a food stylist's blog

Cooking courses and food tours in SW France

Next on my seasonal hit list is rhubarb, actually a vegetable that we treat like a fruit (the opposite of the tomato, the fruit we tend to use as a vegetable) and a part of the sorrel family, hence perhaps the sharpness of it’s stem. It is this long red/green stems that we cook down to a deliciously tart sauce, that once sweetened can be added to cream and yogurt for a fruit fool or diced and roasted in the oven with cinnamon, sugar and a hint of orange. My favourite way to cook with rhubarb though is in a crumble, and here it is combined with a simple sponge cake, strawberries and almonds to provide the most satisfying combination of dishes.

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Rhubarb, strawberry and almond crumble cake

Serves: 10

125g softened butter

125g caster sugar

3 eggs, lightly beaten

125g self-raising flour

500g trimmed rhubarb, sliced into 2 cm peices

150g strawberries, hulled and halved

crumble topping

150g plain flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

100g chilled butter, diced

100g caster sugar

25g porridge oats

100g nibbed or flaked almonds

icing sugar, to dust

crème fraiche or Greek yogurt, to serve

Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan-forced and grease and line a 22cm cake tin with baking paper. Start by making the crumble. Sift the flour and cinnamon into a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture forms crumbs. Stir the in the sugar, oats and almonds and set to one side.

Make the sponge. Place the butter, sugar, eggs and flour into a food mixer or processor and blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Spoon the sponge mix into the prepared cake tin and smooth flat.

Scatter the rhubarb and the strawberries over the sponge mix and then cover with the crumble mixture so you can still see a little of the fruit. Bake for 11/4 hours or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Serve still slightly warm, dusted with icing sugar, and some crème fraiche or Greek yogurt.

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As the ground starts to warm after the winter chill, the garden is abloom with spring flowers and the first signs of life in the veg plot start to twist and turn their way towards the sun. It is still too early for any homegrown asparagus but as I drive around the local area I noticed several of the local producers have started to advertise their early crop and it won’t be long before bundles of vibrant green asparagus stalks are all over the markets.

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It is without doubt my first real treat of the season and I am going to pair some tender young stalks with soft poached duck eggs. For something a little different to normal I have scattered over a little dukkah, an Egyptian blend of toasted nuts and spices, which marries perfectly the soft creaminess of the egg and the sweet, almost citric flavour of the asparagus. A bed of creamy tahini yogurt and a slug of fruity olive oil makes this combination truly delicious.

Asparagus with duck eggs, tahini and dukhah

Serves: 2

4 tablespoons Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon tahini paste

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 duck eggs

1 bundle young asparagus, trimmed

2 teaspoons dukhah*

a drizzle extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

Combine the yogurt, tahini, lemon juice and salt and pepper, to taste. Divide between 2 plates.

Cook the duck eggs in a small pan of boiling water for 7-8 minutes. Drain and immediately refresh under cold water to stop further cooking. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, peel the eggs and cut in half.

Plunge asparagus spears into a saucepan of lightly salted boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain immediately and shake dry.

Arrange the asparagus spears over the tahini sauce, pop the egg halves on top  and scatter over the dukhah. Drizzle with a little oil and serve.

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  • dukhah is available from Middle eastern stores, delis and some supermarkets

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Given that I spent 20 years as a food stylist working with my brilliant food photographer husband Ian Wallace in London and Sydney, it seems crazy NOT to offer some food styling and photography courses at our new cookery school in SW France. So we are running a couple of bespoke courses this summer during July and August for 2 people. You will learn the secrets of how to shop and cook for a photo shoot, choose props to work with the menu and then how to set up and shoot the food.

With our fantastic weather and stunning locations you will be able to produce beautiful food pictures to illustrate your blog, put together a portfolio of work or just to learn and create something special to take away with you.

We will either put you up in our superb guest accommodation or put you in touch with some of the local B&B’s in the area.

The course itself will run for 4 days and will include cooking lessons, styling lessons and photography lessons, culminating in a photo shoot on location. These are very intimate bespoke course so we can talk through the details at length and cater for individual requirements.

Ian has shot for magazines such as Food & Travel magazine, Delicious Australia and UK, Gourmet Traveler, Vogue Entertaining and BBC Good Food as well as many commercial clients. His work is highly regarded around the world and he continues to work on food & lifestyle shoots with me here in France.

To view his portfolio please go to http://www.ianwallacephotographer.com

Contact me for more information louise@comecookinfrance.com and check out all our courses at http://www.comecookinfrance.com

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The first of my monthly Cook Club courses took place last week with great success. The concept of cook club is to offer people who live locally in SW France the chance to join me for a 4 hour cooking session and learn to cook dishes from around the world and craft their culinary skills with courses on all food subjects. Living here in France is great but occasionally we all yearn for something else and so we began with Asian noodles.

On the menu this week were Salmon and spring onion gyoza, Steamed scallop and chive dumplings, Green papaya, crispy pork and vermicelli noodle salad and a classic Prawn pad Thai (stir-fried noodles).We began by filling the gyoza wrappers and dumpling wrappers and made up their delicious but totally different sauces. Next came the green papaya salad which we left to one side, ready to assemble just before lunch, whilst we finished off prepping up the Pad Thai. After a full-on morning of cooking and learning about noodles we sat down together to enjoy the fruits of our labours……….. delicious!

RPS1796_P46 scallop dumplings copy 3

Steamed scallop and bean shoot dumplings

Serves: 2

125g shelled scallops (corals removed)

25g bamboo shoots, drained and chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic chives/or chives

1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce

1 teaspoons oyster sauce

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

12-16 wonton wrappers

a little sunflower oil, for cooking

shredded spring onions, to garnish

Trim the scallops, cutting away the grey muscle attached at one side and cut into small dice. Place in a bowl with the bean shoots, garlic, chives, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil and stir well.

Lay the wrappers flat on a board and place a teaspoon of the scallop mixture in the center. Brush around the edges with a little water and draw the sides up and around the filling pressing together to seal. Transfer each one to a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Pop the base of each dumpling in a dish of oil and transfer to a medium-sized bamboo steamer. Cover and steam over a pan of simmering water for about 8-10 minutes until firm and cooked through. Serve with the dressing, garnished with shredded spring onions.

Szechuan chilli dressing

Makes: 50ml

50ml sunflower oil

1 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes

1 tablespoons light soy sauce

1/2 tablespoon black vinegar

1 teaspoons caster sugar

¼ teaspoon Szechuan pepper

Heat the oil in a small saucepan until it just starts to shimmer, remove from the heat and stir in the chilli flakes. Set aside for 30 minutes and then strain through a fine sieve into a clean bowl. Stir in all the remaining ingredients and serve as required.

If you are making ahead of time omit the pepper, adding it just before serving


RPS1796_P56 Salmon gyozas copy

Salmon and spring onion gyoza

Serves: 2

125 g skinless salmon fillet, boned

1 spring onion, trimmed and thinly sliced

1/2 tablespoon Mirin

1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce

10-12 gyoza wrappers

1/2 tablespoon sunflower oil

pinch salt

black sesame seeds

Cut the salmon fillet into small dice and place in a bowl. Add the spring onions, Mirin and soy sauce and stir well to combine.

Using 1 wrapper at a time, lay flat on a clean board and place a spoonful of the salmon mixture on one half of each wrapper. Dampen the edges with water, fold in half and turn edges over, pressing together well to seal.

Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the gyoza on one side until really browned. Add 100ml water and simmer, partially covered for 3 minutes until the water is evaporated. Fry for a further 1 minutes until crisp. Transfer to serving dishes and drizzle over the dipping sauce.

Noodle dipping sauce

Makes: 150 ml

100 ml dashi stock

11/2 tablespoons Japanese soy sauce

11/2 tablespoons Mirin

1/4 teaspoon caster sugar

Combine the dipping sauce ingredients together and chill until required. This will keep indefinitely in a screw top jar in the fridge.


RPS1796_Green papay salad copy 2

Green papaya and crispy panchetta salad

Serves: 4

150 g dried rice vermicelli noodles

150 g pancetta, diced

150 g green papaya, peeled, halved and seeded

1 cucumber, seeded and thinly sliced

a good handful fresh mint, coriander and Thai basil

125g grape cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons palm sugar

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 red bird’s eye chillies, thinly sliced and seeded if wished

4 tablespoons dry roasted peanuts, finely chopped

1 tablespoon roasted rice powder

crispy fried shallots, to serve

Place the noodles in a large bowl and pour over boiling water to cover. Soak for 20 minutes until just tender. Drain and then dry the noodles on a clean tea towel and place in a large bowl.

Dry fry the panchetta in a small frying pan over high heat until crisp and golden. Set aside to cool.

Thinly slice the papaya and cut into long thin strips or julienne. Add to the noodles with the cucumber, herbs, cherry tomatoes and panchetta.

Whisk together the fish sauce, sugar and lime juice and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add to the salad, toss well and divide between plates. Top with the peanuts and powdered rice. Serve with crispy fried shallots.


Prawn Pad Thai

RPS1796_Pad thai

Serves: 1

90g dried rice stick noodles

6-8 medium raw prawns, peeled and de-veined

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 tablespoons grated palm sugar

1 tablespoon white sugar

1 tablespoon tamarind water

4 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil

125 g firm tofu, diced

2 red shallots

2 garlic cloves or 1 small bunch garlic chives

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon dried shrimps (see Store Cupboard ID pages)

a pinch cayenne pepper

125 g bean sprouts, trimmed plus extra to serve

Garnishes

crushed peanuts,

lime wedges, to serve

coriander/garlic chives

cayenne pepper

Place the noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to soak for 20 minutes stirring to ensure they separate. Drain well. Prepare the prawns. Shell and remove the black vein from the back, wash and pat dry.

Place the fish sauce, palm sugar, white sugar and tamarind water in a small saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Simmer for 2 minutes and then remove from the heat.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wok, add the tofu to the pan and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes until crispy. Remove from the pan.

Add the prawns (with a little extra oil, if needed) and stir-fry for 2 minutes until pink, remove with a slotted spoon.

Add the shallots and garlic to the pan and fry over a medium heat for 30 seconds and pour in the beaten egg. Lower the heat and cook, stirring gently for 10 seconds until starting to set.

Return the tofu to the pan along with the cooked prawns, dried shrimp and noodles and stir-fry over a high heat until the noodles start top brown.

Add the sauce and a pinch of cayenne stirring constantly, until everything is heated through. Stir through the half beansprouts.

Transfer to a platter and sprinkle over the remaining beansprouts, peanuts, coriander and cayenne pepper and serve with lime wedges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today I am launching my brand new business – Come Cook In France – food tours and cooking classes from my home in SW France. Please check it out and spread the word.

http://www.comecookinfrance.com

RESIDENTIAL

The weekend food lovers retreat – a 3 day/4night residential cooking course, with trips to producers and markets and a restaurant.

The seven day culinary experience – a 6 day/7 night residential cooking course with trips to producers, markets and a restaurants.

NON-RESIDENTIAL DAY COURSE

Cook Club – a half day morning class aimed mainly at people living locally full time who love to cook, want to increase their repertoire of dishes or cook something other than French food and learn new skills at the same time.

Cook & dine – an afternoon course where we will cook a fabulous 3 course dinner usually locally sourced ingredients and cook them with a modern twist. We will then dine together enjoying the fruits of our labour. Non-cooking partners and friends are welcome to join us for dinner.

Family days – these take on various forms but basically I offer parents the chance to relax whilst I cook with the kids who will make afternoon tea for mum and dad! with an afternoon class. You can also spend the whole day here, adults spend the morning cooking lunch whilst the kids enjoy the facilities (an adult will always be present to be with them) and then the kids cook in the afternoon and parents relax. And I get to do all the clearing up!!

At the end of last year I finally managed to set up my first cook club as a prelude to beginning of a new venture I am due to launch over the coming months. This course was set in time for Christmas as it was all about edible gifts, perfect for friends and family as everyone loves to receive a homemade gift.  The morning was a huge success being both informative and practical and everyone went away with heaps of goodies ready to wrap!

Salted chocolate and almond honeycomb

Childhood memories of crunchy bars flood back every time I make this delicious toffee, chocolate and almond honeycomb. Watch the magic happen when you add bicarbonate of soda to your caramel – it is just like volcanic lava bubbling in the pan!

chilli-salted-honeycomb-2-copy

Serves: 4-6

200g caster sugar

5 tbsp golden syrup

1 tbsp water

2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

150g dark chocolate

15-20g flaked almonds

sea salt

Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Place the sugar and golden syrup in a small saucepan and heat very gently, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat and boil the syrup without stirring until it starts to turn golden brown and reaches 150c on a sugar thermometer, about 3 minutes. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the bicarbonate of soda with a wooden spoon until it foams. Tip onto the prepared tray and leave to cool and set hard, about 30 minutes.emptyname-35

Melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave, on high for 1 minute. Stir well, return to the microwave and continue to cook for 10 second intervals, stirring each time until melted.Spread the melted chocolate over the honeycomb and scatter with the almonds and optional sea salt. Leave to set.

Using a toffee hammer break the honeycomb into small size chunks.


Trio of chocolate truffle

Truffles and Christmas seem to go hand in hand so we rustled up 3 different flavours Pistachio Praline, Fig and Grand Marnier and Stem Ginger, all coated in a rich dark chocolate and decorated

chocolate-truffles-copy

Makes: 54 truffles

50g dried figs, chopped

1 tbs Grand Marnier or Cointreau

75g caster sugar

2 tbs water

50g pistachio nuts

400ml double cream

25g unsalted butter

500g dark chocolate

25g stem ginger, very finely chopped

1 tbsp stem ginger syrup

coating

400g dark chocolate

1 tbs sliced crystalised ginger

1 tbs pistachio praline

a few silver and gold dragees

Place the figs in a bowl with the Grand Marnier or Cointreau and leave to soak for 30 minutes. Blitz in a food processer until fairly smooth and transfer to a bowl.

Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat very gently, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Boil for 4-5 minutes until it starts to turn a golden brown. Meanwhile place the pistachio nuts on a piece of baking parchment on a baking tray. Pour the caramel over the nuts to cover them all and leave to set. Blitz the toffee in a food processor until finely ground. Reserve 3 tablespoons for the topping and set aside.

Place the cream, butter and chocolate in a saucepan and heat very gently, stirring, until the mixture is melted and completely smooth. Pour the chocolate mixture into a bowl and place on the scales. Divide equally between 3 bowls. Stir the fig mixture into one bowl, the pistachio mixture into a second and the chopped ginger and the syrup into the third bowl, stirring well each time. Chill for about 4 hours until the mixture is firm.

Scoop small teaspoons of each chocolate mixture and roll into balls as round as possible. Place the truffles on baking paper and freeze for 1 hour until firm.

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Decorate the truffles. Line 3 large baking trays with baking paper. Place the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water (do not let the boil touch the water) and stir the chocolate until melted. Remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes.

One at a time skewer the hazelnut praline truffles onto a toasting fork (or cocktail stick) and dip into the chocolate turning to coat thoroughly. Transfer to the baking paper and immediately top a third with pistachio praline, a third with a slice of crystalised ginger and the rest with silver or gold dragees. Leave to set.


Limoncello

a00810pr-limoncello-with-almond-and-aniseed-biscottiFor the grown ups we made a lemon sugar syrup and added vodka, then left this to infuse. After 3-4 weeks you have a lovely fragrant ‘limoncello’ to serve with homemade almond and aniseed biscotti perfect to dip into the lemony vodka!

Makes: approx. 1 litre

6 lemons

750ml vodka

225g white sugar

430ml water

Place the lemons in a large saucepan and cover with boiling water, leave to soak for 1 hour, drain lemons and pat dry. Finely grate the zest and stir into the vodka. Set aside.

Meanwhile, place the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Combine the lemon infused vodka and cooled syrup and pour into 2 clean dry bottles, seal and store in a cool dark place for 1 month, shaking gently from time to time.

Strain the liquid into another clean dry bottle. Chill in the freezer for 1 hour before serving.

Almond and aniseed biscotti

Makes: about 40

emptyname-28

75g blanched almonds

2 eggs

125g caster sugar

250g plain white flour

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 tsp aniseed

Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan-forced and lightly oil 2 large baking trays. Place the almonds in a baking tin and bake for 5-8 minutes until lightly golden. Allow to cool and roughly chop half the nuts, set aside.

Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat together for 5 minutes until pale and thick – ribbon stage. Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda together and add to the mixer with the aniseed and chopped almonds. Beat lightly to form a soft, slightly sticky dough, then beat in the whole almonds.

Transfer the dough to a well-floured surface and roll into a 7.5 x 30 cm flattened log. Transfer to one of the prepared baking trays and bake for 30 minutes until lightly golden. Remove the oven and reduce the temperature to 150c/130c fan-forced.

Using a serrated knife cut the biscuit dough into 2 mm thick slices and lay flat on the baking trays. Bake for a further 10-15 minutes until the biscuits are golden. Cool on a wire rack.


Chilli caramel cashews

If you don’t fancy a biscotti with your limoncello or you want something a little saucy to serve with Christmas drinks you really must try my chilli salted cashew nuts. Raw cashews are coated with a sticky glaze of honey, butter, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and salt. Very very moorish!

Serves: 6-8

emptyname-40

25g butter

3 tbs clear honey

1 tsp salt

½ tsp smoked paprika

a pinch chilli powder

2 tbs water

2 x 150g pkts raw cashew nuts

Melt the butter in a frying pan and then add the honey, salt, paprika, chilli powder and water and bring to the boil. Add the nuts and stir-fry for 5 minutes until glazed and golden brown.emptyname-29

Categories: Home

At the end of last year I finally managed to set up my first cook club as a prelude to beginning of a new venture I am due to launch over the coming months. This course was set in time for Christmas as it was all about edible gifts, perfect for friends and family as everyone loves to receive a homemade gift.  The morning was a huge success being both informative and practical and everyone went away with heaps of goodies ready to wrap!

Salted chocolate and almond honeycomb

Childhood memories of crunchy bars flood back every time I make this delicious toffee, chocolate and almond honeycomb. Watch the magic happen when you add bicarbonate of soda to your caramel – it is just like volcanic lava bubbling in the pan!

chilli-salted-honeycomb-2-copy

Serves: 4-6

200g caster sugar

5 tbsp golden syrup

1 tbsp water

2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

150g dark chocolate

15-20g flaked almonds

sea salt

Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Place the sugar and golden syrup in a small saucepan and heat very gently, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat and boil the syrup without stirring until it starts to turn golden brown and reaches 150c on a sugar thermometer, about 3 minutes. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the bicarbonate of soda with a wooden spoon until it foams. Tip onto the prepared tray and leave to cool and set hard, about 30 minutes.emptyname-35

Melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave, on high for 1 minute. Stir well, return to the microwave and continue to cook for 10 second intervals, stirring each time until melted.Spread the melted chocolate over the honeycomb and scatter with the almonds and optional sea salt. Leave to set.

Using a toffee hammer break the honeycomb into small size chunks.


Trio of chocolate truffle

Truffles and Christmas seem to go hand in hand so we rustled up 3 different flavours Pistachio Praline, Fig and Grand Marnier and Stem Ginger, all coated in a rich dark chocolate and decorated

chocolate-truffles-copy

Makes: 54 truffles

50g dried figs, chopped

1 tbs Grand Marnier or Cointreau

75g caster sugar

2 tbs water

50g pistachio nuts

400ml double cream

25g unsalted butter

500g dark chocolate

25g stem ginger, very finely chopped

1 tbsp stem ginger syrup

coating

400g dark chocolate

1 tbs sliced crystalised ginger

1 tbs pistachio praline

a few silver and gold dragees

Place the figs in a bowl with the Grand Marnier or Cointreau and leave to soak for 30 minutes. Blitz in a food processer until fairly smooth and transfer to a bowl.

Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat very gently, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Boil for 4-5 minutes until it starts to turn a golden brown. Meanwhile place the pistachio nuts on a piece of baking parchment on a baking tray. Pour the caramel over the nuts to cover them all and leave to set. Blitz the toffee in a food processor until finely ground. Reserve 3 tablespoons for the topping and set aside.

Place the cream, butter and chocolate in a saucepan and heat very gently, stirring, until the mixture is melted and completely smooth. Pour the chocolate mixture into a bowl and place on the scales. Divide equally between 3 bowls. Stir the fig mixture into one bowl, the pistachio mixture into a second and the chopped ginger and the syrup into the third bowl, stirring well each time. Chill for about 4 hours until the mixture is firm.

Scoop small teaspoons of each chocolate mixture and roll into balls as round as possible. Place the truffles on baking paper and freeze for 1 hour until firm.

_e7a9598

Decorate the truffles. Line 3 large baking trays with baking paper. Place the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water (do not let the boil touch the water) and stir the chocolate until melted. Remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes.

One at a time skewer the hazelnut praline truffles onto a toasting fork (or cocktail stick) and dip into the chocolate turning to coat thoroughly. Transfer to the baking paper and immediately top a third with pistachio praline, a third with a slice of crystalised ginger and the rest with silver or gold dragees. Leave to set.


Limoncello

a00810pr-limoncello-with-almond-and-aniseed-biscottiFor the grown ups we made a lemon sugar syrup and added vodka, then left this to infuse. After 3-4 weeks you have a lovely fragrant ‘limoncello’ to serve with homemade almond and aniseed biscotti perfect to dip into the lemony vodka!

Makes: approx. 1 litre

6 lemons

750ml vodka

225g white sugar

430ml water

Place the lemons in a large saucepan and cover with boiling water, leave to soak for 1 hour, drain lemons and pat dry. Finely grate the zest and stir into the vodka. Set aside.

Meanwhile, place the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Combine the lemon infused vodka and cooled syrup and pour into 2 clean dry bottles, seal and store in a cool dark place for 1 month, shaking gently from time to time.

Strain the liquid into another clean dry bottle. Chill in the freezer for 1 hour before serving.

Almond and aniseed biscotti

Makes: about 40

emptyname-28

75g blanched almonds

2 eggs

125g caster sugar

250g plain white flour

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 tsp aniseed

Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan-forced and lightly oil 2 large baking trays. Place the almonds in a baking tin and bake for 5-8 minutes until lightly golden. Allow to cool and roughly chop half the nuts, set aside.

Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat together for 5 minutes until pale and thick – ribbon stage. Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda together and add to the mixer with the aniseed and chopped almonds. Beat lightly to form a soft, slightly sticky dough, then beat in the whole almonds.

Transfer the dough to a well-floured surface and roll into a 7.5 x 30 cm flattened log. Transfer to one of the prepared baking trays and bake for 30 minutes until lightly golden. Remove the oven and reduce the temperature to 150c/130c fan-forced.

Using a serrated knife cut the biscuit dough into 2 mm thick slices and lay flat on the baking trays. Bake for a further 10-15 minutes until the biscuits are golden. Cool on a wire rack.


Chilli caramel cashews

If you don’t fancy a biscotti with your limoncello or you want something a little saucy to serve with Christmas drinks you really must try my chilli salted cashew nuts. Raw cashews are coated with a sticky glaze of honey, butter, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and salt. Very very moorish!

Serves: 6-8

emptyname-40

25g butter

3 tbs clear honey

1 tsp salt

½ tsp smoked paprika

a pinch chilli powder

2 tbs water

2 x 150g pkts raw cashew nuts

Melt the butter in a frying pan and then add the honey, salt, paprika, chilli powder and water and bring to the boil. Add the nuts and stir-fry for 5 minutes until glazed and golden brown.emptyname-29

Transfer the nuts to a lightly oiled baking sheet and set aside to cool. Tap nuts gently to separate them and serve with drinks.

Categories: Home

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