Ravioles and ratatouille and Paul Hollywood’s Bread!

Quite a lot of baking and cooking has been occurring in my household lately but I haven’t had time to post about it so you shall get an influx of baking goodness now! Ever since going to Paris in November, I have been obsessed with the notion of ravioles…not ravioli but ravioles. If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll know what they are, but for the benefit of those who haven’t, I shall briefly explain. Ravioles and much like Italian ravioli but are much smaller and are French. I had the simple cheese and herb versions in a pumpkin cream soup and they were heaven. Thin, buttery pasta encasing melted cheese in a soup so silky that it would be perfection by itself. Sufficed to say, I needed to have them again. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find ready made ravioles anywhere other than ordering them online from ocado, which unfortunately I cannot do. My only option it seemed was to try making them myself…without a pasta maker or a ravioles mould – that was interesting. The recipe and some interesting information about ravioles can be found here. I managed to get the pasta fairly thin with a rolling pin but due to the lack of a proper mould, my ravioles turned out fairly large. I paired them with a nice ratatouille stew (another obsession of mine since the Pixar film and again, Paris) and they were such a good combination! Although large, the recipe was good so I will be trying these again but hopefully, I’ll be able to find a ravioles mould and make them the proper size! I think I would also add more gruyere to the filling as I love the taste of cheese and don’t think you can have enough of it!

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Paul Hollywood has recently started a new series on the BBC called ‘Bread’ and I found this week’s episode really interesting! He made a classic bloomer, which he then layered Mediterranean vegetables and mozzarella in, which sounded delicious! He also made malt loaf and an ale bread. The program didn’t just include recipes either; Paul looked into the history  of breads and the manufacture of flours as well but in a really interesting way. The recipe that caught my eye the most was the rye and ale bread so I attempted it. The recipe can be found here. It was really simple to make and was the perfect accompaniment to a chicken casserole on a cold night as the blizzard continued outside my window. I couldn’t taste the ale as much as I wanted to so the predominant flavour was rye but having not had a rye bread before, it was a new flavour and I really enjoyed it. To me, it was like a more dense and richer version of brown bread. Just as Paul suggests, I think it would be perfect with cheese in a ploughman’s lunch with an accompanying ale. The whole program was incredibly enticing and I’d quite like to make all of the recipes included.

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For a taster of what’s to come… I’ve been making lots of puddings lately…

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It’s snowing! (On WordPress at least…) and the Good Food Show!

I turned on my blog this morning to find small white circles falling down my screen and confusion ensued! What could they be? Is my computer going wrong? But no! The circles kept coming and I realised that they must be snow! This, combined with opening a chocolate advent calendar, clearly means it’s nearly Christmas! How exciting, I know!

On Saturday, I went to the winter BBC Good Food Show, which of course made me feel even more Christmassy! I’m a firm believer that the Good Food Show is always a brilliant day out; you get to meet some of your favourite chefs, sample products you wouldn’t normally know about and generally just have a good day entirely about food. However, it always astounds me that there is a severe lack of GOOD food to eat for your lunch. Sure, you could queue up for twenty minutes to buy a pork bap for double the price that you would at your local village fete but the alternatives are even worse. I thought I would be fairly safe going to the Good Food show stand but how wrong was I? I had a burnt rosti-topped fish pie that tasted of nothing but black pepper, which made me choke. I followed it with an apple flapjack crumble that mainly tasted of the whole cloves that I found scattered all over it. Sufficed to say, I was not happy and had to take the food back. Now, I know it’s not the Good Food show’s fault as they hired outside caterers but frankly, I wouldn’t hire the company again.

Anyway, that’s enough on the bad points because the good points far outweigh them! I got to see Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood, Shelina Permaloo and Jo Wheatley cooking. The highlight however was watching John Whaite, the winner of this year’s Great British Bake Off, demonstrate cooking his festive sticky toffee pudding. He was so natural, didn’t seem nervous and was just so lovely. If he doesn’t have his own television show within the next year, then TV producers are missing a trick! I’m really glad that I managed to speak to him but I’d have liked to have had a proper chat with him. He’s really inspired me further to apply for the Great British Bake Off this year…what do you guys think?

Anyway, I got a few treats to try at the Good Food show (all of the baking persuasion of course) and when I’ve sampled them all, I will be posting my verdict! If you haven’t been to the Good Food show yet, then you should definitely give it a go; it’s a great day out for all the family (and no I don’t work for them!)