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Sicilian Orange Cake with Whipped Ricotta Cream

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I'm a big fan of this cake. The texture is a little bit like a semolina cake (due to the almond meal). It requires neither oil, nor butter (the almonds are rich enough in fat) but the oranges make it incredibly moist.



CAKE
2 large oranges
5 large eggs
8 oz. almond meal (225 grams)
8 oz. sugar (225 grams)
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
(in France or Italy, ricotta is mostly found in containers of 250 grams. I used 2 tablespoons for the cake and the rest of the container for the whipped cream)

WHIPPED RICOTTA CREAM
250 grams ricotta cheese (minus the 2 tablespoons used for the cake), cold
20 cl whipping cream (no less than 30% fat), cold
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 1 orange



Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
Rinse and boil oranges with skin on until soft (20-25 minutes). Allow oranges to cool.
Cut in quarters, removing the pips. Blend until smooth.
Beat eggs and add remaining ingredients before mixing thoroughly.
Line bottom of an 8 or 9-in…

Lemon-Almond Snowcloud Pie with Blueberry Coulis

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This recipe is a mash-up of two recipes I've shared in this blog : the crust is a regular shortbread dough (but I could have used Speculoos cookies and butter like I usually do for a cheesecake base), and the filling is the "blueberry snowcloud" recipe. The result is a crunchy crust with a bavarois filling, lighter than cheesecake because I only used one small container of cream cheese.







CRUST 250 grams all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 60 grams confectioner's sugar 120 grams unsalted butter 1 egg yolk 1/4 cup cold water FILLING 1 pound of cream cheese/ricotta/greek yogurt (I used 150 grams of PHILADELPHIA cream cheese, 250 grams of ricotta cheese and 1 plain greek yogurt) 2/3 cup white sugar 3 large egg whites 1 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons + zest of 1 lemon 4 gelatin leaves (2 grams each)
BLUEBERRY COULIS 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen) 1/2 cup white sugar

Mix together butter, flour, salt, confectioner’s sugar, egg yolk and water. Roll dough into a ball, wrap wit…

Paris-Brest

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Last month, my partner and I spent a few days in Paris. One day, we stumbled upon this remarkable bakery on Rue Saint-Denis which sold, among other delicious pastries, an enormous Paris-Brest cake by the slice. It was so good that we went back for more the next day. Paris-Brest is a delicious choux pastry filled with a hazelnut "mousseline" cream, and it involves one hard-to-find ingredient: praliné (hazelnut-almond paste). This recipe is great because it shows how simple it is to make your own praliné. It is an extra step you can do without if you can good quality praliné in a jar, but it was well worth the effort.


PRALINÉ (HAZELNUT-ALMOND PASTE) 100 grams hazelnuts 125 grams almonds (preferably skinned) 180 grams sugar 50 grams water
CHOUX PASTRY 125 ml (1/2 cup) whole milk 125 ml (1/2 cup) water 75 grams (1/3 cup) unsalted butter 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup all-purpose flour 4 large eggs 1/4 cup sliced almonds
EGG WASH 1 egg 2 tablespoons water
MOUSSELINE CREAM 500 ml (2 cups) whole milk 130 gr…

Hazelnut dacquoise with praliné feuilleté and chestnut buttercream

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This is a creation of mine, combining two recipes that I thought would work well together. Pretty happy with the result.



DACQUOISE
90 grams ground hazelnuts
100 grams whole hazelnuts (I used walnuts instead)
100 grams confectioner's (icing) sugar
3 large egg whites
35 grams white sugar

PRALINÉ FEUILLETÉ
200 grams of pralinoise (55% hazelnut content)
100 grams of crêpes dentelles (I used "Gavottes")

CHESTNUT BUTTERCREAM
370 grams (whole jar) of chestnut cream
150 grams PHILADELPHIA cream cheese
125 grams unsalted butter, softened

Preheat oven at 180°C (about 350°F).
For the dacquoise, coarsely chop the whole hazelnuts and toast them in a pan, stirring from time to time to avoid burning. When toasted, set aside.
In a bowl, beat egg whites with handheld mixer adding white sugar in small amounts, until fully incorporated and mixture thickens and forms glossy peaks.
In a separate bowl, mix ground hazelnut and confectioner's sugar together. Fold delicately into the egg white mixture wi…

Japanese Cheesecake

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We love cheesecake! I've wanted to try one of these for so long, because they're supposed to have this incredibly light texture, soft as cotton, unlike their rich and dense American cousin. I've flavored this one with almond extract and added some toasted almond slices for a little bit of crunch. Just amazing!







INGREDIENTS5 oz. (140 grams) granulated sugar
6 egg whites
6 egg yolks
2 oz. (50 grams) unsalted butter

9 oz. (250 grams) PHILADELPHIA cream cheese
3 fl oz. (100 ml) fresh milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 oz. (60 grams) all-purpose flour
1 oz. (20 grams) cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted


DIRECTIONSMelt cream cheese, butter and milk over a double boiler. Fold in the flour, the cornflour, salt, egg yolks, lemon juice and mix well.Make the meringue by whisking egg whites with a handheld mixer until foamy. Add in the sugar and whisk until soft peaks form.Fold 1/3 meringue into the cheese mixture, then fold in another 1/…

Almond Cake with Crunchy Crust

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My partner and I absolutely love almonds. I recently came upon this recipe (thank you Pinterest) that promised to deliver a cake both moist inside, and with a delicious crunchy layer on top. The result was amazing.


CARAMELIZED CRUST 10 grams unsalted butter, softened 50 grams sliced almonds (I used about 1/2 cup) 2 tablespoons white sugar
BATTER 115 grams almond meal (ground almond) 150 grams white sugar 1 pinch of salt 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (I used a bit more because I didn't have any Amaretto) 3 large eggs 115 grams unsalted butter, room temperature 1 tablespoon Amaretto (optional) 45 grams all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven at 350°F/180°C. Generously butter bottom and sides of a 8x8 inch cake pan. Spread sliced almonds evenly over bottom and sides (1 inch high) and sprinkle with sugar. Set aside. In a a mixing bowl, mix together almond meal, sugar, salt and almond extract. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add softened butter, Amaretto and…

Brownies

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I finally found the perfect square cake pan I was looking for. It didn't stop me from making brownies before, but it was a perfect opportunity to give my new pan its first spin. These brownies came out rich and fudgy, with a strong cocoa flavor enhanced by the saltiness of the macadamia nuts.
Makes 16 servings.






INGREDIENTS ½ cup unsalted butter, melted (110 grams)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
1 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup all purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup dark chocolate chips (52% cocoa at least)
½ cup coarsely chopped nuts - optional (I used macadamia nuts)


Preheat oven to 175°C | 350°F.
Lightly grease an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan with cooking oil spray or butter.
Line bottom with baking paper and set aside.
Combine melted butter, oil and sugar together in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk well for about a minute. Add the eggs and vanilla; beat until lighter in colour (about 1 minute).
Add flour, cocoa powde…