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Pistachio & Chocolate Madeleines

One of my little ‘stocking filler’ Christmas pressies this Christmas from the other half was a cute little madeline tray for baking the perfect little cake treats. I’ve used it a few times now and this flavour combination of pistachio and chocolate is one of my favourite to make. Madeleines are great as a bit of a treat because they are really light – meaning you can eat more of them of course!

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buttermilk panna coota

A Taste of Ston Easton Hotel in your own Home

Like a lot of people, I love a night away at a luxury country house hotel; relaxation and a good meal with only a short walk up the stairs to that big comfy bed. It’s one of life’s little pleasures. Well Ston Easton in the heart of Somerset fits perfectly into this category, and I’m really looking forward to a stay there later in November.

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Image from Ston Easton website

The Sorrel Restaurant at Ston Easton, with two AA Rosettes and Michelin-star aspirations, is run by Head Chef Daniel Moon. He has created his own  country kitchen, cooking contemporary British cuisine. He works closely with local suppliers to source only the very best regional produce and one of Daniels big foci is in the hotel’s kitchen gardens which supplies him with almost 60% of his fresh produce.

Recently, Daniel has put together a downloadable nine recipe book featuring some of his most popular dishes. The recipe book also includes two invitation vouchers, one for a discount on room rates and the other for lunch or afternoon tea.

I’ve been trying to recreate some of the recipes and really enjoyed the Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Honeycomb. The recipe was pretty simple to follow, and I think would be great if you’re hosting a dinner party as you can make them in advance. You can see my finished results below!

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You can download the whole recipe book here but for now, here’s the Panna Cotta Recipe!

INGREDIENTS FOR BUTTERMILK PANNA COTTA:

Half a Pint of Buttermilk Half a Pint of Double cream 1 Vanilla Pod
6 Tbsp of Caster Sugar
4 Leaves of Gelatine

INGREDIENTS FOR HONEYCOMB:

200g Caster Sugar
5 Tbsp Golden Syrup
2 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

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METHOD

Place the buttermilk, double cream, vanilla and sugar in a pan and bring to the boil, then leave to cool for a couple on minutes. Soak the gelatine in cold water which will soften the gelatine leaves, squeeze off the excess water and add to the buttermilk mixture, whisk in well. Pour the mixture into containers and place in the fridge.

Mix the caster sugar and golden syrup together in a large saucepan, stir and heat gently until all of the sugar has melted. Try not to
let the mixture bubble but turn the heat up a little bit so that it is simmering until you have a mixture which is amber and golden. Quickly remove from the heat and add the bicarbonate of soda and beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture is foaming. You will have to be quick to now spread the mixture on to a baking tray, thickness is completely down to personal preference. The mixture will then need to be left to cool for about 1hr to 1hr 30mins when the honeycomb will be hard and can be broken into pieces.

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The book has several ideas for sweet and savoury dishes including Horseradish Gnocchi and a really yummy sounding Bacon and Shallot brioche, which is my next project!! Do check out the recipe book, then why not splurge on a night away using the discounts! And of course, I’ll bring you a low down on the hotel and the restaurant in a couple of months time!

Disclosure: Written with permission to recreate the recipe from the downloadable book. All photos, thoughts and opinions are my own. This is not a paid post. 

Blueberry Cupcakes

Blueberry Meringue Cupcakes

Everyone loves a good cupcake right? Well in an effort to make cupcakes healthy these have blueberries in them! Who I’m kidding, they’re just as unhealthy as ever. A few blueberries int he sponge gives a lovely tangy twist with the optional extra of sweet blueberry jam and then the meringue in the icing makes these like a blueberry twist on an Eton Mess! If you’re partial to a blueberry muffin then try this indulgent alternative!

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Ingredients

For the sponge:

  • 80g unsalted butter
  • 280g caster sugar
  • 240g plain flour
  • 240ml whole milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • about 30 blueberries

For the buttercream and filling:

  • 500g icing sugar
  • 160g unsalted butter
  • 50ml milk
  • crushed meringue – 20g or 2 medium sized supermarket bought nests
  • 1 tsp Dr Oetker gel purple food colouring
  • blueberry jam

Blueberry

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Method

  1. Whisk the butter, caster sugar, flour, salt and baking powder together until thoroughly mixed
  2. In a separate bowl add the milk and whisk in the eggs
  3. Slowly add the milk mixture  to the other mixture whisking all the time until it becomes a smooth batter
  4. Line a muffin tin with cases and distribute the batter into them – filling each about 1/2-2/3 full. Pop 1-2 blueberries in each cake case.
  5. Put in the oven at 190 degrees celsius and bake for about 18mins or until springy to touch and a skewer comes out clean.
  6. Transfer to a wire rack to cool whilst making the frosting
  7. For the frosting mix the icing sugar with the butter until completely mixed in.
  8. Beat in the milk and meringue until light and fluffy.
  9. Add in the colouring and mix until the colour is even.
  10. Ice the cakes when completely cool, either with a piping bag or palette knife

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Extra Step! If you’re feeling adventurous, before you ice the cakes, with a knife or cutter, hollow out about a 1cm wide hole in the middle of each cupcake, fill with blueberry jam and then recover with sponge and proceed with the icing!

Happy eating 🙂

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If you’re looking for some other fruity cupcake to try have a look at some of these recipes:

Cherry Cheesecake Cupcakes by The Veg Space

Coconut Cupcakes with Raspberry Apple Syrup from Family Friends Food

Blackberry & Apple Cupcakes from Tin and Thyme

Pimms Jellies

Pimms Jellies

There’s not a drink in the world that says summer to me more than Pimms. Although to be honest I’ll happily drink it all year round. I’m partial to a jelly too – they’re so easy to make, especially if you’re catering for a dinner party or such like as they can be done in advance and whipped out at the last minute. Making them alcoholic is a naughty adult twist and for me what better flavours than those of Pimms. This recipe makes 4 servings, but you could easily increase and decrease the quantities to what you need.

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strawberry tart

Glazed Strawberry Tart

Summer is officially underway, and to most people nothing says summer more than a glut of British Strawberries. There’s no end of ways to use strawberries, be it on their own with some whipped cream, dropped into an ice cold glass of Pimms or coaxed into some fantastic jam towards the end of the season, but one of my favourite things to do with them is make strawberry tarts.

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