Monday, April 11, 2016

A New Energy!

As the spring weather kicks in and we all come out of the winter hibernation period I feel inspired to start a new post and share some of the comings and goings in Oyes.

Life has taken a few twists and turns over the last few years and I felt as if I was being somewhat repetitive with my posts if I had started to write more about the dailies at the house...

But I have kind of missed the blogging as it is the perfect excuse to sit quietly and reflect on our experiences in France and push all of my thoughts into a compact version to share with others. AND it gives me the perfect platform to share recipes with our clients who are forever requesting a cookbook...maybe that will be born out of this new push to put words to never know!

So here is the first of a few new recipes that have been a hit of late...

After another quick trip to London we stopped en route to the tunnel and, as we were on a fine time line as usual,  dashed into the local Middle Eastern fruit and vege shop and ran around throwing stuff into the basket to whisk back to France...thick skinned lemons, limes, coriander, sweet potatoes, chillies, soft flat breads covered in herbs and oil, avocados, pitta bread...dirt cheap at 4 packs for a pound.. Liliana had requested pears so I chose a couple of vaguely ripe ones and noticed a container of small deep orange mandarins so grabbed them too...paid up and rushed back to the car...on the road again...

At the tunnel waiting in some early sunshine we sampled those wee mandarins and they were absolutely delicious...sweet, intensely flavoured and easy to peel...perfect. Back home...into a bowl joined by their citrus cousins these wee orange fruit sat looking lovely alongside lemons and limes..

When preparing dinner for our guests on Friday evening I came across a recipe for a Mandarin Cake and thought that I had the perfect mandarins on hand to make this cake worthwhile. Whipped it up and boy did it go down a storm...We had a lovely UK Army Sargent and his German wife sharing our table with another two British couples...two generations who had come to Champagne to purchase the wedding Champagne from Simon at Champagne Nomine-Renard. Great company and good humour abound...and table tennis after dinner!

The cake was polished off over the course of the evening with the bride to be and her mum going back for multiple slithers...

So here is the recipe for Maggie and Emily...we wish you all the very best for a fabulous wedding in a few weeks time!!


175gm of butter 
175gm of sugar
3 eggs
175gm of flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
6 small mandarins with good colour and good flavour!

1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
2. Grease a 23cm cake tin and shake with a little flour to prevent sticking.
3. Roughly chop the manarins into small peices and blend them in a food processor until you have a pulp. Take a small bowl and set 2 tablespoons of the pulp aside for the icing.
4. Beat suagr and butter till creamed. Add eggs one at a time and blend well then stir in flour, baking powder and lastly add the mandarin pulp.
5. Pour into the tin and bake for 35-45 mins depending on how hot your oven is! Check that the cake in cooked by inserting a skewer and when it comes out clean the cake is done.
6. Place the cake on a serving plate.
7. Make the icing by mixing 3/4 of  cup of icing sugar with the mandarin pulp and a little hot water then drizzle over the warm cake. I decorated mine with a few large bits of mandarin zest and black poppy seeds...graphically through the centre...

Serve with creme fraiche if you fancy but this moist cake is fine going alone. Enjoy.

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