I love to cook and bake, and one of the delights of my cooking was this, which is a French pastry case called Pate Sucree, filled with strawberries Chantilly cream, and then adorned with more strawberries, passion fruit and a sprig of mint. All hand made by me, the strawberries and mint from the garden, the cream made by me too, but the passion fruit was shop bought.
Second recipe in the lavender range.
Self-raising flour, for dusting
2 teaspoons dried lavender buds
375g self-raising flour
1 tablespoon caster sugar
Prep: 20 mins | Cook: 15 mins | Makes 12
- Preheat oven 220 C / Gas 7. Dust a baking tray with self-raising flour. Give the lavender buds a short blitz in a food processor, so that it is a coarse powder.
- Sieve 375g self-raising flour into medium bowl, add lavender and caster sugar. Using your fingertips, rub butter into the mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Add milk. Use a blunt knife to mix until dough begins to come together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until dough comes together. Do not over-knead.
- Flatten dough with palm of your hand until about 2cm thick. Use a 5cm round cutter or a drinking glass to cut out your scones. Place onto prepared baking tray 1cm apart. Brush with additional milk.
- Bake in preheated oven for 14-16 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
- Place on a wire rack and let cool.
- Cut in half, smear in salted butter.
Although not the best photo (used my iPhone) I can truly say they are totally delicious, and I will be making more.
I LOVE lavender, and this year, I am going to cook with it. My first will be to do Lavender Shortbread. Last year I decided to harvest the French lavender buds I had in the garden, however, there just was not enough to use in anything substantial, like cake or shortbread. So, with that I am willing to cheat, but this did not come as easily as I thought. We live not too far from “The Lavender Farm”, which does all things, you guessed it, lavender. But, with all the will in the world, the farm had gone into liquidation, so it was back to the drawing board. None of the shops that I use, including John Lewis have such things either, so I had a choice to either grow lots in the garden, or troll the internet. Growing would mean little harvest at the end of summer, so the internet it was.
I will be posting details of what I cook, and what I think of it, and will include recipes and photographs of the finished items.
I love to cook, but for the last week my Oven has been out of limits as there is a fault with a gas cut off so cannot use it. However, all was not lost as I finally made Chocolate fudge, and it is very easy to make, and you don’t even need a sugar thermometer.
vegetable oil, for greasing
300g/10½oz soft light brown sugar
125g/4½oz evaporated milk
300g/10½oz milk chocolate, chopped
75g/3oz dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa solids), chopped
- Grease and line an 8″ square cake tin. I use an earthenware lasagne dish.
- In a heavy based large pan, put the butter, sugar and milk and put on a low heat till the butter and sugar melts.
- Add the marshmallow and allow to melt, stirring from time to time. When melted, turn the heat right up and allow it to boil for five to eight minutes.
- Chop all the chocolate up into small pieces.
- Take the mixture off the heat and add the chopped chocolate and allow to sit for a minute, then stir really well making sure all the chocolate has melted.
- Turn out into to prepared cake tin and place either in the fridge or in a cold place to set for a few hours.
Once the fudge has set, lift out using the grease proof paper and cut into your desired size squares, you can usually get 25 squares out of it, and enjoy.
Tonights dinner was pasta with hand made pesto. I usually buy the stuff in little jars, but tonight I decided to make it myself.
Really easy to make too.
Using a mortar and pestle crush a clove of garlic with a pinch of sea salt, when thats crushed, add lots of basil, crush this too, then add some watercress and do the same. Toast some pine nuts and when they are toasted and have an even colour add them to the bowl and crush lightly, you want some crunch in there. Grate some parmesan into the bowl and add lots of olive oil, needs to be runny, not like the stuff you have in the pots. Finally add rocket to the mix, and stir.
Serve with pasta and lots of parmesan.
I love my food, and I love to cook and bake, and anyone who knows me will confirm that.
I decided at the age of 14 that I wanted to become a chef, which came as a surprise really as both my parents were average in the cooking department, with the odd experimental flourish into Chinese cooking. However, as with a lot of things in the mind of a 14 year old boy, boredom levels increased, and with suggestions that “there is no money in catering”, I decided after passing my catering exams that it was not a career choice I was to take.
It is now 25 years after passing those exams, which were pitiful to say the least, and I am into food more than ever. One friend said that I missed my calling in life as I talk about food, and cooking with such passion. Knowing what I know now, I wish I had decided to go with my passion and become a chef. I am 42 very soon, and know that it is too late to change my career path, even though I am between jobs, which is a shame, so I look to have a career in my own kitchen, serving food to my partner, and any guests that I invite along the way.