The days of blue sky, as in the photo, seem to have ended in this part. The trees have lost their charming colours and now have more naked colours of brown. As I’m having my last week in Jura, I’m already being nostalgic, looking at all the photos from my crazy 3 week-long adventure of the Jura mountains and Jura wines. I have the last mission to complish, which is to visit the froggy lakes that were featured in Triplets of Belleville and eat frog legs, which will be the last supper to celebrate the end of my gastronomic holiday.
I’ve tasted so many Comte cheese and Vin jaune; I haven’t drunk this much white wines. There are still more exciting posts about my culinary stories in the Jura mountains and my recent trip back to Burgundy, but first I need to push out the old photos before working on the new photos. I always wish I could work on my blog while on the road but it’s practically impossible and I wonder how people manage to still blog while travelling.
Birds tweet outside the window and this morning I saw three deers, seemingly a family, playing in the backyard. At the same time, I hear gunshots by hunters and I go, “Oh, dear….” I eat meat but the image of animals being killed makes me uncomfortable.
Looking at the lovely fresh produce I got from the weekly market, I felt so French-spirited that I decided to make a typical French dish, Confit de Canard with Baby Pototoes.
Look at a bath of fat. If your eyes widen and you start smacking your lips with mischievous smiles like me, then welcome to my world. This is usually cooked in the oven but, following Cyrille’s advice, I cooked it in a pan. Yes, you’re meant to use up all the fat, in which baby potatoes will be cooked. Hmm…yum!
It was a mess, with duck fat spattering all over the stove top before I found the special lid, called splatter screen. The smell of duck fat cooking is just so warm, sweet and comforting. The potatoes cooked lovely and crispy in the bath of duck fat. I honestly couldn’t dare use up the all fat and reserved the rest in a glass jar but ordinary French people would use it all up.
In Salat, a town of confit de canard, confit is served with a special potato gratin made with cepe mushrooms and I remember the delicious taste of the gratin.
As it was my first time cooking the confit, I didn’t know what I was doing, but according to the verdict, my confit was successful. The art is crispening the skin and the potatoes. I was also impressed by the result, and we cheered with a bottle of Bordeaux wine, Château Chapelle d’Aliénor 2010, Vieilles Vignes. In supermarkets of such a small town like here, the wine stock is very limited and I hoped the wine will compliment the dish.
But it turned out that the wine was too powerful, too tannic, too heavy with berries and spices, and luckily we had a backup wine of Vacqueyras from the night before. Cyrille happily gobbled down two legs easily and I took it as a compliment for my cooking. As it was his birthday, I wanted to make a little cake but wasn’t prepared for a proper cake so I came up with fondant au chocolat but I only found one ramekins and didn’t want to phone him to ask where ramekins are because I wanted to surprise him.
As it turned out, there weren’t ramekins in the kitchen, which I thought had everything! Anyway, so I had to do without and made this little instant Fondant au Chocolat with Raspberries. I love the flavour combo of bitter chocolate and red berries such as raspberries or cherries. I made chocolate raspberry sauce and put it in the centre so when you eat, the chocolate berry sauce will ooze out beautifully.
I am really crazy about any kinds of melting chocolate desset, whether it be called fondant au chocolat, moelleux au chocolat, or molten chocolate or lava cake, and, as I know how easy it is to make and how quickly I can whip it up in a few minutes, I often make it to impress guests and it NEVER fails, and it looks and tastes fancy and decadent. But the truth is that it is incredibly easy and every night when we have no dessert to eat and I just whip it up in 5 minutes plus the baking time of 10 mins or it can be made in advance and kept in the fridge. It also makes a perfect dessert on cold days.
You can adjust the measurement according to the servings but you don’t have to worry about the exact figures because no matter how much more or less you put in, the result is still good with a slight difference in the density and richness of the cake but it’s guaranteed that you will get the lovely melted chocolate oozing out for sure as long as you cook it at a hight temperature for no longer than 10 mins. The raspberry filling is optional and you can play with other flavours and fruit if you like, or you can simply place a couple of fresh raspberries in the centre.
Fondant au Chocolat with Raspberry Sauce
Ingredients (makes 4)
50g brown sugar
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour (or almond flour)
100 g butter
200 g dark chocolate (72%)
For the raspberry filling: optional
20 raspberries, fresh or frozen
100g dark chocolate
1. Preheat the oven to 200’C and make the raspberry filling by mixing the berries with melted chocolate and butter and set it aside.
2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a pot and let it cool.
3. Whisk the eggs and sugar very well in a mixer for 3 mins or so until it’s very pale and frothy.
4. Mix in the melted chocolate mixture and sift in the flour.
5. Fill the ramekins each 1/3 full with the chocolate mixture and put a spoonful of the berry mixture in the centre, and pour more chocolate mixture to cover it. (Dust the ramekins with cocoa powder if you like before filling them)
6. Bake for 10 mins, no more than 10 mins! Take them out and serve on a plate with vanilla icecream or cream.
- Confit de Canard aux lentilles de Puy (dinnerwiththesmiths.wordpress.com)
- Raspberry-Filled Molten Chocolate Cake (marthastewart.com)
- Fondant au chocolat (andreabenattiblog.com)
- Cooking Tips: Magret de Canard& Cauliflower Gratin – Château Fontesteau – Cheese (eatwithmeistanbul.com)
- Duck Confit with Spicy Pickled Raisins (thebittenword.com)
- Molten Chocolate with Raspberry Coulis (pickycook.com)