Friday, September 25, 2015

Chelsea Buns

A chelsea bun; classic, British and the perfect weekend treat to make. Everyone adores the combination of spices and fruit. If you have any leftover, these freeze super well and can be reheated in the oven, and then toasted in a fry pan to give them a gorgeous golden crust to smear in butter. 

500g strong white flour
1 teaspoon salt
7g sachet dried yeast
300ml milk
40g unsalted butter, softened at room temp
1 egg
25g unsalted butter
75g brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
150g dried mixed fruit
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons caster sugar

1) Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the yeast.

2) Meanwhile, warm the milk and butter in a saucepan until the butter melts and the mixture is lukewarm.

3) Add the milk mixture and egg to the flour mixture and stir until the contents of the bowl come together as a soft dough. 

4) Tip the dough onto a generously floured work surface. Knead for five minutes, adding more flour if necessary, until the dough is smooth and elastic and no longer feels sticky.

5) Lightly grease a bowl with a little oil. Place the dough into the bowl and turn until it is covered in the oil. Cover the bowl with cling film and set aside in a warm place for one hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

6) Lightly grease a baking tray.

7) For the filling, knock the dough back to its original size and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough out into a rectangle 0.5cm/¼in thick. Brush all over with the melted butter, then sprinkle over the brown sugar, cinnamon and dried fruit.

8) Roll the dough up into a tight cylinder , cut ten 4cm/1½in slice and place them onto a lightly greased baking sheet, leaving a little space between each slice. Cover with a tea towel and set aside to rise for 30 minutes.

9) Preheat oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.

10) Bake the buns in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown.

11) Meanwhile, for the glaze, heat the milk and sugar in a saucepan until boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

12) Remove the buns from the oven and brush with the glaze, then set aside to cool on a wire rack. Or eat all warm and delicious fro the oven!

    Thursday, September 3, 2015


    Frittata is a wonderful thing to make if you have a heap of eggs you need to use. It is also a great picnic food, and travels well - better than quiche as you don't have to worry about the pastry cracking. 

    There are no rules with frittata really. You can put in it whatever you like, or when cleaning out the fridge and you find the dozen eggs you need to use up, use all the leftover bits and pieces you didn't know were in there: cherry tomatoes, peppers, garlic, onion, feta. Whatever.

    Simply cook your filling however you'd like - sauté in a pan with some olive oil to give them some colour and release the flavours and then lightly beat 8-12 eggs (depending on the size of your pan) season well, and add the eggs to the pan over a medium heat. Cook on the stove top until you see a crust forming around the edges and then place into a 180 degree  oven and bake for about 10 or 15 minutes until it is cooked through. Make sure your pan can go in the oven!

    Serve hot or cold. It works a treat both ways. 

    Tuesday, September 1, 2015


    Barbecued corn on the cob is actually one of life's best things. Trust me.

    When corn in 3 for a pound (thanks Lidl) who could resist buying three beautiful ears?

    Leave the corn in its husk and cook on a barbecue over medium heat for about 15 minutes or so, until when you peel back the husk, you can see that the corn is bright yellow.

    Peel the husks completely and finish by getting some colour on the corn on the barbecue. This is best done over high heat and you want the corn to retain its moisture, so keep this charring short.

    Lather the cobs in butter and salt and peeper and then Season with a sprinkling of ground cumin, smoky paprika, a squeeze of lime juice and then a grating of Parmesan. Absolutely mind blowing.

    Friday, August 28, 2015

    National Burger Day Feastival

    The best burger in the festival goes to Mother Flipper... Just look at how perfect she is. Swoon.

    Sunday, August 16, 2015

    Coriander Pesto

    Often herbs come in bunches much larger than you need. What to do with leftover herbage?  Knock up a pesto. 

    What you need: bunch of coriander (or what's left), a big handful of cashews, 100ml olive oil, 50g grated parmesan, sprinkle of sugar, juice from half a lime, salt and pepper to taste.

    In a food processor, combine all ingredients. Taste it. See if it needs a bit more sugar, or seasoning and adjust accordingly. It should taste fresh and not overly bitter or sweet. The citrus should cut through and balance the richness of the coriander. 

    When made, store in the fridge and use on whatever you like. So far, it's been a condiment on a bacon breakfast wrap, and tonight methinks it will adorn some lamb and butternut squash.

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