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My recipe for this Mauritian old school recipe was among the first I posted on this blog some 8 years back. The warm sticky pudding, known as poudine dipain, fondly brings back memories from one’s childhood, possibly involving siblings fighting over the largest piece. With more mothers joining the workforce, the art of making homemade treats for kids as they come back from school has slowly faded away. To keep our lepok lontan traditions alive, I wanted to share this classic recipe from Confessions of a Foodaholic where Sharmeen passes on her dad’s poudine dipain through simple fail-proof instructions. Because I cannot imagine my poudine without its caramel base, I felt compelled to tweak the recipe and swirled my pan with a good measure of caramelized sugar before pouring in the batter.

BREAD PUDDING/ POUDINE DIPAIN

Ingredients:

2 baguettes or 4 pains maison

2 cups full cream milk powder

1 cup granulated white sugar

125g butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups cold water

Method:

  • Cut the baguette or pain maison into thick slices and leave to soak in cold water for about 1 hours.

  • Remove from water and drain well to remove any excess of water. Place in a bowl and mash slightly.

  • Add the milk powder, sugar, vanilla extract and mix till evenly combined. Stir in the softened butter.

  • Transfer the pudding mixture to a lightly greased round pan and top with almond flakes if desired.

  • Either bake the pudding in a preheated oven or cook it in bain marie until the surface is almost set.

  • Bake at 200oC for 45 minutes until golden or cook in bain marie for 1 hour, checking for doneness.

  • Leave to cool completely before unmolding on a serving plate and cutting into slices. Serves 8-10.

  • To make a caramel base for the pudding, coat bottom of the pan with melted sugar before baking.

Poudine Dipain/ Bread Pudding

It took me so many years to get a second naan recipe on the blog and this one, with its silky, brioche-like texture and molten swirls of Cheddar cheese, is not unlike my first post from 2011. Sabaah, from Kitchen Delights, describes the Mauritian naan as being ‘one of the most famous foods sold during Ramadan’ with door-to-door sellers putting forth their products on a daily basis right throughout the fasting period. While it has now become easy and convenient to purchase any naan from your local bakery or supermarket, it nevertheless generates a feeling of contentment to knead your dough, prepare your stuffing and finally take a golden baked naan out of your kitchen oven once a while.

MAURITIAN CHEESE NAAN

Ingredients:

375g white bread flour

1 teaspoon instant yeast

1 egg, room temperature

120ml lukewarm milk

50g butter, melted

50g pure ghee, melted

1 teaspoons caster sugar

1/2 teaspoon kitchen salt

50g butter, room temperature

100g Cheddar cheese, grated

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Method:

  • In a large bowl combine the two flours. Add the salt and sugar, mix well and then add instant yeast.

  • Make a well in the center, add melted butter, ghee, egg and milk and combine everything together.

  • If more liquid is needed, add warm water very little at a time, so that it does not form sticky dough.

  • Transfer the dough to a counter surface and knead for 10 to 12 minutes till dough is soft and elastic.

  • Grease bowl and transfer the dough. Cover with a clean kitchen towel allow to rest in a warm place.

  • Once it has doubled in size, divide dough into 2 equal parts. Roll each one into a rectangular shape.

  • Spread room temperature butter all over, then sprinkle with cheese and roll each as for a Swiss roll.

  • Now shape each roll make a spiral shape. Allow to rise for further 30mins then brush with egg wash.

  • Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and bake in preheated oven at 200oC for about 20 minutes till golden.

  • Remove from oven and cool briefly on wire rack before brushing with extra melted butter. Serves 4.

Mauritian Cheese Naan

This year’s Fête du Pain was celebrated with the usual enthusiasm and grandeur with bread baking competitions held between bakeries, pastry chefs from renowned hotels as well as amateur bakers all over the island. Since its first edition in 1992, this annual event has become an integral part of the Mauritian culture, celebrating our staple food item under its various shapes, textures and preparation methods.

Who can do without the traditional pain maison on their breakfast table or in their daily lunchbox? The average Mauritian cannot honestly enjoy a hot batch of gato piments without a crusty loaf of freshly buttered French baguette just as he finds it difficult to appreciate a slice of homemade poudine dipain without leftover bread that has aged for days. Bread, under its different facets, forms an undeniable component of our eating habits, especially so with the advent of special breads on the local market such as gluten free and multigrain varieties to cater for everyone’s needs.

To mark the celebrations, I made this lot of brioche buns, light and buttery with bits of candied fruit in those cute flower-shaped brioche molds I have not used in a while. The recipe is from Blédor, the well known brand distributed by Les Moulins de la Concorde, which has been hosting the baking completion Les Duels Gourmands for the past 4 weeks to encourage Mauritians across the country to participate in the underrated art of bread baking.

BLEDOR BRIOCHE BUNS

Ingredients:

500g all purpose flour

3 eggs, room temperature

60g granulated sugar

10g kitchen salt

10g instant yeast

175ml liquid milk

150g unsalted butter

1.25g bread improver

75g candied fruit cubes

Method:

  • Combine eggs, sugar, salt, bread improver, milk and yeast in mixer bowl fitted with dough attachment.

  • Add flour gradually, mix at low speed until it forms loose, shaggy dough. Increase speed progressively.

  • Knead for about 3 minutes then add softened butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, and knead to incorporate.

  • Knead until dough is smooth and slightly elastic. Transfer to a large bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.

  • Leave the dough to proof in a warm environment for about 1 hour until it has almost doubled in volume.

  • Pat down and lightly fold in candied fruit, then divide dough into portions of equal weight, using a scale.

  • Shape each portion into the traditional ‘brioche’ shape with a small knot on top. Place in brioche molds.

  • Preheat oven to 200oC. Leave dough to proof for another 30 minutes till it rises above the rim of molds.

  • Brush the top with milk or egg glaze and bake for about 15 minutes until well risen and golden in colour.

  • Turn out to cool slightly on wire rack, then serve warm with tea. Makes 8 large or 12 small brioche buns.

Blédor Brioche Challenge

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