Welcome to Mum&sons

My two eldest boys challenged me to start a cooking blog with simple recipes that we can cook together - and my youngest one has now joined in. I am hoping they pick up some cooking and photograph skills... or that at least they learn to design and run a blog.


I hope I am not being immodest if I tell you that this dessert - put together by yours truly- is divine. The combination of flavours comes from a dessert called Montblanc that they serve at Angelina's, a tea-room near the Louvre where elegant Parisian ladies used  to go for 'chocolat chaud' in the afternoons before the place was taken over by tourists.  But while Angelina's version is seriously rich, this is light as a feather. It is also really simple to make. I served this both in Spain and then in the UK for celebration dinners this year and it was 'wows'  and compliments all around.

You need:

- a packet of 'brik' pastry (some supermarkets have stopped stocking brik pastry, but you can still find it in some, and also in Amazon)
- chestnut puree (I prefer the unsweetened version)
- a couple of small meringues (either use our recipe, of just buy them in the shop)
- whipping cream
-icing sugar
- sunflower oil
- dark chocolate

Start by frying the pastry in sunflower oil (15 seconds on each side until it gets golden) . Brik pastry is normally sold in rounds. I cut the pastry into small rounds to do individual desserts, but you can also do a big dessert, which looks very spectacular, by just frying the brik rounds just as they come out of the packet. Put the fried pastry on kitchen paper so that you get rid of all the oil. I normally fry this in the morning if I am going to use it for dinner so that there is not oily moist at all.

Before your meal, sweeten the chestnut puree (you can do this to taste, but I use 30 gr of icing sugar for 100 gr of chestnut puree). Put the chestnut puree into a pipping bag and leave it in the fridge. Whip the cream and put it into another pipping bag.  Crumble the meringue. And grate 4 squares of dark chocolate.

Just before you are going to serve the dessert, put a round of pastry on each plate. Put three dots of chestnut puree and three dots of creme on top. Sprinkle the puree and cream with the meringue and then with the dark chocolate. Put another brik round on top and repeat what you have just done: chestnut puree and whipped cream dots followed by meringue and chocolate. Cover with another round and dust some icing sugar on top. Serve immediately.

If you have the puree and creme in pipping bags you can do this very quickly (I served it last for 11 people and it did not take more than 5 minutes to assemble the dessert). And if you do it with a big round for the family version of this dessert you can get this done in no time at all.

And this is the (bigger) family version:


New Year and five years doing our blog. We actually celebrated two New Years yesterday: one at 23.00 eating twelve grapes with the sound of the clock at Puerta del Sol in Madrid and then at 24.00 watching the fireworks in London. So hope that brings double good luck. Italians say that what brings good luck is lentils, so this is a lentils salad to go with meat (especially duck) or blue fish. You need:

- 200 gr of lentils, half an onion and a bay leaf. Or alternatively two tins of already cooked lentils.
- grated rind and juice of one and a half lemons.
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- salt
- a generous amount of a mixture of herbs: basil, mint, parsley and coriander, chopped as thinly or coarsely as you like.

Boil the lentils in water with the half onion, salt and bay leaf for 30 minutes. Drain them well.  Heat the oil in a pan and fry the lemon rind (just 20 seconds, but keep watching it as it burns very easily). Pour the lemony oil on the lentils. Add the lemon juice, more salt and sprinkle the herbs on top. Done.


This is a flour less chocolate cake from the River Cafe (one of my favourite restaurants in London, very expensive but so wonderful) that we cooked for Christmas day. It is spectacularly gorgeous. You can get the recipe from the internet and the River Cafe has even put it on Youtube. You need:

- 5 eggs
-340 gr dark chocolate (preferably 75%)
- 225 gr butter
-210 gr sugar
- 100 ml of water

Preheat the oven at 120 degrees and grease and line a cake tin. Melt the chocolate and butter by putting them in a bowl over a pan with boiling water (the bowl should not touch the water). Meanwhile, beat the eggs (keep the egg shells for later) and 120 gr of sugar for a long time (its volume should increase 4 times).  While you are doing this, boil the remaining 70 gr of sugar with the water ( it should boil for 3 minutes). When the chocolate is melted, mix the sugar syrup in and then pour all this into the eggs' mixture. Put the mixture in the tin and put the tin into another tin filled with boiling water. Put the egg shells into the water so that you do not get any bubbles int he cake.  Bake for 50 minutes and then let it cook down completely within the water.

I did this with two of my sons and 5 more nieces and nephews (four of them under four). I do not have words to describe what a mess they made. They loved it though.