Tea Time Recipes

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Cherry Almond Tart Recipe Recipe

Cherry Almond Tart Recipe

06.15.12 by Jackie

I mentioned recently that my husband Lulu surprised me with a celebratory trip to the Napa Valley. We felt it was well deserved after completing the manuscript of my first cookbook (available for pre-order). We stayed at the Vintage Inn. We've been there  before and we've never been disappointed. The hotel is located in the heart of Yountville, within 3 blocks of what seems like the highest concentration of Michelin Star Restaurants in the world. The service was exquisite as usual with complimentary champagne breakfast buffet daily and a lovely afternoon tea service to boot. It's by far the best hotel breakfast I've ever had, ranging from petite pastries, freshly-made omelets, goat cheese walnut puffs and chocolate tartlets. What truly caught my attention was the delicious almond tart with seasonal fruit. I couldn't resist making the same dessert today to remind us of our trip, and as a huge thank you to Lulu for such a fabulous, memorable vacation. Of course, the restaurants were out of this world and the scenery was beautiful; but the highlight of the trip was relaxing with my husband and baby at this lovely hotel. If you visit Yountville, without a doubt, stay at the Vintage Inn!

The tart is made with a dense, almond filling and a large quantity of fresh cherries and blueberries. I made the crust with powdered sugar, toasted rice flour and regular all-purpose flour. The result is a wonderful fruit tart oozing with sweet fruits and a crunchy crust.


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New Beginnings Recipe

New Beginnings

05.25.12 by Jackie

2012 has definitely been a life-changing year for me. Yesterday, I underwent the Naturalization Oath Ceremony at the Heritage Theater in Campbell, California, and along with 403 other people from 63 different countries, I became a citizen of the United States of America. As I recited the Pledge of Allegiance for the first time as an American citizen, I felt very emotional. It's been a long journey. Vice Mayor of the city of Campbell, Evan Low, greeted us and made a wonderful speech. He's such a passionate and energetic citizen. He's a fourth-generation American and he talked about the wonderful opportunities this country has given his family, including the ability to contribute and engage in the community and to do his part to shape the country.

I was particularly moved by his comments on the diversity of cultures and backgrounds that we share with each other, especially here in California. It meant all the more for me, given that my baby daughter was in attendance, as I am of French-Vietnamese descent and my husband is Indian-American.

If you had asked me before, I would always have said that 2000 was the best year of my life. I was a young engineering student who found an internship in Silicon Valley for the summer and I met the love of my life. But I have to admit that this year is rising up the charts. I've watched my little girl grow up into a very entertaining six month old, I've become a U.S. citizen, and I have one more exciting announcement: I've been given the opportunity to publish my first cookbook at the end of the year! It's been a dream of mine to write a book, and it was kind of surreal when I was approached about it earlier this year.

I just finished the manuscript so I'm beyond excited to be able to share the news with you! I'm truly living my American Dream. I'd like to say a heartfelt thank you to every single one of you, my readers, for sending your lovely messages of encouragement and for being such faithful followers of my daily cooking adventures. I've been sharing my everyday life with you for the past three years, and it's given me the opportunity to cross paths with many wonderful people along the way. It's been an amazing journey. So merci!

Now back to my favorite subject, which is food! Being a freshly minted American, it just felt right to make an apple pie, though of course, with my own twist. The tart crust is made with cream cheese. The pie is covered with diced apples and pecan crumbs and to make the dessert more visually appealing, I topped it with sliced apples and brushed them with apricot preserves at the end.

And finally, since Memorial Day weekend is upon us, I'd like to take the opportunity to thank our soldiers who have fought and continue to fight for our freedoms. God Bless America!


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Caramelized Banana Tart with Hazelnut Cream Recipe

It's Persian New Year! I was at my local Persian grocery store today and I noticed an abundance of whole hazelnuts being sold. They looked beautiful, so I bought a large bag of nuts, which were eaten fairly quickly by all the family. I turned the remaining nuts into a fine mill and made frangipane tarts in the evening.

To make the dessert look ultra fancy without being too complicated, I topped the hazelnut cream with bruléed bananas. Caramelizing the bananas brought out additional flavors that really complemented the hazelnut cream and the flaky puff pastry.

My cousin's husband Hoss from Ohio is Persian, so we called him to send him our best wishes. But unfortunately, he changed his number and didn't tell us. The person who picked up was utterly confused. So Hoss, if you're reading this, "Happy Nowruz"!


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Date Cake Recipe (Canadian Inspired Dessert) Recipe

This date cake is inspired by a Canadian dessert. My sister-in-law Lya's friend, Haley, recently made a delicious, moist maple cake. It was so good Lya asked if she could have the recipe so I could replicate it for the family. I didn’t have any maple on hand so I made a variation using date syrup and dried dates.

The cake turned out absolutely divine. It's so moist! But the best part is the date syrup glaze that is a great reminder of the flavor of the dessert and a way to seal the cake for extra freshness, even the next day. Ours didn't make it that far!

Date Cake Recipe with Picture


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Blueberry Almond Tart Recipe Recipe

Blueberry Almond Tart Recipe

03.05.12 by Jackie

I love blueberries. I usually serve them fresh with yogurt but this time, I made a change and baked them in a delicious almond cream tart. I filled puff pastry dough with homemade buttery almond cream and topped it with fresh blueberries.

When blueberries are baked, they release a beautiful deep blue color onto the almond cream. I didn't want the puff pastry to turn soggy, so instead of using regular tart molds, I placed them into brioche molds that could hold more cream as the cavity is much deeper. The tarts were not overly sweet; I really wanted the blueberries to shine in this wonderful French dessert. 

 


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