Mini Pancetta Dauphinoise

Mini Pancetta Dauphinoise

This take on the classic dauphinoise is the perfect accompaniment to game meats such as venison and duck. The addition of a little pancetta and caramelised onion makes for a heavenly combination and their smaller form factor means you can’t get too gluttonous!

This recipe can be scaled up to make a large dauphinoise, by following the quantities in my recipe for the perfect potato dauphinoise.

Mini Pancetta Dauphinoise

Mini Pancetta Dauphinoise
Makes 2

Ingredients:

1 Garlic Clove
10g Unsalted Butter
3 Medium Sized Maris Piper Potatoes (Peeled and Thinly Sliced)
1 Medium Onion (Peeled and Thinly Sliced)
50g Pancetta
100ml Double Cream
Black Pepper
Small Handful Chopped Parsley

Method:

1) Pre heat the oven to 180C. Sauté the pancetta and onions in a small saucepan in a little oil over a medium heat for 10 minutes until the onions begin to caramelise.

2) Meanwhile, rub the insides of two mini casserole pots with the garlic clove – discarding the clove when finished. Bring the cream to the boil in a small saucepan, once boiled set aside.

3) Layer the sliced potatoes and the onion and pancetta mixture in alternate layers until the dish is almost full – around 4 or 5 layers in total. Place half of the butter on top of each dish. Divide the double cream between the two dishes – pouring carefully over the potatoes.

4) Transfer to the oven and cook for around 30 minutes – until the top is golden and the potatoes are cooked. Finish with a little chopped parsley and cracked black pepper before serving.

Enjoy!

Black Forest Roulade

Black Forest Roulade

This delicious flourless black forest roulade is naturally gluten free and packed full of flavour. Morello cherry jam and a little kirsch stop the cake from becoming too sweet whilst freshly whipped cream ensure it is truly decadent.

The flourless chocolate sponge is super light, so care must be taken not to over-roll to avoid crumbling.

Black Forest Roulade

Ingredients:

For the sponge: 175g Dark (70%) Chocolate, 6 Large Eggs (Separated), 175g Caster Sugar, 1/2tsp Vanilla Paste, Icing Sugar (To Dust)

For the filling: 2tbsp Kirsch, 250g Morello Cherry Jam, 330ml Whipping Cream

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease and line a swiss roll tin.

2) Melt the chocolate and vanilla paste with a drop of water over a bain-marie. Allow to cool slightly.

3) Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg yolks and the sugar together until thick, creamy and pale in colour. Stir in the melted chocolate.

4) Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Transfer the mixture to the baking tin and level.

5) Bake the sponge for 20-25 minutes until risen and just set. Remove from the oven and cover with a sheet of baking parchment and a slightly damp tea towel. Leave to cool for a few hours.

6) Meanwhile, whisk the cream to a thick consistency with an electric mixer. Set aside.

7) Once the sponge has cooled, turn it out onto another sheet of baking parchment dusted with icing sugar.

8) Sprinkle the kirsch over the sponge and spread an even layer of Morello cherry jam over the sponge with a palette knife. Spread the whipped cream over the jam.

9) Roll the roulade loosely from the short end nearest you – try to roll it round completely, but don’t worry about any cracks in the sponge.

10) Place the roulade on a large plate or tray and cover with tin foil. Transfer to the fridge and allow to set for at least 2 hours.

11) Unwrap and dust with icing sugar before serving.

Enjoy!

Sweetcorn Fritters (Gluten Free)

Sweetcorn Fritters (Gluten Free)

These light and fluffy sweetcorn fritters are a delicious addition to a suppertime salad. Pairing brilliantly with home-baked ham, they would also make a fantastic lunchtime snack.

Incredibly easy to make, the ingredients for this recipe can be easily changed to accommodate whatever flavour you are in the mood for – curried fritters are a personal favourite! This variety is a refreshing mix of sweetcorn, parsley and spring onion with a little cayenne pepper.

This recipe uses gluten free self raising flour, to make a non gluten free version simply substitute with normal self raising flour.

Sweetcorn Fritters (Gluten Free)
Makes 10-12

Ingredients:

200g Self Raising Gluten Free Flour
1/2 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Large Egg
200ml Milk
200g Tinned Sweetcorn (Drained)
6 Spring Onions (Finely Sliced)
Sea Salt
Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
Vegetable Oil

Method:

1) Mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cayenne pepper, egg and the milk to form a smooth batter.

2) Add the sweetcorn and spring onions to the batter and season generously with black pepper and sea salt.

3) Heat a little vegetable oil in a pancake pan or frying pan over a me Continue reading

Lemon Meringue Pie (Gluten Free)

Lemon Meringue Pie (Gluten Free)

This take on the classic lemon meringue pie uses a biscuit base and Tarte au Citron filling – making for a lighter and more refreshing tart whilst ensuring the filling is rich and packed full of flavour.

This recipe is made with a gluten free base (the topping is naturally gluten free) which can be substituted for an ordinary biscuit base if desired. If you have spare meringue mixture, spoon onto a lined baking tray and place in the oven with the lemon meringue pie to make delicious meringues.

Lemon Meringue Pie (Gluten Free)

Lemon Meringue Pie (Gluten Free)

Ingredients:
170g Gluten Free Digestive Biscuits
70g Unsalted Butter (Melted)
9 Large Eggs
400g Caster Sugar
Zest 2 Lemons
Juice 5 Lemons
250ml Double Cream
4 Egg Whites (At Room Temperature)
200g Caster Sugar

Method:
1) Pre heat oven to 150C. Place the digestives in a food processor, whilst blitzing slowly pour in the butter until well combined. Transfer to a small lined cake tin (preferably spring form or one with a removable base). Bake the base in the oven for 10 minutes.

2) Meanwhile make the filling: Whisk the eggs with the caster sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice, then add the cream. Continue to whisk until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Pour the filling into a large jug.

3) Pour the filling onto the biscuit base (whilst it is still in the oven). Bake for around 30-45 minutes or until the mixture is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

4) Meanwhile make the meringue: Put the egg whites in a large bowl. Whisk to soft peaks, then add the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking between each addition without over-beating. Spoon the meringue onto the lemon filling – piling it towards the centre.

5) Return the pie to the oven for around 30 minutes or until the meringue is just starting to brown. Remove and allow to cool.

Enjoy!

Coconut Cheesecake (Gluten Free)

Coconut Cheesecake

This is my mum’s delicious recipe for baked coconut cheesecake – packed full of tropical, aromatic flavour with a little Malibu to brighten up those gloomy days!

This recipe is made with a gluten free base (the topping is naturally gluten free) which can be substituted for an ordinary biscuit base if desired.

Coconut Cheesecake (Gluten Free)
Serves 6

Ingredients:
170g Gluten Free Digestive Biscuits
85g Unsalted Butter (Melted)
40g Desiccated Coconut
500g Cream Cheese
1 tin Condensed Milk
3 Limes (Juice and Zest)
2 Large Eggs
2-3 tbsp Malibu

Method:
1) Pre heat oven to 160C. Combine the digestives and coconut in a food processor, whilst blitzing slowly pour in the butter until well combined. Transfer to a small lined cake tin (preferably spring form).

2) Bake the base in the oven for 10 minutes. Transfer to the fridge to cool.

3) Meanwhile make the topping – whisk the cream cheese until soft. Slowly add the condensed milk and the eggs, whisking until combined.

4) Add the lime juice and zest to one half of the topping mixture. Add the Malibu to the other half of the mixture. Stir both to combine.

5) Pour the lime topping onto the base. Pour the Malibu topping on top of the lime topping, levelling with a spatula.

6) Bake in the oven for around 45 minutes or until just set.

Enjoy!

Blue Cheese and Pear Tart

Blue Cheese and Pear Tart
 
This is a variation of my Goats Cheese Tart. Increasing the amount of blue cheese, cutting back a little on the goats cheese and giving it a good drizzle of heather honey makes for a deliciously rich tart – perfect for the weekend.

Caramelised white onions impart all the sweetness of red onions but without the richness whilst a good amount of fresh thyme and black pepper makes this tart beautifully aromatic.

Blue Cheese and Pear Tart
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
300g Ready Rolled Puff Pastry
4 White Onions (Sliced)
25g Unsalted Butter
50g Mild Goats Cheese
200g Blue Cheese
1 Ripe Pear (Thinly Sliced)
Small Handful Thyme Sprigs
Black Pepper
2 Tbsp Heather Honey
1 Egg Yolk (Beaten)

Method:

1) Make the caramelised onions: Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook for around 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until caramelised.

2) Pre-heat the oven to 210C. Lay the pastry on a parchment lined baking sheet. Score a line 1cm from the edge of the pastry all of the way around – being careful not break through the pastry. Prick the pastry inside of the line with a fork.

3) Spread the caramelised onions evenly over the base inside the scored line. Crumble the goats cheese and Stilton evenly over the onions. Top with the sliced pear and thyme and season generously with black pepper. Egg wash the outside of the pastry around the filling. Place in the oven and cook for around 20 minutes or until the pastry is cooked and the cheese browned.

4) Just before serving, drizzle the honey over the tart and cut into equal slices.

Enjoy!

Nutella Cheesecake (Gluten Free)

Nutella Cheesecake (Gluten Free)
 
This truly is the simplest of recipes and makes a delicious dessert – I loved Nutella as a child and was forever caught digging my spoon into a big jar of the stuff! A little dark chocolate stops everything becoming a little too sweet.

This recipe is made with a gluten free base (the topping is naturally gluten free) which can be substituted for an ordinary biscuit base if desired.

Nutella Cheesecake (Gluten Free)
Serves 6

Ingredients:
170g Gluten Free Digestive Biscuits
80g Unsalted Butter (Melted)
25g Flaked Almonds (Toasted)
2 tsp Cocoa Powder
400g Cream Cheese
270g Nutella
70g Dark Chocolate

Method:

1) Pre heat oven to 160C. Combine the digestives, almonds and cocoa powder in a food processor, whilst blitzing slowly pour in the butter until well combined. Transfer to a small lined cake tin (preferably spring form).

2) Bake the base in the oven for 10 minutes. Transfer to the fridge to cool.

3) Melt the chocolate and Nutella in a bain-marie, stirring frequently to combine. Allow the Nutella mixture to cool slightly. In a large bowl, whisk the cream cheese to loosen. Add the Nutella mixture and whisk to combine.

4) Spoon the mixture on to the biscuit base and level. Place in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight.

Enjoy!

Banana-Chocolate Chip Caramel Cake

Banana-Chocolate Chip Caramel Cake

 

This magnificent cake went down a storm with my flatmates – I highly doubt it will last until tomorrow!

Lighter than banana bread – milk and dark chocolate chips and caramel frosting make this cake super decadent. It is relatively simple to make and is perfect with coffee.

The caramel frosting featured in a previous recipe and is very versatile.

If you are left with excess cake batter make some extra muffins and top with a little of the frosting for a great mid-morning snack.

Banana-Chocolate Chip Caramel Cake

Banana-Chocolate Chip Caramel Cake

Ingredients:
3 Cups Plain Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
2 Cups Caster Sugar
250g Unsalted Butter (At Room Temperature)
3 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
4 Ripe Bananas (Mashed)
300 ml Sour Cream
100g Milk Chocolate Chips
100g Dark Chocolate Chips

1 Quantity Caramel Frosting

2 x 8 3/4 Inch Sandwich Pans

Method:

1) Line the cake pans with baking parchment. Pre heat the oven to 180C.

2) Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla extract with an electric whisk until light and fluffy (2 minutes). Add the eggs one at a time, whisking to combine.

3) Measure the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and mix to combine. Slowly add to the wet mixture, whisking slowly to ensure it is fully combined.

4) Lightly whisk the bananas and sour cream into the mixture. Add the chocolate chips and fold to combine.

5) Divide the mixture between the two cake pans and place in the oven. Bake for approx. 40 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of each cake comes out clean.

6) Transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool. Once cooled, sandwich the two layers of the cake together with a little caramel frosting. Use the remainder of the frosting to cover the top of the cake.

Enjoy!

Lemon Macaroons

Lemon Macaroons

 

A trip to Paris and a visit to Ladurée has resulted in a love affair with Macaroons. Nothing would make me happier than scoffing a couple of the chewy wonders with mid-morning coffee – unfortunately I am far too impatient to make them at home.

So when I received a macaroon baking mat for Christmas it was quickly dispatched to Jane (the baker in the relationship) with instructions to make me some beautiful elevenses! I was not to be disappointed – these lemon macaroons are glorious!

Detailed below is the recipe for when using a silicon macaroon baking mat. If a traditionalist and using baking parchment there is no need to pre-heat the baking tray and the cooking time should be reduced by 4 minutes.

Lemon Macaroons
Makes 28 Whole Macaroons

Ingredients:

For the Macaroon Base: 185g Icing Sugar, 185g Ground Almonds, 2 Large Egg Whites, Yellow Food Colouring.

For the Meringue: 185g Caster Sugar, 2 tbsp Water, 2 Large Egg Whites, 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice.

For the Filling: Good Quality Lemon Curd.

Method:

1) Pre-heat the oven to 170C. Place the silicon baking mat on a baking tray in the middle of the oven to pre-heat.

2) Make the macaroon base: Combine the icing sugar, ground almonds and egg whites in a large bowl. Mix using an electric mixer until the mixture is smooth. Add around 20 drops of food colouring and mix briefly to combine. Set aside.

3) Make the meringue: Whisk the egg white and lemon juice with an electric mixer until you achieve firm peaks. Meanwhile make a syrup with the sugar and water by placing in a small saucepan and cooking over a high heat until the mixture reaches 120C. Lower the speed of the mixer and slowly pour the syrup into the egg white mixture, continuing to whisk for 2 minutes.

4) Combine the Mixtures: Take a little of the meringue mixture and combine with the macaroon base to loosen. Fold the remaining meringue mixture into the base, being careful not to knock too much air out.

5) Cook the Macaroons: Spoon the mixture into a piping bag with a medium plain nozzle attached. Remove the baking tray from the oven. Pipe around 1/2 tbsp of mixture into each macaroon mould, covering the baking mat. Cook in the oven for 12 minutes. Once ready, remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once cooled remove from the mould and set aside on a cooling rack . Repeat this step until the macaroon mixture is exhausted.

6) Assemble the Macaroons: Sandwich two macaroon halves together with the lemon curd.

These taste even better the next day. Stored in the fridge they should last around 4 days.

Enjoy!

The Best Gluten Free Carrot Cake

Gluten Free Carrot Cake

 

Gluten-free baking is most definitely an exact science – one wrong move and you are likely to have a stodgy mess on your hands! And unless you have a cracking recipe – the outcomes can tend to be a little hit and miss. However, when you do find something that works (such as this carrot cake) you would be hard pushed to tell the difference between the gluten-free and ‘normal’ varieties.

Carrot cake is one of my favourites and is great at any time of the day. But it has to be moist – there is nothing that annoys me more than a dry, insipid cake.

After much trial and error, I consider this to be the best recipe for carrot cake – gluten-free or otherwise. A big whack of cinnamon keeps it festive and drizzling the sponge with clementine syrup keeps it super moist.

I give the recipe for the sponge below which works great without icing. To make it even more indulgent I have sandwiched and topped with orange cream cheese frosting; however, please experiment with different icings!

Gluten Free Carrot Cake

Ingredients:

For the Sponge: 100g Walnuts (Toasted and Chopped), 200g Gluten-Free Plain Flour, 175g Soft Dark Brown Sugar, 200g Grated Carrot, 2 Large Eggs, Juice and Zest of 2 Clementines, 150ml Sunflower Oil, 1tsp Xanthan Gum, 1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda, 100g Sultanas, 3tsp Ground Cinnamon

For the Drizzle Syrup: Juice of 2 Clementines, Juice 1 Lemon, 75g Soft Dark Brown Sugar

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease and line two 8″ round baking tins.

2) Beat the eggs, sugar, clementine juice and zest and oil together in a large bowl. Fold in the (sifted) flour, xanthan gum, bicarbonate of soda and ground cinnamon to make a smooth batter.

3) Into the batter mixture, fold in the carrot, walnuts and sultanas.

4) Divide the mixture evenly between the two sandwich tins (I usually weigh them).

5) Bake in the middle of the oven for around 35 minutes – or until a metal skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

6) Meanwhile make the syrup by combining all the ingredients into a saucepan over a medium heat. Heat to dissolve the sugar but do not boil.

7) When the cake is ready, remove from the oven and pierce each cake several times with a metal skewer. Pour the syrup over each cake. Allow to cool in the cake tins.

8) Once cooled, remove the cakes from the tins. Sandwich the cakes with your favourite icing – saving some for the topping!

Enjoy!