Tag Archives: French

Short Rib Bourguignon

As I write this, my husband and I are sharing a Fray Bentos pie, passing the tin (balanced on a plate) between us and sharing the same fork. I tell you this not because I’m proud of us – I’m really not – but just to demonstrate that I am both lazy and economical (he bought the pies upon finding them on sale at Morrison’s for a pound each, bearing them home in triumph. I let him enjoy it for approximately two seconds  before observing that they are always available at Poundland). Anyway, this meal easy, inexpensive and gloriously delicious – it’s honestly once of the nicest dishes I can make. We made it recently for dining club with my siblings and my brother has asked me for the recipe almost daily ever since.

Short Rib Bourgignon

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Brioche (Sourdough or Active Dry Yeast)

Cost: about £1.50 for a 1.5kg quantity. It isn’t the cheapest bread recipe, it’s true – because of the prodigious quantities of butter, milk and eggs. It is still over 4x cheaper than the cheapest supermarket brioche, however, and unsurprisingly, a fresh homemade loaf is immeasurably superior to its plastic-mummified long shelf-life counterpart.

This richly golden loaf is a glorious indulgence – the sort of thing that is best, I feel, homemade. The crumb is tender and deeply flavoured, but very light and airy, not at all dense. It is suspended within a deeply burnished crust that crumbles pleasingly – either straight out of the oven or toasted the next day. It is a treat but one which is definitely worth it. It takes time (overnight fermenting and long rise because of the enriched nature of the dough), but not much effort at all – especially with a stand mixer doing most of the work.

Brioche loaf

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Easy Apple Upside Down Cake

Such a lovely, easy cake – the kind you can knock up on a weeknight after work or on holiday in an unfamiliar kitchen because you don’t need fancy equipment or special ingredients (I’ve included homely measurements for people without scales). The apples soften and caramelise into tenderly curling petals, fanned out into a burnished rose that rests on a pillowy layer of French yoghurt cake, flavouring it with apple-fragranced honey.
Little Honey Apple Cake
We made this for the first time on holiday, improvising a traditional sponge cake batter from the flour and sugar in the cupboard of the holiday home, beating by hand and measuring ingredients approximately in spoonfuls. Coming home, I wanted to recreate the cake but with a moister, more crumbly texture – the type you get when a cake incorporates yoghurt or crème fraiche. (I’ve included photos of both the half-sized holiday cake and the home cake here). The recipe for the cake layer is from the incomparable Dorie Greenspan, and acts almost like the pastry in a tarte tatin here. How appropriate that it is a relaxed French dessert!

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