Cheese Flapjacks

Savoury flapjacks are very morish and perfect for an energy boost on the move.

Cheese Flapjacks

Cheese Flapjacks

Makes 12
Suitable for vegetarians

Butter or margarine 50g (2oz)
Cashew nuts 50g (2oz)
Macadamia nuts 25g (1oz), halved
Carrot 1 large, peeled and grated
Double Gloucester cheese 110g (4oz), grated
Porridge oats 150g (5oz)
Dried mixed herbs 1/2 tsp
Egg 1, beaten

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Melt the butter in the microwave or a saucepan. Remove from the heat and then add the nuts, carrot, cheese, oats, herbs and egg. Mix well.

2 Grease a 20cm (8in) round pie tin. Spoon the mixture into the tin and press down well. Bake for 25–30 minutes, until golden brown. Leave in the tin to cool and then cut into 12 wedges. Serve cold as a snack.

Cook’s tip
These are great to make and keep in an airtight container in the cupboard. If anyone in the family fancies a savoury snack, they are the prefect healthy alternative to crisps.

Recipe taken from Hearty & Healthy Dairy  Cookbook

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Ice Cream Sunday

I  enjoyed a gorgeous Sunday lunch at a local pub with some friends (and fidgety children) yesterday. The scrubbed old oak tables and wooden floors looked fabulous, but the highlight was most definitely the home-made ice creams. My personal favourite was apple pie – delicious. A friend of mine sampled the blackcurrant and liquorice ice cream, which none of us were convinced by! Heston Blumenthal is famous for his bacon and egg ice cream of course but I have not come across too many weird and wonderful flavours.
I would love to find out what bizarre flavours there are out there! Perhaps it might be good to stick to the flavours we know we love, such as Rhubarb and Custard Ice Cream from Year Round Dairy Cookbook.

I  enjoyed a gorgeous Sunday lunch at a local pub with some friends (and fidgety children) yesterday.

The scrubbed old oak tables and wooden floors looked fabulous, but the highlight was most definitely the home-made ice creams.

My personal favourite was apple pie – delicious. A friend of mine sampled the blackcurrant and liquorice ice cream, which none of us were convinced by! Heston Blumenthal is famous for his bacon and egg ice cream of course but I have not come across too many weird and wonderful flavours.

I would love to find out what bizarre flavours there are out there! Do you have a favourite? Or a flavour that you loath?

Perhaps it might be good to stick to the flavours we know we love, such as Rhubarb and Custard Ice Cream from Year Round Dairy Cookbook.

Rhubarb and Custard Ice Cream

Rhubarb and Custard Ice Cream
Celebrate the wonderful taste of fresh rhubarb with this ace cream. It’s simple to make and perfect for an afternoon treat.
Suitable for vegetarians
SERVES 8
Double cream 500ml pot
Orange 1, pared rind and juice
Egg yolks 4
Light Muscovado sugar, 175g (6oz)
Greek yogurt 200g tub
Rhubarb 500g (1lb 2oz) cut into chunks
1 Heat the cream with the pared orange rind in a pan over a gentle heat until it just comes to the boil. Leave to infuse 5 minutes. Whisk the egg yolks and 110g (4oz) of the sugar until thickened and light in colour. Add a little of the warmed cream mixture, stir well then add the rest of the cream. Pour the mixture back into the pan and stir continuously over a gentle heat until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Don’t let it boil or it may curdle. Strain it back into a large bowl, and cover closely with clingfilm. Discard the orange parings. Leave the custard to cool, then stir in the yogurt and chill the mixture.
2 Meanwhile, put the rhubarb in a pan with the juice from the orange (6-8 tablespoons) and the rest of the sugar. Cover and cook gently for 6 -7 minutes until the fruit is tender. Tip the rhubarb into a sieve over a large measuring jug or bowl. Leave like this for 10 minutes, or so, to let the juices drain through. You should have about 200ml (7 fl oz) juice. Reserve this for the sauce.
3 Mash the rhubarb roughly with a fork and when cold, stir it in to the custard. Pour into a plastic container and freeze until almost solid. Break up well with a fork, or better still, an electric hand mixer. Freeze again until almost solid, then break up again and freeze so the ice cream is smooth.
4 Taste the reserved rhubarb juice and add more sugar if it’s not sweet enough. Pour it into a small pan, bring to the boil and boil for about 10 minutes until it starts to get syrupy. Take the ice cream out of the freezer to the fridge about 40 minutes before serving to soften it.
COOK’S TIPS
If you have an ice cream maker, just put the rhubarb custard in and use as directed.  It’s less hassle than keep remembering to whisk it every few hours.
The ice cream will keep 2 months in the freezer.
VARIATION
Add any fruit puree to this basic custard mix. Or you could be clever and make a ripple ice cream –just layer almost frozen custard with fruit puree and swirl the mixtures.
Recipe taken from Year Round Dairy Cookbook.

Celebrate the wonderful taste of fresh rhubarb with this ice cream. It’s simple to make and perfect for an afternoon treat.

Rhubarb Icecream

Rhubarb Icecream

Suitable for vegetarians
Serves 8

Double cream 500ml pot
Orange 1, pared rind and juice
Egg yolks 4
Light Muscovado sugar, 175g (6oz)
Greek yogurt 200g tub
Rhubarb 500g (1lb 2oz) cut into chunks

1 Heat the cream with the pared orange rind in a pan over a gentle heat until it just comes to the boil. Leave to infuse 5 minutes. Whisk the egg yolks and 110g (4oz) of the sugar until thickened and light in colour. Add a little of the warmed cream mixture, stir well then add the rest of the cream. Pour the mixture back into the pan and stir continuously over a gentle heat until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Don’t let it boil or it may curdle. Strain it back into a large bowl, and cover closely with clingfilm. Discard the orange parings. Leave the custard to cool, then stir in the yogurt and chill the mixture.

2 Meanwhile, put the rhubarb in a pan with the juice from the orange (6-8 tablespoons) and the rest of the sugar. Cover and cook gently for 6 -7 minutes until the fruit is tender. Tip the rhubarb into a sieve over a large measuring jug or bowl. Leave like this for 10 minutes, or so, to let the juices drain through. You should have about 200ml (7 fl oz) juice. Reserve this for the sauce.

3 Mash the rhubarb roughly with a fork and when cold, stir it in to the custard. Pour into a plastic container and freeze until almost solid. Break up well with a fork, or better still, an electric hand mixer. Freeze again until almost solid, then break up again and freeze so the ice cream is smooth.

4 Taste the reserved rhubarb juice and add more sugar if it’s not sweet enough. Pour it into a small pan, bring to the boil and boil for about 10 minutes until it starts to get syrupy. Take the ice cream out of the freezer to the fridge about 40 minutes before serving to soften it.

Cook’s Tips
If you have an ice cream maker, just put the rhubarb custard in and use as directed.  It’s less hassle than keep remembering to whisk it every few hours.

The ice cream will keep 2 months in the freezer.

Variation
Add any fruit puree to this basic custard mix. Or you could be clever and make a ripple ice cream –just layer almost frozen custard with fruit puree and swirl the mixtures.

Recipe taken from Year Round Dairy Cookbook.

Strawberry Feast

We had a lovely relaxing barbeque in the garden with family this weekend.

It was great to bask in the sunshine and simply relax and enjoy being at home.

After the compulsory burger and sausage we enjoyed bowlfuls of fantastic British strawberries. Mmmmm. They have to be one of my all time favourite fruit. I love them served simply with just a tiny sprinkle of brown sugar.

There are many recipes which make the most of this precious seasonal favourite but I particularly like the Courting Cake (see recipe below) from Around Britain Dairy Cookbook. It looks so impressive and well as tasting amazing. I might have to make this again before the strawberry season finishes. It would originally have been baked by young ladies for their betrothed so I had better be careful who I bake it for!

Try this fabulous Courting Cake recipe.

Any suggestions for wonderful strawberry recipes are gratefully received!

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Courting Cake

Courting cake

Courting cake

This attractive cake was originally baked by young ladies for their betrothed.

It is a real summer treat.  Bake it in August, when strawberries should be good value.

Suitable for freezing
Prep time 10 mins
Cook time 25 mins

Makes 16 slices

Butter 225g (8oz)

Caster sugar 225g (8oz)
Eggs 4, beaten
Self-raising flour 350g (12oz)
Milk 2-3 tbsp
Double cream 300ml (10fl oz)
Strawberries 225g (8oz), sliced
Icing sugar to dust the cake

1 Grease and line three 18cm (7in) round sandwich cake tins.  Preheat the oven to 190C 375F gas 5.

2 Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.  Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition.  Fold in the flour, and then add enough milk to give a dropping consistency.

3 Divide the mixture between the three cake tins and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until well risen and firm.  Turn out and leave to cool on a wire rack.

4 Whip the cream until it holds soft peaks.  Sandwich the cakes together with the cream and strawberries, reserving a few for decoration.  Dredge the top with icing sugar and decorate with strawberries.

Cook’s tips

If you only have two sandwich tins follow the method using 175g (6oz) each of butter, sugar and flour, 3 eggs and 2 tablespoons of milk.  Cook at 180C 350F Gas 4 for 20-25 minutes.

Decorate just before serving before the strawberry juices start to run and discolour the cream.

Freeze cakes before decorating.

Taken from Around Britain Dairy Cookbook

Marvellous Mash

I think I am obsessed with mashed potato! As mum to a young son (who is 18 months old) I try to cook food that will appeal to both of us.

My staple at the moment seems to be potato mashed with Laughing Cow cheese and butter, served with baked beans. Not a culinary masterpiece but Isaac loves it!

It is now my mission to make some new variations on mash and to serve it with other things for a change. I have looked back at some of our previous books and found some unusual suggestions. In fact one of our recipe writers has suggested a lovely twist on mash for our next cookbook – you will have to wait and see what that is!

The quality of potato makes a huge difference to taste. I had a delicious variety a while back called Anya. Anya was specially bred on the banks of the river Tay just outside Dundee and is a result of a cross between Pink Fur Apple and Desiree potatoes. Lord Sainsbury’s gardener grew the new variety for the first time in 1995, and liked it so much that he suggested it be called Anya after Lady Sainsbury!

How delightful and how many of us can say we have had a potato named after us?!

Have you tasted Champ mashed potatoes? Try it, I think you’ll love it.

Can you suggest your favourite potato variety for mash, and what do you add to yours?

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