Jan 29, 2010


Without a doubt one of my favourite cuisines has got to be Indian. A few years back I used to hop over to London very regularly and because there is a big Indian community there, I must say I have a lot of delicious memories at some fantastic Indian restaurants (here in Paris on the other hand, it's much more difficult to find a good Indian restaurant!) And of course, what is a meal at an Indian restaurant without naans on the table... those addictive soft buttery flatbreads delicious plain, and maybe even more when oozing with melted cheese or jazzed up with garlic, coriander, or chilli... mmmmm!

So until now I thought the only moments in my life where I could enjoy a naan would be when I eat out (or the day I finally get to visit India!!), but last weekend I decided this would not be my fate! The thing is, there is something so intimidating about naans that I've never dared to make them from scratch, but with some courage, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work.

The recipe I used was the one featured in this month's Elle à table (a French culinary magazine).
However being the research freak I am, there was no way I was going to rely on just a piece of paper with a recipe written on it. Just to make sure this first attempt wouldnt be a fail, I spent almost my entire afternoon youtube-ing videos on naan recipes, just to make sure I get the technique right. So after hours in front of my computer screen, I took a deep breath and headed to the kitchen... and here's what happened:

Mixing all the ingredients...

Rolling out the dough:

Made some with cheese, and sprinkled them with sesame seeds:

And off goes a cheese naan onto the pan!
Close-up with the cheese oozing out, yum!

Here's what happens with plain naans:

Then it gets bubbly:

And with each naan you make, more and more bubblies and pouffies in different shapes:

Flip it over to the other side:

And here is your naan, ready to enjoy!

Recipe for Naans (from Elle à table, Jan/Feb 2010 edition):
The recipe reads for 4 servings- from my experience this made about 10 medium sized naans

300g flour
1 egg
1 yoghurt
1 tablespoon neutral oil (I guess they were referring to the acidity of the oil, I used sunflower)
4gr yeast
La Vache Qui Rit type cheese (optional)
Butter for glazing at the end
+ Oil for the pan (not in recipe, but I recommend)

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients except the cheese and butter. Knead dough until it becomes supple (you can gradually add some warm water to obtain this texture). Leave to rest for 15 mins. Break out a tennis-ball size portion of the dough and roll-out on a floured surface- the thickness of the dough should be about 3mm thick. If you want to add some cheese, spread it at this point and close the naan by folding it in half and sealing sides together. Heat up a pan on a medium/high heat. The pan should preferably be very lightly brushed with some oil. Once heated, place a naan and flip it onto each side every 1 minute- you will have to just stay close and observe to know when it's ready. Remove from pan and brush with butter. Enjoy!

P.S: the recipe reads that after kneading the dough, you should leave it rest for 15mins- I left my dough out for 3 hours. From the research I did, it seemed better if you leave it out longer.
P.P.S: If you wish to add toppings (like sesame seeds, chopped coriander, etc) and it doesnt stick on the rolled out dough easily, you can use a rolling pin and very very lightly roll it over the dough (already topped off with your seasoning of choice) so that the seasoning "sticks" on the dough
P.P.P.S: when you place the naans on the pan, it will form voluminous bubbles, just tap it down with a large flat spoon or knife to then flip it on the other side.

Jan 26, 2010


And so here we go- more cookies. Sweet buttery goodness, cute innocent shaped sables made from a fantastic base recipe that can lead to infinite variations. I went for orange-poppy seeds & caramel-with-a-pinch-of-salt.

Nothing better then a sable with a cuppa tea to comfort us throughout this unbearable winter cold....

Creamy butter with chunky orange zest... sinful, so wrong but so good!

Finally- the poppy seeds I brought back from Budapest came to use! (did I tell you that poppy seeds were all over the place in Budapest?)

I like that the orange zest was chunky

DONE! Fragrant crunchy delicious orange-poppy seed sables!

That's not it... at 2 in the morning (yes you read right- 2 in the morning!) I went down to the kitchen and got back to baking- salted caramel this time! Afterhours baking is the best :)

Base recipe for sables- just 3 ingredients & no eggs!
makes approx 20 sables

180g butter, softened
80g icing sugar
300g flour

Preheat oven to 160C
Whisk butter with icing sugar until creamy. Add the flour until crumbly, then mix by hand to form a consistent cookie dough texture. Roll out, cut out shapes and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15 mins. Remove and let cool.

For orange-poppy seed:
add 2 teaspoons of orange zest into the butter & sugar.
add 1 tablespoon of poppy seeds with the flour

For caramel-with-a-pinch-of-salt:
add 3 tablespoons of caramel sauce into the butter & sugar
add 1/2 teaspoon salt with the flour (taste if you feel you want more saltiness)

Jan 25, 2010


So lately I have been going through a total cookies baking phase. Actually to tell you the truth, if there is one thing I'm not so great at, it's baking cookies...even though at first they appear to be the easiest things to make, but from my experience they are the trickiest.

Anyway, so I guess you can say I've been "practicing" a lot lately, and one successful experience I've recently had was making homemade Digestives! Yes indeed, I'm talking about making the famous treats that the UK has blessed the world with- the totally addictive McVitie's Digestive biscuits from scratch! 

After some intense Googling, I came across a recipe which worked out beautifully. The end result was fantastic, very close to the store-bought version. This is a recipe you do not want to lose. I'm keeping mine safe, hidden under the bed mattress.

First things first- weigh out the oats and grind them in a mixer
After having mixed in all the ingredients, your dough is ready.
And after a couple of minutes of baking... glorious "Digestive Biscuits" ready for some tea-dunking action.


Recipe for Digestive biscuits (from Pascale Weeks)
Makes 18 biscuits

100gr wholegrain flour
100gr oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
50gr brown sugar
100gr salted butter, softened
2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Place oats in a mixer and grind until powdery texture is obtained. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Then add the butter and mix until crumbly. Add the milk and mix dough so it is no longer crumbly but a bit more firm. Form a ball and place in fridge for 15 minutes. Then take out dough, spread out to 3mm thickness and cut out 6cm diameter circles. Bake for 15 minutes, take out and let cool.

Sweetness: for some, the result may not be sweet enough- you can increase the sugar to 80gr.
Chilling the dough: When the recipe says place the dough in fridge for 15mins, it really means 15mins! I accidentally left mine in for an hour and it came out ROCK HARD.
Chocolate Coating: Next time I'll make these again but coat one side of the biscuit with chocolate. Can't wait to dunk those in a glass of milk! mmmmm!