24 March 09

mixed_spice_ice_cream

Mixed Spiced Ice Cream

The best kitchen gadget and the number one must have for 2009 is the phenomenal Thermomix. There is very little that this machine wonder cannot do in the terms of cooking.

Being gadget freaks there is probably very few kitchen gadgets that we have not owned. We had an ice cream maker which unfortunately broke when we moved home. Without the ice cream machine, we never really bothered making ice cream until the Thermomix arrived. It’s actually quite simple and the golden rule is that the mixture must be frozen solid otherwise your ice cream turns to slushpuppie.

I make the crème anglaise and pour the mixture into ice cube trays, place them in the freezer over night until solid. When needed I follow the instructions below, it’s as simple as that. If you do not have a thermomix but still like the sound of this recipe then cook

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23 March 09

sticks71

Crusty Bread Sticks

This recipe is a follow on to the farmhouse white loaf recipe inspired by Richard Bertinet. I have used exactly the same bread dough and the same method, however I ended up making fantastic crusty bread sticks instead of a baking a loaf.

Richard Bertinett reminded us how important it is to chew our food and crusty bread takes  a little longer to chew than the refined soft bread that is widely available. By chewing our food and consuming roughage supports our digestive systems and encourages the right amount of movement when required. I’m sure you get the point I am making. Richard feels just as strong about the crust as he does about the dough,therefore his second book is called “Crust”.

I have used the organic Shipton Mill white flour type 55 with a 10.7% protein content for these little beauties. I met Tom Russell marketing manager from Shipton

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22 March 09

salad1

Creamy Butternut Squash and Butter Bean Salad

I was inspired to make this salad after visiting Ottolenghi in Notting Hill. If you have ever had the opportunity to visit any of the Ottolenghi shops you are seriously spoilt for choice. As soon as you enter the premises the produce literally spills from the counters, it’s fantastic everything in abundance.  I dare you to walk in an Ottolenghi and not feel inspired to go home that day and cook up a storm.

This delicious creamy butternut squash and butter beans salad makes a perfect main meal or a hearty side dish. Mashing half the roasted butternut squash gives the salad the creamy texture alongside the giant butter beans and the crunchy texture is added by the toasted butternut squash seeds. I love the smoky roasted flavours of the butternut and the Romano peppers. It’s a rather romantic dish, one I would feel good about serving to loved ones.

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20 March 09

fabien21

Buttermilk Pudding with Blood Oranges

When I received an invitation to spend a morning in the pastry section of Rocco Forte’s Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair with head pastry chef Fabien Ecuvillon I was delighted. Fabien is a very good friend of mine; we have known each other for sometime. I like to listen to Fabien as he knows what he’s talking about and I know that I will learn a thing or two.
While I was there Tony has turned out 360 miniature scones for the afternoon tea. Vernon baked a few apple cheesecakes and made a batch of individual Yorkshire Rhubarb pies.  The rest was a blur as they all move so fast, I have about 300 blurry photos of them all dashing about. I had a great morning and felt privileged to be there, as I have not been in a pastry kitchen of that calibre for quite some time.

Fabien has made

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