With the coming of winter, I think it’s a good excuse to try out some amazing dishes that have become gastronomic legends. Esteemed, time-honoured recipes that have stood the test time and that are still as relevant today as they ever were.

Classic Chocolate Marquise from Misa Braseria

Dishes like Tournados Rossini, coq au vin, Cassoulet, French onion soup or the celebrated Soupe aux truffes Élysée V.G.E. This renowned Black Truffle Soup was invented in 1975 when Paul Bocuse sought to create the perfect dish to serve to the then French President, Valery Giscard d’Estaing at the Élysée Palace on the occasion of Chef Bocuse receiving the Legion of Honor.
It is a consommé flavoured with chicken and truffles, topped with puff pastry and baked in the oven. When you break into the pastry topping, you get to enjoy this amazing, heavenly aroma.

Another illustrious dish that is just perfect for family celebrations is Boeuf Bourguignon. The authentic beef bourguignon recipe was first mentioned by Auguste Escoffier at the beginning of the 20th century and has become a classic on restaurant menus the world over. This elegantly rich beef stew with red wine is simply timeless and without getting too technical, I’ll try to explain a few basic principals to achieving perfection. Firstly, I think that the flavour of the finished dish is improved enormously if you take a bit of time and trouble when browning the meat. If you're using small pieces of meat, make sure you brown them in batches, over a hot flame, so the meat doesn't steam. The temperature must be high enough to trigger the browning process. Contrary to popular opinion, browning, or searing, the surface does not seal in meat's juices. It does, however, produce new and complex flavour compounds as the sugars and proteins in the meat react under high temperatures and the surface colour deepens. This browning reaction is known as the Maillard reaction.

Sweet gastronomic legends include the celebrated Crêpe Suzette and Chocolate Marquise. The origin of crepe suzette and its name is somewhat disputed. One claim is that the dish was created out of a mistake made by a fourteen year-old assistant waiter Henri Charpentier in 1895 at Monte Carlo's Café de Paris. He was preparing a dessert for the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII, and his companion Princess Suzanne when it accidently caught fire.
The Marquise was inspired when Chocolate’s reputation as an aphrodisiac first flourished in the French courts. Art and literature was abound with erotic imagery inspired by chocolate and the Marquis de Sade, became proficient in using chocolate to disguise poisons!

Beef Bourguignon


1.5kg chuck steak, cut into 5cm/2in pieces
3 tbsp olive oil
2 large carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large onion, peeled and cut into chunks
1 bottle red burgundy wine
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 head garlic, cut in half horizontally
2tbsp tomato puree
4 bay leaves
50g unsalted butter
225g whole piece of smoked bacon or pancetta
450g shallots, peeled
2 tbsp plain flour
3000ml fresh beef stock
5 tbsp brandy
Freshly chopped flat leaf parsley

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large saucepan. Add the carrot and onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the wine, thyme, garlic and 2 bay leaves. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Allow to cool. Place the beef in a large bowl and pour over the wine and vegetables. Cover and place in the fridge overnight.

Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas2.
Drain the beef from the marinade into a colander over a glass bowl.
Reserve the marinade and set aside.
Heat 25g-30g of butter and 1 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan. Add the bacon and cook until golden and brown. Add the shallots and transfer to a large casserole dish.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan. Pat dry the cubes of beef from the marinade mixture using absorbent kitchen paper. Add half of the beef to the pan and cook until brown on all sides. Remove the beef and transfer to the casserole dish with the bacon, shallots and vegetables. Repeat with the remaining beef and add to the casserole dish.
Stir in 2-3 large spoonfuls of the reserved marinade mixture to deglaze or remove any sediment from the pan. Pour into the casserole dish.
Stir in the plain flour, the remaining marinade mixture, tomato puree and beef stock into the casserole dish. Slowly bring to the boil, cover and place in the oven for 3-3½ hours or until the beef is very tender. Stir in the brandy and serve. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley.

Classic Chocolate Marquise from Misa Braseria

Ingredients         serves 8

Chocolate Sponge
4 eggs
150g caster sugar
80g flour
2tbs Dark cocoa powder
30g butter, melted and slightly cooled
a pinch of baking powder

300g of good quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces
180g unsalted butter
5 eggs, separated
100g caster sugar

For the chocolate sponge
Preheat oven to 220°C.
Grease a baking tray and line the bottom with baking paper

Use an electric mixer, Whisk eggs and caster sugar with an electric mixer for about 8-10 minutes or until the mixture is pale and tripled in volume.

Sift flour, baking powder and cocoa powder three times to aerate and combine. Sift onto egg mixture. Use a spatula to gently fold into eggs. Don’t over mix.

Pour into prepared tray and level the top of the mixture. It will end up being a very thin layer in the tray but don’t worry; it’ll rise a little.

Bake for 6-8 minutes until the cake springs back when lightly touched.
Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Marquise
Melt butter and chocolate over very low heat in a heavy based saucepan.
Mix to combine and set aside.
Whisk egg yolks and sugar for 4-5 minutes with an electric mixer until pale and frothy. Stir through melted chocolate and butter until combined and set aside.
Whisk egg whites and a pinch of salt until firm peaks. Gently fold through the chocolate mixture.

To assemble
Line a straight-sided terrine mould with cling film. Cut chocolate sponge into 2 rectangles to the fit the base. Layer with the chocolate mixture, cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Carefully remove cake from mould and slice thickly with a hot knife. Serve with fresh raspberries.