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Our Chef's Recipes

Strawberries in Champagne Jelly
Serves 6

  • 3½ tsp unflavoured powdered gelatine or 3½ sheets gelatine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 bottle dry pink or white Champagne or Crémant de Bourgogne
  • 600 gm strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
  • Mint leaf garnish

If using gelatine sheets, soften in a bowl of cold water for about 5 mins.
In a small saucepan, heat the water and sugar until sugar has dissolved.
Remove gelatine leaves from the bowl and squeeze out excess water. Add the drained gelatine leaves to the sugar mixture and stir until melted.

If using powder, in a medium saucepan, sprinkle the gelatine over the water and leave for 5 mins. Melt the gelatine over a very gentle heat, stirring until no lumps remain.
Do not overcook. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar to dissolve.

Into the sugar syrup, stir in the Champagne or Crémant de Bourgogne. Pour into a shallow bowl, cover and refrigerate until set, at least 6 hours or overnight.

To assemble, toss the strawberries with a tablespoon of sugar. Scramble the jelly with a fork. Spoon a scant 3 tabs jelly into each wineglass and top with a layer of berries. Repeat two more times. Drizzle a little juice from the berries over the top and serve cold with a sprig of mint for decoration.

Lemon Coconut Cookies
Serves 6

  • 250 gm (8 oz butter) at room temperature
  • 250 gm (8 oz) sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon finely grated and diced
  • 125 gm (4 oz) ground almonds
  • 125 gm (4 oz) desiccated coconut
  • 3 tabs poppy seeds
  • 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 200 gm (6½ oz) plain flour

Preheat the oven to 175C/350F

Beat together butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and lemon zest. Mix well.

Add ground almonds, coconut and poppy seeds and combine well.

In a small bowl stir together flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Stir into the mixture until just combined.

Cover two baking sheets with parchment and spoon the mixture onto the sheet, using a teaspoon, each about 5 cm (2 in.) apart as they will spread.

Bake for 7 - 8 mins on a lower shelf. Move to upper shelf for a further 7 - 8 mins or until nicely golden. Leave to cool.