Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Day Tony & Eric Came For Tea

If Anthony "Tony" Bourdain and Eric "The Ripper" Ripert came to tea at my house, I would serve them this sweet, homey little treat.
Isn't she a dear? Just the thing you'd expect our gentle friend Tony would savor over some proper English tea. And pray tell, what is this delicate, pretty concoction called?

Kumquat Flaugnarde.

Why of course.

A dessert that sounds like something I'd call my snotty little brother when we were kids. Or possibly the name of a famous European porn star. You decide.

And that's precisely the reason - plus it's actually French in origin, and simply heavenly - why I'd serve this to my boys, Tony and Eric. Those two spend way too much time eating divine 5-star cuisine and uber-yummy regional foods from all over the globe, that I'm pretty sure they've never had a kumquat flaugnarde before.
I'm right, aren't I, Tony? Now now, mind your language young man ...

... You're making Eric blush!

See, that's my living room, and the three of us were sitting around having this intense, food-gasmic conversation, filled with laughs and giggles, as only old friends are able to do.
What? You don't believe me?! Dammit. It was worth a shot I suppose. So it's not my living room. It's the stage at DeVos Hall in Grand Rapids where these two gentlemen appeared recently to chat about their lives, loves, and food with me and a few hundred other manic fans. I'm not ashamed to say - they rock my world.

Why do I think kumquats are the perfect fruit to describe the dynamic duo of Tony and Eric?

Because they are sweet and sour at the same time, but totally surprising (the rind is sweet and the flesh is sour)!

Cardamom-Kumquat Flaugnarde (adapted from Daydreamer Desserts, whose images are so much more mouthwatering!)
Serves 6

2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
Approx 1/4 cup sugar for dusting ramekins
1 1/2 cups kumquats, deseeded and sliced
2 eggs
1/2 cup AP flour
3 oz unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cardamom

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease your ramekins with the softened butter and dust with sugar.

2. Sprinkle the sliced kumquats evenly in all ramekins and place on a baking sheet.

3. Whisk eggs lightly. Sift flour into eggs and whisk again. Stir in cooled, melted butter and milk. Gradually whisk in 1/3 cup sugar. Add vanilla extract and the cardamom, then whisk till everything is incorporated.

4. Pour batter equally over kumquats and bake for 10 mins. Decrease temperature to 350 F and bake for an additional 20 mins, till puffed and golden.

5. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

Verdict: I didn't know that oranges and cardamom were an eHarmony match! Now I do, and I'll always try to keep them together. The smell alone of these baking is enough to transport you to some exotic French-Arab-Mediterranean shore, and dream of being an exotic princess. Preferably one who didn't have to worry about watching her expanding hips and waist, and could order her hot personal chef to whip this up for her at a moment's whim!
Look, Tony's smacking his lips after having a bite of my flaugnarde! (having naughty thoughts)

While Eric is gushing, simply gushing, in that adorable French accent about how much he loved it!