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Pita bread

1 Oct

pita bread

Despite doing a science degree at university (or maybe because of it), I find regular moments of magic in cooking.

Egg whites stiffening into peaks, eggs and oil transforming themselves into mayonnaise, sugar melting into caramel – these things bring me genuine, uncomplicated pleasure.

Watching pita breads blowing themselves up like little balloons through the glass door of the oven is another one.

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Turkish bread

29 Jul

Persian naan

Whenever I eat in a Turkish restaurant, I resolve not to stuff myself with Turkish bread and dips leaving no room for my main course. And invariably fail…

The bread is fresh, warm and pillowy soft, the dips so creamy, garlicky, and moreish, it’s almost impossible to resist.

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Cornish pasties

13 Jul

Cornish pasties

I’ve gone for Cornish pasties to represent England in this year’s World Cup cook-off.

Yes, it’s a shameless crowd-pleaser, but I suspect that England needs all the help it can get – both in the kitchen and on the pitch.

Strictly speaking, if it’s not made in Cornwall, it’s not a Cornish pasty.

But if I’d made these in Penzance instead of London, I think they might pass muster.  Continue reading

Fainá

12 Jul

faina

Fainá is a thick pancake (or flatbread) made of chickpea flour – and not much else.

It’s baked in a pizza pan in a hot oven, emerging crispy on the outside with an eggy-creamy interior.

Apparently, Uruguayans like to top their pizza slices with a wedge of fainá.
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Basler leckerli

10 Jul

basler leckerli

There’s something gingerbready about basler leckerli – despite the absence of ginger. And something Christmassy too, with the cloves, nutmeg and mixed peel.

So they weren’t my first choice for our World Cup cook-off, but the thought of eating cheese fondue in the sweltering heat tipped it in their favour.

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Kanelbullar (cinnamon rolls)

7 Jul

Swedish kanelbullar are more wholesome than the Canadian cinnamon buns I grew up with –  smaller, more bready, less sticky and sickly-sweet.

I was surprised at how well the citrusy cardamom stood its ground against the cinnamon sugar. All in all, a very satisfying thing to eat.

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Tarte tropézienne

6 Jul

tarte tropezienne

I first discovered the marvellous tarte tropézienne on a family holiday in Provence.

Queueing in the local bakery, I noticed several of the customers ahead of me were choosing what looked like a large, cream-filled hamburger bun.

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