Recipes

Recipes

Lavender & Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe

 Lavender & Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe

The drizzle cake has the tangy hit of lemon that you'd expect but with subtle hints of lavender. I only used a little lavender in this recipe as I've found that getting the balance right when it come to lavender is key.

The more eagle eyed of you might notice a corner of the cake is overdone, in my defence it's my first drizzle cake baking experience! Why am I baking drizzle cake? To join in with the Great Bloggers Bake Off hosted by Jenny at Mummy Mishaps. Running alongside the Great British Bake Off, it gives people the chance to join in with the weekly themes and share recipes. It's open to all so if you want to join in head over to Jenny's blog to find out more.

Ingredients

125 g unsalted butter
175 g caster sugar
2 large eggs
Zest of 1 lemon
175 g self raising flour
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of lavender
4 tablespoons milk
Loaf tin buttered and lined

Drizzle

Juice of 1.5 lemons (save the other half as you'll use this for the icing)
100g icing sugar

Icing

Juice of half a lemon
150g icing sugar

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 180 C/ gas mark 4. Butter and line the loaf tin.

2. Cream together butter and sugar and add eggs and lemon zest. Fold in the flour, salt and lavender and mix thoroughly. Finally add the milk. Spoon the batter into your prepared tin and bake for 45 mins or until cake tester comes out clean.

3. Drizzle time! Put the lemon juice & icing sugar into a small bowl and stir well.

4. Once the cake is out of oven, keep it in the loaf tin and puncture all over with a skewer and pour over the drizzle.

5. Leave cake in the loaf tin until it's completely cooled.

6. Icing o'clock. In another small bowl add the lemon juice and icing sugar and stir until silky smooth.

7. Spread the icing over the cooled cake, decorate with grated lemon rind and lavender if you fancy it.  

Best served with a cup of tea, sat in the garden in the sunshine.

 Lavender & Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe
 Lavender & Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe
 
Mummy Mishaps

Recipes

Campfire Popcorn

Pour a great dollop of oil onto a large sheet of aluminium foil. (We used Olive Oil.) Add a handful of popping kernels. 

Dangle parcel over the fire. It's ok to let it touch the flames. Practice patience. The popping will start just after the moment where you are about to give up; thinking that it hasn't worked. And then, you might have to contain your excitement at hearing the popping and seeing the little jolts within the package. Carefully shake your parcel every now and then. 

 Campfire Popcorn

Don't wait until the popping has completely stopped. Once the popping has slowed, remove the parcel from the fire. Don't panic if it's smoking. It could just be excess oil. It doesn't have to mean that it's gone wrong.

 Campfire Popcorn

Carefully open your parcel. (It's going to be hot. So don't burn yourself or the surface you put the foil onto.) You may be feeling a little bit excited right now.

You can eat it now. But calm your greedy self enough to wait a minute so that you don't burn your tongue. Shake in any chosen flavorings. 

Campfire popcorn seasoned with a bit of Salt, Smoked Paprika and Parmesan.
Campfire popcorn seasoned with a bit of Salt, Smoked Paprika and Parmesan.

I like mine with a bit of Salt, Smoked Paprika and Parmesan. 

You can either be satisfied that this makes up a nice portion for one, or you can go ahead and whip up another batch or two . 

I'm already thinking about the other popcorn flavorings we can try next time. Rosemary oil, drizzled butter, chilli, campfire caramel... 

Further reading

Campfire Popcorn Satchels


Curated  by

Katie Rhymes

Excitable, kooky soul living with her family in Oxford.  Loves dipping her toes in the random offerings of life and riding her bike.

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Recipes

Best Chocolate Brownie Recipe

 Best Chocolate Brownies
 Best Chocolate Brownies

Best Chocolate Brownies

Sometimes in life you JUST.NEED.CHOCOLATE. This time of the year, for me at least, is all about the comfort food and warm chocolate brownies are up there with spiced apple crumble on the my list of 'food to make you feel happy on grey days'.

This Best-ever brownies recipe is from the BBC Good Food website and that was taken from the Good Food magazine 2003. Now I'm not one to replicate other peoples shizzle but in the past I have had some killer recipes from that website bookmarked to use again and again only to find that over time they have a habit of being removed *grrr* so this one is here more for me, in case that happens again. I've changed the chocolate quantities to suit my tastes in the recipe below, as a fan of milk of dark chocolate and switch the unsalted to salted butter.

Ingredients

100g salted butter
100g good quality chocolate
100g good quality milk chocolate
85g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
100g white chocolate
3 large eggs
275g golden caster sugar

Method

  1. Cut 185g unsalted butter into small cubes and into a medium bowl. Break 100g good quality dark chocolate and 100g of good quality milk chocolate into small pieces and drop into the bowl. Fill a small saucepan about a quarter full with hot water, then sit the bowl on top so it rests on the rim of the pan, not touching the water. Put over a low heat until the butter and chocolate have melted, stirring occasionally to mix them. Remove the bowl from the pan and leave the melted mixture to cool to room temperature.
  2. While you wait for the chocolate to cool, position a shelf in the middle of your oven and turn the oven on to fan 160C/conventional 180C/gas 4. Using a shallow 20cm square tin, cut out a square of non-stick baking parchment to line the base.
  3. Tip 85g plain flour and 40g cocoa powder into a sieve held over a medium bowl, and tap the sieve so you get rid of any lumps.
  4. With a large sharp knife, chop the 100g white chocolate into chunks.
  5. Break 3 large eggs into a large bowl and tip in 275g golden caster sugar. With an electric mixer on maximum speed, whisk the eggs and sugar for 3-6 minutes until they look thick and creamy, like a milk shake.It’s ready when the mixture becomes really pale and about double its original volume. 
  6. Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the eggy mousse, then gently fold together with a rubber spatula. The idea is to marry them without knocking out the air, so be gentle and slow.
  7. Hold the sieve over the bowl of eggy chocolate mixture and resift the cocoa and flour mixture, shaking the sieve from side to side, to cover the top evenly. Gently fold in this powder, the mixture will look dry and dusty at first, and a bit unpromising, but if you keep going very gently, it will end up looking fudgy. Stop just before you feel you should, as you don’t want to overdo this mixing.
  8. Finally, stir in the white chocolate chunks until they’re dotted throughout. 
  9. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, scraping every bit out of the bowl with the spatula. Gently ease the mixture into the corners of the tin and paddle the spatula from side to side across the top to level it. Put in the oven and set your timer for 25 minutes.
  10. When the buzzer goes, open the oven, pull the shelf out a bit and gently shake the tin. If the brownie wobbles in the middle, it’s not quite done, so slide it back in and bake for another 5 minutes until the top has a shiny, papery crust and the sides are just beginning to come away from the tin. Take out of the oven.
  11. Leave the whole thing in the tin until completely cold.
  12. These will keep in an airtight container for a good two weeks and in the freezer for up to a month.

Enjoy the yummy!

 Best Chocolate Brownies

Best Chocolate Brownies

Recipes

Blackberry Smoothie Recipe

 Blackberry Smoothie Recipe

Blackberry Smoothie Recipe

A seasonal change to apple & blackberry crumble (of which we have eaten lots of late!) Next time you go blackberrying, fill a small zip lock back with blackberries and pop them in the freezer. Then you can easily knock up this lovely smoothie in a couple of minutes any time you fancy - it's perfect for a breakfast smoothie or a treat any time of day. 

The recipe below is using the Boss high velocity blender, but could be made in any blender (only not so quickly!)

Ingredients

Frozen blackberries

1 banana, chopped into chunks

140g natural yogurt

500ml chilled milk

1 tbsp honey

Optional: 50g oat bran

 

Method

Pop all the ingredients into your Boss, pop the lid on and set it to Smoothie setting.

Boo ya! 1 minute later you have a jug of joy. Serve straight away and enjoy!

Happy picking x

 blackberries

Recipes

Mary Berry's Lavender Shortbread recipe made quick & easy

 Mary Berry's Lavender Shortbread recipe made quick & easy

Mary Berry's Lavender Shortbread recipe made quick & easy

 Mary Berry's Lavender Shortbread recipe made quick & easy

Mary Berry's Lavender Shortbread recipe made quick & easy

This recipe is made fast and simple by using the high velocity blender from Sage Appliance, the Boss. This cuts down the time from cupboard to oven to around the 5 minute mark making it an easy bake that's bound to impress but with a fraction of the effort.

Ingredients

175g butter, cubed
100g caster sugar
2 tbsp lavender petals (the purple ends of the lavender)
225g plain flour

Method

Add the butter, suagr and lavender to the Boss. There's no need to soften the butter first, just cut into cubes straight from the fridge.

 Mary Berry's Lavender Shortbread recipe made quick & easy

Mary Berry's Lavender Shortbread recipe made quick & easy

Turn the Boss onto 'Stir' for 1.5 minutes, pausing it half way through to push the mix down from the sides with the scraper.

Add the flour in to the Boss and turn it to 'Mix' for 2 minutes. Again you may need to pause it halfway through the scrape the mix form the sides into the middle.

 the Boss, Sage Applainces

the Boss, Sage Applainces

Remove the mix from the Boss, tipping it into a large bowl. The mix will now be of a 'playdough' consistency. Bring it together with your hands and divide the mix into two.

 Mary Berry's Lavender Shortbread recipe made quick & easy

Mary Berry's Lavender Shortbread recipe made quick & easy

Lightly cover a worksurface in caster sugar. Now roll one half of the formed mix into a sausage shape over the caster sugar.

*In the original recipe this is the point where it tells you to put the two rolls of shortbread into the fridge for half and hour. I have tried this both using the fridge and bypassing this stage and I couldn't notice any difference in the finished biscuits. I'm not a lazy cook, just one that doesn't believe in making things harder or longer than they need to be!

 Mary Berry's Lavender Shortbread recipe made quick & easy

Mary Berry's Lavender Shortbread recipe made quick & easy

Take a sharp knife and cut the roll into biscuit sections. Pop the sections onto the baking trays, leaving room between them to spread as they bake.

Transfer the trays to the oven for 15-20 minutes.

Take out of the oven and transfer the shortbread to a wire cooling rack. Try not to give into temptation and eat one straight away!

 Mary Berry's Lavender Shortbread recipe made quick & easy

Mary Berry's Lavender Shortbread recipe made quick & easy

Recipes

Cherry & Brandy Mini-Crumbles Recipe

I like crumble, cherries and brandy so this seemed like a very good idea. The result? A tasty treat that my whole family enjoyed, the brandy isn’t overpowering it’s just there subtly, warming you up. The recipe below show the making of 4 mini-crumbles but you can easily make one family sized crumble instead. It would be equally delicious with apples, click here for more apple recipes.

 

Ingredients

For the fruity bit

1kg Cherries

2 Cooking apples

100 ml Brandy

1 tbsp sugar

For the crumble

100g plain flour

75g butter

50g porridge oats

100g demerara sugar

4 small oven-proof ceramic dishes/ ramekins / casserole mini-pots

 

Method

The night before: De-stone the cherries - this takes a while but is strangely enjoyable. Discard the stones and add the cherries to a large bowl. Pour over the brandy and shake over the tbsp of sugar and mix together. Cover with clingfilm and pop in the fridge overnight.

The next day: Heat oven to 200 degs.

Peel, core and chop the cooking apples. Add both them and the cherries & brandy mixture from the fridge to a saucepan and heat gently, bringing to nearly-the-boil. When the apples have mushed up a bit remove the pan from the heat and divide the mix between the mini-pots.

For the crumble, add the flour and butter to a food processor and blast until the mix resembles breadcrumbs. Now tip that mix into a large bowl and add the oats and sugar and mix well by hand. Add the mix to the tops of the pots, pressing down firmly in the top of each.

Add to the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Yummy serves with a dollop of clotted cream on top for the ultimate opulence. Would be perfect to batch cook too.

Recipes

Rhubarb & Stem Ginger Crumble

 Rhubarb & Stem Ginger Crumble

Rhubarb & Stem Ginger Crumble

Ahhh sticky, sweet warm rhubarb gingeriness bubbling up and devouring oaty crumble topping. This my friends is the mother of Springtime comfort foods. It gives the sunshine of seasonal rhubarb, in this case from Grandads garden and matches it with the warmth of stem ginger and Autumnal oaty vibes of crumble which comforts the soul - especially on the wetter spring days.

Delicious hot or cold the only decision that you need make is cream, ice-cream or old-skool custard...

This recipe is a combo of a tweak of this Jamie Oliver stewed rhubarb recipe and Nigel Slater's Apple Crumble topping.

Ingredients

Stewed rhubarb and ginger

750 g rhubarb, trimmed and chopped
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
100 g caster sugar
2 pieces stem ginger, finely chopped
Bit of the sryupy juice from the jar of stem ginger
3 tbsp water

Oaty crumble topping

100g plain flour
75g butter
50g rolled oats
100g demerara sugar

 

 Rhubarb & Stem Ginger Crumble

Rhubarb & Stem Ginger Crumble

Method

  1. Put all the stewed rhubarb ingredients into a large saucepan or, as I have used a Le Creuset cat iron Casserole pot (can be used on hob then transferred straight to the oven).
  2. Bring the mix to the boil and then leave to simmer for 5-10 minutes. 
  3. Whilst simmering, make the crumble topping and pop the oven on heat 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  4. In a large mixing bowl add the butter and flour and rub together until you get the breadcrumby consistency that you would expect for a crumble. 
  5. Add the oats and sugar and mix, again by hand.
  6. Take the stewed rhubarb from the heat. If you used a saucepan, transfer the stewed rhubarb to an oven proof dish and place the crumble mix on top. If like me, you used a cast iron casserole dish just wang on the crumble topping.
  7. Cook for about 25- 30 minutes.
 Rhubarb & Stem Ginger Crumble

Rhubarb & Stem Ginger Crumble

Yep, my crumble sank a bit, and yes the rhubarb seeped over the top but it's an honest dish of comforting food and ruddy tasty.  ENJOY!

Recipes

Blueberry & lemon traybake with lemon mascapone frosting & violas

 Blueberry & lemon traybake with violas

Blueberry & lemon traybake with violas

This cake is a nice alternative for those who aren't keen on the chocolate overload that Easter can sometimes bring.  Violas are widely available in garden centres and local supermarkets at the moment, but before you plant them out in the garden why not use a few petals to bring some of the Spring outside to the inside? 

Truth be told, flavour-wise the violas don't bring much to the taste-party but they look lovely and were totally worth it for the look of 'eee cute!' on Kitty's face when she clapped eyes on it for the first time. This is a slightly modified version of this Blueberry and lemon traybake recipe over on BBC Food. I am favouring the BBC Food website over the BBC Good Food site lately as the recipes seem to be of a better and more reliable quality (anyone else finding that too?)

Recipe

Ingredients

Cake
125g butter, softened
225g caster sugar
2 eggs
250g natural yoghurt
1 unwaxed lemon, zest and juice
300g self-raising flour
½ tsp baking powder
150g blueberries

Topping
50g butter, softened
300g icing sugar, sieved
200g mascapone
Juice of 1 lemon
Viola petals

Method

Making the cake

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease and line a rectangular baking tin ,approximately 26cm x 20cm.

Beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well combined. 

Stir in the yoghurt, lemon juice and zest, flour and baking powder until well combined.

Fold in the blueberries.

Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 40-45 minutes.

Remove the cake from the oven, and set aside until completely cool.


Making the frosting

Beat the butter and icing sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy. 

Beat in the mascapone and lemon juice.

Spread over the top of the cake. 

Sprinkle over the viola petals.

ENJOY!

  BLUEBERRY & LEMON TRAYBAKE WITH LEMON MASCAPONE FROSTING & VIOLAS

BLUEBERRY & LEMON TRAYBAKE WITH LEMON MASCAPONE FROSTING & VIOLAS

Recipes

Catalan Fish Stew Recipe

 Catalan Fish Stew

Catalan Fish Stew

This has to be one of my all-time favourite recipes. It’s hearty, easy to make, packs big flavours and an aroma when cooking that will have everyone’s mouth watering. This is one of those rare stews which is perfect any time of the year, be it the height of Summer or the depths of Winter. I eat a bowl and I’m taken back in time to our family holiday in Sicily a couple of years ago, lovely when food triggers happy memories like that isn’t it? Bold Mediterranean flavours with a chilli kick to warm your soul…ah I could talk about it all day but instead I’ll cut to the chase and share the recipe.

 Catalan Fish Stew

Catalan Fish Stew


Ingredients
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
2 fennel bulbs, chopped
150g chorizo, diced
1 red chilli, finely chopped (or more if like us you like things hot)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½tsp paprika powder
400g tin chopped tomatoes
100ml fl oz fish stock
150ml white wine
400g peeled prawns
650g mixed fish (fish pie mix from supermarkets or ask your local fishmonger for a selection of Pollock, salmon and cod)
3 tbsp flour

Method
Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the onions, fennel, diced chorizo, chilli and garlic to fry for a few minutes over a low to medium heat.
Add the paprika and tomatoes and cook until reduced to a thickish sauce.
Add the fish stock and white wine and bring to a simmer.
Add the prawns and fish and cook for a further 10 minutes until the fish has cooked.

Yummy served with chunks of crusty bread.

Serving tip: Finely grate lemon zest on top for a zingy hit.

Recipes

Prepare at home, enjoy outdoors: Roasted Garlic & Pea Soup

 Prepare at home, enjoy outdoors: Roasted Garlic & Pea Soup

Prepare at home, enjoy outdoors: Roasted Garlic & Pea Soup

It's that time of the year when we start to embrace stews, fruit crumbles and soups. Long gone are the crunchy Summer salads, now Chez Spratt we are all about food we can eat in bowl and dunk hearty hunks of bread in. If you enjoy going on long Autumnal walks, on your own or with your family then why not grab a thermos and take some soup for a warm treat or for something with a bit more wow factor what about making this Goats cheese tarte tatin ?

This recipe is made easy by replacing roasting garlic in the oven with the nifty Roasted garlic and Parsely variety of Oxo Herbs & More. For those of you who haven't discovered Oxo Herbs & More yet, they are flavour reductions, conveniently sealed into little pots for freshness. 

 Prepare at home, enjoy outdoors: Roasted Garlic & Pea Soup

Prepare at home, enjoy outdoors: Roasted Garlic & Pea Soup

 Prepare at home, enjoy outdoors: Roasted Garlic & Pea Soup

Prepare at home, enjoy outdoors: Roasted Garlic & Pea Soup

Ingredients

2 x 20g Oxo Herbs & More -  garlic & parsley
200 g frozen peas
25g butter
2 tablespoons of  freshly grated Parmesan
200 ml water

Method

  1. Cook the peas in boiling salted water. Drain and blend. 
  2. Add the butter, Parmesan, both the Oxo Herbs & More garlic & parsley tubs and half the water. Blend to a creamy puree. 
  3. Pour into a saucepan and add the remaining water.
  4. Heat gently, season and enjoy!!
  5. Non veggies might like to tear up some ham to stir in, or crisp up a rasher of bacon to crumble on top - my children go made for this soup with ham stirred in.
  6. Delicious served with some decent, warm, freshly baked bread.
 Prepare at home, enjoy outdoors: Roasted Garlic & Pea Soup

Prepare at home, enjoy outdoors: Roasted Garlic & Pea Soup

 Prepare at home, enjoy outdoors: Roasted Garlic & Pea Soup

Prepare at home, enjoy outdoors: Roasted Garlic & Pea Soup

 Prepare at home, enjoy outdoors: Roasted Garlic & Pea Soup

Prepare at home, enjoy outdoors: Roasted Garlic & Pea Soup


More Recipes

Recipes

Ultimate Tasty Burger Recipe

Ultimate Tasty Burger Recipe
Ultimate Tasty Burger Recipe

This one's not for you vegetarians, you might like this Oreo Fudge Recipe though.

BBQ season is upon us so this week has been all about the burger here, and we prefer making our own to buying them in, so below you can find our Ultimate Tasty Burger recipe- before first, here's the sort of Summer fun that demands a BBQ reward.

Minisaurus

 

makes 4 burgers

Ingredients 350g steak mince - fresh from the butcher is way nicer than supermarket mince 5 crushed Jacobs crackers Clove of crushed garlic 1 medium egg yolk OXO Shake and Flavour Rich Beef Seasoning Granules

Method All all the above ingredients into a large mixing bowl. With clean hands, mix the ingredients together well. Form 4 burgers from the binded mix and pat them out on a lightly floured chopping board. You can either cook them straight away or clingfilm them and pop them in the fright until you are ready.

Crack open the BBQ charcoal and get cooking!

Best served in a decent bap, with fresh salad, thinly sliced red onion rings, a slither of blue cheese, mustard and some fiery salsa.You might like to check out my demonic strength Scotch Bonnet Salsa recipe if you likey things spicy.

To accompany our burgers we plumped for Southern Fried flavoured Roasty-Wedges. For this simply halve some Jersey Royal potatoes and par boil before draining and adding to a roasting tray. Sprinkle over as much OXO Shake and Flavour Southern Fried Seasoning Granules as you fancy and then drizzle over olive oil and pop them in a very hot oven until nice and crispy.

Recipes

Trout, asparagus & fennel salad

Trout, asparagus & fennel salad

I found the loveliest Jamie Oliver recipe in one of the Sunday paper magazines this last weekend, the second I clapped eyes on it the Klaxon of Spring went off in my head and I knew we needed to make it. So we did, for tea yesterday - enjoyed whilst sat in the garden in the glorious sunshine. Happy days!

This serves 2 very hungry adults...

Ingredients

(slightly tweaked from the original)

350g salad potatoes or new potatoes

1 fennel bulb

150g asparagus

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

Juive of 1 lemon

4 tbsp olive oil

2 rainbow trout fillets, scaled and boned

1 tsp smoked paprika

80g watercress

1/2 bunch dill, chopped

Method

In a large pan of salted boiling water, boil and cook the potatoes through, which should take about 10 minutes. Drain and leave to steam dry.

Thinly slice the fennel and asparagus using a speed peeler or a food processor chopper. I used the smashing Sage Control Grip All in One  which my good blogging chum Mummy Barrow gave me as it's quick and easy to slice up veggies with. When it's all been sliced pop the pieces into a large bowl of cold water.

In a little bowl, mx the Dijon mustard and lemon juice well, and then top up with the olive oil, again mixing well. Set aside.

Take the trout and season it well, drizzle over a bit of olive oil and sprinkle over the paprika.

Take a large non-stick frying pan and pop it over a high heat and drizzle a bit of olive oil in it. Add the trout, skin side down for about 4 minutes, then flip over and fry the non-skin side for 1 minute. Transfer the trou to a plate, skin side up.

Drain the asparagus and fennel and place ina large mixing bowl with the watercress and mix it up. Add in the potatoes and mix up with your hands - great to get your hands into your food. Drizzle over the Dijon mix and again, mix through.

Tip out onto a serving platter and flake over the trout fillets.

Grab a fork each and dig in - nicest served outdoors in the sunshine!


More recipes

Recipes

Oreo fudge recipe

Oreo and white chocolate fudge recipe - tastes SO good!
Oreo and white chocolate fudge recipe - tastes SO good!

This is good fudge. This is the sort of fudge that makes you want to put on some Barry White, dim the lights and pop on your best pants.

Ingredients

100g butter

350g white caster sugar

300ml double cream

100g white chocolate, broken into chunks

4 pack of Mini-Oreos - or use a whole pack of the big ones, taking a couple for eatings whilst making the fudge obvs.

Spring-form baking tin

Method

Melt the butter in a large saucepan

Add the sugar and mix well

Add the double cream and crank up the heat to high. Stir the mix constantly for the next 5 minutes, whilst it furiously bubbles away

Remove from the heat and stir in the white chocolate chunks

Leave to cool for 5 minutes, stir once again and then pour half the mix into the greased spring-form tin

Scatter most of the Mini-Oreos across the mix and then pour the final half of the fudge mix on top

Press in the few remaining Mini-Oreos to the top

Cover with cling film and set in the fridge overnight

Cut up and enjoy!

Recipes

Creme Egg chocolate quiche

Cadburys Creme Egg chocolate quiche
Cadburys Creme Egg chocolate quiche

Chocolate quiche? Chocolate quiche ? Oh yes indeed, mammas been experimenting...

Base Ingredients

250 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting 50 g icing sugar 125 g good-quality unsalted cold butter, cut into small cubes 1 orange, (optional) 1 vanilla pod, halved and seeds scraped out (optional) 1 large free-range egg, beaten a splash of milk

Base Method

I followed Jamie Oliver's Sweet Pastry recipe to the letter. It worked really well and I'll be using this recipe again, loving the idea of adding a vanilla pod or orange zest to it in the future. I baked it, in a 24cm silicone flan mould which I recently received from the nice folks at Unique Home Living. Having not baked with a silicone mould before I didn't know quite what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised.

One the pastry base was cooked and completely cooled I removed it from the silicone mould and popped it on a plate.

Filling Ingredients

100g milk chocolate, finely chopped ½ tsp vanilla extract 2 medium egg whites 2 tbsp dark muscovado sugar 85g half-fat crème fraîche 6 Creme eggs, cut in half

Filling Method

Melt the chocolate in a perspex bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. Remove form the heat

Whisk the 2 egg whites until they make stiff white peaks.

Add the crème fraîche to the chocolate and mix together.

Now fold in the egg whites into the mix a bit at a time.

Once all folded in together and looking smooth pour the mix into the sweet pastry base.

Push the halved creme eggs into the chocolate tart and pop in the fridge to set for at least 3 hours.

It's a rich tart but by adding crème fraîche instead of cream to the mix it re-addressed a bit of the naughtiness balance!

Recipes

Pan-fried Pheasant with Colcannon for Two - Recipe

Pan-fried Pheasant with Colcannon for Two -  Recipe
Pan-fried Pheasant with Colcannon for Two - Recipe

Pheasant is in season and this recipe gives you hearty fodder to celebrate this fabulous game bird. An opulent meal for two, it's perfect for a cold and rainy Autumn day. Serve individually or on one huge platter to share, as seen above. Delicious served with a red win jus and a cheeky glass of vino. Inspired by the lovely evening spent at Jamie Oliver HQ for a Food Geek Underground Workshop on all things pheasant last week.

Ingredients

  • 2 Pheasant breasts*
  • 2 rashers of smoked back bacon, finely chopped
  • 1kg potatoes, peeled and halved
  • 1 Savoy cabbage - finely shredded
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Rosemary sprigs
  • 100g butter
  • 150ml double cream

*I bought a whole pheasant from my local butcher and asked him to remove the breasts for me, and I kept the legs and carcass to make soup)

Method

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and add the potatoes.

Take 25g of the butter and add to a large frying pan or wok.

Add the finely chopped bacon and shredded savoy cabbage and fry for 5 minutes, after which time, remove form the hob and set aside.

Prepare your pheasant breasts. Skin on or off according to your tastes, we chose skin off. Bash the breasts to tenderise, I used a pestle for this. Add a rosemary sprig to both breasts and a crushed clove of garlic, skin still on, to each too. Again, bash the breasts.

One your potatoes are boiled, drain them. In a large saucepan, add the remaining 75g of butter and the double cream and bring them to the boil. Once boiling turn the heat down a tad and beat in the potato.

Next, add the bacon and cabbage mixture to the potato and stir well, seasoning to taste.

Take a frying pan and pop it over a high heat, the pan needs to get very hot before you put the pheasant breasts in - else the meat with shrink instead of seal. Add a generous splash of olive oil to the frying pan and then add both the breasts, herby side down and press down with something - I used a bacon press but you could just use a smaller saucepan.

Cook the breast for 2 minutes then turn and press again. After another 2 minutes remove the breasts and set them aside to rest for a couple of minutes.

Serve up the colcannon and then finally, slice the pheasant breasts and serve on top.

Delicious served with a red wine jus. 

Recipes

Crab & Fennel Linguine

Earlier this week I enjoyed a lovely morning in local Lymington where I bought some local crab along with some fennel, more about that here. I chose crab to cook with this week having found a lovely little Crab Linguine recipe in the The Times, many thanks to them for the inspiration. The recipe below will serve 2 very hungry adults (or a more refined family of 4!)

Ingredients

Crab Meat 200g Linguine 200g Fennel bulb Fennel seeds, 1 tbsp Crushed chilli flakes, 1 tbsp 1 Garlic clove 1 Lemon Olive oil

Method

Firstly, boil a kettle of water ready to cook the linguine in moment.

Now to prepare the fennel. Remove the outer layer and stalk and slice the bulb as thinly as you can.

Crush the fennel seeds and add the chilli flakes.

Grate the zest of the lemon and squeeze the juice out and set aside.

Over a low to medium heat, heat the olive oil in a frying pan or wok. Add the garlic, chilli, fennel seeds and cook for a couple of minutes to soften.

Next, add in the crab and lemon juice and zest and stir together. Keep over a low heat.

Add the boiling water to a large saucepan along with a pinch of salt and set over a high heat on your hob. When the water is bubbling away add in the linguine.

Five minutes later pop the fennel slices in the pan with the linguine.

A couple of minutes later, drain the pasta and fennel and stir the crab mix through it.

Plate up and enjoy! Lovely served with crusty bread.