Crumbly, buttery shortbread, rich with toasty pecan and maple flavours. Who doesn’t want that with their morning coffee? Did I mention that I’ve dipped them in chocolate for good measure? If these don’t perk up your day I’m not sure what will! Ingredients makes 20ish […]
I’ve been coveting my neighbours fig tree. It’s steadily ripening fruit keeps peeking over the fence and flirting with me! I’m always amazed when I see fig trees in the UK adorned with fruit. I always associate them with much warmer climates, like my friends […]
Whether you’re planning picnics or already thinking about packed lunches these are your new best friend. Crispy little filo parcels stuffed with sweet peas, creamy, salty feta and fresh mint – they’re absolutely delicious and very easy to make.
You can fold the parcels into any shape you like but I find it easiest to wrap long strips of filo pastry into triangles, which also makes the finished parcels extremely portable.
makes about eight (depending on size)
35g butter (melted)
200g filo pastry (approx 12 sheets)
200g frozen peas, thawed
2 spring onions
1 heaped tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
big pinch freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp chili flakes (optional)
sprinkling of sesame seeds (optional)
Pre-heat your oven to 180°c and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
Use a fork to crush the peas before crumbling in the feta. Finely slice the spring onion and then lightly mash all of the filling ingredients together.
Brush the filo sheets with a little of the melted butter before layering them up. I find that three layers is about right. Cut the pastry into lengths that will allow you to fold the parcels (you can make them any shape you like – I find triangles easiest). Spoon a heap of the filling mixture onto the pastry and then fold it into a parcel, making sure that the filling is fully encased by the pastry. Repeat until all of the filling and pastry has been used and then arrange the parcels on the baking sheet. Brush the outsides with a little melted butter and sprinkle on a few sesame seeds. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until crisp and golden. Enjoy whilst still warm or leave to cool for picnic treats.
If there was aquafaba mousse last week then you may have guessed that there would be hummus this week!
This is a lovely fresh, zesty tasting version of hummus, which is absolutely perfect for summer picnics, barbeques or just plain old snacking. It’s also very quick to prepare so you can whip it up in a jiffy.
1 can chickpeas
small bunch of basil (including stalks)
2 tbsp olive oil
zest of one lemon
juice of half a lemon (more if you like)
seasalt and black pepper to taste
Roughly chop the basil and place all the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. Blend together until you are happy with the texture and then adjust the taste to your preference by adding a little more lemon juice, salt or pepper. If the hummus is stiffer than you would like then add a splash of cold water and blend again.
Aquafaba (chickpea water) is magic stuff. It means that you can make rich, velvety chocolate mousse from the stuff you’d normally chuck away when you’re making a batch of hummus or some falafel. It also means that you don’t have to mess around with raw […]
My friends allotment is awash with strawberries. Delicious plump, sweet, ruby-red berries – she could open a pick-your-own! She generously gave me so many (and some plants) that I had enough for this cake, the strawberry and mascarpone tart from a week or so ago and several jars of jam.
In the height of summer ripe strawberries are one of the loveliest things that you can eat, and of course you should have them with cream. This (slightly retro) gateaux shows them off perfectly with its layers of fluffy Genoese sponge and white chocolate cream.
100g plain flour
20g butter, melted
1 tsp almond extract
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp cornflour
125g white chocolate
toasted flaked almonds & extra berries to decorate
Preheat your oven to 180°c and grease and line an 8 inch springform cake tin.
Whisk the eggs and sugar until they are pale yellow, thick and fluffy and the whisk leaves a trail in the mixture (ribbon stage). This should take a few minutes in a stand mixer. Sift in half of the flour and carefully fold it in, be gentle – you don’t want to lose any volume. Repeat with the other half of the flour. Drizzle the melted butter and almond extract around the edge of the mixing bowl and fold again. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake the sponge for 25 minutes. It should be well risen and golden when it’s done. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Roughly chop the fruit and combine it with the sugar and cornflour in a small pan. Cook over a gentle heat for several minutes until you have a thick compote. Set aside to cool.
Melt the chocolate and leave to cool a little whilst you whip the cream to a soft peak. Gently whisk the cooled chocolate into this.
Carefully slice the sponge into three layers and place the bottom one on a serving plate. Spread a quarter of the chocolate cream over the sponge and then spoon on half of the compote. Repeat this layering with the second layer of sponge. Place the final layer of sponge on top and spread on half of the remaining cream, put the rest into a piping bag fitted with a round or star-shaped nozzle. Pipe this around the edge of the cake and pile some extra berries into the centre and sprinkle on some flaked almonds to decorate. Chill for an hour or two before serving.