I’m very much looking forward to tomorrow night’s food and wine matching evening that I’m hosting in conjunction with Winchester wine merchant, Wine Utopia. The following recipes are the full-dish versions of the canapes I’ll be serving on the night.
The April edition of Hampshire Life magazine is in the shops now and my recipe this month is Rabbit & Chorizo Paella – just the job for Easter Sunday lunch with a difference.
It’s no secret that cherry and almond are two of my favourite flavours. Combine them with the chewy texture of proper homemade flapjack and you have just about the best thing to accompany a big pot of tea, in my opinion. Warning: This recipe is unashamedly, tooth-achingly sweet.
At my age weddings are a bit like buses – none for years, then suddenly three of your closest friends get married within 4 months of each other. It’s been a really lovely summer of tipsy hen dos, tireless dress shopping, weepy ceremonies and suitably celebratory receptions and I’ve had the honour of getting involved in the making of cakes and favours.
This weekend I had the honour of making a cupcake wedding cake for two very good friends of mine. They both love their food, so rather than go down the traditional wedding breakfast route, they made the whole day a celebration of their favourite flavours and venues. We enjoyed a stunning Thai banquet at Winchester’s Bangkok Brasserie at lunchtime and in the evening we were treated to a wonderful Uptons of Bassett barbecue. In between we went to the fabulously quirky Black Bottle wine bar to avail ourselves of the enomatic dispensers and the cakes were served.
Justin’s a bit of a hot cross bun fanatic, so today I decided to surprise him by making a batch for lunch. This is a really soft enriched dough, so it’s not just laziness that made me resort to the Kitchen Aid. If you’re short of time, do the mixing, kneading and initial proving in a bread maker – it will knock 2 hours down to about 45 mins.
I’ve just made these cherry chocolates as a surprise Valentine’s day dessert (shh – don’t tell Justin!). They look just like regular chocolate-dipped cherries, but no! The stone inside has been replaced with a water-based sloe gin ganache.
Some of the best ingredients turn up when you least expect them. A couple of weeks ago we were up in London, gorging on amazing pulled pork and smoked onglet at Pittcue. We took a slow amble back to Waterloo via ice cream parlour extraordinaire Gelupo, and there, beside the metal canisters full of frozen loveliness, was a small box of fresh bergamots.
I love the cookery theatre at the New Forest Show – there’s such a good atmosphere amongst the stallholders and the back stage team are just utterly lovely. I’m only able to do the Wednesday this year, but I’m very excited that my demonstration is the one that’s going to be taking place when Her Majesty the Queen visits our area (no pressure!). In honour of our royal visitor, I have devised a ‘Best of British’ menu that I hope the audience will enjoy. Here’s a preview of the recipes.
I’m getting ready for 3 days of cookery demonstrations at the ‘Festival Place 3 Star Food Festival‘ which starts this Friday. Sadly, I’m not one of the 3 stars in the title – that accolade goes to James Martin, Rachel Allen and the brilliant Olly Smith, who will be comparing the event. I’m honoured none-the-less to have been asked to be part of the event and very excited about demonstrating some of my favourite seasonal cocktails and local produce canapes to match.
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