Toasted Almond and Pecan Frangipani

A Dainty Dessert without the fuss…..”Sounds like my type of recipe”

“Toasted Almond and Pecan Frangipani”

1447156405544

Some of my best ever recipes might be considered fuss free but never lack all the delightful qualities of a great home bake.

With a crumb thats both moist and has a heavenly aromatic warmth that only roasted nuts can give. A crunchy crust which can only be described as….”Balance has been restored in the universe of baking”. If you are partial to pecans and almonds as I am, then Im thinking you will love this recipe.

Crunchy crust coating:

1 x 20cm round baking pan

10g room temperature unsalted butter                                                                                                                  40g flaked almonds                                                                                                                                                        2 Tablespoons caster sugar

Spread the butter all over the base and sides of the baking pan.

Spread the almonds and sugar around the edges and base and set aside.

1447155491139

For the Frangipani:                                 

75 g whole Almonds toasted                                                                                                                                       75 g whole Pecans toasted
140 g Caster sugar (optional use French Caster Sugar – CSR Sugars of the World)
3 eggs
115 g butter at room temperature
50 g Plain/All purpose flour                                                                                                                                         1 pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Topping:                                                                                                                                                                      40g Flaked Almonds

Preheat oven to 170 ° C (fan forced).

In the bowl of your food processor fitted with the cutting blade place the toasted almonds, pecans and sugar pulse till the nuts are and even crumble.

Add eggs and butter and the pinch of salt pulse the food processor for 30 seconds.

Finally add the flour mixed and baking powder, pulse again till everything is well combined.

Pour the cake batter into the cake pan and sprinkle the 40g of flaked almonds evenly over the top of the batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes, till the cake is golden.

Let the cake cool completely before removing from the cake pan.

Dust with a little icing sugar and serve. 🙂

IMG_20151110_222447

1447155712668

 

Grab a spoon, this is going to get messy!

When I think of French baking the main ingredients come to mind flour, butter, Eggs, Sugar and Spice. Each one is carefully chosen to achieve a result of texture and flavour, it is these same carefully chosen ingredients that are used to achieve perfection and excellence in quality.

French patisserie is taken very seriously and for a chosen few it is a way of life. A modern revolution has taken place amongst pastry chefs which have chosen to push the boundaries of french classics producing elaborate masterpieces which are encased by an explosion of colours and flavours. The treasured bakeries are more like emporiums pushing the limits of reinvention, giving a twist to grandmothers treasured favourite. Breathtaking make-overs creating show stoppers filled with the imagination of an artist.

IMG_20140221_205917

The showcase at Le Petit Gateau is filled with what one would only describe as a visual arts show. There are certain foods that create their own special aura, a world of wonder and a dilemma for the taste buds.

Though we describe them as works of art and the initial reaction or comment made is  “It’s too beautiful to eat”, a thought that Executive Pastry Chef Pierrick Boyer said “I wish they would just eat it, and enjoy the moment”. There is a kind of momentary sadness which dissipates very quickly as your fork is plunged into your chosen dessert. With a wave of delight the “Oh its too pretty” comments are very soon forgotten. Your mouth fills with the carefully matched flavours, and layer after layer the only thought you have is that this is an experience you only wish it wouldn’t come to an end.

20140221_153043

I took the opportunity to spend a day at Le Petit Gateau and the team, its always a challenge to see if given the opportunity would I enjoy this type of environment. Perhaps I had been watching too many shows where the fiery tongue of a chef was prevalent and the mishaps of contestants were highlighted with an over regimented barking of orders would echo through the kitchen. Ok so a little nervous thought did travel through my mind. I must stop watching those shows!

I was greeted at the door 7.30am on the dot with huge smiles and a warm friendly welcome. With a shot of coffee under my belt and the guidance of Kim the day began. Armed with a list for the day I was more than happy to take my orders. Im happy to say that looking back the day consisted of spreading sponges, quenelles and dressing plates with consistent perfection, preparing Bomb Alaska, making meringue and vanilla bean garnish, Raspberry Souffle, biscuits and so much more! The team was amazing like a well oiled machine tasks were completed under the guiding eyes of Executive Chef Pierrick always there to advise and encourage. Before I could blink my day had come to an end. Exhilarated at the thought that I hadn’t buckled it was finally time to sit down and have a chat with Pierrick.

Q:  Where or with who did you training to become a Pastry Chef?
A:  I did my training in France & Belgium, where I worked for a year, in Strasbourg, Brussel, Reims & Bordeaux, before I worked in Italy for 6 months.

Q:  Do you have the same passion for cooking as you do for baking?
A:  Yes, as a guest & eating in restaurant, to cook the savoury dishes, not really, I don’t do it

Q: If you had to choose one dessert as your favourite what would it be?
A: Hard one, I’d say half a tiramisu & other half in creme brule! It would be one dessert right! lol

Q: Is Le Petit Gateau everything you have wanted to achieve or is there more to come?
A: It’s a good achievement & I would be happy with it in my younger years, now, I’d like to open something bigger, cater for organic breakfast & lunch and why not open over seas, how good would it be! While based in Melbourne, very important, It’s too Amazing living here 😀

I have few food hero’s to like Jean Delaveyne, Michel Roux, Raymond Blank, Emmanuel Mollis, Alain Fabregues and yes Pierrick Boyer. They are the masters and even though French cuisine is recognised for its flavours, textures, and colours it is the composition of a dish and the presentation which will always takes centre stage the ability to modernise classic with artful intent. Le Petit Gateau has the “WOW” factor and sure to impress.

I wish to thank the team a Le Petit Gateau and Pierrick Boyer for the kindness and warmth that they extended to me, and I look forward to seeing them all again very soon.

Le Petit Gateau, 458 Little Collins Street, Melbourne 3000 ph:  03 9944 8890

www.lepetitgateau.com.au

www.pierrickboyer.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ChefPierrickBoyer

Instagram & Twitter: @pierrickboyer

Merci

Maria

20140221_193254

French & Fabulous

Why is it that when we hear the word “CAKE” spoken out loud or looking through the thousands of food related magazines we instantly think sweet, vanilla, chocolate, syrup goodness…..etc

Stop looking at the recipe, I haven’t forgotten to add the sugar!

Ive decided to make a classic, a French Savoury Cake.

Ive never said no to cheese, nuts or fruit and these are the basic flavour combinations that have revolutionised the word CAKE. Upon more research Im told that this type of savoury cake is popular amongst the Parisians and sure to be a family, lunch or picnic favourite in my household too. Found in boulangeries and served with a side salad in chic cafes.

Savoury Stilton, Apricot & Almond Cake

Ingredients

250g Plain Flour

1 teaspoon Baking Powder

200g Stilton cut into small cubes

60g Almond Flakes

120g Dry Apricots Chopped (I do like to choose them based on the colour as this will be reflected when the cake is cut)

4 Eggs

150ml Olive Oil

100ml Full Cream Milk

1 Tablespoon Plain Greek Yogurt

1 teaspoon Sea Salt

Freshly ground Pepper

Method

1: Pre-heat the oven 180 Degrees, grease a loaf pan and line with baking paper and set aside.

2: In a bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, cheese, almond flakes and apricots salt and pepper and set aside.

3: Use an electric mixer to beat the eggs till very pale light and fluffy, add one at a time the oil, milk and yogurt.

4: Pour all the egg mix over the flour mix and fold through till all combined. Note its best to do this by hand with a spatula as you don’t want to knock out all the air in the egg mix.

5: Once all combined pour it into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 35-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

6: Leave to cool and serve on its own or as the Parisians do with a little side salad.

Enjoy

20130620_113804

I have adapted this recipe from a Savoury Cake by Rachel Khoo.