Saturday, 7 July 2012

Weekend Cooking - Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo

I spotted this in the local library and thought it would be the ideal candidate book for both weekend cooking and Paris in July.

The author reveals that she leaves London to undertake a course at a well known cooking school in Paris. From that she learns that food and meals in general are a enjoyed and timely affair and not rushed.

The book reveals the use of local shops, family run grocers, bakers, deli's and butcher's. Shops that have almost disappeared from the UK high streets in favour of the large, non de-script supermarket chains we have here. What local stores there are need to be supported especially in a recession!

The recipes contained within the book, might be seen as easy run of the mill cooking, with a bit of a twist and whilst I might not cook any within the Paris in July month, I think I will give a few of them a whirl! I had planned to review this book for this week and then other books or posts for the rest of July, but I think that I am likely to share this book over several weeks of weekend cooking.

Each recipe is shared with a small background to it, with a hint and tip and a colour picture.

Poires Belle Helene (Beautiful Helen Pears) - Page 253

1.5 litres of cold water
1 vanilla pod
150g sugar
4 firm pears (eg William) peel with stalks still attached

  • Pour the water into a large pan and split the vanilla pod in half lengthways and scrap out the grains.
  • Add the pod and grains to the water with the sugar and bring to simmer, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
  • Add the pears and place a sheet of baking paper on top to keep them submerged and simmer for 20 minutes checking with a skewer or sharp knife if they are tender.
  • Once cooked leave the pears in the syrup for at least several hours or over night so that they can absorb the vanilla.

Making the chocolate sauce
100g Dark or white chocolate finely chopped
100ml of double cream
3 cardamom pods crushed

  • Put the chocolate into a bowl
  • Bring the cream to the boil with the crushed cardamom pods and pour over the chocolate
  • Leave to stand for a minute until the chocolate has melted
  • Stir the sauce gently until smooth
  • Remove the pears from the syrup standing them upright on individual plates
  • Pour a generous helping of chocolate sauce over and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream

  • Preparation time 20 minutes
  • Resting time 2 hours  - overnight
  • Cooking time 30 minutes

Taking part in Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads and Paris in July which is hosted by Karen from BookBath and Tamara from Thyme for Tea.

Paris in July 1 - 31 July 2012


  1. I'd like to read the book - the TV series was very good, and this pear recipe sounds delicious. I'm from Surrey originally too, now in Staffordshire. Thanks for dropping by my blog.

  2. Anonymous5:59 pm

    So elegant and simple. Sounds like a beautiful presentation, and blending chocolate with cardamom is something I've not tried, but it should make a subtle combo.

  3. Don't you love that cover? I can't wait to hear more from this book. Oh and serve me up some those pears, please.

  4. Sounds wonderful. I'll keep an eye out for this book.

  5. Sounds simple but lovely -- exactly what one would expect from Parisian cooking. Thanks!

  6. aww...books like this make me jealous, about places where there are lovely little bakeries and shops just down the street...

  7. The recipe sounds yummy and the book sounds interesting. I'd love to visit Paris.

  8. Lovely post. Thank you.
    Have a good week.

  9. Those pears sound divine -- vanilla-infused and topped with chocolate!
    Joy's Book Blog

  10. I haven't had pears prepared like this. I think I would end up eating the pear just as it is, and then follow up with the chocolate. Perhaps someday, cooked pears....

  11. Pears and chocolate are such a classic combination! Love the sound of this cookbook! I have a couple that I am planning to share for Paris in July! Assuming that I get to read them in time that is!

  12. I love the cover of this book, how could anyone walk by that and not pick it up?

  13. Sounds like a perfect beginning for Paris in July!

  14. Such a gorgeous cover- I'm sure there's lots of inspiration there.

  15. miam miam!! (French for yum) Love that recipe! What is Paris with out fresh food and chocolate. Keep up the food reviews - I love them. Inspirational

  16. Poires Belle Helene sounds delicious. Ah, now I'm hungry.... :)


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