Crostini with goat’s cheese crème, pine nuts, honey and rosemary

cro1 Crostinis with different toppings are one of my go-to nibbles. You can prepare both toppings and the bread ahead of time and just assemble before serving, plus the flavour combinations are endless. These guys with goat’s cheese crème (so mild the goat’s cheese haters liked it too!), toasted pine nuts, Acacia honey and rosemary are so yummy and went down a treat at the party. Crostinis with goat’s cheese créme, toasted pine nuts, rosemary and honey, makes 70 2 really long baguettes mild olive oil 500 ml thick French crème fraiche (I used Waitrose’s French full fat crème fraiche)  250 g soft mild goat’s cheese  1 tbsp mild olive oil salt, white pepper 100 g pine nuts 1 bunch rosemary, finely chopped Acacia honey Slice the baguettes and place on trays. Drizzle with oil and toast in the oven (180-200C0 until golden brown, approx 12 minutes. Leave to cool. Add the creme fraiche to a large bowl. Add the crumbled cheese and whip with an electric whisk until combined. Add oil, salt and pepper and combine. Store in the fridge until assembly time.   Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan. Leave to cool.  Assemble: Pipe a dollop of cheese crème onto each crostini, top with toasted pine nuts, some chopped rosemary and a small dollop of honey. Serve immediately.  

Perfect madeleines

In the budding beginning of this blog I was trying to find the perfect recipe for Madeleines. I tried two recipes and have since then been reading every madeleines recipe I could find, but they just didn’t seem right.

But then I saw Rachel Khoo making madeleines with lemoncurd and raspberries in The Little Paris Kitchen and I thought to myself, that this might be it.

I didn’t bother with the lemoncurd and berries; it was the basic recipe I wanted, and since it is courtesy of Le Cordon Bleu in Paris it was just as good as I’d hoped. All was right in the world.

The first time I made them I omitted the lemon, because I was ditsy enough not to buy it when in the supermarket. The second time I made them I used the lemon zest and although both batches were good I actually felt the lemon overpowered the flavours of honey and butter a little, so one could definitely use less lemon zest or not use it at all.

And although the baking instructions might strike you as odd (they did me) – they work. I noticed that lowering the temperature as described made the madeleines slightly more crustier on the outside so they come out absolutely perfect.

They are buttery, lightly sweet from the honey and just moist and delicious while still warm. Do try these, folks!

Madeleines, makes 20-25

From Rachel Khoo’s recipe.
3 eggs
130 g caster sugar
200 g plain flour
10 g (2 tsp) baking powder
1 lemon, the zest – can be omitted
20 g honey
4 tbsp milk
200 g melted and cooled butter
Beat the eggs with the sugar until pale and frothy. Put the flour and baking powder into a separate bowl and add the lemon zest.

Mix the honey and milk with the cooled butter, then add to the eggs. In two batches, fold in the flour. Cover and leave to rest in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight.

Put a heaped tablespoon of batter into each madeleine shell and press a raspberry deep into the batter.

Bake for five minutes and turn the oven off for one minute (the madeleines will get their signature peaks), then turn the oven on to 160C/325F/Gas 3 and bake for a further five minutes. Transfer the madeleines to a wire rack and leave for a few minutes until cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, wash and dry the tin, then repeat the baking as for the first batch.