Category Archives: Recipes

French Traditional Recipes

Galette des Rois Tradition and Recipe


On January 6th all over France, we celebrate Epiphany Day 12 days after Christmas with La Galette des Rois which is reminiscent of the biblical Christian tradition of the three wise men’s journey or Les Trois Rois Mages bearing gifts of gold, myrrh, and incense following the birth of Jesus. The three wise men or Kings were called Balthazar, Gaspard, and Melchior who followed the star to find Jesus in the manger.  The galette follows the tradition of the Tirage des Rois or the drawing of the King. Inside the galette, there is a little trinket or a fève.  Custom has it that the youngest child would hide under the table blindfolded and designate each piece of galette to be served to the guests. Whoever got the piece of galette with the hidden fève would be crowned King or Queen for the day and wear the Couronne d’Or or golden crown.

The traditional fèves ( the trinket, figurine, or bean hidden inside the galette)  in France is quite impossible to accidentally swallow because it is big!  In France, there’s a new theme out each year ( one year there was even a Coca-Cola theme or Disneyland!) These little porcelain figurines are becoming quite collectibles and did you know that collecting these fèves is called: Favophilie?

La Galette des Rois is an anticipated treat and it is sold throughout the month of January in bakeries or supermarkets. There are few galette variations some with fruits, nuts, or no filling depending on the region but my ultimate favorite galette is the galette filled with almond paste, not to be confused with the Frangipane filling which is half crème d’amande and half crème pâtissière.  Depending on how rich you want your galette you can adapt the recipe check out La Galette des Rois – 3 Easy Recipes.

In the North of France in  Normandy, la Galette is made of pâte feuilletée or puff pastry stuffed with a dense, creamy almond cream and crème pâtissière called frangipane. (personally, I prefercrème d’amande or pâte d’amande” which is just blanched almonds in powder, butter, sugar & eggs). In the south of France, you’ll be eating a brioche-style cake covered with candied fruits called Gateau des Rois.

Happy Epiphany Day!  Bonne Fête des Rois!

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Les Escargots de Bourgogne


‘Burgundy snails’ this is Helix species of snail Roman snail

Il pleut il mouille c’est la fête à la grenouille but it’s also la chasse aux escargots! When it rains the frogs come out but it’s also open snail season especially after thunder or early morning dew.

« Quand l’orage gronde, l’escargot corne »When thunder roars, the snail horns come out!

In Languedoc, France it was a tradition to go snail picking after each rainfall where the snails would get stored in cages to fast for a few weeks before landing in the pan! Today this practice is regulated because the snail or gastropod became a protected species in 1979. Heliciculture, or snail farming is the process of farming or raising snails specifically for human consumption is estimated at 30 000 tons per year with up to 1000 tons produced by French heliciculteurs.

It was in 1814 that the snail became a delicacy when Talleyrand, the diplomatic head under Louis XVIII,requested that his chef nicknamed the King of Chefs and Chef of Kings Marie-Antoine Carême prepare a dinner in honor of the Tsar Alexander 1st of Russia. This is where the famous Escargots de Bourgogne à l’ail, et au persil was born! It has been since then an emblematic star recipe of French cuisine.

Today you don’t need to go snail picking, just make sure to purchase the best brand of Escargots de Bourgogne or Burgundy Snails in cans. You may also want to have the escargots plates with the tongs and of course the escargots shells for the authentic touch!

Making the famous Escargots de Bourgogne à l’ail, et au persil or Snails in Garlic–Herb Butter is pretty simple and you can find the recipe from Julia Child’s in “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”

Serves 4

1 cup softened unsalted butter

14 cup minced parsley

1 tbsp. white wine

1 tsp. cognac or French brandy

3 cloves minced garlic

1 minced shallot

salt & pepper to taste

24 extra-large snail shells

24 canned extra-large snails

and the French baguette for dipping into the beurre d’escargot!

  1. In a bowl, whisk together butter, parsley, wine, cognac, garlic, and shallots with a fork, salt & pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Heat oven to 400°
  3. Spoon about 12 tsp. of butter mixture into each snail shell, push snail into each shell and then fill shells with remaining butter mixture.
  4. Bake snail shells butter side up until butter sizzles, about 10–12 minutes.
  5. Serve snails with baguette to soak up the butter

Bon appétit!

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French Macarons 10 Easy Steps Recipe


10 Easy Steps Recipe to Make French Macarons

It’s amazing how these delicious bites of heaven only contain 3 basic ingredients: almond flour, sugar, egg whites. Here are ten (10) easy steps to making authentic French Macarons. The possibilities are endless when it comes to the filling, the traditional filling is buttercream and you can also make a ganache.

Ingredients for the Macarons

  • 1 cup /150 grams ground almonds aka almond flour
  • 2/3 cup/75.3 grams powdered sugar
  • 2 medium egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup/50 grams granulated superfine sugar
  • 1 or 2 drops food coloring (if desired)

Ingredients for the Filling – Basic Buttercream

There are a variety of fillings from buttercream, to ganache with infinite flavor possibilities  from traditional to the more exotic (vanilla, chocolate, coffee, caramel, pistachio, Nutella, mango, orange, lemon, lavender, thyme, jasmine etc…)

  • 1 1/2 cups/340.5 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup/150 grams of powdered sugar

 

Preheat oven to 300 F/140 C

Easy Directions

Step 1 – Mix the almond flour and powdered sugar together

Step 2 -Whip the egg whites, salt and sugar into a firm meringue consistency

Step 3 -Incorporate the almond mixture into the meringue gently folding

Step 4 Fill with the macaron mixture in a 1/3-inch (1cm) nozzle piping bag,

Step 5 – Pipe 1.5 inches rounds of Macaron mixture on a baking tray covered with parchment paper (or use a silicone mat)

Step 6 -Tap baking sheet on counter to eliminate air bubbles and let stand 15-60 minutes

Step 7 – Bake about 20 minutes

Step 8 – Make the filling mix the butter and powdered sugar

Step 9 – Fill a piping bag with your choice of filling

Step 10 – When cool assemble the macaron with filling in between

 

This is a cool silicone mat baking set to make your macarons:

 

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