Friday, January 27, 2012


It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.
- Giordano Bruno
Every year, around the beginning of January, I witness the same circus. Food-related magazines, sites and blogs worldwide publish a list of all the forthcoming trends and give their predictions for the upcoming 11 months. After that, and until the next craze hits us comparably to a strike of lightning, the internet generally gets swamped with hip recipes, reviews of fashionable products and a wave of articles treating of those subjects furiously sweeps the web while a horde of professional as well as hobby journalists are sucked into the the eye of this powerful tornado.

Being somebody who naturally goes against the tide, dislikes blind copyism, loathes lack of individuality and disapproves of prefabricated movements, this annual proclamation of what we have to follow and this subliminal influencing of consumers makes me sick, go up the wall, smirk and chuckle as vogues are so limitating, artificial and superficial.

It always amazes me how a large number of people accept dictatorship of taste and have no problem being told what to do, to fancy, to speak about as well as in which way to act. Humanity really wants to be treated similarly to cattle and led in a pack-like manner as it makes them feel safe and not alone. Swimming with the stream gives them the sentiment of partaining to a group, thus not being an outsider. They are so afraid of alienation, segregation and unconventionality that they prefer to sacrifice their integrity for commonness so as to not get singled out by the leading majority.
These hipster zombies… are the idols of the style pages, the darlings of viral marketers and the marks of predatory real-estate agents.
 - Christian Lorentzen
Sadly, in this world we live, standing out from the crowd is really badly seen and labelled as something that is antisocial. Bollocks! Why should women and men who are true to themselves be unfriendly, not well integrated in society and secluded hermits? Maybe singularity is slightly unnerving for others as it is a mark of rebellion, uniqueness and freedom (as long as it is genuine and not another stylish attitude), but that doesn’t mean that it is a negative quality. As a matter of fact, it is a sign of intelligence and strength. Diacritic souls are honest, authentic, comfortable with their opinions and choices, don’t play games or suffer from dissociation. We have no need to create a fake identity and lie to ourselves in order to be recognized. What you see is what you get and if certain idiots don't like us, then they can get lost!

It is crucial to give no importance to the masses’ judgement or appraisal, and to find your own voice if you don’t want to be fake or manipulable. As you know, totalitarian dictatorships and politicians always achieve their goals by striking the chord of fear of rejection within the general public’s heart and missuse our human need to feel aknowledged as well as create strong ties with one another and blend into the flock (check out the movie "The Wave" as it describes this behavior pattern very well). This shows how dangerous it can be to comport oneself in a sheepish manner and deny your inner self to fit the mold. 
Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream.
- Malcolm Muggeridge
Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.
 - Oscar Wilde
Diversity is beautiful and a great source of inspiration, while standardization is clinical and represents the death of the mind and of imagination. Take a look at some of the greatest artists and thinkers (poets, painters, writers, musicians, philosophers, etc…), had they not defied conventions, been non-conformists and had dissident visions, their creations/work would never have seen the light of day as they would never have had that special sparkle of life within themselves that made them such a genius.

To hell with fashions! They are only a means of control and the industry has also properly understood that since very long. For decades, it has shaped the minds of folks and been employing those psychological tricks to transform you into the perfect consumer, a robotic subordinate who never questions orders nor goes out of line.

Chocolate Cake 2 1 bis

Nowadays, food is extremely popular among a large fringe of the population and amazing amounts of cash are generated by it. This niche sees numbers of ephemeral trends come and go at the speed of light. Unfortunately, they are not all invented by persons with good intentions, but rather by avid entrepreneurs who milk the cow with them, don’t give a shit about locally grown veggies/fruits, budget or healthy eating, eco-friendly farming, the survival of gastronomy, the respect of the terroir, etc... Their interest is somewhere else and profit is their religion. Hence, if you want the culinary arts not evolve into a big commercial joke or to get hijacked by money hungry bastards, you’d better start cooking and baking without being influenced by corporations and not fall into their trap. Love food unconditionally, but not because of the fame it brings or the reputation it has and remember that hipsters come and go fast...

So, when I read somewhere macarons, whoopie pies and cupcakes were out, and that the next dessert obsession in 2012 will be layer cakes, I just had to laugh my guts out. Wow, what breathtaking piece of info! I mean, come on guys, don't you find that it sounds kind of déjà-vu? It is crazy how old stuff makes a regular comeback. That's what I call recycling and not novelty.

I didn't have to wait for this baked good (the same can be said about pickles, kimchi, scones, meatballls, etc...) to be approved by the public opinion to start showing some interest in it. Actually, I have been eating and baking that awesome tea time treat since a very tender age, so it is not dernier cri to me.
All greatness of character is dependent on individuality. The man who has no other existence than that which he partakes in common with all around him, will never have any other than an existence of mediocrity.
- James F. Cooper
My tastes don't vary according to fads. They are constant and timeless. If I enjoy a dish or a goodie, there is a big chance that I'll do so all my life. Sensationalism doesn't have any effect on me and I don't behave like a chameleon...

For example, I have a longstanding love affair with chocolate cake. It is one of the wonders of this world which I find terribly irresistible. Of course, not all chocolate cakes are equal. Some of them are just good, without being earth-shatteringly delectable and others are simply to-die-for. Well, today, the one I am presenting undoubtedly belongs to the second category. It is unquestionably one of the best chocolate cakes I have ever savored.

I found the recipe for this "Drop Dead Chocolate Cake" on Jamie's wonderful blog "My Baking Addiction" in October 2011. As soon as I laid my eyes on that dark beauty covered and filled with fudgy buttercream, I knew I had to prepare it as soon as possible. Promise made, promise kept. To celebrate the new year, I cococted this intensely cocoa-y, delightfully moist, devilishly rich, divinely morish and extraordinarily decadent confection. Needless to say that we enragedly devoured it like a couple of hungry wolves and that it disappeared incredibly swiftly. A chocolate lover's dream come true! Epic.

Chocolate Cake 5 1 bis

~ Drop Dead Chocolate Cake ~
Cake recipe adapted from "My Baking Addiction" and chocolate buttercream frosting adapted from "Savory Sweet Life".

Yields 8 servings.

Ingredients For The "Chocolate Sponge":
2 Cups (410g) Castor sugar
1 3/4 Cups (223g) All-purpose flour
3/4 Cup +2 Tbs (80g) Unsweetened cocoa powder (Cailler)
2 Tsp Baking soda
1 Tsp Baking powder
1 Tsp Fine sea salt
2 Eggs (~63g)
1 Cup (240ml) Buttermilk
1 Cup (240ml) Strong black coffee
1/2 Cup (105ml) Vegetable oil (neutral tasting)
2 Tsp Pure vanilla extract
Ingredients For The " Chocolate Buttercream Frosting":
1 Cup +1 Tbs (250g) Unsalted Butter, softened (not melted)
3 1/2 Cups (420g) Powdered sugar (sifted)
3/4 Cup (68g) Cocoa powder (Cailler, sifted)
2 Tsp Strong black coffee
2 Tsp Pure vanilla extract
1/2 Tsp Fine sea salt 
4 Tbs Milk

Method For The "Chocolate Sponge":
1. Heat the oven to 350° F (180° C). Butter and flour one 9-inch (23cm) round springform pan. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, put the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mixing on low speed until the dry ingredients are thoroughly combined.
3. Add the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla, then beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes (the batter will be thin, that's totally normal).
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and place on the wire rack. Cool completely. 

Rose 1 2 bis

Method For The " Chocolate Buttercream Frosting":
5. Meanwhile, with a stand mixer (paddle attachment), cream the butter for a few minutes.
6. Turn off the mixer and add the powdered sugar and cocoa. On the lowest speed, mix the until the dry ingredients have been absorbed by the butter.
7. Increase the mixer speed to medium and add coffee, vanilla extract, salt and milk.
8. Beat for 3 minutes.
Method For "Assembling The Cake":
9. Cut the cake into two equal layers.
10. Place the bottom layer on a cake plate and frost with 1/3 of the buttercream.
11. Cover with the top layer and with the remaining buttercream, frost the cake as desired. 

If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add a little more sugar or if it needs to be thinned out, add more milk, 1 tbs at a time.
This cake can also be covered with chocolate ganache.

Serving suggestions:
Serve this cake at any hour of the day or night (it is so decadent that you'll not be able to control yourself and will mercilessly pounce on it LOL) and accompany it with cold milk, strong coffee or sparkling wine (champagne, Clairette de Die, Prosecco, etc...).


~ Gâteau Au Chocolat De La Mort Qui Tue ~
Gâteau adapté de "My Baking Addiction" et glaçage au chocolate adapté de "Savory Sweet Life".

Pour 8 personnes.

Ingrédients Pour Le "Gâteau Au Chocolat": 
410g de Sucre cristallisé 
223g de Farine 
80g de Cacao en poudre (non-sucré, Cailler)
2 CC de Bicarbonate de soude
1 CC de Poudre à lever
1 CC de Sel de mer fin
2 Oeufs (~ 63g)
240ml de Babeurre (lait ribot) 

240ml de Café fort 
105ml d'Huile végétale (goût neutre)
2 CC d'Extrait de vanille pure
Ingrédients Pour Le "Glaçage Au Chocolat": 
250g de Beurre non-salé ramolli (pas fondu) 
420g de Sucre en poudre/glace (tamisé) 
68g de Cacao en poudre (non-sucré/ Cailler/tamisé)
2 CC de Café fort
2 CC d'Extrait de vanille pure
1/2 CC de Sel de mer fin
4 CS de Lait

Méthode Pour Le "Gâteau Au Chocolat":
1. Préchauffer le four à 180 ° C. Beurrer et fariner un moule rond (à charnière) de 23cm. Le mettre de côté.
2. Mettre le sucre, la farine, le cacao, le bicarbonate de soude, la poudre à lever et le sel d
ans le bol d'un batteur électrique (équipé de l'accessoire batteur plat) et mélanger à basse vitesse jusqu'à ce que les ingrédients secs soient bien mélangés.
3. Ajouter les oeufs, le babeurre, le café, l'huile et la vanille, puis battre à vitesse moyenne pendant environ 2 minutes (la pâte sera liquide, mais c'est tout à fait normal).
4. Verser la pâte dans le moule.
5. Cuire pendant 35 à 40 minutes ou jusqu'à ce que la lame d'un couteau insérée au centre en ressorte propre. Laisser refroidir pendant 10 minutes, puis retirer du moule et placer le gâteau sur une grille. Faire refroidir complètement.

Chocolate Cake 1 4 bis

Méthode Pour Le "Glaçage Au Chocolat":
5. Pendant ce temps, battre le beurre en pommade à l'aide d'un batteur.
6. Éteindre le batteur et ajouter le sucre en poudre et le cacao. A petite vitesse, mélanger les ingrédients secs jusqu'à ce qu'ils aient été incorporés au beurre.
7. Augmenter la vitesse du mélangeur à moyen et ajouter le café, l'extrait de vanille, le sel et le lait.
8. Battre pendant 3 minutes.
Méthode Pour "L'assemblage Du Gâteau»:
9. Couper le gâteau en deux couches égales.
10. Placez la couche inférieure sur une assiette à gâteau et couvrir avec 1/3 du glaçage.
11. Recouvrir avec la couche supérieure et avec le reste du glaçage, glacer le gâteau comme vous le souhaitez.
Si votre glaçage est trop liquide, alors ajouter un peu de sucre en poudre. Si il est trop épais, ajouter un peu de lait (1 CS à la fois).
Ce gâteau peut aussi être recouvert de ganache au chocolat.

Idées de présentation:
Servir ce gâteau à n'importe quelle heure de la journée ou de la nuits (il est tellement bon qu'il vous sera impossible de vous contrôler LOL), accompagné d'un verre de lait, d'une tasse de café fort ou de vin mousseux (Champagne, Clairette de Die, Prosecco, etc...).

Chocolate Cake 4 1 bis

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Sheep 1 4 bis
~ Ram Love ~

Sheep 2 7 bis
~ Protective ~

Vineyard 1 11 bis
~ Vineyard On A Sunny January Day ~

All three pictures were submitted to "Black & White Wednesday", an event created by Susan at "The Well-Seasoned Cook".


Many thanks to all of you for entering my second NOVICA giveaway. I was delighted to read your lovely comments and to see that so many people from all over the world took part in it. Your participation really means a lot to me.

The winner was democratically selected in a very old-fashioned way, using the hat method. All the names listed in the comment section of the post were placed in a container for a blind draw operated by myself...

We have a lucky winner, drumroll please!!!!!!!

Congratulations to
ICEDGURL of "...Trek..." who wins the 50$ NOVICA gift certificate!

Monday, January 23, 2012


I have been reading Family Fresh Cooking since 2010 and have witnessed how Marla has developped her cooking, baking and photography skills over the years. Every time I visit her refreshing and unique blog, I feel inspired and take a virtual vacation. This dazzling woman’s healthy, yet indulgent recipes never fail to make me drool and her brilliant pictures (dishes, landscapes as well as sweet family portraits) always delight me to the highest point.

So, when she kindly asked me to write a guest post for her and share some of my favorite Valentine’s Day desserts creations with her readers, I accepted her gracious proposition without a moment of hesitation as it is a true honor for me to be featured on her wonderful space. A wish come true, as a matter of fact…

Marla is a sporty (she skis, surfs & is active at all times, all seasons), energetic, bubbly and proud mother of two (a cute girl and an adorable boy) who lives in Southern California
 (OC) and feeds an undying love for Telluride in Colarado, travelling, anything artistic as well as for quality food. Being fit and on the move is very important for her, so everything she cooks has to be have a positive impact on her well-being and she needs work in her life. Mindful living is her mantra in everything she does and her mission is to inspire a lifestyle through Family Fresh Cooking.

Lenk 1 2 bis

Today, I am extremely thrilled to present you with my fetish romantic recipes and I wish to warmly thank Marla for opening the doors of her platform to me. It is an honor to know this perky lady and to have my work hosted by such a fabulous and friendly blogger like her!

If that short introduction grabbed your attention, gave you the urge to read my column and to discover Family Fresh Cooking, then please hop on over there in order to read the whole article, get a glimpse of my photos, discover my sweet temptations and have a look at Marla's great site.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


NOVICA logo_lgIf you know me and have read my blog for a while, you must have seen that I associate myself with businesses and brands I feel comfortable with and only accept to advertize for them if I can relate to what they are doing as well as fully appreciate the products they put out on the market. I regularly turn down offers as I'm very exclusive in my selection and my aim is not to brainwash you with cheap adverts for useless knacks or cheap bric-a-brac. I want to showcase items that have a real value to my eyes and which I can present to you without feeling dishonnest or like a vulgar whore running after a few easily earned coins. This is absolutely not my kind...

Novica 4 8 bis bis

So, when NOVICA contacted me again and proposed to organize another giveaway, there was no way I was going to refuse the opportunity of making one of my readers a lucky winner and treating myself to a few of their exquisite and irresistible objects.

Their way of doing business is totally adequate with my beliefs. What I really like about them is that they are different and fight to promote an alternative. NOVICA wants to provide us with access to unique, hard-to-find items at bargain prices that only the Internet infrastructure can allow. Their aim is to give artists and artisans around the world a global platform where they can express their true artistic talents as well as spur their creativity and create a bridge between them and buyers. It is important to NOVICA that we know about who we are buying from in order for us to feel an attachment to the product and to the hands that created it.

In association with THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, this fairtrade and eco-friendly organization's purpose is to create a revolutionary system through which the artists and artisans (the team comes from different cultures, countries and language sets - Andes, Bali & Java, Brazil, Central America, India, Mexico, Thailand and West Africa) can display their fine works to an international audience of prospective customers.
NOVICA does not charge artists any fees for listing their items on the website. Furthermore, they remain fully independent (free to raise or lower their prices and remove their items from the website). By cutting out the long strings of middlemen, NOVICA allows both consumers and artisans to get the most out of each and every transaction. Besides, they also give the customer the chance to help the artists by making a free of interest loan (microfinance service) directly to craftspersons.

They sell a vast array of products ranging from home decor (furniture, tableware, tapestries, etc...), jewelry & apparels (earrings, bracelets, necklaces, women's accessories, men's accessories, cufflinks, men's scarveswomen's scarves, walking sticks, etc...) to paintings (abstract, religious, landscapes, etc...) and also specialise in corporate as well as green gifts.

Lately they have launched a new division giving consultants* the opportunity to showcase beautiful gifts and jewelry through home parties in an entertaining way, while supporting the people who create them. In case you would be tempted to host an event (Novica Live), then I recommend you to visit their Home Party Opportunities page or if home based selling interests you, then please view their Home Party Consultant page.

As you can imagine it was very difficult for me to choose from their catalogue as there are so many wonderful items on offer. Anyway, being a foodie and loving handmade tableware I decided to order another batch of bowls as the first one had given me full satisfaction.

I've always been a big fan of Southest Asian art, so it was all naturally that I ordered
two pairs of delicately manufactured ceramic bowls made by Putu Oka Mahendra from Bali: "Lithe Gecko" and "Frangipani Flowers".

I placed my order on a Monday afternoon and both my items arrived at the same time, on Friday of the same week. What a fast shipment considering the fact that the merchandise came directly from the artists' place in Indonesia! Everything was well-packed and came to destination in perfect condition.

When I discovered my items I was totally blown away by their sheer perfection, refinement, elegance and beauty. In front of me were bowls that were extremely splendid and gorgeously executed. They are even nicer than on the photo (and the photos were good)! No need to say that I am incredibly pleased with my gifts. What a delight for the eyes and senses. The perfect addition to my table!

*  The starter kits are only $199 and have over $400 worth of samples and $150 in business materials. They have a lot of promotions going on for our early consultants, including anyone that becomes a Director this year will go to Bali next year.

Novica 3 5 bis bis


1x 50$ gift certificate.

Rules and Entry Details
- You must leave a COMMENT in the comment section of this post (one entry per person).
- Winner will be chosen using the "hat method".
- Winner will be notified via email (please leave your e-mail adress if you don't have a blog).
- This giveaway is open WORLDWIDE (please check NOVICA's International Shipping Table to know if they can ship to your country).
- The contest closes on Wednesday, January 25th, 2012 at Midnight, 12:00am CE


This giveaway is provided to you by NOVICA. Please note that I only promote things that stay true to my tastes, convictions and interests. The opinions expressed on Rosa's Yummy Yums are purely my own and based upon my personal experiences with NOVICA. I was given a gift certificate, however I was not paid to publish a positive review.
Thank you NOVICA for sharing your wonderful tableware with us!

Novica 1 5 bis bis

All three black and white pictures were submitted to "Black & White Wednesday", an event created by Susan at "The Well-Seasoned Cook".

Friday, January 13, 2012


For a significant portion of the people 2012 has begun on the sour side, with the terrible feeling of being bloated like a red lion fish because of the obligatory end of year orgies of gluttony which they have taken part in lately and which would make any Medieval banquet look pale in comparison, with a hypish January detox to rejuvenate their agonizing liver as well as to illusionally loose all the weight they have accumulated during the festivities and with a drastically tight budget or a bank account in the red as they have irresponsably satiated their appetite for consumerism by living way over their means...
In my case, it has started on a positive note. No need to take desperate decisions to rectify bad past actions or repare what has been annihilated by careless bingeing and money spending. I have continued to lead a healthy lifestyle and to keep my feet on the ground for, in my opinion, excess is quite pointless and makes us even more miserable once the deed has been perpetuated.
“What, then, is the true Gospel of consistency? Change. Who is the really consistent man? The man who changes. Since change is the law of his being, he cannot be consistent if he stick in a rut.”
- Mark Twain
Even if I am a dreamer by nature, I perpetually make sure to be grounded, not to lose touch with reality and to be conscious of my limits. I am not against changes, foolishness or risk taking in homeophathic dosage provided that they are free of consequences, ugly repercussions and nasty surprises. Hence, meaningless resolutions, getting back on track and frenzied dieting are not for me. Equilibrium is my middle name and this is the reason why I am capable of keeping my head out of the water even in difficult periods when the line between comfort and precariousness is incredibly thin or blurry and that a little nothing can plunge you into danger.
"You've been flying so high you don't know
That you're blind to the writin' on the wall
But some day you'll look down
And you'll find you've got no place to fall
When the bright lights're gone you'll be standing alone
Forsaken in the naked light of day
Then you'll know that it's all over but the dying
And you've still got the devil to pay [...]"
- Lyrics taken from Johnny Cash's song "Devil To Pay"
Over the years, I have learnt to become careful and not to gamble with my physical and psychological wellness or to mess with pecuniary matters and not tempt the devil in any way as he never grants long leases and on top of that the uncanny bastard always wants his cash back, with interest.

I have had to go through so many storms for the last 8 years, to sail my boat during multiple tempests and have survived them thanks to my determination, clarity of thought and quest for harmony, so I really don't want to destroy my hardly-earned semi-stability and security. Consistency rules my life, yet in a progressive and non rigid way.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,
All play and no work makes Jack a mere toy."
- Maria Edgeworth, Harry and Lucy Concluded
But don't be fooled by my seemingly angelic existence. Be reassured, I am far from being flawless. Like all of you, a small sprinkle of sin doesn't represent a menace to me as long as it is not out of control. Our existence would be boring without transgression, but I also believe that too much of a good thing is not a good thing either. There are borders not to surpass and the same applies to holiness. You have to strike a balance between virtuousness and vice, and be wise, otherwise both behavior patterns become extremely deletarious and can lead us to our ruin.

You see, sometimes I love pigging out, but I don't do that on a daily basis. For example, during the week, my meals are very hearty, light, modest and meatless. I sustain myself on kilos of cereals, pulses and vegetables. Then, when the weekend arrives I cook and eat all the fatty, rich and "expensive" ingredients that never make it to my table from Monday morning to Friday lunch time. Cheese, cream, butter, bread, wine, meat and fish reappear on my plate. Shamelessly and with the biggest of pleasures, I allow myself to splurge on those goods as my body as well as soul need them and only quality produces are allowed in my house.

In this manner, debt, crazy fasting and yo-yo effects are words which don't exist in my vocabulary, so o
nce the holidays are over, I don't need to adopt a different attitude in order to heal the wounds of my irresponsability. I mean, how can one have fun and enjoy something when your stomach and system are crying for help, you are throwing precious cash out of the window and you know that afterward you'll have to pay for the broken pots?!

y fridge is perpetually filled with an assortment of seasonal greens which represent the base of my alimentation. Actually, most of the dishes I prepare are composed of at least two or three legumes. I really want to have choice and be able to improvise original meals without problem or having to run out to buy what's missing. Variety is very important. For example, during the winter, I generally stock up on fresh and regional produces such as carrots, potatoes, white cabbage, white radish, fennel, Brussel sprouts, root celery, leek, beets, pumpkin, cauliflower, kohlrabi, etc... As you can see, this wonderful selection enables me not to plan my dinners in advance or be limited and give me enough scope for using my imagination
as well as creativity.

Last week, P. came back home with three mammoth white radishes. He had come across them while buying our weekly groceries at the supermarket and was convinced that they might interest me. How thoughtful of him. Of course, thousands of ideas immediately flowed through my head. One in particular captivated my attention: I could put together some "Kimchi". After all, Koreans make that condiment with daikon, so why shouldn't I try developping my own version?

A few seconds later, I was surfing the net in search of tips and technical advice. Once I had gathered all the information I needed, I rushed straight to my kitchen and got crackling. Being a "pro" when it comes to inventing formulas, I wrote down my recipe as I went along.
"Aside from the war itself, there were two aspects of Korea, both olfactory, which kept the country from seeming to be an Eden, at least to Americans and Europeans. One was the ubiquitous buffalo-pulled “honey wagon,” in which the frugal peasants collected their own excrement for spreading on their fields, and which possessed a smell so deep, pungent and penetrating that it could literally stupefy a Westerner. The other was the national vegetable dish of the Koreans, a fermented collection of cabbage, garlic, peppers, turnips and other matter known as kimchi, which when encountered, for example, on the breath of a lovely Korean girl, generally had so devastating an effect on a Western soldier that his interest in her vanished and his libido sank without a trace. Korean mothers doubtless could thank kimchi for preserving the virtue of many of their daughters in a land overrun by foreign soldiers."
- Excerpt from "Korea: The First War We Lost" by Bevin Alexander
This banchan (side dish) is a kind of lacto-fermented pickle that comes from Korea and matures in big earthenware jars. The earliest reference to "Kimchi" is 2600 to 3000 years old and the first written evidence can be found in a Chinese poetry book (Shi-Jing) that dates back to the Western Zhou period (1046–771 BC). This speciality is made with various vegetables and exists in, at least, a hundred variations (less salty and hot, no brined seafood added, more watery, marinading in a thickish sauce, etc...) depending on seasonality (spring and summer "Kimchi" is designed for short-term use and does not have a long shelf life in comparison to autumn and winter "Kimchi" which is stored and is meant to last over the long winter months), regionality, availability and each family's personal formula or likings. However, the most popular one is definitely "Baek Kimchi" or Napa Cabbage "Kimchi" which encloses radish, green onions (scallions) or cucumber.

"Kimchi" is not only employed as a relish. In point of fact, it is also a main component of certain popular courses such as soups, stews and fried-rices. Since the prime spice that is employed in its fabrication is red chilli, a New World vegetable that was introduced to Korea from Japan after the Japanese Invasions (1592-1598), the ancestral form of "Kimchi" was exclusively concocted with cabbage and beef stock. It is only during the 12th century that other seasonings were included in the preparation, thus adding sweet and sour flavors and white and orange colors to that delicacy. This is how we know it nowadays.

Pretty much like its occidental cousin the sauerkraut, "Kimchi" is probiotic and is beneficial for the health as it contains dietary fibers, is low in calories and highly nutritional. It is rich in vitamin A, thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), calcium, and iron, lactic acid bacterias (among those lactobacillus kimchii). Apparently, on serving provides over 50% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C and carotene. In addition, it aids digestion and reduces cancer growth, so it is no wonder that it is considered to be one of the world's wholesomest foods, according to Health magazine (ranks in the top 5).

Besides representing a real plus for one's well-being, this natural medicine offers an undeniable culinary interest and that is the reason why I have been buying it since my early twenties. Yet, albeit being a homemade grub guru, I never trusted myself enough to produce mine. Anyway, as I have grown older and I am a more accomplished cook I decided to remediate to that situation.

The "Ggaktugi" or "Daikon Kimchi" I have created might not be 100% traditional and might make conservative folks or dogmatic chefs out there cringe, nevertheless it tastes wonderful and I believe that it is not too different from the original. I don't want to pretend that it is the "real thing" and that I have full knowledge of the cuisine of this part of the world, but nonetheless I trust my experienced tastebuds, instincts and my inclination to sense if a dish has an authentic touch or not...

The standard method  is applied to the recipe, however serveral elements of the marinade are not conform to The land Of The Morning Calm's standards. "Kochukaru" is replaced by Turkish chilli flakes and paprika powder and the salted shrimps ("Saewoo Jjut") by Thai shrimp paste, nonetheless, it is just like the true stuff.

My "Daikon Kimchi" is intensely aromatic and pungent, exhaliratingly gingery, powerfully garlicky, soothingly sweet, slightly fishy, mildly hot and the fresh radish crunches delightfully under the teeth. This is definitely the ultimate accompaniment to eggs, grilled meat or fish, potatoes, rice, noodles, soup or sandwich!

Kimchi 1 copy copy bis

~ Daikon Kimchi ~
Recipe by Rosa Mayland, January 2012.

Makes about 2 cups kimchi.

Ingredients For The "Salting":
2 Cups Daikon (white raddish), peeled and cut into not too thin matchsticks or chunks
1/2 Tbs Sea salt
1 Tbs Castor sugar
Ingredients For The "Marinade":
3 Cloves Garlic, chopped
2 1/2 Tbs Ginger, chopped
1 Tbs Sweet Paprika
1/3 Tsp Shrimp paste
1/8 Cup + 1 Tsp Castor sugar
1/8 Cup Fish sauce
1 1/2 Tbs Sweet soy sauce

Method For The "Salting":
1. In a bowl, toss the chunks of daikon with the salt and sugar.
2. Let sit for about 2 hours.
3. Drain well.

Snow 1 2 bis

Method For The "Marinade":
4. In a mortar, crush the garlic, ginger, chilli flakes, paprika, shrimp paste together with the sugar until you obtain a thickish paste.
5. Add this paste, the fish sauce and the soy sauce to the drained daikon. Mix well.
6. Fill an airtight container with the kimchi and place in a brown paper sack (or otherwise shield from light) and let it stand/ferment at room temperature for 30 hours.
7. Serve right away or refrigerate.

Normally, Koreans make their kimchi with the kochukaru (sweet chilli powder), but as I had none at hand, I decided to replace it with the Kirmizi Biber (sweet chilli flakes from Turkey). You can also use Espelette pepper if you wish.
Your kimchi will keep for up to 4 weeks in the refrigerator and will become stronger/better over time.

Serving suggestions:
Make "Bokkeumbap" ("Kimchi Fried rice") wih your kimchi. You can also serve it with eggs (scrambled, poached or omelet), potatoes (cubed and fried, roasted, rosti, etc...) or stir-fried noodles.


Kimchi 4 2 bis

~ Kimchi De Radis Blanc ~
Recette par Rosa Mayland, Janvier 2012.
Pour environ 2 tasses de kimchi.

Ingrédients Pour Le "Salage":
2 Tasses de Daikon (1 gros radis blanc), pelé et coupé en allumettes pas trop fines (bouchées)
1/2 CS de Sel de mer
1 CS de Sucre cristallisé
Ingrédients Pour La "Marinade":
3 Gousses d'ail, hachées grossièrement
2 1/2 CS de Gingembre haché grossièrement
30g (1/8 de Tasse) de Kirmizi Biber
1 CS de Paprika doux
1/3 de CC de Pâte de crevettes
30g (1/8 Tasse) + 1 CC de Sucre cristallisé
30ml (1/8 de Tasse) de Sauce de poisson
1 1/2 CS de Sauce soja légère (Kikkoman)
Méthode Pour La "Salage":
1. Dans un bol, mélanger le daikon avec le sel et le sucre.
2. Laisser reposer pendant environ 2 heures.
3. Bien égoutter.

Snow 3 6 bis
Méthode Pour La "Marinade":
4. Dans un mortier, piler l'ail, le gingembre, le piment, le paprika, la pâte de crevettes avec le sucre jusqu'à obtention d'une pâte assez épaisse.
5. Ajouter cette pâte ainsi que la sauce de poisson et la sauce soja
au daikon égoutté. Bien mélanger.
6. Mettre dans un
contenant herméthique et le placer dans un sac en papier brun (ou autrement à l'abri de la lumière) et laisser reposer/fermenter à température ambiante pendant 30 heures.
7. Servir immédiatement ou réfrigérer.


Normalement, les corréens fabrique leur kimchi avec du kochukaru (poudre de piment doux). Comme je n'en avait pas sous la main, j'ai décidé de la remplacer par son équivalent turc, le kirmizi biber (flocons de piment doux). On peut aussi utiliser du piment d'Espelette.
Le kimchi se conserve jusqu'à 4 semaines au réfrigérateur et sont goût s'améliore au fil du temps.

Idées de présentation:
C'est très sympa de cuisiner un "Bokkeubap" (riz frits au kimchi) avec votre kimchi de radis blanc ou bien de le servir avec des oeufs (pochés, frits, brouillés, omelette) et des pommes de terres (coupées en cubes et grillées, au four, röstis, etc...).

Kimchi 3 3 bis

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Paganel 1 7 bis
~ Sweet Geneva ~

From left to right: Kerrin of "My Kougelhopf", David Paganel of "Paganel" in Geneva & Yours Truly.
Learn more here about Kerrin's "Seet Geneva Tours".

~ Sparkling Cranberries ~

Läckerli 6 14 bis
~ Nature Morte Läckerli ~

Recipe here.

All three pictures were submitted to "Black & White Wednesday", an event created by Susan at "The Well-Seasoned Cook".

Monday, January 2, 2012


I haven’t been following Sia’s site for very long (only a few months), but the little time I have spent on her swell blog has only been placed under the sign of pure enchantment and discovery. Her fragrant dishes look delectable, are always so exotic sounding and a real novelty to me, and the pictures, although free of useless frilly embellishment, are pretty, moody, luminous, colorful and reflect the creator’s straightforwardness. A true breath of fresh air and an awesome source for meat-free Indian recipes. I love everything about the poetically named “Monsoon Spice”. So, the day Sia asked me to write a guest post for her, I was overcome with joy and so thrilled at the prospect of appearing on her truly brilliant space!

This statuesque young woman and mum of one was born and brought up in a beautiful coastal city of Mangalore in the Southern Indian state of Karnataka where she was introduced, at a very tender age, to authentic and traditional Indian cuisine by her grandmother, mother and half a dozen aunties in a typical Indian joint family. Six years ago, when she moved to the UK with her husband, her passion for food and culinary knowledge started to grow increasingly.

After a hectic beginning as a cook, numerous SOS phone calls to her mother, a lot of panicking, a few burning accidents and a lot of running around like a headless chicken trying to find her notes, Sia decided to create a site where she would catalogue all her recipes and findings online. That's how “Monsoon Spice” saw the light of day in 2006.

Her husband K. is her main inspiration and motivation behind her blog as he eats what she cooks, but is also her food critic and sous-chef. With the arrival of her son P. she is all the more inspired to cook fresh and healthy food that is strongly rooted in their Indian culture and traditions.

Having been asked to come up with something vegetarian and considering the fact that Sia is an inhabitant of the country of my roots (actually I have a dual nationality – I’m Anglo-Swiss), I thought that it would be a wonderful idea if I presented a delicacy on which my English mother has raised me and which occupies a special place in my heart: “Victoria Sandwich” (also called “Victoria Sponge”).

I am incredibly happy to share my fetish recipe as well as my memories with you here and I wish to warmly thank Sia for opening the doors of her platform to me. It is an honor to know you and to have my work ho
sted by such a fabulous blogger like you!


I’ve always cherished my British heritage as well as Great Britain’s uniquely comforting and regional cuisine. It has a sentimental value to me as it reminds me of my beloved Nan and Pop who passed away a short while ago. Now that both my grandparents have gone on to glory and I have no family nor pied-à-terre left there anymore, I tend to venerate anything that hails from this gloriously green island in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Whenever I feel nostalgic of England and need to uplift my soul, this incomparably ambrosial, moist and featherlight torte always brings a smile to my lips and tempers my sadness. It has this marvelously soothing granny-style flavor that never fails to bring back fond remembrances of the unforgettable moments spent in the company of my grandma and grandpa during my childhood summer holidays in Warwickshire (Stratford-Upon-Avon) and Derbyshire (Belper).
“I'm not a total dead loss as a woman. I can't knit or make plum jam but I can bake a bloody victoria sponge.”
- Chris, “Calendar Girls”.

My grandmother Jean was a talented home cook and baker who had the gift for baking a mean “Victoria Sandwich” along with exquistely fluffy scones (amongst other things) on the occasion of friends’ visit. As any honorable English person, those were invariably accompanied by a nice cuppa and some cheerful chatting - something the people of this archipelago do to perfection.

I also remember seeing the generous array of mouthwatering and tempting cakes that were magnificently put on display in the quaint Peak District tearooms we went to. In such magical places, it is difficult to remain unmoved, especially if you are a voracious little girl (or grownup, to that matter) with an insatiable appetite for rich, floury goodies decorated with thick layers of icing/frosting and mountains of whipped cream. Pa-ra-dise! [...] 

So, if that short introduction made your mouth water and your tastebuds tingle, tickled your curiosity, captivated your attention and gave you the urge to read my article, then please hop on over to "Monsoon Spice" in order to read the whole article, get a glimpse of my pictures, discover my recipe and have a look at Sia's great site.


Etant donné que beaucoup de mes lecteurs francophones ne comprennent pas forcément l'anglais et que malheureusement peu d'entre-eux auront la chance de lire mon billet invité et dernier article en date sur le joli blog “Monsoon Spice” qui appartient à ma talentueuse collègue indienne Sia, je me suis permise de traduire la recette qui y figure afin que vous puissiez aussi en profiter car je pense qu'elle pourra vous intéresser (vous pouvez tout de même y jeter un coup d'oeil car ses recettes sont vraiment passionnantes et mon article contient d'autres images que celles exposées ici).

J'espère que mon "Gâteau Victoria" à la crème et à la compote de prunes vous plaira car c'est un gâteau très British, merveilleusement raffiné et divinement bon. Cette création personnelle adaptée du magazine Delicious est une ode à la cuisine Anglaise qui est unique, si réconfortante, fabuleusement savoureuse, humble et qui est loin d'être insipide/fade, peu délicate et inintéressante comme le prétendent certaines personnes mal-attentionnées et à l'esprit étroit. Ce cliché est vieillissant et dépassé de mode...

~ Gâteau Victoria ~
Recette adaptée du magazine Delicious.

Pour 4-5 personnes.
Donne un gâteau
de 18cm.
Temps de préparation: un peu moins de 30 minutes.
Temps de cuisson: 35-40 minutes.

Ingrédients Pour Le "Gâteau":
175g de Beurre non salé, à température ambiante (+ supplément pour graisser le moule)
175g de Sucre cristallisé
175g d'Oeufs 175g (~ 3 gros, voir les commentaires)
1 CC d'Extrait de vanille pure
175g de Farine
1 CC de Poudre à pâte/lever (pas bombée)
1/4 de Sel de mer fin
3 CS de Lait
Ingrédients Pour La "Garniture":
6 CS de Compote de fruits ou de confiture (j'ai utilisé de la compote de prunes)
8 CS de Crème fouettée
Sucre glace, pour saupoudrer sur le dessus du gâteau

1. Préchauffer le four à 180 º C.
2. Coupez un disque de papier sulfurisé de 18cm, recouvrir la base du moule à charnière avec  et beurrer.
3. Mélanger ensemble la farine, la poudre à pâte et le sel. Mettre de côté.
4. Mettre le beurre dans un bol (ou le bol de votre batteur) avec le sucre semoule et battre ensemble jusqu'à ce que le mélange soit léger, pâle et mousseux.
5. Ajouter un oeuf à la fois, en battant bien après chaque ajout. Puis incorporer l'extrait de vanille.
6. Tamiser la farine et l'incorporer délicatement.
7. Ajouter suffisamment de lait afin d'obtenir une pâte qui tombe en "ruban" quand on la laisse couler de la spatule.
8. Verser la pâte dans le moule et lisser le dessus avec une spatule.
9. Cuire au centre du four pendant environ 35-40 minutes ou jusqu'à que le gâteau soit doré et que la pointe d'un couteau insérée en son centre en ressorte propre.

10. Laisser refroidir dans le moule pendant 10 minutes et démouler sur une grille recouverte d'un torchon en coton propre (afin d'éviter que la gâteau ait des marques), puis retirer le papier sulfurisé. Laisser refroidir complètement.
11. Couper le gâteau en deux, horizentalement et placez le partie inférieure du gâteau sur un présentoire/plat à gâteau. Tartiner généreusement avec la crème fouettée, puis avec la compote/confiture et couvrir avec la partie supérieure du gâteau.
12. Juste avant de servir, saupoudrer de sucre glace.


Toujours casser les œufs dans un bol et les peser avant de peser les autres ingrédients. Si jamais ils sont plus légers (ou lourds) que 175g, réduire (ou augmenter) la masse de beurre, de sucre et de farine en conséquence, afin que les quatre ingrédients aient le même poids que les oeufs.
Si vous n'aimez pas la confiture de framboise et vous voulez être aventureux, vous pouvez utiliser la garniture (compote de prunes, lemon curd, confiture de marrons/vermicelles, crème pâtissière, Nutella, etc ...) de votre choix.
Les gâteaux cuits, refroidis et non sandwichés (et non coupés en deux) peuvent être congelés pendant 3 mois au maximum.

Idée de présentation:
Servir ce gâteau pour le dessert ou à l'heure du goûter avec une tasse de thé ou de café.