Monthly Archives: May, 2018

National Wine Day

May 25th, 2018 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

– Bourgogne Premier Cru Wine Dinner
It’s National Wine Day so I would like to share with you some of my favourite French wines.

While three areas of France, Champagne, Burgundy and Bordeaux, enjoy worldwide recognition because their historic tradition for fine wines, there is wine production in most French regions. In general while, the northern vineyards are known for their white wines, the southern vineyards, from Burgundy southwards have a reputation built on their red wines.

As a family, we like to return to France as often as we can and a trip isn’t complete without a tour of some of the smaller vineyards, offering wine that very much is a taste of the region in which they are produced.

The Burgundy region (where monasteries played a key role in developing the wine industry) produces my all-time favourite wines and below are some of the wines I always buy direct from the producers when I have the opportunity.

1. Domaine de la Baume (34) Languedoc
There are a large choice of reds and whites under this name and they are all very affordable. The whites are delicious served for pre-drinks with canapés.

2. Champagne Noel Maury (51)
Champagne is used for any celebration in France, a bit like Prosecco in the UK.
I know the owner of this vineyard personally as some close friends have a countryside house next to the vineyard. He is very nice and produces champagne that is genuinely “terroir”.
This is very good quality of Champagne, and at a nice affordable price of 12 euros.

3. Mercurey de chez Robert Size (71), Bourgogne
This one is my favourite wines and I have never been disappointed. It is at its best when served with game.

4. Chablis, Domaine Guy Robin (89) Bourgogne
What a lovely discovery – this was recommended by my friends who live in this area of France. This wine is very good with shellfish.

These wines are available online, although some may not be available right now.

I can also recommend the expertise of Patrice at Le Bon Vin :

Cherry and Rhubarb Clafoutis

May 17th, 2018 Posted by Blog, Recipes No Comment yet

Celebrate World Baking Day with your loved ones and bake them my delicious Cherry & Rhubarb Clafoutis.

Cherry and Rhubarb Clafoutis

Cherry and Rhubarb Clafoutis

Serves 6

50cl whole milk
4 eggs
140g caster sugar
40g melted butter
150g plain flour
200g little cherries
200g rhubarb

Preheat the oven to 200°c. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, and butter until the sugar is dissolved. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Pour the batter into a pie dish.

Now add whole cherries with stones and rhubarb cut into dices. Bake until the clafoutis is beautifully puffed and golden, 30-35 minutes. Serve warm.

Serve with custard, fruit coulis or vanilla ice-cream.

Fraisier, strawberry and pistachio gâteau

May 15th, 2018 Posted by Blog, Recipes No Comment yet

Fraisier is a classic French cake found in most pâtisserie shops. Follow the steps carefully to produce a delicious strawberry, summery tasting dessert that is sure to impress your guests.

Fraisier, strawberry and pistachio gâteau

Serves 8

For the Genoese sponge
• 3 eggs at room temperature
• 100g caster sugar
• 100g plain flour
• 30g butter

For the syrup
• 50ml cane syrup
• 50ml kirsch

For the pistachio mousseline cream
• 500ml whole milk
• 3 eggs
• 2 egg yolks
• 200g butter
• 100g plain flour
• 200g caster sugar
• 4 gelatine leaves
• 375ml double cream
• 100g pistachio paste

1kg strawberries

200g marzipan (colour of your choice)

Round cutter 8cm

Prepare the Genoese
Add the eggs and caster sugar in a bowl and mix together with an electric mixer on full speed for 10 minutes. Add the plain flour and gently stir. Melt the butter before adding it to the mixture.
Spread the sponge mixture evenly on a greased rectangle baking tray, 45x30cm and bake in the oven for 12 minutes at 180°C. Once baked, remove the sponge from the tray and let it cool.

Prepare the mousseline cream

Add the milk and the pistachio paste to a large saucepan and leave to heat gently. In a bowl, mix the three eggs, two egg yolks and caster sugar. Add the flour and mix again. Add the mixture to the saucepan with the milk, mix well and cook over a low heat. Bring it to the boil for a few minutes whilst whisking. Put the cream to one side and cool until lukewarm.
Put the gelatine leaves in cold water to soften them.

Whip the cream.

Cut the butter into small pieces and gradually mix it into the cream. Drain the gelatine leaves and put them in a saucepan with 5cl of water to melt them. Add the gelatine to the cream and mix. Incorporate the whipped cream and mix well again. Leave to one side.

Use the cutter to slice your Genoese sponge into two round shapes. Leave one round Genoese at the bottom of the cutter. Mix the kirsch and syrup and soak the sponge. Cut the strawberries in half and arrange them along the inside of the cutter before filling the inside with the rest of the strawberries.

Pour the mousseline cream on top of the strawberries and smooth with a spatula. Lay the second round Genoese on top. Cover with 2mm of thick marzipan. Refrigerate for 24 hours and remove the cutter to serve.