I had a whole page in The Times! So exciting! You can read the whole article just below...
Now that temperatures have dropped again, I’m longing for a warming, creamy chestnut soup. I always have a packet of chestnuts in my freezer left over from the holiday season, and they’re good in case of an emergency craving. This recipe has a lot going for it: it’s quick to make, delicious, chic and elegant, and relatively inexpensive. Shavings of foie gras or crisply fried bacon add a decidedly festive touch. In this freezing weather, we should be able to enjoy it without feeling too guilty. (Admittedly, it’s rich!)
To my mind, this is the ultimate in chocolate cakes. The secret of its molten core, despite the lengthy baking time, lies in the proportions I’ve devised for this scrumptious and indulgent cake. Its originality lies in the way I sweeten the cake, namely with a salted butter caramel instead of plain sugar.
The idea for the cake came to me while I was dozing one day. The brainwave sent me immediately to the kitchen to see how to put it into practice. The result exceeded my hopes and for once, I got it right on my first attempt.
Here is my assassin, crisp on the outside and rich, dense, and creamy on the inside.
Recently, I travelled to Périgueux, a lovely city in the gastronomic Périgord region, for the Gourmand Book Fair, where I spent three days signing my first book and generally having a great time! Not only did I meet my readers, but I was also lucky enough to have dinner in an exceptional restaurant, the Café Louise. The food was so delicious that after my first meal there, I returned the next day to try out other dishes. One of them was pasta with wild mushrooms. Maryse, the remarkable chef at the restaurant, is a rare gem: she’s charming, highly talented, and attentive to what her clients want.
I’d always wanted to learn how to make Moroccan gazelle horns, with their paper-thin pastry encasing an almond filling delicately flavored with cinnamon and orange flower water. On a visit to Morocco, I met Touria, Lalla Myriam, and her mother, Lalla Fatima, a lovable grandmother straight out of a storybook. The three women know all the secrets of their country’s cuisine. My patience was rewarded, because what I learned far exceeded my expectations.
For gazelle horns, they told me that it was important to peel the almonds myself. Immersing almonds in boiling water to be able to easily peel them gives the nuts a tender texture that you can’t achieve otherwise. Though if you want to make things easier for yourself, you can use ground almonds (almond flour). One ingredient traditionally incorporated in the pastries is gum arabic, which improves the consistency of the filling. But if you can’t find any, it’s not essential.
With winter settling in, I constantly feel like preparing small, warm treats that fill the house with comforting smells of baking. These small cakes are a cross between cookies, American scones, and flapjacks. There’s no flour, there are no eggs. With oatmeal, white chocolate chips, and dried cranberries, there’s practically no need for guilt! But yes, there is a little butter and cream (this is my blog, after all), just enough for the cookies to hold together. I developed the recipe more or less randomly, but I’m publishing it because I know that many of you will want to make it.
This is an extremely simple way of making what has become known as an extremely sophisticated pastry. I wanted these macarons to look rustic and crackled–in short, old-fashioned macarons. If you prefer smooth macarons, click here for the recipe. These walnut macarons are made with neither Italian nor French meringue; in fact they’re made without any meringue at all. That’s why they’re so simple! There’s no need to leave them out to develop a crust, no doubling the baking sheets, no drizzling water under the paper when you take them out of the oven. Just combine the ingredients, pipe them out and pop them into the oven. The result is delicious. The macarons have the right degree of chewiness and their pure walnut taste is a treat for the palate.
Many of you readers write to ask me for quick recipes to make for everyday meals. And many ask for pasta dishes with rich, creamy sauces. Although it may not be so clear on the photo, the pasta here is coated with a delicious walnut and Gorgonzola sauce. As always, the secret to preparing pasta with a creamy sauce is to cook it just a little less than al dente, and then to cook again in the piping hot prepared sauce. Here’s a recipe I often make at home and enjoy with a glass of good red wine.
Here’s a creamy risotto with a novel combination of flavors. Here, I add red curry paste and shrimp flavored with kaffir leaves. When an Italian classic meets Thai savors, the result is nothing short of explosive. The risotto is soft and creamy, the chili tickles the palate, and with the caramelized shrimps, your dinner is guaranteed to be original.
Here, after my recipe for Browned Butter and Cacao Brownies (click here), is another brownie recipe. You might think I’m a bit sadistic to give it to you, but you asked for it! I posted a recipe for tabouli that was light and refreshing, and you asked me for a giga-calorie recipe. So here it is! Brownies, yes, but brownies with chunks of chocolate, bananas, and a divine layer of peanut butter. I adore pairing banana and peanut butter, so when you add chocolate and put the three into a chewy cake, well, the result is fantastic. And you can be grateful for the snow we’ve had here, because otherwise I would have posted the recipe for another light salad.
I have to apologize. I didn’t quite realize that I’d pressed the button of a potentially lethal calorie bomb. This page is about to explode, so close it quickly before the butter gets the better of you. Yes, it’s rich, but it’s not my fault if winter temperatures are setting in.
I ate these Caramelita Bars for the first time in San Francisco and have always remembered them fondly. So now I bring you my version: a moist, soft dough made with oatmeal, a layer of caramel, pecans, and chocolate, all covered by a crisp oatmeal topping. I did say ‘lethal.’ You’ve been warned.