mascarpone

A brunch at Semilla

Sunday brunch time is one of those very volatile, very vulnerable moments of the week. Our energy flow is readjusting hence the choice of the meal is crucial to that roaring start of the week. I don't know about you, but when I wake up on the resting day of the week for excellence, the first thing I think of is either a scrumbled, an à la coque, or a benedicte style egg. When in Paris, Semilla is a place for indulging in sweets, freshly squeezed fruit juices, the unmissable sunday roast and, as they call it, all kinds of non egg's options: a lobster club sandwich served with toasted brioche and avocado or a very seasonal beet salad with spelt, fresh cheese and hazelnuts. On the hunt side - it being hunting season, chef Eric Trochon gets an exceptional delivery directly from the hands of his hunters friends - we tried a mouthwatering version of venison burger, moistened with currant juice, served with pak choi (the Chinese version of chard) and the quitessential new potatoes roasted to perfection.

Opened by the will and skills of trio Drew Harré, Jan Sanchez and the chef himself, Eric Trochon, this place, as other excellent ones in town, winks at bistronomie, this phenomenon très à la page that results from the contraction of bistro and gastronomy, applying to those tables combining low prices (with menus worth less than 30€), small team, small places and inventive cuisine made from good and simple products, often orchestrated by chefs trained in academic structures.

Very democratically, and here we go again with patrioctic values such as Liberté & Fraternité, also present à la carte if it wasn't clear enough, the menu comprehends a full list of the producers, often small realities, providing the food and beverages to the house. The wine, in general directly supplied from the grape scented hands of the wine maker himself, can be a Chablis Premier Cru la Forest or a Chateauneuf-du-Pape, both proven to be extraordinarily reassuring tastes.

Last but not least: those of you who know me by now are also well aware of the fact that I love my mascarpone. Either worked in a tiramisu or on a limoncello based cream, you'll know that I'll quickly access to the highest level of #foodhappiness. I reached new heights, though, when tasting the remarkable pears, mascarpone and peacan nuts pie. Powerfully happy before the week's madness.

Restaurant Semilla 54, rue de Seine Paris (75006) TÉL : +33 1 43 54 34 50 MÉTRO : Saint-Germain des Prés, Mabillon, Odéon

With love and peacan nuts,

Eleonora

semilla1

Crisp mascarpone custard with candied oranges and dark chocolate

Maybe you don't want as rich a dessert as you would literally pamper in these upcoming festivities. Nevertheless, it is nice, in light of this brrrr...freezing winter, to come back home to something exquisite to enjoy at the end of an otherwise dull midweek supper before the real Christmas food festival kicks in and your jaw keeps dropping. I must have been about 12 of age when, finally allowed to enter the kitchen (as I explained thoroughly here), I was taught by my grandma how to make the real, authentic, unfussy and let me add, majestic Tiramisù. The major ingredient is the fluffy, richly flavoured mascarpone cheese. Regardless of the season, I love to be inventive using this ingredient with my own recipes. Last week I sipped a good cup of mulled wine (which recipe you can find here), and I told myself, why not enjoying it with a pairing dessert? So here it is, wrapped up in a video recipe. This is a collaboration I conducted with a French video production (you can watch the first episode here), but even if the wording is French, believe me, this cooking video speaks for itself. In case you were wondering about the exact ingredients and execution, you can find them right below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ycGs15r4Xc

Crisp mascarpone custard with candied oranges and dark chocolate (serves 2 persons)

  • 250 gr. mascarpone cheese
  • 125 gr. of room temperature tap water
  • 175 gr. caster sugar
  • 40 gr. dark chocolate
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 savoiardi biscuits (or ladyfingers)
  • 100 ml. whole milk
  • 1 unwaxed organic orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Cut the orange in four pieces. Remove its pulp, then cut the skin into fine stripes and whitewashthem: immerse them in water, remove them after 2 minutes boiling. Repeat the method for 4 times in a row (this will take out the acidity from the orange's skin). Then, let the orange strips dry on a clean cloth.

In a bowl, mix the egg yolks with 50 gr. of sugar until creamy. Then add the mascarpone cheese and mix gently. Chop the chocolate roughly with a knife, and add it to the mixture.

In a pot, pour the water with the remaining sugar. Incorporate the orange strips and the cinnamon stick. Let cook for 25 minutes at low fire.

Pour the milk in a tiny bowl, then break each biscuits in two and lightly soak them in the milk. Place them at the bottom of a mug, then let half of the mascarpone cheese mixture fall on top of them. Finally, add a few orange slices per serving and sprinkle with some chocolate chips.

With love and candied fruits,

Eleonora