Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pear & Roquefort Babycakes

The recipe for these delicious babycakes comes from Craquez pour les moëlleux salés!, by Isabel Brancq-Lepage, a yummy little book which I bought on my latest trip to France. I changed almost nothing, except that I used 30% white whole wheat flour instead of all all-purpose. Next time, I may even go 50 or 100% white whole wheat and see what happens. Roquefort is an expensive cheese, I know. They used to carry it at my local Costco many many years ago but no more... Now I get it from time to time at Trader Joe's as a special treat for the family (our 15-year old grand-daughter is crazy about it, especially when spread on a slice of baguette!). To my mind, there is a special affinity between the taste of sheep milk and the taste of pear but other cheeses might work just as well. For instance, if I could find here Saint-Agur, a lovely blue cheese made from cow milk, I would definitely give it a try. Let me know if you experiment and come out with other flavor combinations. The babycakes look like muffins but they contain no leaveners (no yeast, wild or otherwise, no baking powder and no baking soda). Yet they are airy and light. They are great for lunch with a green salad but, sliced, they are lovely for the apéritif with a glass of Prosecco and...they are quickly put together, which never hurts, especially during the work week.
Ingredients (for 9 babycakes) 1 firm pear 90 g Roquefort (or other blue cheese) 50 g grated Swiss cheese (I used Jarlsberg) 3 eggs 70 g unbleached all-purpose flour 30 g white whole wheat flour 20 g milk (I used unsweetened almond milk which is all I had) 20 g sliced roasted almonds (optional - chopped walnuts can also be used) Pepper (according to taste) but no salt (the cheeses provide it, especially the Roquefort) Method:
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 410F/210 C
  2. Beat the eggs as you would for an omelet in a big bowl, slowly add the sifted flours and whisk with a fork until incorporated
  3. Heat the milk in a saucepan on the stovetop, add the Roquefort and the grated Swiss cheese, stirring with a wooden spoon until the cheeses melt
  4. Let the milk-cheese mixture cool down a bit and slowly pour it in the flour-egg mixture
  5. Stir well
  6. Peel and slice the pear and dice it into the bowl
  7. Pour the batter in the muffin tray, using liners if you like
  8. Sprinkle almond slices on top
  9. Put in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden
  10. Allow to cool before unmolding.
These babycakes go to Susan, fromWild Yeast, for Yeastpotting.

2 comments:

  1. I've converted the ingredients to U.S. measure, but it looks like a VERY SMALL amount of milk. can you confirm how much milk there would be in liquid measure (U.S. cups)?

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  2. Hi, Steve! Sorry, no clue about the equivalent in US cups (remember, the recipe comes from a French book) and since I am currently in Paris, there is no way I can check it out for you. I think 20 g is right though. Remember, the milk is just there to thin the eggs a bit. The pear brings moisture and so does the Roquefort. The batter should be close to what it would be for a muffin.

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