Fennel & Tuna Polar Bread Sandwich

Pain Polaire

Over the last few years, I’ve noticed an increasing number of bakeries and sandwich places in France selling sandwiches made with Pain Polaire. Polar bread, sometimes also called swedish bread, is a round, soft flatbread with dimples. Polar bread sandwiches are made between two of these pancake-like slices, and the whole sandwich is then cut into halves. A popular version of these sandwiches involves smoked salmon, but any filling will work, really.

I love these sandwiches. The bread tastes slightly sweet and its texture is very enjoyable : soft enough so it doesn’t hurt your palate and make your jaw ache like baguette sandwiches do, but not mushy either, and there is no I-don’t-like-the-crust-so-much syndrome like there is with sandwich bread, because well, there is no crust.

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Honey Hazelnut Cake

Honey Hazelnut Cake

Yesterday, my parents came over for tea. This is always a perfect occasion for me to bake (yeah, like I need one), and today being my father’s birthday, I decided to bake a cake. After perusing my cookbooks and recipe files, I set my heart on this Honey Hazelnut Cake from the book “Les Gâteaux de Mamie”.

The original recipe is titled “Gâteau aux noisettes et au miel”, and is actually for cupcakes, but this was a birthday occasion and cupcakes would not do, so I made it as one cake. I noticed the amount of ingredients wouldn’t make a lot of dough, but it being just the three of us that was fine, and I decided to use my small non-stick charlotte pan that’s 18 cm in diameter, which resulted in the cutest mini-cake (you can see the size compared to the knife on this pic).

We enjoyed it very much. Both flavors come out very distinctly, and the inside is very moist and airy. It is a great companion to a cup of tea. The outside was a little too cooked for my taste, but my parents didn’t mind (at least they said so!).

This is a recipe I will definitely repeat, as it is pretty easy to make, but here’s what I will do next time :
- double the recipe,
- toast the hazelnuts to bring out the flavor even more.

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Absolute Chocolate Tartlets

Absolute Chocolate Tartlets

[Absolute Chocolate Tartlets]

I could have met my friends Marie-Laure and Laurence at a Chocoholics Anonymous meeting, so when they came over for dinner last night, I decided I would treat them to Absolute Chocolate Tartlets.

The recipe comes from one of my cookbooks, called Je Veux du Chocolat! (“I want chocolate!”) by Trish Deseine – another much cherished present from Maxence. In the book, it is called “Tarte Absolue” and is made as one big tart, but I love making single-serving things, especially desserts, and I wanted to use the little tartlet molds I had bought at E. Dehillerin two weeks ago : fluted edged, non-stick, with removable bottoms.

This is a pretty time-consuming dessert to make, but it’s a lot of fun, and the result is way worth it!

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Zucchini Stuffed with Quinoa and Ricotta

Stuffed zucchini

“Man, I’m stuffed!” said the zucchini.

Tonight, Laurence and Marie-Laure are coming for dinner, and as a main dish, I will serve them Quinoa Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini.

Those small round zucchinis had caught my eye in the sidewalk stall of our produce store and I immediately saw, in blinking letters : “stuffed zucchini!”. I got nine of them as there would be three of us, three always being a good number of items to have on a plate.

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Swiss Chard Pie

Swiss Chard Pie

Spinach is one of the rare vegetables I will not eat. Possibly, this has to do with the green puke they were trying to pass off as spinach at summer camp. I did try real supposedly yummy fresh spinach, but could not take it. Bleh. The only form I can eat it in, is when it doesn’t taste like spinach at all, in spinach ravioli for instance.

Now, people tell me swiss chard tastes very much like spinach, so my taste buds must be a bit weird, as I seem to love swiss chard about as much as I loathe its cousin. I had been craving swiss chard pie all summer, so last week-end, when I saw big bunches of it at the produce store, I got one. It was so huge I had to cut it in two so it would fit in the fridge. But that was very easily done with my new extra-sharp chef knife. Heh.

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