Vanilla Pots de Crème with Strawberries

Have you guessed yet that my father really loves strawberries? I made him two small portions of both this recipe and the Strawberry Soufflé recipe for his name’s day this year. So tasty!

Yield: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups light cream
  • 1 (3-inch) piece vanilla bean, or 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • strawberries, to garnish
  • vanilla sugar
  • lime juice
  • a few tbsp Kirsch or similar liqueur

PREPARATION:

  1. Heat 1 3/4 cups of the cream with the vanilla bean (if using), cool. Beat egg yolks until light and lemon-colored. Gradually beat in sugar and salt, the remaining 1/4 cup cream and the vanilla extract (if vanilla bean was not used). Gradually beat in the warm cream. Strain mixture into ramekins.
  2. Place pots in a baking pan. Pour in hot water to depth of 1 inch. Cover the pots with aluminium foil. Bake in a preheated oven (160°C/325°F) for 40-50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool and chill before serving.
  3. Slice strawberries, add a little vanilla-scented sugar and lime juice, toss to blend.
  4. If desired (and if you still have room in your ramekins), you can upgrade your dessert by making a simple English cream, mixed with simple, crushed cookies. And a few shavings of chocolate on top. 🙂

Please note: This recipe is an adaptation of the following recipe: Vanilla Pots de Crème from Henri-Paul Pellaprat’s work of art, Art culinaire moderne in the English version: The great book of French cuisine / Henri-Paul Pellaprat, edited and introduced by Jerimiah Tower – Rev. ed.

PS: Again, I didn’t have a chance to take a photo (I have three super hungry brothers who can’t bear to wait to eat their dessert haha). The photo is taken from: http://www.two-tarts.com/2013/08/pots-de-creme-with-strawberries.html

Strawberry Soufflé with Sliced Strawberries

SERIOUSLY AMAZING. But don’t forget the sliced strawberries on top!

Hey! On the occasion of my father’s name’s day, I made the family a real treat. Hope you try it out.

Yield: Makes 4-6 servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 12-ounce basket of strawberries
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 large egg whites

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Spray 4-6 ramekins (4 “big” or 6 “small”) with vegetable oil spray.
  2. Coarsely puree 3/4 of the strawberries, 2 tbsp sugar and cornstarch in food processor. Transfer to small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, about 3 minutes. Cool completely.
  3. Slice remaining strawberries. Transfer to medium bowl, add vanilla-scented sugar if needed and some lime juice. Toss to blend.
  4. Beat egg whites in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add 3 tablespoons sugar; beat until stiff but not dry.
  5. Fold puree into whites in three additions.
  6. Transfer to ramekins. Bake until the soufflés are puffed and golden, about 13-15 minutes. Serve immediately with sliced strawberries.

Please note: This is an adaptation of the following recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/strawberry-souffle-with-sliced-strawberries-5247.

PS: It was so yummy I didn’t have a chance to pull out a camera before it was all gone. So I took the liberty of using this picture, not far from the original: http://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/2012/05/strawberry-souffles-with-fresh-berries-guest-post-with-that-skinny-chick-can-bake.html. 🙂

A small place I call home

Hello again,

I hope you’ve all had a good night’s rest. 🙂

today, I want to speak about where I come from. Slovenia. Do you even know, where it’s situated? ‘Cause most people don’t. 😀 I’ve gotten used to it. 😉 And no, not Slovakia, that’s 250 miles away. SLOVENIA is between Italy, Croatia, Austria and Hungary. With a bit of the Adriatic sea, the Alps and the Dinaric Alps, it offers a little bit of everything. It’s pretty great. 🙂

Location

The population is roughly two million. Compare that to New York, with a population of more than 8 million! Everybody pretty much knows at least someone from each and every of our tiny regions. We’re all like one big family. 😀 You run into an acquaintance/friend/family almost on a daily basis, at least in the capital (Ljubljana). Which can be a benefit, but is not always such. The country is like one huge town, in which townsfolk know exactly what you ate for dinner, how big the loan you took out is, what your children study, where they go to school and so on and so forth. Well, it’s not that bad. But it IS close. Intrusion of privacy much…

But hey, it does have its benefits. The country is so small (20.000 square kilometres) that commuting is very easy. No need to find a new expensive apartment close to where you work. You can basically get from one far end of the country to another in only 3 hours!  Plus no need to travel for days to get to the Mediterranean for the holiday season – it’s just around the corner.

Piran

And if you’re interested in hiking or mountain-climbing, no worries either. You’ll find many hiking trails in the north-western Alpine region, with the highest mountain reaching the height of 2864 metres.

Bohinj

To sum up, the country is truly worth a visit. Ljubljana even won second place on Lonely Planet’s Best of Europe last year.

Still don’t believe me? Google Slovenia and find out. 😉

ljubljana

Have a great day, and I hope to hear from you in the comments section below. 🙂

A day in my life

 

Hey there! 🙂

What have you been up to? I spent the morning working around the house, doing chores. Dull holiday days here in Europe, followed by a mediocre lunch.  Hours passing by too slowly, until I came across the very movie Julie and Julia! Meryl had completely amazed me the day before in The Iron Lady, and trust me, that doesn’t happen often. So I decided to download this masterpiece, dedicated to cooking. I’m not American, so I was completely unaware of the fact that Julie Child is the author of a well-known American cookbook. I was angry – how could I’ve been so ignorant all these years (although I’ve only lived 19)?! But the thought of watching one of my favourite actors play in a movie about one of my favourite subjects lightened my spirits. How could I say no to that? And, I know, I know, I eat way too much after watching such movies… So I hesitated at first. But hey? Why not? 😀

julie and julia

 

The movie was a revelation. Such enthusiasm, such willingness to perfect a dish! First I thought: yet another ridiculous movie, in which some ignorant AMERICANS try to comparetheircooking to the FRENCH cuisine. Who ever heard of such a thing? They don’t stand a chance!:D And yet, I proved to be wrong. I guess I underestimated them.

It reminded me of my deep-down dream to one day, truly, become a great cook. I’m probably the only girl withlow career expectations. I’d be satisfied with a standard job, if only I had a loving husband and children to live with and the time to master the art of cookery. At least I think so.

So what was I saying? Oh yes. The movie. It literally inspired me instantly. I went off to bake some delicious cookies. And not just any cookies. Cinnamon mocha cookies. First time making these and I’m already in love. And believe it or not, it was an American recipe. Ironic, don’t you think? I’m such a hypocrite. 😀

And after that, I googled Julia Child, found this book of memoirs called My Life in France and started reading. I don’t know, where I found the strength to put it down. So ya, I want to get back to reading that. Now. So obsessed… 😀

Have a great day, where ever you are, and I hope to hear from you in the comments section. Are you familiar with Julie Child? Have you tried any of her recipes? Do you share my dreams?

 

Barbara (: