In London last year, I discovered that I did like macarons after all. This is the magic of Pierre Hermé! I bought just two macarons the first time, a lime & yoghurt velouté and an ispahan. Just a couple of minutes after leaving the shop I dragged my poor mum back to get more! My favourite was the velouté range which featured a yoghurt filling in various fruit flavours.
I wanted to recreate the yoghurt filling, so here’s my take on it. I think it comes pretty close, but quite honestly, it’s been so long since I had Pierre Hermé’s that I can’t quite remember what it really tasted like anymore! But the yoghurt flavour does come through well and the lime juice and zest makes it nice and tart, so for me, it’s close enough!
Lime & Yoghurt Ganache
200g white chocolate (good quality, otherwise the ganache will not set)
180g whole milk yoghurt
20g lime juice
zest from 2 lemons
Melt the white chocolate over a double boiler. In another pot, bring the yoghurt and juice to a boil (don’t overcook otherwise the yoghurt might split; it’s ok if it splits slightly though). Add the yoghurt to the white chocolate in 2 additions, then add the zest. Cool over an icebath until it reaches room temperature, then pour into a shallow dish and cover with clingfilm; the clingfilm should touch the surface of the ganache. Place in the fridge to thicken, best overnight.
Gâteau Breton is a shortbread/pound cake hybrid from Brittany. Very similar in proportions to pound cake, which has equal weights (historically a pound each, hence the name) of of sugar, butter, eggs and flour, the only difference in Gâteau Breton is it uses just egg yolks instead of whole eggs. It’s dense, crumbly, and immensely buttery; sturdier and less crunchy than shortbread but not as fluffy as pound cake.I used a recipe from Nigella, but reduced the sugar and added a tiny bit of rosemary. Next time I’d cut back on the sugar further because I still find it slightly too sweet, but, having said that, it’s just nice as it is if accompanied with a strong cup of tea or coffee.
I used to have a serious fascination with oat porridge when I was a kid, despite the fact that we almost never ate oatmeal at home; and when we do, it’s the quick cooking kind with condensed milk. This is Malaysia in the ’90s after all! But yet the preoccupation with oat porridge was still there, sowed by an innocuous Sesame Street story about Bert and his love for oatmeal which, in my own young life, culminated in a full blown oatmeal obsession extravaganza (!).
Anyway, what I really wanted to say is- I love oatmeal. I love how it’s so creamy and stodgy and oaty and warm..
This oatmeal recipe from Orangette is one notch up from the usual oatmeal. The oats are toasted in a tiny bit of butter before it’s cooked to bring out a lovely, toasty, popcorn-like fragrance. I ate it with a splash of maple syrup and some cherry, rhubarb and apple compote; I like the tartness of the fruit, it balances the stodginess of the oatmeal perfectly.
Baked apple desserts are at the cosiest and warmest of all treats. Butter, apples and sugar always work well together. I browned the butter to bring out its toasty, nutty flavour which complement the almonds in the streusel. I also added a scraped vanilla bean into the apple mixture; I love the little black specks of vanilla- it’s sight is always a promise of something delicious.
For the filling:
90g unsalted butter, browned
1 vanilla bean, beans scraped
6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
65g brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon plain flour
110g nibbed almonds
100g chilled butter, cubed
140g self raising flour
40g rolled oats
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
110g demerara sugar
Combine all the ingredients for the apple filling and press tightly into a pie dish or individual ramekins. Make the streusel by whisking together all the dry ingredients, then rubbing in the cold butter until the mixture looks like pebbly sand. Distribute evenly over the apples and press in slightly.
Bake at 180° for approximately 1 hour until the streusel is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
Best served with cream or ice-cream.