Tag Archives: butter

Brioche bread and butter pudding with orange blossom water

Bread and Butter pudding to use up Christmas left-over brioche!

Ingredients list:

  • Panetone or pandoro, sliced horizontally
  • Liquid cream, 500ml
  • Butter, 50g
  • Brown sugar, 50g
  • Eggs, 2
  • Dark rum, 3 tbsp
  • Orange blossom flower water, 3 Tbsp
  • Vanilla essence
  • Some icing sugar to sprinkle
Hope you all had a lovely Christmas!

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas!

IMG_2168Butter a flat dish and then each slice separately ,then lay the buttered slices into the dish. By slicing the pandoro horizontally, I produced large star shapes which were a great look for our festive table.

Mix the sugar, cream, milk and flavourings into a jug and pour on top of the bread to cover generously.

Let it steep for a few minutes, then put in the oven for 30min at 170°making sure it does not dry out – add milk if necessary.

Serve warm with a sprinkle of orange blossom water and icing sugar on top.

This is a great way of using up the left over bits of brioche or panetone, post Christmas. The flavours of rum and orange flower blosson hit a winning note and make this dish a very posh version of the humble bread and butter pudding.

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Creole Bread and Butter pudding with rum sauce

This very decadent and irresistible recipe was given to me by my friend Marie-Lorraine who herself got it from a friend: the sort of word-of-mouth recipe that makes you salivate as soon as you hear about it… It is thought to have originated in New-Orleans but there are enough similar recipes in the UK for it to earn its place on this blog.

I used the stale brioche made the week before, which was lucky timing, but you can use any stale sandwich bread or a bought brioche. The trick is to cover the slices with the liquid and let it steep for a while- which I sadly did not have time to do!

Comfort food at its best...

Comfort food at its best…

Ingredients list:

  • Eggs,2
  • Caster sugar, 150g
  • Whipping cream, 230ml
  • Full fat milk, 700ml
  • Butter, 100g
  • Vanilla extract, 1 drop
  • Bitter almond extract, 1 drop
  • Currants raisins, ½ cup or small handful
  • Nutmeg, 1 tsp
  • Stale white bread or brioche, 225g or about

First weigh the bread and cut it up in thick slices.

In a bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, milk, cream, butter, vanilla and almond extract, currants and nutmeg. Whisk to blend well.

Stuff the slices into the bowl and let them steep in ideally for 30 minutes or more. Or you can also just dip each slice into the bowl, then arrange them snuggly and pour the rest over. Once you have arranged your slices  in a buttered dish, such as a rectangular pyrex or gratin dish, add more milk if necessary to cover it well and press down with a fork to absorb most of the liquid.

They should all fit tightly and without leaving any space.

Reserve in the fridge for a few hours or a night.

Put the dish in a hot oven at 160º C.

Bake until the top is golden so about 30/40 minutes. Let too cool down then dust some icing sugar on top before serving. Given the sugar content, this is obviously optional but looks good!

Prepare the sauce.

Ingredients list for the sauce:

  • Sugar, 200g
  • Butter, 60g
  • Whipping cream or creme fraiche, 45ml
  • Egg yolk, 1
  • Rum (or brandy) 60ml

In a thick bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, cream and place over the hob to bubble until it is all melted. Remove from the hob. Whisk the yolk and add it to the mix. Stir in your favourite rum!

Serve the bread and butter pudding warm in shallow cups or bowls with a side helping of the sauce. It is a cross between French toast and a spoon cake: moist and regressive… Enjoy, it’s winter…IMG_5346

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A brioche fit for the Kings

Monday is the Epiphany, the arrival of the Kings and the last of the Christmas festivities.  For the occasion, the tradition in France is to choose a king by way of eating a crown-shaped-cake where a little figure (in older times a bean) has been hidden. Whoever has the symbol is the king for the day!

Half of France eats a cake made of frangipane and half eats a brioche based one. Being from the South, I chose this year to go for the brioche version. It is a moist brioche, filled with lemon peel, candied fruits and flavoured with orange blossom water. You can decorated it with more crystallised fruit or ground up  sugar.

Crown for the Epiphany

Crown for the Epiphany

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients list:

  • Fine flour (00), 300g
  • eggs, 4
  • Sugar, 75g
  • Bakers yeast, 1 tsp (or 15 gr of fresh yeast)
  • Butter, 150g
  • Orange blossom water, 2 capful
  • Milk, 100g
  • Candied peel and fruit, one cupful
  • one egg yolk

This is so easy to do in the Thermomix, I can’t resist to give you the step by step here but you can always make it in a bowl if you like!

Mix all the ingredients (but the egg yolk and candied fruit) in the Thermomix for 5 or 6 minutes on dough setting then empty the dough in a bowl and cover with cling film to raise for 1 hour.

Once the dough has raised, punch it back into shape by kneading air out of it. Mix the candied fruit into the dough and shape it into a crown. Use a silpat re-usable mat or a tray covered in oven proof paper. Decorate with crushed sugar and more fruit. Don’t forget to hide a “fève” or porcelaine figure in the cake and leave it to raise again for about one hour under a loose plastic bag – cling film would stick to the surface and ruin the look.

When it is risen, brush the top with a little yolk, decorate and bake at 160° for 25 minutes on the middle rack of the oven.

PS: I have to warn my readers it is pretty difficult to get good quality candied fruit in London, apart from lemon or orange peel and even that is hard to come by… I import mine from Provence where they produce the very best ones: Lilamand in Saint Remy de Provence or Maison Villaret in Nimes sell the “crème de la crème”: th variety is impressive, from apricots o chesnuts to wonderful melons. Though I have found good candied oranges or clementines in Italy too…  A good excuse for a bit of shopping abroad.

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These food-borne traditions are wonderful and  I am a sucker for all of them: I have to confess I do enjoy every one of them, from Christmas to Epiphany! I especially love sharing it all  with children around this time, especially the younger nephews and nieces for whom Christmas is still a new, fresh and magical time…

A beautiful wreath make for us by Peppermint Poppy alias Kenza

A beautiful wreath made for us by Peppermint Poppy alias Kenza

Can’t cook without it: The beauty of Ghee!

I discovered Ghee last summer when attending an Ayuvedic cooking workshop with a lovely friend in Putney, and I fell under its spell for both taste and health reasons. Here I tell you how…

Ready to go!

Ready to go!

Ghee is simply butter that has been allowed to simmer for at least 20 minutes, so all water and cream have either evaporated or have caramelised at the bottom and on the sides of the pan: The result is a honey-smelling liquid gold that can be used for cooking – even at high temperatures when butter would quickly burn.

Once strained, you can keep Ghee in a jar and it will remain fresh for a few good weeks, but not as long as oil will. I keep mine in the fridge  where it solidifies but it can be kept in its liquid state at room temperature.

Star with two or more packets of unsalted butter and let them melt then simmer in the pan for at least 20 minutes. Skim impurities off the top at regular intervals. Towards the end, raise the heat for a few minutes to allow the last impurities to burn off. Then strain the butter through a fine sieve or muslin into a few clean jars. Label and store in the fridge.

I use it to pan fry vegetables, to cook lentils, tofu, rice or really anything else… It gives a subtle, honey taste to the dish, never burns or smell, and is much better for your heart and arteries than straight butter. It lasts a long time and looks so beautiful that you could even package it with a nice label and bow to give away at Christmas!

Learn more about le health benefits of Ghee by visiting http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=newtip&dbid=9

Which ingredients are on your “can’t cook without it” list? Tell me and you might get a jar of Ghee in return!

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Savoury shortbread with sun dried tomatoes and herbs

Go savoury with shortbread! And never look back…

 This is a copy of an article that I have released in WEEKEND NOTES this week. If you wish to read the original and discover plenty of week end ideas (to do and to share), follow the link.IMG_3874

 Ingredients list:

  • 200g of Spelt flour
  • 200g of butter
  • 50g of brown sugar
  • 100g of oats or oatmeal
  • 3 or 4 sundried tomatoes
  • a few sprigs of rosemary and thyme
  • Pinch of salt

Cut up the sun dried tomatoes. Wash and chop the herbs.

Mix all the ingredients in a food processor. Add the sun dried tomatoes towards the end so they don’t get minced up.

This will make up a soft dough that you need to roll into a log and wrap in cling-film. Leave to stiffen up in the refrigerator for ½ hour.

Cut the log into thick slices and bake on ovenproof paper, rather than directly over a metal tray so the biscuits do not burn too quickly.

Bake in the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes at 180° Celsius.

This recipe will yield about 20 deliciously savoury biscuits, perfect to eat with cheese or as a snack. Their texture is that of a shortbread: crumbly and melting at once. Of course the combinations of herbs and flavours are endless and once you have mastered this combination you could try: black olives and thyme, dried fig and tarragon or crushed almond and paprika… I took a basket of these to a party lately and they fitted very nicely on the aperitif buffet.

Nutrition notes: I advise to use spelt rather than wheat flour in those shortbreads because spelt gives a nutty, savoury taste to biscuits but also because spelt contains less gluten than  normal flour and is easier on your digestive tract.

Picnic ready

Picnic ready