With spring on the way, I got inspired! With forced rhubarb in season at the moment, I decided it was going to be the theme for this week’s blog post.
I have loved rhubarb since, well I can’t remember, my gran grew it in her garden and would make rhubarb jam and make other delights as well. Forced rhubarb has it’s own tale, sweeter in taste, forced to grow in the dark and picked by candle light.
Normally I blog one sweet and one savoury recipe but this week I have decided to treat you all to two sweet recipes (because this month, I have given up chocolate for lent so I’m craving sweet things). So the first recipe this week is a rhubarb cheesecake, to me this recipe screams spring with it’s refreshing taste.
- 200g digestive biscuits
- 100g unsalted butter
- 400g full-fat soft cheese
- 50g icing sugar
- juice ½ lemon
- 100g Greek yogurt
- roasted rhubarb, for the topping
- Crush the digestive biscuits in a sealed bag until you get fine crumbs.
- Gently melt the butter, then mix into the crumbs.
- Press evenly into a 20cm loosebottomed round cake tin. Chill in the fridge while you make the filling.
- Put the remaining ingredients into a bowl and mix together until smooth. Spread over the base, then smooth the top with a knife.
- Leave in the fridge overnight to set.
- Meanwhile, trim 400g rhubarb into 2.5cm pieces. Place in a roasting dish.
- Sprinkle with zest and juice of 1 orange and 3 tbsp caster sugar.
- Cook for 10-15 mins in a 220C/fan 200C/ gas 7 oven until just soft. Leave to cool.
- Remove the cake from the tin and top with roasted rhubarb.
This is a delicious, light and refreshing recipe, the essence of spring to me!
Now this recipe is a little bit more long winded than the last one, but if you are a fan of rhubarb and custard then this is a recipe for you!
Rhubarb and Custard Tart
- 225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 3 tbsp icing sugar
- 140g unsalted butter
- 1 medium egg yolk, plus 1 medium egg yolk beaten, for glazing
For Vanilla Custard:
- ½ vanilla pod
- 250ml whole milk
- 1 large egg, plus 2 large egg yolks
- 100g golden caster sugar
- 25g cornflour
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
For Roasted Rhubarb:
- 700g thin forced rhubarb (about 5 stalks), trimmed, rinsed and cut into 9cm long pieces
- 175g golden caster sugar
- Put the flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt in a large bowl and mix together. Add the butter and rub together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add 1 egg yolk, and 1 tbsp cold water, and mix together until it just starts to come together as a dough.
- Tip the mixture onto a clean work surface, knead together, then wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for at least 1 hr before rolling out.
- Put the vanilla beans scraped from the pod in a pan over a medium heat, add the milk and bring to the boil.
- Meanwhile, tip the egg, yolks, sugar and cornflour into a bowl and whisk together until smooth.
- Pour the milk over the egg mixture, whisking to combine. Pour the custard back into the pan and cook, whisking constantly, for 2-3 mins until thickened.
- Scrape into a bowl and add the butter, mixing until melted and combine, then chill for 3hrs.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry into a large rectangle big enough to line a 30 x 20cm rectangular tart tin. Carefully drape the pastry into the tin, pressing into the corners and edges, then cut off the remaining edges. Chill for 30 mins or until the pastry is firm.
- Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line the tart with a piece of crumpled baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake for about 30 mins, then remove the parchment and the beans, and return to the oven for another 5 mins or until the base is golden brown. Brush the inside of the tart with the remaining beaten egg yolk and return to the oven for 1 min to set (this creates a seal, meaning the pastry won’t become soggy, hopefully). Set aside to cool.
- Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Put the rhubarb in a small roasting tin and sprinkle over the sugar . Roast for 15-20 mins, or until the rhubarb has softened. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool.
- Remove the custard from the fridge, beat to loosen, then pour over the pastry and smooth with a spatula and then top with the roasted rhubarb. Best eaten on the day its made.
This year I was in charge of the Wright’s Christmas card! For those who don’t know, we have always made our own card for as long as I can remember. It was a family event each year in which we got together, designed a card and then created them (often a screen print); there has been many creations over the years. Anyway this year one thing led to another and so I was put in charge.
The Christmas tree image is made up of ingredients that make a recipe that is associated with Christmas. So with this in mind I decided to post the recipe on my blog so you all can make them at home!
That’s right. The ingredients make up mince pies, with a surprise ingredient of cranberries (which makes the mincemeat less rich!)
Cranberry Mince Pies
- 375g plain flour
- 260g unsalted butter
- 125g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 jar of mincemeat (600g)
- 100g of cranberries
- Place the flour and butter in a bowl and rub together to a crumb consistency. Add the sugar and the egg, and mix together.
- Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and fold until the pastry comes together. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for 10 mins.
- Tip the cranberries into a pan with a small amount of water (just a tablespoon or two) and a teaspoon of sugar, then cook them until they soften slightly.
- Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.
- Roll out the pastry to your ideal thickness. Using a round cutter (about 10cm), cut out 16 bases and place them into muffin trays.
- Put a small amount of the cranberries at the bottom of each and then spoon the mincemeat on top. Alternatively you can mix the cranberries in with the mincemeat if you would prefer
- Brush the edge of each pie with a little beaten egg. Re-roll out the pastry to cut 7cm lids and press them on top to seal. I also cut out stars for on the top, and alternated lids and stars.
- Glaze with the rest of the egg, then make a small cut/holes in the tops.
- Bake mince pies for 15-20 mins until golden brown. Leave to cool before releasing them from the muffin trays and dusting with icing sugar. Serve.
So there’s my little twist on the mince pie recipe. With not being a huge fan of pastry myself an even healthier option is to use filo pastry instead of the egg pastry, just as tasty but not as heavy.
I would like to wish all my friends and family a very merry christmas and a happy new year! Hope you all enjoy the festivities and eat lots of mince pies.
In this week’s shoots I have used my new daylight panel; with all my overtime I have managed to buy one. With autumn really settled in up in the north and my apple tree in the garden bulging at the seams, this week’s blog post is all about apples, especially Keswick Codlin (my own apple tree).
As a child I was given an apple tree by my gran for Christmas. This tree has grown over the years and produces so many apples we can’t really keep up with its production of apples; we live off stewed apple and crumble during this time of year. But I have come up with another recipe to use our apple supplies.
My first recipe this week is a savoury option, and highly recommended by my dad; he says the apple adds a contrast to the strong chorizo taste.
Apple and Chorizo Sausage Rolls:
Serves: 12 Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 35 minutes
- small knob of butter
- 2 apples
- 6 chorizo-style cooking sausages
- 375g pack of puff pastry (because who has the time to make their own)
- 3 tbsp stewed apples
- 1 egg beaten
- 3 tbsp onion seeds (or poppy seeds)
- Finely dice the apple. Place a knob of butter in a small pan with the diced apple and cook for 5 minutes until the apple has softened slightly.
- Heat oven to 200c/180c fan/ gas 6
- Roll out the pastry to a rectangle, roughly 32 x 20cm. Cut in half, so that you now have 2 long thin rectangles.
- Spoon the stewed apple down the centre of each piece of pastry. Make sure the stewed apple is not too watery or you will end up with soggy pastry.
- Place the chorizo sausages on top of the stewed apple.
- Then place the diced apple on top of the sausages.
- Brush the edges of the pastry with a little beaten egg, then bring the pastry together on one side to enclose the filling, and seal by pressing the pastry with a fork.
- Cut the sausage rolls into smaller pieces, and arrange on two baking trays.
- Brush with egg, then sprinkle with onion or poppy seeds. Cut small slashes into each roll.
- Bake for 25-30 mins. Delicious served warm, or cold in a picnic.
This week I decided to step back to when I filmed my nan making homemade crumble.
Serves: 4 Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 25 minutes
- 120g plain flour
- 60g caster sugar
- 60g unsalted butter
- 300g apple
- 30g unsalted butter
- 1tsp of honey
- Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Tip the flour and sugar into a large bowl. Add the butter, then rub into the flour using your fingertips to make a light breadcrumb texture. Do not overwork it or the crumble will become heavy.
- Meanwhile, peel, core and cut the apples. Put the butter and honey in a medium saucepan and melt together over a medium heat.
- Cook the apples for 10 mins.
- To serve, spoon the warm fruit into an ovenproof dish, top with the crumble mix, then reheat in the oven for 5-10 mins. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
I hope you enjoy the recipes!
I have had a busy last few weeks. I have been away to Gloucester and then came back to a new job. But anyway this week the feature ingredient is oranges. With autumn beginning to creep in, these recipes are a move away from summer towards the comforts of winter. I love autumn’s warm days and chilly evenings and the beautiful autumn leaves. It is the autumn colours that really inspired me to use orange as my feature ingredient. So anyway let’s get down to the recipes.
This week’s first recipe is a tender roasted chicken with sliced oranges and carrots
Roast Chicken with Citrus and Carrots:
Serves: 2 Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 50 minutes
- 2 Chicken Breasts
- 300g carrots
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 oranges (one half juiced)
- 1tsp vegetable oil
- 1tbsp lemon juice
- 1tbsp cider vinegar
- 4tbsp vegetable stock
- 2tsp of marmalade
- Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan /gas 6.
- Put the carrots, garlic and orange slices into a large roasting tin, then toss with the oil and season well.
- Season the chicken breast, then sit them on top of the veg.
- Roast for 40 mins until the carrots are tender and the chicken is turning golden.
- Brush the chicken breasts with the marmalade.
- Stir the citrus juice, vinegar and sugar together until the sugar dissolves. Pour over the veg, add vegetable stock.
- Roast for another 10 mins until the carrots are surrounded with syrupy sauce and the chicken is golden. Season the sauce to taste, then serve.
The second recipe this week is a favourite of mine and these flapjacks are extra tasty.
Serve: 16 Prep: 15-20 minutes Cook: 30-40 minutes
- 250g unsalted butter
- 250g golden caster sugar
- 175g golden syrup
- 425g porridge oats
- zest of 2 oranges
- 3 tbsp orange marmalade
- Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4/fan 160C
- Generously butter a 28 x 28cm shallow baking tin.
- Melt the butter, sugar and syrup over a medium heat, stirring all the time.
- Take off the heat and stir in the oats, and orange zest. The mixture should be quite soft.
- Tip the mixture into the baking tin and level it off. Bake for around 30-40 minutes or until the edges are golden brown but the centre is still a little soft.
- Remove from the oven and mark into 16 pieces while it is still warm, cutting down halfway through the mixture with a sharp knife. Leave to cool.
- Heat the marmalade with 1 tbsp water until it becomes syrupy. Brush this glaze over the flapjack mixture and leave to cool before cutting into 16 pieces, then serve.
So that’s this week’s recipes, inspired by autumn but with an essence of summer. Enjoy!
This weeks post is all about carrots! I’m a big fan of using seasonal food and I’m a huge supporter of knowing the provenance of your food (and without trying to reel off my whole dissertation), I believe in supporting the smaller producers whether locally or globally (got to love the fair-trade bananas!)
My ingredients this week mainly came from my local fruit and veg shop which is supplied by local produces whenever possible. Of course some ingredients have come from supermarkets (because come on who can’t shop there!) It’s all about moderation, I try to know the provenance of my food, preferably the who, the where and the ethics but realistically I find it is impossible to know where everything in my cupboard comes from.
Anyway enough on ethics for one blog post and back to carrots! So once more I have done two recipes this week, one savoury, one sweet. I really enjoyed making and shooting the recipes this week, really missed it, so enjoy!
My first recipe this week is a delicious veggie burger.
Carrot and Chickpea Burger:
Serves: 8 Prep: 20 minutes
- 750g carrots
- 410g can chickpeas
- 1 small onion
- 2 tsp curry paste
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 egg
- 200g breadcrumbs (optional extra for coating the burgers)
- Put a third of the grated carrot in a food processor with the chickpeas, onion (roughly chop), curry paste, 1 tsp cumin and egg. Whizz to a thick paste, then scrape into a large bowl.
- Heat a little oil in your largest frying pan, tip in the remaining carrot with 1tsp of cumin and some salt and pepper and cook for 8-10 mins, until the carrot is softened – it will become more golden.
- Add the cooked carrot to the whizzed paste with 100g breadcrumbs. Add seasoning, then mix together well with your hands.
- Divide the mixture into 6, then using floured hands shape into burgers and as an optional extra dip in the remaining breadcrumbs.
- Heat a little oil in a frying pan. Cook the burgers for 5 mins on each side, until golden and crisp.
- Meanwhile prepare the buns, whether you wanted them toasted or not. When the burgers are ready, top each bun with some rocket, add the burger then add the topping of your choice, I went for raw onion but you may prefer to caramelise the onion instead (just as tasty!).
My next recipe is from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook and is the best carrot cake recipe I have found! My housemates at uni loved it, one in particular couldn’t get enough of it!
Serves: 8-10 Prep: 25 minutes
- 300g soft light brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 300ml sunflower oil
- 300g plain flour
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1tsp baking powder
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 300g carrots
Cream Cheese Icing:
- 500g icing sugar
- 85g butter
- 200g soft cheese
- Preheat the oven to 170C (325F) Gas 3
- Beat together the sugar, eggs and oil until all the ingredients are well incorporated (don’t worry if the mixture looks split, it’s meant to!)
- Slowly add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt and extract and continue to beat until it’s well mixed together.
- Grate the carrots and stir in until they are all evenly dispersed (if you wish you can add some chopped up walnuts for an extra crunch).
- Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tins (mine fitted into 3). Bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and spongy.
- Leave the cakes to fully cool before icing.
- For the icing, beat together the icing sugar and butter (I found separating the butter with your fingers first helps). Once it resembles a crumble mix add the cream cheese and beat until it is completely incorporated and is light and fluffy.
- Then ice the cake a layer at a time, then serve.
So that’s carrot week! Do try the carrot cake. It is to die for!
After a busy year of Dissertation, Final Major Project and London Degree Show I am over the moon to say that the hard work paid off and this November I will be graduating from the University of Gloucestershire with a first class BA(hons) degree in Editorial and Advertising Photography.
So what’s next for me? Well to begin with I couldn’t quite face the adult world yet so instead I travelled around Europe on trains with a few of my closest friends. We had an amazing few weeks but now home I want to get back in to the swing of things and back to doing what I love most which is photographing the food I love to produce and I thought this blog would be the best way to keep you updated.
This week my first post is a throw back to when I believed that this year Britain was going to have a summer (I can still hope!) and my local fruit and veg shop was full of summer fruits, so this week I focus on just one, the raspberry and so decided to produce a sweet and savoury option.
First up the savoury option!
Raspberry, Rocket & Feta Salad:
Serves: 4 Prep: 10 minutes
- 150g of rocket
- punnet of raspberries
- 50g feta cheese
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 2tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2tsp caster sugar
- Rinse the rocket and then dab with a tea towel to get rid of any excess water, then put in a bowl.
- Chop the feta cheese in to small cubes (leaving some for crumbling later).
- Toss the raspberries and feta cubes in the bowl and crumble the remaining cheese on top.
- In a small bowl mix together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard and sugar.
- Slowly pour the dressing over the salad (making sure you don’t add too much) and serve.
This next recipe is a perfect summery dessert (I said I was still I hoping), taken from my Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days recipe book with my quicker alternative.
Raspberry and Peach Custard Tart:
Serves: 8-10 Prep: 1 hour 30 minutes
- 110g unsalted butter
- 225g plain flour
- 80g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1-2 tins of ready made custard (my cheat)
- 4 peaches
- 100g raspberries
- 30g caster sugar
- In a bowl rub together the butter and the flour with your fingertips until it becomes a crumble like texture, then stir in the sugar and egg. When the dough forms, remove from the bowl to a floured surface and knead it together. Cling film and place in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
- Once rested, on a floured surface roll out the pastry to about 1/2 centimetre thick or until large enough to fit your tin. Press the pastry gently into the tin, cut away overhang and refrigerate for a further 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 170c (325f), gas mark 3.
- Once rested, line with baking parchment, fill with baking beans and ‘blind’ bake for 12 minutes. Then remove the baking beans and bake the pastry for a further 15 minutes or until cooked through and lightly golden in colour. Leave to cool.
- Once cooled, (now this is my cheat instead of making homemade custard, I used the brought stuff!) Pour in the tins of custard until the pastry is full.
- By this point I’m starving so unlike the hummingbird recipe I don’t bother baking the tart, I simply top the tart with the freshly chopped peach and the raspberries and serve.
So there is my cheat, just watch out when you cut into the tart the custard spills out but it tastes just as good and is much less faff and less time in the kitchen (which if you make this, hopefully it is a lovely sunny day, in which case the less time in the kitchen the better!)