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Belgian desserts


If you have some little breads over, cut each one in four, soak the pieces in milk sweetened and flavored with vanilla, for three hours. When they are well soaked roll them for a moment in grated and dried breadcrumbs, and dip them for a moment in boiling fat, just as you would do croquettes. Sift some white sugar over them and serve very hot.
[Madame M.]


When you have quince preserves by you this is a quickly prepared dish. Make a good custard with a pint of rich milk, four eggs and a little essence of almonds and two ounces of powdered sugar. Put your quince preserve at the bottom of a fireproof circular dish and fill up with custard. Put it to bake for half or hour or till set. When set add some more quince (heated) on the top with some chopped almonds and serve hot. The same dish can be done with apples, which should be stewed, flavored with the rind of a half lemon, and passed through a sieve. Apple puree is put on the top in the same way, and it is decorated with some thin lemon peel cut into stars.
[Chef reconnaissant.]


Put half a pound of rice in hot milk till it has absorbed all it can and is tender. Beat lightly the yolks of three eggs, beating in a lump of fresh butter the size of a pullet's egg; add powdered sugar and the whites of the eggs well beaten. Put the rice into this mixture and place all in a mold. Cook it gently for twenty-five minutes. Meanwhile take some very perfect yellow plums, skin and stone them and heat them in half a bottle of light white wine that you have seasoned with a little spice. Turn out the rice, put the yellow plums on the top and pour round the sauce, strained through muslin. Very good cold.


Butter first of all your pancakes, and you should have proper pancake saucers fit to go to table. Heat half a pint of sweetened milk and melt a quarter of a pound of salt butter with it. When well melted pour it into a basin and sprinkle in nearly three ounces of flour. Beat up the yolks of three large or four small eggs and incorporate them, then add the whites well beaten. Put a spoonful or two on each saucer and set to bake in the oven for ten minutes and when done place each saucer on a plate with a good lump of apricot jam on each. If you have no pancake saucers, put the apricot preserve on one half of each pancake and fold it up.
[Jean O.]


To a large wineglassful (say a glass for champagne wine) of new Madeira add the yolks only of two eggs. Put in a very clean enamel saucepan over the fire and stir in powdered sugar to your taste. Whisk it over the fire till it froths, but do not allow it even to simmer. Use for Genoese cakes and puddings.
[Madame Groubet.]


Jellies that are very well flavored can be made with fresh fruit, raspberries, strawberries, apricots, or even rhubarb, using the proportions of one ounce of gelatine (in cold weather) to every pound of fruit puree. In hot weather use a little less gelatine. As the fruit generally gives a bad color, you must use cochineal for the red jellies and a little green coloring for gooseberry jellies. The gelatine is of course melted in the fruit puree and all turned into a mold. You can make your own green coloring in this way. Pick a pound of spinach, throwing away the stalks and midrib. Put it on in a pan with a little salt and keep the cover down. Let it boil for twelve minutes. Then put a fine sieve over a basin and pour the spinach water through it. Strain the spinach water once or twice through muslin; it will be a good color and will keep some time. Orange and lemon jellies are much more wholesome when made at home than those made from bought powders. To the juice of every six oranges you should add the juice of one lemon, and you will procure twice as much juice from the fruit if, just before you squeeze it, you let it soak in hot water for three or four minutes.
[Pour la Patrie.]


Take a slice or two of plain sponge cake and cut out rounds two inches across. Then whip up in a basin the whites only of four eggs, coloring them with the thinner part of strawberry jam. As a rule this jam is not red enough, and you must add a little cochineal. Put the pink mixture in high piles on the cakes.
[Pour la Patrie.]


This sweet is liked by children who are tired of rice pudding. Boil your rice and when tender mix in with it the juice of a boiled beetroot to which some sugar has been added. Turn it into a mold and when cold remove it and serve it with a spoonful of raspberry preserve on the top or with some red plums round it.
[Pour la Patrie.]


Take some of the best French preserved prunes, and remove the stones. Soak them in orange curaçoa for as long a time as you have at your disposal. Then replace each stone by a blanched almond, and place the prunes in small crystal dishes.
[Pour la Patrie.]


Take some Madeleine cakes and scoop them out to form baskets. Fill these with stoned cherries both white and black that you have soaked in a good liqueur—cherry brandy is the best but you may use maraschino. Place two long strips of angelica across the top and where these intersect a very fine stoned cherry.
[Pour la Patrie.]


It often happens that you have among the strawberries a quantity that are not quite good enough to be sent to table as dessert, and yet not enough to make jam of. Put these strawberries on to heat, with some brown sugar, and use them to fill small pastry tartlets. Pastry cases can be bought for very little at the confectioner's. Cover the top of the tartlet when the strawberry conserve is cold with whipped cream.
[Pour la Patrie.]


Break the yolk of an egg in a basin and be sure that it is very fresh; beat it up, adding a little powdered sugar, and then, drop by drop, enough of the best Madeira to give it a strong flavor. This makes a nice sweet served in glass cups and it is besides very good for sore throats.
[Pour la Patrie.]


You will get at the confectioner's small round cakes that are smooth on the top; they are plain, and are about two and one-half inches across. Take one and cut it in halves, separating the top from the bottom. Cut the top pieces right across; you have now two half moons. Put some honey along the one straight edge of each half moon and stick it by that on the lower piece of cake, a little to one side. Do the same with the second half moon, so that they both stick up, not unlike wings. Fill the space between with a thick mixture of chopped almonds rolled in honey, and place two strips of angelica poking forward to suggest antennae. A good nougat will answer instead of the honey.
[Pour la Patrie.]


Take half a pint of rich cream and mix with it a small glassful of Madeira wine or of good brandy. Pick over some fine cherries and strawberries, stoning the cherries, and taking out the little center piece of each strawberry that is attached to the stalk. Lay your fruit in a shallow dish and cover it with the liquor and serve with the long sponge biscuits known as "langues de chat" (Savoy fingers).
[Amitie aux Anglais.]


To make a nice sweet in a few minutes can be easily managed if you follow this recipe. Make a custard of rich milk and yolks of eggs, sweeten it with sugar, flavored with vanilla, and if you have a little cream add that also. Then grate down some of the best chocolate, as finely as you can, rub it through coarse muslin so that it is a fine powder. Stir this with your custard, always stirring one way so that no bubbles of air get in. When you have got a thick consistency like rich cream, pour the mixture into paper or china cases, sprinkle over the tops with chopped almonds. There is no cooking required.


Take your gooseberries and wash them well, cut off the stalk and the black tip of each. Stew them with sugar till they are tender, just covered in water. Do not let them burn. If you have not time to attend to that put them in the oven in a shallow dish sprinkled with brown sugar. When tender rub them through a fine sieve at least twice. Flavor with a few drops of lemon juice, and add sugar if required. Then beat up a fresh egg in milk and add as much arrowroot or cornflour as will lie flat in a salt spoon. Mix the custard with the gooseberries, pass it through the sieve once more and serve it in a crystal bowl.
[Mdlle. B-M.]


Make some Genoese cake mixture as you would for a light cake, and pour it into greased molds like cups. You can take the weight of one egg in dried flour, butter, and rather less of sugar. Beat the butter and sugar together to a cream, sprinkle in the flour, stirring all the time, a pinch of salt, and then the beaten egg. When your little cakes are baked, turn them out of the molds and when cool turn them upside down and remove the inside, leaving a deep hole and a thin crust all round. Fill up this hole with the custard and chocolate as above, and let it grow firm. Then turn the cases right way up and pour over the top a sweet cherry sauce. You may require the yolks of two eggs to make the custard firm.
[Mdlle. B-M.]


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