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Showing posts from 2011

Chocolate Vanilla Cheesecake

This was my greatest triumph at Christmas and it was so good I'm making another one for New Years Eve. The cheesecake is made in a 25cm springform tin so it serves at least 8-10 people, but as it's so rich you could probably stretch it out to serve 12. The other beauty of this dessert is it freezes really well, minus the cocoa powder topping, so it's a useful dessert to have stored away in your freezer to pull out for unexpected guests or impromptu get togethers.
When raspberries come into season I will try it again with a handful of raspberries in the cheesecake mix and a few TBSP of raspberry liqueur, that would be lovely I think.
Have a wonderful New Year. I will be resuming normal service on the blog next week.
CHOCOLATE VANILLA CHEESECAKE| Serves: 10 | Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 45 Minutes | Total Time: 1 Hour 5 Minutes |
Ingredients: for a 25cm Springform tinFor the base85g Hot melted butter14 Dark Chocolate Digestives, blitzed in a processor to crumbsFor the…

Gingerbread House

Ever made a Gingerbread House? No, me neither so when I received an email from Tesco Real Food asking if I wanted to try making one...I thought why not, how hard can it be? Thanks to the How to video on the Tesco Real Food website it really wasn't that difficult at all (barring a small incident with a boiled sweet!). The video goes through everything in a step by step manner  - useful it it's your fist time. Granted, Kate does make it look effortless...and she doesn't have two excitable children wanting to join in the decorating but it's certainly not as tricky as I had first imagined.
My effort above obviously isn't going to win any prizes (I am artistically challenged at the best of times) but it's a lovely little project to do with the children on a wet and windy December afternoon, of which there have been plenty of those over the last few weeks!
As well as the How to Video guide, Tesco's are also offering advice on all matters cooking related via Twit…

Smoked Salmon Pate

A few weeks back you will remember I received this fab seasonal box from Forman and Field in association with Knorr. In it was some gorgeous London Cure Smoked Salmon, which I have duly transformed into an ideal Christmas Day starter to serve 8. A little smoked salmon goes a long way in this recipe, helping keep the costs down but not compromising on flavour or quality.
Will you be serving a starter on Christmas day, or do you and your family prefer to get stuck straight in to the main event?
SMOKED SALMON PATE | Serves: 8  | Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: -  | Total Time: -  |
Ingredients:  200g tub of Cream Cheese200g Smoked salmon1 heaped TBSP of Horseradish sauceJuice of 1 Small Lemon3 TBSP Chives, snipped plus extra for garnish Instructions: Step 1; Blitz together all the ingredients in a processor, season and garnish with extra chives.Step 2: Serve with melba toasts or brown bread.| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 12th December 2011 |

Christmas Chestnut Cupcakes

Last Christmas I bought some tins of Creme de Marron (sweet chestnut puree) but unfortunately they did no more than linger at the back of my baking cupboard.... until today that is. Getting into the Christmas spirit I was flicking through Delia's Happy Christmas this morning when I spotted a recipe for chestnut cupcakes using creme de marrons. I decided to adapt Delia's recipe a little bit to suit what ingredients I already had in the house and came up with these little treasures. 
If you're not keen on mince pies or heavy fruit cake, these would make a great sweet alternative.
CHESTNUT CUPCAKES| Serves: 8 | Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 30 Minutes | Total Time: 45 Minutes |
Ingredients:  150g Creme de Marron110g Soft Butter2 Eggs, beaten110g Plain Flour11/2tsp Baking Powder4 TBSP MilkTopping:100g Cream Cheese100g Sour Cream100g Creme de Marron (handily creme de marron usually come in 250g tins)Icing sugar to dust. Instructions: Step 1: Preheat oven to 170c and put 8 large …

Stilton, Bacon and Sage Penne

I created this recipe using a few of the products from my Forman and Field seasonal box, sent as part of the Knorr 'Best of British' campaign which you can read more about here. This dish provides an ideal way of using up leftover Stilton from the Christmas cheeseboard as well as that odd rasher or two of bacon lurking at the back of the fridge. A few dried cranberries thrown in wouldn't go amis, nor would some toasted walnuts sprinkled on top. No need for salt as the cheese and bacon provide plenty already. If you don't have any creme fraiche to hand, use extra thick double cream with a squeeze of lemon juice instead.
Enjoy - this is REALLY good!

STILTON BACON AND SAGE PENNE | Serves: 2  | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 15 Minutes | Total Time: 25 Minutes |

200g Pasta1 TBSP Olive Oil1/2 Red Onion, sliced2 Rashers of Streaky Bacon - (I used Emmetts from my Knorr Seasonal box)1 Garlic Clove, chopped1 TBSP Fresh Sage, chopped100g Stilton, chopped (I used …

Fish is the Dish Challenge Part 3: Kedgeree

Another parcel arrived today from Delish Fish, containing lovely undyed and sustainably caught smoked haddock fillets for this weeks Fish is the Dish challenge (you can read more about Fish is the Dish in this post).

This weeks recipe challenge was Kedgeree, a family favourite in this household. Kedgeree is a dish that originated in India and was bought back to the UK by the returning British Colonials during the Victorian Era. The dish itself contains cooked flaked fish (usually smoked haddock but salmon can be used), rice, hard boiled eggs and curry powder and was originally eaten at breakfast.
I made a few tweaks to the recipe on the Fish is the Dish website because, well....I like tweaking things, but essentially it was very similar. You can see my recipe below. This was utterly delicious and I really must remember to make it more often!
KEDGEREE | Serves: 4  | Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 25 Minutes | Total Time: 40 Minutes |
Ingredients:  450g Smoke Haddock2 Bay Leaves25g Butte…

Chocolate Honeycomb Mincemeat Squares

Is it acceptable to be posting festive recipe ideas yet? I hope so as these chocolate squares were pretty amazing.
Baking Mad contacted me recently to see if I would like to recreate, in my own style a recipe from their extensive website. Having had a browse through the hundreds of lovely bakes and cakes, I stumbled across one for Chocolate Honeycomb Squares. I wanted to give the recipe my own festive twist so added some halved glace cherries, mincemeat and a dusting of snowy icing sugar on top. I also used half dark chocolate and half milk chocolate to cut through the sweetness of the cherries and mincemeat.
The bars keep really well in the fridge (up to 2 weeks) so are an ideal make ahead treat or gift. If you wanted to make them more 'adult', you could try using Amaretti biscuits instead of the honeycomb and brandy soaked raisins instead of the glace cherries. Enjoy, these are too good.

| Serves: 16 squares | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook T…

St Ives Beef Box Scheme

Russell Osborne set-up St Ives Beef back in 2007 in the hope that diversifying would ensure the family farm at Trevalgan near St Ives could be passed on to his children, potentially the fourth generation of farmers. The farm, right on the coast in West Cornwall has been in Russell's family for more than 60 years and has changed somewhat from it's dairy farming origins when his grandfather Robert was at the helm. Since the 1970's Trevalgan has been a beef farm but with the mounting insecurities in cattle farming Russell knew he needed to diversify beyond the holiday cottages that he managed in conjunction with the farm business.
Both Russell and his wife Mel are passionate about the importance of local, ethically sourced food and this was the very basis on which St Ives Beef was born. The cattle at Trevalgan are free to graze in the fields all year round producing high quality grass fed beef which Russell is now selling online UK wide. He is particularly keen to educate peop…

Fish is the Dish Challenge Part 2: Prawn Curry

I received my second Fish is the Dish package today (you can read more about Fish is the Dish and what I did with the first package here).

Prawns were on the menu courtesy of Lyons Seafood Co - one of my favourites and this colder autumnal weather called for a creamy comforting Korma. The recipe is lovely as it is but if you wanted to up the heat a little bit add 1 tsp of chilli powder at the same time as the ground almonds. Similarly if you prefer curries on the milder side then a spoonful of natural yogurt should do the trick. I added a couple of quartered boiled eggs to each plate at the end  - fish and eggs go well together.... Kedgeree, Fish Pie....try it!

The children helped prepare all of the condiments to go with the curry - raita, mango chutney, naan breads and poppadoms. My four year old also stirred the korma curry paste into the onions and added the coconut milk. A lovely quick weeknight dinner!

PRAWN CURRY| Serves: 3 | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 20 Minutes | Total…

Win a Christmas Cream Tea Hamper from Delimann

COMPETITION CLOSED You might be surprised to find me writing about a Devonian Cream Tea considering I’m Cornish – to be honest, I’m a bit surprised myself. However, on my quest to find good quality edible Christmas gifts I came across Delimann, a long established family run Devonian Deli based in Bovey Tracey (the shop is called Mann & Son and has been a fixture of Bovey’s town centre since 1837). Their year-round signature gift is without doubt the Devonian Cream Tea, so this year they decided to give it a festive twist just in time for Christmas.

 The Delimann Christmas Cream Tea Hamper is priced at £19.50 and contains the following products
2 oversized Devon scones - freshly baked on the day of dispatch Delimann strawberry jam - made in small batches, winner of Great Taste Award Rich clotted cream  113g - produced on a local farm and made with Jersey milk, extra creamy Teonis Cinnamon Festive Cookies 300g  - extra large sized festive favourites, made in Devon Westcountry tea - 40 t…


SuperJam™ is a range of 100% pure fruit jams; sweetened with grape juice and made using Super Fruits, such as blueberries and cranberries. The brand was created by Scottish jam-maker Fraser Doherty, after being taught to make jam using his Gran’s secret recipes at the age of fourteen.  Little did she know what she had started!
From humble beginnings making the jams from his parents home in Edinburgh, the company has gone on to sell millions of jars, has won a variety of awards and is even exhibited in the National Museum of Scotland as an example of an ‘Iconic Scottish Food Brand’. SuperJam is now available in supermarkets throughout the UK and Fraser has just broken into his 6th international market, Russia!
I was kindly sent three jars to sample (Strawberry, Raspberry & Cranberry and Blueberry & Blackcurrant) and what better way to try the jam than as part of a traditional Cornish Cream Tea. We used the strawberry jam for this and it was delicious - fruity, not too sweet a…

Bite 'N' Write Food Bloggers Conference ~ 19th November 2011

Bite 'n' Write is the first UK food bloggers conference to be held outside London and is taking place on Saturday 19th November 2011 at The Custard Factory in Birmingham…more to the point I am going (yay!). I’m excited to be finally meeting some of my long time blogging friends and the programme for the day looks useful and informative (the goody bag will be an added bonus).
Here is a sneaky peak at the day (please note some elements may change).

10:40am–11:00am Welcome speech (and short speech from Action Against Hunger) 11:00am–12:00noon Food Photography workshop by Craig Fraser from FraserShot 12:00am–1:00pm Indian Banquet Lunch provided by Bipins 1:15pm–1:45pm Promoting your blog using Social Media and SEO by Judith Lewis 1:50pm –2:20pm Finding your blogging voice by Jeanne Horak from Cooksister 2:00pm–2:45pm Cooking demo by Craig McKnight from WeGrowOurOwn/ Chocolate Tasting by Artisan du Chocolat 2:45pm–3:00pm Tea & Coffee, mingle time 3:00pm–3:30pm Recipe Developing and Fo…

Grumpies of Cornwall

Despite their close proximity to me (they are based just 8 miles away in the Cornish market town of Launceston), I first heard about Grumpies whilst listening to the Chris Evans show on BBC Radio 2 back in September. I somehow managed to miss them at this years Royal Cornwall Show, where they displayed their pies to the public for the first time and got, by all accounts an overwhelming response (I’m still not quite sure how I managed to miss them).

                                                         The two grumpy old men

Grumpies of Cornwall was launched at the beginning of this year by self proclaimed grumpy old men Trevor Shea and Mark Carne at their bakery in Launceston. They use only the best local ingredients in their savoury pies, including meat from an award winning (and very helpful) local butcher Phillip Warren’s as well as local vegetables, Cornish ale and cider and local cheese. The Cornish businessmen founded Grumpies, pronounced GrumPIES, to fill a gap in the market …

Hubble Bubble Pumpkin Fish Cakes

My Fish is the Dish package arrived today filled with glorious fresh salmon, haddock and smoked haddock from Delish Fish based in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire.
Fish is the Dish website is the consumer arm of Seafish which was founded in 1981 by an Act of Parliament, with the aim of supporting all sectors of the seafood industry for a sustainable, profitable future. It is the only pan-industry body offering services to all parts of the seafood industry, from catching and aquaculture to processors, importers, exporters and distributors of seafood, including restaurants and retailers.
Funded by a levy on the first sale of seafood landed in the UK, the principal aim of Seafish is to support and improve the environmental sustainability, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the industry, as well as to promote sustainably-sourced seafood. The services it offers include technical research and development, responsible sourcing initiatives, economic consulting, market research, industry accreditation…

Peanut Butter and Choc Chip Cookies

PEANUT BUTTER AND CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES | Serves: 15 Cookies | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 12 Minutes | Total Time: 22 Minutes |
Ingredients:  240g smooth peanut butter - I used Skippy160g caster sugar1 egg½ tsp bicarbonate of soda100g white chocolate chips Instructions: Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease 2 baking traysStep 2: Mix the peanut butter, sugar, egg and bicarbonate of soda together in a bowl using an electric whisk until well combined. (It will be very thick)Step 3: Add the chocolate chips and beat in. Place in fridge for 10 minutes to firm up a bit (optional)Step 4: Scoop up tablespoonfuls of the mixture and roll them into balls using your hands. Place them on the baking tray, leaving a 1-2 inch gap.Step 5: Bake in the oven for 12 minutes.Step 6: Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 3 minutes. Carefully transfer the cookies to a cooling wire using a palette knife – they will still be quite soft.| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 25th october 2011 |

Puy Lentil, Feta and Orzo Salad

I know colder weather is here, but I still love a good salad for lunch, especially if its robust and peppery like this one. The hardest thing about this recipe is cooking the orzo and the dressing is just a good glug of white wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Easy!

| Serves:  3 | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: -  | Total Time: -  |
Ingredients:  100g Orzo, cooked according to packet  - I used Pasta Garofalo250g Ready to Eat Puy lentils - I used Merchant Gourmet200g Feta, crumbledHandful of Cherry Tomatoes, chopped1/2 Roasted Red Pepper, choppedHandful of Rocket2 TBSP White Wine Vinegar3 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil Instructions: Step 1: Immediately after cooking the pasta, drain and stir through the rocket first so it wilts slightly. Then throw in all the other ingredients and give it a good stir.| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 21st october 2011 |

New Products from The Saucy Fish Co

The Saucy Fish Co has just added two new products to their lovely range.
Chilli, Lime & Ginger Standalone Sauce – TheSaucy Fish Co. now offers this fiery accompaniment as a stand-alone sauce, due to the popularity of the Saucy Fish Salmon & Chilli Sauce pack. With a ‘two chilli’ label, those who crave fiery spices in the gloomy winter months will not be disappointed. Just mix and match the fish sauce combos to your heart’s content. Traditionally paired up with salmon, this sauce is also a fantastic accompaniment to an array of scrumptious seafood for a fish dish with that extra kick.
Fresh Cod Fillets with Piri Piri Sauce – this new fish and sauce combo is a great half-homemade dish, injected with some Portuguese spice! For a cool and contemporary twist on classic cod, simply pan fry, grill or oven bake in less than 15 minutes and pair up with winter root veggies such as carrots, parsnips and turnips or some crusty bread and butter and you’ve got a delicious meal, w…

Baked Squash Risotto

We have just enjoyed this lovely baked risotto for dinner, using the squash, 1 onion, some butter and Cheddar from the Farmison Veg and Dairy box I received on Friday. It requires no stirring so perfect when you are too busy to stand by the hob. The amount below serves 2 (the kids had a cooked lunch at School/Nursery) but you can easily double everything to serve 4.

BAKED SQUASH RISOTTO| Serves: 2  | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 40 Minutes | Total Time: 50 Minutes |
Ingredients:  1 small Squash, cut into wedges (skin still on)1 TBSP Butter1 Onion, chopped3 rashers of smoked Bacon, chopped1 TSP Dried Thyme200g Risotto Rice600ml Vegetable Stock150g Mature Cheddar, grated Instructions: Step 1: Heat the oven to 180c. Put the squash into a roasting tin, drizzle with oil, season and put in the oven - roast for 30 minutes until tender.Step 2: Meanwhile heat a casserole with some oil and fry the onion and bacon until cooked, add the thyme and risotto rice and give it a stir. Add the stock, …

Pumpkin and Coconut Soup

Pumpkins and squashes are coming in thick and fast at the moment, both from my Mother in Laws allotment and also the weekly veg box. One of the larger pumpkins went into making this warming autumn soup, in preparation for the colder weather that's coming our way, according to the Countryfile weather forecast last night.
I used a pouch of Thai Taste Coconut Milk to give the soup a creamy silky texture the chilli's and roasted garlic gave it a lovely fragrant taste.

PUMPKIN AND COCONUT SOUP| Serves: 4  | Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 50 Minutes  | Total Time:  1 Hour 10 Minutes |
Ingredients:  1 Pumpkin, peeled, seeds discarded and chopped into large chunks10 whole garlic cloves, skin on2 onions, chopped1 red chilli, chopped800ml vegetable stock180ml pouch of coconut milk Instructions: Step 1: Preheat oven to 180c. Put the chunks of pumpkin in a roasting pan with the whole cloves of garlic - drizzle over oil and season. Roast for about 30 minutes.Step 2: While the pumpkin is roas…

Bacon, Broccoli and Davidstow Cheddar Pasta Bake

For those of you who follow me on Twitter (@jamandcream) or are regular blog readers, you will know that I make pasta bakes A LOT (mainly as a vehicle for getting rid of leftovers) and on rainy Autumn days like today they bring much needed comfort and warmth. My pasta bakes are always cheesy (the cheesier the better in my opinion) and are usually made with Davidstow Cheddar (I particularly love their Cornish Crackler) which is produced just down the road from us here in North Cornwall.
Bacon and broccoli are a lovely combination and the pasta adds some bulk to fill up hungry tummies (although you could quite easily omit the pasta if you preferred and add in another head of broccoli). All of these ingredients are stirred into a classic cheese sauce, before being placed under a grill for that golden topping. As a twist, I added 1 TSP of Frenchs Smooth and Spicy Mustard (a product I had been sent to try out in my cooking) to the sauce to pep it up a little bit - it was a fab addition!


Double Choc Chip Caramel Cookies

These were a happy accident. I had half a tin of condensed milk leftover after making this recipe ...and plenty of chocolate chips. After a bit of googling and plenty of experimenting these Double Choc Chip Caramel Cookies were born. The condensed milk gives the cookies a lovely caramelly chewy texture and you could always substitute the chocolate chips for raisins or cranberries if you wanted something more fruity.
The recipe below makes about 25 cookies - I have put half in the freezer for unexpected guest emergencies!
DOUBLE CHOC CHIP CARAMEL COOKIES| Serves: 25 cookies | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 15 Minutes | Total Time: 25 Minutes |
Ingredients:  225g Butter, softened225g Golden Caster Sugar200g Condensed Milk200g Oats150g Self Raising Flour1 TSP Vanilla Extract50g Milk Chocolate Chips50g White Chocolate Chips Instructions: Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180c/160fan and grease 3 large baking trays.Step 2: Cream the butter and sugar together then add in all the other ingredients a…

Win a Luxury Italian Cooking Kit courtesy of Galbani® worth over £350

COMPETITION CLOSED Win an Ultimate Italian Cooking Kit worth over £350 containing an Italian fresh pasta maker, Alessi Spaghetti Tongs and a whole host of Harvey Nichols food goodies, plus  six month’s supply of Galbani®  Dolcelatte® and another six month’s worth of Galbani®  Mozzarella cheese - delizioso!

From steaming spaghetti bolognese to scrumptious pizza, layers of decadent lasagne to zesty bruschetta – Italian food is rich, varied and always best shared with loved ones. 
Now Italian food lovers have the chance to win an Ultimate Italian Cooking Kitthat will kick start their Italian culinary skills, plus an entire year’s worth of delectable Italian cheese, thanks to Galbani®, Italy’s No. 1 cheese.

To be in with a chance of winning the Ultimate Italian Cooking Kit,  all you have to do is name the tricolours which make up the national flag of Italy:
a) Blue, White and Red b) Black, Red and Gold c) Green, White and Red
1. UK entrants only
2. Answers can be left…