Thursday, 30 August 2012

Fabulicious Ices Blog Competition round up

Well despite really rubbish Summer weather (apparently the wettest summer for 100 years) we have had some fabulous entries for Lancashire Foods first  recipe competition. The brief was to share your favourite summer ice recipe and the winner would be judged by award winning local chef Chris Rawlinson. The prize for the winner was an Emma Bridgewater union jack cooler bag.


Chris Rawlinson is Chef Patron of The Red Cat, Chorley, despite only being in his twenties he has achieved numerous accolades including 

Michelin Guide Entry 2009/10/11/12
Awarded 2 AA Rosettes
Taste Lancashire Highest Quality Assured 2010/2011
Hi Life Best Platinum Restaurant Finalist 2010
North West Young Chef of the Year 2009
Lancashire Life Winners 2007 - 2008
and he also was a participant in this years Roux Scholarship.

He also has a particular flair for creating amazing desserts in his restaurant, many of which I have enjoyed as part of some great meals with my friends and family. If you are ever in the area make sure you book a table.

Chris thought all of the recipes sounded really good and were diverse and used lots of different ingredients, methods and flavours, so it was a difficult decision to decide a winner, but there is always only ever one winner !

So on to our WINNER -  from Laura at How to cook good food

Tea Ice Cream and Biscuits 

Wow, doesn't that look fab and who doesn't like tea and biscuits, Chris particularly liked  the marriage of the ice cream, tea and biscuits and thinks this works really well as a combination. Ever the chef he even provided a tip that personally he would create a tea infusion overnight and then strain and churn, this would leave a smooth tea flavoured ice cream and the crunch coming from the biscuits.

So the prize of the funky Emma Bridgewater cooler bag is winging its way to Laura , well done and thanks for taking part.

I can quite understand the difficult task Chris had in choosing a winner as the other entries are all equally delicious looking. So here goes with the round up

Raspberry Ripple and White Chocolate Ice cream from the lovely Jacq over at Tinned Tomatoes

What a great looking entry and its no churn too, which is great in a busy household or if like Jacq you have little ones, I am sure this recipe would be popular with all the family and would be a great way to get little ones to eat fruit.

Our next entry was from choclette8 who blogs at Choclogblog who entry was Blackcurrant Rose and white chocolate ripple ice cream.

This is a lovely summery combination of ingredients and features the delicious rose syrup to compliment the blackcurrants and white chocolate, Chocolette8 is an expert in all things chocolate , thanks for the entry.

Now we are popping over to Janine at Cake of the Week blog who entry was a yummy sounding and healthy(ish) Sugar Free Peanut butter and banana ice cream, I love peanut butter  so if I had been judging this would have been made favourite . She also provides a handy tip on an easy conversion on the recipe to a custard. Thanks for the great post .

An even healthier recipe came from my cake club chum Sue who blogs over at A little bit of heaven on a plate ,sent in Dieters' Blackcurrant and mint sorbet.

Sue's entry is a great dessert for anyone watching their waistline and will provide a delicious fruity end to any meal. What an amazing colour too ! Thanks Sue for the post.

Finally we have another entry from our winning blogger Laura at How to Cook Good Food, this time is a very child friendly Banana Shake Pop and an ode to the banana milk shake. This ice looks like fun and is super easy to make too, just buy milkshake and freeze in moulds.Looks like its popular too !

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Elli's Grandma's Sticky Ginger Cake Recipe from The Ginger Baker

Firstly I have to thank Sharon from "The Ginger Baker" for allowing me to publish this lovely delicious GLUTEN FREE recipe on my blog. The Ginger Baker is a great Gluten Free bakery based in the beautiful Ribble Valley area of Lancashire, who is passionate about her product and she loves using Lancashire's finest produce in her delicious sweety delights. She supplies cafes and outlets across the county and also attends various food and vintage fairs as well. 


I wanted to feature this recipe as an honest to goodness easy family recipe but is especially fab as its Gluten free, I have a couple of coeliac mates and they would love this. Its really easy and is delicious and sticky if left for a couple of days to mature. I am fascinated to know why its Elli's Grandma's recipe and who is Elli, may be Sharon can let me know.


  • 13oz Gluten free self raising flour
  • 4oz butter - soft
  • 10oz Light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of sugar
  • 2tbsp Golden Syrup
  • 2tbsp Treacle
  • 1 large Egg (free range)
  • 1 med cup boiling water
  • Preheat your oven to 170c
  • Grease and line a square cake tin - approx 6 inches , quite deep too
  • Place all the dry ingredients in your mixer bowl and mix for about 2 minutes until thoroughly mixed
  • Now add your butter and mix until fine breadcrumbs
  • Now mix in the egg, syrup, treacle and the boiling water ( depending on your flour will depend on the quantity of water)
  • Pour into your prepared tin and bake fro 45 -60 minutes , until its cooked when tested with a skewer
  • Cool in the tin and then store for a few days double wrapped until sticky 

CCC No 8 - 1st Birthday At Coffee @ the Carringtons

YEAH WE ARE 1 !!!!

Happy birthday South Lancashire Clandestine Cake Club.

For our birthday meeting we were lucky enough to have snaffled a venue in  non other than Tour de France winner and Olympic gold medal winner "Bradley Wiggans" home turf - Eccleston near Chorley.

Coffee @Carrington is a cosy local coffee shop in the small shopping centre at the heart of this thriving and now famous village, which of course is now enhanced with its own GOLD postbox. Cakes ranged from "Ugly Betty" (who wasn't in the least bit ugly) to Vodka and Orange and everything in between.

We were warmly welcomed by the staff for our first birthday event, were we celebrated with 11 different cakes, we were also fortunate to welcome members old and new to join in the fun and cake eating !

Lots of cake and highly quality refreshments were consumed and a good time was had by all, we even managed to persuade a couple of passing locals to enjoy a few slices of the delectable cakes and as for the GOLD postbox it was very very popular.

If you are ever in the Eccleston area and fancy a coffee, you will be warmly welcomed at Coffee @Carrington.

My cake was a butterscotch cake with caramel encased blackberries to decorate. This is a Fiona Cairns creation, other than the blackberries and can be found in her Birthday Cake Book.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Queen of Hearts Cookie Company

"The Queen of Hearts baked some tarts cookies all on a summers day" and guess what they were all for me ! 

Queen of Hearts Cookie Company is a true Lancashire, based in the heart of the delightfully scenic Ribble valley. Queen of Hearts focus is on baking and creating exquisite cookies for all special ocasions, their cookies are made and decorated with love, care and attention and oodles of creativity too. Only quality local ingredients are used to create these gorgeous looking biscuits.

My sample arrived well packaged in cute sparkly box all tied up with a cerise ribbon and a vintage style label. On opening the package a sealing label invited me to indulge with the  "eat me" on the label, so I opened the tempting parcel, the delightful scent of freshly baked vanilla cookies tempting me further.

Sorry but the vintage plate is not included !
In the tissue paper parcel were beautiful little vintage style decorated cookies, hearts, butterflies, chicks, bunnies and flowers, all sumptuously decorated with pastel lustre icing and detailed with lacy designs, flowers, vintage patterns and swirls and dots, utterly utterly gorgeous. I felt very guilty sampling them but sample them I must.

Each petite biscuit is a crunchy buttery vanilla mouthful, the cookie and icing combination not too overtly sweet. These cookies have been made with love and its shows, my mind ran with ideas of how these cookies could be used
  • wedding favours, themed to the brides dress or colours
  • Christenings
  • Births or Baby showers , cute little bunnies or chicks - pink or blue 
  • Easter / christmas
  • Valentines - wouldn't they be stunning for a proposal ?
  • Significant birthdays
  • Children events
  • Corporate events
  • Many many more 
I understand that commisions are welcomed and the biscuits can be made in a variety of flavours and types, such as Spice, Rose, Chocolate and even gluten free and organic.

Queen of Hearts has a website and a facebook page were you can contact them and place your order.

Clitheroe already features a mad hatter themed teashop and now has a cookie company which is fit for a queen too.

I was approached to undertake a review of Queen of Hearts Cookie Company  as a local food blogger and provided with a sample free of charge.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Cherry Chocky Rocky Road

Chocolate and cherries, a pretty classic combination in my book and this is also the theme for this months We should cocoa challenge. Now I don't know about you but I like a occasional piece of chocolate tiffin, that delightfully decadent chocolate layered tray biscuit. This make (its not a bake as no is baking involved) is inspired by tiffin but also by rocky road as well.


  • 200g Digestive biscuits - rough crushed
  • 75g glace cherries - rinsed, dried and halved
  • 75g dried sour cherries
  • Handful of mini marshmallows
  • 60g dessicated coconut
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 tbsp hot chocolate drink powder ( I used green and blacks)
  • 125g butter
  • Small bar of milk chocolate - bashed to break up
  • Bar of White chocolate
  • Grease and line with baking paper a square deep cake tin approx 6" across
  • Put the golden syrup, butter and hot chocolate powder in a small pan, melt and just bring to a gentle simmer, remove from heat.
  • In a large bowl place all the other ingredients except the white chocolate, mix well and add the melted butter mixture, stir to mix until all is well coated
  • Press firmly into the tin
  • Now melt the white chocolate and drizzle onto the top of the biscuit mixture
  • Place in the fridge to set firmly

I am also taking part in Maison Cupcake's Zero Baking Required blog link up 


And of course We should cocoa hosted this month by Farmersgirl blogspot 

Cocoa Boutique

Cocoa Boutique is a new online "artisan"chocolate company, featuring the works of some of the Uk's best and up and coming chocolatiers. I was pleased to be offered the oppertunity to review one of their tasting boxes for review on my blog.

Presented in a sophiscated black and white box imprinted with their subtle logo was a selection of truffles, caramels, pralines and buttons. The decadent slection features everything from a sophiscated champagne truffle through to a milk chocolate button. The ethos behind the tasting box is to stimulate your taste buds and provide a journey around the world of chocolate.

The company is passionate about chocolate and aims to show case the works of various different chocolatier throughout the year, the box sent for tasting included works by Barry Colenso, Pierre Ledent and up and coming Claire Hicklin.
Quality and freshness are everything in the world of chocolate and Cocoa Boutique are looking to provide chocolates which showcase quality ingredients and which are created fresh and have been hand selected for you.

I have rated the selection, I am lucky that I get to taste a quite a lot of chocolate and some of these rank highly in my league table.

Pink Champagne Truffle 9/10, I especially liked the raspeberry pieces on the outside.

White Strawberry Creme 10/10 - creamy and fruity

Raspberry with a hint of orange 8/10

Milk Chocolate Almond Praline 9/10 - delicious combination of whole nut and salty praline

Milk Chocolate buttons 7/10

White chocolate buttons 8/10

Pamela 8/10

Cocoa dusted dark chocolate salted caramels 8/10 - delicious runny salty caramel bombs !

Milk chocolate Truffle 7/10

Rum Cafe Cream 8/10

Dark Chocolate brandy truffle 7/10

Vanilla Irish Cream 8/10

70% Ecuador Dark Chocolate Buttons 8/10

Milk Chocolate Honeycomb 7/10 - slight disappointment as not all the pieces were crunchy

Dark Chocolate Coffee Beans 8/10 - small but pack a big caffiene hit !

The scheme works on the principle of a chocolate standing order, every month, 2 months, etc your choice of frequency. You can find out more on their website and also about the featured chocolatier.
Cocoa Boutique

If you would like to win some chocolates for yourself

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Herb roasted pork tenderloin with roasted summer vegetables

I recently attended a Pampered Chef party hosted by fellow cake clubber and food blogger Kate Ab and I secummed to the temptation of their legendary stoneware, no its not cheap but given the evangelical way my friend Jo preaches about her stoneware I bought a medium pan.
So far I have been impressed with it non stick features and ease of cleaning and its definitely growing on me. This recipe is a favourite in the Lancashire Food household and uses that undervalued cut of pork - tenderloin and was supplemented with lots of vegetables from the garden.

  • 1 pork tenderloin - trimmed
  • Zest of lemon
  • Fresh Rosemary- finely chopped
  • Fresh thyme - finely chopped
  • Sea Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Courgettes - chunky chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Red pepper - chunky chopped
  • Red onion - peeled and cut in to chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves - roughly chopped
  • Preheat the oven to about 170C
  • Rub the tenderloin with a little olive oil and roll in the lemon zest, rosemary, thyme and salt and pepper
  • Place the tenderloin on the cool stoneware pan
  • Place in the oven 
  • Meanwhile toss the onion, garlic, courgette and red pepper in olive oil until coated
  • Once the tenderloin has been cooking for approx 15 minutes , surround the pork with the vegetables
  • Continue roasting until the pork is cooked and the vegetables are slightly charred
  • Remove from oven, allow the pork to rest for a few minutes before carving

As this recipe features a great herb combination I will be including into Herbs on Saturday hosted by Lavendar and Lovage

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Spiced yogurt chicken

More playing with the samples from Total Yoghurt and I have created a savoury dish this time, ideal to serve with a salad or flavoured  rice or couscous You could even cook it on the barbeque if the weather is playing ball.. The spicing in this dish is very much to personal taste so feel free to add or take away as you see fit , many herbs and spices would work equally as well as the paprika and cinnamon. I used the 0% fat yogurt in this recipe and it worked really well, I had no problems with it splitting, you just create a lovely coating which tenderises your chicken  and helps it keep moist whilst being grilled.

  • 2 free range skinless chicken breast 
  • 1/2 cup of Total Greek Yogurt 0%
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • juice and zest of a lemon
  • 2 cloves of garlic - crushed
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Place all your ingredients in a large freezer bag
  • Mush all together and leave in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes
  • Preheat your grill
  • Remove the chicken breasts from the bag and place under the grill, discard the excess marinade
  • Grill on both sides until slightly charred , this takes about 8 mins per side but does depend on the thickness of your chicken, just check the chicken is cooked through before serving
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Friday, 17 August 2012

Goats cheese & couscous stuffed peppers

Another post for Ethel and the #capricornchallenge , this one takes a little more prep but its the oven thats doing the hardwork really. The goats cheese provides a lovely cheesy calcium hit to this impressive little dish which would make a great starter for a meal with friends or as a lunch dish.

  • 2 red peppers - halved and seeds removed
  • 1 packet of roasted vegetable couscous or plain couscous
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 round of Capricorn goats cheese - diced
  • 1 tbsp of caramelised onion chutney
  • Pumpkin seeds or walnuts (optional if you want to add more crunch)


  • Rub the peppers with olive oil
  • Roast in the oven at 180c until softened
  • Meanwhile prepare the couscous, following the instruction on the packet
  • Once the couscous is ready stir in the caramelised onion chutney and the nuts or seeds if using
  • Spoon into the cooked pepper shells and top with the chopped goats cheese
  • Bake for another 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and lightly golden
  • Delicious served with a dressed rocket salad.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Courgette and goats cheese spaghetti

I have been really lucky this month to be invited to take part in Somerset Goats #Capricorn challenge. Ethel (she's a goat by the way and she can tweet wonderfully even with cloven hooves) sent a fabulous hamper full of goodies to inspire me to develop some lovely recipes that use this delicious mildly goaty rinded cheese. Ethel was worried that as a Lancashire focused blogger I wouldn't want to take part, but I assured her that despite being passionate about local food I was also passionate when it comes to United Kingdom produce too.

It was great fun experimenting with the lovely cheese which is a nice mix between crumbly and creamy and has just the right amount of ooze factor, it combines well with a lot of different ingredients. Thanks Ethel !


  • Spaghetti approx 75g per person 
  • 1 round of Somerset goats cheese, chopped into small pieces
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large courgettes - coarsely grated
  • Lemon juice and lemon rind - approx 1 small lemon
  • 1/2 a dried red chilli chopped finely, seeds removed
  • Fresh thyme stripped and finely chopped - good pinch
  • Fresh mint, finely shredded - 1 tbsp
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic - crushed
  • Put your spaghetti, in boiling salted water and cook for the length of time stated on the pack.
  • Whilst the spaghetti cooks, heat your olive oil in a frying pan and gently fry the garlic and chilli for about 1 minute.
  • Add the grated courgette to the pan and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat until the spaghetti is cooked.
  • Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain quickly, toss in the pan with the lemon juice, rind, herbs and goats cheese, if a little dry add some of the pasta cooking water.
  • Once thoroughly mixed serve with freshly ground black pepper.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Courgette Bundt Cake

The courgette season is upon us, the green beauties are popping up overnight and so the annual race to keep up has commenced. Courgettes are  a very versatile vegetable easily grown in the vegetable garden , easily incorporated into many recipes as regularly readers of my blog will know I have a love for courgette cakes, so here's another.

Picking up on the current trend for bundt cakes on the internet and twitter, please welcome the Courgette Bundt Cake.


  • 225g Grated courgette
  • 250g self raising flour
  • 3 eggs - free range
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 150ml sunflower oil
Bundt tin approx 10 inch , oiled and flour dusted

Preheat oven to 180c normal / 160c fan

  • Grate your courgettes , I used my food processor grating blade.If you don't have one, place in a large bowl after grating.
  • Now add all the other ingredients
  • Mix well until well incorporated
  • Pour into your prepared tin
  • Bake for 35 minutes approximately until it tests cooked with a skewer.
  • Leave to cool in tin for approx 15 minutes
  • Tip up onto cooling wire rack, allow to cool fully
  • Now ice or frost to your taste, I just used a simple glace icing drizzle.

I am entering this cake in Dollybakes & Laura Loves Cake  calendar cakes challenge for "British Summertime" as courgettes are for me a signal of summer and dolly just loves a bundt cake !
Calendar Cakes Blogger Challenge

This is also my entry is Simple and Seasonal for August , hosted by Fabulicious Food

In celebration of National Bundt Day UK I'm linking up with the lovely DollyBakes

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