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Plentry of eggs to use..?

24 Sep

Maybe you don’t get that problem?  , an excess of eggs. Although this time of year the chucks are slowing down their egg production ,  still I seem to have an abundance at the end of each week. The father in law does help out by whipping some away on a sunday for his yorkie pudds & Margret’s fairy cakes! , but still there is only so many cupcakes I can make in the week and the kids pretty much have fallen out of love with them, as we always seem to have a cake tin overflowing with them. So this week I thought I’d woo the wife with a custard tart – no not like Paul Hollywood (from GBBoff) – but much better!

we are bored!!

we are bored!!

free range egg yolks

It is important to make a good pastry for your tart:

Sweet Paste recipe

200g Plain flour  ,100g butter, 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla , 60g icing sugar

combine all together roll & refrigerate.

Custard filling recipe:

8 x egg yolks , 400ml F/Fat milk , 100ml double cream , 50g castor sugar , ground mixed spice (nutmeg , cinnamon , caraway)

Whisk the egg yolks & sugar together until thick. Heat milk & cream – then gradually pour over the egg yolk mix , whisking as you do so.

Roll out the sweet paste as think as you dare! lightly grease your tart ring! then line the ring with the pastry. Lightly bake the ring blind in a hot oven, 180 degrees should do. Don’t allow the tart to colour (10 minutes in oven max).

Pour the filling into the tart by passing through a sieve then sprinkle over the ground mixed spice, once the mix has settled.

Thick & fluffy egg yolks

Yum nearly there

Bake at 180 degrees for 20 minutes or until the centre has stopped wobbling – remove once cooked and allow to cool at room temperature.

what can I say ....

what can I say ….


Valentines dessert day

15 Feb

Its Valentines day!  expectations running high , lack of romance ? Doing a meal is always the best option – for me (being a chef) , and at least this way I can have a nice long play in the kitchen. Although we agreed that we wouldn’t get each other prezies (we exchanged cards though:)) I thought it would be nice to do something special  – pop in a roast Honey & Mustard ‘mini’ Bacon Joint , with some veggies – sticky beetroot , roast rosemary potatoes , Carrot & swede puree. But a meal isn’t a meal with out a dessert! (& some Caramelised onion bread).

So I sent the lovely wife out for a bit (not sure where she went?!) , then ‘cracked on’ with making bread & the dessert.

Bread I’ll cover off another day – it was simple bread recipe , shaped into a bloomer, finished 1/2 way through proving with some pre-caramelised onions with balsamic.

The dessert: Strawberry & white chocolate Panna cotta with vanilla served with honey Tuille biscuits ,Star anise &  strawberry jelly.

ingredients needed:

makes 4 portions

300ml double cream

125gms white chocolate

60gms icing sugar

100gms caster sugar

1 vanilla pod – cut lengthways

2 small leaf gelatine ( 1 for Panna cotta , 1 for jelly)

120gms strawberries (6 single)

300mls water  

Tuille biscuit mix:

120gms plain flour         3 tbsp honey           40gms icing sugar          1 egg white                        1 teasp vanilla essence    30gms melted butter



Start your Panna cotta mix by bringing to boil the cream , split vanilla & 1/2 of the sugar , 1/2 the white chocolate together, then add the (pre-soaked) gelatine.Whisk over heat well. 

In a bowl whisk 3 of the cut strawberries , remaining icing sugar. Once blended combine with the cream & vanilla mix. Pour the Panna cotta mix into moulds or rings and chill in the fridge.

Mix all of the tuille biscuit ingredients together until a paste is formed. Using a palate knife spread the paste over a plastic template (I used a heart shape!). make sure when spreading the biscuit mix over the tray that the tray is either non stick or use a silicone mat. 

  Next focus on making the jelly – this goes on the top of the Panna cotta and a little used for the  sauce.

Place the water , star anise , caster Sugar & 1 of the strawberries (chopped) into a pan and bring to the boil. reduce by 1/3 – add 1 leaf of pre-soaked gelatine. Whisk until dissolved and clear. Remove from the heat. Once cool pour 1/2 on top of the Panna cotta – this should be no more than 10mm.Place back into the fridge to Set fully.  

Blend the last of the strawberries with 1/2 of the remaining jelly until a smooth sauce is made.  

The finishing touch – melt the remaining chocolate and spread over some grease-proof (shave some dark chocolate in over the white) then place in the freezer to set (very hard!) 

Plate up as the picture – I added some dried sugared vanilla, although the kids(watching us eating) didn’t get why we were eating sugared twigs….

Its Raining apples

17 Sep

High winds combined with a huge bumper crop of Apples prompted me to make & bake with my apples( I had so much I couldn’t see the grass on the garden) – as they had all fallen off (also hitting the neighbours car – sorry!) , I’ve got a mix of apples 1 tree out front of the house has – bitter cooking apples (they go a lovely rosy red colour) they have the taste similar to Bramley apples. The other Apples (in the back garden) are sweet Eatting apples – Cox’s pippins I recon?


Anyway I fancied making as lovely little Dutch apple tart with cinnamon , sultanas and a nice little lattice top( I know very fluffy!)



Dutch Apple Tart  

ingredients you will need:  

obviously some apples! x 6 med sized apples will do.

120g Sultana or raison

120g soft brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

For the pastry:

180g plain flour 

40g cornflour

100g butter(chilled)

100g castor sugar

1 egg yolk.

   Make the pastry by rubbing all dry(flour etc) with the butter , then add the egg yolk. Bring together as a paste and wrap & chill in the fridge(leave for 20 mins). 

Once chilled roll out 3/4 of the paste and place in a tart dish. Prick the bottom and put back in fridge for 10 minutes to rest.  

Peel & chop the apples(I used a mix of both). Add the vanilla 1/2 the cinnamon and the sultanas & 1/2 the soft brown sugar. 

 Place the tart in the oven to bake blind (approx 10 minutes)

 Place the apple mix into the tart case (keep some of the juice from the apples and set aside usually in the bottom of the bowl!)

Now roll out the remaining paste and cut into long strips. Secure these strips onto the outside rim of the tart with a little egg yolk & water mix.

 Now brush the reserved apple juice over the lattice , sprinkle the remaining sugar and the left over cinnamon.

 Place the tart in the oven on around 170 degree Celsius –    cook for around 20 minutes (or until the lattice is cooked and brown(ing)              


Serve this little  baby (Hot or Cold)with some Cornish clotted cream or a jug load of custard.  hmm hmm ….





7 Nov

My recent competition entry :  Apple & ginger crumble with a Vanilla & lemon balm Panna cotta , served with Apple & cinnamon fritters.

Whats your favourite pudding? let me know

My Chocolate souffle

8 May

I’ve been fairly busy recently so I havent had the chance to stick this dish up as promised – Chocolate souffle with Ginger snap and chocolate sauce.

I’ve been out helping needy chefs!!

So the Kids easter eggs are melted down now ! they don’t really eat that much anyway – they just sit there in the cupboard until we throw them in May sometime, so why not turn them into something a little different ( I did cheat a little and use some of  Willies 100% cacao bar – just to give the richness I needed) I’m a great fan of willies wonky chocolate 🙂

Ok make the biscuits – ginger snaps he we go!

Mix the flour, brown sugar , egg white & Honey together adding a teaspoon of ginger  – this should be blended to a paste. Place a spoon of the mix on a flat tray that has been very lightly greased with oil – Alternatively use baking mats. Bake in the oven at 185 degree celsius for 15 mins until golden and centre of the biscuits is coloured.

Winner ! – Now for the chocolate base for the souffle – melt the chocolate down in a bowl over a pan of hot water, take 1/2 the chocolate out and mix with 100g of willies cacao bar (grated) this is to give richness & a dark colour to the souffle. Bring some milk to the boil and add the chocolate to it. now whisk 1 egg yolk and a little flour together and some caster sugar. Pour the chocolate milk over the egg mix – whisk well ! no lumps please.

Now whisk up the egg white ( use a blender its easier – unless you have muscles)- full peak ,adding a little icing sugar to give the glossy italian meringue feel.

Line a ramekin with butter and a dusting of sugar – set aside. Fold the whipped egg white and a spoon full of the chocolate mix together , gently spoon the mix into the ramekin. Bake the souffle in a hot oven 200 degrees celsius for 10 mins until the top is crusty (don’t open the oven door – once the souffle is in) 

Serve as I have with the biscuit , choc sauce (whisk remaining chocolate with a little warm milk ) and the fabulous souffle.

I’ve bagged out a few variations to this souffle in the past – 1 with pecan & even 1 with Christmas pudding & chocolate. My kids do love this version the best – especially when I make some white chocolate sauce and they crack open the top of the souffle and pour in the white creamy chocolate sauce.Yum!

I’ll get a recipe added As soon as – let me know what you think!

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