Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Dan Lepard's christmas cake recipe

The house smells of warm treacle, brown sugar, mixed spices and all things chrismassy...cakes are just cooling on the side. This means three weeks to feed with brandy before the big day.

I am spending Christmas down on the farm in Devon with my boyfriends family so I wanted something extra special. I decided on the legendary Dan Lepard's Christmas cake recipe. No tweaks needed just straight from the gospel

a heavenly mixture of warm treacle, honey, golden syrup,
brown sugar, double cream, spices & lots of fruit

a traditional blessing with each turn

with all that rich ingredients one can become a little indecisive
over whether the cakes are done or not. I split the recipe volume
across three cakes and so baked for 1hour 50 mins starting on 170
and then dropping to 160 and covering with foil.
Thanks to Dan Lepard for sharing his recipe on BBC food and the useful video footage to get you started.

Happy baking x

Sunday, 27 November 2011

A winter warmer - ham hock & pea soup with light rye bread

With the house to myself this morning and as an alternative to sunday roast I thought I would make some ham hock soup with freshly baked rye bread.

Bring ham hock to boil in large pan of water & simmer for about 1.5hrs
then add your vegetables and bring to boil then simmer for a further 1hr

Take ham hock out and leave to cool for about 10mins
then cut off all the meat

Meanwhile bring your veg back up to boil and add your peas
 (i used frozen as all i had) if your using split peas then you need to add
them early on
Shred the meat with a knife & fork

Before adding the meat, use a stick blender for a few seconds to
thicken the soup a little but so you still have some chunky veg left.
Mix together the yeast & water first then the dry to form a dough
400g strong white
100g rye flour
10 g fresh yeast
10 g salt
350g water
Knead & work the gluten until you have a small smooth ball
Cover your ball with a plastic bowl and rest for 1 hour
Once rested gently knock back the dough by folding and moulding
into a log shaped. Then gently place into your greased tin.
Prove for about 1hour until risen by double in size

Slash the top and bake for around 30-35 mins on 230
Enjoy with your ham hock & pea soup

Thursday, 10 November 2011

An artisan lunch for the boardroom

I was invited to provide an artisan lunch for the MD meeting hosted by ANT telecom and I am pleased to report it was a great success. As I presented through all the goodies that I had made I found the room full of MDs and CEOs of local companies literally wide eyed at the platter that lay before them. I was proud as punch.

Artisan Breads using Shipton Mill Organic Flour

Focaccia with rosemary & rock Salt
Light Rye Walnut Bread
Pain de Campagne made with natural sourdough starter
Olive & Feta bread wrapped in golden linseed and crushed pine nuts

Light Rye with walnuts

Pain de Campagne / Olive & Feta
with Golden Linseed & Pine Nuts
Seasonal Salads
Red, golden & candy roasted beetroots with goats cheese & toasted sunflower seeds
Warm runner beans, fennel, walnuts & apples
Organic cucumber with poppy seed and sweet peppers

Charcuterie board with figs, rocket & cornichons

Italian Parma ham
Polish Kebanos
Hungarian Mangilika Sausages
German Peppered Salami

Cheese Board 

Wookey Hole Cave Aged Cheddar (thanks to Lee-Anna my seriously cheesey expert for the recommendations!)
Blue Stilton from Melton Mowbray


Apple, Cinnamon & walnut tea cake
Victoria sponge with homemade raspberry jam and fresh whipped cream
Winter berry sweet pastry tartlets with mascerpone & creme fraiche filling
Apple, Cinnamon & Walnut
tea cake
Winter berry tartlets with
mascerpone & creme fraiche