The Elegant Cook

M-J de Mesterton

Elegant Cook Notes

Pizza Baked in de Buyer Pan

Posted on June 19, 2016 at 1:40 AM

An elegant, medium-sized pizza develops a beautifully browned crust in a French-made pan by de Buyer. I use traditional pain de mie dough for a perfect crust every time. ©M-J de Mesterton 2016

Pogne de Romans

Posted on December 27, 2015 at 12:45 PM

Elegant Breakfast Radishes

Posted on May 1, 2015 at 10:55 AM

Elegant Crème Fraîche

Posted on March 22, 2015 at 9:40 AM

Crème Fraîche

This Recipe Makes Two Cups

With a taste reminiscent of hazelnuts and a hint of tanginess, crème fraîche is France’s favourite form of cream for use in cookery.

With enhanced body and more complex flavours than fresh sweet cream, crème fraîche is a thick, rich concoction with a custard-like consistency.


Two tablespoons of cultured buttermilk, preferably full-fat

Two cups of heavy cream

Combine the buttermilk and cream in a saucepan and heat till just before boiling. Pour the mixture into a clean glass bowl or jar. Partially cover and let stand at room temperature for eight hours, or until thickened. Stir and refrigerate at least 24 hours before using. The crème fraîche will keep for about two weeks in the refrigerator. I like to chill and then whip it, so that it becomes thick like Devon cream.

~~©M-J de Mesterton 2006

Reine de Saba

Posted on February 15, 2015 at 4:45 PM

I made this classic Reine de Saba (Queen of Sheba) cake using Julia Child's recipe, which I found in The French Chef Cookbook, page 285. I believe it is also somewhere on the web. ©M-J de Mesterton

M-J's Brioche Recipe

Posted on December 28, 2013 at 7:35 PM

Visit M-J's ELEGANT BREAD page for her brioche-making pictorial and original recipe for this elegant Viennoiserie.

Making French Bread

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Making French-Style Bread at Home is a Slow but Very Rewarding Process.... Proper French Bread Flavour and Texture are Achieved after Five Hours


Croques Monsieurs

Posted on March 24, 2012 at 8:55 PM
The Elegant Cook's method for preparing croques monsieurs appears on the Elegant Luncheon page.
©Jeanne "M-J" de Mesterton

Home-Made French-Style Bread

Posted on December 30, 2011 at 2:30 PM

M-J's Home-Made French Bread

American flour is very soft, even the unbleached variety. So, authentic French-style bread in the U.S. is difficult to make. If you can locate unbleached white flours from France or Italy, they are perfect for making baguettes. To make French bread or baguettes like the ones shown in my photograph, I use my own starter for the dough, let it rise twice before I form it into loaves, and place a small pottery bowl of water in a very hot oven while the baguettes are baking. This moisture creates a crispy crust.

Here is a good recipe for home-made French-style bread, by King Arthur Flour company:

For more elegant bread recipes, please visit M-J’s page, The Elegant Cook's Bread Recipes.

©M-J de Mesterton 2011

Brioche au Sucre

Posted on July 5, 2011 at 8:21 PM
Brioche au Sucre, Made by M-J

Pour 12 Brioches


600 g de farine de gruau (5.5 cups)

140 ml de lait tiède (2/3 cup)

4 cc de levure SAF (1 tsp.)

1 cc de sel (1/4 tsp.)

100 g de sucre (8 tablespoons)

4 oeufs + 1 jaune

135 g de beurre ramolli (2/3 cup)

Garniture : sucre perlé

Pour dorer :

1 jaune d'oeuf + 1 cs de lait (one egg yolk plus one teaspoon of milk)


©M-J de Mesterton 2011

To make brioche au sucre, modify your measurements, shown above, of the same ingredients that M-J uses for regular brioche, and follow M-J's mixing instructions (see link below).

M-J Teaches You How to Make Elegant French-Style Brioche, the Famous Viennoiserie

Click Here for M-J's Brioche Recipe in Pictures at THE ELEGANT COOK

How to Bake Brioche Successfully: Use a Non-Stick, Modern Silicone Pan, Available at by Freshware

Baking Brioche

Posted on March 28, 2011 at 6:40 PM

Elegant, Traditional Brioche in the Oven

Elegant Valentine Dinner Menu

Posted on February 7, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Potage aux Artichauts

Pommes de Terre Vapeur

Filet Mignons wrapped in bacon

Profiteroles au Chocolat

I will return with more....


Elegant St. Albray Cheese

Posted on January 14, 2011 at 10:15 AM

The very elegant and smooth St. Albray cheese from France's Bearn region in the Pyrenees mountains is formed in the shape of a flower, with sections shaped like petals. It makes an beautiful center-piece for a drinks-party table.

An Elegant, Inexpensive French Wine

Posted on June 6, 2010 at 10:43 AM

Featured at Elegant Survival in 2006, Les Cornuds 2005 by Vinsobres Côtes du Rhône Villages
Perrin & Fils

Elegant Quiche Lorraine

Posted on February 18, 2010 at 2:46 PM