This time we made Gibassié, a Provençal dessert traditional to Christmas.
There's a ton of tradition surrounding the Christmas meals and table decorations in Provence: there are three meals, at the second they eat a little bit of each of thirteen desserts, and there are three candles and three tablecloths, one of which is removed/blown out after each meal, so by the last one there is one candle lit and one tablecloth.
Gibassié is one of the thirteen desserts, and it's a crumbly cookie (sort of like a hard scone) in a circle with the rays of the sun patterning the top.
It's a sort of sable dough made with star anise, orange blossom water, and olive oil, and it is so delicious. A ton of flavors that go well together, and I don't even usually like anise.
The other recipe we made is also traditional to Christmas: chocolate truffles. Kids love to make these, since there's plenty of rolling and coating involved.
You can make truffles by simply making a stiff ganache, but here there's an egg yolk, added sugar, and butter (we also added some Grand Marnier), which does not decrease the chocolate flavor (there's still a ton of chocolate) but does add a lovely soft texture and butteriness.
Ours was a bit grainy, but I think sifting the powdered sugar as we gradually added it would have helped with that, so I've changed the recipe accordingly.
Enjoy a Provençal Christmas, in July!
- 500 g flour
- 150 g granulated sugar
- 15 cL (what is this system? That means half a cup plus two tablespoons) olive oil, plus more if needed
- 3-4 tablespoons orange blossom water
- 3-4 tablespoons star anise seeds
- Mix the flour and sugar. Add the orange blossom water and olive oil and mix.
- Add the anise seeds, mix. The dough should start to come together like a sable cookie, if not, add some more orange blossom water. Then some more oil, adding both bit by bit until the dough just comes together.
- Form into a disk, and pierce the top like rays of sun into as many pieces as you have people who will be eating.
- Bake at 180 degrees C (350 degrees F) for 20 minutes. Let cool, then cut on the rays (It will crumble. Let it.).
Truffles au Chocolat
- 150 g dark chocolate
- 50 g butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 60 g icing/confectioners/powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon alcohol (optional)
- 125 g (about) cocoa powder, for rolling
- Melt the chocolate over low heat in a single layer
- Add the butter, egg yolk, and cream, stirring to combine. Then, add the sugar, sifting into the bowl and mixing as you go to avoid lumps. Add alcohol and stir.
- Refrigerate filling for 2 hours.
- Roll into little balls, then roll in the cocoa powder (a "parisian scoop," or tiny melon baller, works great for this).
Recipes courtesy of Hélène Biesse.