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Showing posts from December, 2010

Gâteau Breton with Dates and Chocolate

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The December We Should Cocoa challenge is being hosted by Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog and she's chosen dates as the ingredient to combine with chocolate. I use dates in some cakes but not usually with chocolate and I wasn't sure what to do until my good lady wife suggested a Gâteau Breton. Although this gateau is very often plain, some people prefer it with a filling such as apples or prunes soaked in armagnac. So I put together a date and chocolate filling instead, which may look unpromising (or even faintly disgusting) but I assure you it tastes good. You don't even have to buy expensive whole dates for this – simple chopped dates will do fine, as long as they're nice ones. Actually, we did buy some whole dates, but then we ate them.

There are a lot of rules about how the authentic Gâteau Breton should be made and I don't seem to stick to all of them; but then neither do all the apparently authoritative recipes I've seen. Two rules I do stick to, though, …

Lemon Ground Rice Pudding and Croquants de Corde

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I remember with something close to horror eating strange puddings made with ground rice as a kid. But in my defence I should point out that cooking as we know it today hadn't been invented then and food was mostly hit with sticks until it gave up. There are ground rice puddings from many parts of the world flavoured with a vast range of lovely things such as rosewater, orange flower water or cardamom as well as good old vanilla, so I thought I should try making some myself. It turns out that everyone else was right and they're very comforting. This pudding will be even more silky and luxurious if you add some cream, of course, but I'm trying to be a little healthy.


The croquants are the traditional biscuit from the beautiful town of Cordes-sur-Ciel in the Tarn. The recipe dates back to the 17th century so I've tried to restrain myself from mucking about with it too much. La Fête du Croquant is held in Cordes-sur-Ciel every June, which sounds like an excellent opportuni…