The very exciting collaboration with Trish Deseine and Neff continues. Every month we will bring you seasonal recipes from Trish at home in France, perfect for entertaining, cooking at home and cooking for you.
Nothing prepares us better for October’s autumnal colours and flavours than a deliciously lingering Indian summer in September. And this year, we were spoiled! For once the climate chaos brought welcome conditions to ease us into the colder months. Now we can snuggle into our cosy jumpers and plaids, and enjoy all the wonderful ingredients autumn brings.
The pear and chocolate tarte is a real gem, seasonally correct at the moment, but fantastic at any time of the year. A rich layer of dark chocolate ganache cushions the almond sponge and juicy pears, with everything encased in crumbly pastry. My Neff oven is simply wonderful for baking filled tarts – where you need the base to be as crisp as the top is golden. No more soggy bottoms for me! The other recipes celebrate the ingredients, hues and textures we love at this time of year, with sweet and savoury combinations led by chestnuts, apples and pumpkin, and caramel notes shining through in the different cooking techniques. I hope, as I do, you will enjoy the cooking and baking as much as the tasting and devouring! @trishdeseineencore @neffhomeie
MOLTEN COULOMMIERS WITH HAZELNUTS AND CARAMELISED APPLES
Coulommiers, from the Seine and Marne region of France, is a more northerly cousin of the beloved Camembert. If you can’t find it, Camembert will do very nicely. The Neff Circo Therm function knows how to melt this soft cheese expertly.
10 minutes preparation
15-20 minutes cooking
1 ripe Coulommniers cheese
2 or 3 firm apples, cored, peeled and cut into slices
A handful of shelled hazelnuts
Toast for dipping
Heat the oven to 190°C, 180°C Fan/Neff Circo Therm.
Score the cheese on the surface with a sharp knife, then wrap in foil, or put it in a snug dish to prevent any overflows.
Pop it into the hot oven until the cheese is bubbling and melted.
Meanwhile, toast the nuts in a hot pan, toast the bread and fry the apple in hot butter until golden and caramelised.
Once the cheese is ready, remove it from the oven, top it with the apples, sprinkle the nuts to garnish, and serve on a platter in the middle of the table with the toast, for everyone to dip in.
ROAST PUMPKIN WITH BROWN SUGAR, SAGE AND GARLIC
Rich and decadent, a great accompaniment to grilled chicken or duck, or with some fresh goat’s cheese or Mozzarella di Bufala, as a starter. My sensitive Neff induction hob allows me to control the brown butter making perfectly!
5 minutes preparation
30 minutes roasting
1 medium pumpkin
1 head of garlic
A sprig of fresh sage
Salt and pepper
100g unsalted butter
Heat the oven to 190°C, 180°C Fan/Circo Roast.
Slice the pumpkin thinly, lengthways, and cut the garlic head in half.
Spread the pumpkin over 1 or 2 roasting trays, put down both halves of the garlic on the trays and half the sprig of sage. Drizzle the tray(s) with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast for 20-25 minutes, until the pumpkin and garlic are soft and caramelised.
For the brown butter
Melt it in a heavy-based pan while whisking gently.
Let it bubble and foam on a low heat and watch for specks of nut brown appearing as the foam clears.
Be very careful not to burn the butter. As soon as it starts to brown nicely, take it off the heat and pour into a bowl, as it will continue cooking. If it blackens, there’s nothing for it except starting again, the taste is unpleasant and the resulting butter is bad for your health.
To serve, arrange the pumpkin, garlic and sage in a dish. Spoon the butter over the pumpkin and garnish with the fresh sage.
PAN-FRIED DUCK BREASTS WITH PLUMS, MUSHROOMS, CHESTNUTS AND SWEET POTATO MASH
You will need to work fast here, with three or four pans on the go at once. The fingertip control of my Neff induction hob, alongside the integrated extraction for the smoking duck work wonderfully. For the duck breasts, I like to keep the fat on, à la Française!
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into large chunks.
2 or 3 duck breasts
8 red or golden plums, cut into two, with stones removed
1 shallot, chopped
200g button mushrooms, washed, chopped roughly
2 tbsp cooked chestnuts
For the sweet potato mash, bring a pot of water to the boil and simmer the sweet potatoes for 15–20 minutes.
When soft and cooked through, remove from the heat and mash them with a fork or potato masher. Season with salt and pepper and add butter if you wish.
Heat a large non-stick pan to high heat and fry the duck breasts for 10-12 minutes on each side, depending on how pink you like the meat. You can remove some of the fat as the meat is cooking.
When the meat is cooked, remove the duck from the pan and leave it to rest, loosely covered with foil, until serving.
Pour off most of the fat, but save some to then fry the plum halves in the hot pan for a few minutes either side.
Reserve the plums with the meat.
Meanwhile, in a separate pan, melt the butter and sweat the shallot until softened. Increase the heat and add the mushrooms.
Cook this over a medium high heat, stirring constantly, until they become crisp and golden on the outside.
Crumble in the chestnuts and let them warm through the mushrooms. Season well.
Slice the rested duck and arrange it on plates with the sweet potato mash and the plums. Serve the mushrooms and chestnuts on the side.
PEAR AND CHOCOLATE AMANDINE TARTE
A terrific dinner party dessert with a lovely mix of textures. The trick is to keep the wet ingredients, the chocolate ganache and the pears, from making either the pastry or almond sponge soggy. The Neff Circo Therm function helps bake this tart evenly.
20 minutes preparation
40 minutes baking
1 sweet shortcrust pastry
50g ground almonds (plus a bit extra)
200g single cream
180g good dark chocolate, chopped
2 heaped tbsp crème fraiche
6 tinned pairs
Start by pressing the pastry base into a 22 or 24cm, loose-bottomed tart tin. Sprinkle the pastry with some extra ground almonds (this helps keep the chocolate from softening it), and reserve it in the fridge.
For the chocolate ganache
In a saucepan, bring the cream to the boil, then take it off the heat and add the chocolate.
Leave the chocolate for a few moments and then stir it into the cream, until the mixture becomes glossy.
Let the ganache cool for several minutes, then pour it onto the tart base covered with almond powder and put it in the refrigerator immediately.
For the almond sponge
Prepare the almond sponge mixture by beating the egg, crème fraîche, ground almonds and sugar together in a mixing bowl or with a hand mixer to form a thick paste.
Preheat the oven to 190°C, 180°C Fan/Neff Circo Therm.
Drain the pears well and cut them in half. Chop 6 halves into small chunks and spread over the chocolate base.
Place the remaining halves in a star pattern and pour the wet almond sponge mixture over the pears.
Bake for 40 minutes or so, on a low shelf in the oven.
When the top and the edges of the pastry are golden, remove the tart from the oven and leave it to cool.
Once it is cooled, put the tart in the fridge. The tart is best eaten later in the day, or even the next day, as the chocolate will harden and all the flavours will meld well together.
Sprinkle some chopped almonds and icing sugar before serving, if you so wish.
Trish’s Neff Induction Hob www.neff-home.com/ie
Trish’s table settings feature Stable of Ireland napkins and tablecloth, serving ware from Nicholas Mosse and Newbridge Silverware Bead Cutlery. The shoot also features a painterly herringbone throw and a Donegal tweed cushion from Magee 1866 and Foxford Home.
Photography by @franckschmitt_photographe.