Guests always want our cookie recipe, so here it is.....
230g self raising flour
60g oats OR ground
almonds with a choice of..
60g chocolate chips,
raisins, chopped cherries or crystallised ginger
½ tsp vanilla essence
the butter and mix in the sugar
the egg and beat in followed by the oats, fruit etc
the flour and mix in
golf-ball sized gobs on a baking tray and bake for 9 – 10 mins at 180
Celsius, or until pale golden brown.
Do not overcook, as they are best left chewy in the middle and
crisp on the edges.
Mix and match the flavours…..
For example, the oats can be used with raisins, choc chips and ginger
..or, mix the almonds with almond essence & glace cherries,
...or, use ground almonds with ground ginger and substitute the sugar for
a soft brown variety for fab ginger cookies.
The best cookies you`ve ever eaten!
Blackberry ice cream
is a perfect homemade ice cream as you don’t require a machine to make it. This recipe is for blackberries but it works
just as well for the likes of blackcurrant or raspberries, but you can use 1/3
less fruit as they have more flavour. It
also works well made with 3 ripe bananas and 200mls of caramel sauce.
For 1 litre of ice cream:
tsp vanilla essence
blackberries + sugar to taste
- Put the
blackberries in a pan with a couple of tablespoons of sugar and simmer
until they have cooked down a bit, then pass then through a fine sieve to
get rid of the seeds. Taste the
puree you have made and add more sugar as required until is it quite sweet
the eggs and whisk the egg whites with 50g of the sugar until forming soft
best way to do this is to whisk them over a pan of simmering water. The eggs will get warm and you will get a
finer, silkier meringue, which will give you a denser ice cream. Don’t let the bowl get hot enough to cook the
eggs though – lift it up occasionally and check that it is just nice and warm
to the touch)
- Whisk the
yolks with the other 50g of sugar and vanilla until creamy
- Whisk the
cream until slightly thick (not too firm or it may turn to butter when you
mix everything together)
- Mix the
yolks and whites together then mix with the cream and finally mix in the
fruit puree – if you are very gentle the ice cream will be light and
fluffy, if you are vigorous you will beat out more of the air and your ice
cream will be denser
to a tub and freeze for at least 8 hours
an extra 100mls cream or an extra egg yolk will give a firmer, richer
result. More egg white will make it
lighter and healthier, but icier – works well with fruits like mango.
Wild garlic scented flageolet beans
It’s always nice to do a quick bit of foraging and feature something wild in your dishes and the coming of spring heralds ample supplies of wild garlic (aka ramsons). For those not familiar with this plant, it can be found from March to May in most shaded hedgerows and woodlands and is easily identifiable by its lush, elongated, green leaves and later, delicate white flowers. Plus the often overwhelming smell of garlic, of course.
You can eat all of the plant, but the leaves are generally the best bit – the flowers do look beautiful in a salad but are very powerful. The flavour is garlicky but has a spring oniony quality as well.
Flageolet beans are particularly satisfying as they create a lovely creamy texture but hold their shape and have a delicate flavour. They are perfect served with lamb (slow roast shoulder or griddled chump steaks) or duck breast, and small, crisp jacket potatoes. You can prepare the beans in advance and then just cook your meat and other veg when you are ready to eat. The below is a substantial meal for two.
For the beans;
6 to 8 wild garlic leaves
A rasher of streaky bacon
A ripe tomato
A can of flageolet beans
A couple of “branches” of parsley
A splash of white wine
Extra virgin olive oil
A knob of butter
Salt and pepper
- Heat the oil gently in a small saucepan, chop the bacon and fry until just browning
- Dice the tomato, add it to the pan and fry for a minute or so
- Add the wine and cook for another minute. Add the beans (don’t drain them – the starchy water in the can contributes to the consistency), garlic, parsley and a grind of pepper and simmer for 20 minutes or so
- Taste and season to your taste. The texture should be silky and substantial but still quite fluid – add a splash of water if required. The beans are now ready and can be refrigerated or served at once. Before serving melt in the knob of butter
For a day spent learning a wide selection of seasonal recipes and techniques have a look at our Game & Seasonal Inspiration courses
Hot Cross Buns
This is quite a simple recipe that produces lovely light, fluffy buns.
For 12 buns:
c. 230mls milk
50g unsalted butter
100g mixed dried fruit
zest of a lemon
1 rounded tsp fine salt
2 tsp ground mixed spice
15g fresh yeast
(or dried yeast as per pack instructions)
- Crack your egg and weigh it, warm the milk until just warm to the touch then add enough to the egg to make a total mass of 280g. Add the sugar and whisk together.
- Chop the butter into dice then put in a bowl in a cool oven to soften.
- Into a large bowl put the flour, salt, spices and lemon zest, then crumble in the yeast and add the milk/egg mixture. Mix together with a knife until quite well combined then turn out on to the worktop.
- Knead the dough hard (without adding any more flour) for 10 minutes then add the butter and knead again until no butter is visible (2 minutes or so), then add the fruit and knead until well distributed.
- Return the dough to the bowl, cover and leave to prove on the side for about 2 hours, by which time it should be roughly twice the size.
- Turn the dough out and divide into 12 equal pieces and form each into a ball. To do this pull up the sides of each lump of dough and pinch them together on top as if you are making a little pouch, then turn it over so that the join is underneath.
- Arrange the balls on a floured baking tray so that they have a gap or about 20mm between them. Cover and leave to prove for 1 hour in a warm place.
- Put an empty roasting tray in the bottom of your oven and heat to 220 Celsius for a conventional oven or 200 Celsius for fan.
- Carefully cut crosses in the top of your buns with a scapel or very sharp knife (taking care not to squash them or pull them about too much) and then put them in the oven. At the same time pour 1/2 cup of water into the tray in the bottom of the over to create a steamy environment (this allows your buns to rise well before they crust over).
- After 10 minutes reduce the temperature by 20 Celsius and cook for a further 10 minutes.
- Once cooked, cool the buns on a wire rack.
- Then glaze them with a syrup, made by boiling two tablespoonfuls of sugar with an equal quantity of water and teasponful of lemon juice. The lemon juice will stop the sugar recrystalising. The syrup should be cooked until a drop put on a cold plate is thick and sticky - you can add a bit of water if it goes hard when cold.
Tip: For extra succulence, boil your dried fruit in a bit of orange juice before use.