Fridays with Beatrice - Apricot tartlets with honey and olive oil

It was my time to chose again, and I decided for something sweet. I hadn't made a tarte in a while, so I wanted to give it another try. This recipe sounded interesting, and as I had the luck tu get some goog quality apricots, it should be this one. My biggest fear is always the crust, especially when it comes to rolling out and transferring the dough without it falling apart. I was a little bit sceptical about the flour and olive oil combination. I finally got some quinoa and amaranth flour so I can try the gluten-free stuff, but unfortunately I am still searching for xantham gum; so I had to replace some flour (in this case millet) with some all purpose flour. Rolling and transferring was easy this time. The sugar-almond-lime mixture you put on the crust before adding the fruit was new and suprisingly enhancing the taste of the fruits. I recommend  using the red currants as supposed in the recipe, they go really well with the apricot flavour. The only thing I dind't like at the finishet tartelet was the strong olive oil flavour coming throuch every bite - maybe that's just my opinion, it took a long time before I could get used to olive oil and its flavour and started using it into my kitchen...

Lena had her troubles too (which started with buying apricots) -  I think apricots and red currants taste great 'cooked through' in this case but I missed a special something about this recipe.

Roundup: Nice flavour- and fruit combination, but next time I'd prefer another crust.

Daring Bakers August Challenge: Filled Pate au Choux Swans

Kat of The Bobwhites was our August 2012 Daring Baker hostess who inspired us to have fun in creating pate a choux shapes, filled with crème patisserie or Chantilly cream. We were encouraged to create swans or any shape we wanted and to go crazy with filling flavors allowing our creativity to go wild!

Today I'm just leaving a small note: I haven't been in the mood lately for some kind of baking or cooking, that's the reason I skipped the last month's challenges. My thoughts got distracted lately by something (or better someone) else ...
The swans were easy (as promised) and it was a quick challenge - so you should really give it a try (like Kat says).

Fridays with Beatrice: Cheese gougéres

This week, Lena suprised me again. Somehow she always picks recipes I seem to miss while choosing my favourites; and they alway turn out great. She decided for the cheese gougéres, a savoury paté choux variation with lots of cheese. As I didn't have parsley at hand, I used some fresh sage instead. The flavour and consistency were great. They were puffy and moist at the same time, and my boyfried who loves cheese bread rolls was really satisfied with this 'poshy' version. I put them on the table as a snack and they dissappeared within a short period (I warn you, they are addictive...). I would like to make a version with cheddar and chive next time ...

 My only mistake - putting too much cheese on top of the gourgére which makes them fall together in the middle after baking. I had the idea of making them a snack when trekking next month (since I bought my vacuum-sealer last mounth I try to vaccum everything) - but I think they are too moist, and because of the eggs in the dough they can't be preserved. What a pity!

Roundup: Better than any potato chips or other savoury snacks you've tasted before. Great for cheese lovers. Another remarkable recipe.

Daring Cooks August Challenge: Cornmeal (Pancakes)

Rachael of pizzarossa was our August 2012 Daring Cook hostess and she challenged us to broaden our knowledge of cornmeal! Rachael provided us with some amazing recipes and encouraged us to hung down other cornmeal recipes that we’d never tried before – opening our eyes to literally 100s of cuisines and 1000s of new-to-us recipes!

To be honest, I'm not a fan of cornmeal. I've tried some recipes before, also with polenta (like this apple cake) but I didn't find it compelling. It always had a kind of 'raw' taste and left the impression of eating sand behind. There are some products made of cornmeal I like - for example tacos or french fries made out of cornmeal. So I gave it a try and chose one of the recipes given at the end  - lemon cornmeal pancakes - I love lemon, so this couldn't be a wrong choice I though. I was right. I loved the sponge-like consistency, the lemon flavour and the mixture of all-purpose and cornmeal flour which makes the pancakes a satiable dish. Instead of using blueberries and maple syrup I stacked them together with raspberry jam (in Germany, we usually eat pancakes with jam, sugar or apple sauce) becaus I love the lemon-raspberry-combination.

Fridays with Beatrice - Tartine with slow-roasted tomatoes and coriander-flavoured carrot and zucchini tartlets

This friday, we had a two course-meal from the book, and I loved it. Lena chose the Tartine with slow-roasted tomatoes and prosciutto from page 87 and the coriander-flavoured carrot and zucchini tartlets with manchego cheese (a recipe I marked myself) from page 114.
As I have no possibility to buy amaranth or quinoa flour here, I had to improvise an alternative tartlet dough. I used all-purpose flour in combination with millet and hazelnut flour and was satisfied with the result (could have used a little less butter). The filling a good vegetarian alernative and a good way to get rid of some more zucchini. I wished only I could have tasted more of the manchego cheese (which is laid out at the bottom before adding the filling). I made one large tart instead of tartelets and we had a slice lukewarm which was really good.

 The tartine wowed me even more. I love goat cheese, and those slow-roasted (tarragon-flavoured) tomatoes and the prosciutto made a heavenly combination. I do use tarragon seldomly and was suprised it suits well with the tomato flavour. 

Roundup: Carrot and zucchini are a fine pair on top of a tarte - next time I have a vegetarian visiting for lunch or dinner, this is a must. The tartines are a much better variation of the cheese-and-ham-baked-in-the-oven toast - and those slow-roasted tomatoes will be a nice topping for my next focaccia or pasta dish.