Parma Ham, Mozzarella & Basil Brioche Couronne

I hosted a belated birthday tea party this weekend. It was all I could have wanted and more, in celebration of being another year older; I cooked up a storm and had friends and family around to eat it all. We had an absolute feast! Recipes from a few of the things will be making there way to you, just hold tight! The savoury crown (no pun intended) was given to this baby, a savoury brioche couronne. This particular one was made by my lovely man, it is a favourite of ours and I hate to say, he does a far better job of it than me. He always does when it comes to bread; irritating, given I showed him how to make it in the first place! Anyway, I secretly am glad he is so good at baking bread, as this was to die for. Everyone at the party kept saying how gorgeous it was, and kept going back for seconds, thirds and even fourths! It would be criminal not to share the recipe. It is a recipe from the bread master himself, Paul Hollywood.


I’ll give you a couple of seconds just to bask in the glory of this bread…

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Grandma’s Christmas Cake, Part 2 – The Cake

This weekend I got around to baking my Christmas cake. The fruit had stopped absorbing any more brandy (see Part 1 for that stage) and it was looking plump and smelling delicious. I’m delighted that my cake cooked evenly and took on a lovely goldenĀ tone. I used gluten free flour and it appears to have held together perfectly. I find cakes cooked with gluten free flour can be a bit dry but given the amount of moisture in the fruit and also that it will be ‘fed’ with brandy between now and Christmas, I don’t think there’s much to worry about. I shall proceed with the recipe and the tips passed down to me from my Grandma, via my mum. Make sure you’ve got an old newspaper handy!

xmas cake

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Flavour of the moment: Chilli, or more precisely harissa paste which is a Tunisian chilli paste. My top tip for harissa is freezing the remainder of the can into ice cubes so that it doesn’t go off before you use it all. It packs quite a punch so with each ice cube containing about half a tablespoon they are the perfect size for popping into dishes.

This dish was introduced to me by my friend Ryan when challenged with inviting me round for dinner but it having to be healthy, he was always a champ like that and cooked some absolute gems, this one is our old favourite though. I came back home to my student house at the time and raved about it to my housemate, who being Jewish was already familiar with this dish and has been in our repertoire ever since. It was this dish that spurred my desire to own Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem and my lovely housemate bought it for me as a finishing uni gift with the comment ‘It is page 66’, the page for, yep you guessed it, the shakshuka recipe. I admit that it is a pretty tough dish to photograph but you can just about make out the two eggs hiding in there. David Lebovitz was much more successful a photographing the dish and the photos in Ottolenghi’s books are particularly gorgeous.


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