21 November 14

Flourless Chocolate-Pecan Cake with Vanilla Cream Topping

I found two kilos of pecan halves in the dry stores the other day and my heart sank because I know how expensive they are, so the urge to use them before they became rancid was playing on my mind. I also generate lots of leftover egg whites every day as I make a lot of ice cream for the restaurant, so I try to use them up in various ways by making macarons (in two flavours), flavoured meringues (to use as decorations on puddings) and the odd pavlova here and there too.

Following the increase in demand for gluten-free dishes, I thought it’s about time to try something different. My Wicked Bitter Chocolate Cake recipe is also gluten-free, but I am constantly wishing to nurture my own curiosity by trying something ‘new’ and different from my usual repertoire of recipes.

So here we have it, a delicious flourless chocolate


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13 November 14

Venison Ale Pies with Carrot and Potato Rösti Topping

Looking out of the window today the sky is grey and the day is gloomy. Part of me sighs and thinks ‘Oh, it’s going to be winter soon’, but another part of me is happy and jumping with joy as I do have a special place in my heart for autumn. I especially love the colours of autumn or fall (‘fall’ being the American term for autumn, which I actually think is more descriptive and exactly what autumn is all about).

Cooking and eating pies at this time of the year provides a welcome comforting ‘hug’, making you feel that the cold and gloom are not so bad after all. The game season is in full swing now and I particularly enjoy cooking with venison. It’s packed full of flavour, contains very little fat and is a bit different. During the summer we cook and serve a lot of beef,


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03 November 14

Butternut Squash and Onion Bhajis

These little numbers are great fun and utterly delicious. I love pumpkin and as expressed in previous posts and in my cookbook, it’s the kind of food I was brought up eating. Lin Carter brings me the most wonderful array and varieties of squashes and pumpkins that give me great pleasure to cook wonderful and tasty recipes with.

This is a classic recipe that should not be messed about with too much, but I have added one of my favourite ingredients to make it extra fun, that is the pumpkin, of course.

We serve these bhajis at the restaurant with a bowl of Madras Spiced Pumpkin Soup. They make a delicious starter or they can also be served as a snack at a drinks party. Make the madras spice mix up to 1 month in advance and keep in an airtight container in a cool, dry cupboard until needed.


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26 October 14

Smoked Haddock and Cockle Consommé

The method used to cook this soup technically means it is not a consommé, but as the broth is cooked in a pressure cooker and is very clear, in my opinion it is as good as a consommé.

We could call this cheat’s consommé, if you prefer.

I adore smoked haddock, but then again I quite enjoy smoked foods in general. It’s the depth of flavour, the intriguing method of how the flavour is achieved and simply the fact that with wood and good-quality ingredients, the character and flavour of the food can be manipulated to achieve something rather remarkable.

I could smoke the haddock myself, but we do have a good supplier which means I can concentrate on cold-smoking my venison, lamb and other meat joints. In all fairness, I do not have that much experience in cold smoking fish.

I tend to hot-smoke fish and meat using a


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