Monthly Archives: February 2013

Dying for a burger? Why are trans fats still legal?!

Dying for a burger? Why are trans fats still legal in the UK? – Features – Food & Drink – The Independent.

Today as I am planning the next sessions of the Healthy Cooking Club (after Easter) and an extra session dedicated to adults, at the request of my lovely chums at Londres Acceuil, I have been surfing the net and wondering about a few health issues that continue to be my pet bugs! One of them is the proper labeling of ‘baddies’ in our food: How come we still have to lobby about that?!!! Does it not sound obvious to all that we need proper information about our food? about its nutritional quality? about what is in it? – Horse meat-balls anyone?! or a lot worse!

How about Trans fat then and how come I still can’t find these on the labels of the food I buy in supermarkets? Well… Here is some information about it

The trans fats in junk food are responsible for the deaths of around 7,000 people a year in the UK – and teenagers are most at risk. Elsewhere, these toxic substances are banned. So why are they still legal in this country?

Sorry if it feels we have to shout to get heard!

Click on the above link to read the article in the Independent.

If you are interested in the Healthy Cooking Club, read my page on it.

Gato mallorquin


Gato” means cat in Spanish but here it is Mallorquin for “cake”, after the french “Gateau”! We love it because it brings nice holiday memories of bringing back a “gató” from a shopping excursion into Palma and sharing it on the terrace with a cup of steaming tea while planning the next day trip. It is so light that you almost don’t think you are indulging. It only takes three ingredients and all you need is a whisk…

Gato Mallorquin, as in Palma de Mallorca

Take three ingredients:

  • Eggs, 9
  • Caster Sugar, 300g
  • Ground almond, 300g

Separate the eggs and whip the whites until firm. Then start adding the sugar slowly until you get a ‘meringue’ style mixture.

Beat the yolks together and start adding to the mix.

Then start blending in the ground almonds, but very delicately and this time with a spatula. Keep turning the mix inwards until all is included without ‘breaking’ the whites too much. Most good bakeries seem to be adding a good teaspoon of cinnamon but this is not compulsory – unless of course you love the scent as much as I do…

Put in a warm oven for 30 minutes at 170°, using a large flat tin, such as a quiche one. Be careful to line it with greased paper so the cake is easy to take out. Anything with that amount of meringue can be quite sticky! And if you still think this is indulgence, think that at least you are going flour and fat-free… Serve it for tea and cake time or with a scoop of cinnamon ice-cream to end a smart dinner party. Decorate with icing sugar and try stencilling a star, as is tradition.


The recipe in Spanish in my sketchbook.


Ready to take to a coffee morning!

Cannelés from Bordeaux to London

Michel Majerus exhibition in Bordeaux modern art Gallery

Michel Majerus exhibition in Bordeaux modern art Gallery

Cannelés or Canelés, dainty little caramelised puddings, are all the rage in France – and not just in Bordeaux! Having visited this town in the summer, I took the opportunity to research the recipe extensively, children in tow, through many a patisserie, and -on Camille’s- advice to purchase a set of the special mini pans they are baked in.

If you have never tasted them, they make lovely ‘petits fours’ after a meal and are delicious with coffee or tea in the morning.

They should have a nice toffee colour and burnt smell so they might benefit to slightly longer than the indicated time in the oven.

Ingredients list

  • Vanilla pod, split and scraped
  • Full fat milk 200 ml
  • Soft butter 20g
  • Caster sugar 90g
  • Egg 1
  • Rum 1 Tbsp
  • Flour 45g
  • Pinch of salt

The iconic Cannelé from Bordeaux

Heat the milk to just below boiling point with the vanilla pod scraped in: Leave pod and seeds in it to suffuse. Let it cool down a little while.

Cream the soft butter and sugar in a bowl. Add the beaten egg and whip up. Add the rum, mix in the flour and salt. Slowly add the warm milk. Mix all the ingredients until you get a pancake style batter.

Let it rest in the fridge overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 240 degrees. Give the mix a light whipping to awaken the batter! Remove the pod.

Then pour your batter into small pans, generously buttered up, leaving a little room to rise.

Bake at 240° for 10 min. on the bottom rack ; then lower to 210° for another 35 minutes.

Serve with coffee.

With special thanks to Isabelle and Camille who in London and Bordeaux, introduced me to these little gems…

The original recipe in French

The original recipe in French

Yogurt with orange blossom

Last year, I gave you my recipe for a homemade yogurt without yogurt maker. This year, I have perfected it by using my Thermomix and here is the adapted version. Of course, if you don’t have the machine, you can use last year recipe and still produce a lovely, creamy yogurt with just hob and oven. But the 2013 model is just a bit quicker!


My set but fluffy yogurt…

  • Fresh full fat milk 1L
  • Live unsweetened yogurt 1 pot
  • Powder semi skimmed milk 1 potful (use the empty pot!)
  • Orange blossom water 2 Tbsp

Heat the milk for 20 min. at 80 degrees. Let it cool down to about 40 degrees (or touch warm if you have not got a jam thermometer).

Add the live yogurt, the powdered milk and the orange blossom. Mix 3 min at speed 3.

Re-heat at 37 degrees for 10 min. speed 2.

Transfer the mix into glass or ceramic jars and leave overnight in the oven heated at 40/45 degrees. You will need about 8 jars.

And that is it . You will have creamy, freshly churned yogurt ready for you in the morning! You can adjust the oven time depending on wether you like it more set or more liquid.

I take mine with a sprinkling of fruit and nuts and a dash of agave syrup. This yogurt will keep easily for a few days in the fridge.

Food for my valentine

Were you looking for Love’s true food?! or for the food of true love?! or just for food for food’s sake?! then you may be in the right place… Food, glorious food!

You can view my shared photo stream on the web:


Lots of mouth-watering dishes portrayed in some good, not too bad or just fun pictures.