Current obsession: ovens

My recent bout of baking has not at all been inspired by the GBBO, heavily featured in the media and currently showing on iPlayer (which of course is now barred to those of us without TV licences).

It has, instead, been inspired by the fact that after seven years of living in Oxford, moving from one college-owned property to the next, I now have access to a working, beautiful oven as well as a freezer.

My most recent experiment (inspired by an American recipe, and admittedly, far removed from the French original) was puff pastry croissants. Take a ready-rolled sheet of puff pastry, cut into long triangles, dollop on Nutella and bake at 190C/Fan 170 for about 20 minutes or so, until golden brown and oozing inside with chocolatey goodness.

Last week I made roasted sweet potato “fries” for 4 meals in a row until I started looking like a sweet potato. Before that, I went crazy over baked avocado and egg.

Inspired by my dear Italian friend Egizia’s departure to Rome, I also made several attempts at an authentic aubergine parmigiana, although I’m not sure I remembered her recipe quite rightly.

So this week’s obsession has clearly been centered on food: making it, consuming it and trying it again. Initially, I vowed only to eat oven-cooked food, in order to truly appreciate the wonders of an oven, and so far it’s still holding up (apart from one lapse to the 7-year favourite, an un-authentic and delicious ginger, mushroom and cashew nut stir fry).

Next, I think I’ll try a favourite home recipe, roast lamb.


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