Wednesday, 30 April 2008
Friday, 25 April 2008
Wednesday, 23 April 2008
Tuesday, 22 April 2008
Monday, 21 April 2008
Dumplings with Brandy and Bacon Sauce
Preparation time 10 minutes plus 20 minutes cooking
For the dumplings
4oz self raising flour
salt and pepper
water to mix
1.5 litres chicken or vegetable stock
For the sauce
3 rashers of bacon, finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
3 tbsp brandy
250ml creme fraiche
salt and pepper to season
1 tbsp gravy granules
Parsley, finely chopped for garnish
Place the flour, suet and seasoning in a bowl and mix to a soft dough with cold water. Add the water a little at a time so the dough does not become too sticky. If it does add a little more flour. Form the dough into small dumplings, heat the stock in a large pan and once simmering add the dumplings. Poach the dumplings for 20 minutes. They will increase in size so use a large saucepan for cooking.
Whilst the dumplings are cooking, pan fry the bacon and onions until the are soft (approx 5 minutes). Add the brandy and cook gently until it has almost evaporated. Add the creme fraiche, granules and heat gently until the sauce is thick and creamy. Place the dumplings in a bowl, top with the sauce and sprinkle with parsley to garnish.
If making this recipe for vegetarians, use vegetarian suet and replace the bacon with mushrooms.
Friday, 18 April 2008
Rose and lavender drizzle cake
Everyone loves lemon drizzle cake – it is always a teatime favourite. The rose and lavender petals add a delicate floral fragrance to the lemon drizzle. This is a perfect “garden” cake served in its flowerpot.
Preparation time 15 minutes, plus 25 – 30 minutes baking.
Makes one 8 inch cake
225g/8oz caster sugar
4 large eggs
225g/8oz self raising flour
Zest and juice of 3 lemons
1 tbsp of dried culinary lavender and rose petals
2 tbsp icing sugar
Preheat your oven to Gas Mark 5/375F/190oC. Line an 8 inch flower pot with grease proof paper, cutting a circle slightly larger than the base and a long rectangle curled round the sides of the flowerpot. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then gently add the flour and lemon zest. Bake at Gas Mark 5/190oC/Aga Roasting oven below a cold shelf for 40/50mins until the cake is firm to touch. If the cake starts to brown too much before the cake is cooked cover the top with foil. Just before you remove the cake from the oven, heat the lemon juice with the icing sugar and lavender and rose petals in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved and you have a light syrup. Pour the syrup and petals over cake as soon as it comes out of the oven and leave to cool.
Thursday, 17 April 2008
Wednesday, 16 April 2008
Sunday, 13 April 2008
Thursday, 10 April 2008
Tuesday, 8 April 2008
Sunday, 6 April 2008
Pineapple and cinnamon tatin
Serves 6, preparation time 10 minutes, cooking time 25 minutes
1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into rings (you can substitute tinned pineapple if you are short on time but fresh is better)
250g puff pastry
2 tbsp golden syrup
100g caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Heat the syrup, butter, sugar and cinnamon in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved, bring to the boil and then remove from the heat. Pour into the base of a flan or tatin dish and set aside to cool slightly. Place the pineapple on top of the caramel in a decorative pattern, roll out the pastry and cover the pineapple. Bake in a hot oven (Gas Mark 6/Aga roasting oven/400F/200C) for approximately 25 minutes until the pastry has risen and is golden. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Invert the tart onto a plate and serve warm. We loved the smell of this pudding - bringing memories of holidays abroad and warm sunny days!
Friday, 4 April 2008
Cheese and onion are a classic combination – the chives in this recipe give a delicate onion flavour. This bread is hearty and goes well with soup.
Preparation time 20 minutes plus 45 - 60 minutes proving and 20-25 minutes
Makes one loaf
500g/1lb 2oz strong white bread flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 sachet of easy blend yeast (7g)
350ml warm water
100g strong cheddar cheese, grated
10g chives, finely snipped
1 egg, beaten
Preheat the oven to 200C/390F/Gas 6. Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and slowly add the warm water, mixing to form a soft dough. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. Turn the dough out on to a flat surface and knead for 7 - 8 minutes until the dough is smooth and pliable. If you have a dough hook on your mixer, the kneading time can be reduced to 5 minutes. Leave the dough to rest for 5 minutes and then reknead for a further 5 minutes, adding the chives and 75g of the grated cheese. Form the dough into a round ball and place on a greased baking tray. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place (a warm airing cupboard or on top of the Aga is ideal) until the dough has doubled in size. When the dough has risen, brush the top of the loaf with the beaten egg and sprinkle over the remaining cheese. Bake in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes until the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.