Since I’ve moved to the Netherlands, the easter bunny has always spoiled me with one of the most precious gift ever (I see the smile on your faces already… Don’t get me wrong: the lazy gourmande is not talking chocolate today): for what I can remember, Easter weekends have counted in the warmest weekends of the year for the seven years I’ve lived around here. I had come to believe Easter to be the true beginning of spring, the celebration of life and renewal (ok, that’s a bit ‘mushi’ but yep, that ‘s how far the easter bunny fills me with joy): The first brunch on the terasse with dear friends, enjoying the morning sun while sipping tea and nibbling the first asparagus and strawberries… Searching the shadow of the first leaves of the lilac tree after running around the garden to find the last chocolate eggs in the garden before they melt under the strong easter weekend sun. The first sun bath in the garden or on the beach (no really, I’m not kidding, I do really live in the netherlands)…
Knowing that, you can imagine how excited I was to take a peak at the weather forecast for the weekend. Let me put it like this: if you also live in the Netherlands and feel like me about easter, maybe you should just skip the weather forecast for this year. Maybe you should go to a last-minute website instead and book your tickets for somewhere sunny right away. It seems I must have been a very bad girl this year, because although the easter bunny will probably bring me some chocolates (not that I really need any with my winter protection layer)… It will also bring in SNOW! Ok, I know easter is pretty early this year, but still this is just all wrong… Even the easter bunny starts to thinks he is Santa!
I guess that instead of sunbathing on the terasse while refreshing myself with a taste of heaven:
… I will be under my blanket watching Al Gore’s documentary one more time, with a fuming cup of tea and craving for a piece of that:
When I tell you that something is wrong: It’s gonna snow but yet the market stalls ar full with blueberries… I got tricked last time (try this with rhubarb, I’m sure it will be at least as delicious and surely more seasonal).
Fresh and light triffle with ‘fromage blanc’ mousse, rhubarb and raspberries
Triffle leger et frais à la mousse au fromage blanc, à la rhubarbe et aux framboises
serves 6 pers.
prep: 15 min. rest: 1/2 hour + 1hour
For the mousse:
400 g fromage blanc at 0% fat* (or dutch kwark or a mix from cottage cheese and greek yoghurt),
20 cl whipping cream,
3 sheets of gelatin,
2 to 4 Tsp sugar (I use 2)
According to taste: vanilla extract, lavender, cardamom, lemon extract… (I use crushed lavender and vanilla seeds)
For the triffle:
6 to 8 of your favourite cookies (biscottis, lady fingers, speculoos… here, I used ‘biscuits roses de Rheims’),
2 handful of fresh berries marinated in sugar and lemon juice and/or shortly stewed or caramalised fruits (here I used, caramelised rhubarb compote and fresh raspberries).
For the mousse: At least half to one hour before hand, set the fromage blanc to drain in a clean towel or in kitchen paper. Soften the gelatin in a bowl of cold water. Reserve one tsp whipping cream to melt the gelatin and whip the rest of the cream until stiff. Whip the drained fromage blanc with the sugar and spices until shiny and relatively stiff. In a small pan melt the drained gelatin with 1 tsp of cream. Immediately incorporate to the whipped fromage blanc. Incorporate the whipped cream delicately to the fromage blanc mixture.
For the triffle: Pour the mousse in individual glasses in alternate layers with roughly crushed biscuits and fresh and/or stewed fruits. Refrigerate for at least 1hour before serving.
Warm blueberry pudding
Petit gateau tiède aux myrtilles
serves 6 pers.
prep: 10 min. cook: 20 min
250g + 50g blueberries (for Easter, I’ll try this again with rhubarb… much more seasonal!),
1 lemon (juice and zest),
70g sugar (preferably cane sugar),
100g butter at room temperature,
1/2 pack raising powder,
1 pinch of salt.
Preheat the oven at 180 degC***
Clean the blueberries and marinate with 2 Tsp sugar and the juice of the lemon. Set 50g aside to garnish.
In a small pan on high fire, sauteed 250g of the marinated blueberries for a couple of minutes until their juices strat to form a lovely red syrup.
The pudding dough is inspired from a recipe in ‘Jamie’s dinners’**** from Jamie Oliver: In a bowl, beat the butter and the rest of the sugar with a wooden spoon until fluffy. Incorporate the eggs one by one. Then, mix in the flour, yeast, lemon zest and salt.
Divide the sauteed blueberries and their juices evenly in 6 buttered individuals baking dishes. Spoon over the pudding dough and bake for 20 min at 180 deg C***. Serve warm, sprinkled with icing sugar and a spoon of the reserved marinated berries.
* I use fromage blanc with 0% fat çause that’s mostly what I have around. Although I’m usually more for the real thing, I love it like that. Of course, whole fromage blanc can only be smoother and creamier. It’s up to you!
** Biscuit rose de Rheims are derived from ‘biscuit à la cuillère’ typically used for charlottes in french. They are a local produce from Rheims and fit particularly well with Champagne.
*** I always use the hot air option from my oven, you might want add 10 deg C for a normal oven or extend the baking for 5 to 10 min.
**** The oroginal recipe is an oldfashioned english pudding with automn fruits and Jersey cream with whisky. Last automn, I turned this recipe into a crumble while keeping the pudding dough in the back of my mind for further experiments… good idea: this airy and rich pudding married perfectly with the blueberries.
Bienvenue & Bon appetit in my kitchen!
Myriam, la gourmande.
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