Sunday, 18 December 2016

Butlers - Blacksticks Blue Truckle with sticky date and fig and raisin topping

Gosh its been a while since we did a cheese post, but here is a very special one, specially dressed for Christmas this cute Baby Blackstick Blue Truckle has arrived to join our celebrations.

Blacksticks Blue is created lovingly by Butlers Cheeses at Inglewhite Dairy in rural Lancashire, this cheese make the perfect centrepiece for your cheese board. It's an amazing colour and a creamy, buttery mild blue cheese, and at this time of year you can also find it with a special complimentary fruity tangy topping that perfectly marries with the cheese.

A favourite of chefs and cheesemongers alike this cheese is perfect in recipes, cooking and simply served as it is. A truckle is approx 400g of cheese

Available direct from Butlers or any quality cheesemonger

Woodalls Charcuterie - perfect for Christmas

Using only the finest Outdoor bred British pork, Woodall's have for 8 generations been producing delicious British Charcuterie and pork products.

Utilising innovative curing, smoking and preserving methods they produce a wonderful range of charcuterie including air dried hams and salamis. All perfect to serve at any celebration or get together.

We taste tested

Royale Air Dried Ham , a great taste award winner. Pickled in pale ale, molasses, vinegar and brown sugar before being smoked, then air dried ham is tasty with a rich sweet salty flour and a delicious melt in the mouth texture. Perfect for platter serving but also in recipes as a prosciutto substitute.

Black pepper and garlic salami, a meaty aromatic flavoursome salami with just enough pepper heat but also with pepper fragrance finely balanced with a warm earthy garlic note.

Spicy Cumberland Salami - a wonderfully British chorizo equivalent, less fatty and with a warm delicate paprika heat.

Norfolk Mustard Salami - a little cheeky blend of classic Norfolk mustard powder and seeds, that give this salami a warm well rounded flavour. A British classic twist.

Woodall's Charcuterie is available from Booths Supermarkets, Harrods and Selfridges and various farm shops and quality outlets nationwide.

This is a review post, product for taste test where sent FOC and all thoughts, comments and opinions are our own.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Re'velo'ution at Twin Lakes Velo Cafe for South Lancashire Clandestine Cake Club

November saw at visit to the "Twin Lakes " Velo cafe for South Lancashire Clandestine Cake Club, it was a chilly day bright but cold, the welcome was warm and friendly in this tucked away venue near the village of Croston, near Chorley.

Situated by two lakes hence the name and with a cycling theme as the area is popular with cyclists the cafe is a little of the beaten track, our members however had no trouble locating our event and arrived a wonderful selection of suitably themed cakes.

Our cakes attracted a lot of attention from cyclists and passing walkers who pop in for a warming drink or snack whilst in the area.

Our cakes included a Yellow Jersey cake, Brandy snap cake, Paris Brest, Chocolate, cherry and chestnut roulade, Tipsy Orange truffle cake, Treacle and lemon dizzle bundt, Berry and cream rings cake, Chocolate, coffee meringue roulade, Carrot and Chocolate roulade, Black Forest Circular and Clares Mum's Wheely good cake.

The lady who made the Paris Brest, wrote a little missive on her trails and tribulations on making her creation for her first cake club.

"How not to make a Paris Brest"

It may be on theme, but  35 step recipe is possibly a little ambitious to start with. Still some of the steps are pretty straightforward –eg step 21 When cooked remove from oven & leave to cool. The cake  only takes 1 hr 30 mins to complete.
8.30 start . Step 1 All ingredients assembled by 8.45. Dropped plain flour on to chair, so have to use part self raising. Also snapped thermometer Not sure it can still be used in 2 pieces.
Panada . Butter, salt, water in pan, boiling. Tick. Remove from heat . Add all flour at once. Too stiff to stir & certainly doesn’t need drying off. Add eggs one by one. Should be shiny, not dull and drop off a spoon in 3 seconds rather than 3 minutes. Add another egg
Pipe 3 rings onto greaseproof. Looks singularly unattractive. (picture available)  Just remembered in time to glaze with beaten egg. Supposed to sprinkle with 100g flaked almonds, but only about ½ will fit on.
Cook for 20mins at 180- nowhere near done. After 30 mins almonds burning, so removed. Has not risen
Almond praline cream
Boil up sugar syrup- get husband to stick finger in or guess when it is done. Beat in 8 egg yolks then 250g butter. Continue to beat for an hour to an hour and a half (resting mixer frequently to stop motor wearing out) Add almond butter. How can this still be liquid?
Slice a very thin uneven layer off the top.  Rebake  bottom half for 10 minutes as it is completely raw.
Cool. Pipe in squidgy praline cream, try not to laugh. Spend 40 minutes trying to clear the kitchen walls and work surfaces  of choux pastry base, praline cream and egg.
Now seeking recipes needing 8 egg whites and a bowl of almond praline cream.
Original recipe used was

This made us all chuckle ! 😋😋😋😋

Thanks go to all the team at the Velo Cafe for making us so welcome

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Top Lancashire Chefs take London by storm for Lancashire Day

Lancashire chefs take Lancashire to London
Cooked for the country’s top critics in Lancashire Day showcase

The Ribble Valley’s top chefs headed to London to celebrate Lancashire Day in delicious style. Five chefs including Stosie Madi fromParkersarms, Chris Bury from The Cartford Inn, Maurizio Bocchi from La Locanda, Steven Smith from Freemason’s at Wiswell and Lisa Goodwin-Allen from Michelin starred Northcote prepared a 5 course feast for top food writers, critics and industry insiders at the exclusive IceTank venue in Covent Garden on Thursday the 17th of November.

Ruth Connor, Chief Executive of Marketing Lancashire said, “The Lancashire Day Lunch was a triumph. Our aim is to position Lancashire at the forefront of culinary destinations nationwide and following this successful event our food and drink offer is now firmly on the map, with national journalists and influencers taking note. We couldn’t have been prouder of our chefs, working together to present course after course of the very best of Lancashire.”


The event, supported by Lancashire County Council and official travel partner Virgin Trains, is part of the county’s Lancashire Day celebrations that will culminate on Lancashire Day, 27 November. Marketing Lancashire is spear-heading a social media campaign inviting all proud Lancastrians to post images of their favourite Lancashire scenes, events and delicious local produce using #LancashireDay.  Last year a similar campaign reached over 40 million people in 816 locations worldwide.


Maurizio Bocchi, chef-patron at La Locanda, in Gisburn, which is the highest rated Italian restaurant outside London, said “As an adopted Lancastrian who tries to celebrate the Lancashire larder in every dish I produce, it was fantastic to be able to showcase this in London. I was very proud to be a part of such a game changing initiative.”

 Stosie Madi, chef-patron at multi award-winning Parkersarms said “It was a spectacular showcase and a chance for some of the UK’s most respected critics and writers to try our food. I served a Cockerham Saltmarsh Lamb and Lytham Cockle Pie, and received some wonderful feedback, a very proud moment.”

Steven Smith, Chef Patron at The Freemasons at Wiswell, said; “There is an abundance of quality operators and producers in our region and it was fantastic to be able to package that offering up and deliver it to an esteemed audience in London. I’m very proud that The Freemasons was part of such a great event, which really showcased what we’re capable of and hopefully will drive incentivise media to include Lancashire in their food & drink and travel features in the future.”

Jennifer Mein, County Councillor and Leader of Lancashire County Council said,
“Lancashire’s food and drink sector is worth around £734 million to Lancashire’s visitor economy and the sector supports an estimated 12,937 food and drink related posts. Taking ‘Lancashire to London’ will encourage more visitors to sample and appreciate the county’s rich larder.  We have some of the best produce in the country and raising awareness of this around Lancashire Day, sends out a strong message to visitors as well as to proud Lancastrians.”

Food and drink is worth around £734 million to Lancashire’s visitor economy, which has grown by £129 million over the last 6 years. This makes the county’s food and drink sector a strategic priority for the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) as highlighted in the newly launched Lancashire narrative and ‘We Are Lancashire’ campaign, along with the county’s advanced manufacturing, tourism and connectivity by air, sea and rail.
The 5 award winning chefs cooking were Lisa Goodwin-Allen, Head Chef of Michelin-starred Northcote, Maurizo Bocchi from La Locanda, Chris Bury from The Cartford Inn, Stosie Madi from The Parker’s Arms and Steven Smith from the Freemasons at Wiswell.   


The menu featured a wealth of Lancastrian producers from traditional Morecambe Bay shrimps & Lytham cockles, Goosnargh duck, artisan goat’s cheese from Capra Products, Ormskirk potatoes, Salt Marsh lamb from Cockerham, Brockhall village apples, honey from Crossmoor Farm, raw milk butter from Gazegill Organics and Burnley’s latest artisan gin distiller, Batch Brew.  Burnley-based CoolKit Ltd provided refrigerated transport to ensure all the ingredients arrive in top condition. 

The unique meal included a gourmet coffee course from Lancaster’s oldest and most admired coffee importers Atkinson’s. The feast ended in true Lancashire style with a Lancashire cheese board supplied by Dewlay and Mrs. Kirkham’s, alongside handmade chutneys from Heritage Kitchen and biscuits from Farmhouse Biscuits. 

On the 27 November 1295 King Edward I invited Lancashire’s first representatives to attend Parliament. Today this historic event is marked by the reading of proclamations, swearing allegiance to the Queen, and by numerous events and activities taking place across the county to celebrate what we now call Lancashire Day (27 November).

Content and Images supplied by Marketing Lancashire 

Thursday, 13 October 2016

La Dolce Vita - Italian Inspired Bakes @ Ham and Jam in Preston

Living the good life - La Dolce Vita was our theme for our recent clandestine cake club outing, Italian inspired bakes.

All the flavours of Italy where present in some amazing cakes, we love a good theme and this was one of the best (well for me anyway as I love Italian food).

Our event was kindly hosted by our lovely friends at Ham and Jam in Preston city centre, one of favourite coffee shops when in town. Please check them out if you are visiting Preston they are near the Guild Hall and the Victorian Market, you are sure of a warm welcome, the food is excellent and coffee amazing.....

We got to taste a Lemon, ricotta and polenta cake (gluten free)

A cappuccino cake

A Zucotto cake

A Tiramisu cake

A Neapolitan Cake

And finally a Lemon, Elderflower and marscapone cake

As is the norm we indulged in lots of slices of these wonderful cakes, enjoying chatting about Great British Bake off and all manner of other topics. We were joined by a new member who came to see what we are all about and we look forward to tasting her baking at the next event in a few weeks time. If you fancy joining check out the tab for the South Lancashire CCC above.

Check out our post from our previous visit to Ham and Jam 

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Besan flour, banana and choc chip loaf - gluten free

Well we are still in banana cake mode here as I  hate to see them go to waste and the fruit bowl every week seems to contain at least one unloved spotty specimen. I like to ring the changes when it comes to recipes, so this recipe is another gluten free one featured bananas.

I wanted to experiment with cake making using besan flour, naturally gluten free, this earthy high protein high fibre flour is made from chickpeas and some times lentils or other beans. This flour is much more cost effective when compared with other gluten free flours and I am pleased to say produces a very tasty bake too, no hint of  lentil or chickpea at all.

Its moist and decadent and the loaf has just the right amount of sweetness and the chocolate chips provide just the right amount of chocolately flavours in every bite.

What you need
  • 2 large very ripe bananas- mashed
  • 3/4 cup of Thick live yogurt
  • 1 egg - free range
  • 1/2 cup light brown soft sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil - melted
  • 1 1/2 cups besan flour (different brands have different mixes, mine was chickpea and lentil, some are just chickpea) - above all check gluten free if required most are
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 pkt of dark chocolate chips
What you do
  • Pre heat the oven to 180c and prepare your loaf tin, either oil spray or base line a 2lb loaf tin
  • In your mixer blend the bananas, yogurt and egg, until well combined and the mixture is creamy.
  • Seive the besan flour, baking powder, bicarb, salt and cinnamon on to the wet mixture, incorporate using a wire ballon whisk to retain the air in the mixture.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips and pour the batter into your prepared tin, smooth the top
  • Place in the oven and bake for approximately 50 minutes until well risen and golden. Test with a skewer to ensure done.
  • Cool initially in the tin for 10 minutes and then remove to cool fully on a wire rack.
  • Store in an airtight tin
  • Freezes well when double wrapped

We are linking up to Love Cake this month, created and hosted at JibberJabberUk, the theme this month being in the words of the lovely Toyah "Its a Mystery !" as besan flour isn't usually used in cake baking.

                                                           Link up your recipe of the week

And recipe of the week , over on A Mummy Too

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