I dedicated the whole day yesterday to making kouign-amann (pronounced ‘queen-a-mahn’). This delectable pastry is a French specialty, more specifically, from Brittany. I knew it had to be a tough cookie to crack because of it’s many delicate, flaky layers. I came across a detailed step by step version of how to make kouign-amann in the 04/14 edition of the ‘Bon Appétit’ magazine. They had it down as a project and a project it is, given the amount of time you have to put in. It’s been at the back of my mind ever since and a recent article in the New Yorker about pastries made me want to dive into this project head long.
You can tell from the title that this is definitely not a post for a seasonal recipe. It’d be quite difficult to find a bag of fresh cherries now in the middle of September. This is simply a reminder of summer (not that it’s any cooler here in California than it was a couple of months ago) and a lazy afternoon spent creating something delicious in the kitchen.
I have always wanted to make a braided loaf of bread – those shiny knots are so beautiful and appealing. As with any kind of home made bread, this requires an investment of a few hours. Which is why it is only quite recently that I tried out a challah bread recipe I found on The Kitchn. It turned out so well and was such a hit with my bread loving husband that I had to make it again. This time I was determined to take a few pictures and share it here. In my naivety, I thought that sharing a traditional kosher challah recipe would be perfect for the occasion of Passover that’s coming up.
As far as food trends go, coconut oil has been in the news for only a little while now. It has been touted as a miracle worker – good for your skin, hair and health too. I find it slightly amusing because where my family comes from, coconut oil is a commonplace ingredient. It is used not only in cooking but also as a natural moisturiser. As kids, we were forced to slather ourselves in the oil from head to toe, including our hair, before every shower.
I am happy that with the newfound glory of coconut oil, I can find it in any ordinary supermarket. If you have ever wondered what to use this very nutty flavoured oil for, then make this chocolate cake and you’ll be hooked. Did I already mention that it is also great for your skin and hair?
I’ve been going through some of my favourite cookbooks and marking new recipes to try out. One such book that I remember buying with much anticipation was ‘Good to the Grain’ by Kim Boyce. Since I’d only ever tried one of it’s many fabulous recipes, it was time to experiment with many more of the wonderful baked goods this book has to offer. This book shows you how to incorporate whole grain flours into everyday baking making it easier to enjoy treats guilt free.