Holidays in Brittany

This summer, we went to visit my family in Brittany in the family house I grew up in.
We had such a lovely time all together, the weather wasn’t the best but we made up for it with a lot of time just enjoying the company of each other.

I don’t really have any recipe to share from the holiday, only ideas.

As my little sister and brother love salted caramel, they were jumping around when I told them I could make some just as good as the one they buy at the supermarket, “Before you leave, can you make 1..no 3…no 8 jars of it pleeeease?” they pleaded.

So to make them extra happy I made salted caramel ice cream as my mum has an ice cream machine.

I followed a plain vanilla ice cream recipe and added a portion of salted caramel sauce (you can find the recipe on my last post).

At the last minute some more people arrived to eat with us so my “6 servings” ice cream became a “10 servings”.
To serve my ice cream, I sprinkled some crushed shortbread and put a little curl of chocolate on it.
I think it made all the difference.

Also, we had crêpes made on a special breton pan. Nearly all the older folks in my family make them.
They make it look so easy but when I have a try, it comes out looking more like mangled lace than pancake!

It’s a tradition to have buckwheat pancake batter as a savoury and a slightly sweet wheat batter for sweet.
I’m useless at making Crêpes Bretonnes. To make them properly, you need a lot of practise.
My mum is always saying that I should buy a pan and make them in the UK. I don’t think I’ll be motivated enough to practise regularly but who knows? Maybe one day soon….

Watch this space.

Mylène

Quick & easy salted caramel sauce

I really like caramel, or toffee.
In Brittany, you can find jars of salted caramel sauce that you’ll spread on toast or use in deserts but they’re incredibly expensive. I bought one about 5 years ago but it didn’t last 5 minutes, it was sooooo good, the sort of “delicious” you could never ever be able to make yourself.

Well, now I can say that I was wrong. I made some for a macaron filling, had a teaspoon of it and it took me back 5 years ago, with that little jar.

This sauce is so good, so simple and so quick that you have to try it.

For a little pot of sauce, you’ll need:

– 70g of sugar

– 65g of cream (single or double, it doesn’t matter)

– 20g of butter

Heat the sugar in a pan (on its own). Don’t stir it!

When the sugar takes a nice golden color, pour the cream and stir briskly. There is a big possibility that it’s going to splash so don’t allow any children near you while you’re doing it.
To avoid splashing, you can use a tall pan.

When the mixture stops bubbling, add the butter in little cubes.

While it’s hot, the sauce will be quite runny but when it cools down in the fridge, it will set and have the consistency of set honey.

If you like it more runny, simply add more cream to the recipe.

Enjoy!

Mylène

Happy New Year!

That’s it, 2011 is already over! I know 2012 is going to be even better!

So this time of the year is the time for resolutions.

I usually think “no more greedy stuff!!!” but this time, I was given so much chocolate for christmas I HAVE TO be greedy.

Like a lot of people, I have a LOT of chocolate left overs from Christmas and I feel obligated to finish them all…

Anyway, a nice way to get rid of your chocolates quickly and in a nice way is to cook with them! Just replace the cooking chocolate with your Christmas chocolates.

Like I’m not a big fan of chocolate cakes, I decided to make chocolate bars.

I melted my christmas chocolates plus a little bit of dark chocolate (to contrast the sweetness of my Christmas chocolates) and melted it all together.

I then poured it into a tin with cling film and added what I wanted: almonds, hazelnuts, currants, cherries, caramel, fudge, pistachio, peanuts, biscuits… It’s your choice.

I chose almonds, brazil nuts, hazelnuts and raisins for mine.

Chocolate goes with a lot of things so you can use your imagination to find a combination you love.

Here’s to a wonderful 2012.

Mylène