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Recipe

Sausage Cobbler

At this time of year, when the days get shorter and the trees are starting to drop their Autumn leaves, we often look forward to making and enjoying comfort food. Most people consider comfort food to be hearty casseroles, stews and pies. This recipe is a cross between a casserole and a pie, it is easy to make and will appeal to people of all ages. It can easily be made vegetarian and with a few specialist ingredients, vegan too. The gravy is an interesting combination of sweet and sour using cider and balsamic vinegar as its base. Apple juice can easily be substituted if you don’t want to use alcohol.

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 tablespoon oil

8 thick pork sausages

1 large onion sliced thinly

3 carrots sliced or diced

2 sticks celery chopped

1 parsnip chopped

1 small leek sliced into rings

1 eating apple cored and chopped

500ml cider

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard

1 heaped teaspoon honey

1 stock cube

200ml water

Salt and pepper

1 Tbs cornflour mixed with water

Cobbler

200g SR Flour

50g soft butter or margarine

Salt, pepper, mustard mixture (tsp each)

1 egg beaten with 50ml milk

Method

Pre heat oven to Fan 180 or regular 200, gas mark 6

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the sausages. Cook for a few minutes until well browned, do not prick the skins as this will keep the sausages juicy inside. When the sausages are a good colour remove to an ovenproof casserole dish. In the same frying pan add the onions (a little more oil if required) and cook until starting to look translucent then add all the other vegetables and the apple and cook stirring frequently for a few minutes. This will start to soften the vegetables. Add the salt and pepper to taste and the mustard and the honey. Add the contents of the pan to the casserole dish. To deglaze the frying pan, add the cider and bring to the boil, add the vinegar and the water, sprinkle on the stock cube. Pour this liquid into the casserole dish. Stir the contents of the casserole dish and cover with a lid or tin foil and place into the oven. Bake for about 45minutes until the vegetables are tender.

During this time make the cobbler. Add the butter to the self-rising flour and rub in with fingers tips, Add the seasoning and mustard. Add the egg milk mixture bit by bit until you can form a dough that will roll out. Reserve a little egg mixture for glazing. Pat or roll the dough until it is about 2 cm thick and cut out rounds using a small cutter.

When the vegetables are tender take the casserole out of the oven. Remove the lid or foil and pour in the cornflour water, stirring it all around. This will thicken the gravy. Place the cobbler rounds around the circumference of the dish. Brush the tops with a little egg mixture. Put back into the oven and bake for a further 10 to 15 minutes until the cobblers are risen and golden brown.

Baking Recipe

Stilton, Pear,Walnut Tart

Its that time of year when Summer is drifting away and Autumn comes calling. Orchard fruits are everywhere and here I use pears as a crown on a bed of stilton custard and walnut pastry. its another alternative to a cheese board or a great starter to a fancy meal. It is a quiche but dressed up to impress!

Walnut Pastry

175g plain flour. 90g butter. 2 Tbs cold water. 50g walnuts (blitz in food processor) Pinch salt.

Using fingertips rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add salt and walnuts. Add the water a little at a time and mix until it makes a firm dough. Wrap in film and chill in the fridge for half an hour. Heat the oven to 190 degrees. Grease a 20cm loose bottomed tin. remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out to the thickness of a pound coin. Lift the pastry and line the tin with it, easing in with thumbs and fingers. Run the rolling pin over the top to trim the excess. Put the tin into the freezer for ten minutes to chill down. Place a sheet of greaeproof paper over the chilled pastry and fill with baking beans (or dried pasta/rice) this is to partially blind bake the pastry to prevent a soggy bottom. Pop this in the oven and bake for ten minutes, then remove paper and beans and bake for a further five minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 160 degrees. remove the pastry from the oven.

Savoury custard

Beat 2 eggs and add 150ml double cream, mix well. Add 100g crumbled stilton cheese and a handfull of crushed walnuts.

Poached Pears

Peel four small pears and place in a pan containing 100g sugar,100ml white wine and 100ml red wine and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Bring to boil and then simmer until the pears are tender. Remove from syrup and cool. Slice the bottoms off to so they will stand upright.

Place the custard into the pastry shell and then stand the pears in the custard. Bake in the oven until the custard is just set. Serve hot or Cold. The image shows apricots set into the custard too, which is another option!

Recipe

French Strawberry Tart

My favourite treat when I am in France are the little strawberry tarts that are in all the superbarkets and bakeries. Here is my version, this is a sharing tart using a fluted 20cm loose bottomed tin.

Pre Heat Oven to 190 degrees

Pate Sucre (sweet pastry)

200g Plain flour

115g cold cubed butter

50g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla paste

1 beaten egg

Place the flour and butter into a bowl and using finger tips rub the butter in until it all resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and stir through. Add the egg and vanilla and mix in with a flat bladed knife until a dough is formed. Wrap in film and chill in the fridge for about half an hour.

Remove from the fridge and roll out to the thickness of a pound coin. Place in the greased tin and press firmly to the bottom and sides. Run a rolling pin over the top to trim off the excess. Place in freezer to chill for about ten minutes.

Remove from freezer, lay a sheet of greaseproof onto the pastry and fill with baking beans. Cook for 15 minutes then remove paper and beans and cook for a furthur five minutes. Remove from the oven to cool.

Custard (Creme pattisserie)

30g caster sugar

30g cornflour

4 egg yolks

1tsp vanilla paste

350ml milk

100g white chocolate

Whisk together the sugar, cornflour,egg yolk and vanilla in a heatproof bowl. warm the milk to almost boiling. Pour the milk on to the egg mixture whisking all the time. Return the custard to the pan and bring to a boil, stirring all the time until the custard is very thick. Add the chocolate and stir in. Leave to cool.

Chantilly Cream

300ml Double Cream

1 Tbs icing sugar

Whip the cream with electric mixer until soft peaks are formed, add the icing sugar and whisk a few seconds more.

Assembly

Fill the pastry shell with the cooled custard. Using about 400g strawberries sliced in half vertically cover the top of the custard leaving a margin of about two cenimetres around the edge. Using a piping bag and nozzle or just a spoon fill the margin with the cream. Using a little apricot jam mixed with hot water, brush the strawberries, this will make them shiny and special. scatter flaked toasted almonds on the cream.

Christmas Recipe

Indulgent Parsnip Soup

I made this soup in an attempt to get my husband to eat parsnips, he hates them apparently! Not any more, I tricked him with this delicate soup, based on a German theme but rich and creamy with a hint of apples and spice! The wine can be omitted and replaced with extra stock.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 50g butter
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 400g parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large potato peeled and chopped
  • 250ml dry white wine (Riesling)
  • 150ml apple juice
  • 500ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 200ml single cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • handful smoked lardons

Method

in a large pan soften the onions in the butter then add the parsnips and potatoes, cook for a few minutes stirring all the time. Then add the wine and bring to a boil this will remove the alcohol content but leave the taste.Add the stock, mustard, apple juice and all the seasonings. Simmer about twenty minutes until the vegetables are soft. Using a hand blender stick blitz the soup until very smooth, add more stock if its a bit thick . Add the cream and let it heat gently.

Meanwhile in a frying pan cook the lardons in their own fat, it will be released as soon as it gets warm. Crisp them up.

To serve, ladle soup into bowls then swirl a little cream into it, place a spoonful of lardons in the centre and sprinkle with smoked paprika. To make this vegetarian friendly omit the lardons and replace with a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds.

Baking Recipe

Chocolate, Praline, Hazelnut and Sea Salt Caramel Tart

This is a deliciously rich and decadent tart I created for The Taste of Kent Food Festival

Ingredients

Pastry

50g Crushed hazelnuts

115 g butter

50g caster sugar

2 egg yolks

200 g plain flour

2 Tbs cold water

Caramel

120g condensed milk

60g golden syrup

150g butter

150g light brown sugar

Large pinch smoked sea salt flakes

Ganache

 225g 70% chocolate

175ml Double Cream

30g butter

Praline

100g caster sugar

50 g hazelnuts

Decorations

100 g dark chocolate

Rub all the dry ingredients together and the add egg yolk and water and form a ball. Chill in the fridge for half an hour. Roll out the pastry and place in a 20cm loose bottomed flan tin. Blind bake the pastry in a pre heated 180 degree oven for 15 minutes, remove the baking beans and lining paper and continue to cook for about another 10 minutes .

Make the caramel by heating all the ingredients together in a saucepan until it reaches a temperature of 110 degrees. Pour into the pastry case.

Make the ganache by very gently warming the ingredients together until melted and glossy. Pour onto the caramel.

To make the praline gently heat the sugar in a heavy bottomed fry pan, swirling as it melts not stirring. When it has become a golden colour pour over the hazelnuts. Once cooled grind together in a food processor until it is like coarse sand.

Sprinkle the praline around the circumference of the ganache.

Using melted chocolate in a small piping bag makes triangles to resemble sails. Cool in the fridge and the stand upright in the ganache.

sprinkle ground sea salt over the top of the ganache.

Baking Recipe

I Had a Little Nut Tree with a Golden Pear.

Blue Cheesecake

Voila

I was trying to develop a recipe for a savoury cheesecake using Stilton in particular, I love blue cheese with walnut or pecan and pears go so well with both that this evolved. In my mind this will be great on a buffet table with the cheeseboard or instead of. A hint of sweetness in the base with ginger biscuits in there too. My thesaurus of food pairings told me that a sweet praline might give some texture and a touch more sweetness, so the shards and then the dried pear flames were born. A juicy spicy poached pear on top of a sweet/sour relish is the King of Spain’s Daughters Golden pear as i liberally polished it up with gold spray, and a scattering of crushed pecan praline looks like sparkling jewels. Showstopper!

Base

120g Savoury Crackers and Ginger Biscuits

80g Melted Butter

60g Pecans

Cake

250g Full Fat Cream Cheese with Chives/Herbs/Garlic

250g Ricotta

100g Creme Fraiche

100g Crumbled Stilton

1 Peeled and Diced Pear or Dried Pear

Tsp Mustard / Tsp Dried garlic powder/chilli flakes/smoked paprika/ anything goes

4 Beaten Eggs

Pear Relish Topping

3 Pears peeled cored and diced

1 Red Onion diced

160ml White Wine Vinegar

60g Brown Sugar

50g Mixed dried Berries

Pecan Brittle

100g Castor Sugar

50g Pecans

2 Tbs water

Poached Pear

1 peeled pear, leave stalk and bottom on

100g Castor sugar

100ml water

1 Tbs cinnamon

Dried Pears

1 Pear thinly sliced with skin on

Crush the biscuits and stir in the melted butter. In a greased and lined loose bottomed 20cm tin, press the biscuit mixture firmly down and chill in the fridge for an hour or more.

Mix all the cake ingredients together and pour on top of the base. Bake in the bottom of a 160 degree oven for about fifty minutes or until the cake is set with a slight wobble in the middle.

Put all the relish ingredients into a heavy based fry pan and bubble up until it is a jam like consistency.

Poach the pear in the sugar cinnamon water for about twenty minutes until tender

Heat the sugar and water gently in a separate pan for the brittle, do not stir, melteing the sugar and heating until it becomes caramel colored, stir in the pecans then pour it out on to grease proof sheet.

To dry the pears, slice as thinly as possible and dry in an oven on the lowest possible setting for several hours to dry out the moisture. If not using immediately store in an airtight jar.

To assemble, spoon the relish on top of the cheesecake. Place the poached pear centrally on top. Break the brittle into shards and push into the cheesecake also crushing some into smaller bits and scattering on the top. Using a small knife make slits around the cheesecake and push the dried pears into them.

I then spray some gold glitter all around for a shimmering golden pear effect.

Baking Recipe

Veggie Sausage Roll

Yesterday we were on the last day of our holiday in our caravan and I was keen to use up odds and ends in the fridge and cupboards. I found four Quorn Sausages in the freezer so this was my inspiration. I let them defrost and the sliced them into tiny bits. I found an onion a pack of mushrooms and a small pot of cottage cheese and a cube of cheddar. With the addition of some garlic, tomato pure, herbs and spices I made a massive sausage roll. I had a pack of supermarket puff pastry in the fridge too, always a standby you can make a lunch or a pud with ease.

This recipe is easy to adapt whatever you happen to have handy and is super tasty and gives you a meat free option which we are all being encouraged to do more often.

Ingredients

4 vegetarian sausages chopped into bits

1 Onion

Pack mushrooms

small tub Cottage cheese

Matchbox sized cube of Cheddar Cheese (any cheese)

Tablespoon tomato Puree

Crushed Garlic cloves to taste

Smoked paprika and Oregano (any in cupboard)

Pack Puff Pastry

Beaten Egg

Method

Using low cal spray mist a large frying pan and gently soften sausages, onion and mushrooms, add spices and herbs, garlic and tomato puree and cook for a few minutes.

Take off the heat and mix through the cottage and cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Open the Puff Pastry and lay mixture down the middle vertically. Using a sharp knife make slits on the diagonal in the four o clock direction down the right hand side and the same on the left but towards the eight o clock direction. Plait from each side overlapping in the middle and brushing with beaten egg to help stick the pastry together. Brush the finished roll all over with beaten egg and bake at 200 degrees until puffed up and golden.

Delicious Veggie Sausage Roll

Baking Recipe Yorkshire

Rhubarb and Custard Crumble Cake

This is a recipe given to me by Terry Harthill my Bake Off friend. I tweaked it here and there. It is delicious. I demonstrated this recipe at the Wakefield Rhubarb Festival Yesterday.

Roast Rhubarb

600 gram pink rhubarb

2 Tbs caster sugar

Custard

4 Egg Yolks

30g caster sugar

25g cornflour

350ml milk

1 Tsp vanilla paste

Sponge

250g butter

250 caster sugar

4 eggs

200g SR Flour

50g custard powder

1 Tsp Baking powder

Streusel Crumble

50g butter

85g soft brown sugar

85g plain flour

2 Tsp ginger powder

This recipe is made in four stages.

Heat the oven to 180 degrees

Chop the rhubarb into chunks and sprinkle with the sugar. Roast for ten minutes and remove from the oven.

Make the custard by heating the milk in a pan until almost boiling. In a bowl whisk the egg yolk, sugar, cornflour and vanilla. Pour the hot milk over it whisking all the time. Return the custard to the pan and heat on full until the custard is very thick.

Make the sponge by whisking the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add all of the other ingredients and mix together.

Stir the rhubarb gently through the sponge mixture and place the mixture into a greased and lined rectangular tin.

Using a spoon make small spaces in the sponge and drop in dollops of custard

Place in the oven for ten minutes while you make the crumble.

Make the crumble by combing all the ingredients and rubbing it all together with finger tips until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Open the oven door and very quickly scatter the crumbs over the cake. Continue to bake set, approx 45 minutes.

Leave to cool. Place a wire rack over the cake invert it. remove lining paper. Invert it again. This cake is better eaten after it has been cooled and then chilled in the fridge to keep to custard cold and fresh.

Baking Recipe Uncategorized Yorkshire

Rhubarb Relish

Yesterday I was making a very quick rhubarb relish in the Demo tent at Wakefield’s annual Rhubarb Festival. I made a quick Soda Bread and a mackerel pate to make a full lunch or supper dish.

Ingredients

1 Cup runny honey

Half cup red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons dark soy sauce

1 thumb sized piece of grated ginger

Half a red chilli chopped

2 Tsp Chinese five spice

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup chopped red onion

4 cups chopped rhubarb

In a large frying pan heat the honey and vinegar until boiling, add all the ingredients except the rhubarb and bubble on a low heat until the mixture starts to thicken into a jam like consistency. add the rhubarb and continue to cook until it is starting to soften. Turn off the heat and stir to combine the rhubarb and relish, try to keep some chunks of rhubarb for texture.

Recipe

Vegan Chickpea Curry

This is a quick curry that is perfect for a speedy dinner. Great on its own or with rice, chips, or – like I have included here – a quick pan fried naan bread. I developed this speedy store cupboard recipe for the NEC Caravan, Camping and Motorhome show live food demo.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large sliced white onion
  • 1 heaped tsp garlic paste
  • 1 heaped tsp ginger paste
  • half tsp chilli paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 1 tin coconut milk (stirred well with 3/4 cup removed for the naans)
  • 1 tin spinach (optional)

Optional Extras

  • 2 Chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 2 red chillies thinly sliced lengthways
  • 3 Handfuls fresh baby spinach
  • Handful crushed cashew nuts
  • Handful coriander

Method

  1. Chop all the vegetables and rinse the chickpeas
  2. Put a frying pan on a medium heat. Once hot, add the oil and onions.
  3. Sautée onions for five minutes until soft.
  4. Add the garlic, chilli, and ginger with the curry powder. Cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, and coconut milk. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer.
  6. Cook for 10 minutes and serve.

Quick Panfried Naans

Ingredients

  • One and three quarters cups plain flour
  • 1 heaped Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Tsp Sugar
  • 2 Tsp Oil
  • 3/4 Cup coconut Milk
  • Olive Oil and garlic paste mix for basting
  • Garlic Oil Fry Light

Method

  1. Add the dry ingredients to a bowl and mix together.
  2. Add the coconut milk gradually and mix until smooth.
  3. Split into four and shape into balls.
  4. Roll out to the thickness of a £1 coin.
  5. Spray a frying pan with FryLight and cook the naans for few minutes on each side.