Wednesday, November 10, 2010

12 candles on a birthday cake {chocolate}

Fancy reading this post in French? Retrouvez moi sur La Cuisine de Babeth
I should have translated this post a while ago ... right after I turned 21 -again- to be honest, so 2 months ago. But life, work, project (one I will be able to share more with you soon, I hope), the lack of real high-speed internet and the right not to blog went in the way.

 And why today I decided to talk again about this recipe? Well with some friends we gathered this afternoon in my brand new kitchen to bake together. What did we bake, you may ask. Chocolate moist super-easy but oh so yummy cake and apple crumble. Two recipes I gathered and learned while at engineering school in Paris, and two recipes two guys taught me. (I don't remember though if they were able to do the dishes :-) ) Today we didn't do the dishes either (and not even tomorrow! Expats' life is nice in Kigali, everyone has staff), but we had fun, cooked together while having fine tea and talked about our husbands. Both of the recipes we baked today are very rich, full of butter, but once in a while won't make you fat. Food and eating should be a pleasure and a way to share happiness with others.

Life was really sweet in Kigali today.

Recipe for the chocolate cake:
-250g of granulated sugar
-150g of baking chocolate
-6 eggs
-125g of butter (unsalted or salted if you can stand the salt and chocolate combination a key element of palates of Bretagne -Brittany-)
-160g of sifted flour
-1 teaspoon of baking powder
-a little bit of milk if needed to softened the dough

Directions: (preparation time: about 15 minutes, baking time: 1 hour)
1- Preheat the oven at 160C. Grease an ovendish (about 25cm).
2- Melt the butter and the chocolate over a bain-marie (aka a double bath). Set aside.
3- Separate the yolks from the white and place them in 2 large bowls.
4- Firmly mix the yolks and the sugar until the preparation is starting to get whiter. Add the chocolate and mix. Then incorporate slowly the flour and baking powder. (if too sticky add some milk, 1 to 3 tablespoons will be enough).
5- Add a pinch of salt to the whites and with a mixer whip them to a foam. (no need to whip to peaks)
6- Gently incorporate the white to the preparation. Do not mix but with a silicon spatula slowly and gently recover the whipped whites with the chocolate preparation. Repeat until homogeneous.
7- Pour the dough into the pan, and bake for about 1 hour (check after 45 minutes is baked)

And to tease my dear readers in the Northern hemisphere, weather wise it was just perfect in the mid 70! A summer dress and flip-flops were enough.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Such a sad news, the food blog scene is mourning

Fancy reading this post in French? Retrouvez moi sur La Cuisine de Babeth
A nasty illness took Micky away.

I had the great privilege to meet her back in 2008, in Paris while shooting a video with French chef Cyril Lignac.
She was exuding joie de vivre and kindness. And she was expressing all those in her pop and colorful make-up. I remember that day in Paris, where we were invited to shoot a cooking video, she re-did her make-up because according to her it was too pale. And she was right all of us ended up having the same make-up as Greek tragedian, way too pale!

As it was said here, I'm pretty sure that she's already in charge of the Heaven's kitchen.

To keep her memory still vivid, please browse her marvelous food blog: Le Jardin des Délices.
And why not doing like Requia, cooking one of her recipe.

All my thoughts are going to Math, her beloved husband and her family.

See you Micky!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Chicken wok with green cabbage

Fancy reading this post in French? Retrouvez moi sur La Cuisine de Babeth


Even if we owned 2 woks (one in a storage in France and one here in Rwanda), until recently I've never cooked with it. It was Mathieu's territory. Not that I was scared, but not having to cook and just waiting for diner to be served is sometime a true luxury. And far away from Asia, in Africa I met a Chinese Indonesian friend who taught me how to cook pad-thai. Then the week after I taught her how to make my chocolate tart. After that enlightening experience (yes really when you're a true foodie learning a new recipe is almost a spiritual experience) I stocked (even though we can find almost everything in Kigali, when stores have supplies we need to buy in bulk because it never lasts) Pad-Thai noodles and Chinese noodles in my pantry. And I was ready to turn my kitchen into a wok-lab.
Now I'm trying wok variations with what I can find at the farmers market.

If I tell you green cabbage, I'm pretty sure you will say no thank you with a disgusted face. You will be wrong, green cabbage when you know how to prepare it, is really good for both your palate and health!

For this recipe I used pre-cooked carrots. I always I have in my fridge some peeled, cut and almost al-dente cooked veggies (staples: carrots and broccoli) and some cooked rice. So when I'm in a rush I can still prepare healthy meals in a snap. I throw all those in a pan or my wok add some spice, fresh herbs from my garden.

Chicken wok with green cabbage recipe
Ingredients: (serving 4)
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1/2 green cabbage
- 3 big carrots pre-cooked*
- 1/2 onion (red or yellow as you prefer, red is sweeter)
- 2 garlic cloves
- sesame seeds
- soy sauce
- sesame oil
- sunflower oil
- white pepper
- 1 Maggi cube
- some peanuts

1- Thinly shred the cabbage, rinse and gently drain the water. Set aside.
2- Thinly slice the onion. Peel the garlic cloves, smash them under a large knife blade and slice. Set aside.
3- Slice the chicken breasts. Set aside.
4- Place your wok on high heat. If yours is not non-adhesive pour some sunflower oil (not more than a table spoon). As soon as the oil is hot throw in it the onion and garlic.
5- Then as soon as the onion and garlic are golden throw in the chicken. Flip the chicken slices over from time to time. When the chicken slices are cooked add the carrots, cabbage. Cover.
6- After 2 or 3 minutes, crumble on top the Maggi cube, add pepper then add a dash of sesame oil and soy sauce. Mix and cover again. It's ready to serve when the cabbage starts to become translucent.
7- Serve in small bowls and add some sesame seeds and peanuts on top.

*Otherwise peel and cut in small slices the carrots, cook them for 10 minutes in boiling water. 

Read again Mathieu's tips for successful wok experience (just click here)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Malaria 0 - Babeth 1

Fancy reading this post in French? Retrouvez moi sur La Cuisine de Babeth

Malaria zones

Time flies, it's been so long, since June, I haven't posted anything here. My day job in Kigali is time consuming, which may explain why I've been away from blogging for so long. And also French food blogs feuds made me rethink blogging. I was even thinking to quit blogging and only using micro-blogging thanks to twitter magics. But after some wishful thinking I realize, what the heck!, a blog is personal (share with everybody else who cares to read) and a great way to share pictures, story and recipes with family, friends and all the anonymous visitors who like this blog. So I'm back!

Topic of the day: malaria. In Rwanda, where we live, malaria is not widely spread but still present. After only few months in Kigali, guess what I got malaria. Even though I tried to protect myself from being bitten, only one time is enough to be infected by malaria. Our house has mosquito nets on every windows, we have mosquito net, sprayed with repellant, above our bed, I wear long sleeves and pants at night, and use spray (Note: only tropical repellent is working) when even it needs, I even have a mosquito repeller iphone apps.
Mosquito net

Malaria is a very dangerous and potentially deadly diseases. the life cycle of the parasite responsible for malaria: Plasmodium, is complex and not always detected in infected people. And often, sick people don't go quickly enough to see a doctor to get tested. Why? First because infected people get fever and then get better and develop fever again, and also because most of infected people are very poor and live in poor country and live far away from hospitals or free clinics.

So what is malaria?
Malaria is an infectious disease caused by a parasite: the Plasmodium, spread by tropical mosquitos (female anopheles). The parasites multiply in the human liver cells, that exploded and parasites propagate to the blood. And it's only where it's in the blood that malaria can be detected.

Symptoms: fever, headaches, join pain, vomiting, loss of appetite before coma and possible death.

In Africa a simple pain-free, and cheap or free for the poorer, test is used to diagnose malaria: blood film. A drop of blood at the tip of a finger is placed on a glass slide.

In my case I had fever, not much, headaches, join pain, vomiting and total loss of appetite. Fever was disappearing in the morning to come back, knocking me out, around 5p.m. I got treated on time and I'm now malaria free.

If you live in a malaria zone, or are coming back from one don't under estimate fever and join-pain, especially for travelers coming back home during winter. And get yourself tested for malaria.

Reading this post took you approximatively 2 minutes, and during those 2 minutes 4 children died of malaria in Africa. Indeed 1 children dies from malaria in Africa every 30 seconds, without counting all the adults ...

To go further:
Institut Pasteur article (in French)
WHO article
CDC article
great TV spot with David Beckam for fight malaria 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A snapshot of Kigali ...

Did you miss me? A little bit, I hope ;-) I've been caught by everyday life stuff, chore even faster. That's why I don't blog much. Don't get me wrong, a lot of yummy dishes get out of my oven, and my palate experiment quite often, but internet is so slow here in Kigali. It's like back in 1992 without the grrrrrrrbiiiip annoying modem sound (but same snail speed!). On top of that I just started as a lecturer at Kigali's University (and it's more a professor job, without the paycheck, because I have to prepare all my lectures from ... scratch). Preparing lectures' notes, exercises and tests are time consuming. Not that I'm complaining to have an interesting job ;-)

I will try to be more devoted to you, my readers. I will try to bring you with my in my African adventures, discovering and been blown away by colors, odors and local people.

Today no recipe, but a snapshot of Kigali street's life. Enjoy the beautiful ladies and their colorful pagnes.

Kigali ladies

Fancy reading this post in French? Retrouvez moi sur La Cuisine de Babeth

Friday, March 19, 2010

news ...

God I have a new girly pink fashion accessory ... a cast. I wish I had a fantastic story to tell you about it, like something I fell from an elephant or a giraffe. But nothing like that I must confess. Just the consequence of a stupid accident. I tripped from a chair while hanging local baskets on my dining room wall. Baskets I haggled like a pro - meaning like an African - at Kimironko market.

Have a look at my triumphant exit from King Faisal Hospital ER, in Kigali

Anyway for those of you who live in France you still have few days to participate to Pyrex and La cuisine de Babeth St Patrick giveaway.

What to do? Prepare a dish, a green one and has to be yummy of course! Pots the result in the comment section.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My life in the land of a thousand hills (aka Rwanda)

God I know I'm a bad blogger. I've been abandoning you guys for the last few months. Let me offer you my deepest apology, I flatten as a souffle out of the oven for too long in shame. Anyway I have a "good enough" reason: we moved! Yes again ;-) Well, it's not just a new city, or a new country but a new continent we now call home! Life brought us to Rwanda, Africa. Rwanda is a tiny country called the land of a thousand hills, cozy located in East Africa not far from the equator.

collage rwanda

At first, I wasn't so thrilled to move to Rwanda. Understand me, where I was living before that move, we didn't get much news from Rwanda, expect 1994 genocide linked one. But almost 16 years after French journalists were silent about reconciliations, changes well you know life!

Life in Kigali, Rwanda is certainly different, but Kigali's life is sweet, safe and the city is SO clean!

Do I have to mention that my cooking will take and African turn and be spiced up ?
Stay tuned for more adventures!

To read this post in French, join me on La cuisine de Babeth!
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