Homework #2 – The Great Grain Muffin

I absolutely adore the fat, gumpy lord Ganesha and I welcome him each year with much festivity. But, a day and half of non-stop laddoos make me want to reach out to something far less decadent for the next few days. I needed something to get me out of my sugar slump!

These muffins are beautiful and wholesome with 3-4 different grains, some butter milk and heaps of nuts and dried fruits. The cornmeal gives a nice bite to this and if you are not making it immediately after indulgent few days I’d suggest you add some dark choco chips to this.

Note: When using butter milk make sure it’s at room temperature. Also, make sure your oven is pre-heated to 160 degrees C and your muffin tray is generously buttered!

Put the coffee to brew while these bake!

Great Grain Muffin

Great Grain Muffin

The Great Grain Muffin
Recipe type: Bake
Cuisine: English
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 Large
 
Ingredients
  • 125 gms flour
  • 50 gms whole wheat flour
  • 40 gms yellow cornmeal
  • 30 gms oats
  • 40 gms sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 140 ml butter milk
  • 75 gms honey
  • 100 gms butter melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 gms dried fruit (raisins/apricots/cranberries go best) and chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180.
  2. Lightly grease the cups of a standard muffin pan or line with paper baking cups.
  3. In a largish bowl mix together cornmeal, flour, wholewheat, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda.
  4. In another bowl mix the buttermilk, honey, eggs, melted butter.
  5. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dried ingredients and with a whisk or a spatula blend them together. It will appear lumpy but don’t worry about that.
  6. Add the dried fruit or nuts or chocolate
  7. Divide the batter into muffin moulds and bake for 18-20 minutes

My French Encounter

“…you’ll have to fall in love at least once in your life, or Paris has failed to rub off on you.”

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E.A. Bucchianeri has summed up Paris perfectly in Brushstrokes of a Gadfly; every bit of it is true.

”For there is no other city where you can step out of a railway station (the Gare D’Orsay) and see, simultaneously, the Seine with its bridges and bookstalls, the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Tuileries Gardens, the Place de la Concorde, the beginning of the Champs Elysees – nearly everything except the Luxembourg Gardens and the Palais Royal. But what other city offers as much as you leave a train?”

I have always loved Paris, when I first visited way back in 1999 – my first ever trip – and the times afterwards. But, I got this chance to live in Paris when I enrolled in what I consider the best Pastry schools in the world – Le Cordon Bleu Paris. I rented an enchanting apartment at Rue Daguerre, which overlooked a florist right from my kitchen window and had bustling cafes and patisseries and charcuteries in the vicinity. On weekends this street would turn into a farmers’ market and it was glorious!

 

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I took the metro to school and back every day and took every opportunity of easy school days (there weren’t too many of them) to explore the city; every bit of it.

Paris is a gastronomic delight; it’s a feast for the eyes and seeped in beauty and culture at every corner. I tried walking as much as I could for I knew that every street offered me something new.

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I am sure you will find many poetic write-ups on the city on the web but here is where I ate and drank and bought Pastry tools and ran away to on weekends.

When in Paris

Eat at…
AuPied De Cochon – The best French Onion Soup and Breaded Pig’s Feet
Cafe Le Moderne – At Bastille
Le Dome
L’Atlas

Have a pastry, a hot chocolate or a macaron at…
Angelina
Eric Kayser Bakery
Au levain Du Marais
Laduree
Sadaharu Aoki
Poilane
Pain De Sucre
Pierre Herme
L’eclair De Genie
Le Loir Dans La Theiere

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Angelina, Paris

Pierre Herme, Paris

Pierre Herme, Paris

L'eclair De Genie

L’eclair De Genie, Paris

Le Loir Dans La Theiere, Paris

Le Loir Dans La Theiere, Paris

Shop at…
Mora
G Detou
La Grand Epicerie
E Dehillerin

Homework #1 – Sables

Fabulously buttery, tender, sandy textured cookies that are so right with tea or coffee!

Sables

Sables – French Cookies

In France, these cookies are known as Sables; in Scotland they are called Shortbread. Be soft and gentle while working on this flour, don’t over beat. Remember ‘sandy’ texture is what you need to aim for. I Can never forget this recipe as it was my first at Le Cordon Bleu – the chef who demonstrate this was ooo la la…Chef Patrick, cuisine chef who came in just to teach us this.

Sables - French Cookies

Sables – French Cookies

Sables
Recipe type: Tea-time Cookies
Cuisine: French
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 20
 
Ingredients
  • 300 gms Flour
  • 150 gms Powdered Sugar
  • 200 gms Butter (cold and chopped pieces)
  • ¼ tsp Vanilla (powdered).
  • Rind of orange
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 160 degree
  2. Zest ¼ of an orange and keep aside
  3. Sift together flour, sugar, vanilla and throw it on the worktable.
  4. Add the cooled and cut pieces of butter to this and start blending this in.
  5. Add the zest.
  6. Mix it well till u get a sandy texture.
  7. Roll it up in a ball and then a log and cut into 4 pieces.
  8. Chill the 4 logs for 30 mins..
  9. Egg wash/milk wash the logs and roll it in the caster sugar.
  10. Slice it and bake for 15 minutes .