These were the first radishes I grew in my garden this year.
I loved how small and delicate they looked. How peppery they felt in the mouth. Crunchy and light.
I kept them for Lulu, knowing how much she’d enjoy les premiers radis du jardin.
It’s a small thing, and it might sound silly, but these radishes made me feel very excited. And happy. Because Lulu loved them. Because I grew them myself.
Once the crop started, they came in numbers. Every day. Most of the time, I used them in salads. But at other times, we preferred to eat them nature, or finely sliced and arranged on top of a piece of toasted bread. With butter and Fleur de sel.
I had meant to tell you about my radishes and vegetable garden all during June. And July too. Even August.
I wanted to show you my mesclun salads, tomatoes and cucumbers. The carrots and zucchini. Looking so healthy and strong and inspiring me to cook fresh summery dishes.
The taste of the various cherry tomatoes I grew made incredible salads. They made me fall in love with homegrown tomatoes all over again–as if I could have forgotten how much joy homegrown tomatoes bring to our foods.
I wanted to tell you about the delicious gazpacho I’ve prepared over and over this season. I’m sorry for not telling you about it before because I know you’d love it just as much as we do.
Perhaps for many, Summer translates as a time of year when things slow down, the way I remember les grandes vacances when I was a kid. For me, summers have been just the right opposite over the past few years. They disappear before I notice.
I blame it on the weather. Seriously, it’s just too nice to stay inside! But it’s also largely the fault of the growing season, with its abundance of tempting pretty fruit and vegetables, and everything else that comes with it and that turn me into a busy bee–no pun intended. With my eyes always bigger than my stomach. With everything that needs to be used and eaten right at the same time. Tell me, have you ever been able to return from a farmer’s market without just what you had planned to buy? C’est tout simplement impossible…
The truth is that I love all of it: our farmers’ markets; the sound of the wind that feels warm and summery; dinner on the patio with a walk afterwards; cooking a ton; staying up late. I simply wished I had more time to share every snapshot of what makes me feel giddy about summer.
But I understand that it’s not going to happen, and I hope you’ll be fine with it because I still have a chocolate cake recipe for you. A delicious one. It’s actually our favorite chocolate cake at the moment. Lulu’s, P.’s, and mine too. It’s a family opinion.
I’ve baked one today, just before we leave. And I realize that I need to tell you about that part too.
This week, we are traveling to Europe. We are going to London where I will teach a Food styling and photography workshop at Food Blogger Connect. Where I will be eating at Petersham Nurseries and Ottolenghi tables. Meet friends.
I am so looking forward to rest, eat and soak in the culture. Enjoy the rest of our summer in its most simple but most beautiful form. With rain, sun, warmth and cold. Between England and France. With a lot of popsicles in the middle–my mother told me that after she knew Lulu loved them, she was planning to make some too. It’s cute!
The recipe for the cake is actually quite special. It’s coming right out of my upcoming cookbook.
I know I have not talked a lot about my cookbook lately. It’s not that I don’t want to. I so much do! I have so much to say, in fact. But I am still working on some details before making a proper announcement, with everything you need to know. It will happen when I return.
In the meantime, I wish you all a wonderful end of summer. Enjoy. Cook and eat well. I might pop here and there to say hello. When I can. And if I can.
And, before I forget, bake this chocolate cake. It’s really light. A recipe perfect for summer, to pack for a picnic, inside a lunch box. Or, like for us, sneaked inside our travel bag on our way to Europe.
A bientôt !
This recipe is a slight variant of the chocolate cake in my cookbook. I made this one nut free so that I could add it to Lulu’s lunchbox–her daycare is a nut-free facility.
- 7 tablespoons (3.5 oz; 100 g) unsalted butter + some for mold
- 3.5 oz (100 g) dark chocolate, 70 % cocoa contents (I use Valrhona)
- 4 large eggs
- Pinch of sea salt
- 3.5 oz (100 g) (1/2 cup + 1/3 cup) light Muscovado sugar
- 1/4 cup millet flour
- 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and butter a 7 x 10-inch baking dish (or use a round cake mold). Line it with parchment paper; set aside.
- Melt the butter and chocolate using a double boiler; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs with the sugar and a pinch of salt. Beat on high speed until the volume has tripled.
- Reduce the speed and add the melted butter and chocolate, continuing to beat until well incorporated.
- Remove the bowl from the stand and fold in the flours, making sure not to deflate the batter.
- Transfer the chocolate cake batter to the mold and bake the cake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Cut in squares (or wedges) and dust with confectioner’s sugar if desired.