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Hello lovely bakers, last Tuesdays (18/11/14) was FRENCH which everyone got veeery excited about. You were truly making us proud this week with the array of skills and flavour combinations you came out with, from the classic tarte tatin to the french inspired goats cheese and ratatouille tart!

As always, here are the recipes for the bakes you thought were super duper fabby:

Balsamic Onion Baton (2 short baguettes worth)

INGREDIENTS:

400g plain white flour

100g strong white flour

14g fast action yeast

10g salt

2 eggs

Around 250g milk

40g caster sugar

1 large (or 2 small) white onions

A good, good slug of olive oil

3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

 

METHOD:

1. Combine the flours, yeast and salt in a large bowl, keeping the salt and yeast separate.

2. Into a set of scales, break the two eggs and make up the total weight to 350g using milk. Mix in 40g sugar and place on a low heat (always stirring) until just tepid.

3. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together until a soft dough and knead for about 10 minutes or until it begins to become smooth. Cover and leave to rest whilst you prepare the onions.

4. Thinly slice the onions into lengths and soften in a pan on a medium heat with the olive oil. They should reach the consistency you might find suitable for enjoying on hotdogs; slightly browned with some bite left. Then chuck in all the balsamic and reduce until sticky, just another couple of minutes. Leave them to cool for about 10-15 minutes.

5. Once the onions are just warm, combine them into the dough until the colour is consistent throughout. Cover and rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

6. Take your risen dough and shape it on a heavily floured surface into a short baguette shape

And check out some super useful images on shaping your bread in to that classic elongated shape – http://bakingjames.co.uk/balsamic-baguettes/

 

Roasted Ratatouille and Goats Cheese Tart 

INGREDIENTS:

500g pack all-butter shortcrust pastry (or whip up your own shortcrust pastry  and feel an amazing sense of achievement)

flour, for dusting

1 aubergine, cut into 2½ cm

1 courgette, thickly sliced

1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into strips

1 red onion, thickly sliced

3 large garlic cloves, unpeeled

3 tbsp olive oil

250g cherry plum tomatoes

300ml pot double cream

3 eggs

½ small bunch basil, leaves only, plus a few extra leaves to serve

150g pack hard goat’s cheese (feta maybe?)

handful toasted pine nuts (optional)

 

METHOD:

  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Toss the aubergine, courgette, pepper and onion together with the garlic, olive oil and some seasoning. Tip onto a large baking tray (you may need to use 2 trays) and roast for 20 mins. Toss through the tomatoes and roast for a further 15-20 mins or until the vegetables are tender and beginning to caramelise.
  2. Meanwhile, roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a 23cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Chill for 30 mins.
  3. While the vegetables cool, reduce oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Prick the base of the tart case with a fork, line with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Pop on a baking tray and bake for 15 mins, then remove the beans and parchment. Bake for 10-15 mins more until the pastry is lightly golden.
  4. Reduce oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Squeeze the garlic from their skins into a jug and mash with a little salt to form a paste. Slowly whisk in the cream, followed by the eggs and some seasoning. Toss the basil through the cooled vegetables, then tip two-thirds into the pastry case, spreading out to an even layer. Crumble over three-quarters of the goat’s cheese, then pour over the cream mix. Top with the remaining veg and cheese. Bake for 40-50 mins until the tart is just set, with a slight wobble in the centre.

Baking Soc LOVE BBC Good Food, check out the full mouthwatering recipe here: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/roasted-ratatouille-goats-cheese-tart

Hope you loved the theme as much as we did! Next week it’s CHRISTMASSY!!!! yes the big one everyone has been waiting for i know scream and shout and cheer and start googling all those amazing flavour combinations (I know I have, and have some hard decisions to make for the final bake).

Sorry for the ramble,

Baking love,

Louise and BS xx

 

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