A little seasonal something for the weekend
Forced Yorkshire Rhubarb is super delicious and so vibrant now. Why not have a go at making my very delicious variation on the classic bakewell tart using this wonderful seasonal ingredient?
Rhubarb Bakewell Tart
You will need:
1 flan tin 30cm* diameter approx,preferably with a removable base, buttered and floured
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
125g unsalted butter, cubed
250g plain flour
50g caster sugar
a pinch of sea salt
Cold water to mix
For the frangipane
3 free range eggs
200g soft unsalted butter
200g ground almonds
150g caster sugar
1 tbsp Brandy
300g forced rhubarb, sliced and cooked until soft with 100g caster sugar
First make the pastry. Blend the butter, sugar, sea salt and flour in a food processor until the mix resembles fine crumbs.
Using the pulse button, carefully add enough cold water to until the pastry just starts to hold together. Remove from the bowl of the processor and press together to form a smooth dough. Set aside while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
Clean out the food processor bowl and place in all the ingredients for the frangipane.
Process on continuous until light and fluffy.
Roll out pastry to fit the flan tin, and make sure it over hangs generously. This will then get trimmed off once the tart is cooked. Press the pastry in well to the tin.
Spread the rhubarb 'jam' on top of the pastry.
Then either pipe or carefully dollop the frangipane over the top. Spread to cover the rhubarb.
At this point you can scatter over some flaked almonds should you wish.
Place onto a baking tray and into the oven and bake for 20 minutes, then check it. If the tart is colouring up too much drop the temperature to 160 degrees and continue cooking until the pastry is golden and the frangipane is nicely coloured and cooked, which will probably be about 45 minutes in total, depending on your oven.
Remove from the oven when it is ready and set aside for 15 minutes.
Carefully trim the pastry so it is flush with the edge of the flan tin.
Unmould from the flan tin once cool and serve simply with clotted cream or really make the most of the rhubarb season and treat yourself to some different rhubarb components such as candied rhubarb and a rhubarb margarita.
*If you're feeling adventurous, you can make individual rhubarb bakewells using a muffin tray. These should only take about 20 minutes to cook.
I love tasting menus!
So much fun cooking a whole range of flavour explosions for a tasting menu. It is all about the food experience through a culinary journey to excite the senses. I was fortunate enough to be able to cook for some guests last week over several days and it was tasting menus at the ready. The brief was about full on flavour, with no carbs or nuts. They even trusted me to match the wines for each, which was a real treat. I had to throw a couple of non conformist matches in there with a cider and ale pairing, which was incredibly well received. I thoroughly enjoyed foraging some key ingredients for a couple of the dishes to give real interest and a seasonal focus. Here is a wee selection of some of the dishes they had, but just too many to put into a pic mosaic. Lots of seasonal local goodies from Jon Tonkin's Crab and Lobster, to Duchy Charcuterie Wagyu Bresaola, Curio Samphire infused Gin, Duchy Game Venison to new season autumn truffles and crab apples. The list goes on... All the menus I do are created for each client's own, specific wants and desires. It's a wonderful way to celebrate a special occasion or just to indulge in a real foodie treat...
It's a picnic time of year! My bespoke picnics are full of delicious flavourful goodies. From scrumptious mini crab sandwiches to wonderous salads, ready to eat Lobster and much much more. The sun is shining! It's time to chill you favourite tipple and enjoy some fabulous food without having to worry about washing up or cooking (unless you fancy a little of course). Picnic hampers also make a fantastic gift idea. Get in touch to find out more about how we can get a super picnic delivered to you!
The annual pilgrimmage to the Devon County show would not be complete without indulging some delicious Gray's Farm Cider. The family have been making their real cider for over 300 years with their own apples. I believe they have a website coming soon so it will be available to buy online. This stuff is fabulous! Medium is my favourite. If you are flying up the A30 to Exeter, take a wee detour to their farm at Tedburn St Mary.
Recipes from Porthleven Food Festival
I'd like to say a huge heart felt thanks to everyone who came along to my demo at the Porthleven Festival. What a fantastic weekend! As promised, here are some recipes for you try at home. Cornish Duck is quite possibly the best free range, hand reared duck you will taste! It is available to buy every Saturday at the Truro farmer's market and at certain food festivals and markets throughout the county. You can also contact Roger and Tanya direct through their website http://www.cornishduck.com/ I hope you enjoy cooking with delicious Cornish Duck and Eggs as much as I do X
Hay Smoked Cornish Duck
Smoking food is a simple, yet effective process, producing delicious results. I like to lightly cure the duck first. This stage is not crucial but it firms up the texture of the duck and enhances the flavour. To cure 2 Cornish duck breasts, trim the breasts and score the skin. Combine 2Tbsp of seasalt with a Tbsp of white or brown sugar or honey. Rub this all over the duck breasts. Set aside for a couple of hours, even over night, although half an hour will do. Then rinse the mix off the duck. If you leave the duck over night, it is a good idea to soak it for half an hour just to ensure it's not too salty. Pat the duck dry with paper towels
Place a pan over medium heat and add the duck, skin side down. Cook until the skin is rendering down really well and colouring, then turn over. You want the duck to cook to rare as it will cook further when you smoke it.
Once you are happy with the duck and the crispiness of the skin, get the smoking gubbins organised. Find an old oven tray and line it with foil. This will mean that washing up after the smoking process will not be such a chore. Put a good handful of hay in the bottom of the tray. Position a rack over the top then the duck onto the rack. Make sure you have a large piece of foil big enough to cover the smoking tray. With a lighter or a blow torch (if you're feeling courageous), set fire to the hay. You want it to burn slowly, so make sure it's not burning too quickly, carefully fanning the hay. Once you are happy the hay has caught, foil the tray and set the tray on the stove top (turned off) or a pot trivet, or even outside. Leave it to smoke until all the hay has been burnt, which will take a few minutes. It's a good idea to check the smoking progress after about 5 minutes. Once the smoking process is complete, leave the duck in the tray for a few more minutes to allow resting time, then serve as desired. I served the smoked duck with some griddled purple sprouting broccoli, black garlic and hay ash emulsion, but smoked duck is so versatile and goes with loads of other delicious ingredients.
Duck Eggy Bread
2 Duck Eggs
Zest of half an orange
A day old ciabatta loaf, or other bread if preferred *
Unsalted Butter and Oil for cooking
Cornish Wild Flower Honey to serve
- Whisk the eggs with the orange zest in a bowl
- Slice the bread to desired thickness
- Preheat a non stick frying pan over medium heat
- Add a little oil and butter to the pan
- Dunk the slices of bread into the egg mix, wipe off excess egg mix on the side of the bowl and then pan fry until golden on both sides
- Once cooked, serve the slices of eggy bread with your accompaniments of choice. I served it with a sweet Dukkah, some extra honey and Duck Egg Nog for dunking.
* Gluten free bread can be used to produce delicious duck eggy bread
Duck Egg Nog
Serves 4 to 6
2 Duck eggs ( I use Cornish Duck Eggs)
400ml (cow's, goat's or nut milks are all delicious)
Cornish Wild Flower Honey to taste
Alcohol of choice, to taste
sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg
Whisk the eggs and honey until light and thick
Bring the milk just to the boil
Remove the milk from the heat and gradually pour onto the egg mix, whisking all the time
Add alcohol to taste, then pour into your drinking vessel of choice
Grate over some nutmeg and serve
Copenhagen - A Scandi Escape! April 2016
I had a fantastic afternoon on Thursday cooking Thai with two lovely chaps on holiday in Mousehole with their families. Right click on the link below for more detail. This is what we made...
Flavours of Thailand
Thai Chicken Cakes
Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce
Rice Paper Spring Rolls with Spicy Pork and Peanuts
Duck Massaman Curry with Aubergine and Sweet Potato
Sticky Jasmine and Crispy Shallots
Pad Thai Noodles with Kimchi and Choy Sum
Fresh Ruby Grapefruit, Pomegranate and Fennel Salad
Glazed Coconut Milk Custard with Chilli, Mango and Passionfruit