“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts!”
James Beard

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar FougasseWhole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse … nothing can be as comforting as the smell of bread baking. Nothing! And this bread took me by surprise. Rustic, nutty, earthy, full of flavour, great texture and a good bite. I couldn’t ask for anything more in fresh bread, and fougasse is one of my all time favourites.

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse Googling for whole wheat focaccia took me to a NY Times feature by Martha Rose Shulman. Recipes for health as it was aptly marked, Shulman says of this bread “What’s called focaccia in Italy is fougasse in Provence. Fougasse, though, is often shaped like a leaf, which is easy to do and very pretty. The nutty, toasty whole grain bread is irresistible.”Millet & Whole Wheat French Fougasse I couldn’t agree more. If you’ve visited my blog on and off, you might have noticed my love for the French Fougasse. I love the rustic appeal it offers and the fact that you can stuff it with pretty much whatever you like and the flavours call your name. Roasted bell peppers, gouda, fresh herbs, nuts etc. Leaf like in appearance, this flatbread is moorish!

Millet & Whole Wheat French Fougasse

French Fougasse with Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Garlic, Walnut & Mozarella 6The one on top is a  Millet & Whole Wheat Fougasse and below it the French Fougasse with Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Garlic, Walnut & Mozarella 

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse It was just the therapy I needed this Monday! The day began like a nightmare! Broken toilet flush 6am. Reversed the car to drop the kids to school and heard a massive THUD! 7am … The engine underplate had broken while wading through the ‘rivers of North India‘ the previous night. When it rains, it really pours; the city was flooded! Thankfully got the kids out of my way and to school, to come back home to find I had run out of cooking gas! {Yes we still have cylinders}. Decided to spring clean and walked straight into a sharp corner which narrowly missed my eye. Blood poured down the side of my face! Mr PAB was in Hong Kong … and I could have wept!

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse Bravely I did not! I decided to bake bread instead! What a good decision. Nothing like some yeasty dough to drown your sorrows into. It worked like magic. And the recipe came out amazingly good! I could visualize the bread loving younger teen take a deep happy breath as he entered home from school. “You’ve made bread!!”, he’d exclaim, stars in his eyes!

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse That is enough to mend a bad day! What I didn’t visualise was how much the dieting diva, carb cutting daughter would love it. I made half of the dough into fougasse and saved the rest for another day {it refrigerates well for a day or two}. With garlic flavouring the dough beautifully, and walnuts and cheddar making it divine, the bread was history as soon as the teens got home!

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse Recipes like this are seriously therapeutic. I forgot about the car, fixed the broken loo, got the gas going. Left the car for Mr PAB. He would come back and take over everything! I was born to bake, and I was loving it!! The smell of dough rising and bread baking is enough to make the soul happy! 

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse With the good verdict on the fougasse, I pulled the remaining dough out of the fridge the next day and patted a focaccia into shape. That came out yummy too. Got stuffed with everything I had on hand, ending up as sandwich for dinner.Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Focaccia

[print_this]Recipe: Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse
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Summary: Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse … nothing can be as comforting as the smell of bread baking. The bread took me by surprise. Rustic, nutty, earthy, full of flavour, great texture and a good bite. Couldn’t ask for anything more in fresh bread. Fougasse is one of my all time favourites. Yield: 1 large or 2 smaller fougasses or focaccia, about 12 generous servings. Minimally adapted from NY Times

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes {plus rising time}

  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 340ml lukewarm water
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 350g  whole wheat flour
  • 100g all-purpose flour
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 15g salt
  • Filling
  • 100g walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 100g cheddar, diced into small cubes
  • Topping
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil if making focaccia (optional)
  • fresh herbs
  • sea salt for sprinkling over top


  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer, or in a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the water. Add the olive oil, minced garlic, whole wheat flour, all-purpose and salt and mix together briefly using the paddle attachment. Change to the dough hook and beat for 8 to 10 minutes at medium speed, adding the remaining flour as necessary. The dough should eventually form a ball around the dough hook and slap against the sides of the bowl as the mixer turns but it will be sticky. Remove from the bowl, flour your hands and knead for a minute on a lightly floured surface, and shape into a ball.
  2. {Thermomix:  Place all dough ingredients in bowl of TM and process at Speed 6 for 10 seconds. Then knead at interval speed for 3 minutes}
  3. If kneading the dough by hand, dissolve the yeast in the water with the sugar as directed. Stir in the walnut oil, whole wheat flour, salt, and all-purpose flour by the half-cup, until the dough can be scraped out onto a floured work surface. Knead, adding flour as necessary, for 10 minutes, until the dough is elastic. Shape into a ball.
  4. Oil a large bowl with olive oil. Place the dough in it, rounded side down first, then rounded side up. Cover tightly with plastic and let rise in a warm spot for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or in the refrigerator for 4 to 8 hours, until doubled.
  5. Punch down the dough. Divide the dough into two equal pieces for smaller breads. You can also make 1 large fougasse or focaccia.
  6. Roll one half out to about an 12″ oval, spread half the walnuts and cheddar. Fold over the dough 2-3 times on itself to incorporate the stuffing.
  7. Shape each back into a flattish ball, then fold the bottom third up, & top third down to make an oblong.
  8. Roll into ovals with a flat base, cut slits diagonally, three on each side. Pull slightly to open the cuts, leaf like. {Repeat with other half, else make focaccia with it}
  9. Place on parchment lined baking sheets. Cover with cling wrap & leave to double for 35-40 minutes while you preheat the oven.
  10. Preheat the oven to 220C, brush the loaves with olive oil, sprinkle over sea salt and fresh herbs.
  11. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes till golden brown. Brush with more olive oil as they come out of the oven. Cool on racks. Serve warm {that’s how we love it} or at room temperature.


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“I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.”
Ruth Stout

Raspberry Pistachio RouladeThe Raspberry Pistachio Roulade captures the colours of spring nicely. It’s light, refreshing, moist and quick to make. Even better that you can make it ahead. I made it while experimenting with GF roulades. Made one with just almond meal and didn’t let it bake enough, so it stuck to just about everything in sight. I was really annoyed as I had baked in a hurry!

Raspberry Pistachio Roulade

The word roulade originates from the French word “rouler” meaning “to roll”.

Sometimes you should just sit back and relax and bake with time on hand. Hurry does make curry and that’s just what happened. While the failed roll was baking, I got the filling together. The filling was finger licking good. {My earlier Gluten Free Strawberry Almond Roulade came out really well}

Raspberry Pistachio Roulade I did unroll the sticky roulade and dry bake it and served up some sort of Eton mess! Yet the filling played on my mind, so another normal Swiss roll was baked at leisure the next morning. The good thing was that the filling was ready!

Coco So while the roll baked and then cooled, I spent the morning out with Coco in my little garden. While I was  ‘shooting’ ladybirds, she stuck her nose into every tomato plant, tried to catch a butterfly or two, begged for a game of ball … she’s a little busy body!

Spring I love this part of the year, spring as it should be, but a little muddled up. The weather really warmed up 2 weeks ago and we thought we’d skipped spring altogether.

Spring Then some ‘western disturbances’ etc hit the area, some rain, scattered hail etc. It’s pretty much like Spring now. Whatever it is, it’s nice.

SpringThe plants are happy. Tomatoes are GROWING, Thai chilis’ full of flowers, eggplant and lime are in full bloom, and the kumquat tree laden again. The oregano sprigs have taken root and look quite happy, as does the mint. Dill and coriander play home to ladybirds and bees as the flowers on them bloom. Pretty all the way!

Spring 5Pretty was the roulade too. Baked, rolled, cooled and ready to go, it got put together in a matter of minutes. I dressed it up with a little leftover cream and sprinkles prior to serving.

Raspberry Pistachio Roulade I used a frozen raspberry fruit concentrate from Del Monte to add a touch of tang and flavour. I’ve used it in the Dark Chocolate, Raspberry & Quark Layered Cake & in the Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cream Cake

You could also use a berry preserve, maybe even a bitter marmalade. The filling was given a lift with some white baking chocolate that a friend sweetly sent, gifts like these a constant source of inspiration.

Raspberry Pistachio Roulade Pistachios went in for colour, and because I just love them! The good thing was that as the Raspberry Pistachio Roulade sat in clingwrap overnight, the cake and the pistachio nuts took in some moisture, the cake becoming beautifully moist. The nuts swelled up and added a nice texture to every bite.

Raspberry Pistachio Roulade You could just slather it with preserves and serve it for tea, fill it with whipped cream for a comforting dessert on the go, or give it an adult twist   spiking the cream with your favourite liqueur. If you use kirsch, you could consider some balsamic cherries in the filling. Another good option might be frangelico and nutella, or maybe kahlua and coffee cream. Let your imagination lead you.

urban dazzle ceramicsThe Raspberry Pistachio Roulade was plated on this classic white ceramic platter from one of my favourite online stores Urban Dazzle. It’s actually a snack platter that accommodates a dip or relish on the side quite nicely. I use it often, and this time it doubled up as a dessert tray! White always works!!


Recipe: Raspberry Pistachio Roulade 

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Summary: The Raspberry Pistachio Roulade captures the colours of spring nicely. It’s light, refreshing, moist and quick to make. It’s a nice make ahead simple homey dessert. {serves 6-8}

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

  • Swiss Roll
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 75g powdered sugar {50+25g}
  • 50g plain flour
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • Filling
  • 150ml whipping cream
  • 50g white baking chocolate
  • 3-4 tbsps Castor sugar
  • 30g shelled pistachios
  • 75g raspberry fruit filling {or a fruit preserve}
  • Slivered pistachios and flower sprinkles for top


  1. Swiss Roll
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a Swiss roll tin with parchment paper.
  3. Beat the egg whites with 25g sugar to stiff peaks. Reserve.
  4. In another large bowl, beat the yols with the reamining 50g sugar until thick and mousse like. Add the scraped vanilla bean and beat again.
  5. Sift the flour over the yolk mixture and gently fold in.
  6. Next gently fold in the beaten egg whites in 3 lots.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with sliced pistachio nute if you like.
  8. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until light golden brown and firm to touch.
  9. While this is baking, lay out a clean kitchen towel, bigger than the size of the tray, and sift sugar evenly over it.
  10. Once the roll is baked {might look uneven but don’t worry. Mine was uneven, but came together quite fine}, overturn immediately {very carefully} onto the sugar sifted towel, and gently peel parchment off. Trim the edges if required.
  11. Now roll with the towel lengthwise, and leave to cool completely. {The longer side will be the length of the roll}
  12. Cream Filling
  13. Place the white chooclate with 50ml cream in a heat proof bowl and run in microwave for 1 minute {until melted}. Stir until smooth, and then cool.
  14. Beat the remaining 100ml cream and sugar until medium peaks form. Fold in the white chocolate mixture.
  15. Assembling

  16. Unroll the cooled cake, place on a sheet of parchment, and spread the raspberry fruit filling over it with an offset spatual.

  17. Sprinkle over with chopped pistachios.
  18. Sp

    read the cream filling over it, leaving a little border right around to avoid the filling oozing out.

  19. Now with the help of the parchment paper, roll it right back into a roll, pulling the paper slightly to make a tight roll.

  20. Place seam down on clingwrap and chill for a couple of hours. {I left mine overnight}. Unwrap gently and lay seam side down on your serving platter.

  21. Pipe over some left over cream filling, slivered pistachios and colourful sprinkles if you like.
  22. Slice with a sharp serrated knife and serve! Happy SPRING!


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“After one taste of French food … I was hooked. I’d never eaten like that before, I didn’t know such food existed. The wonderful attention paid to each detail of the meal was incredible to me. I’d never really drunk good wine before, and knew nothing at all about it. It was simply a whole new life experience.”
Julia Child

Gourmet Dinner with French Michelin Star Chef BaptisteA few days ago we had the pleasure of attending an exclusive gourmet evening with celebrated French Michelin Star Chef Baptiste. As part of a joint initiative of the ITC Maurya and Four Seasons Wines, 30 year old Chef Batiste delighted patrons in Delhi pairing modern French cuisine with a selection of award winning wines from Bouvet-Ladubay & Four Seasons.

Gourmet Dinner with French Michelin Star Chef Baptiste It was an invitation only, formal sit down dinner hosted at the beautiful  roof top West View at the ITC Maurya located in the heart of New Delhi. A pleasantly beautiful early winter evening, an open air antipasti bar, soulful  live music and good company as always ... a promise of good times.

Chef Baptiste at West View KitchenMichelin Star Chef Baptiste Fournier has been voted one of the top 6 young chefs in France by the famed Gault Millau guide. Baptiste took over as the Executive Chef of his family owned restaurant, La Tour, at the young age of 29 and received his Michellin Star in 2011.  He has traveled the world over discovering new cuisines and flavours. The use of  fresh ingredients on his menu is characteristic.

West View, ITC Maurya, New Delhi
Photo courtesy Rekha @ http://mytastycurry.com/

The evening opened under the capitals night sky with a nice, chilled bubbly from Bouvet-Ladubay. It was a nice cozy group. Delhi food bloggers Ruchira, Rekha, Sangeeta and me chatted non stop enjoying the charming good company of ITC Maurya GM, Media Relations, Richa Sharma.

Delhi food bloggers With Chef Sabyasachi Gorai, Olive & GM Media Relations, ITC, Richa SharmaIt was a matter of time before Saby joined our incessantly talkative group. Saby {or Chef Sabyasachi Gorai} was just back from an award winning spree in New York where he won the “Best Chef of India” award @ the Varli awards in NYC. Needless to say, the rest of the evening went in animated conversation amidst peels of laughter! {quick clicks by the cel phone!}

 Dinner Menu created by Chef Baptiste at West View Kitchen, ITC Maurya & Four Seasons WinesWe moved indoors for a sit down five course dinner. I opted for non-vegetarian, enjoyed the eggplant caviar with French clams, yet one course down, rapidly changed to vegetarian. The culprit was a sensational Beetroot, orange and goat cheese mousse that vowed one and all. It was the star of the show!

Gourmet Dinner with French Michelin Star Chef Baptiste
Portraits courtesy Sangeeta @ http://healthfooddesivideshi.blogspot.com/

Next came an artichoke risotto with black truffle which I loved. It had an edgy sourness to it and I loved the neat, small portions. The risotto did evoke mixed reactions as not everyone enjoyed it. I certainly did, right down to the last ‘scraping’ morsel! Nice!! Wine pairing was again the Four Seasons Sauvignon Blanc.

Gourmet Dinner with French Michelin Star Chef BaptisteFourth down was a white bean and tomato ragout in basil pesto which was meh. We heard from Abhay Kewadhkar, Director Four Seasons, that the lamb served in the non vegetarian course was one of the best he had ever had! Talk about mixed fortunes and the constant movement from vegetarian to non vegetarian menus. Sometimes I wish we could pick and choose from both!! Wine pairing … excellent Four Seasons Barrique Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

Gourmet Dinner with French Michelin Star Chef BaptisteThe downside was the delay between courses served, and as the time lag grew, one could see many guests choosing to leave early. Dessert made an appearance around 11pm, close to the Cinderella hour. Since the headcount was quite low by now, I guess they decided to serve both the listed desserts! The pineapple ravioli served with a basil sorbet, with a little passion fruit coulis was awesome. Really refreshing and pleasing to the palette. 

Gourmet Dinner with French Michelin Star Chef Baptiste Well past 11pm and the the second dessert made its way. Well worth the wait!! A Hazelnut and white chocolate, ice and crispy cappuccino. WOW! That paired with some beautifully chilled just right Bouvet Rose Excellence ended the meal beautifully. It was one of the most outstanding and well balanced desserts I have enjoyed in a while. The dessert plates were scraped clean!

Gourmet Dinner with French Michelin Star Chef Baptiste

Hardly any photographs of the food served as the event was formal. We did grab a few between delayed courses though. As we left, we were gifted pretty boxes of French macarons, which I thought tied up the French theme quite well. That the macarons were fresh was debatable though. Most shells were brittle and broken. Not quite sure what the problem was here {…my macaron obsession continues!}

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