Sunday, October 27, 2013

Cooking in French Class: 2013-14 Edition

I have quite a crop of 7th grade chefs this year.  We have sampled meringues, several recipes for mousse au chocolat

madeleines, both lemon and chocolate chip (guess which ones were most popular with the kiddies?)

handmade chocolate-caramel bonbons

and chocolate macarons, just to name a few (another post with pictures will follow).

And it is not just the girls making these treats.  The jeunes hommes are into cooking, too.  They would do well to keep up the cooking thing.  We girlies love men who cook.  One jeune homme brought in a treat that brought back such nice memories.  Sight, smell and taste memories.  Almonds.  Almond blossoms in Villeneuve-lez-Avignon in March 2012.

I keep this soap from L'Occitane En Provence around me just so I can enjoy the smell of almonds whenever I want to.

Jeune homme brought in a Tarte Montepellier that he made himself.

He explained how great French tarte pans are to work with because you can remove the sides.  He talked about the pearl sugar that he sprinkled on top.  He used his school iPad to make a presentation to his classmates about the baking process.  Pretty impressive.  Need to see a close up photo of this deliciousness?  Pourquoi pas?

A slice with my cup of tea would really nice right now...  Mme P has promised me a trip to Montpellier in March.  I've never been there.  Can't wait!
And, by the way, French class isn't just for conjugating verbs (although there is plenty of that-- just ask my students).  There is so much more to learn about and appreciate.  Hook 'em however I can has always been my motto.

Tarte Montpellier
recipe from Nick F.

Filling for tarte--
1/2 c. granulated white sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. almond extract
3/4 c. whipping cream (but don't whip it, just from the carton)
1 c. sliced almonds (flat oval slices)

Combine all of the filling ingredients and stir by hand for 30-60 seconds.  Let it sit for 30 minutes.

Turn oven to 400˚F.  Pre-bake tarte dough or pie dough, if store bought,  until it's light brown, about 10-15 minutes.

To make your own--

1 c. flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter slightly warm, but not melted
1 Tbsp. white granulated sugar (not powdered)

Mix all above ingredients with your hands.
Then add, stirring gently so that the crust doesn't get tough:
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. water
1/4 tsp. orange extract

Bake crust for about  15-20 minutes until light brown.  Then add filling and bake for 30 minutes more at 400˚F.  If tarte isn't light brown after 30 minutes, bake for 5 more minutes.

Bon appétit to all my young chefs!  Keep cooking!

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