Music: Feist – Tout Doucement
Yay, another Sweet Thursday!
We celebrated James’s 27th birthday while we were in Paris (ok, ok I’ll stop talking about it someday). A friend told us to make a reservation at Chez L’ami Jean. To sum up, it was the most extraordinary culinary experience I’ve ever had. One of us ate a pigeon, the other ate a whole fish. But the experience was completed with the most delectable dessert I’ve ever had. I don’t generally even order dessert (sigh!) but I venture to say that this was the best thing I have ever eaten in my whole life. I’ve dreamt about it. I implore you to find this Basque gem the next time you get to Paris.
Lots of food reviewers write about L’Ami Jean and this particular dessert. (do a Google search…I’ll wait). The NY Times published a recipe for this and I am grateful they did. Instead of the brittle I made mini ice cream cones. I also added a dash of cinnamon to the Crème Anglaise.
For the Riz au Lait:
1/2 vanilla bean, 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons whole milk, 1/3 cup arborio rice, 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar, 1 2/3 cups heavy cream.
- Split the vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds and place the seeds and pod in a medium saucepan.
- Add the milk and bring to a simmer.
- Over medium heat, stir in the rice and simmer, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the consistency of oatmeal for about 20 minutes.
- Stir in the sugar.
- Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled.
- Transfer the chilled rice to a large bowl.
- Whip the cream to stiff peaks.
- Fold the whipped cream into the rice…it should be light and creamy.
For the Crème Anglaise:
1/2 vanilla bean, 1 cup heavy cream, 1/3 cup whole milk, 6 tablespoons sugar, ¼ tsp. of cinnamon, 3 large egg yolks (if you make the ice cream cones – save the egg whites! You can use them for that).
- Split the vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds and place the seeds and pod in a small pot.
- Add the cream, milk and 3 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon and heat until just before it reaches a boil.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and remaining sugar until fluffy.
- Whisk just enough of the scalded cream mixture into the eggs to warm them, then pour into the cream mixture.
- Stir with a wooden spoon in a figure-eight motion over low heat until it coats the back of the spoon.
- Pass through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl set over an ice bath.
- Cool completely, then refrigerate.
My first job was at Ashley’s Ice Cream in Guilford, CT. I had so much fun working there…and I gained my freshman 15 before even going to college. Part of my job was to make waffle cones and thought this would make a nice accompaniment to the riz au lait. This recipe reminded me most of the waffle cones we would make.
What you’ll need:
½ cup all-purpose flour, ¾ cup powdered sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, 3 large egg whites, 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside.
- In a bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Whisk in the egg whites, butter, and vanilla until well combined. Let the batter sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Drop rounded tablespoons of the batter about 6 inches apart onto the baking sheet. Spread the batter with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon into 3-inch rounds.
- Bake in the middle of the oven until golden and lightly brown around the edges, about 15 minutes.
- Let cool on cooling rack.
- I crumpled them up and served over the riz au lait.