Showing posts with label PUDDINGS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PUDDINGS. Show all posts

Elderflower Tempura and Elderflower Cordial

Elderflower is just starting to appear, early this year. A simple way to cook flowers is in a tempura batter. I had intended to make the tempura with champagne but after trying decided to have a go with some sparkling elderflower cordial as the champagne overpowered the elderflower.
Elderflower is highly aromatic, something like 80% of our taste comes from aroma so very important to find a way to keep the lovely aroma through the cooking.

Elderflower Tempura 
3-4 heads of Elderflowers, pick when the flowers are fully formed and deeply fragrant
1/4 Cup Cornflour
1/2 Cup Plain Flour
1 Egg White (use a good free range egg, I recommend Happy Eggs)
1/2 Cup chilled Sparkling Elderflower Cordial (recipe below)
pinch of fine salt

Vegetable oil to fry

Whisk the egg white till stiff peaks form, add the cordial then fold in the sifted flour, the batter mix should be wet, consistency of single cream.

Heat the oil to approx 180C (one of the best investments you can make is a good cooking thermometer)

Drag small 'branches' of elderflower through the batter and place gently in the oil, drop the elderflower away from yourself to avoid splashes
Cook for approximately 30 seconds before turning over and cook the other side for 30 seconds

I like it served with fresh strawberries, but try with fresh whipped cream or ice cream.

Elderflower cordial

1.5 l water
1 kg of caster sugar
20 large elderflower heads
4 lemons
50g of citric acid

Bring water and sugar to simmer, stir to dissolve the sugar, leave to cool
Add the citric acid, Lemon juice and zest, elderflowers
Leave in a fridge for 72hr
Strain (I use a clean 'J' cloth in a sieve).
Simmer till reduced by 2/3 in volume then store in sanitised glass bottles
To make up mix with soda water to taste, I prefer about 20% cordial

Chocolate Fondant

With Masterchef back on the Telly ... what more appropriate time to post my chocolate fondant recipe (written for Happy Eggs) ?

Chocolate FondantServes 4

Ingredients:200g 72% cooking chocolate
200g Butter
240g Caster sugar
4 happy eggs
4 yolks
200g Plain flour


• Butter the inside of 4 ramekins, sprinkle with cocoa powder and place in the freezer for 5 minutes.

• Melt the chocolate and butter in a pan on a very low heat.
Tip: Alternatively, you could place the pan in a sink of hot water from the tap. This warms the mixture gently without direct heat.
• In a bowl whip the eggs, yolks & sugar.
• Fold in the flour and when mixed, fold in the chocolate.
• Pour the mixture into the 4 ramekins.
• Place in a preheated oven at 180°C for 7-10 minutes.

Tip: You can tell they’re cooked when they are soft to touch but are set, not liquid.

Chocolate and Rosemary Mousse

Chocolate & Rosemary mousse

This is a simple recipe, using cream, allows us to infuse all sorts of flavours into the mousse, not just rosemary. Other alternatives could be ginger, citrus (use the zest and a little of the juice), basil, chilli etc.

We use this mousse as part of a trio of chocolates in the restaurant, along with a chocolate citrus sorbet and a white chocolate strawberry truffle ganache. Rosemary works well with the dark chocolate because, as with lamb dishes, the rosemary cuts through the richness that dark chocolate can bring. This recipe is all about the chocolate, so use a good quality dark choc; for an extra few pennies it’s worth investing in some Green & Blacks 72%

Serves 4

3 Eggs
200ml/7fl oz double cream
100g 72%(or higher) dark chocolate broken into small pieces
tbsp chopped rosemary

  • Heat the cream and chopped rosemary in a saucepan untill the cream is just too hot to touch ... don’t boil it !
  • Leave the cream to cool and infuse with the rosemary flavour, then place in fridge after 20min of cooling
  • When chilled, strain out the rosemary pieces and whip the double cream until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed
  • Separate the eggs and whip the whites till hard peaks form when the whisk is removed
  • Warm the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, take off the heat as soon as melted and combine with the yolks (take care not to heat too much, or the chocolate will grain or the yolks will cook) ... I know I’m making it sound difficult, but it’s easier than it sounds
  • While the chocolate mixture is still melted fold in the cream until well combined, then carefully fold in the whipped whites
  • Pour into serving dishes and chill for two hours or more. This will leave you with a strong but light dark chocolate and rosemary mousse ... delicious !

Simple fruit puff pastry tart

This is a very simple tart to make and tastes great.

Stage one is get some good quality puff pastry, preferably butter pastry which also means the dish can be vegetarian. Roll it out onto a tray which is floured, or covered in silicon sheet.

Bake for 5 minutes at 180 till starting to rise and very slightly browned to allow the fruit to sit on the pastry without soaking it or making the pastry mushy

Cover partially cooked pastry in fruit and other toppings, I used nectarines with ginger and golden syrup

Bake for another 10-15 minutes till fruit is cooked and pastry is browned, slice and serve with cream or ice cream.

Easy and delicious ... try as a savoury tart too, make a great brunch dish with eggs and bacon.


We have a new member of the team ... Jo (who is a Phd in woodland ecology) looked us up and showed up today with a big tray of whortleberries ... what yummy fruit. They are like blueberries but with flavour and more colour !

Looking forward to what else she shows up with ... lots of wild mushrooms for the autumn and should have some interesting plants over the next couple of months for the restaurant !

Made Berry mess using them and used as a coulis with Beth's brownies today in the restaurant ... will try with a burnt cream or mousse tomorrow ...

Crowdie Raspberry Cheesecake

I was privileged to spend an hour or so at Connage Dairy this week having a tour of their cheese factory, a really impressive operation and some superb cheese. I left with a small bag of samples which I'm enjoying. Their Clava cheese is a brie style cheese second to none I have tried in the UK and their lovely creamy Crowdie is a great full fat cheese, perfect for a cheese cake, and needs no cream to be added.

Here's my Crowdie cheesecake (shamelessly made from fridge leftovers) ... I'd probably use a little less base and more cheese next time but I only had half a pot of cheese left after eating the rest with some smoked salmon last night !

10 raspberries
Raspberry liquor
1/2 sheet gelatine
1/2 small Crowdie
72% Chocolate
Clarified butter

Blitz cornflakes till crumbly. Heat equal quantities of chocolate and clarified butter together and blend, mix with cornflakes to a just dry mix. Press mix into base of a cooking ring.
Mix Crowdie with raspberry liquor till smooth and a nice cheesy sweet mix, add on top of crumble base.
Place half raspberries on top of cheese, heat the other half with a little liquor then add gelatine. Sieve then pour clear jelly on top of cake.
Remove ring carefully and fridge for 30min before serving
Delicious !

Limonchello Sorbet

This is an eye watering tart sorbet ... great as a palate cleanser but not as a bowl full ... it is delicious though ... I highly recommend it ! Adjust sugar (or alcohol !) to taste

Makes 20 portions (at 30g per portion)

  • 4 Lemons
  • 200g Caster sugar
  • 200ml Water
  • 150ml Cream
  • 100ml Limonchello

Zest 1 1/2 lemons, then juice all 4 of them
Boil the lemon juice, caster sugar and water
Add the zest, then leave on a low heat for 15 minutes
Add the cream and Limonchello, mix
leave to cool
Strain & pour into an Ice Cream Machine. Follow the instructions for your machine

Lemon Tart - revisited

Made this tart over the weekend and improved on the recipe so here is the new version ... it makes a heavenly tart ... but it has bite ... serve with Marscapone or some v thick cream ... its yum. For a Lime tart use twice the number of limes and less sugar.
Taste the custard before baking to check sugar/tartness.

Takes about 20min to bake in a small tart dish and longer (1 hour) in a larger tart dish. Make a simple short pastry, blind bake it in the dish then fill and bake at 160C. Tart is cooked when you can push a knife in and remove without any filling attached to it.

Sweet Short pastry

  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Natural Caster sugar
  • 40g Butter
  • 1 egg

I use a blender to mix ... pulse till it forms small balls and just starts to cling together. If you keep blending it will not be short and will shrink and split when baking. Add a little flour if too wet. Fridge for 20min, roll out and importantly put back in fridge for an hour before blind baking for 10min at 200C.


  • 2 Lemons
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 150ml Double cream
  • 60g Natural Caster sugar

Zest and juice of lemons
Blitz all ingredients till sugar dissolved, leave for an hour then strain.
Fill tart and bake at 160C, drag any froth off using paper towels before baking.

Simple Ice Cream, no mixing

Closing down another blog and decided to save this post ... easy ice cream without a machine. It is a bit heavy and rich but small amount is nice with a fruit coulis

Ice cream is so easy if you follow this simple rule ... double cream only ! That way it sets perfectly, no mixing or machines required, yes its really rich but tastes so good ... adding milk is just watering it down and creates ice crystals so just have less !

  • 300ml of double cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 50g caster sugar

heat to simmer, mix, add flavour then freeze (I put it in ramekins) it really is that simple.

Flavour with one vanilla pod

or 10 drops of lavender essence (this is really good ... try with some hokey pokey)

or a fruit coulis (stir it in as the custard starts to set), jam works well too :-)

an espresso

chocolate of course !

For something special freeze a ramekin, cool the custard (I put it in a bag and run under the cold tap till its chilled, pour the custard into the ramekin and leave for 30min in the freezer, the sides and bottom will have frozen. You can then pour out the centre, add a treat (jam works great here for the kids) and put custard back over the top for final freezing ... leaving a hidden treat in the middle.

Sponge pudding

I made this for xmas pudding and am just putting another in the over with our roast duck for New Year as it was so good !

Borrowed from various sources and modified by me ... use different jams or just as a Marmalade pudding ... nice light alternative to heavy sponge puddings.

  • 3 thick slices of brown bread, crust removed
  • 20g Plain Flour
  • 60g Brown caster sugar
  • 100g Butter
  • 70g Strong Jam (I use rhubarb and ginger jam then add some fresh ginger) or Marmalade
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Bicarb

Mix dry ingredients, bread first till it is fine crumbs then adding other dry. Heat jam and butter together then add the eggs and blitz together till light mixture, add to the dry mix and blend.
Pour into pudding bowl, cover with cellophane or fitted lid and put in oven tray with a couple of inches of water in it. Place in oven for two hours, checking water every so often.

Use a little of the jam heated to make a thick sauce on top then serve with custard.

Hokey Pokey

Every Kiwi knows what this is ... it's like the honeycomb in the middle of a well known chocolate bar. We were brought up in NZ on Hokey Pokey ice cream, either crumble on the top or mix into vanilla ice cream when it's nearly frozen to make the proper stuff (needs to be cold otherwise you'll have toffee ice cream)

2 tbsp Golden Syrup
5 tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Baking Soda


Heat syrup and sugar in non-stick milk pan until melted and slightly caramelised ... then add baking soda and quickly stir until mixed ... let it expand and pour onto silicon baking sheet ... it will set in 5 minutes ... be careful as it's very sticky and very hot in the pan

Smash into chunks as you like them as a sweet to nibble on.

For ice cream do not use the baking soda, I drip the molten toffee onto a silicon mat to make smooth drops then add them to the ice cream ... once it has frozen ... and churn again for a couple of minutes to mix through.