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      RECIPE TITLE "David Van Laer's Potatoes Anna"
    Copyright © by Wolfgang Puck. Excerpted from: Great Gatherings: Star Chefs Entertain at Home Cookbook. Courtesy of macy's

    ...for more great Wolfgang Puck' recipes go to our GREAT CHEFS page

    yields8 Servingstime--- difficulty moderate to difficult

    "I had my first bite of marjolaine when I was a young apprentice in the kitchen of L'Oustau de Baumanière in Provence," says Wolfgang, "and it's been my favorite cake ever since because it's so light. The cake layers are a nutty meringue called dacquoise that's much easier to make than sponge cake." You can slice the finished dessert like a cake or cut it into bite-sized pieces. Either way, it looks spectacular on a plate. Wolfgang suggests serving it with coffee ice cream.


    1 cup hazelnuts
    6 egg whites
    1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
    1 1/2 cups superfine sugar

    8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
    1 cup heavy cream
    2 tablespoons light corn syrup

    Whipped Cream Filling
    1 cup heavy cream
    1/2 cup crème fraîche
    1 tablespoon superfine sugar
    About 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder


    To make the meringue, preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the nuts are fragrant and their skins begin to flake. Remove from the oven, pour into a kitchen towel, and rub vigorously between your palms to remove the skins. Let cool, then chop finely and set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.

    Spray a 12-by-15-inch rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray, and then line with parchment paper and lightly spray the parchment.

    In a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until they begin to foam. Add the cream of tartar and continue to whip until soft peaks form. Increase the speed to high and slowly stream in the sugar, continuing to beat until stiff, shiny peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the hazelnuts.

    Pour the meringue onto the prepared baking sheet and, using an offset spatula, spread it evenly, covering the bottom of the pan completely. Bake for 40 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp. Turn off the oven but leave the meringue on the oven rack for 1 hour longer, so that it is fully dry, then remove from the oven.

    To make the ganache, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Remove the cream from the heat, pour it evenly over the chocolate, and let stand for 1 minute, then stir the mixture with a rubber spatula until smooth.

    Fill a large bowl about two-thirds full with water and ice cubes. Divide the ganache in half between 2 bowls. Add the corn syrup to 1 bowl, stir to combine, and reserve to use for glazing the top layer. Nest the second bowl in the ice-water bath and stir the ganache with a rubber spatula until it cools and thickens to the consistency of frosting.

    To make the whipped cream filling, in the stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, combine the cream, crème fraîche, and sugar and beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.

    To assemble, remove the meringue from the baking sheet to a cutting board and, using a large serrated knife, cut crosswise into 3 equal rectangles. Place 1 piece of meringue on a serving platter. Scoop the frostinglike ganache onto the meringue and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Top with a second rectangle of meringue, scoop the whipped cream filling onto the second meringue layer, and spread it an even layer. Top with the last piece of meringue, and press down lightly to seal the layers.

    Stir the ganache glaze to check the consistency; it should be loose enough to spread. If it isn't, warm it briefly over, not touching, barely simmering water in a saucepan, or in a microwave at half power for about 20 seconds. Pour the glaze over the top meringue layer and spread it in an even layer. Let stand until the glaze sets.

    Using a fine-mesh sieve, dust the top with the cocoa powder. If not serving immediately, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To serve, cut into slices or squares with a serrated knife.

    HOT! We recommend:

    book Wolfgang Puck's Pizza, Pasta, and More Since the 1982 opening of his L.A. restaurant Spago, Wolfgang Puck has become a household name. Several restaurants, TV appearances, and cookbooks later, Puck has put together Wolfgang Puck's Pizza, Pasta, and More, a collection of his favorite and most popular recipes. "Eating with family and friends is like having a little party," says Puck. "It is pure pleasure, a relaxing and fun experience. Casual and easy to prepare, these are dishes everyone can make and enjoy."
    Puck starts with the basics--stocks, sauces, dressings, and condiments. With chicken or vegetable stock fresh made or stored in your freezer, you have the base for Hazelnut Brown Butter and Herb Sauce (toss with wild-mushroom ravioli and dust with Parmesan) or Tomato Garlic Basil Sauce (good for pasta or pizza). The salads range from a classic Caesar with Homemade Tapenade Croutons to a Grilled Ahi Tuna Niçoise Salad to a colorful stacked Roasted Beet Napoleon. Thin-crust wood-oven pizzas are Puck's signature and he does not disappoint. The Herbed Artichoke Pizza is studded with sautéed artichoke bottoms, niçoise olives, and caramelized onions and the Tangy Chicken Pizza features peppers, eggplant, and chicken marinated in olive oil, lime, jalapeños, garlic, and cilantro. Try the brunch pizza with scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on a leisurely Sunday.
    The pastas are equally as enticing. Puck suggests making your own and includes his fail-safe recipe. Particularly temping are Angel Hair with Wild Mushrooms, Asparagus, and Shaved Parmesan Cheese, Crispy Calamari with Chinese Noodles and Spicy Garlic Sauce, and Gnocchi with Braised Veal Shank.
    Besides alluring photos of many of the dishes, pictures of Puck and his staff preparing for the 2000 Academy Awards post-party are included (FYI: Haley Joel Osment's favorite pizza is Pepperoni and Mushroom). --Dana Van Nest
    Click here to buy
    bookWolfgang Puck Makes It Easy: Delicious Recipes for Your Home Kitchen 
    He is creator of some of the world's greatest restaurants such as Spago and Postrio. He is known for the fast-growing Wolfgang Puck Express, a line of cooking accessories, television appearances on the Food Network, and a line of soups and pizzas. He is author of five previous cookbooks. Wolfgang Puck is one of the most visible names and faces in the food business.
    Wolfgang Puck Makes It Easy is a groundbreaking cookbook in which Wolfgang Puck shares his creativity and genius so that anyone can prepare these wonderful recipes. Every element of the book aims to make it incredibly easy to create great food of the highest quality and creativity, as only Wolfgang Puck can do.
    In addition to more than 100 recipes, the book features numerous cooking tips as well as advice on how to select the freshest ingredients, how to adapt recipes to the season, using the right cookware, and menu and wine selections.
    Click here to buy
    bookLive, Love, Eat!: The Best of Wolfgang Puck
    Wolfgang Puck's enthusiasm for good food could light up several small cities, and you'll find the proof on the pages of Live, Love, Eat! The Best of Wolfgang Puck. In 150 of his favorite recipes Wolfgang Puck demonstrates why and how flavorful food and fun can't be separated from each other--certainly not in his kitchen.
    Consider the ubiquitous guacamole recipe. Puck calls his version California Guacamole. His ingredients are few, the flavors marshaling around roasted whole garlic, which adds to the whole an underlying sweet and mellow deliciousness. It's an act of elevation and restoration for one of the grand treats of the Southwest. Puck is a master of the respectful tweaking of familiar recipes and ingredients in favor of rejuvenation and flavor. The lowly chicken comes to mind. Chicken pot pie becomes Chicken Pot Pie Soup, Puck replacing the traditional crust with delicate dumplings. With Spicy Chicken Pizza (the chicken is marinated in lime juice, olive oil, garlic, cilantro, and minced jalapeño chilies) Puck takes this Neapolitan standard on a side trip to Mexico. Viener Backhendl, Austrian fried chicken, meets Asia by way of panko, Japanese-style bread crumbs. And so on.
    Live, Love, Eat! has chapters devoted to appetizers, soups, salads, pizza and pasta, seafood, poultry, meat, accompaniments, and desserts. This is a richly illustrated book showing what results look like and how they get there. A final chapter, "Basics," is worth the price of admission. --Schuyler Ingle
    Click to buy


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