Pecan biscuits

I know, it’s been a while (or should I say ages) since my last blog post.
I’ve been so busy in the last couple of months, I didn’t have any time to write. The other reason is that I’m always quite strict about the sort of recipes that I share, they have to be really good ones that I love, not just some random stuff that I thought was ok.

I have been baking a lot since my last post but none of the stuff I made blew my mind. Until… The pecan biscuits.

I’ve had a bit of a love/hate relationship with pecan nuts. I seem to have a massive ideal in my mind about how they’re going to taste like, mainly because when I was a teenager, I wasn’t really allowed to buy any because they’re so expensive.
They became a sort of luxury baking product to me. The thing is that my “pecan bakes” never taste as good as I thought they would. Until…

The pecan biscuits recipe:

For about 15 biscuits/cookies, you’ll need:

– 115g of butter
– 75g of sugar
– 130g of plain flour
– 100g of finely chopped pecan nuts

Cream butter and sugar together until light and pale. Add the flour and nuts.

Refrigirate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven at 170C.

Shape balls with the dough and place on your baking sheet or tray, lined with baking paper.

Bake for about 15 minutes until the base of the biscuit starts to go brown.

You could eat them as they are or roll them in icing sugar.

Wait until cool before eating.

They’re really buttery and subtly nutty. Very crumbly too. I would say quite similar to a shortbread but 10 times better.

Mylène

Chocolate & chilli bread

For the chocolate week, I wanted to make something savoury with chocolate.

Sadly, most of the dishes I found that use chocolate as savoury weren’t vegetarian, so I thought of bread.

This chilli and chocolate bread can be used as savoury or sweet.
I chopped my chocolate so fine that you don’t get big chunks of it that are really sweet. I also used very dark chocolate.

This bread is not too hot at all, it makes the chilli stand out but doesn’t overpower the whole thing.

For a big loaf, you’ll need:

– 500g of strong flour
– 10g of salt
– 12g of dried yeast
– a splash of olive oil
– 340ml of water
– 1 tsp of flaked dried chilli
– 2 tbsp of very finely chopped chocolate

Put the flour, salt, chillies and yeast into a bowl and mix well.

Add the oil and water and knead for about 10min until smooth and elastic.

Add the chocolate and knead for another 2min.

Put the dough in a floured bowl, cover it with cling film and leave it to raise for an hour.

Put the raised dough on your work top and knead it for a minute to knock the air out.

Shape your bread as desired; I usually make mine plaited.
Put the bread on a baking sheet, cover it with a tea towel and leave for an other hour.

Preheat the oven to 200°C, egg-wash the bread if you want and cook it for 25min or until golden brown.

Eat toasted with butter, jam, cheese or just as it is.

finished loaf

Mylène

Focaccia mon amour…

Since I arrived in UK, I noticed all the Italian food you can find in the supermarkets here; we don’t get the chance to get it in France. I was surprised to see Italian breads, sauces, risotto… Italian food is so popular over here. I then realized I didn’t even know half of the Italian famous dishes.

Anyway, I discovered the existence of focaccia on a food programe on TV.  It looked amazing and I couldn’t wait to try it.

Obviously, the focaccia has to be thin and not thick like you usually find them in England. The dough is very very wet so it makes the kneading quit unusual but not bad at all, I actually enjoyed doing it.

My focaccia was really nice, light and very tasty. It didn’t last very long  at all, it’s very moreish. So for my very first one, it was a success. It was very easy to make so if you fancy making it, don’t hesitate and give it a go!

You’ll need:

–  500g of strong white flour
–  7g of fast action yeast
–  3 table spoons of olive oil plus more for kneading and topping
–  400ml of cool water
–  10g of salt

Mix together the flour, yeast, salt, olive oil and half of the water. Add the rest of the water a bit at a time.

You will soon think you need to add flour but don’t, it would be a big mistake.

Knead this wet dough for 5 minutes. Oil your worktop with olive oil and put the dough on it. Knead it a bit more and put it in a oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave it at room temperature for an hour.

Then pour the dough in two medium tins, covered with oiled baking paper. Press it gently to take the shape of the tin or tray. If your fingers stick to the dough, just put a bit more oil. Leave it at room temperature for an hour, without cover.

Preheat your oven at 220°C. Press gently your focaccia with the tip of your fingers to make little holes. Sprinkle with salt, rosemary, thyme… You can put garlic, olives…

Put in the oven for 20 min or until golden. Drizzle with virgin olive oil and serve warm with feta cheese, olives, dried tomatoes,… I personally love it on its own.

Absolutely delicious!