Summer reads: My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz

MyParisKitchenDavidLebovitzLike many of you, I suspect, I’ve been a big fan of David Lebovitz for many years now. When I found out his latest book was to be called “My Paris Kitchen“, I eagerly anticipated its release date.   Over the years, I have really enjoyed reading David’s experiences with his search for a Paris kitchen worthy of his cooking and baking. On his blog, David documented his kitchen renovation in the apartment he ended up buying, the final product being a better-designed kitchen than most of us with way more space, but I know his kitchen hadn’t always been so spacious (he gave a tour of his previous digs over on The Kitchn).  Having lived in Paris for over 5 years, I had a “Paris kitchen” too, once. Of sorts… And let me tell you it was nothing like David’s (sadly!).

When I first moved to Paris (in a similar fashion to David as he says on page 2) “without a plan”, I stayed in a women’s hostel for a month while I looked for a place to stay. On a limited student budget (the only thing planned about my move to Paris was that I was supposed to be working on my PhD there), I quickly realised that I wouldn’t be living in anything more than a simple “chambre de bonne” (maid’s room on the top floor of a building) which, in some cases (mine for a few months) is literally, a room. One room. My room had a bed, a sink, one hotplate and a shower. An electric shower (don’t even ask!) and a crazy landlord who would sometimes come to “do some work in the room” when I was at my classes (I mean, really, don’t even ask…). After my concierge alerted me to a TWO ROOM chambre de bonne available in the same building, different staircase, I jumped at the offer and for about 4 years, I lived in the luxury of 18m squared. One of my rooms had the bed, my bookshelf, a TV and my clothes. The other room had a table/ desk, tiny cupboards, two hotplates (the luxury!) strangely situated on top of the bar fridge and, that’s right – a shower. Conveniently placed behind the door and next to the sink. And that looked out on the courtyard. One of my first purchases there was a set of curtains 😉

Even the “grown up” kitchen in my last Paris apartment was tiny. It boasted a toaster oven (yup, I was moving up in the world!) and a space of its own (a teeny galley-like space that led to the bathroom but still, it wasn’t in the corner of another room!). So sadly, in all my years in Paris, I didn’t really “cook” much. I entertained a lot, however, and the foods I would serve would be simple – many salads (I discovered couscous and quinoa during my time there), lots of cheese and baguette and, of course, pastries. A lot of the recipes in the “First Courses” section of “My Paris Kitchen” remind me of my time in Paris and what I used to eat there: céleri rémoulade, tabbouleh, frisée salad with bacon, egg and garlic toasts, oeufs mayonnaise, carottes rapées – these made regular appearances on my table.  Might not sound like much but when you combine dishes like that with a few choice fromages, you’ve basically got yourself a meal (if you are a poor student/ teacher!). My friends all “got it” re the cheese, as does David – he says he simply points at the closest cheese store when people ask him why he lives in France (there’s a lovely chapter all about the “cheese course” in the book).

One of my favourite chapters in the book is the dessert chapter. David is a former pastry chef so you know these recipes will be good. They are, in fact, the sort of recipes I could only dream about in my tiny, equipment-less kitchen back in my Paris days but which now I love to make at home, then sit back and pretend I’m in Paris as I enjoy them!  My eye was drawn, in particular, to the salted butter caramel chocolate mousse. The photo on p 259 looks like the aftermath of one of my sister’s visits to Paris whereby we would head to the supermarket and buy a four pack of mousse au chocolat noir and eat them all. In about 4 seconds. And bemoan the fact that you simply can’t get “decent” chocolate mousse in supermarkets except in France. I still treat myself to a (single) mousse au chocolat noir every now and then when I am in Paris (squee – I leave later today!). But now I know I can make a much, much better version, thanks to David’s recipe. I am fortunate to have permission to share the recipe with you all today too!

Yield: 6

Salted butter caramel-chocolate mousse (Mousse au Chocolat au Beurre Salé)

Salted caramel chocolate mousse from David Lebovitz My Paris Kitchen on eatlivetravelwrite.com

Reprinted with permission from My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories by David Lebovitz. Copyright © 2014 by David Lebovitz; photographs copyright © 2014 by Ed Anderson. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company, New York.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Chill Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter, cubed
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) heavy cream
  • 6 ounces (170g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • Rounded 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt, preferably fleur de sel

Instructions

  1. Spread the sugar evenly over the bottom of a wide saucepan. Heat the sugar over medium heat. As it begins to liquefy at the edges, use a heatproof spatula to very gently drag the liquefied sugar toward the center. Watch carefully, as once the edges start to darken, the sugar is in danger of burning. Continue to cook, stirring very gently, until all the sugar is melted and begins to caramelize.
  2. When the caramel is a deep amber color and starts to smoke, wait for a moment for it to smell just slightly burnt, then remove it from the heat and quickly whisk the butter, stirring until melted. Gradually whisk in the cream and stir until the little bits of caramel are completely melted. (A few can be stubborn, so be patient. You can strain the mixture if they simply refuse to budge.)
  3. Once smooth, add the chocolate, stirring gently until it's melted and smooth. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl and let it cool to room temperature. Once it's no longer warm, whisk in the egg yolks.
  4. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff. Fold one-third of the whipped whites into the chocolate mixture, sprinkling in the flaky salt. Fold in the remaining beaten egg whites just until no streaks of white remain. Divide the mousse into serving glasses, or transfer it to a decorative serving bowl, and chill for at least 8 hours. While it might be tempting to serve this with whipped cream, I prefer to serve it pure, straight up with just a spoon.

did you make this recipe?

please leave a comment or review on the blog or share a photo and tag me on Instagram @eatlivtravwrite !


Salted caramel chocolate mousse from David Lebovitz My Paris Kitchen on eatlivetravelwrite.comOf this recipe, David says: “There’s not much I can say about this. One bite will leave you just as speechless.“. He’s right. This is ridiculously good.

Empty dishes of Salted caramel chocolate mousse from David Lebovitz My Paris Kitchen on eatlivetravelwrite.comThe book includes a section on ingredients David uses a lot as well as his “can’t do without” equipment and at the back of the book there’s an excellent list of places to source some of the ingredients/ equipment that might be hard to find in some places in the world. I also loved the “Pantry” section where David lists “ingrédients de base” – things he always keeps on hand in his fridge, pantry or freezer.

If you’re looking for a “French food cookbook” this might not be the book for you. As David says, the food he cooks is influenced by where he has lived and where he lives now.  He’s guided in his cooking by the influence of other cultures that is felt throughout Paris these days, reflected in its many multicultural neighbourhoods and food stores.  So the food he cooks isn’t what you’d think of as typically French (although it is how many French people eat these days).  But if you are the type of person who keeps cookbooks alongside fiction on your nightstand, then this is absolutely the book for you. It’s as much about the stories that go with the recipes as the recipes themselves.

Buy My Paris Kitchen on Amazon or Amazon Canada. Or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository.

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A My Paris Kitchen giveaway for Canadian readers!

Thanks to the kind folks at Random House Canada, I have one copy of “My Paris Kitchen” to giveaway to a lucky Canadian reader.

How to enter:

There are 2 ways to enter (maximum of two entries per person for the duration of the contest).

1. Leave  a comment on this post telling me why you’d love a copy of David’s book.
2. Tweet the following message: Enter to win “My Paris Kitchen” from @RandomHouseCA + @eatlivtravwrite (Canada)  Details: http://bit.ly/1nV0gvT  then come back to leave a second comment letting me know you did.

Eligibility and contest rules:

– Open to Canadian residents only.
– No purchase of any product necessary for entry.
– Winner will be chosen randomly (using www.random.org) from all qualified entries on Sunday June 29th 2014 after 6pm EST.
– Winner will be notified via email Monday June 30th 2014.

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Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of “My Paris Kitchen!” for review purposes.  I was not asked to write about the book, nor am I being compensated for doing do. All opinions 100% my own.

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Please note: The product links from Amazon, Amazon.ca and The Book Depository are affiliate links. If you click on these links and purchase the product I have linked to or any other product, I will receive a small percentage of the sale price.

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57 thoughts on “Summer reads: My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz”

  1. Oh boy, this is possibly the best mousse I have ever eaten.

    As you can see by the last photo – enjoyed by all our guests on the patio as well!

    Reply
  2. Of course I’d like this book! It’s David Lebovitz, his stories, Paris… And now I’m going to make the mousse. Have fun in Paris!

    Reply
  3. Yes yes and yes! HUGE fan of his. His cookbooks are amazing and I’ve learned so much from him that I know I would of never learned from any other cookbook.

    Reply
  4. Shared on my FB page, so that more people can experience the deliciousness that is contained in David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen.

    Reply
  5. I have never wanted to live in another country other than Canada, visit yes but live no. Until I started reading David’s blog and fell in love with Paris (rather easy to do I expect!). It’s fascinating to read about the day to day way of living in another country that is so similar and yet so different. I have tried many of his recipes and they’ve never gone wrong, always easy to follow and even easier to eat because they are so delicious! I’d love to win one of his books!

    Reply
  6. Because I love David’s blog , books and stories … And Paris … My love off chocolate pastries and food

    Reply
  7. We rented an small apartment in Paris in February. Kitchen was small but we could make dinner every nights and it was delicious. Fridge was so tiny so I was shopping every day. Mousse is one of my fav dessert and I like David’s books.

    Reply
  8. Ohhh…I have an Indigo card and this is at the top of my list…maybe I could win a copy instead. Like you, I’ve been following David for a long time–probably around the time of that apartment reno that he did. He caught my eye and I’ve been following him ever since. As a writer, want-t0-be traveller (unfortunately I don’t live in Paris) and sometimes cook, I can’t wait to get hold of this book. Thanks for the offering.
    By the way: two more things: I tweeted this (my name on twitter is polliec) and I forgot to mention I’m also a confirmed blog addict. Yours is now in my feed!

    Reply
  9. Because I need some new recipes to try out, something new to flex my cooking muscles. It will be the perfect start to our upcoming honeymoon in Paris too!

    Reply
  10. I love David Lebovitz and have been following him for a while now. He is wildly entertaining and very receptive to sharing his experiences. I love his recipes and witty humour!

    Reply
  11. Tweeted. My twitter pic is the Arc de Triomphe
    (Taken during my visit to Paris in 2012). Thanks to David’s help, I managed to discover lots of goodies to bring back with me to Vancouver.

    Reply
  12. I would love a copy of My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz it would be a very welcome addition to any cook book collection. This looks and sounds like a lovely book with great stories, recipes and photography.

    Reply
  13. I love to read books that include great stories and some new recipes along the way and I would love a copy of David’s book. It sounds fantastci! I also can’t wait to try making that mousse!! It looks delicious!

    Reply
  14. It’s sooo frustrating to have an unpredictable electric stovetop in my ‘chamber de bonne’.
    I don’t think I could ever pull off making a nice caramel base like that.
    Dommage 🙁 Sounds and looks divine!

    Reply
  15. I have only just recently discovered David, his blog and his books………all the latter are on the waitlist for me at my local library. And, because of David, I have just discovered your blog!
    I have been known to be seen perusing (and drooling over) the copies of “My Paris Kitchen” for sale at Chapters, wishing and dreaming……..my goodness, what a delight to possibly win a copy! Thanks for a shooting chance! 🙂

    Reply
  16. Looks scrumptious!
    I’ve been following David’s blog for years and I really love his recipes; winning the book would be a bonus (+awesome!) 🙂

    Reply
  17. This caramel-chocolate mousse was the yummiest! So glad it was dessert at the bbq yesterday. Mmmm. 🙂 I’ll have to give this a try sometime and I’m sure it would taste even better if I made it from the winning copy of the book!

    Reply
  18. I love reading David’s blog,as well as your own obviously! This book would be a great addition to my cookbook collection!!

    Reply
  19. David has been one of my foodie heroes for over 30 years! His cookbooks are beautiful, inspiring, and the recipes are fail-safe. I would love a copy of this book!!

    Reply
  20. Having been entertained in your sumptuous two-room apartment, your post brought back a lot of memories, Mardi.

    Reply
  21. I am huge fan of David Lebovitz. His multi-cultural and innovative take on French cooking/baking sets him apart from the rest. I am especially fond of his French tart recipe which is like nothing I have ever encountered before. Following his recipes his like a magical walk through Narnia. Magical things that are totally unexpected really do happen. I would love his book so that I can experience his walk.

    Reply
  22. I’m a huge Francophile including French cuisine – would love to add David’s book to my collection of americans(and Canadians) in Paris cookbooks – laura Calder, Julia child, Elizabeth david and more!!

    Reply
  23. I may be the only one here that has not heard of David but the photo on his new book caught my attention, mouth watering imagining what it tastes like 🙂 I would love the chance to win his new cook book! I am somewhat obsessed with the whole idea of France, the lifestyle, the food, the people, etc. Cooking & learning new things especially from this book & David would be fantastic!
    Thank you

    Reply
  24. This was lovely to read! Thank you! I would love love love this book as I’ve been hoping to buy one and am waiting until Christmas to ask for it as a gift.

    Reply
  25. I have had the great pleasure of a temporary loan of David’s book by a good friend, who sadly, is leaving town (Montreal) to move to Victoria……and the book needs to be her roadside companion as she wends westwards…….i had the chance to try but one recipe thus far – taboulleh. Which, if one knows Montreal cuisine, they will tell you of the multitude of Lebanese fast food places.
    Amir, Kojax, Basha of course……. And that taboulleh is a staple in their offerings. So it was with great anticipation that i worked my way thriugh the recipe. Chopping 10 cups of parley, finely – is not a job for the impatient! But, the result overall was well worth it. So now, I find myself in desperate need to attempt an onion tart, or the lamb tagine……his version of french onion soup – in fact, probably ALL the recipes…….so, wanna help a poor (now) deprived but determined foodie out? Send me the book and I will record (and photograph) all the many recipes I undertake, and provide, for all, a written record of those attempts……..successes, or no.
    Thank you/ Merci

    MichaelXMoore

    Reply
  26. I would love a copy of David’s book because I have been following him on social media for years and I find him fascinating.

    Reply
  27. I would love to win David’s new book. I’m a long time reader of his fantastic blog and books. While I visited Paris last Fall, I could use a good recipe to take me back there – even if it’s just in my own kitchen.

    Reply
  28. Who wouldn’t want such a book? 🙂

    I lived in Bordeaux for a year, sharing a kitchen with other expats (as I lived in the university residence) and reading your post made me think of that time: simple meals, shared with friends… And how French food was amazing, especially pastries, even the cheapest ones!

    If I win that book, I’ll make the caramel mousse for my brother-in-law, who has been helping me quite a lot with my new appartment.

    And if I don’t win, I’ll still make the mousse, the guy (and my guy) deserves it 😉

    Still, since Levovitz is a former pastry chef, I’m sure the book is packed with mouth-watering sweet recipes. I’d read them like a novel… and try my hand at it!

    Reply
  29. As a recent bride, I find myself cooking much more often now! I would love a copy of the book to try out the recipes! Thanks for the opportunity! 🙂

    Reply
  30. I’d love to win this book because I’m actually going on a school exchange to Paris in September, and help in the ‘small cramped cooking spaces’ department would be SO useful!
    Thanks for hosting the contest,
    Laura

    Reply
  31. I won’t be travelling to Paris any time soon, but I’ve followed David for a long time, and dream through him about places and food.

    Reply
  32. Pingback: Cooks&Books&Recipes My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories cookbook

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