Holiday Cheers

Here's a toast to all my gorgeous and cool blogging friends all over the world. Thank you for inspiring me with your creative recipes and for your "always" encouraging comments. Meeting you all virtually has made my daily life not only delicious but extremely exciting.

Thank you so much for making Dhanggit's Kitchen a part of your blogging life too.

May you all have happiness, serenity and an amazing 2009 ahead of you!

Nutella Mango Cake and a Hug

"Oh my gosh, this till death do us part business is driving me nuts"

As I was reading two letters of confessions from two good friends, one putting question her decision to tie the knot few years back while the other one is jubilant about her up coming wedding their fears, their excitements, their love story and the exorbitant expenses involved, I couldn't help but think of that. I'm pretty sure they were both dismayed by the shortness of my reply, "oh, so the rumor is true."

Not that I don't like minding other's businesses specially when they are the one asking for it. It 's just that I'm not very good at this domain, I mean "giving advice". Especially for a relationship that turned into vinegar is quite risky to interfere. If my dad would still be alive he'll definitely advice me to tell them "do not just look into the future but cherish also the past." Because considering all the elements involve always help us in making sound decision. And he'll insist that I show them my support.

After having this reflection I decided to send them both card of encouragement. For one great lesson in life that I have learned when my dad passed away is that it makes a big difference to know that we are not alone when we are up against a difficulty.

It is not everyday that we can put a smile on someone else's face or a tap of encouragement on someone else's shoulder. But it is today that I am sending someone a virtual hug. A hug of encouragement, a hug of love and a hug of support for Barbara of Winos and Foodies, the wonderful creator behind the successful Hay Hay it's Donna Day blog event.
Many have already particitipated in sending in their virtual hug of support to Barbara who has been undergoing chemotheraphy for the last few weeks. A big thanks to this wonderful idea of Bron and Ilva for creating this big circle of virtual love.

Hang on there Barbara, you are not alone :-) Here's a Big Hug for you.

Nutella Mango Cake

2 1/2 cups of cake flour
1 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of Nutella chocolate spread
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
60 g of butter
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 eggs
about half a cup of milk
2 ripe mangoes (peeled and cut in cubes)
10 g of butter for caramelising the mangoes

Start by melting the ten grams of butter and caramelising the mangoes in a pan. On another saucepan, melt the rest of the butter with cocoa powder and nutella chocolate. Do not let it boil. You just need to melt the chocolate. In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt and eggs. Mix well. Add the milk. Put in the melted chocolate and the caramelised mangoes. Mix until it becomes homogenous. Pour on your greased desired baking pan and bake for about 20 to 30 minutes depending on the size at 180° celsius.

Try my other Chocolate recipes:

Chocolate Charlotte Raspberries
Chocolate Honey Spice Cake
Chocolate Saucisson

Coconut and Vanilla Flan with Chocolate Hot Fudge and a Birthday

When blowing candles is a thing of the past......

If it's true what they say that gifts are just for children, I would never be this excited. Well this must be the child in me. After long weeks of waiting and thousands of kilometers of separation, my birthday and Christmas gifts from my family in the Philippines finally arrived. Courtesy of the generosity of a friend blogger who spend a vacation there few days ago.

As I opened the package I have this unexplainable excitement in me. For eversince as a kid I had this bonus of receiving two gifts in December; one for my birthday and the other for Christmas. Except of course for those "Uncle & Auntie Scroogies" who offered me one stuff for the two. Deciphering what's the best strategy to untangle the perhaps three or four rolls of packaging tapes my sister sealed the package I glanced over my overly excited daughter and the mocking eyes of my husband. That even without opening his mouth I knew what he was thinking. "Those would be adorable, useless and what on earth would you use that for gifts!" :-) Anyways I took them out one by one from the package: my favorite natural papaya soap, some Filipino delicacies that are stenchy but yummy, a small cute pink flashlight in a form of a finger, a handkerchief? Oh well that was what I thought it was after realising that it was a backless blouse. (I swear it looked like a handkerchief). Hubby was giggling while the little one grabs every occassion she could take one.

I decided eventually to take a pause and continue my gift opening operation later when my audience will be sleeping. For the two won't leave me in peace. Hubby hugged me and kissed me and told me that he'll buy me a great birthday gift. "But I loved my gifts.", I replied. My family and close friends knew that I like simple stuffs. Price has never been the issue for it is always the thought that counts. Don't they?

For the past three days since I opened that package, hubby has been bugging me on what birthday present I wanted him to buy. I really don't know what to tell him for at this point in life I really feel I already have all the things I need. He knew that I don't like jewelries (not so fan of gold nor diamonds) maybe that's the reason he married me in the first place (hehehe):-). I don't like fancy cars neither. He's thinking of buying me a BMW but I guess I need to pass my license first :-) hehehe. As he interrogates me on this, it made me think a recent incident, when a friend visited the new house and remarked that I don't have a dishwasher (well she continues to tease me on this :-) as I write this blog). I wanted so much to tell her, that it's not really important for me. It's definitely no problem with me washing the dishes with my hand. In fact, the mere presence of a clear running water from the faucet at my fingertips is enough to make me happy. It's already a slice of heaven compared to what I lived when I was a kid. I grew up fetching and washing the dishes in the nearby common water pump. I've seen worse I mean.

Hubby insisted that I tell him the gift I want. "A new frying pan.", I said. "It's not a birthday gift.", he answered back. How about a new, salad bowl, I replied with enthusiasm. "Are you serious, it's not expensive enough!" He blurted. "Hmmm, Peace on earth.". I answered with a grin. He looked at me seriously. "If you don't tell me today you won't have a gift", he said.
Ouch, you think he's serious? Any suggestions?

I'm sending off some of this heart shaped flan over at Lore's Original Recipe Event. For more original recipes check out the round-up.

I spare you guys from counting how many candles I had on my cake, here is my Coconut Vanilla Flan

Coconut Vanilla Flan Recipe

6 egg yolks

2 whole eggs

100 grams of sugar

1 vanilla pod or 3 drops of vanilla essence

200 ml of coconut cream

150 ml of fresh cream

for the caramel: 50 grams of sugar with 75 ml of water

Stir the sugar in the water and pour it in a casserole. Cook over medium fire without stirring. Wait until the syrup becomes sticky and golden brown in color. Set it aside.

optional: Chocolate hot fudge

Beat all the egg yoks with sugar until they become creamy. Add the 2 white eggs and continue mixing. Cut the vanilla pod, take out the grain and mix it with the coconut cream and fresh cream. Pour the liquid over your beaten eggs and sugar. Pour your premade caramel on your ramekin. Laddle some flan mixture on it. Cook in the oven at about 180 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes. Let it cool and chill overnight. Serve with hot chocolate fudge.

Try my other sweet recipes:
Chocolate cinnamon roll
Banana Chocolate Crepe
Banana Fake Tiramisu

Caramel Cake: Daring Baker

Caramel Cake

I believe it was Tommy Lasorda who said that the difference between impossible and possible lies in a person's determination. Well, I agree with him but let me add to his theory.

I'm roughly a year old member in Daring Baker's circle. For the past months I have been enjoying our monthly challenges much to my husband's content. Imagine he gets to enjoy a monthly surprise of goodies. But since we moved into our new place certain things have changed drastically. My baby girl who used to be a simple bystander in the house that used to allow me to do my monthly challenges sans hassle has now grown into a meddlesome (in her own cute ways) little girl. And I tell you, when I say meddlesome I really mean it.

For the record, it took me almost four days to bake this cake, make the frosting, the caramel and photo-shooting it. And yes, I call this, determination a very strong one powdered with lots n' lots of patience.

A big thanks to this delicious sweet challenge hosted by our great hosts Dolores of Culinary Curiosity, Alex of Brownie and Blondie, Jenny of Foray into Food, Natalie of Gluten A-go-go and a big big thanks to Shuna Fish Lydon of Eggbeater for sharing with us her signature recipe

by Shuna Fish Lydon
recipe link here

10 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/4 Cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 Cup Caramel Syrup (see recipe below)
2 each eggs, at room temperature
splash vanilla extract
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk, at room temperature

Notes from Natalie for those of you baking gluten-free:

So the GF changes to the cake would be:

2 cups of gluten free flour blend (w/xanthan gum) or 2 cups of gf flour blend + 1 1/2 tsp xanthan or guar gum
1/2 - 1 tsp baking powder (this would be the recipe amount to the amount it might need to be raised to & I'm going to check)

I'll let you when I get the cake finished, how it turns out and if the baking powder amount needs to be raised.

Preheat oven to 350F

Butter one tall (2 – 2.5 inch deep) 9-inch cake pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and salt & cream until light and fluffy.

Slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl. Scrape down bowl and increase speed. Add eggs/vanilla extract a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down bowl again, beat mixture until light and uniform.

Sift flour and baking powder.

Turn mixer to lowest speed, and add one third of the dry ingredients. When incorporated, add half of the milk, a little at a time. Add another third of the dry ingredients, then the other half of the milk and finish with the dry ingredients. {This is called the dry, wet, dry, wet, dry method in cake making. It is often employed when there is a high proportion of liquid in the batter.}

Take off mixer and by hand, use a spatula to do a few last folds, making sure batter is uniform. Turn batter into prepared cake pan.

Place cake pan on cookie sheet or 1/2 sheet pan. Set first timer for 30 minutes, rotate pan and set timer for another 15-20 minutes. Your own oven will set the pace. Bake until sides pull away from the pan and skewer inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool cake completely before icing it.

Cake will keep for three days outside of the refrigerator.


2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup water (for "stopping" the caramelization process)
In a small stainless steel saucepan, with tall sides, mix water and sugar until mixture feels like wet sand. Brush down any stray sugar crystals with wet pastry brush. Turn on heat to highest flame. Cook until smoking slightly: dark amber.

When color is achieved, very carefully pour in one cup of water. Caramel will jump and sputter about! It is very dangerous, so have long sleeves on and be prepared to step back.

Whisk over medium heat until it has reduced slightly and feels sticky between two fingers. {Obviously wait for it to cool on a spoon before touching it.}

Note: For safety reasons, have ready a bowl of ice water to plunge your hands into if any caramel should land on your skin.


12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound confectioner’s sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons caramel syrup
Kosher or sea salt to taste

Cook butter until brown. Pour through a fine meshed sieve into a heatproof bowl, set aside to cool.

Pour cooled brown butter into mixer bowl.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, add confectioner's sugar a little at a time. When mixture looks too chunky to take any more, add a bit of cream and or caramel syrup. Repeat until mixture looks smooth and all confectioner's sugar has been incorporated. Add salt to taste.

Note: Caramelized butter frosting will keep in fridge for up to a month.
To smooth out from cold, microwave a bit, then mix with paddle attachment until smooth and light

Other DB challenges:

Filbert Cake Praline Buttercream
French Bread

RICEing from the dead

Fried rice with Champignons

We just moved into our new house. Yay!

New address, new furnitures, new decorations. Bring out your champagne glasses and let's jubilate this occasion! But wait, stop and rewind.

We just moved into our new house.

Well, that was a month ago. It's a stale news. I know, my long hiatus deserves an explanation, right? Let's put it this way, internet disconnection for a month (would you believe that?) and a sudden busy schedule (juggling my new-found part-time job, some online projects on the go and driving lessons brushing up) left this kitchen dead. So many times I attempted to revive it but in vain.

But miracles do happen. After our overwhelming schedule we thought of offering ourselves a much deserved weekend pause in the beautiful region of Lozère. Two days of spectacular landscape, promenade in the wild forest gathering mushrooms and sleeping in an impressive 16th century Rural Gite in the mountain helped a lot in bringing back my pep to cook and write again. And the bonus part, my internet connection is finally back! Yay!

I miss you all guys! I have a lot of catching up to do.

I'm sending off a serving of this Mushroom Fried-rice to Simona of Briciole, the lovely host for the fifth helping of "My Legume Love Affair", that savory and sweet vegetable event brainchild of Susan of Well Seasoned Cook.

Mushroom Fried-rice

about 2 cups of yesterday's left-over cooked rice
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cloves of chopped garlic
1 onion sliced
half a teaspoon of salt
some freshly ground pepper
1 cup of fresh champignon or mushrooms chopped (you can use different kinds)
half a cup of sliced zuccini (you can use any other vegetables of your preferance)
1 egg beaten

Start by warming up your rice in the Microwave; It is preferable to add your rice hot and not sticking to each other. Warm up your wok or your pan. Put a little bit of oil and put your beaten egg and slide it on all sides of the pan to make a thin omelette. Put it aside. Pour the rest of your olive oil, add the garlic and onion. Once they change in color add your chopped mushrooms and other vegetables. Continue cooking. Your pan should be very hot. And lastly add your rice, salt and pepper. Decorate it with your thinly sliced omelette and some tomatoes.

The big French Rural Gite where we stayed, reserved only for us.
Wasn't that fabulous!

Warning. All that glitters are not gold.

Mushrooms may look friendly and delicious on your plate but it could be poisonous. Guessing Game: which among the following mushrooms is edible? Go down to know the answer.

Specimen 1

Specimen 2

Specimen 3

Specimen 4

Answer: Specimen 3

Saffron Milk Cap Mushroom

My other Rice Recipes

Bagoong Fried-rice (Shrimp Paste Fried-rice)

Snickers Opera

Haikus of a Busy Blogger Itching to Blog

Boxes everywhere,
Blanketing our old floor

Waiting for new home.


Wednesday's almost here,

Gosh, I still have no new post

Where is my laptop?


In the kitchen I sneaked,
To cook something I really love

Then I thought why not this cake


The cake is baked

Opened some wines to go with

Then we ate and ate.


This isn't adieu but a short farewell. I will be out for a while and so is my internet :-) I will be seeing you all back again from my new place and new kitchen. Isn't that great? Have a pleasant day blogging friends.

I am sending this cake over at Lore of Culinarty for her monthly Original Recipes. For more details of this cool event go check her out.

Snickers Opera

For the cake

6 Large Egg Whites (room temperature)

2 Tablespoons (30 grams) Granulated Sugar
2 Cups (225 grams) Almond Powder
2 Cups (225 grams) Sugar
6 Large eggs
All Purpose Flour

½ Tablespoon Vanilla

3 Tablespoons (
45 grams)butter
about 200 grams of coarsely chopped hazelnuts

Line two ½ sheetpans with parchment paper. Butter the paper. Sift together the almond powder and sugar. In a separate bowl beat the eggs to break them up. Add the sifted almond and sugar mixture as well as the vanilla. Add the flour and continue mixing. In a another bowl using the beat the egg whites to soft peak and while still beating slowly add the granulated sugar. Continue to whisk until the mixture is at full peak and glossy. Fold this mixture into the egg, almond & powdered sugar mixture. Remove ¼ cup of the mixture and stir into the melted butter. This will allow the melted butter to completely mix into the larger mixture. Divide the mixture in three parts sprinkle them with hazelnuts and bake for about 7-10 minutes at 200° Celsius. Invert onto a clean sheet of parchment paper and peel off the parchment. Let them cool to room temperature then cover with plastic wrap to keep it air tight.

For Coffee Syrup
1/2 cup of water

1/3 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of espresso

Stir the water, sugar and espresso in a casserole and bring to boil and wait that it reduces in volume. Let it cool and add your caramel syrup.
For the creamy caramel syrup Half a cup of sugar dissolved in 1/4 cup of warm water. Boil this mixture until it becomes dark brown in color. Then slowly pour 1/4 cup of fresh cream. Mix well.

for the Peanut Butter Buttercream

2 Cups Sugar
½ Cup Water
2 Large Eggs
2 Large Egg Yolks
14 Ounces Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
1/3 Cup of Peanut butter

In a bowl beat the butter until it becomes light and free of lumps. Set aside. Put the eggs and egg yolks in a bowl and whisk for a minute. Put the sugar and water in a sauce pan and cook without stirring until the mixture reaches thickens. Pour the sugar mixture slowly down the bowl and mix slowly. When its well incorporated whisk it again at a higher speed and beat until it cools down. Add the butter and continue mixing. Fold the peanut butter and mix well. For the chocolate ganache:
8 ounces (240 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1/2 cup (125 grams) whole milk
1/4 cup (30 grams) heavy cream
4 tablespoons (2 ounces; 60 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Put the chocolate in a medium bowl and keep it close at hand. Bring the milk and cream to a full boil, pour it over the chocolate, wait 1 minute, then stir gently until the ganache is smooth and glossy.

Assembling the cake.
Trim the cake that you baked. Brush it with your coffee syrup. Spread about one centimer thick of the peanut butter cream. Then layer it with your caramel syrup. Repeat the procedure using the second layer of the cake. Then top it with your last layer of the cake with a chocolate ganache on the top.

My other opera recipes:
Mango blueberry Opera
Green Tea Opera with Raspberrry Coulis

Beef Gyoza

I must be really getting old!

My empty kitchen seemed larger than its usual size with most of our stuffs removed. With barely five days left before the D-Day (our move, that's for the late tuners) it was such a big dilemna for me to choose which things go first in the carton for packing. Unfortunately I am not the right person when it comes to decision making and organization. For I find myself already unpacking the electric mixer I just sealed thirty minutes ago for the recipe I planned to prepare. And oh my bowl, I recalled. Retaining which box I put it was another story. So before I finally settled for the right box to open my electric mixer was already gone. I looked around but it wasn't there except for my thirteenth month old daughter looking at me innocently as she blabbered words I don't understand. She probably told me, "Let's play hide & seek Mama". Well she has this habit of playing with any stuffs she finds and lose them eventually in the house. Unfortunately, I am the playmate who needed to find them. One time my keys, my celfone and even my wallet, imagine that. I needed to cancell my rdvz to turn the house upside down only to find them. Well you know she pass her time following me in the house and watching my every move. She's like a shadow or a two and half feet stalker tailing on me. When she sees I am readying up to go out she brings me my shoes. And mind you she knows how to say the word "shoes" instead of the complicated french word "chaussures". :-) I opted to teach her the english word rather than the Tagalog word "sapatos" which is even harder than the french one to pronounce. Well to cut the story short, I desperately searched for the mixer but it was in vain. But God was still on my side, after finding accidentally the missing chopsticks she played with few days ago. I though, hmmmm how about eating something Japanese.

My daughter is truly adorable but sometimes I am torn between giving her a kiss or a hug. :-) Grrrr

This beef gyoza goes off to Eat the right stuff for their blog event "World Egg Day". For all the egg lovers out there, this event is for you.

Beef Gyoza

for the dough:
2:1 ratio
2 cups of flour for every cup of warm water

Mix them well until they become smooth and elastic. Roll them as if you are making a baguette (french bread) then cut them 2 inches thick. Flatten them and form a round shape. To make even sizes you can use your ramekin and cut it along with a sharp knife.

beef filling:
half a kilo ground beef (you can use pork)
1 egg
1/4 cup of thinly sliced onion leeks (only white part)
2 tablespoons of sesame oil
1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
pepper & salt

Mix them well together. Put about a teaspoon of filling on your dough. Fold it and seal them gently by folding the sides. You need to dust with flour your hands and your working table to be sure they don't stick. To cook them, place them altogether in your non stick pan (about 15 pieces). Pour about half a glass of water. Cover and let it boil, after the first boil let it simmer for another two to three minutes. Dump the water and replace it with oil (any cooking oil). And fry them until they are golden brown. You can use any Japanese soy sauce for dipping.

Caught in the act playing with my hiking shoes
for my french readers, you can find the french version here:

My other Asian Recipes
Stir-fry noodles

Thai Express Salad

Chicken Tagine in Lemon Preserve and Olives

Today, I bumped my head at the fridge’s door and realized that hey, I missed out this month’s DB’s challenge. Ooops.

Gosh, I am totally lost and exasperated with our moving. I have moaned and groaned on this task that every time I finished packing one box it seems there’s another one to make. They are infinite. Oh for heaven sake, do we really have this much of stuffs? I sigh. Probably karma for some good things that I did, our annual family reunion came in as a gift this weekend: for it gave me and my husband a two-day break to do nothing but eat and chit chat.

One of the things I appreciate the most about this family event of ours is the décor: a 17th century five story bourgeois villa in between lavender fields and chestnut & black truffles plantation, indeed the most treasured of our family’s patrimony. And I tell you, on occasions like this I savor more the stories we share on the long table than the sumptuous meal served. Blame it on my frustrations of being a reporter. Hopping from table to table for the latest buzz; Cousin A, the meteorologist in the family just got an offer for a five-year job contract in Tahiti! Wow, that’s great everybody’s excited. But hey, isn’t it that France-Tahiti flight being the farthest place we could ever think of flying could cost a whopping 2000 euros per person. Hmm, not really good news I thought. Oh have you heard that Cousin B is back dating again after her recent divorce? Now we have good news! Well Cousin C claimed it is still too early to rejoice for the guy he was dating with is still in the process of divorcing too. Hmmmm! And Oh Uncle A, the doctor finally after years of our convincing accepted to take his much deserved vacation with her wife, they’ll be flying to China next week. That’s great, I said. But probably you can advise us on what’s the best one to bring along on our travel; they asked me, backpack or a suitcase? Huh? I replied. Luckily I was saved by my mom-in-law asking me if I already prepared my cocktail dress for Friday’s occasion. No not yet I retorted. Roll out the red carpet for apparently dad-in-law will be honored the highest recognition given by the French government for his unwavering services as the highest judge of the Court of Appeals I hope Sarkozy will be there, I sneered. Gala event’s like that is not really my cup of tea but the free buffet table sounds promising to me I thought. I’m already dreaming of champagne and caviar when my husband approached and whispered on my ears; Honey, I think your chicken is burning!

Im sending this chicken tagine of to Valentina, our host for this week's Weekend Herb Blogging, the even created by Kalyn.

Chicken Tagine in Lemon Preserves and Olives

1 whole chicken cut in serving pieces
1-2 pieces of lemon preserved chopped
2 big onions sliced
1/4 cup of olive oil
half a stick of butter
half a cup of green olives
2 to 3 pieces of potatoes
2 teaspoons of tagine spice: curry, turmeric, cumin, etc
some fresh chopped coriander
1/2 a cup of chicken stock

Start by putting half of your olive oil and butter. Brown the sides of your chicken, set it aside. On the same casserole, put the rest of the oil and caramelize your onions. Put back the chicken and continue stirring. Add the spices and the preserved lemon. Add the potatoes and green olives. Put some salt. Pour the chicken stock. Simmer over low fire for about an hour or until chicken is tender and soft. Top it with chopped coriander.

My other chicken recipes:
Chicken Curry Pizza
Chicken Supreme

Milk Chocolate Honey Walnut Pie

There is angel in each one of us.

The dark cloud yesterday morning announced the sudden rain pour that was strong but brief. As I busily dry my wet umbrella while waiting in the covered bus stop an old woman on her late 80’s arrived and took refuge on the same shelter. Half wet from waist till her legs she smiled at me and told me with pride, “Oh It’s rare that it rains in Provence but I always carry my umbrella with me!” “What a great girl scout you are!” I teasingly replied. I don’t know if she understood the joke but we both laugh. As the bus arrived I have only one thing in my mind, sleep in the bus and listen to my Ipod. But alas, as I entered the bus the old woman already reserved the seat close to her for me. She smiled at me and insisted that I sit beside her for a company and told me that she would love to spend the trip beside me.

As our bus advance to our destination I get to know little by little this gracious stranger seated close to me. We were like high-school girls giggling at almost anything. Oh we talked about lot of stuffs. From politics to why women should never be allowed to drive to her misfortunes, her recent lost his son, and her current battle: his husband who’s still in comma for few days now. She told me how she loved him and how it would be hard for her to imagine living a life old and alone without him. People who know me personally know that I am type of person that loves to crack jokes and put a smile on other people’s faces for whatever it takes whatsoever the circumstances are. I didn’t only put a smile on her face I also made her laugh a lot of times. As we went down the bus, I gave her a strong hug, kisses on her cheeks and whispered words of encouragement on her ears. She was teary eyed when she waved her hand goodbye and continued her direction towards the hospital.

It is true that it’s not everyday we have rain in Provence. But it could be any day we can be an angel to a complete stranger.


My angels are flying a slice of this chocolate honey walnut pie over at Cookthink for their 33rd edition of Root Source Challenge. If you love honey you will surely love this edition.

By the way, Haze & Makis, this is the tart I bake for our lunchdate that didn't show up :-)

Milk Chocolate Honey Walnut Pie

For the pate brisée (recipe here)

300 g of coarsely chopped walnut
100 g of brown sugar (about half a cup)
2 tablespoons of honey ( I used lavander honey)
150 g of milk chocolate
55 g of butter (about half a stick)
2 tablespoons of flour
4 eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
20 cl of heavy cream

Cream your eggs with sugar, then add the flour. Melt the chocolate and fold it into your heavy cream. Add the vanilla extra. Pour the chocolate mixture on your egg-sugar-flour mixture and mix them well. Put half of your chopped walnuts on your cooked pastry shell and pour over the chocolate mixture. Sprinkle the rest of your nuts on the top. Preheat the oven at 180° celsius and bake for 20-25 minutes. Serve with a scoop of ice-cream of your choice.

Try my other walnut recipes:

Rolled Turkey Escalopes with Walnut Parsley Pesto
Walnut Wine
Pannetone Pudding with cream-anglaise and Walnut brittle

Click that Crust

Crust (krst)

a. The hard outer portion or surface area of bread.
b. A piece of bread consisting mostly of the hard outer portion.
c. A piece of bread that has become hard and dry.
2. A pastry shell, as of a pie or tart.

Click (klk)
Blog event

A monthly event dedicated to food photography created by Jai & Bee of Jugalbandi. This is a theme-based contest and a great opportunity to awe the breathtaking photographies in the blogsphere.

Crust + Click = This month's awesome Click event. For more details do check their great blog :-)

Chocolate Almond & Grapes Foccacia

Oh Parting is such a Sweet Sorrow!

It's all happening too fast: in two weeks time we will be leaving our old place for a brand new one. The house is in chaos. Sealed and semi-sealed boxes are everywhere. I feel like being nostalgic seeing all those good and bad memories piled up in boxes. This place that we call our own for years will be someone else's in few weeks time.Come to think of it, I love everything about this community; its neighborhood, the small artisans and of course my favorite shops. And this place has its own beauty and character not easy to forget.

I hate goodbyes.

And when melancholy is at its finest on me, cooking is my only theraphy. I'll be sending off this sweet foccacia over at Kellypea of Sass & Veracity who's celebrating her 100,000th visitor with Gordon Ramsay. For more details do check out the link.

Chocolate Almond and Grapes Foccacia

250- 270 g of all purpose flour (start by putting 250 grams and add the rest if necessary)

1 teaspoon of dry yeast

120 ml of warm water

2 tablespoons of honey

half a teaspoon of salt
half a small glass of olive oil (about 10 cl)

50 g of dark chocolate (I suggest you put more)
half a cup of whole almond nuts
half a cup of grapes

Start by dissolving the dry yeast in the warm water. In a bowl put the flour, salt and pour the water mixed with yeast. Knead the mixture. Add the honey and olive oil and continue kneading for about ten minutes. Let the dough rise for an hour. Flatten using a rolling pin. Dust with flour your working table and your hands. Melt your chocolate using your microwave. Divide the chocolate into two. Fold in gently the first part on your dough as you fold and flatten it. Add the second half using the same technique. Next fold in your almond nuts and grapes on the dough. Flatten gently the dough and make a form depending on your preference (square, round, oval). Decorate the top with some nuts and grapes. Preheat the oven at 200 celsius and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

My other bread recipes:
Chocolate Rolled Brioche
Coco Bread
Banana Nutella and Maple syrup bread

Chocolate Coconut Pie

If there's one trait about me I am not proud of that would be my hot-temperedness. Oh for heaven sake it's a curse that runs in our blood a sort of a family heirloom. So as much as I can control this and to avoid further “collateral damages” my military attack could do I normally shut up my mouth and turn my back. Unfortunately yesterday wasn't just an ordinary day that I triumphed in holding back my anger.

Well you see, I got an invitation for a half-day Management seminar 2 weeks ago from my professional counselor. It has been several times I refuse to attend because of my busy schedule but I finally decided to do it, after all it will be for my own good. So I took the time out to fix everything at home, find someone to take care of Mayumi, put some appointment in the afternoon so that I could maximize also my time. When I arrived at the hall and told them I was there for this seminar, I was advised that I wasn't on the list. But the weird thing I wasn't the only one. There were eighteen unfortunate souls like me. The three secretaries were all panicking already on how could that happen that there was this much people invited to a seminar that doesn't even exist. Well, there was a scheduled management seminar that morning but it was for "Building Constructors". (Oh yes you heard that right, building constructors!) Everyone else was calm (I guess they were all too sleepy to react) well except for me I had my dose of hot chocolate that morning. I was fuming with madness and was busy bombarding with questions the terrorized secretaries that couldn't give me a decent explanation on what really took place. They were the organizers; they send the invitation to each one of us how come they don't know what happened? Of all the things I really hate that would be people's incompetence. But my path unfortunately always crosses with them.

So to pacify the angry me and definitely not to waste the time of other people who were there, they proposed that we attended this seminar instead. They negotiated with the speaker to tackle the subject on a much wider perspective to accommodate our needs. Especially when it comes to French government policies one single rule applies to all. My only regret, she didn’t talk much about her original topic for I could have learned a new stuff that can be useful for my house renovations.

Anyways, the only good thing that I could pull off from yesterday my meet up with another blogger, a Pinay who got a scholarship from Erasmus Mundus, who’s staying here in France for four months then off she goes to Finland and Netherlands (isn't that cool?). We had a succulent lunch in my favorite Vietnamese restaurant. Yay! Sorry for ranting, its my first anyways.

I'll be sending slices of this pie to Zorra our lovely host for this week's Weekend Herb Blogging, the event created by Kalyn. I'ts been a long time I haven't had my Friday Dose of Chocolate :-)

Chocolate Coconut Pie
For one big pie

Recipe for pie crust (pate brisée) here :

200 g of dark chocolate
20 cl of heavy cream (about half a small glass)
3 tablespoons of butter
1 egg
1 cup of fresh coconut

In bain marie melt the chocolate and butter. Out of fire, fold in the heavy cream and egg. Mix them well. Pour them over your shell pie. Arrange nicely your sliced coconut. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 180° celsius.

My other pie recipes:

Pinacolada Pie
Fig Coconut Custard Tart
Lemon Meringue Pie