Friday, January 29, 2010


This month has been quite hectic for me and being able to complete my Daring Bakers' Challenge has been more than testing. Anyway, no matter how things have been for me lately, I was not going to miss the opportunity of letting the healing powers of baking soothe my body and soul...

The January 2010 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen who chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and "Nanaimo Bars" as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and

"Nanaimo Bars" originate from Canada. This no-bake confection is named after the West-Coast city of Nanaimo in British Columbia. This wonderfully rich dessert item consists of a wafer crumb-based layer, topped by a layer of light vanilla or custard flavoured butter icing, which is covered in chocolate made from melted chocolate squares.

Just like any bar, "Nanaimo Bars" are not for the faint of heart when it comes to calories. This easy to make chocolaty, nutty, coconutty, vanilla goodness is irresistibly decadent. They are so bad for your cholesterol, but oh so good for your spiritual health!

Many thanks to Lauren for introducing me to the gluten-free world and for making me realise that baked goods which contain no gluten are as delicious as the gluten-ladden ones.

~ Nanaimo Bars ~

Preparation time:

• Graham Wafers:
30 to 45 minutes total active prep, 2 ½ hours to overnight and 45 minutes inactive prep.

• Nanaimo Bars:
30 minutes.

Equipment required:
• Food Processor
• Bowls
• Parchment paper or silpats
• Cookie sheets
• Double boiler or pot and heatproof bowl
• 8 by 8 inch square pan
• Hand mixer or stand mixer (You may use a wooden spoon, but this makes it much easier!)
• Saucepan For Gluten-Free Graham Wafers



1 Cup (138g/4.9 ounces) Sweet rice flour (also known as glutinous rice flour)
3/4 Cup (100g/3.5 ounces) Tapioca Starch/Flour
1/2 Cup (65 g/2.3 ounces) Sorghum Flour
1 Cup (200g/7.1 ounces) Dark Brown Sugar, Lightly packed
1 Tsp (5ml) Baking soda
3/4 Tsp (4ml ) Kosher Salt
7 Tbs (100g/(3 ½ ounces) Unsalted Butter (Cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen)
1/3 Cup (80ml) Honey, Mild-flavoured such as clover
5 Tbs (75ml) Whole Milk
2 Tbs (30ml) Pure Vanilla

1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pulse on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal. If making by hand, combine aforementioned dry ingredients with a whisk, then cut in butter until you have a coarse meal. No chunks of butter should be visible.
2. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the honey, milk and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky.
3. Turn the dough onto a surface well-floured with sweet rice flour and pat the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 2 hours, or overnight. 4. Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of sweet rice flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be quite sticky, so flour as necessary. Cut into 4 by 4 inch squares. Gather the scraps together and set aside. Place wafers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes. Repeat with the second batch of dough.

5. Adjust the rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
6. Gather the scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and reroll. Dust the surface with more sweet rice flour and roll out the dough to get a couple more wafers.
7. Prick the wafers with toothpick or fork, not all the way through, in two or more rows.
8. Bake for 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating sheets halfway through to ensure even baking. Might take less, and the starting location of each sheet may determine its required time. The ones that started on the bottom browned faster.
9. When cooled completely, place enough wafers in food processor to make 1 ¼ cups (300 mL) of crumbs. Another way to do this is to place in a large ziplock bag, force all air out and smash with a rolling pin until wafers are crumbs.



Ingredients for the "Bottom Layer":
1/2 Cup (115g/4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
1/4 Cup (50g/1.8 ounces) Granulated Sugar
5 Tbs (75ml) Unsweetened Cocoa
1 Large Egg, Beaten
1 1/4 Cups (300ml/160 g/5.6 ounces) Gluten Free Graham Wafer Crumbs (See previous recipe) 1/2 Cup (55g/1.9 ounces) Almonds (Any type, Finely chopped)
1 Cup (130g/4.5 ounces) Coconut (Shredded, sweetened or unsweetened)

Method for the "Bottom Layer":
1. Melt unsalted butter, sugar and cocoa in top of a double boiler.
2. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove
from heat.
3. Stir in crumbs, nuts and coconut.
4. Press firmly into an ungreased 20x20cm (8 by 8 inch) pan.

Ingredients for the "Middle Layer":
1/2 Cup (115g/4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
2 Tbs and 2 Tsps (40ml) Heavy Cream
2 Tbs (30ml) Vanilla Custard Powder (Such as Bird’s. Vanilla pudding mix may be substituted.)
2 cups (254g/8.9 ounces) Icing Sugar

Method for the "Middle Layer":
1. Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well.
2. Beat until light in colour.
3. Spread over bottom layer.

Ingredients for the "Top Layer":
115g (4 ounces) Semi-sweet chocolate
2 Tbs (28g/1 ounce) Unsalted Butter

Method for the "Top Layer":
1. Melt chocolate and unsalted butter over low heat.
2. Cool.
3. Pour over middle layer and chill.



These bars freeze very well, so don’t be afraid to pop some into the freezer.
The graham wafers may be kept in an airtight contai
ner for up to 2 weeks.
If making the graham crackers with wheat, replace the gluten-free f
lours (tapioca starch, sweet rice flour, and sorghum flour) with 2 ½ cups plus 2 tbsp of all-purpose wheat flour, or wheat pastry flour. Watch the wheat-based graham wafers very closely in the oven, as they bake faster than the gluten-free ones, sometimes only 12 minutes.
For the Nanaimo Bars, if making with wheat, replace the gluten-free graham wafer crumbs with equal parts wheat graham wafer crumbs.


Etant donné la longueur du texte original, je n'ai malheureusement pas pu faire une traduction française de ce billet et je m'en excuse auprès de tous mes amis lecteurs et blogueurs francophones!

C'est pourquoi je vous suggère de vous rendre sur le blog mentionné ci-dessous. Vous y trouverez cette recette en version française.

Chez Isa de "Les Gourmandises d'Isa" (Canada)

Sunday, January 24, 2010


This week, Weekend Cat Blogging #242 is hosted by Nikita Cat at "Meowsings Of An Opiniated Pussycat" (USA)...

To submit your kitty picture(s), you can either leave a message in his blog's comment section (with your permalinks) or contact him via e-mail without forgetting to give all the needed information.

Friday, January 22, 2010


"Ah, how sweet coffee tastes! Lovelier than a thousand kisses, sweeter far than muscatel wine! I must have coffee....", Johann Sebastian Bach in 1732.

Until now, I have very rarely blogged about beverages. It is not that I don't like to drink, it's just that I never really think about writing on that subject. Well, thanks to Zarpandit from "Cikolata & Istanbul" (Turkey), I'm about to change things a little...

Since she sent me a packet which contained two little cups and saucers as well as some "Turkish Coffee" and a "cezve", there was no way that I was not going to grab the opportunity to blog about that unique drink.

"Turkish Coffee" is a very fragrant, strong and dark coffee prepared in a "cezve", a small pot
that holds either one or two servings. Compared to other coffees, this one is made by putting water, sugar and ground coffee in a pot, bringing that mixture to the boil and serving it unfiltred.
This way of making coffe was introduced to Turkey over four and a half century ago, not long after a Turkish governor brought back beans of coffee Arabica from Yemen. Within a century, first Venice, then London and Paris were introduced to coffee via the Ottomans, which naturally acquired its epithet “Turkish” to become “Turkish Coffee”.

At the origin, coffee comes from Ethiopia, the true home of the plant, where it still grows wild in the forest of the highlands. It is believed that its cultivation as well as use began as early as the 9th century and that Ethiopian ancestors of today's Oromo people were the first to have discovered and recognized the energizing effect of the coffee bean plant. Knowing that, one can imagine that it is their coffee ceremony that has been exported to Turkey, Greece, the Middle East, North Africa, the Caucasus and the Balkans where similar methods of preparation exist.

I am a real sucker for good coffee and I must say that since I have discovered "Turkish Coffee", I can't drink any other coffee without thinking that it is less flavorful and pleasant. Divine!

~ Turkish Coffee ~

Recipe for one cup.

1 Cup Water

2 Tsps Ground Turkish coffee
Cristallized sugar, to taste
A "cezve" or Turkish coffee pot


1. Place the water in the "cezve".
2. Add the coffee and the desired amount of sugar.
3. Stir well.
4. Place "cezve" on low heat.
5. Slowly bring to a boil (the coffee is ready when a layer of foam appears on the top of the pot)
6. Serve.

Don't put
the pot over high heat, leave it alone otherwise you'll have no control over the high-rising foam.

Seving suggestions:

Turkish coffee is always served with a glass of water. You need to drink the water first to clean your palate!
Find a comfortable spot in which to savor your delicious coffee and remember, drink it sip by sip.


~ Café Turc ~

Recette pour une tasse.


1 Tasse d'Eau

2 CC de Café moulu turc
Sucre cristallisé, selon goût
Un "cezve" ou pot à café turc

1. Mettre l'eau dans le "cezve".

2. Ajouter le café moulu et ajouter la quantité désirée de sucre.
3. Bien mélanger.
4. Mettre le "cevze" sur le feu et faire cuire à feu très doux.

5. Porter lentement à ébullition (
le café sera prêt quand une mousse se formera en surface).
6. Servir.

Ne pas faire cuire à température trop élevée et ne pas laisser le pot sans surveilleance autrement vous ne pourrez pas contrôler la mousse qui débordera.

Idée de présentation:
Le café turc est toujours servi avec unverre d'eau car il faut la boire avant afin de se rincer le palais!
Afin de pleinement apprécier votre café, installez-vous comfortablement et n'oubliez pas de le boire à petites gorgées.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


This week, Weekend Cat Blogging #241 is hosted by Breadchick and LB at "The Sour Dough" (USA)...

To submit your kitty picture(s), you can either leave a message in their blog's comment section (with your permalinks) or contact them via e-mail without forgetting to give all the needed information.

Friday, January 15, 2010


As I had promised a few weeks ago, I will regularly post British recipes that are dear to myself or that I have just lately discovered. Great Britain has such an interesting culinary background that it would be such a pity to not put the spotlight on it's brilliant cuisine...

This week, I am presenting a tea cake similar to pound cake that is a home classic and which I have been eating since a very tender age.

"Caraway Seed Cake" is a Victorian favorite that is unique and has a distinctive flavor.
In the old days it was often eaten after a heavy meal as caraway seeds have good digestive qualities.

The combination of orange rind (lemon rind is used in the o
riginal recipe), caraway seeds and ground almonds makes it exceptional and very fragrant. This cake's intense and enchanting fennel, anise-like, zesty and nutty flavors are delightful and will surely mesmerize you.

"Caraway Seed Cake" is awesome and quite addictive. I
t is the perfect addition to your teatime table.

~ Caraway Seed Cake ~
Recipe inspired by the cookbook
"Cakes, Biscuits and Slices (The Australian Women's Weekly)" and reinterpretated by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums 2010.

Makes one cake (23cm/9 inch rectangular cake tin).

185g (3/4 Cup) Unsalted butter
220g (1 Cup) Castor sugar
1 Tbs Orange rind
1 Tsp Vanilla extract
3 Eggs
300g (2 1/4 Cups) All-pupose flour
1 Tbs baking Powder
1/4 Tsp Salt
2 Tbs Ground almonds
90-100ml (1/4-1/3 Cup) Milk
3 Tbs caraway seeds
Castor sugar, for sprinkling over the top of the cake

1. Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F).

2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour together with the baking powder, salt and almonds. Set aside.
3. Beat the butter, sugar, orange rind and vanilla extract until pale and creamy.
4. Gradually add and incorporate the eggs one at a time.
5. Then add the flour mixture and milk (alternately), a little at a time, until it is fully incorporated.
6. Fold in the caraway seeds and spoon into a greased and lined rectangular tin.
7. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 50-60 minutes or until lightly golden on top and a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

Instead of using orange rind, you can use lemon rind (origin
al recipe).
You can also replace the vanilla extract by 1/2 Tsp almond extract.

Wrap the cake in a freezer bag and freeze for up to three months. Defrost before serving.

Serving suggestions:
Eat for teatime with a good cup of tea.


~ Cake Aux Graines De Carvi ~
Recette inspirée par le livre
"Cakes, Biscuits and Slices (The Australian Women's Weekly)" et réinterprêtée par Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums 2010.

Quantité pour un cake (moule à cake rectangulaire de 23cm de long).

185g Beurre non-salé
220g de Sucre cristallisé
1 CS de Zeste d'orange

1 CC d'Extrait de vanille
3 Oeufs
300g de farine blanche
1 CS de Poudre à lever
1/4 de CC de Sel
2 CS de Poudre d'amande
90-100ml de lait
3 CS de Graines de carvi
Sucre, pour saupoudrer sur le dessus du cake

1. Préchauffer le four à 180° C.

2. Dans un bol moyen, mélanger la farine avec la poudre à lever, le sel et les amandes en poudre. Mettre de côté.
3. Blanchir le beurre avec le sucre, le zeste et l'extrait de vanille jusqu'à ce que le mélange soit mousseux et pâle.
4. Ajouter et incorporer les oeufs l'un après l'autre.
5. Ajouter la farine et le lait (en alternance), petit à petit, jusqu'à ce que tout ait été incorporé
6. Incorporer les graines de carvi et mettre la pâte dans le moule.
7. Saupoudrer le dessus du cake avec du sucre et cuire pendant 50-60 minutes ou jusqu'à ce que la pointe d'un couteau insérée au centre du cake en ressorte propre.

Au lieu d'utiliser du zest d'orange, vous pouvez prendre du zeste de citron.
Vous pouvez aussi remplacer la vanille par 1/2 cc d'extrait d'amandes.
Bien emballém ce cake se conserve pendant trois mois dand le congélateur. Dégeler avant de servir.

Idées de présentation:
Servez ce cake pour vos quatre heures avec du thé.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


This week, Weekend Cat Blogging #240 is hosted by Sammy & Miles Meezer and Billy Sweetfeets Gingersnap at "Meezertails" (USA)...

To submit your kitty picture(s), you can either leave a message in their blog's comment section (with your permalinks) or contact them via e-mail without forgetting to give all the needed information.

Friday, January 8, 2010


I can quite understand if you might be put off by the thought of eating foie gras (again) after having feasted over the holidays as if there would be no tomorrow, yet I really want to share with you this wonderful recipe I found on François-Xavier's blog and which I made for New Year's eve...

Foie gras is something I have discovered (taste-wise) only very lately.
At first, I liked the taste of it, but the texture made me feel a little uneasy, because I found it had an unpleasant feel in the mouth. As it is an aquired taste, I got to really understand fully that unique speciality and fell madly in love with it. Now, I love this gourmet treat and cannot imagine not having any foie gras for Christmas, New year or Easter.

I particularly love my foie gras to be pan fried a few seconds only on each side and served with balsamic vinegar, but I also enjoy making terrines with that luxurious offal and serving it with homemade toasted bread and a sweet and sour jam (Vin Santo jam) or sauce (spicy cranberry sauce). It is just simply heavenly!

Well, last year, I stumbled upon a recipe for "Foie Gras Terrine"
on the gorgeous as well as instructive blog named "FX Cuisine". Ever since I discovered it there, I have refused to use any other terrine recipe as this one really rocks and is easy to make.

The roasted nuts blend perfectly well with the sweetness of the liver and the whisky adds a little structure to the whole, thus giving it more character. Lovely!

~ Foie Gras Terrine ~
Recipe by François-Xavier (FX) at "FX Cuisine" (Switzerland) and adapted by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums 2010.

Makes one terrine.

1 Whole duck or goose fresh foie gras (uncooked)
30g Dried apricots
13g Almonds, roasted
13g Hazelnuts, roasted
13g Pistachios

Himalaya pink salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
A small glass of whiskey

1. Wait until the liver is at 18° C (65°F) temperature (measured with a probe inside the liver), warm your knife blade and seperate the two lobes, then cut each lobe in two. Remove the veins.

2. Soak in cold water for 2 hours.
3. Meanwhile chop the dried fruits and nuts and soak them in the whiskey.
4. After two hours, drain the water and cover the bottom a
nd sides of a terrine dish with 2/3 of the foie gras. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
5. Fill the center with the dried fruits and nuts, and cover with the remaining foie gras. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
6. Place the terrine on a plate in a larger ovenproof dish filled with water and bake for 30-40 minutes at very low temperature, between 60°C to 100°C (140° to 210°F).
7. Remove the rendered fat from the terrine and
set it aside. Let the terrine cool.
8. Cover the liver with foil and a very flat weight and place in the fri
dge for 2 hours.
9. When the terrine has set, remove the weight and foil and melt the rendered fat on top to protect the terrine from turning rancid.

Leave in the fridge for about 24 hours before serving.

Serving suggestion:
Serve with sea salt, toasted brioche bread, sourdough bread or pai
n d'épice (see bread recipes).

There is a great video tutorial to bee seen on FX Cuisine (Switzerland).


~ Terrine De Foie Gras ~
Recette par François-Xavier (FX) de "FX Cuisine" (Suisse) et adaptée par Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums 2010.

1 Lobe de foie gras de canard ou d'oie (frais)
30g d'Abricots séchés
13g d'Amandes, torréfiées
13g de Noisette, torréfiées
13g de Pistaches

Sel rose de l'Himalaya, à volonté
Poivre noir fraîchement moulu, à volonté
Un petit verre de whisky

1. Sortir le foie gras du frigo et attendre qu'il atteigne les 18° C afin de commencer à le déveiner en utilisant un couteau dont la lame a été trompée dans l'eau chaude (méthode).
2. Reconstituer le lobe et le déposer dans de l'eau froide et le laisser tremper pendant 2 heures.
3. Pendant ce temps, hacher les abricots et noix, puis les mettre à tremper dans le whisky.
4. Après deux heures, retirer le foie de l'eau et placer les 2/3 du lobe dans le plat. Poivrer et saler à volonté.

5. Répartir avec les fruits secs sur le foie gras et couvrir avec le reste du foie gras. Poivrer et saler à volonté.
6. Mettre la terrine dans un bain-marie et cuire pendant 30-40 minutes à basse température (60°C to 100°C).
7. Retirer la graisse de la terrine du four et la mettre de côté. Laisser refroidir la terrine.
8. Couvrir la terrine avec du film plastique, puis déposer un poids plat sur la terrine et mettre au frigo pour 2 heures.

9. Quand la terrine se sera solidifiée, enlever le poids, faire fondre la graisse et recouvrir la terrine avec cette graisse afin de la protéger pour qu'elle ne devienne pas rance.

Laissez reposer cette terrine pendant au moins 24 heures au frigo
avant de la servir.

Idées de présentation:
Servir avec du sel de mer, de la
brioche toastée, du pain au levain ou du pain d'épices (voir mes recettes de pain).

Pour plus de précisions, visionner la vidéo de FX Cuisine (Suisse).

Sunday, January 3, 2010


This week, Weekend Cat Blogging #239 is hosted by Pam & Patchouli at "Sidewalk Shoes" (USA)...

To submit your kitty picture(s), you can either leave a message in their blog's comment section (with your permalinks) or contact them via e-mail without forgetting to give all the needed information.

Vee zee foodeez kittiz at "Rosa's Yummy Yums" are visheen u a
Happee Kneww Yeaarrr!

Saturday, January 2, 2010