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!


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.


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

Paris! The first extract from my diaries…

The difference between French and English food is frankly astonishing and yes, slightly unfair. I’m not talking about the high end, Michelin-star restaurant food because obviously, that will be delicious wherever you are; I am talking about the day to day general food that is available to all. Admittedly, I was in Paris so the standard of food should be good for the food capital of the world but even if you compare it to London, the food is still of a significantly better quality in France. In London, you find street vendors frying burgers and sausages that will inevitably give you a stomachache the following day but in France, I casually walked past a street vendor, fully intending to ignore it completely, only to find that he was cooking pizzas in a proper wood burning oven…in a van; how incredible is that?

Not having been to Paris for almost ten years, I’d forgotten just how much I love the atmosphere, culture and, of course, the food. I had the best pain au chocolat I have ever tasted on this trip and I didn’t pay 6 euros for it in a fancy patisserie… oh no, I paid just over a euro for it in the train station. This was another revelation of mine; pain au chocolat noisette. It was essentially a pain au chocolat with nutella inside it and topped with chocolate nibs and roasted hazelnuts, so simple yet so delicious. I am baffled as to why the English have not adopted this, given our obsession with nutella, but I will definitely be attempting a similar recipe at some point in the future.

I went to Disneyland for a couple of the days and after becoming very fed up of the food on offer, I went to a French supermarket on my way back to the hotel and bought cup a soup, bread and soft goats’ cheese for my dinner; what a difference it was to those same ingredients in England. The cup a soup tasted like real soup rather than boiled water, the bread was delicious and the goats’ cheese was the best I’ve ever had and it only cost me a euro. Now tell me, how can the French get such amazing day to day food when we have to go our of our way to farmer’s markets?

The trip to Paris was truly incredible and I have been so inspired to try out new flavours and new recipes (more on those to come!) but one of the best things I tried was ravioles. Not ravioli but raviole du Dauphine; a French version of the traditional ravioli that consists of small squares of pasta encasing three types of cheese, egg and parsley and then boiled or sauteed in butter. I had them in a pumpkin cream soup and it was so utterly delicious that I could have had three courses of this and been more than happy. If you ever have the opportunity to try these, do! You will not regret it.

I’ve inserted a photograph of the view from my hotel room just to tempt you all to read my next post, where I will be reviewing all of the patisseries I visited! Look out for that as it will be coming very soon!