Wednesday, 30 December 2015

The Royal Ballet comes to Limoges on New Years Eve!



The Royal Ballet comes to Limoges!  The Royal Ballet's magical production of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker is being broadcast in Limoges at Cinema Grand Ecran Limoges Centre on 31 December at 8.15pm. A wonderful way to spend New Years Eve. 

Find out what what others thought about The Nutcracker here

For more about the 2016 cinema programme of ballet and opera from The Royal Opera House, or how you can get involved, in Limoges and across the world check out Arts Alliance and Arts Alliance on Facebook too





Wishing all a happy, healthy & peaceful 2016 from us at De Tout Coeur Limousin

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De Tout Coeur Limousin





Tuesday, 29 December 2015

chocolate rum truffles with rosemary, bay leaves, sea salt & crushed pretzels

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chocolate rum truffles with rosemary, bay leaves, sea salt and crushed pretzels

Quick and easy chocolate rum truffles, infused with bay leaves and rosemary, finished with a sprinkling of sea salt and crunchy pretzel. If you are still in the festive mood, and not detoxing yet these make a delicious food gift or festive dessert. Great with a strong black coffee after dinner.  

I love cooking with herbs, and infusing my cream and milk based desserts with their flavours. I often add bay leaves to rice pudding and custards. Rosemary is great with chocolate too - and adds a sharp, herbal flavour in contrast to the sweetness.  I recently added rosemary to my brown butter chocolate chip cookies with orange and rosemary sea salt . Although plain sea salt works fine in this recipe you could always use my orange and rosemary sea salt from the recipe. 

I have included a few of my chocolate truffle variations below, but the list of flavour combinations is endless.  What's your favourite chocolate truffle? 

preparation time: less than 30 minutes (& 4-5 hours chilling time) 
cooking time: less than 10 minutes 
makes 30-35 truffles

ingredients:
300ml double cream
300g dark chocolate finely chopped (minimum 60% cocoa) 
1 tsp unsalted butter
3-4 tbsp dark rum - or to taste (optional) 
2 bay leaves
small sprig of rosemary 

To cover the truffles: 
2-3 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 - 3/4 cup of crushed pretzels 

method: 

gently heat the cream in a sauce pan with the bay leaves and rosemary, remove from the heat just before it reaches boiling point

remove the bay leaves and rosemary and add the chopped chocolate, mix well and add the butter and rum to taste (a small amount at a time) 

leave to cool for a minimum 4-5 hours/overnight

use a melon baller/teaspoon and shape in walnut sized balls. Roll in either plain cocoa powder or crushed pretzel mix. Finish the plain chocolate truffles with a sprinking of sea salt

store in the fridge until ready to serve and eat.  

these also store well in the freezer for up to a month.  

variations: 

chocolate orange - add the zest of 1 orange to the melted chocolate and cream mixture

whiskey/brandy/vodka - in fact most spirits/liqueurs could be used here instead of the rum. 

cardamon/cinnamon sticks - instead of the bay leaves and rosemary infuse the cream with 3-4 cardamon pods and 1 cinnamon stick - strain before adding the chocolate

chopped hazelnuts - roll the shaped chocolate truffles in chopped hazelnuts




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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Dark chocolate cracker & salted caramel bark

chocolate bark, chocolate, salted caramel, saltines, Christmas food, food gifts, seasonal recipes, caramel, holiday baking, cookies, biscuits, tea time treats, salty sweet, dark chocolate, easy cookies, recipes, food bloggers,  sweet treats, homemade sweets,
Dark chocolate cracker & salted caramel bark
Dangerously good dark chocolate cracker and salted caramel bark. There is something about the dark chocolate and sweet caramel with the salty crunch that makes this recipe very, very moreish. Make and give away immediately or lock your kitchen cupboards in an attempt to control your intake. An occasional sweet treat but well worth it!  

Patience is also necessary when waiting for these to set. Ideally leave for several hours to cool completely, or you can cheat and put in the freezer for 30 mins or so if desperate.  

A delicious festive treat and a great Christmas food gift too...if you can give it away that is. 

preparation time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 10 minutes

ingredients

35-40 salted crackers (Saltines/Tuc biscuits or similar) 
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chunks/chips (50% cocoa minimum) 
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 tsp sea salt (or to taste)

for the crunchy topping: 
1 1/2 cups of your choice of crushed salted crackers, pretzels, hard caramels/toffee (or any combination of the above). You can crush these by hitting them in a bag with a rolling pin or giving them a quick pulse in a food processor.  

method:

preheat oven to 200C/400F/gas 6 and line a large baking sheet or 2 smaller ones with grease proof/baking paper.  

lay the crackers evenly over the baking sheets before heating the sugar and butter in a pan. Boil for a few minutes until it turns a light caramel colour.

pour the melted butter and sugar evenly over the crackers and bake for 4-5 minutes or until it just starts to bubble.

remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle over the chocolate, allow it to melt for a few minutes before spreading evenly over the cracker/caramel base with a spatula. 

sprinkle over your crunchy topping of choice and sea salt before leaving to set. 

when it is completely cold break into pieces and serve. Store in an airtight container. 

variations:
I use my orange and rosemary sea salt from my recipe for brown butter chocolate chip cookies, but plain sea salt is fine too.  

You can use a combination of pretzels and salted crackers as the base. Lay them evenly over the baking sheets and follow the rest of the recipe method in the same way.

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orange and rosemary sea salt 



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Tuesday, 8 December 2015

beetroot tarte tatin with goats cheese & caramelised orange & mint chermoula



check out my recipe featured in The Guardian Readers Recipes on 2 January

beetroot tarte tatin with goats cheese & caramelised orange & mint chermoula
beetroot tarte tatin with goats cheese & caramelised orange & mint chermoula
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caramelised orange 
I have always been a fan of beetroot.  I love the stuff, and since my early years the vivid purple vegetable has been a regular part of my diet.  From the Polish classic beetroot soup Barszcz to the spicy beetroot and horseradish paste, chrzan that accompanied many meals, it was never far away.  My love of beetroot also led me to recently discover that beetroot juice makes a rather good Barszcz Bloody Mary too - one of my new favourite festive cocktails, with a shot of vodka, dill and gherkin pickle juice.  

In my beetroot tarte tatin the beetroot is caramelised with sugar and vinegar, to bring out their natural, earthy sweetness. The creamy goats cheese, added after the tatin is baked, makes a perfect addition. 
  
The zingy caramelised orange and mint chermoula contrasts well with the beetroot. The version I made had quite a kick from the chilli, but feel free to leave this out or adapt it to your own taste.  Chermoula is a spicy, pungent sauce, often used in North African cuisine. It's packed with fresh herbs and often flavoured with citrus/preserved lemons, chilli, garlic and cumin. In my version I caramelise the orange before juicing it to add a bitter, deep sweetness to the sauce. 

Any leftovers of the caramelised orange and mint chermoula can be used as a marinade for meat or fish, or as a seasoning for stews and soups.  

A delicious vegetarian dish - quick and easy to prepare, and impressive enough to be served as part of a festive meal. I hope you enjoy.  Bon appetit! 

preparation time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 45 minutes
serves: 4

ingredients: 
1 sheet puff pastry 
500g beetroot 
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp butter 
salt & pepper 
75g goats cheese

caramelised orange & mint chermoula:
1 orange
2 cloves garlic 
1 small bunch mint
1 heaped tsp cumin powder
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 fresh chilli 

method: 

to make the caramelised orange and mint chermoula, heat a frying pan before adding a halved orange - flesh side down. Fry for a few minutes until it starts to caramelise. Remove from the heat.

add the juice from the orange and all the other ingredients to a food processor and whizz up until well blended.

preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6, peel and chop the beetroot into quarters/eighths depending on how large the beetroot are. 

add the butter, vinegar and sugar to an 8 inch oven proof frying pan/baking tin followed by the chopped beetroot, salt and pepper. Roast for about 20-30 minutes - or until the beetroot is starting to soften.

remove the beetroots from the oven, arrange and pack the beetroot as neatly as possible in the pan before covering with a 9 inch circle of pastry, tucking it into the sides of the pan.

return to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes - or until the pastry is golden. 

remove from the oven and leave for 10 minutes before turning out onto a serving plate. 

crumble the goats cheese and sprinkle a few tablespoons of the chermoula over the tatin. 

serve at room temperature. 

cooks hints and tips:

you can make this with precooked beetroot (but not the pickled kind) to save time. Just roast the beetroot for a few minutes with the butter, vinegar and sugar to allow it to start caramelising before adding the pastry and continuing. 

make smaller versions of the beetroot tatin as a festive starter or as part of a buffet meal.  



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Sunday, 6 December 2015

brown butter chocolate chip cookies with orange & rosemary sea salt

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brown butter chocolate chip cookies with orange & rosemary sea salt
brown butter chocolate chip cookies with orange & rosemary sea salt
orange and rosemary sea salt
brown butter chocolate chip cookies with orange & rosemary sea salt
chocolate chip cookie dough
Chocolate chip cookies are always a favourite in our house. This recipe is the perfect combination of crisp, crunchy and chewy. Packed with dark chocolate chunks and given a festive twist with the orange and rosemary sea salt and spoonful of nutty chestnut liqueur. 

This recipe is a bit more complex than some, but well worth the effort.  The browned butter, sea salt and black treacle add a depth that makes these cookies much more than just a sweet treat.

These would make a lovely food gift and it's handy to have a batch or 2 of these cookies in the house during this festive time too for any visiting guests to enjoy. 

cooks hints & tips:

you can use vanilla extract instead of the chestnut liqueur, or any other nutty liqueur. Amaretto and Frangelico would both work really well. 

the leftover orange and rosemary sea salt is particularly good sprinkled on roast potatoes, chicken or in fact anything you would like to add a little rosemary and orange seasoning too.  
ingredients:

2 1/4 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp orange & rosemary sea salt (& more for sprinkling)
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups soft light brown sugar
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 egg & 1 egg yolk
1 tsp black treacle
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chunks 
1/2 cups chopped hazelnuts/walnuts (optional) 
1 tbsp natural plain yogurt
1 tbsp chestnut liqueur 

orange & rosemary sea salt 
1/3 cup coarse sea salt/sea salt flakes
zest of 1 orange
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

method: 

to make the orange and rosemary sea salt:

preheat the oven to 160C/gas 3 and line a baking tray. Mix the ingredients together then spread evenly on the baking tray. Cook for approx 10 minutes, until the orange zest has dried out. Leave to cool for a few minutes before whizzing in a food processor.  Store in an airtight container. 

to make the cookies:
add the butter to a saucepan and heat gently until foaming and a caramel colour. It should smell nutty and sweet and take a few minutes to reach this stage. Stir and watch constantly as it changes colour - there's a fine line between nutty (beurre noisette) and burnt.  Pour into a separate bowl and leave to cool for a few minutes.  

add the sugars and black treacle to the butter and whisk for a few minutes. Add in the egg & egg yolk, yogurt and chestnut liqueur and continue to mix. 

sieve in the flour, salt and baking soda and continue to mix on a low speed until incorporated. 

stir in the chocolate chips and nuts (if using). 

chill the mixture for a few hours in the fridge or 1/2 hour in the freezer.  

preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4 and line baking trays with grease proof/non stick paper

use an ice cream scoop or a tablespoon and form the dough into balls. Place on the baking sheets 2 inches apart.  

bake for 10-12 minutes - until they are starting to go golden and colour at the edges. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the orange and rosemary sea salt and place on a cooling rack. Enjoy!  

recipe adapted from: ambitious kitchen


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 simply eggcellent - December 2015