My recipes

Ginger Bread Village @Clemmo

A Ginger Bread Village

Ginger Bread Village @ClemmoHello, y’all! Merry Christmas!

I think I caught a baking fever lately. John likes to say the coolest aspect of living with a Frenchie is that when she is doing well, she bakes like crazy — and when she is down in the dumps, she cooks crazier.

I have been in the US for more than two months now, and I absolutely love it; the hardest part is to be far from my group of friends. It is harder than I thought to stay in touch with everyone. If you read me, you should know you are irreplaceable <3

I can’t wait to receive my work permit (soon!). It will be easier to meet people, and I will bring my home-baked pastries to work instead of being a glutton at home.

This week, I wanted to share with you a traditional Christmas recipe both in France and in the US: gingerbread and pain d’épices, or “spice bread” in French. Many families design a gingerbread house during yuletide festivities in the US; in France, and especially in the Eastern regions, “spice bread” is an institution, too. Below are the two traditional recipes. You can try to bake these cute little houses, directly imported from Hansel and Gretel’s tale.

I wish you a delightful holiday time, and I’m off to spend Christmas in Hawaii with my in-laws!

xoxo Clemmo

Ginger Bread Village @Clemmo 1- Traditional Alsatian “Pain d’Epices” – for the houses

Ingredients – For 10 miniature houses
– 1 cup flour (keep flour on stand-by; sprinkle dough liberally to prevent sticking)
– 2 teaspoons baking powder
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 1 cup honey
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 teaspoon mustard powder
– 1 teaspoon ginger powder
– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon allspice
– 2 eggs
– 1/2 cup warm milk

Preparation – 90 min.
– In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, vanilla and the spices.
– Gently heat the honey in the microwave, then pour it onto the other ingredients and mix.
– Add the eggs, then add the milk. Mix until smoothe — no powder chunks!
– Pour the batter in a buttered mold.
– Bake in the oven at 320° F for an hour. Once cooked, set the bread aside and wait until cold to remove from the mold.
—> With a large knife, cut the crust off the bread in the shape of a simple house, as pictured above. The key is to make a flat bottom and a ^-shaped roof.

For the gingerbread cookie roof, use the recipe below!Ginger Bread Village @Clemmo2. American Gingerbread Recipe – For the roofs and other cookies

Ingredients – for 30 cookies

– 3/4 cups brown sugar
– 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
– 3 cups flour
– 1 egg
– 1/2 cup molasses (or honey)
– 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
– 1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
– 1 tablespoon ground ginger
– 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
– 1/8 teaspoon salt
– 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preparation – 2 – 8 hours (including rest time)
– In a small bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and dry spices.
– In a larger bowl, beat the butter with the sugar, then add the egg, molasses and vanilla.
– When the dough is smooth, divide it in two halves, then wrap each half in plastic wrap and let them rest for at least two hours at room temperature. The longer you wait, the more airy and light the texture will be.
– Adorn a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
– Clean a wide space on a table or counter top. In this space, unwrap one half of the dough, keeping the plastic sheet underneath the dough. (Quick note: If the dough sticks to the plastic wrap, remove the plastic gently and sprinkle flour on the space and the dough.) Flatten the dough with a floured rolling pin to a thickness of about 3/4 centimeter (or 1/4 inch).
– Cut out the cookies in your desired shapes; for the roofs, cut little rectangles with a width and length according to the size of the houses you cut during step 1.
– Preheat oven to 375° F, and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Ginger Bread Village @Clemmo 3. Decoration

Ingredients:
– 1 cup powdered sugar
– 1 egg white, whisked until strong
– Decorative confectionary icing
– Candies, chocolates, mini Oreos…

Directions:
– Mix powdered sugar in the beaten egg whites until a paste forms. You can use this mixture as a glue to stick the roofs to the houses. Careful, it dries rapidly.
– You can use the rest of the paste to create icicles dripping from the houses’ roofs!
– Draw winter designs, doors and windows on the houses with the icing tube.
– Finally, add colorful candies.

And voilà!

pumkpin-cookies

Pumpkin Cookies

Pumpkin-cookies-recipeHey, you!
I am back today with a delicious fall recipe to treat yourself: the perfectly chewy pumpkin cookies! If you liked my rum-vanilla pumpkin pie and my pumpkin dip recipes, you are going to love this one as well! GIF-PumpkinI absolutely wanted to try another pumpkin treat because I am a newly minted pumpkin-lover. In France, we don’t really cook with pumpkin. Traditionally, supermarkets would sell mini-pumpkins and squashes only, and we enjoy them in soups and purées exclusively. I moved to the US early October, right on time to surf the pumpkin-crazy wave! It was exotic to me — American fall recipes include pumpkin in smoothies, pancakes, muffins, cookies, cheesecakes (*stops for breath) but also beer, cider, jam, or even cream cheese!

I must confess I was skeptical at first. Perhaps I still struggle with my old French blasé habits. After my first try, I was sold! Pumpkin flavor combines extremely well with vanilla, cinnamon, and all spices. Its taste reminds me of a French traditional christmas spice cake.

This recipe is my tribute to two American institutions I love: fall pumpkin recipes, and the amazingly perfect cookie — chewy inside, and crispy outside.

xoxo Clemmo

pumkpin-cookiesIngredients – For 12 cookies

– 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
– 1/2 cup sugar + 1/4 cup brown sugar
– 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
– 6 tablespoons pumpkin purée
– 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
– 1 and 1/2 cups flour
– 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
– 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
– 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

pumkpin-cookiesRecipe – About 20 minutes:

– Melt the butter in the microwave (very low temperature).
– In a large bowl, beat the sugar, brown sugar, and melted butter.
– Add pumpkin purée and vanilla until smooth.
– In another bowl, mix all the powder ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and spices. Slowly add to the first batter, keep it smooth. Add the chocolate chips.
– Cover with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated for at least 30 min.
– Pre-heat oven to 350°, and cover a cookie sheet with oven-safe paper.
– Form little ball of batter and place them on the cookie sheet, spacing them 2 inches from each other. You can slightly flatten them with the back of a spoon.
– Cook for 10-12 minutes. Cookies will look under-cooked and won’t have spead much: it’s normal! Remove from the oven and let them rest for another 10 minutes on the cookie sheet. You can flatten them a little bit more with a spoon if you like.
– I recommend waiting another hour before eating these treats; I know, waiting will be hard, but then the cookies will be chewier and crispier!

pumkpin-cookies

smoothie avocado clemmo

Detox Avocado Smoothie

Avocado-Smoothie

Hello hello!

I just spent a few days with my aunt, Mimi, at her house just outside Lyon. She loves crafts and culinary experiments. Voilà — my future me! If you’ll remember, I introduced you to Mimi last year in an exposé of her well-decorated home, a former farm house she entirely refurbished in a bohemian style.

Our list of activities for the two past days: picking fruits and veggies at a nearby organic farm; complaining (we’re French, after all) about the fact said farm doesn’t grow kale yet; and mutual recipe sharing.  Something I love about Mimi is that she loves weird mixes. If I tell her I am curious about avocado cooked in a dessert, she bursts with enthusiasm. After some discussion, we came up with a detox smoothie recipe. We enjoyed the smoothie with some green tea pastries (here) in front of a girly reality TV show.

Big-ups to Mimi <3

See you soon,

Clemmo

My recipe – for 4 people:

Mix in a blender:

– 1 avocado
– 2 cups of vanilla soy milk
– 2 big spoonfuls of honey
– Seeds (to decorate and add the mandatory hipster touch)

Serve very cold :)

clemmo madeleines thé vert

Green Tea Madeleines recipe

clemmo madeleines thé vertHello you all!

I hope you are enjoying the last days of summer, either sipping cocktails near a pool, or at work!

Today I want to share a recipe that was really successful among my colleagues, a few weeks ago: green tea madeleines. If you follow me on Facebook and Pinterest you saw my melting chocolate heart madeleines recently. But you know me, and you know I love to remix recipes with exotic ingredients, so today: let’s welcome green tea, the star of Japanese desserts! After all, what is more conforting than a couple of madeleines with a warm tea to forget about the unusual August rain?  Well, if you beg me enough, I might publish the chocolate recipe too ;)

I wish you a nice, cosy, and sweet week-end!

xoxo Clemmoclemmo madeleines thé vertIngredients – For a full plate of madeleines

– 80 g of flour
– 2 eggs
– 70 g sugar
– 75 g butter
– 1/2 baking powder
– 3 big spoons of green tea powder (available in Asian groceries)

clemmo madeleines thé vertRecipe – 10 minutes

– Pre-heat the oven to 200°C (400°F)
– In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar, then the green tea, and add progressively the flour
– Melt the butter and mix it with the other ingredients
– Pour the batter in the madeleine molds
– Heat for 8 minutes in the oven
– Voilà !

clemmo madeleines thé vert

 

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