2 banana shallots, very finely chopped
40g baby capers, rough chopped
50g cornichons, topped & tailed, quartered lengthways and chopped small as possible
1 tsp tarragon vinegar
10g picked curly parsley finely chopped
Sterilise an old wine bottle (screw top) by washing through the dishwasher.
Put 100g tarragon in the bottle and fill with white wine vinegar.
Leave for a couple of weeks, then it's good to use.
Chocolate & Beetroot Cake
125g whole beetroots
Dark Chocolate 100g
1/4 espresso shot
70g ground almonds
5g baking powder
25g cocoa powder
5 eggs, separated
50g caster sugar
50g soft dark brown sugar
Clean whole beetroots, wrap in tin foil and bake at 180c for 45 mins until tender. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, remove foil and peel of skin with the back of a knife and grate. You might want to wear gloves!
Melt the chocolate and butter, with the espresso, in a bowl over a pan of simmering water
Add the grated beetroot
Whisk egg yolks until white & fluffy and add to the chocolate mix
Whisk egg whites to stiff peaks then gradually whisk in sugars
Fold into the chocolate mix
Sift dry ingredients and fold into the mix
Bake in a lined cake tin for 40 mins @ 160c
Chocolate & Hazelnut Brownies
The perfect treat for hard-working mums.
225g unsalted butter
275g dark chocolate
400g caster sugar
150g of plain flour
75g of skinned hazelnuts, toasted & chopped
10g of sea salt
Melt butter and chocolate together.
Separately, whisk eggs and sugar till white and fluffy.
Gently stir the butter and chocolate mix into the eggs and fold in sifted flour, salt and cocoa.
Fold in hazelnuts, pour into a lined baking tray and bake in pre-heated oven at 160C for 45 minutes.
Rhubarb Brown Sauce
Makes 3 litres
1.8k rhubarb, diced
1 onion fine sliced
5 fat garlic cloves, smashed
3 granny smiths, cored, diced
100ml olive oil
250g treacle vinegar
350 ml noilly
230g redcurrant jelly
1 tsp cinnamon
1tsp celery salt
2 tsp dulce paprika
½ tsp chilli flakes
1.5tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
2 tsp pepper
5 tsp ground ginger
Bring to boil
Simmer until sticky stirring every now and then
(Makes 1 Litre)
5 Blood oranges
1 Cinnamon stick
3 Cardamom pods
500g Caster sugar
Zest orange, ensuring no pith is attached to peel.
Add zest and spices to vodka in sterile jar or bottle and seal.
Leave to macerate for 1-2 weeks, shaking daily.
When ready, strain out peel and spices.
Boil water and stir in sugar till dissolved. Mix strained vodka and sugar syrup together and bottle.
Best served straight from the freezer.
'Tis the season for mugs of hot wine and rosy noses.
1.5 litres Red wine (two bottles)
2 Star anise
1 Orange (halved)
6 Mace husks (or 1/2 tsp ground mace)
1 Lemon (halved)
1 Cinnamon stick
150g Caster sugar
Choose a fruity, unoaked red wine like a Merlot or a Chianti and pour one bottle into a large pan.
Add the other ingredients (feel free to tweak spices to your own tastes), and heat until sugar has dissolved, then simmer for another 15 minutes.
Stir in the second bottle of wine and serve, or allow to cool and reheat as needed in the microwave.
Dark & Stormy
The national drink of Bermuda, perfect for warming up on a wet & windy winter night.
50ml Gosling's Black Seal
(or other dark navy rum)
1/2 Fresh lime
Cut the lime into four wedges and squeeze into a tall glass, and drop spent wedges in too.
Fill glass with ice cubes, add rum, top with ginger beer (the more fiery, the better), stir well and enjoy.
For those who like an extra kick, crush about half a birds-eye chilli with a spoonful of caster sugar, in the base of the glass first.
250g dry cranberries
300g rolled porridge oats (not jumbo)
50 ml ginger wine
300g dark brown sugar
350g butter, plus extra for greasing
Pre-heat oven to 180C. Tip the cranberries into a bowl, and toss
with the ginger, ginger wine and small pinch of salt.
Gently melt the butter and honey in a saucepan. In a large bowl,
mix the oats, flour, pumkin seeds and sugar together, making sure
there are no clumps of sugar, then stir in the butter and honey until
everything is combined into a loose flapjack mixture, finally fold the
cranberries through the mix.
Flatten mix out into a greased, 20cm x 20cm baking tin and bake
for 45-50 mins until dark golden and starting to crisp a little around
Leave to cool completely, then cut into 18 little bars.
Will keep in an airtight container for 2 days or can be frozen for up
to a month.
Hot Buttered Rum
25g of unsalted butter
1 tbsp of maple syrup
(or soft brown sugar)
Pinch of nutmeg (to taste)
Pinch of allspice (to taste)
35ml of golden rum
Large piece of orange peel
(stud with cloves to taste)
Beat butter together with maple syrup and spices until thoroughly
Place butter in base of a mug or thick-sided glass, add rum and
orange zest and top with boiling water.
Whisk briskly until butter
has completely melted.
Serve with cinnamon stick to stir with, and release flavour as it steeps in the drink.
You can batch up a block of spiced butter and it will keep in the fridge for a few months.
It's great on crumpets or in crumbles too.
Not normally around till November, the weather this year has led to an early, bumper sloe crop. Here's how to turn it into a perfect tipple in time for Christmas.
450g Washed sloes
175g White sugar
Freeze sloes overnight so they burst.
Add all ingredients to a sterilised litre-sized container with an air-tight lid (squash bottles work well).
Store in a cool, dark cupboard and shake every other day for a week.
Then shake once a week for at least two months.
Strain through muslin into a sterilised bottle when ready.
The margarita is the world's most popular cocktail. This recipe was developed by a tequila ambassador, because as a diabetic, he couldn't drink regular margaritas.
25ml Agave syrup
30ml Fresh lime juice
Shake the ingredients and plenty of cubed ice in a cocktail shaker
(or jam jar) and pour out with ice, into a rocks glass, with or
without a salt rim.
Agave syrup can be bought from larger supermarkets and many
health food shops.
It is a natural sweetener with a low GI index, so a great option for diabetics.
Buttery, crumbly biscuits, perfect with fresh strawberries and a drop of cream.
Makes approximately 24 biscuits.
140g Icing sugar
Pinch of salt
Beat all ingredients together with electric whisk until smooth.
Clingfilm mix and refrigerate for 40mins.
Roll to 5mm thick and cut to shape.
Bake on a greaseproof lined tray for 6 mins at 180 C.
Great for sipping in the Summer sun.
2 bottles Sauvignon Blanc
200ml Elderflower Cordial
1 ltr Lemonade
1 ltr Sparkling water
Juice of three lemons
6 sprigs of mint
Stir everything together in a fancy big bowl, load up with plenty of ice cubes and bring out to the delight of everyone.
Makes 15-20 glasses
Perfect in the sun.
25ml Fresh lemon juice
2 tsp Caster sugar
Top it all off with soda, in a tall glass filled with big ice cubes.
The Tom Collins is a great G&T alternative.
Try crushing a few mint leaves, fresh strawberries & thyme, or adding a favourite cordial too.