Friday, June 29, 2012

Crispy-skin Duck Breast with Stewed Cherries

                                                   Portion: 6-8


3 duck breasts
4 minced shallots 
2 T. olive oil 
1⁄4 C. balsamic vinegar 
1 T. honey 
1 bay leaf 
2 sprigs fresh tarragon or fresh basil 
Salt, pepper 
2 C. pitted, halved cherries

  • Gently cook shallots covered in 2 tablespoons olive oil, about 10 minutes with no browning. 
  • Add all other ingredients except for fresh herbs and simmer 5 minutes, then add tarragon at the end of cooking. 
  • Be sure to test for a good balance of sweet and sour before serving. 
  • Trim excess fat from duck breasts, slash the skin and place skin side down in hot pan, no oil if using non-stick pan. 
  • Brown duck skin till crispy, draining fat from pan once or twice, about 10 minutes over medium heat. 
  • Flip to sear bottom side one minute, salt skin only, then place in very slow oven, about 250 F, just long enough, about 10 minutes, to bring interior from bloody rare to pink, firm but juicy.    
  • Salt bottom, rest 5 minutes as with a good steak, then serve with cherries. Sprinkle duck with “Fleur de sel” to accentuate the flavors.
  • Serve with celery puree.

Wine Suggestions:

Young, deep reds, not too dry : Corbières, Minervois, Cotes-du-rhone, Saint-émilion, St-Chinian

This recipe tried and tested in the Morning Market class with Chef Brian this week.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Artichoke Veloute Creamy Truffle Oil

                                                        Portion 6


6 artichokes
1 onion
left over white wine if you have
Black truffle oil
Salt, pepper, thyme , bay leaf
4 slices of bacon


  • First, prepare the artichokes, cut the stem and clean up the leaves, keep only the heart.
  • Cut them in four and take out the center ( the blond hair!).
  • Chop the onio.
  • In a deep frying pan sweat the onion then add the artichokes, the thyme and bay leaf.
  • Deglaze with the wine then cover with water and turn the heat down, let it cook slowly with a lid on.
  • Meanwhile whisk the cream add salt and pepper and a drizzle of truffle oil.
  • When the artichokes are cooked, blend them with the cooking water
  • Add a little of cream to have a creamy consistency.
  • Chop the bacon in small pieces and sear them on a frying pan with no fat.
  • On a deep plate pour the veloute, add the bacon and a scoop of truffle cream.
  • Decorate with herbs and enjoy!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Tarte Bouquet De Framboises

8 Portion

250g flour (all purpose)
150g butter, room temperature
70g icing sugar (superfine sugar)
2 yolks
1 pinch of salt

Almond frangipane filling
125g butter, soft
1 pinch of salt
125g icing sugar (superfine sugar)
125g eggs
125g almond flour
50g flour
1tbsp vanilla extract

Framboises (raspberries)
400g fresh raspberries
100g seedless raspberry jam
icing sugar

pistachios chunks


Dough  (pate sucree)
In a standup mixer, cream butter, icing sugar and salt until light and fluffy, add eggs and keep mixing, finally add flour. Mix until well combined, then rap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour.
Frangipane filling
15 minutes before rolling the dough mix all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Transfer in a piping bag and refrigerate if kitchen is too hot or you're late with the dough preparation/rolling.
Make a paper cornet and fill the raspberries, set aside.

Roll the dough to 4mm thickness and line a 26cm tart pan, fill with frangipane and bake for 35' at 170C. Let rest 5 minutes then arrange the filled berries, sprinkle with icing sugar and decorate with pistachio chunks or mint leaves.

Variation: on top of the frangipane pipe a think layer of vanilla pastry cream, it will help glueing the berries in place and adds another flavour to the tart.

Learn this and more recipes in the Advanced French Desserts class with Cookn With Class.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Ile Flottante (Floating Island)

                                                        Portion 6


180g egg white
80g sugar

100g sugar
25g water
200g nuts (any kind)
10g butter


  • First, whip the egg white slow speed and add the sugar little by little until the eggs are raise.
  • In a large sauce pan cook the syrup  - sugar and water together and bring to boil until the bubbles get bigger. Add the nuts, stir and then add the butter and the salt , stir until it gets brown and starts to smell nice. Store on parchment paper with oil so it doesn’t  stick.
  • Take the whipped egg white and spread them in  a mould that you have brushed with oil. Bake 3 min a 300 f ( 280c)
  • Serve this with a crème anglaise (see recipe below) and the caramelized nuts.

Recipe for Creme Anglaise:


250 ml milk and 250 ml cream - mixed together
75 grams sugar 
1/2 vanilla pod 
4 egg yolks


  • Cut the pod in half and scrape the vanilla out and put it in the cream (pod and all). 
  • Add the sugar to the cream and heat to just under the boil. Slowly add the hot cream to the egg yolks while whisking to temper. 
  • Then mix all ingredients together back on the stove. On medium heat cook while moving constantly with a spatula until it gets to 180 degrees or nice and thick.
    Cool down in the fridge with contact film until cold (3 hours), then it’s ready.