In the past few weeks that have seen me absconding from the blog, I’ve been collecting so many recipes I want to share with you guys that I don’t know where to begin. It started with this beautiful, simple bread kneaded with the slap and fold technique of Richard Bertinet’s, that I am currently in love with (and is my only current workout plan). This technique has found its way into many of my loaves recently – from baguettes to sweet breads to pizza!
And then I fell ill. Knocked out by viral fever and a nightmarish bout of Bronchitis that had me sitting up and sleeping nights. The worst part was not being able to bake bread. Since I’ve started baking bread at home we, now find it difficult to buy bread. Which meant that we just didn’t have any bread in the house for over 3 weeks! So recovery saw me quickly cranking up the oven for more bread and consequently playing around with sandwiches that we have been making picnic on the terrace with. Like this one that was filled with melting soft grilled eggplant slices, crisp arugula, juicy marinated tomatoes, homemade pesto and fresh creamy ricotta.
And the celery, egg and bacon sandwich that is now one of my favourites. I simply must share this recipe with you guys.
And then Sheryl bullied me into making these White Velvet Cupcakes with my favourite butter frosting, filled with a citrus and pineapple curd and topped with candied orange peel
On Sunday, I made this orange and espresso scented hot chocolate for Atul to celebrate the lovely little coffee maker he received as a birthday gift for your truly and Priti
Oh! And there was this beautiful cake that was my way to use up my favourite frosting and the orange peel I had made for the cupcakes. Layered with notes of coffee, citrus, vanilla, hazelnut, this moist 3 in 1 chocolate cake has made me fall in love with chocolate again. Another absolutely must. be. shared. recipe.
So you can see there has been a major pileup. Only, each time I think of all that I must tell you guys, I end up curling up and falling off my much motivated intentions into petrified inertia. To break the jinx, I’ve decided to start with a baby step. A simple little jewel of a recipe, showcasing one of my favourite playthings from the last couple of weeks – candied (poached really but candied sounds so yummy) orange peel that I made for the cupcakes that Sheryl bullied me into but ended up as inspiration for a lot of things I made henceforth. For those of you who have never had anything like this, you have to know what a thing of joy candied orange peel is. That I can see these fragrant, sweet, joyfully citrusy slices floating in fragrant syrup making fantastic Diwali gifts once packaged in pretty glass jars, seems like the perfect omen too. That’s ofcourse if you feel generous enough to gift away what could easily become a favourite trick in your cooking arsenal.
Sugar Poached Orange Slices
I must tell you that these sweet jewels of flavour can elevate many many dishes to the sublime.. I’ve added the chopped up sweet peel to breads, cakes, cookies, cupcakes and see myself using these to jazz up so much more – waffles, pancakes, salads, sandwhiches, pudding, icecreams. The citrusy syrup has already shimmered up many a a beverage in my house and I know it will find its way into loads of drinks in the coming weeks – lemonade, cocktails, coffee, hot chocolate. If you have an orange at home, I would say make this right now. If nothing else, for the sheer joy of being able to make something so lovely at the drop of a hat, with no work at all. No chopping, cutting, mixing, peeling, whisking or anything else. Just a pan, sugar, 2 minutes of slicing and 20 minutes of doing-nothing will give you what will taste like the sweetest orange candy from your childhood. Oh, and you must make it just because everyone needs those fabulous orangey wafts of aroma that this will fill your home with.
- 1 orange – sliced thin, throw away the end slices
- 1.5 cups water
- 1.5 cups sugar
- cloves/cinnamon/star anise/vanilla (optional)
- Bring the water, spices if you are using them and sugar to boil in a large shallow frying pan
- Add the sliced oranges in a single layer and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Turn the slices at least once in the interim
- Switch off heat, let cool in the pan, transfer the slices and syrup both to a clear jar with a lid and refrigerate till you are ready to use.