I used to have a serious fascination with oat porridge when I was a kid, despite the fact that we almost never ate oatmeal at home; and when we do, it’s the quick cooking kind with condensed milk. This is Malaysia in the ’90s after all! But yet the preoccupation with oat porridge was still there, sowed by an innocuous Sesame Street story about Bert and his love for oatmeal which, in my own young life, culminated in a full blown oatmeal obsession extravaganza (!).
Anyway, what I really wanted to say is- I love oatmeal. I love how it’s so creamy and stodgy and oaty and warm..
This oatmeal recipe from Orangette is one notch up from the usual oatmeal. The oats are toasted in a tiny bit of butter before it’s cooked to bring out a lovely, toasty, popcorn-like fragrance. I ate it with a splash of maple syrup and some cherry, rhubarb and apple compote; I like the tartness of the fruit, it balances the stodginess of the oatmeal perfectly.
Madeleines are the French equivalent of our kuih bahulu; similarly plain, sweet and fluffy. The only difference would be the addition of honey and the much higher amount of butter in the former. The method of preparation is also very similar, with the eggs and sugar beaten to ribbon stage, then the butter and flour folded in gently to preserve the bubbles that gives the cake its delicate sponginess. The recipe I used is from St John Bread & Wine in London where I had the best madeleine I’ve ever had.
This is the ultimate summer biscuit- buttery biscuit, sweet peaches and a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar on top. The recipe is Joy the Baker’s and it’s genius- there’s buttermilk in it which makes it soft and just a bit tangy and plenty of butter. The dough is very sticky but this makes the scone tender and moist when baked. I imagine it’ll be super good split in half and filled with whipped double cream..
This weekend was full of yeasty experiments, I made a black sesame braided loaf, a plain milk loaf and croissants. My intention for making croissants was to use my newly discovered ingredient, a jar of rose petal jam that I had chanced upon in a Middle Eastern grocery shop in Edgware road. It’s very floral, rose-y but assertively sweet, so I thought a buttery, flakey croissant would be the perfect blank canvas for the flavour of the jam to shine but not overwhelm. I’d only ended up making two croissants with jam in the middle as I was worried the jam would leak terribly and make the croissants stick to the baking sheet. I needn’t worry though as even though it did leak slightly it was perfectly ok and in fact it was so delicious! I had only spread a smidge of jam in the middle and it was the perfect amount, enough to perfume the croissant delicately and make it just a touch sweet.
I still have half of the croissant dough in the fridge, I’ll probably bake the rest of it with jam, and when I’m done with that I’m thinking of making little brioches filled with rose jam.. Or maybe mixing some of the jam with berries and making a galette, or spooning it over vanilla rice pudding.. or semolina? Or making little rose doughnuts.. hell yea definitely doughnuts! Maybe I should fill the doughnuts with rose crème diplomat instead of just jam? Or a rose bakewell tart? Rose linzer cookie? Rose pound cake?
I left Maltby St market last week with a massive haul of fresh produce, amongst them 5 stalks of bright pink forced rhubarb. I roasted them with two (!) vanilla beans and added a splash of rose water at the end. I ate them atop oatmeal with some syrup stirred through, and in this occurrence, with greek yoghurt, oat bran and crumbled ginger biscuits.
♡5 stalks rhubarb
♡2 vanilla pods
1. Scrape vanilla pods and place the seeds and scraped pod into a pan with water and sugar. Bring to a boil until the sugar has dissolved.
2. Rinse and dry rhubarb, then chop into pinky-sized chunks.
3. Pour syrup over rhubarb in a roasting tin, and bake for 15-20 minutes at 150º until “al dente”. Add a splash of rose water, to taste.