French light chocolate cake with pistachios

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I have a confession to make : I’m not a fan of chocolate. Well, I like it and don’t say no to a square of milk chocolate from time to time. But in restaurants and at home, I systematically choose a lemon cake or a fruit tart over a chocolate dessert.

But I know that I’m quite alone in this case and it’s sometimes difficult to stand in this sea of chocolate lovers. So I’ve decided to add a chocolate cake recipe to my repertoire, to make when I have guests or when I want to make friends and family happy.
But this cake needed to be chocolaty without being overly sweet, not greasy and light as a feather. So bye bye dense brownies and rich fondants !

While searching, I found the best combination, fluffy eggs for the lightness, good chocolate, not too much butter, hazelnut flour and buckweat flour for the nuttyness.

Also, it goes well with many toppings : chopped hazelnuts, pistachios, roasted pears or apples, in winter, and strawberries and raspberries in summer.

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French light chocolate cake with pistachios

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

100 g unsalted butter
100 g bittersweet dark chocolate (70 to 72 percent is ideal)
4 large eggs
100 g blond cane sugar
35 g buckwheat flour
35 g hazelnut flour
A pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To serve
Chopped pistachios
Chopped hazelnuts
Roasted pears
Strawberries

1. Preheat your oven at 180°C and butter a round pan. Melt your butter with the chocolat in a microwave or in a double boiler, stirring often.
2. Beat the eggs with the sugar and salt in a mixer until light and fluffy (5_10 minutes)
3. Gently fold in the butter and chocolate. Add the flours and vanilla.
4. Pour in your pan and bake for 20-30 minutes. Serve with the suggested toppings or as is.

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Fig Salad with Smoked Prosciutto and Tomatoes

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Today I’m sharing a very simple salad that I shot a month ago (yes I’m quite late…) when Fall was only beginning and we were still enjoying summer produce.
This fig salad with tomatoes and prosciutto is too good that I couldn’t bring myself to burry it in my draft folder until next year. Yes, tomato season is over but maybe you are lucky and still can find some at your local market ? In any case, you can swap the tomatoes with rucola or roasted squash for a more in-season salad.

The smokiness of the prosciutto (called speck in Italy) with the sweetness of the figs is a match made in heaven. The basil also adds some freshness to the dish.

I’ve also added some pictures of a trip to Medoc (near Bordeaux) that we took before harvest season (a month ago). It’s a beautiful place, close to Bordeaux, very wild if you walk near the Garonne shore. The vineyards nearby were laden down with ripe grapes, their leaves still tender green, just ready to turn red at the first cold days.
I’m always stunned to see how beautiful are the months after summer in our region. Now the countryside has taken its Fall hues : yellow, red, orange but the sun is still shining and illuminating the nature.

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Fig Salad with Smoked Prosciutto and Tomatoes

Serves 2, as a starter

1 large tomato or 2 mid-size ones
2 smoked prosciutto – speck
2 figs
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
Springs of basil

1. Slice the tomatoes and place them in two plates. Add the prosciutto cut into bits, fig quarters.
2. Add the dressing and basil, salt and pepper.

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Rustic Blackberry Galette

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As promised, I’m closing the summer chapter with a last blackberry recipe : a galette. Galettes are quite popular these days, I see them popping everywhere in Instagram and my favorite blogs.
It’s the wild cousin of our family tart, always neat and pretty, the galette loves messy and juicy fruits. The quirkier, the better.
But it’s also a matter of taste, I’ve found that the galette with a nice buttery crust, caramelized in the oven, is the perfect vehicule for tangy blackberries.
The only trick to this recipe is rolling your dough to create a nice round that will delicately cover your fruits. The rest is almost too easy for the stunning result that you get. Everyone will be amazed for Sunday lunch, I promise.

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Rustic Blackberry Galette

200g of flour
150g of cold butter, diced
1 tbsp of sugar
3 tbsp of cold water
1 pinch of salt

Pour garnish
200g of fresh blackberries
50g of brown sugar
Juice of 1 lemon

Pour finish
1 tbsp of milk
1 tbsp of sugar

1. Mix the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Add the butter and work with your fingers until you have a coarse texture. Add the water and incorporate into the dough. Cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
2. Preheat the oven at 180°C. Roll the dough on a floured surface, transfer on an oven tray covered with parchment paper.
3. Mix the blackberries with the sugar and lemon. Place on the dough. Fold the edges.
4. Brush the edges with the milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 35/45 minutes

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Afternoon in the garden : blackberry whole wheat scones

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The end of summer is always the paradise of blackberries. I remember during my childhood, this time of year was always linked to afternoons spent picking blackberries. In Biscarrosse, there are plenty, even in the town, on the side of the streets, overflowing from wild gardens. Back then, we picked them by the bowl full and tried to sell them in front of our house to the passers-by.

These are wild blackberries, with various sizes and various levels of ripeness. Quite different from the ones you can find sometimes at your local store, always plump and juicy.
They are of course delicious as is, just warm form the afternoon sun, but I also love them in tarts and cakes. Incidentally, I have another recipe for you with blackberries, involving a galette no less, that I will share quickly before we move towards more autumn-y recipes.
The season is almost over, so you better hurry to pick them all :)

Today it’s a scone recipe that I’m sharing, with a nutty flavor thanks to the whole wheat flour that goes well with the acidity of the blackberries. It’s perfect for the afternoon tea or warm for breakfast the next day.

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Blackberry Scones
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Makes 10 scones/em>

125 grams or 1 cup of all-purpose flour
120 grams or 1cup of whole wheat flour
Zest of 1 lemon, grates
3 tbsp of brown sugar
2 tsp of baking powder
1 pinch of salt
70g of butter, cold and diced
150g or 1 cup of blackberries
150 ml or 2/3 cup of milk
1 large egg, beaten
1 tbsp of brown sugar for finishing

1. Preheat your oven at 200°C. Mix the flours, baking powder, salt, lemon zest, and sugar. Add the cold butter and work with your hands until you get a crumbly texture.
2. Add the blackberries and the milk. Knead the dough quickly to obtain one mass. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and form a 2 cm disk.
3. Cut 10 triangles in the disk and place them on a baking tray covered with a baking sheet. Brush the scones with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

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