This is just to say…

Nice plums! 

Our plum bush gave us a surfeit of fruit for the first time, so what to do with them?

Zwetschgenkuchen, that’s what, German plum cake. Ours aren’t the recommended plum variety for this recipe, but the pre-cooked cake looks ok…

According to the Graun’s weekly column on ‘How to cook the perfect…, the big question with Zwetschgenkuchen is whether to ‘streusel’ or not.

I streuseled!

And added whipped cream.

Kaiserschmarren with plum sauce next…

Postscript: A couple of years ago a short poem about plums, This Is Just To Say by William Carlos Williams, became a meme:

The poem in its entirety.

‘Twas the yeast I could do …

… and some other things you knead to know:

A successful day at the Bread Ahead bakery school in Borough Market on the full-day French baking course (boulangerie, non pâtisserie).

The tutor remembered me from my last visit 20 months ago, possibly due to the living and breathing realisation of a ”northern meme” that clearly amused a bunch of Chelsea Girls on that course.

Sadly, no Chelsea Girls to entertain this time. Maybe they go to the new Bread Ahead bakery school in, er, Chelsea. Still, it was fun this time too.

Les Croissants. A lot of time spent learning the correct lamination process. Time well spent!


My Pain de Compagne. Baked in a Dutch Oven, aka a Le Creuset steel casserole.


… and my piéce de resistance, a plaited brioche that was singled out for praise. Merveilleux!

Unfortunately, the Madelaines that comprised our fourth bake of the day didn’t survive long enough to be photographed  – ils ont disparu; simplement trop dèlicieux.


‘Tis Kanelbullens Dag

or … Oh, cinnamon, the devil is a-waiting!

The fourth of October is Sweden’s national cinnamon bun day. Yup, it’s that day that you’ve never heard of, but would just love to celebrate if you had.

Why is it so? Well, the cinnamon bun (kanelbullar) is a staple of the Swedes’ devotion to fika, or coffee break, so much so that they decided to devote a whole day to it.

I’ve tried two recipes and the second one turned out fine courtesy of the  Swedish Food website. (I used the alternate recipe given for the filling and baked the buns for 20 minutes in a fan-assisted oven at 160°c, before lowering the temperature to 130°c and baking for another 8 minutes with foil over the buns. I made my own nib sugar and used freshly ground cardamom seeds).

Devilishly good!

Very gently melting butter into milk before adding a beaten egg.
Mixing the dry ingredients of the dough.
The rough dough after adding the wet ingredients.
The risen dough after 10 minutes of hand-kneading and 2 hours rising.
‘Buttering’ the rolled-out dough with a butter, sugar, cinnamon mix.
… rolled up ‘swiss-roll’ style
… then sliced and left to rise again.
Glazed and sugared before baking … et voilà