I love the way the French do picnics – they just rock up with a basket, plonk it on a table or on the grass and produce from within it some bread, cheese and wine. Et voila! Lunch is served!
Do not be mistaken into thinking that this simplistic approach somehow equates to a dull, boring meal. Mais non! It is in fact rather wonderful and contains all the elements to put a big happy smile on your face.
So I started to think about picnics from this rather unfussy French mindset and I agree that a picnic should not be something that has taken you a long time to prepare. I also don’t like hauling great bulging bags full of Tupperware about with me, I want food that is portable and once consumed can be cleared away quickly and without fuss.
So I decided to knock up something that the French call ‘Cake’ but is actually sort of like a savoury loaf of bread….sort of thing. I might not be explaining this very well but trust me when I say no matter what you call it, it’s really very good!
I took inspiration from the French recipe magazine ‘Gourmand’ where they did a special edition all about these cakes with many versions and ingredients. I decided to use bacon lardons, figs and walnuts in my cake which I felt would compliment chunks of cheese and of course, red wine!
This cake doesn’t really need anything else. It doesn’t need butter or any sort of topping. It is hugely moreish and light. Quick and easy to make and transport, it’s just splendid picnic food that will definitely satisfy and impress.
So, start thinking French and get your Pique-Nique on!
Cake aux Lardons, Figues et Noix (Savory Cake with Bacon, Figs & Walnuts)
100g smoked bacon bits/lardons
150g plain flour
1 sachet of quick yeast (sachet de levure)
50g dried figs, chopped
50g walnuts, chopped
100ml sunflower oil
Pre-heat your oven to 180C. In a small frying pan, fry up your bacon bits until cooked through and golden. Reserve them on some kitchen towel to drain off excess fat.
Crack your eggs into a bowl and whisk them a little with a fork. Then add the flour, the yeast sachet, the oil and the milk and stir to combine. Then add in your bacon bits and chopped figs and walnuts and stir again. Season.
Line a loaf tin with baking paper and pour in your cake mix.
Cook in the oven for 45 minutes. Check it is cooked through by testing with a skewer. If it comes out clean, it’s cooked.
Let the cake cool on a rack and then slice and serve.
I am very happy to enter my first recipe into Four Seasons Food, the new kid on the blogging challenge block hosted by myself and the lovely Louisa from Chez Foti. (Despite entering this recipe, I am not eligible to win the prize for this month)
I am also entering this little cake loaf into this months Credit Crunch Munch as one of these little beauties is really all you need for a lovely Picnic lunch so it’s therefore very good value! Hosted by myself this month, created by Helen from Fuss Free Flavours and Camilla from Fab Food 4 All.