Tag Archives: orange blossom water

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.

Goat milk yogurt with orange blossom – not just for kids!

Recently, I have been switching to goat milk for my family yogurt making and here it is, a very easy treat!

Ingredients list:

  • Fresh full fat goat milk 1L
  • Live unsweetened yogurt 1 pot
  • Powder semi skimmed milk 1 potful (use the empty pot above!)
  • Orange blossom water 2 Tbsp

Use the milk at room temperature. If it is fresh and pasteurised, there is no need to heat it.

Add the live yogurt, the powdered milk and the orange blossom water. Mix it all in, avoiding all lumps, and pour in one large pot or individual terracotta or glass jars.

Leave overnight into a warm oven on lowest setting (usually 40 degrees) or use a steamer with a yogurt setting and leave for 8 hours. I use the Magimix steamer and leave it overnight to wake up to deliciously creamy  set yogurt.

You can add berries, jam or honey to this but I just prefer it straight with nothing added, just the freshness of the milk and the orange blossom water.

Obviously, you can do the same recipe still with organic whole cows milk.


Mix and pour

Mix and pour

Sark island kid goats

Sark island kid goats

Nutrition notes: Goat milk is generally better digested than cows milk and is part of a traditional Mediterranean diet in the shape of both cheese and yogurt. Try and choose organic milk for it contains less antibiotics and hormones than non-organic ones.

Almond milk and orange blossom non-dairy yogurt

All the flowers of the Mediterranean shores in one gulp!

A yogurt with aga agar

A yogurt with aga agar

I present you one gorgeously velvety yogurt : sugar free and (almost )dairy-free!

Ingredients list ( for 5 yogurt pots)

  • Almond milk, 700ml
  • Greek yogurt 2 percent fat, 80g
  • Agar agar flakes, 3 tsp (levelled) or 4g
  • Orange blossom water, 2 tbsp

Boil a small cup of almond milk: dust the agar agar over the surface and bring to a slow boil for 3/4 minutes, turning all the time.

Mix it back into the rest of the milk and beat the Greek yogurt into it. You can take this ingredient out if you are lactose intolerant or vegan – it is really there for yogurty flavour in the mix so not essential but groovy.

Add the Orange blossom water (not extract!) or any favoured flavouring (vanilla extract, sugar, honey or anything else).

Pour into small jars, cover with foil and put in the fridge overnight.

You will have a very low-dairy, skinny yogurt that tastes like a dream. The agar agar is a bit tricky to use at first so experiment for the ideal consistency but it is a great help to create creamy dairy free and sugar light puddings…

I ate this straight, as I do yogurts, but feel free to add orange blossom honey or sugar if you like.

The beach is near...

The beach is near…

When I tasted this I felt immediately transported into a mediterranean grove crowned with almond and orange blossom… I love this oh-so fresh combination of tastes: it is super dreamy and makes you feel like you are about to go on holiday! Reach for a picnic blanket and go for a nap in the orange grove…

Quick yogurt in oven or steamer

This is more of a tip, less than a recipe.
I have been making velvety yogurt in my oven since last year and I have just purchased a brilliant Magimix electric steamer. It obviously does a hell of a lot more, but what this steamer does to perfection is yogurt because it has a 40 degrees position. But oven or steamer, the recipe is the same and works every time:

Take one litre of the best, creamiest organic milk possible, one organic full fat yogurt pot (small Yeo Valley will do) and the same pot full of skimmed powder milk. Mix it all and whisk until smooth. Pour into a jug and then fill 8 to 10 yogurt pots or 6 jam pots. Put into your oven at less than or about 50 degrees or use an electric steamer such as mine. Leave for 10 hours and wake up to the creamiest, most delicious yogurt! Promise!

I do not like sugar in my yogurts but I do put a spoonful of orange blossom water. You can innovate with any other fragrance but this works best for us.
The trick is to use very good, full fat milk and use it at room temperature – I do not bother with heating it up anymore – unless you are lucky enough to use raw milk.

Into clean jars

Into clean jars

Into the steamer for 10 hours at 40 degrees

Into the steamer for 10 hours at 40 degrees

I dedicate this to Tina who said she loved my yogurts on saturday! She won’t be so impressed now she knows it is ridiculously easy to do…IMG_9159

Fougasse d’Aîgues Mortes

For the Bank holiday, I had set myself a couple of goals: To try and get the whole family out (including darkness-loving teenagers) for the first picnic of the year and to bring to this picnic some copious delights. Here was the menu. It consisted in our beloved “fougasse d’Aigues Mortes”, the iconic Coquetas from my grand-mother’s recipe trove and my favourite ever sandwich, namely the Pan Bagna… All of those recipes will follow soon on this blog – aren’t we spoilt!!!

Indeed the picnic menu was a tall order but after all I had three days to achieve it. And fret over the weather…


The “fougasse” is a type of flat brioche served in the south of France as a savoury version or -more rarely- as a sweet one. A fougasse with bacon bits or olives is a lovely thing to share before dinner but this sweetmeat one is unique to the small walled town of Aigues Mortes in the south of France. It is light and moist, sweet and fragranced, drenched in orange blossom fragrance and soft butter. It would make a lovely breakfast for a bank holiday.

I made the dough yesterday evening and it is pillowy and plump, ready for the oven this morning.

Ingredients list:

  • Fine flour, 250 g
  • Sugar, 100g
  • Butter 150g
  • 3 eggs
  • Quick yeast, 1 tsp
  • Milk, 2 Tbsp
  • Orange blossom water, 100ml
  • zest of one lemon and one orange

Warm a little milk to blood temperature and mix the quick yeast in that liquid.

Cream 100g of butter with the sugar.

Add the flour to this mix, then the yeast, then the egg. Work to a smooth and elastic dough. Beat with a wooden spoon to get it plump and aerated. Add 2 big spoonfuls of orange blossom.

Leave to rest for a night in the bowl or at least 1 and 1/2 hour.

You want a glossy and sticky dough with lots of tiny bubbles inside it. It will about double its size.

Knead it back with a wooden spoon again and lay into a lined baking tray. The amount above will be enough for a medium size tray.

Shave bits off the remaining 50g of butter and intersperse  on the dough. Shake some sugar on top. Pour a good amount of orange blossom (2 Tbsp) and put the tray into the oven.

Bake 25 min at 180° on the middle rack of the oven- this detail is important because the delicate brioche will take too much colour if left on the bottom rack.

It will raise  a little but must not take too much colour on the top either.

When ready, mix some more sugar with the rest of the orange blossom to make a thick syrup and spread on the hot dough. Leave to cool and serve when the syrup has dried up into a thin crust.

Aigues Mortes is a small walled town where A. and I celebrated our wedding some years back… We love going back time and time again  for those memories of course but also for the gorgeous ice creams you eat in massive waffle cornets near medieval gates and for a certain Patisserie outside the walls that bakes the very best “Fougasse d’Aigues Mortes”,  steeped in crushed sugar and orange blossom syrup.

Aigues Mortes roman church is were we got married: A beautiful simple church that saw Saint Louis, king of France, set off for the seventh crusade. THe town takes its name from the marsh lands that surrounds it towards the sea, but at the time it was close enough to the water to launch a flotilla towards Egypt!

We shared this for breakfast, before heading off the Richmond Park with a picnic rug and a filled hamper! Thank God for sunshine…

Ready to share!

Ready to share!

PS:My favourite fougasse comes from the Olmeda patisserie, in rue Emile Jamais, juste outside the walled town.  My version was close …