“What’s you favourite type of food, Hannah?”
Oh, buddy. You just opened a can of worms. I could launch into a spiel about my love of slow cooked cassoulets with confited duck legs and Toulouse sausages. I could pitch into gnocchi and rich tomato sauces and pesto and carbonara and risotto and thin based pizzas. If you caught me on a virtuous day, I might even tell you that I actually enjoy eating kale and quinoa, because I do (haters gonna hate…)
I could tell you about the dumplings, the fluffiest egg fried rice and killer crispy shredded beef my local Chinese takeaway has down to tea. You know how much I love any thing carb based. I could extoll the virtues of my mother’s roast lamb, mince and dumplings and the lemon meringue pie that one of my sisters and I have come to physical bouts of violence over. I could wax lyrical over the minty yoghurt dips and saag aloo from the gods that our favourite Indian takeaway does. I could go on and on.
But most days, I can answer this question with one word.
These are Pets de Nonne. French deep fried choux pastry dough. They are light and airy and I’ve added lemon thyme to perfume them ever so slightly and kick them up a notch from the plain and ordinary. Pets de Nonne’s literal translation into English is “Nun’s Farts”. Giggle.
50gr unsalted butter 125ml water Two large pinches of finely chopped lemon thyme, plus extra for serving/decoration Small pinch of salt 90gr plain flour 2 eggs Icing sugar, for dusting
1, Melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan and add in the water, lemon thyme and salt. Bring to a gentle simmer over a low heat and then remove from the heat. Let this cool for a minute or two. 2, Add the flour in, in one go, and stir. Place back over a low heat and keep on stirring with a spatula or wooden spoon until you have a very soft dough. It should lift away from the sides of the pan and form a large lump; like this:
3, Remove from the heat again and leave to cool for five minutes. Crack in the eggs and whisk until you have a smooth paste like batter. 4, The batter need to be deep fried in 190o/c oil until golden brown. Bring your oil up to heat and then carefully drop in teaspoons of the batter in. I fried three at a time so I didn’t overcrowd the pan. 5, Drain onto kitchen paper, dust with icing sugar and sprinkle on more lemon thyme leaves. Serve warm.