Sunday, September 11, 2011

Delicious lessons

Oh là là!  School has started back and the delicious-ness has begun.  For starters, this box of chocolates is now living in my desk drawer.  Oui, there are one or two missing... who could resist?  A very generous young man who has brought me numerous treats over the past two years began his 8th grade year (and third year of French with moi) by surprising me with chocolates from his summer cruise.  (--"Is the Louvre or the Hermitage better, madame?"  --"Hmmm, I really don't know.  I've never been to the Hermitage.  But you will be able to make your own decision after we visit the Louvre in March!"  Ah, the questions I am asked.  He did visit the Hermitage while on vacation.)
Two of my little darlings have already started cooking up goodies.  First, Chocolate Raspberry Clafoutis made by a 7th grade jeune homme.
He brought in a sample for me, along with the recipe.  It was so very good.   Tangy raspberries and chocolate all in one bite.  What's not to love?
The next treat came in the form of Lavender Langues de Chat made by an 8th grade jeune fille.  I must admit that it was actually fun to make her classmates think, for just a few minutes, that we were going to indeed eat cat tongues.  I confess that I told the little darlings that they are a French delicacy.   Non, non, non-- it's not really true.  They love their little minous, just as we do.

Yes, I can be like that with my students
a) sometimes
b) once in a while
c) as often as possible
d) never
Bingo!  C is the correct answer!  It's middle school, you know.  If you can't beat them, you join them.
I kept the container she brought them in for a couple of days (until her mom picked it up on Parents' Night) just so that I could smell the chocolate and lavender scent left behind after the cookies were gone.  I did share them... with the class and with some selected teachers around school.  I can be très généreuse --once in a while.

I discovered tonight that the blog has been mentioned in another website, Very Good Recipes.  A huge welcome to any new readers who may have stumbled my way.  Bienvenue et bon appétit!

Chocolate Raspberry Clafoutis
makes 6 servings

12 oz. fresh raspberries ( 2 3/4 cups)
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 c. whole milk
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs
1/2 c. packed dark brown sugar
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 to 3 1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 400˚F with rack in middle.  Butter a 1 1/2 quart shallow baking dish.
Toss berries with granulated sugar and let stand 15 minutes.
Blend milk, butter, eggs, brown sugar, flour, cocoa, and salt in a blender until smooth.  Scatter berries (with juices) evenly in baking dish, then pour batter over top.
Bake until slightly puffed and firm to the touch, about 35 minutes.  Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with chopped chocolate.  Cool to warm, abut 20 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Lavender Langues de Chat

9 Tbsp. softened butter
10 Tbsp. white sugar
3 egg whites
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. minced organic dried lavender flowers
1 oz. melted semisweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 400˚F.  Lightly grease cookie sheets (or line with parchment paper).
In a medium bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth.
Beat in the eggs whites, one by one, until batter is light and fluffy.  Stir in vanilla and lavender.
Mix in the flour just until it's blended.  Dough should be a little stiff.
Put in a pastry bag with a medium star tip and pipe onto cookie sheets.  Each cookie should be about 3 inches long.
Bake for about 10 minutes.  Take out of the oven when straw-colored.
When cool, dip one end of each cookie in melted chocolate and place on waxed paper until hardened.
Store in a cool place.

Bon appétit, mes élèves!  Étudiez et mangez bien!

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