along during the journey - oh, feels lovely just to think we are in that time of the year again!

Cool, early evenings, changing greenery with orange, golden and sometimes reds peeping through! That view from the train never fails to take my breath away! And then coming home to a nice hot soup or hot chocolate or even tea! Have I mentioned how I love autumn?
And of course who can miss those giant orange pumpkins - waiting to be carved, cooked or simply used for decoration! I think I'm gonna make one of those pumpkin, oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies - never made those!

Another thing that I am looking forward this season is raclette! The traditional meal with nothing but cheese, potatoes and maybe some wine. Hmmm, that spells bad news for the bum and the tum! Haha! Well, isn't that why the layers and the coats are for? Anyways, here is to a fun, colourful and cozy autumn! *clink* Share

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cake, fruits and chocolate for dessert

The other day when I wanted to have a quick dessert after my dinner of chicken tikka and naan bread, this is what I came up with. This isn't really a recipe, rather just an idea of assembling a couple of my favourite things for dessert and eating them all together..haha!
This dessert requires you to only have a cake, or a pancake if you prefer, ready, some fruits, and the rest is just assembling them all together. I am assuming there is a stash of chocolate always lying in your fridge!
I made a thin layer of the sheet cake I had made for my jelly roll, and cut out rounds using a cookie cutter. I started by placing 2 pieces of the cake at the bottom of the glass. Then followed it with a layer of berry preserve. You could use any fruit preserve of your choice - this preserve goes really well with any cake that is not overly sweet, and also with chocolate. Place another few pieces of the cake. Layer on some dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and some nuts. Follow with another 2 or 3 pieces of cake. I then added whipped cream with some crushed blueberries. Another layer of cake, and finally some more whipped cream topping. Serve with some fresh strawberries.
It did not turn out to be as clean in presentation as I thought it would, but I'll get better next time around. I think I will try making a jelly inside the glass instead of using fruit preserve so that it does not drip along the sides.

So there you have it. While making it, I actually thought of IHOP and their amazing pancakes - especially their chocolate chip pancakes with whipped topping. I'd probably ask for some strawberries as well! And maybe that double blueberry pancake *mouth waters*. Knock knock - time to wake up! Alas, I am a few thousand miles away from an IHOP! Boo hoo..Miss you IHOP! Share