Orange Meringues

(click on the picture for details)

Custard-based recipes like ice-creams, crême brûlée, and tiramisu mainly require egg yolks, and you always end up with extra egg whites. One way to use up leftover whites is to make soufflé - and I will hopefully be able to share my taro root soufflé with you very soon! If you need to satisfy your sweet tooth and are not up to the challenge, a simpler way is to make meringues. Meringue cookies may seem intimidating for any beginner, but as long as you start with water- and grease-free utensils and bowls, these feather-light cookies will be a breeze to make!

Ingredients for 3-4 dozen cookies:

5 large egg whites (Tip: Make also sure that no yolk has slipped into your bowl when you separate your eggs !)

7 ounces icing sugar

Zest of 1 orange

1. Sift the icing sugar to ensure that there will be no lumps and zest the orange.

2. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites using an electrical mixer until firm peaks form.

3. Slowly add the sugar while keeping the mixer on to obtain glossy peaks.

4. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

5. Line baking sheets with parchemin paper.

6. Gently fold the zest into the whites and transfer into a freezer bag.

7. Cut one tip of the bag and pipe the whites onto the lined baking sheets, keeping about one inch between the cookies.

8. Bake for 1 hr, making sure not to open the oven door during the first 30 mns. (Tip: Try to bake all the cookies in one batch prevent the meringues from falling)

9. Let cool on a rack to room temperature.

Crême Brûlée A Ma Façon

(click on the picture for more details)

What is so special about this traditional French dessert?!

I love crême brûlée, I especially love to crack the warm caramel crust and dive into the cool custard. I also love to top my brûlée with a handful of raspberries and blackberries, and let the tartness of the fruit balance the sweetness of the cream.

The star ingredient of my crème brûlée is honey and this honey from my great uncle’s beehives makes this dessert even more special to me! Not only it is sweet and thick, but it has also captured the smokiness of the charcoal-burning braziers, which the main source of heat in the remote village of A. I recognize that a beekeeping great uncle, living in the Highlands of Madagascar is unique, but the rich flavours of any organic honey from your local farmer’s market or a visit to a beekeeper in the nearby countryside will make your dessert just as tasty and memorable as mine!

Ingredients for 6 servings:

2 cups whipping cream

5 large egg yolks (Tip: The whites can be saved in the freezer for a few weeks, I used mine for meringue cookies!)

1 large egg

2/3 cup honey

1 vanilla bean

1 cup fresh fruit like orange, raspberries, and blackberries

1 ounce triple sec

1. In a small saucepan, heat the cream and the vanilla bean cut lengthwise.

2. Let simmer for 5 mns and remove from the heat.

3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the honey using a whisk until creamy.

4. Slowly stir the warm cream into the egg mixture, until homogenous.

5. Pass through a fine mesh sieve, into a large measuring cup.

6. Preheat the oven to 325 F.

7. Equally distribute into ramequins.

8. Transfer the ramequins into a large baking dish.

9. Fill ¾ of the baking dish with cold water and bake until almost set (about 45 mns).

10. Let cool on a rack to room temperature and chill for at least 4 hrs.

11. To make a quick fruit salad, cut the fruit into bite-size pieces and add to a small bowl.

12. Mix in the orange zest and the triple sec.

13. Before serving, sprinkle with a thin layer of sugar and brown using a torch or under the broiler.

14. Top with fresh fruit salad.


Slow Roasted Beef with Roasted Vegetables

(Click on the picture for more details)

Spring is finally here and this simple and delicious roast, with its ratatouille, is the best way to celebrate the return of long and warm days! What I like about this roast, just like for the rack of pork roast, is that both meat and side vegetables are cooked at the same time, in the same pan. The meat is seared in the pan to create a crust then roasted at low temperature, so that the vegetables do not get carbonized but simmer gently into a roasted ratatouille. Also, the meat is placed on the rack to preserve its integrity, while allowing the juices to drip into the vegetables underneath. As for the leftovers, you can carve enough meat for roastbeef on baguette enhanced with a cold ratatouille salad.


3 pound (1½ kilogram) eye of round roast beef

1 cup fresh parsley

½ cup walnut halves

2 or 3 garlic cloves

4 cup zucchini squash

1 cup cremini mushrooms

1 small red onion

1 red pepper

1 yellow pepper

4 ripe tomatoes

Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 275 F.

2. Roughly chop the vegetables into 2 inch cubes and slice the onion.

3. Place vegetables and onion in the bottom of the roasting pan.

4. Chop together parsley, walnut halves and garlic.

5. Mix ¾ of the parsley mixture with the vegetables.

6. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

7. Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a non-stick pan over high heat.

8. Season and pan-sear the roast until all the sides are brown.

9. After letting the roast rest for 5 mns, cover the roast with the rest of the parsley mixture.

10. Place the roast on the rack.

11. Cook the roast for 1 ½ to 2 hrs, until the internal temperature reaches 140 F.

12. Remove from the oven and tent with foil for 5-10 mins.

13. Carve the meat and serve with the roasted vegetables (Tip: For a kick fix, drizzle some balsamic vinegar into the vegetables before serving).


Slow-Braised Daikon and Shiitake Beef Shanks

(Click on the picture for more details)

Another trip to the Chinese superstore! Another cartful of great, fresh produce and all you need for a succulent, slow-braised dish! This time we got daikon and shiitake mushrooms to cook with the whole, fresh beef shanks from the butcher’s counter. This recipe requires a few ingredients only and, as you will find out, two beef shanks and one giant Asian radish will fill your slow-cooker! The tomatoes and the peppers act as thickeners for the mild-tasting juices given off by the daikon root, at the same time they bring sweetness and depth to the dish.

Ingredients for 6 servings:

2 beef shanks (about 2 pounds)

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 daikon root

3 sticks celery

1½ cup shiitake mushrooms

Whole hot chillies to taste

½ to 1 cup dry white wine

Garlic stems

2 bay leaves

16 ounces can tomato

Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Chop the daikon, celery and mushrooms and transfer to the slow cooker.

2. Cut the stems off the peppers and add to the vegetables with the bay leaves. (NB: If you are sensitive to hot chillies, you can half them and remove the seeds or you can keep them whole and poke them with a fork to slowly let the heat diffuse into the dish)

3. Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat.

4. Mix the flour with salt and pepper on a plate and coat the beef shanks with the flour mixture. Drain the flour and brown the meat in the hot oil.

5. Transfer the beef shanks to the slow cooker.

6. Chop the garlic stems and add to the hot pan. Stir-fry for 1-2 mns over low to medium-high heat.

7. Deglaze with the wine and stir in the leftover flour.

8. Let simmer for 2 mns. Pour the gravy over the meat.

9. Slow cook on high for 1 hour.

10. Add the tomatoes and cook for at least another 6 hrs, until the meat is fork tender.

11. Serve hot over steamed rice, asparagus or green beans.


Celeriac Purée

(click on the wrinkly root for more details)

I love celeriac or celery root because of its fresh, anis-like flavour. Raw, it can be grated into a slaw, dressed with creamy dressing and incorporated into a refreshing, powerful salad. Cooking celeriac tones the anis flavour down and brings out the sweetness of the root, turning it such a great vegetable side-dish. This celeriac purée recipe is as easy as can be and could be used a base for celeriac soup: all you would have to do is to add chicken or vegetable stock to thin it out, whiz it et voilà! I chose to use the thick, flavourful mash to accompany my honey-glazed rack of pork roast.


1 medium celeriac

1 small onion

1 or 2 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons Italian herbs

½ teaspoon coarse salt

1 cup water

¼ cup dry white wine (or dry Vermouth)

1 teaspoon hot chili paste

Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.

2. Stir fry the onion and the celeriac until soft and lightly browned.

3. Press and add the garlic then the herbs and chili paste.

4. After 1-2 mins, pour in the wine and just enough water to cover the vegetables.

5. Cover and let simmer for 20 mins, until the celeriac is soft and the liquids are evaporated.

6. Mash and season to taste.

Honey-Glazed Red Peppercorn Rack of Pork with Nectarine and Cremini Mushrooms

(Click on the picture for more details...)

A rack of pork is a delicious and affordable alternative to the rack of lamb. I t is also a great way to dress your ordinary chops for Sunday dinner! As for any roast, it only is a breeze to prepare! The bones will keep the flesh from drying off, and once ready, everyone gets to enjoy their juicy pork chop! Let your oven do the work this time and keep your cook top grease-free!

Anyone who has read my previous posts should not be surprised about the sweet-savory, fruit and pork combination in this main dish. Like for the mango apple with tenderloin or the orange tamarind with slow roasted belly, the nectarine and the pork juices intermingle beautifully in this recipe. For the skeptics, you’ve just got to try and you will be hooked!


3 pound (1½ kilogram) rack of pork

¼ to ½ cup honey

1 cup red peppercorn

½ teaspoon coarse salt

1 cup cremini mushrooms

2 nectarines

¼ cup dry white wine (or dry Vermouth)

Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 450 F.

2. Mix the red peppercorn with the salt using a mortar and pestle. Completely cover the roast with red peppercorn.

3. In a small bowl, prepare the glaze by mixing honey and wine using a whisk until homogenous. Drizzle the roast with the glaze.

4. Place the roast in a baking dish, with bones underneath.

5. Cook the roast for 15 min.

6. Reduce the heat to 350 F and cook the roast for another 60 mins. (Do not open the oven door at this point!).

7. Roast until the internal temperature reaches 155 F.

8. In the last 20 mins of roasting, brush and slice the mushrooms and nectarines.

9. Remove from the oven and tent with foil for 5-10 mins.

10. Carve one chop at a time, leaving the bone on.

11. Serve with garlic mashed potatoes or with celeriac purée.


Crêpes with Blueberry Orange Sauce

(click on the picture for more details...)

Originally from Brittany, crêpes are one of my favourite French foods. Simple and versatile, they can be enjoyed sweet or savoury. Whenever I make them, I fondly remember my crêpe parties with my roommates and friends during my undergraduate years. Everyone would make their own, and picked their own filling. I preferred them lined with a slice of ham and generously sprinkled with grated gruyère, and for dessert, I would indulge with Nutella spread and banana slices. Our movie nights at the theatre in Montparnasse would usually end at the bustling Crêperie de Josselin with a rustic, gargantuan meal with the typical bolée

– literally, apple cider served in a huge bowl.

Sunday brunch is also a great, leisurely time to enjoy crêpes. They are as easy to make as the traditional pancakes but they are also lighter. Feel free to douse them with the yummy blueberry orange sauce. Bon appétit!

Ingredients for about 12 crepes:

1 cup all purpose flour

2 large eggs

2 cups milk, preferably homo milk

1-2 teaspoon vanilla

1 pinch of salt

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1 orange

1½ cup frozen blueberry

3 tablespoons icing sugar

1 splash triple sec

1. In a large bowl, make a well with the flour.

2. Add in the eggs, milk, vanilla, and salt.

3. Stir until smooth using a whisk and let rest for 1 hour.

4. After one hour, preheat a non-stick frying pan under high heat.

5. To cook each crêpe, pour approx. ½ ladle of batter into the hot pan and swirl it around to cover the bottom with a thin, uniform layer.

6. Let one side of the crêpe cook for 1 min, until the edge browns.

7. Flip the crêpe to cook the other side for another min, and transfer into a plate. (Note: avoid stacking the crêpes to prevent them from becoming soggy. They can be kept warm in the oven)

8. To prepare the sauce, zest and press the orange into a small saucepan.

9. Add the blueberries to the saucepan.

10. Heat the fruit to medium-high and let simmer for 5 min.

11. Add 2/3 of the icing sugar and triple sec.

12. Sprinkle each crêpe with chocolate chips before folding.

13. Pour the warm blueberry sauce over the crêpes, dust with icing sugar and dig in!


Ginger and Chocolate Chip Chocolate Cookies

(Click on the picture for details)
Once again, I had to make something to satisfy my chocolate craving. Thinking back at the chocolate recipes that I have posted so far, I saw that I completely forgot to mention chocolate chip cookies! I love cookies and if you are like me, you will like yours extra decadent, moist and – most of all, with as much chocolate as they can hold. If you are desperate for chocolate fix, you will not be disappointed by these treats. The candied ginger adds extra-special sweetness and warmth to these brownie-like chocolatey cookies! Delish!

Ingredients for about 3 dozen cookies:

1 cup room-temperature, unsalted butter

1 cup crystallized sugar

½ cup brown sugar

1 large egg

1-2 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup cocoa powder

2 tablespoons buttermilk

1¾ cup all purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup chopped walnuts

½ cup chopped candied ginger

¾ cup dark chocolate chips

1. In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugars and vanilla using an electric mixer, until fluffy.

2. Beat in the egg, then the sifted cocoa and the buttermilk.

3. In a small bowl, mix flour and baking soda.

4. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate buttercream.

5. Stir in ginger, chocolate, and walnuts.

6. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

7. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper.

8. Drop the cookie dough using a teaspoon onto the lined sheets, leaving 2 inches in between the mounds.

9. Bake for 12 mins.

10. Cool for 2 mins before removing from the baking sheet.

Creative Commons License
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.