Caramelized Figs with Balsamic Syrup and Crème Fraiche

Although London basically had no summer this summer, I am reaping the fruits, literally, of summer in other places. The markets in Paris are full of the most glorious black figs. I sampled one at the Marché d’Aligre in the 12th Arrondissement and had to buy a kilo of them. (They only cost about three euros, by the way.) My dad, who’s got slightly antiquated notions about food, did not believe me when I told him that figs and balsamic are one of the most glorious pairings known to man. I set out to prove him wrong, and succeeded. The addition of crème fraiche made this easy dessert HEAVENLY. Continue reading

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Rustic Raspberry Tart

Sometimes I cook things because they are perfect vehicles for other foods I want to eat. Witness this “rustic” (read, freeform) raspberry tart. On Sunday I was at the Marylebone Farmer’s Market. It is impossible for me to go to the Marylebone Farmer’s Market without buying Guernsey cream. (Admittedly, I haven’t tried very hard not to buy it. But why should I deny myself?) Having bought the cream, well, clearly a tart had to be made. Continue reading

Vanilla Cardamom Panna Cotta

Panna cotta is kind of like artisanal ice cream you can make at home without an ice cream maker. You can infuse it with sexy flavours. You can impress your friends, who may not realise quite how easy it is to make. DON’T TELL THEM. Why should you? A well-made panna cotta, in which the balance of sugar and cream and gelatin is struck just right, is gorgeous. Infused with exciting flavours (Turmeric! Rhubarb! Saffron!) it is a seductive bourgeois dessert. Continue reading