So you and your mates are all watching the Tour de France from the comfort of your respective lounge rooms, secretly snacking on ham and cheese toasties. Why not make an event of it, and ask everyone to pedal on over for a French-themed party? Impress your guests with these easy recipes, including a tasty French tart, petite quiches and cheat’s chocolate mousse. Bonus: they make perfect date fodder, too.
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, slightly thawed, halved to form 2 rectangles
- 1 large jar caramelised onions
- 20 anchovies
- Small tub black olives
- Thyme leaves
- 1 egg, beaten
- Preheat oven to 220°C and line 2 trays with baking paper.
- Place the pastry on the trays, then spread with caramelised onion, leaving a 2cm border on all sides. Lightly scored the pastry border with a knife, taking care not to cut all the way through.
- Top with the anchovies in a criss-cross pattern, creating large diamonds. Place an olive in the centre of each diamond. Sprinkle with thyme leaves, then brush the pastry border with beaten egg.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until puffed and golden. Slice and serve.
Mini quiche Lorraine
- 300ml pure cream
- 6 eggs
- 3 sheets frozen shortcrust pastry, thawed
- 200g ham or bacon, finely chopped
- 3 spring onions, finely chopped
- 1 cup grated cheese
- Preheat oven to 220°C. Grease 24 cupcake pans (you may need to do this in batches if you don’t have enough pans, or raid your mum’s baking draw).
- Whisk the cream and eggs to combine.
- Cut 9 circles from each of the pastry sheets – use an egg ring or coffee mug as a guide. Gently press the pastry rounds into the cupcake pans. Add a little mound of ham and spring onions.
- Pour in the cream and egg mixture, leaving a 5mm gap at the top, then top with grated cheese.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and set.
Cheat’s chocolate mousse
This fail-safe version features just three ingredients, but you can add a splash of Cointreau if you’re feeling fancy.
- 250g dark chocolate, broken (use the orange-flavoured Lindt for a fruity hint)
- 600ml store-bought thick custard
- 300ml thickened cream
- Place the chocolate and custard in a heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water). Stir until melted and well combined. Allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, whip the cream with electric beaters until soft and pillowy. Gently fold into the cooled chocolate mixture. Divide among 8 glasses, then cover and chill for at least 1 hour. If you really want to impress, top with whipped cream and shaved chocolate.
Maybe you've indulged a little too much and want to get some wheels to help burn a few calories (Fact: Tour de France riders burn around 9,000 calories a day!).