Souffle omelette with quince jelly

Late autumn and winter is quince season; fresh quince is a hard fruit with a sour and astringent taste, so it can’t be eaten raw like an apple or a pear.

It is also a fruit that sets jelly and jams well because it has a high concentration of pectin. Quince can be roasted, baked or poached with sugar, becoming bright red in colour.

It is delicious with meats such as lamb and pork. In Persian cuisine it is used in casseroles or stuffed with meat.

One of my favorite quince products is Membrillo, commonly used in Spain and some Latin American countries. It is hard , dark red jelly which goes great with Manchego cheese.

For breakfast I will make a souffle omlet pared with some quince jelly, I bought from my favorute local shop.


Souffle omelette with quince jelly

serves 2

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 10g butter
  • powder sugar (for decoration)
  • 2 tablespoons quince jelly
  • 2 tablespoons of walnuts, crushed


Preheat the oven to 180C /350F.

Separate the eggs.

In a bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff.

Put the egg butter into pan and melt it over the yolk mixture, and than carefully fold in the rest of the whites.

Cook the omelet for 1-2 minutes or until light golden brown underneath.

Put the oven on the medium shelf for 5-6 minutes.

Carefully spread the jam and fold, then with a spatula transfer on a plate and sprinkle with a powder sugar.

Quince sauce

  • 280g quince / or one quince fruit
  • 55g sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of water

Peel and cut the quince into cubes.

Put th cubed quince in a pan together with sugar and water.

Bring to boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 15 – 20 min or until tender.Sieve the quince and reserve. Return the liquid into the pot.

Bring the liquid to a boil for 1 minute, until it thickens, then pour over the reserved quince. Let it cool.

Put the fruit into a blender and blend until smooth.

Chestnut waffles

Chestnut flour is made from dry, finely ground chestnuts and it has a wonderful sweet flavor. You can use it in exchange of regular flour in a variety of baking recipes such as crepes, bread or pasta. You can find it in specialty stores.

Chestnuts are low in fat and high in carbohydrates, they contain no gluten so can be used when someone is sensitive to wheat.

Usually chestnut flour is added in a ratio of 30-50%; be aware that if you use a higher proportion the taste can be a little overpowering.

I like to make waffles on Saturday mornings, in the recipe below I have exchanged part of the regular flour for chestnut flour, that gives the waffles a mild sweet taste. I suggest you serve them with a delicious chestnut cream.

  • 150g white flour
  • 50g chestnut flour
  • 1 egg, room temperature, lightly whisked
  • 300ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of butter, melted or tablespoon of sunflower oil
  • extra oil for brushing
  • 2-3 tablespoons of walnuts, crushed
  • 200g chestnut puree
  • 200ml double cream, or whipping cream
  • powder sugar for decoration


Heat the waffle iron and then grease with oil.

In a large bowl, sift the flours, baking powder and salt.

Add the tablespoon of brown sugar.

In a small bowl mix the milk, egg and melted butter.

Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and then pour in the liquid ingredients. Mix.

With the spatula spread the butter so that it almost reaches the edges of the waffle iron.

Cook until browned.

Brush the waffle iron with oil before you make a new batch.

In a small bowl mix the chestnut puree and 2 tablespoons of water to make it lighter.

In a bowl whisk the cream, and gently fold the chestnut puree.

Top the waffles with the cream and sprinkle a little bit of powder sugar over.

Chestnut truffles

Last week little stands with roasted chestnuts appeared on streets of Switzerland; it’s a symbol fall has arrived. Chestnuts are a great snack, they warm you up in a cold day and are very feeling. They are also delicious, it doesn’t matter if you prepare them sweet or savory.

This year I plan to roast them at home; it will be wonderful to have the smell of roasted chestnuts fill my home.

These rum-filled  truffles are not only delicious with a cup of coffee or tea, but they are also fun to make!

They are coated in cocoa powder, but you can also coat them with finely crushed walnuts or dust them with icing sugar.

makes about 15

  • 200g chestnut puree
  • 1 tablespoon rum
  • 140ml double cream
  • 120g chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cocoa powder, for coating

Put the rum into chestnut puree. Mix. Add walnuts and mix well.

Roll mixture gently in your hands into small balls approximately 1.5cm / 1in. Put into refrigerator until making a chocolate cover.

Place the finely chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl.

Bring cream to boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and slowly pour on the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted. Add vanilla extract.

Put a baking sheet or a paper under a small wire rack.

Using two forks dip each ball into the chocolate to coat ensuring it is evenly coated.

Put on a tray and allow the excess of chocolate to drip, or you can put them directly on a baking paper.

Let the chocolate set in a cool place. Refrigerate until firm.

Put the cocoa powder in a shallow bowl.

Roll the ball in the cocoa. Place in a small paper case. Store in a sealed container.

Pumpkin dessert

Walking in front of a small Swiss farm and seeing such a pretty display of pumpkins I couldn’t resist buying one and preparing something sweet with it.

In the Middle East there are many versions of candied pumpkin desserts, the one below is a delicious Turkish recipe and it is very easy to make. If you are a fan of pumpkins this can be a great substitute for pumpkin pie.

The pumpkin is slowly cooked in sugar syrup and you can increase the level of sweetness by thickening syrup for a sweeter version. Vanilla, walnuts, pecans, or cardamom are all great compliments to pumpkin.

The only labor involved in this recipe is to cut the pumpkin into squares. Many supermarkets sell packages with pre-cut squares.

4 servings

  • 500g pumpkin flesh cut into squares 1-2cm – 1/2in
  • 250g sugar  1 cup
  • 250g water  1cup
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

Cut the pumpkin into squares.

Place the squares into a wide dish and sprinkle with sugar. Let it stand for 3-4 hours until the sugar dissolves or leave it overnight.

Put the pumpkin squares and dissolved sugar in a pot, then add water.

Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until tender.

Take the squares out of the pot and cool at room temperature.

Put the remaining syrup on gentle boil for 10 minutes, or until thickens. Cool.

Sprinkle walnuts over pumpkin.

Serve dessert in small dishes with reduced syrup on the side.

Life close to Swiss farms

If you decide to spend some days in Switzerland during the spring or summer months a visit to a farm is a mast.

This is my favorite time of the year because all animals are out, eating and relaxing in beautifully manicured loans around their barns and green mountain fields.

Every week I take walks around the many farms close to were I live, in many places in Switzerland farmland can still be pretty close to urban areas.Walk paths very often go thru, or very close to the farms.

I enjoy hearing the sound coming from the bells around the necks of sheep and cows here. If you happen to be outside late at night you can hear little bells echoing around you.

After returning from a trip to a crowded city or after a stressful day it is quite peaceful to look at these beautiful animals eating and relaxing. To walk around them has a relaxing effect on me.

Many these farms have small stores were they sell their own products. In off-hours you can purchase products inside clean and well organized “vending machines”; considering that in Switzerland everything is closed on late Saturday and during all of Sunday, these machines can be very handy.

Now we are approaching the colder months and the animals will soon be spending their days inside. The sound of bells at night will soon disappear, a clear sign winter is not that far away.



French flan pastries

There are 3 main types of sweet French pastries used to make tarts and biscuits:

Pate Sucre  (which I used to make the base for the plum tart in my post “Recipes from Alsace”).

Pate Sable   (which I used to make the base for a cheesecake in my post “Cheesecake from Alsace”).

Pate Frolee  (with the addition of ground almonds often used to make a flat pastry disk).



These pastries are light and crisp. They are baked blind, filled with fruit and often with pastry cream.

The taste of homemade French pastry can’t be compared to any store-bought dough.

People are often afraid to make them on their own, but after some practice they realise it’s not that complicated.

Extra pieces of dough can be cut with cookie cutters and made into a small cookies (biscuits), or put into the freezer and used later.

Pate Sucre is a sweetened Pate Brisee (shortcrust pastry).

Pate Sable is a very rich pastry and because of its high content of sugar more delicate than pate sucre.

These French pastries are often put into a flan ring with a removable bottom.



Rules for making a French pastry:

All ingredients have to be at room temperature.

You have to work quickly.

You can make pastry by hand or with a food processor. A food processor is especially helpful when the weather is very warm, or if you have a warm hands.

A hot environment melts the butter in the pastry much faster.

If working with a food processor you have to be careful not to overdo it. Stop the machine when clumps just form.

Use unsalted butter.

Always sift the flour. This will remove any impurities as well as incorporate air and make the pastry lighter.

Pastries with a lot of sugar will turn brown quickly during baking so you have to watch carefully ( you can cover the edges with pieces of foil if they are browning quickly).

Chill pastry before rolling. This will relax the gluten and will prevent the pastry from shrinking when cooked.

Roll the pastry in short strokes, don’t stretch it.

If pastry was chilled for more than an hour it will need about 10 minutes at room temperature or it may crack if rolled.

If is difficult to roll the pastry you can put it in between sheets of cling film or baking paper.

If after baking the pastry is tough, it means it was overworked.



Making by machine:

If working with a food processor you have to be careful not to overdo it. Stop the machine when clumps just form.

Collect the dough into a ball and flatten into a small disk which will make easier to shape. Wrap it into a cling film.



Making by hand:

Cut the butter into pieces.

Sift the flour and salt on the working surface.

Make a well in the center and place the pieces of butter, sugar yolks and the vanilla.

With your fingertips of one hand using a pecking motion combine the butter, sugar and yolk.

Add little by little surrounding flour until it forms dough. All the flour has to be well incorporated but not overworked.. You have to work quickly.

Knead the dough with the palm of your hand pushing small portions of dough away from you.

Collect the dough into a ball and flatten into a small disc, which will make easier to shape later. Wrap it in cling film.


Recipes from Alsace

Alsace is a small region in northeastern France bordering Germany and Switzerland. My main draw to it has been Alsatians passion for food as well their white wine, Gewutsraminer.

Their wine route goes through well preserved medieval villages with houses painted in pretty pale colours and windows filled with flowers.

Its proximity to Germany has influenced  ingredients in the dishes and their taste. Their food is very rich and pork is very often used as an ingredient. Tarts are  an important part of their sweet specialities.

I will write about other recipes from this region, but for this menu I chose Baeckeoffe, potato and meat casserole (picture doesn’t do justice to this dish, it is one of those recipes that tastes better than it looks). Baeckeoffe often includes pig feet(which adds the gelatinous consistency) but you can skip that ingredient.To complete the menu I prepared an onion soup, and a sweet plum tart, considering that plum season is in a full swing. I made pate sucre as the base of the tart. Pate sucre is a pastry that is used mainly to make tart cases or flans.

I served onion soup in small bowls.The key to a great tasting onion soup is to cook the onions really slow, until they become very soft and light brown in colour.


serves 6

  • 500g lamb shoulder
  • 500g pork shoulder
  • 500g beef shoulder /chuck
  • 1kg /2 lb potato
  • 1leek (white part only)
  • 200g carrots
  • 1 big onion
  • 1 clove of garlic, lightly crushed
  • salt
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 1 bouquet garni (spring of fresh thyme, parsley stalk, one bay leaf and celery stalk 5 cm long)
  • 1/2 bottle of Riesling

  1. Make bouquet garni(classic herb combination for stews and soups). Tie the spring of thyme, bay leaf and few parsley stalks in the groove of 5 cm/2 in of celery stalk with a kitchen string.
  2. Finely slice onions, garlic and leek into small rounds. Peel the carrot and slice into rounds.
  3. Cut the meat into 4cm / 1-1/2 in squares.
  4. Put the meat with leek, onion, garlic and bouquet garni into a plastic container or zip log bag.
  5. Add pinch of salt, peppercorns and  half of the wine.
  6. Refrigerate for  12 hours.
  7. The next day preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
  8. Peel the potatoes and slice into rounds.
  9. Remove the marinade from the refrigerator.
  10. Strain the marinade over a bowl ( don’t discard the liquid).
  11. Put half of potatoes into casserole dish.
  12. Add the strained content and finish with a layer of sliced potatoes and  some carrots. Pour over  marinade liquid from the bowl 2cm below the top layer of potatoes. Add more wine or water if needed. Cover with a lid and sealit with a thick layer of aluminum foil made into rope and shape around the casserole dish and lid.
  13. Original method calls for a seal made of  flour paste. Mix 140g /1 cup of flour with enough water to make a paste. Roll it into a rope long enough to wrap around the casserole.Press against the join between the lid and the dish.
  14. Bake for 3 hours.

Serve it with a simple green salad and the slice of bread. Casserole always tastes better the next day.

Onion soup

serves 4

  • 500g onions (about 4 medium)
  • 5og butter
  • 1 litres brown stock / 4 cups
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 4 slices of bread
  • Gruyere cheese

Slice onions into rounds.

Melt the butter in a pan and add the onions. Using a wooden spoon stir them to coat them with the butter. Reduce heat to low and slowly simmer untill very soft and golden brown. It can take 60 min, or longer.

Add the stock, pinch of salt and stir. Bring it to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.

Cut the  bread into small slices, cover them with grated cheese and put in  oven until bread is toasted and cheese melts.To serve  pour the soup into small balls and arrange the toasted slices of bead with melted cheese .

Plum tart

20cm tart tin

Pate sucre:

  • 150g flour
  • 75g butter (room temperature)
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 2 yolks (room temperature)
  • salt
  • 2-3 drops of vanilla essence


  • 300g dark plums, just ripe but still firm
  • 70g granulated sugar
  • 140ml water
  • 2 tablespoons ground almonds


  • 160 g appricot jam
  • 2 teaspoon water

All ingredients have to be at room temperature.

Sift the flour and salt.

In a food processor with a paddle attachment mix the butter, sugar and vanilla extract.

Add the beaten eggs and mix until incorporated.

Add the sifted flour in stages and as soon as dough detaches from the bowl stop (it will make clumps ).

Press clumps together and form a ball.

If using two smaller tins split the pastry in two parts.

Wrap it into cling film and leave in refrigerator for one hour.

Place the flan tin on a baking sheet.

Take the pastry out of the refrigerator and  let it stand at room temperature for 10-15min to soften.

On a lightly floured surface roll pastry in-between two sheets of clingfilm or parchment paper.

Roll in one direction until 3 mm thick and 5 cm larger than the tin. If you use bigger tin roll the pastry slightly thicker.

Transferring the pastry to the tin can be a little tricky but with practice it will become easier.

Wrap the pastry loosely around the rolling pin. Carefully unroll the pastry allowing it to settle easily into the tin. Don’t pull the pastry or it will break. Press the pastry against the side  and base of the tin. If you need to patch it press the tears with your fingers.

Roll the rolling pin over the tin. Rolling pin will cut the excess dough. You can use the excess and roll it in a bowl and cover with a cling film. Put it into freezer and use later to make smaller tarts.

Put the pastry case into the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.

Take the pastry out of the refrigerator. Line the pastry case with the baking parchment. Fill it with baking beans. You can also use dried beans.

Bake in the middle rack of the oven for 10 minutes, until the pastry is dry and lightly golden in colour. Carefully take the baking beans and the paper out of the tart case and lower the temperature to 180C. Return pastry to the oven for another 5 minutes watching that the pastry doesn’t turn brown.

Leave to cool on the rack.

Wash and cut the plums into quarters.

Make the light sugar syrup. Put the sugar and water in a saucepan and on low heat dissolve the sugar. Bring to boil and continue boiling for about 3-4 minutes until it thickens slightly; put the plumsand let it cool.

Sprinkle ground almonds into a tart case. This will prevent pastry from becoming soggy. Then arrange the plums over it.

Bake on 180C for about 30 minutes or until fruit softens.

To make a glaze place the jam with the water in a pan and melt over low heat. Sieve. Using a pastry brash dab it over the tart.

Orecchiette-light pasta lunch

Orecchiette is a pasta that resembles a little ear or little hat; it has its origin in Puglia, in the southern part of Italy. Food in Puglia is simple, but tastes great. Orecchiette with broccoli rabe is one of the regions signature dishes (orecchiette con cime di rapa).

This pasta is a bit tricky to shape if made on your own and because it is time-consuming I recommend you buy it. More and more supermarkets carry it. Otherwise you can find it in specialized Italian markets.

I experimented with different ingredients and the recipe with ricotta and roasted black cherry tomatoes is my favorite. I briefly cook the tomatoes in olive oil and garlic so they become sweeter and lose their acidity. Black cherry tomatoes are tastier and less acidic than the regular bright red ones found in supermarkets.

As a side dish I included a colorful cucumber and peppers salad mixed with pie nuts and a light vinaigrette.

We are in the peak of  the peach season so I finished the menu with a poached doughnut peach and sponge cake dessert. Doughnut peaches are full of flavour and sweeter than regular peaches.

Orecchiette with black cherry tomatoes and ricotta

serves 4

  • 450g orecchiette
  • 350g black cherry tomatoes, or regular cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons shredded fresh basil
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (no extra virgin)
  • 12 tablespoons ricotta cheese
  • pepper
  • salt

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and reduce to medium heat. Cook for 13-15 min, or until al dente.

Exact time is marked on the package.

Halve the tomatoes. Mince the garlic.

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat and add the tomatoes.

Add a pinch or two of salt and minced garlic. When tomatoes get softer add the shredded basil and cook for another minute.

Drain the pasta in colander.

Blend the ricotta cheese until smooth.

Evenly divide the pasta on the plates, add 3 tablespoons of ricotta cheese to each dish. Pour over the tomato sauce and extra olive oil if desired.

Bell pepper and cucumber salad

serves 4

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cucumber ( not  long English)
  • pinch of of salt ( or to your taste)
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

Halve the cucumber. With a teaspoon take the seeds out.

Turn the cucumber onto its curved side and slice into batons.

Cut batons into dices. Put on a side.

Cut the 2 or 3 lobes from each pepper and remove the seeds, membrane and stalk. Block off each lobe so that you can have regular shape.

Slice each lobe into strips, then into small squares. Put on a side.

Mix cut vegetables in a bowl. Add salt, pine nuts and basil.

Mix well.

Make the vinaigrette, mixing the sunflower oil and balsamic vinegar. Add to the salad.

Peach cake 

makes 4

  • 8 medium size honey peaches, or 4 regular peaches
  • sponge cake, home-made or store-bought
  • 4 tablespoon orange liquor
  • 120g granulated sugar
  • 240ml water
  • 2  tablespoon pistachio, crushed
  • 150ml whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon icing sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

On a very low heat dissolve sugar in water. Bring to the boil then put the sliced peaches in (in baches) and reduce to a simmer. Simmer  for one minute. Take the peaches out and peel the skin.

Bring syrup to gentle boil until slightly reduced and slightly thickened.

With a big cookie cutter cut the sponge cake to fit the bottom of the dish in which you will serve the desert.

I cut mine into 10cm / 4 inch circles to fit the bottom of my porcelain dish.

Sprinkle the bottom of each dish with orange liquid.

Put the sliced peaches on top  and pour sugar syrup over it.

Sprinkle crushed pistachio on top.

In a bowl beat cold whipping cream, vanilla and icing sugar. Serve with peach desert.

Here is a recipe if you like to make your own sponge cake.

  •  3 eggs, room temperature
  • 85g flower, sifted
  • 85g caster sugar
  • a pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 190C / 375F.

Brush the bottom and sides of a shallow tin with a little oil, then line with a baking parchment. Brush it again lightly with oil.

Put sugar and eggs in a heat proof bowl.

Place the bowl over a bain-marie (pan of simmering water), making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water.

Whisk until the mixture becomes pale and thick.

Fold carefully sifted flour into the egg mixture with a big spoon. Don’t overfold or the cake will not rise well.

Pour into a prepared tin.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 15 min or until golden and springs back when touched lightly.

Cool slightly in the tin, then turn out on the wire rack, lined with a baking parchment.

Peel of the lining paper. Cut into desired shapes.

Light summer menu

We are in the middle of August.

Seating on my terrace I am looking at the trees and observing that nature’s bright green colors are starting to fade, meaning that little by little summer is entering its last stage.

Lately, every time I have the opportunity I am eating my meals outside and enjoying the nature around me. Because the holiday season is coming in three months with plenty of cookies and other sweets, I am satisfying my sweet tooth with plenty of fruit.

In this menu I exchanged guacamole for a light avocado mouse, whose lemony taste pairs well with slices of chicken breast spiced with sumac.

Ground sumac is a spice commonly used in the Middle East, often put on meats or salads.It has a lemony taste so it goes well with avocado. It is easily available and if your local supermarket doesn’t carry it , you can find it in Middle Eastern stores.Clafoutis is an easy to make classic french cherry  dessert. I decided to make sour version. In this menu I combined red pepper and feta.

For the end of the meal I prepared melon balls soaked with orange juice, agave syrup and pinch of ground cardamom. T he cardamom gives a little unexpected refreshing taste, but you can omit it. Toasted almonds add crunchiness.

You can be creative and use simple plastic cutlery. I love outdoors cutlery that is available in Switzerland. Stores are filled with large variety in several shapes and colors. Creative use of transparent plastic cutlery makes the menu colorful.

Melon salad with toasted almonds and cardamom

Makes about 6 servings

  • 2 melons
  • 1 orange
  • 2 cardamom seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of agave syrup or honey
  • 3 tablespoons /20g sliced almonds

Toast the almonds. Heat the ungreased skillet on medium heat. Put a single layer of sliced almonds so they color evenly. Roast  until golden color then put aside.

Squeeze the orange juice.

Crush the cardamom seeds, take the inside and ground in mortar and pestle.

Cut the melon in half. Scoop out the seeds and with a melon baller shape the balls. Put them into a bowl and pour the orange juice and agave syrup over it. Take a pinch of ground cardamom and dust over ( don’t put too much because it will overpower the taste of fruit, a little goes long way).

Mix well and put into the refrigerator to cool. When ready to use, sprinkle with toasted almonds.

Clafoutis with roasted peppers and feta cheese

Makes about 6 small cups

  • 100ml double cream ( US heavy cream), 1/2 cup
  • 50 ml full fat milk / 1/4 cup
  • 25g flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon shredded basil
  • 40g feta cheese / 1/2 cup

Roasted peppers

Preheat the broiler.

Prepare the peppers for roasting. Cut the pepper into 2-3 lobes. Remove the seeds. Trim the white membrane. Lightly oil the baking sheet as well as the peppers and put them skin side up. Broil the peppers about 5 inches from the heat until some areas of the peppers start to blister and turn brown in color.

Using tongs, transfer the peppers to plastic bag. Tie the bag and leave them for 20 minutes, then remove the skin. This technique makes peeling the skin of the peppers much easier.

Cut the peppers into strips, then into small squares. Put on a side. If left with extra roasted pepper, cover them with a little bit of olive oil and put them into refrigerator. It will last for up to one week.


Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

Cut the feta cheese into small squares or big crumbs.

Sift the flour onto a baking paper or an aluminum foil for an easier transfer.

Cut the basil leafs into a thin strips.

In a small blender add the eggs. Blend for a couple of seconds.

Add the sifted  flour and a pinch of salt.

Divide roasted peppers, feta cheese and basil into silicon cups. Leave some of the ingredients on the side.

Pour the batter over and top with the ingredients left on a side. An easy way to fill the cups is to put the batter in a measuring pitcher.

Put the silicon cups on a baking sheet, then put it in the oven on the medium shelf. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until golden.

When finished take them out and let them sit for 5 minutes to cool. They will collapse but that is ok.

You can serve the clafoutis directly from the silicon cups.

Avocado mousse and chicken breast with sumac

Makes about 6 small cups

  • 2-3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 4 tablespoons creme fraiche / about 1/3 cup
  • 1/2 teaspoon of finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • salt


Cut avocado in half. Twist the avocado halves in opposite direction. That way you will separate them. You can use a big spoon to scoop the stone out from one half. Cut the avocado into big chunks and put them into a small blender. Blend for couple of seconds.

Little by little start adding the creme fraiche, lemon juice and finely chopped mint, blending in-between each addition. Add a pinch of salt. Blend until smooth.

Transfer into a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until preparing chicken.

Chicken with a sumac

  • a big piece of chicken breast
  • 1 teaspoon of ground sumac
  • salt

Cut a chicken breast into a 3.5-4cm/2 inches wide strips.

Put a bit of vegetable oil in a skillet and heat to medium-high.

Sprinkle chicken with salt and sumac. Turn and repeat.

Fry chicken on both sides until done for about 5-6 minutes. When chicken is cut it shouldn’t be pink inside.

Take the chicken pieces out and let them rest for about 5 minutes.

Cut into squares about 3.5-4 cm (1.5 inch) in size.

Thread  each piece onto the small wooden skewers.

Chocolate and fruits

I have always loved chocolate, but after moving to Switzerland it is hard not to think about it on a daily basis. When shopping for food in market you see dozens of chocolate varieties.

I always look for good quality chocolate when using it as an ingredient in recipes. Every time I am in Zürich airport I pick the blocks of Valrhona 68% which is my favorite chocolate for cooking.

This chocolate menu includes three recipes with very different textures: a rich mousse, chewy crepes and crunchy meringues. They are served with an abundance of summer fruits which pair really well with a chocolate, they also add great color to the dishes.

These recipes use techniques that are really good to master because they can be applied in many other dishes.

There are different ways of making chocolate mousse. I chose the one that uses Creme Anglaise. Creme Anglaise is a great English pouring sauce for deserts, but can be used for making ice cream as well as luxurious chocolate mousse. Leftover egg whites can be used for a Swiss meringue.

Chocolate crepes can be filled with an endless variety of ingredients. To balance the sweetness I filled these ones with Mascarpone – Creme Fraiche mix, flavored with orange water.

Little Swiss meringue cups are filled with chocolate whipped cream, flavored with Kirsch (cherry liquor).

Chocolate crepes

makes about 14


  • 90g flour-2/3 cup
  • 170ml milk-3/4 cup
  • 1 tablespoon-15g butter, melted
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 30g chocolate, melted
  • 1 teaspoon-4g  caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract


  • 100g Mascarpone-1/2 cup
  • 100g Creme Fraiche-1/2 cup
  • 1/4 teaspoon of orange blossom water (few drops if concentrated) or 1 tablespoon of orange liquor
  • 1 tablespoon-10g icing sugar
  1. Sift the flour on a parchment paper.
  2. Lightly whisk eggs.
  3. Add the whisked eggs, milk, vanilla extract and melted butter to a blender. Mix for five seconds.
  4. Add sifted flour, pinch of salt and sugar. Blend untill well combined.
  5. Pour in the melted chocolate. Quickly blend.
  6. You can make the crapes right away. If I have time, I like to keep them in the refrigerator for an hour to absorb the flavors.
  7. Lightly oil the pan on medium – high heath.
  8. Pour in a little batter. Tilt and swivel the pan as you pour to thinly coat the base of a pan. If batter gets too thick add a little bit of milk.
  9. When crepe is light gold turn it and continue cooking on other side.
  10. Whip the Mascarpone.
  11. Whip the Creme Fraiche and icing sugar until nearly firm. Use cold Creme Fraiche, right from the refrigerator.
  12. Fold whipped cream into Mascarpone.
  13. Fill each crepe with a cream filling and serve with strawberries. 

Chocolate mousse

  • 150 ml-2/3 whole milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons-25g caster sugar
  • 270g-9.30oz chocolate (64-68%) chopped into small pieces.
  • 500ml-2.5 cups whipping cream
  1. Heat the milk right before it starts to boil (don’t bring to boil). Remove from the heat and let it stand for about 5 minutes to cool.
  2. Cut the chocolate into small pieces and put them into a big bowl.
  3. In other bowl beat the egg yolks and a sugar until pale and thick using a whisk.
  4. Slowly pour the milk onto egg mixture in a thin stream whisking all the time.
  5. Rinse the pan and put the mixture back into it.
  6. Cook the mixture on low heat, whisking constantly until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of the wooden spoon. Keep cooking on low heat stirring continuously or mixture will start to curdle. Be patient.
  7. When mixture thinly coats the back of the spoon, and when you draw a finger it should leave an impression.
  8. Take pan of the heat and strain it over the chocolate pieces. Mix until Creme Anglaise and chocolate create smooth mixture, making sure it is completely mixed.
  9. Set aside to cool.
  10. Whip the cream to medium peak (make sure the cream and bowl are well chilled) and  fold carefully into the chocolate mixture using a large spoon. First mix in one thirds of the cream, and then fold in the rest, turning the bowl while folding to ensure all parts are combined.
  11. You can serve it warm. I like to put mousse into individual glass cups and refrigerate until set. Before serving top it with fresh raspberries.

Swiss meringue cups

  • 4 egg whites ( room temperature)
  • 250g icing sugar, sifted
  • Preheat the oven to 120C/250F

  1. Cold eggs are easier to separate, bur after separating them leave the egg whites at room temperature. They are easier to whisk and will give you better results.
  2. Put egg whites in a big metal or glass bowl making sure the bowl is very clean or the whites will not whisk properly. Sift the icing sugar over it.
  3. Put the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water making sure the pot doesn’t touch the water.
  4. Whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixture feels completely smooth when rubbed between fingers and until warm to the touch, 40C/110F on candy thermometer ( if you have one).
  5. Transfer the mixture to standard mixer and mix on high speed until the bowl feels cool and mixture is thick and shiny. It can take about 10 min.
  6. Spoon the meringue into the piping bag fitted with a small nozzle. I use one that is 6mm-1/4 inch to make petite cups. You can be creative with the shape and size of your designs.
  7. Line the baking sheet with a parchment paper.
  8. Pipe first the disk (base) of the meringue cup in a spiral starting from a center outwards. Then pipe two or three layers to form a wall around the edge.
  9. Turn down the oven temperature to 100C/200F.
  10. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Turn the heat off; prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon end let them dry in the oven.


  • 100ml-1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon Kirsch (cherry liquor)
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
  • fresh cherries, stoned and cut into pieces (or canned if out of season)
  1. Make sure the bowl and cream are well chilled.
  2. Whisk the whipping cream, when it starts to thicken add the chocolate syrup and Kirsch.
  3. Beat until fluffy and nearly firm.
  4. Spoon the filling into the piping bag fitted with small nozzle. Fill the cups and decorate with pieces of cherries.