Tuesday, 12 June 2012


After several months of silence, I am back with a new project, Framing Plates.

Framing Plates is about food styling and food photography illustrated through recipes and culinary travels. I also explore other subjects studied during my 3 years studying Culinary Arts.

To know more, go to Framing Plates.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

My new project

Hi there,

Time for some news.

I am currently working on a project that I hope to launch some time in the new year (and which will replace yummyaourt). Something more like a food magazine than a blog with an emphasise on food styling and photographs. For the rest, you'll just have to wait until its launch :)

To know when it will be up and running, keep visiting yummyaourt.

In the meantime, enjoy the mince pies, mulled wine and everything about Christmas. Indulge!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

HLM ou gateau aux petits beurre

Here we are, 9 months since my last post. I should be ashamed of even mentioning how long it has been. But I have some pretty good reasons to explain my behaviour.
So what happened in those 9 months.....

.... a baby has joined our little family of two just a week before Christmas. I think this was the most amazing Christmas present I could have ever thought of. Not to mention how busy have been since his arrival.
.... a Masters in Culinary Arts. Not quite finished but I am getting there.
.... a cake or I should say my mamie's (nan's) cake from my childhood. We called it a HLM with my sisters. I am not sure it even has a name.

A HLM is not what you could call your typical cake. It doesn't require baking, doesn't even require a cake tin. It's closer to Delia's philosophy than Nigel's I guess. And yet it tastes really nice. The taste of my childhood.

My mamie is a great cook but she has never been as keen on cooking cakes as she was on making (yes, making and from scratch) foie gras or confit de canard. So there were only a handful of desserts she used to make : merveilles, iles flottantes, pastis landais and the HLM.
Her HLM consists of petit beurre soaked in coffee then layered with a moka butter cream. It's really simple to make but requires being chilled for a few hours for the butter cream to set.

I have overdecorated my last one as this cake always reminds me of the 80's.

It may not be the most decadent, exuberant and trendy cake but it is terribly moreish.

Have a little thought for your nan; bake a cake in her memory.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Bleu, bleu le ciel de Provence

The sun always shines while holiday. And it seems to be brighter and warmer in the South of France. It may be due to the food there or the smells or ce je ne sais quoi which is what makes France.... well France. Anyway, our week in Provence was sweet and charming. It was nice to take some time doing nothing or not much and take the day as it comes.

Of course, by "doing nothing" I obviously don't mean nothing at all. I still managed to make a cake with what was on offer in the apartment we rented. No flour, no blender, no yeast, some sugar cubes, a little butter and some rather nice dark chocolate and bananas and ground almonds. And yet, I couldn't resist the urge of experimenting with was I had available. It may not have been my best shot but it tasted nice enough.... or was it the taste of the holiday that made it edible?

Monday, 30 August 2010

The fruits of my labour. Dan Lepard's simple milk loaf

I am in preparation mode.

With (only) 3 1/2 months before the arrival of our baby, I have decided to get ready while I still have time. Bank holiday weekends, and weekends in general have also meant baking. Ever heard of Sunday afternoon cake making? Nothing unusual really. Except that this weekend I thought that it would be a good time to start filling up my cupboards with lots of yummy homemade food stuff. Preserves was what came first to my mind. I just needed to order the right equipment.So Saturday morning was all about tomato sauce. 3kg of tomatoes (to be accurate) following my lovely mamie's (nan's) recipe. As I am not especially good at following recipes to the letter, I had to add a few extra ingredients: one them being herbs. And a lot of them.
5 pots are now in my larder stored and waiting for me to be baby-busy.
Sunday morning was jam making morning. With a little pre-preparation the day before (my mum also says that the fruits should marinade with the sugar overnight) I kept myself and the bump busy for a couple of hours.
I decided to make a seasonal jam. A Plum jam using 2 different types of plums: Victoria plum and Golden plum (also called yellowgage) flavoured with vanilla pods. Nothing too fancy but being a jam novice, I better stick to simple recipes.
After a little bit of skimming, stirring, tasting and canning, here I am now ready for winter with my 6 jars of "end of summer" sunshine.

Bank holiday Mondays often feel like Sundays. That's maybe why I had to bake something that would scent the whole house with cosy feel. Bread is best for that. It's comforting, delicious and so satisfying especially when it evolves a lot of kneading. I absolutely love this.
I have been reading Dan Lepard's columns for quite a while now and I usual go for his cake recipes. With the exception of today. Simple milk loaf is what I fell for.

What you need to make
Dan Lepard's Simple milk loaf.
For one big loaf

250f of plain flour
250g of wholemeal bread flour
20g of golden syrup
1 1/2 tsp of fresh yeast (or 1 sachet of fast action yeast)
350ml of whole milk
1 1/4 tsp of sea salt

In a bowl mix together all the ingredients apart from the sea salt. Moving onto a clean floured surface, knead the dough slightly. Leave to rest for 10 minutes.
Add the salt to the dough and knead once more for 10 to 15 seconds. Dan Lepard's technique is simple but effective: knead the dough briefly for 10-15 seconds then leave to rest for 10 minutes and repeat the same action twice more.

Leave the dough to rest for about 30 minutes. It should rise slightly.

Knead once again for a good 8-10 minutes on a floured surface.

Leave to proof in a greased bowl for at least 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

Now you want to knock the air out of the bread. Knead the dough for at least 5 minutes without being afraid of being brutal. Divide into 2 equal balls. Flour and butter a loaf dish and put both doughs inside. Leave them to proof until almost doubled (30 minutes should do).

Preheat the oven to 210ºC (gas mark 6-7). Brush the doughs with a little milk and bake at this temperature for 30 minutes then lower the oven to 180ºC (gas mark 5) for another 25 to 30 minutes.

If you are like me and are impatient to taste the fruit of your labour, cut yourself a nice thick slice while still warm. Spread with a good knob of unsalted butter- butter helps bring out the milky flavour of the bread- and add some jam. Plum jam for me. Perfect way to end a long weekend.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Coming soon! Craving ≠1: English pounder cake

Good Spring everyone!

Soon to come on Yummyaourt is my English Pounder Cake served with creme fraiche and berry sauce.

After reading this article on the Guardian website, I couldn't help myself but think about how nice baking a rich, buttery cake would make the packing of our flat. Moving in is great. Moving out is, well, not as great. Living between boxes is not what I call a relaxing environment to live in. But thanks to Andy Connelly and his magical words on the science behind the making of a cake, I have found packing less stressful today.

So please bare with me a few days. I first need to taste the cake to make sure it is suitable to be posted.... . Once that's done and the packing almost coming to an end, I promise to tell you all about it.


Sunday, 18 April 2010

Hello sun! Ginger and chocolate spring cake

Ginger or not ginger is the question I have been asking myself all this morning. My tastebuds are craving for something a little sharp, a little sweet, a little fresh and very tasty. But the local shops said "no" to my desire. No ginger said the man. So here I am, leaving the shops empty handed and disappointed. Catastrophe!

I really fancied that cake. "So what amI going to bake now?" I asked myself until... eureka, here appears a little pot of glacé ginger at the back of my larder.

Ginger cake, te voila.
So to welcome Spring, the sun and anything that I like, I am thinking of marrying Mr Ginger to Miss Chocolate. Odd marriage? Maybe until you've tried this cake.
Hello sun!
What you need to make this
Hello sun! Ginger and chocolate spring cake.
Serves 6

100g of black treacle
50g of fairtrade light brown sugar
85g of unsalted butter
75g of cubed glacé ginger
1 free range egg, beaten
100ml of semi skimmed milk
225g of sift plain flour
1tsp of bicarbonate of soda
1 pinch of salt
100g of dark chocolate

Preheat your oven to 180ºC/ gas mark 4.

In a saucepan large enough to contain all the ingredients, put the black treacle, sugar, butter and ginger. Heat on a low heat until completely melted. Stir well to combine.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and leave to cool for a couple of minutes.

Add the milk. Stir well.

Add the bicarbonate of soda, salt and sift flour (little by little). Mix well until the flour is completely incorporated.

Add the chocolate, broken into pieces and leave to melt, stirring occasionally.

Put the mixture into a buttered 450g loaf tin and place in the oven.

Leave to bake for about 45 minutes. The cake will be ready when a skewer comes clean from the center of the cake.

Leave to cool.

Best enjoyed when the sun is out.