Name: Jenny

Posts by Jenny:

    Favourites From The Web #5

    October 17th, 2014

    Last weekend I had the pleasure of joining a food shoot hosted by the incredibly talented Tara with her brilliant baking friend Nikoletta.  Tara is one of the most driven people I have ever met, and I feel constantly put to shame when I hear the amount of effort she puts in to achieving her dream career. She has the most beautifully curated collection of props, and a fantastic eye for style. Just check out her beautiful pinterest boards, so inspiring. Over the next few weeks I will be posting a few of the extra photos from the shoot, and of course will be sharing the recipes of the dishes I contributed.

    fig salad blog

    The changing of the seasons has sent me into a bit of a fitness mode. My summer forgotten running shoes have been dusted off and I’ve been hitting the park, enjoying glimpses of skyscrapers through the treeline. After quitting my gym when I left Canterbury, I have dabbled in a few online fitness classes, with little luck. Xbox Fitness doesn’t register properly in our city sized living room and the Youtube videos where quite frankly terrifying! When I stumbled across Blogilates I was so excited. I can actually make it to the end of her videos! I may be shaking and sweating profusely but they are actually achievable for the average girl (ok I’m probably of sub average fitness!). I really hope I can hold on to this fitness streak, I have the slightly lame ambition of being able to run to London Bridge and back before the end of winter. It will also help me work off this ton of bread from the shoot this week.

    egg muffins 1 blog

    Inspiring me this week:

    I want to do: A capsule wardrobe, Caroline from the blogging bombshell Un-Fancy’s  starter guide is so simple and clever. A spreadsheet and a giant pile of clothes and I am well on my way to my perfect fall/winter 37 items of clothing. It’s also a perfect excuse to go out a buy this and this.

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    I want to eat: This beautiful breakfast in bed from My Name Is Yeh, because not being the first one to brave the cold morning to put on the kettle is the ultimate form of winning.

    My Sweet Tooth Wants: Pretty much anything that involves cooked apples and cinnamon, I seriously cannot get enough of them! These spiced apple waffles from Vegetarian Ventures really caught my eye.

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    I want to go: Food prop shopping at Battersea (as recommended by Hemsley and Hemsley)

    This was really interesting: This guide to October produce in the UK by The Dinner Bell, it reminded me I need to make cauliflower cheese ASAP!

    fig bruchetta 1 blog

    One Year Ago: My Vietnamese Kitchen Book Launch
    Two Years Ago: Halloween Cookies

    If you liked my blog, you can also find me on:

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    garlic blog

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    Recipe: Herby Wild Mushrooms On Toast

    October 15th, 2014

    There is a cafe within hungover stumbling distance of my flat called Lazy Social. During a particularly party-filled weekend over the summer I ended up there for breakfast, head throbbing and dry-mouthed, twice in 24 hours. In part this was because I was craving their large plate of garlic and parsley butter mushrooms on sourdough, which I foolishly overlooked in favour of pancakes on the first visit. It’s not to say that I purposely went out of my way to imbibe in order to make the correct hangover brunch choice. But sometimes life presents you with opportunities and you just have to lean into them.

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    After my second breakfast there, the one I had spent the previous 24 hours obsessing over turned out to be a garlic and herb butter-devoid disappointment.  So since then I’ve made sure to keep a stock of ingredients, because even in my most incapacitated, frying a few mushrooms and tumbling them over toast is well within anyone’s grasp.

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    This version is a slight departure from my midsummer cravings, because lets face it, sometimes it’s kinder not arriving to an event surrounded by an allium haze. Most greengrocers are now stocked with the beautiful wild mushrooms that have just come into season. The earthy flavours of mushrooms pairs beautifully with woody herbs like thyme, which happens to be one of my favourites. That may have a little to do with the fact that it thrives in the UK and therefore I alway have an abundance growing on my balcony.  I love the slight tang of sourdough, but I think the flavours of the mushrooms really shine next to the nutty undertones of wholemeal bread.  This is a really fun way to use up those last few slightly stale slices from a really good quality (maybe homemade) loaf.

    mushroom toast 3 blog

    One Year Ago: My Vietnamese Kitchen Book Launch
    Two Years Ago: Halloween Cookies

    If you liked my blog, you can also find me on:

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    Herby Wild Mushrooms On Toast

    serves 2 recipe by Jennifer Brown

    Ingredients

    10 mixed wild mushrooms

    1 tbsp olive oil

    4 sprigs of thyme

    1 tbsp butter

    salt and pepper to toast

    half a ball of mozzarella

    2 thick slices of bread lightly toasted

    Instructions

    1. Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil. Clean and slice the mushrooms, and add them to the pan in a single layer making sure they are not too crowded (crowding stops them from browning properly).
    2. Shake the pan occasionally to stop the mushrooms from sticking. After 5 minutes or when they are golden brown on the underside, turn them over and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until they are brown all over.
    3. When the mushrooms are browned to your liking, add the butter to the pan and the leaves of the thyme. Using a wooden spoon stir the mushrooms until they are coated in the herby butter, for two minutes until the butter has slightly reduced. Season the mushrooms to taste.
    4. Spoon over the toast and top with torn mozzarella and serve hot.
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    Cookbook Review: The Fabulous Baker Brothers and Fresh Yeast Wholemeal Loaf

    October 6th, 2014

    My love of baking my own bread started with one book: The Fabulous Baker Brothers. Whenever I have a bread baking question it is always the first place I turn to for answers, like last weekend when I proudly returned from the Spence Bakery with a brown paper bag of fresh yeast and then realised I had no clue what to do with it; how to store it, how to use it, how long it would last.

    I picked the book up after a seeing a live cooking demonstration. Their cheeky-chappy nature and unfussy approach to ‘good old fashioned English grub’ appealed to me. Being written by a butcher and a baker it is full of classic dishes often overlooked, like homemade scotch eggs and my personal favourite: bread and butter pudding. The photography throughout is absolutely stunning, which I find all the more impressive as raw meat and bread are two of the things that I find most difficult to style. What comes through most of all is not the unpatronising manner to which they impart generations of knowledge, but their real passion for the subject of food.

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    Without this book I would not know that making my own bread at home every week is achievable, easy, delicious and cost effective. The recipe for burger buns is splattered and stained from preparation for summers of barbecues. I’ve made their simple loaf recipe so many times I know the quantities by rote. Their recipes have never failed me, and the results are always fantastic, I would unapologetically call it the most influential book in my collection, which is why, pungent paper bag in hand, I reached for the grey covered well worn copy to instruct me.

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    And so to fresh yeast. How do you use it? Basically exactly the same, but you use double the weight of fresh yeast as you would dried. Theoretically, fresh yeast gives a better flavour, but I can’t say I noticed. This is probably due to the fact that wholemeal bread has a stronger, nuttier taste than white. This weekend I will be experimenting with white flour instead, and I will let you know the results via instagram. The recipe for wholemeal bread is almost identical to white, but the dough absorbs water more easily which can make it slightly dry. The recipe recommends adding at least 10% more water (which I did) and feeling it from there. It will also need a few minutes longer kneading as it doesn’t contain the same gluten forming potential. The resulting loaf is thicker and less fluffy that a white loaf, but with far more flavour, and is particularly delicious toasted as it takes on a crunchy crust with a firm satisfying centre.

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    One Year Ago: Wholemeal Cornbread Loaf
    Two Years Ago: Canterbury Food Festival

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    Cookbook Review: The Fabulous Baker Brothers and Fresh Yeast Wholemeal Loaf

    makes a 2lb loaf from The Fabulous Baker Brothers

    Ingredients

    560g wholemeal flour

    10g fresh yeast

    330ml tepid water

    1 tsp salt

    20ml rapeseed oil

    extra oil for greasing

    Instructions

    1. In a jug mix together the 300ml of the water, yeast and oil. It will take a bit of stirring with a fork to dissolve all the yeast.
    2. In the mixing bowl of your stand mixer sift in the dry ingredients.
    3. Pour over the liquid, then use the last 30ml of tepid water to rinse any yeast stuck to the side of the jug and add that to the bowl too.
    4. Knead at a medium speed (about 4 on a KitchenAid) for 14 minutes until springy, this means that if you press into the dough to create a little dent it will slowly spring back.
    5. Remove the dough from the mixer and shape into a ball. You do this by first pinching a small section of the side of the dough, stretching it out slightly then pressing it firmly into the middle of the dough, repeat the step to the immediate side of your first, then again until you’ve worked your way all the way round. Then flip the ball over, and using gently cupped hands quickly and lightly pull your hands over the side of the dough and underneath repeatedly, rotating as you go to create a smooth ball. Oil the mixing bowl liberally and place the dough back in it. Cover with clingfilm and leave to rise for an hour.
    6. When the dough has risen stretch the dough out until you have formed a thin sheet about 1cm thick. Fold into thirds – imagine you’re folding an A4 letter to go into a standard envelope. Starting at one of the thinner ends, roll the dough towards you, using your thumbs to tightly tuck the roll so it stays taut, you don’t want any gaps in the roll.
    7. Place the loaf in a very well floured proving basket (I have this one), sprinkle with flour, cover with clingfilm and leave to rise a second time, for about an hour or until it’s doubled in size again.
    8. About 30-40 minutes in, turn your oven on as high as it will go (or about 240C) - you want it screaming hot. If you have a baking stone – I used my pizza stone – put this in the oven now too. If you’re using a regular baking tray this can be left out until you need it.
    9. 10 minutes before your dough is ready put a tray of water in the bottom of the oven to create steam.
    10. Remove the clingfilm, gently turn the loaf out onto the tray that you are using, with a sharp knife score along the top to prevent the crust for cracking, place in the oven and for and set a timer for 10 minutes.
    11. When your alarm goes off, remove the water tray from the oven and let some of the steam out, and turn the oven down to 210C, and bake for a further 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden and it sounds hollow when you knock on the bottom.
    12. Allow to cool, and keep in an airtight container to stop from going stale.
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    Recipe: Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

    October 1st, 2014

    Somewhere in my attempts of embracing the change of seasons I have become somewhat obsessed with chocolate chip cookies. There is something so cheering about shedding your winter coat as you walk through your front door and warming up with a hot cup of tea and a sugary biscuit. I’ve shared a couple of recipes for chocolate chip cookies here before (Cupcakes and Cashmere’s recipe and For Me For You’s recipe) but my recent habit has been of the rolls wrapped in metallic red plastic variety. My Maryland obsession aside, I made these cookies as a fun dessert for a comfort food-themed dinner party I hosted at the weekend. Served warm and gooey from the oven paired with cold glasses of a boozy milk-based cocktail to dunk in.

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    I’ve made a few alterations to Joy The Baker’s recipe for Brown Butter and Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies. This was based around personal preference (and what I had in my kitchen). I subbed vanilla extract for the seeds of one vanilla pod, swapped brown sugar for white caster and upped the treacle (molasses) quantity. That’s one of my favourite tiny kitchen tips, you can recreate/fake different brown sugars by adding varying amounts of treacle to white sugar until it’s about the right colour. You would not believe how much space you save not having a selection of bags of different sugars. I only have 1 ½ food cupboards, so I will take a food cheat where I can get one. Back to the recipe, I also prefer the only crunch of my chocolate chip cookie to be from the firmer outer diameter of the biscuit so I ousted the nuts and added a little more good quality dark chocolate (Tesco’s 74% Cocoa is amazing, and a really good price too).

    I learnt a few baking lessons making these cookies. Firstly halving the size of the cookie dough balls does not make smaller, cute, Maryland sized ones. It makes them thin and flat and crunchy. About 2 tbsp per serving makes the most perfect crunchy around the outside, soft and chewy on the inside biscuits. Also, they are way better the next day, rather than eaten straight away (I know this for a fact as I’m eating one as I’m writing this, the day after baking). Leaving them overnight allows the butter to cool (they are a little greasy when warm), the chocolate to set, and the overall texture to become exactly what you would hope it would be. My last lesson was not to trust my oven, which is a hard truth when you are a baker. The first batch I made came out burnt to a crisp (my smoke-filled flat will not win me hostess of the year awards!). I’ve given Joy’s timings in the recipe, but my cookies took between 5-15 minutes depending on where it was in the oven. If you’re unsure, it’s worth checking their progress about every 5 minutes until they are golden brown around the outside but still light in the middle.

    choc chip 2 blog

    One Year Ago: Madeleines
    Two Years Ago: Slutwalks and Meatmarkets

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    Recipe: Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

    makes 36 recipe by Joy The Baker

    Ingredients

    225g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature, and separated into equal halves

    1 ½ cup caster sugar

    1 tbsp treacle

    1 large egg, plus one yolk

    1 vanilla pod

    2 ¼ cups of flour

    1 tsp salt

    1 tsp baking powder

    200g good quality high cocoa % dark chocolate, chopped.

    Instructions

    1. Put half the butter into a heavy bottomed pan over a medium heat and melt. To brown the butter, keep heating it until it starts to sizzle and crackle, keeping stirring to stop the bottom from burning. The butter will start to smell richer and nutty as it browns. The butter solids will separate out, when these turn golden brown pour everything (including all the solids) into a bowl and leave to cool for 20 minutes.
    2. When the brown butter has cooled it’s time to start making the dough.
    3. Cream together one cup of sugar and the remaining half cup of butter, for about 4 minutes until it is light and fluffy and has puffed up. Add the seeds of one vanilla pod and the treacle to the bowl and continue to mix.
    4. Pour the brown butter and the rest of the sugar into the bowl and beat for a further 2 minutes, then add the eggs and beat for another minute.
    5. Add the flour, salt and baking powder to the bowl and beat until it’s combined. Using a wooden spoon stir through the chocolate. Wrap the dough tightly in clingfilm, flattening to a disk once wrapped and leave to cool in the fridge until it feels firm, about two hours.
    6. 15 minutes before you want to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 175C and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
    7. Scoop 2 tbsp portions of dough, roll into balls, and place at 2 inch intervals on the baking tray, flattening them very slightly as you lay them down.
    8. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until they are golden brown around the outside. Leave to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving, but I recommend at least 12 hours.
    9. After they have cooled to room temperature store them in an airtight container, where they will keep for a couple of days.

    Notes

    I’ve used a mix of cups and gram measurements here. Joy only uses cups, but I like the ease of measuring butter on a scale. I also omitted adding extra salt at the end, as I thought the taste of salt in the dough was strong enough.

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    Recipe: Welsh Rarebit

    September 29th, 2014

    Any day that involves Welsh rarebit from a food market is the best kind of day in my book. My sheer inability to stay indoors at the weekend (even if it is wet and/or chilly) has lead to some of the best kinds of days. Wandering around bustling food markets at lunch time, hungry and overwhelmed by choice is like crack to me. I have spent more than my fair share of weekends in that glorious state this summer.

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    The Real Food Market at Waterloo is my favourite by far. It’s a mixture of fragrant, steamy stalls, with a wide selection of cuisines and artisanal producers selling their lovingly made wares for you to take home. Not to mention that being a short stroll from the South Bank means that you can enjoy your meal overlooking the Thames whilst being serenaded by a plethora of street performers.

    I completed two full laps of the market before going with my initial gut reaction and ordering a pickle-topped slice of creamy cheese on sourdough toast from The Little Welsh Rarebit. It was crunchy and gooey, with the rich, buttery cheese cut by the sharp, miniature pickles.

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    I have a special place in my heart belly for cheese on toast, to the point where I have had to enforce a temporary embargo on it now that I spend more lunchtimes home alone – my over-consumption was bordering on a problem! My usual ‘poison’ is thin strips of strong Cheddar on thickly sliced white bread, with a side of sriracha to dip in. The Welsh rarebit I eagerly devoured at the market was made with a beer-based bechamel, flavoured with bold cheese and traditional English condiments stirred through. It was only a matter of time before I recreated the recipe in my own tiny city kitchen.

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    ^^^ welsh rarebit from the market ^^^

    One of the things I love about Hackney is there is no shortage of local producers, so in the spirit of food markets I selected ingredients from my own doorstep. For the beer I looked no further than London Fields Brewery. They make the most amazing beers and ales (Hackney Hopster is my favourite), and its bar the Tap Room is the right mix of hipster and relaxed, such that anyone can feel at home there. Whilst I should have made my own bread, I am completely addicted to the sourdough from Spence Bakery. I would buy a loaf a week if it wasn’t for my homemade bread series!

    One Year Ago: Madeleines
    Two Years Ago: Slutwalks and Meatmarkets

    rarebit 1 blog
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    Recipe: Welsh Rarebit

    serves 4 recipe by Jennifer Brown

    Ingredients

    25g butter

    25g flour

    200ml local dark beer (I used London Fields Brewery - Love Not War)

    1 tsp English mustard

    2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

    100g strong cheese (I used 50g strong Cheddar and 50g Double Gloucester)

    1 egg yolk

    8 slices of sourdough

    pickles to serve

    Instructions

    1. In a small pan warm the beer to a lukewarm temperature, this is especially important if the liquid is cold from the fridge. Return to the jug you measured the beer in.
    2. In the same (now empty) pan, melt the butter. When completely liquid add the flour and stir constantly until it goes golden brown, about one to two minutes.
    3. Add the beer to the pan, about 40ml at a time, stirring well between each addition, until completely absorbed and the sauce is smooth before adding the next splash of liquid.
    4. Stir in the mustard, Worcestershire sauce and cheese, and remove from the heat to cool slightly. Don’t worry if the cheese doesn’t completely melt, it will when it’s grilled.
    5. Whilst the sauce is cooling toast the sour dough bread on both side.
    6. Once the sauce is lukewarm stir through an egg yolk, the temperature can be above room temperature but you want it cool enough that it won’t cook the egg at this point.
    7. Spoon the rarebit sauce over the bread and return to under the grill until golden brown.
    8. Serve hot with pickles on the side.
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    Favourites From Around The Web #4

    September 26th, 2014

    Thank you everyone for your kind words about my blog redesign. I always think of web design like cooking, something I stumble through with a lot of help from this internet, that when right gives me real pride and a sense of accomplishment. It’s been almost a month since I last wrote one of these posts, but what a month. I met one of my heros, worked on a commercial with Hemsley and Hemsley (who were two of the most grounded and sweetest people I have met), and was in front of the camera for the first time making a loaf of brioche. Also, I got to help out behind the scenes of a Guardian Cook shoot a couple of weeks ago, seeing something I helped make as the front cover was the best feeling!

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    Apart from getting fully on board with baking with a lot of apples and cinnamon I have been completely rejecting the idea that it is officially Autumn. Which culminated in my freezing my **** off walking round Shoreditch yesterday without a coat. It’s official, it’s here, and I am going wooly jumper shopping as soon as I can brave Westfields again (but I might get pizza again so maybe it’s ok).

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    Tomorrow I am having a few friends over to indulge in the best of Autumnal fair, my boyfriends legendary mac and cheese (the secret is Sainsbury’s macaroni and a lot of chorizo). For dessert I am serving cherry crumble pie (recipe next week), inspired by the delicious dessert served at Rosie’s #alotonherplate supperclub at the Paradise.

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    This week:

    I am going to do: this beautiful gold moon tutorial from A Beautiful Mess, though on a canvas as I’m not sure my landlord would be all that pleased about me attacking one of the walls with gold acrylic. Dan’s dissertation was on the effect of tiny high velocity meteors on the moon’s surface, so it’s nice to have a little reminder of his astrophysic interests as we walk through our front door.

    I want to eat: orange, carrot, ginger, miso sauce from The Muffin Myth. Eating enough vegetables is so much harder in the winter months, all I want usually is potatoes and pasta. Last year I started experimenting with hot vegetable dressings (I like to think of them as warm winter salads). I can’t wait to add this one to my repatoire.

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    With this for dessert: I’ve only had pecan pie once or twice, and it something I have wanted to try my hand at at some point. I am completely sold on Warm Vanilla Sugar’s dark chocolate and bourbon version, doesn’t it just sound delicious!

    I want to go: out on my bike! I have not gone out on it in months, so first thing tomorrow morning I am going to (literally) dust it off and head over to Newington Green Grocer to pick up supplies for the dinner I am hosting and then see where the wind (and my bravery take me!)

    This was really interesting: I met Rachel last week whilst working at the first #leisurefeast supper club. It was a really fun, but long day filming(14 hours start to finish) so it was interesting to read her review of attending.

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    Foodie recommendation of the week: The Diner’s hanger fries, shoestring fries with fried onions, melted cheese and burger sauce, so so bad but literally the best.

    If you liked my blog, you can also find me on:

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    Recipe: Fig and Goats Cheese Salad

    September 22nd, 2014

    Today I am so excited to show you the new redesign of BAKE, and to share with you one of my favourite autumnal salads packed with delicious fig and goats cheese. This redesign has been a long time coming, and there were definitely moments when I questioned my sanity over not hiring someone else to do it for me. Particularly the dark moment where I convinced myself that I had taken down the whole internet after installing a plugin – my penchant for overreaction is multiplied by being home alone. I am not entirely sure I will ever get my head around SEO and you will have to forgive me whilst I finish up a few bits, but I just couldn’t wait to share the new improved site with you! A few new features include simpler to navigate recipe categories and indexes, easier access to my vegetarian and vegan content and links to some of my favourite blogs to go to for inspiration.

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    On the topic of inspiration, I cannot get enough of the beautiful deep purple figs that have just come into season. They crop up on my instagram feed nearly every day, and with good reason. Not only are they so pretty and absolutely delicious, they are also high in potassium which among other things helps to lower blood pressure. Stepping away from my normal culinary reaction to fruit, which would be to bake it into a crumble or sandwich it between two sponges, I decided to make a Mediterranean style salad with the glut of fruit I bought from my corner shop.

    Cookies and Kate wrote that when she planned salads she liked them to ‘have something crunchy, sweet, salty, creamy and citrusy’. That idea has stuck with me all summer, sweet, savoury, tart, bitter, creamy, chewy, crunchy, salty. The best salads are perfect balance between flavours and textures. I have experimented a few times throughout the warmer months with this idea, with abundance bowls, panzanella and massaged kale salads, but this fig and goats cheese salad is the best yet (even if I do say so myself).

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    The combination of figs, goats cheese and lemon takes me back to sitting in the dry warm air looking out over the crystal clear waters of southern Greece. The tart acidity of the citrus cuts through the richness of the cheese. The slight bitterness of the walnuts heightens the sweetness of the fruit. Whilst this salad would make a fantastic side dish (I can’t wait to whip it out next time I invite people round for dinner) it also makes a brilliant main dish when served with thick chunks of crusty bread. It’s a delicious way to enjoy the some of the best of autumnal produce during this last warm days of the year.

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    Previously on BAKE

    One Year Ago- Steamed Buns
    Two Years Ago- Homemade Custard - it’s easier than you think!

    Fig and Goats Cheese Salad

    serves 2 recipe by Jennifer Brown

    Ingredients

    for the dressing:

    4 tbsp good quality olive oil

    2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

    1 tbsp honey

    pinch of salt and pepper

    for the salad:

    50 g soft goats cheese

    2 ripe figs

    2 handfuls of pea shoots (available at Waitrose and some farm shops) or watercress

    20g shelled walnuts

    Instructions

    1. To make the dressing put all the ingredients in a clean jar with a lid and shake until the oil emulsifies (the dressing goes cloudy). If it starts to separate out give another quick shake before serving. If you don’t have a jar you can whisk the dressing in a bowl/jug with a fork.
    2. To make the salad, cut the figs into eighths, break the goats cheese into small chunks and toss both together with the pea shoots and walnuts. Pour the dressing over the salad just before serving.
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    Recipe: Spiced Brioche French Toast

    September 3rd, 2014

    This week I learnt that brioche makes the best french toast! My brunches will never be the same again. If I’m being completely honest I was never much of fan french toast. It’s not that I didn’t like it, but it always the poor relative of my favourite stack of thick american style pancakes. I have tried several versions in my quest to find out what all the french toast fuss was about, trying different toppings, or veering away from the tradition white loaf to sourdough or challah. The latter was the most enjoyable of my attempts – who am I kidding, the whole experiment was pretty tasty, but it was more of a cheeky flirt than having my heart.

    That was until I had an entire loaf of brioche at my disposal, and not much of a clue what to do with it. Brioche is the perfect texture for french toast. It’s fluffy texture absorbs the simple custard like a sponge. When cooked, the outside forms as crisp crust, whilst the inside stays soft and fluffy. I am in love. I made this twice in less that a day, it is just that good.

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    Cinnamon is one of my favourite spices to add to anything egg based, they just work so well together. I have kept the quantity low, so it’s more of a background note which allows the fresh fruit to really shine. Stepping away from the indulgent I swapped cream for greek yoghurt, which I love to pair with honey, though maple syrup would also work. The rest of the loaf has been sliced and stored in the freezer (it keeps this way surprising well) ready for all the autumnal variations of brioche french toast my excited imagination has been conjuring up since I took that first bite.

    Previously on BAKE

    One Year Ago- My Favourite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
    Two Years Ago- Greek Basil and Walnut Pesto

    french toast 3

    Spiced Brioche French Toast

    serves 2 recipe by Jennifer Brown

    Ingredients

    2 thick slices of brioche

    2 eggs

    2 tbsp milk

    1 tsp vanilla extract

    1 tsp cinnamon

    2 tsp coconut oil (or flavourless oil)

    2 tbsp honey

    125ml greek or live yoghurt

    1 nectarine, stoned and sliced

    80g blueberries

    Instructions

    1. In a wide shallow bowl or tray (I like to use a pasta bowl) beat together the eggs, milk and spice.
    2. Heat half the oil in a pan to a medium heat, and put the oven on at 120C.
    3. Dip on slice of the bread in the egg mix making sure to coat both sides well. Gently lie in the pan. Fry for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Carefully flip the bread over and cook for 3-4 minutes on the second side.
    4. Place on a plate in the oven to keep warm, and repeat with the second slice.
    5. Serve hot with fruit, honey and yoghurt.
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    Homemade Bread Series: Brioche Loaf

    September 1st, 2014

    This is the second installment in my new series about the wonder of homemade bread (you can read the first post on black olive bread here). Wonderful golden fluffy brioche, enriched with egg and in vogue bun for burgers. Brioche has pushed me to my limits on more than one occasion. The first time was not long after my 23rd birthday, on a whim Dan and I planned a trip to Paris, neither of us had ever been before. I was fresh out of art school was dying to see the Andy Warhol retrospective at the Grande Palais.

    bread 2 blog

    Our mild grasps of GSCE level French had served us well, and thankfully most people we had encountered spoke at least a little english. Until one morning, with my Parisian food bucket list firmly in my mind, we set out to a tiny bakery across the road from our hotel to buy freshly baked brioche. Gleaming orbs of fluffy light bread topped heavily with sugar or oozing with chocolate, sat behind the window, nestled between croissants and pain au chocolat. In my best (yet still horrific) french accent I asked ‘Je voudrais deux brioche s’il vous plaît’ to which the baker asked me several probably completely normal questions about my request in perfect and eloquent French. To this day I still have no real idea what he said. Clutching firmly to the thought that I might have heard the word sugar I nervously replied ‘avec du sucre?’. After what felt like the longest wait, where I was sure I had just said something completely idiotic, which had me questioning how I’d ever passed any language exams, the baker lent down behind the counter and popped two immaculate rolls into a bag.

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    ^^^ looking fresh faced outside Notre Dame ^^^

    I would love to be able to speak a second language but no matter how many times I try, anything I learn falls out of my head faster than it entered. In comparison to making myself understood to someone who doesn’t share a language with you, this loaf is a cake walk. It is very similar to a normal white loaf, but with the addition of an egg. The result is a fluffy rich bread, that makes the best french toast – recipe to follow later this week!

    Previously on BAKE

    One Year Ago- My Favourite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
    Two Years Ago- Greek Basil and Walnut Pesto

    bread 3 blog

    Brioche Loaf

    makes a 2lb loaf recipe by Jennifer Brown

    Ingredients

    50ml boiling water

    150ml tap water

    50ml milk

    2 tbsp caster sugar

    1 sachet/7g fast action yeast

    420g strong white flour plus extra for lining the tin

    40g plain flour

    3 tbsp olive oil

    1 egg beaten

    flavourless oil for greasing the bowl

    Instructions

    1. Stir together the hot and cold water with the milk and sugar, then stir in the yeast. If you add the yeast first the hot water can kill it, which will stop your bread from rising and leave you with something inedible. Leave this to one side for about five minutes until it begins to foam.
    2. Tip the flours and salt into a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment on, and stir on low for about 10 seconds, just to enough to combine the ingredients.
    3. Pour the yeast mix, oil and egg into the mixing bowl and mix at a medium speed (I use 6 on my KitchenAid) for 10 minutes, until it forms an elastic dough that springs back when you press it.
    4. Grease a large mixing bowl ready to prove the loaf in.
    5. This is a very wet dough so it’s worth greasing your hands with flavourless oil when you handle it or it will stick to you. Remove the dough from the stand mixer and roughly shape into a ball. Place it in the greased mixing bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave in a warm place for a hour to rise.
    6. When the dough has risen (this is the tricky bit to explain!) stretch the dough out until you have formed a thin sheet about 1cm thick. Fold into thirds - imagine you’re folding an A4 letter to go into a standard envelope. Starting at one of the thinner ends, roll the dough towards you, using your thumbs to tightly tuck the roll so it stays taut, you don’t want any gaps in the roll.
    7. Place the loaf in the tin, sprinkle with flour, cover with clingfilm and leave to rise a second time, for about an hour or until it’s doubled in size again.
    8. Preheat the oven to 200C and place a tray of water in the bottom of the oven, the steam helps to create the best crust.
    9. Place the loaf in the oven for 10 minutes. After the time has elapsed turn the oven down to 160C and bake for a further 20 minutes. When cooked the loaf should sound hollow when you tap on the base. If the top starts to catch during cooking (which mine did in my super dodgy oven) cover with foil when it starts to look like it’s about to burn, and leave covered in the oven until it’s finished cooking.
    10. Remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire baking tray. If you leave it in the tin it can end up going soggy as the steam escapes.
    11. Enjoy with soft cheeses and sweet berries, or as the best french toast - recipe to follow on Wednesday.
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