Foolproof Potato Rosti

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Soggy rosti. Rosti that falls apart. Worst of all: grey rosti! I’ve had them all. Finally I’ve figured out a foolproof way which seems to work a treat. Boil the potatoes in their skins first.

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Grate (the skins will come off as you grate them) and season well with whatever herbs/spices you fancy. I kept it simple work just salt, pepper and garlic.

Shape into little patties and they can be fried, as is traditional, or baked, which is what I did, until golden and crispy.

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I served ours on wilted spinach and leeks, with salmon, crispy skin, a poached egg and garlic and lemon mayo made from whisking a large egg yolk with half a teaspoon of dijon mustard, and drizzling in rapeseed oil a little at a time until you have a creamy mayonnaise consistency. I then added a crushed clove of garlic, lemon juice to taste and salt and pepper. Delicious!

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Easy peasey clementine sqeezey… Super simple cake

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Once you have a simple, fail proof cake recipe under your belt, you can’t go far wrong. Here’s my favourite basic recipe which can adapted and tweaked by adding different flavours.

Crack three eggs and weigh them, then weigh out the same amount of caster sugar, soft butter and self raising flour.

Beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy then add the eggs one at time until they’re combined. If you’re adding flavours add them at this point. Vanilla, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, coconut, cinnamon, fruits, the list is really endless.

For this one I zested 6 clementines and added all but a teaspoon of it to the mix, before juicing the fruits and setting the juice aside. I added in the flour in four lots to ensure it was well combined before drizzling in some of the clementine juice to loosen the batter to dropping consistency: Three tablespoons did the trick.

I sprayed a bundt tin with cake release spray, and put the batter in before baking at 180oC fan.

While the cake was baking I added icing sugar to the remaining clementine juice plus a few drops of passionfruit extract. The floral notes of the extract really complement the citrus flavour.

After turning out, I let the cake cool before drizzling on the glaze and sprinkling with the remaining zest.

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Yum! Moist, sweet, tangy, satisfy and great with a cup of coffee with friends.

Goji Berry, apricot and coconut oil flapjacks

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There’s something comforting about freshly baked flapjack. The smell, the warmth, the way it cries out to be paired with a steaming cup of Earl Grey. It reminds me of cold Sunday afternoons spent snuggled under patchwork blankets. Homely, comforting, simple.

This recipe can be adapted to suit your tastes, but I used:

350g oats
125g salted butter
125g unrefined organic coconut oil
200g dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons golden syrup
30g dried goji berries
150g chopped up soft dried apricots
A couple of tablespoons of pressed apple juice to soak the goji berries in.
Half a teaspoon of cinnamon
A few grates of a while nutmeg.

Soak the goji berries in the apple juice for ten minutes.

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In a pan melt the butter, sugar, coconut oil, and syrup with the cinnamon and nutmeg, before adding in the drained goji berries, apricot pieces and oats.  Give it all a really good mix before pressing into a greased baking tin.

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I like to use a round springform tin so I can cut it into wedges rather than squares.

Bake for around 40-45 mins at 160oC. Leave to cool for 15 minutes before slicing. Enjoy with a cup of your favourite tea and good friends.

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Rhubarb crumble cake

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Rhubarb is one of those vegetables that tastes great in a variety of dishes provided you add enough sweetness to counteract is distinctive tartness. I love it in a crumble, but wanted to make something with it that I could take to church and people could eat easily after the service without the use of bowls and spoons. Cue, the crumble cake. Moist rhubarb sponge, topped with a lovely oaty crumble.

For the cake,  mix 2, 250ml cups of plain flour with 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt. Then mix in 1 cup Greek yoghurt (I used 0%fat), 3 small lightly beaten eggs, and two and a half very long sticks of rhubarb, diced (approx 4 cups).

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The batter will be ridiculously thick, but fear not, during the cooking process all that lovely rhubarb will release its sumptuous juices to compensate for the stiff mixture. Spread it in a greased and lined baking dish.

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Now, put half a cup of cold diced salted butter in a dish with half a cup of brown sugar and plain flour respectively. Add in a teaspoon of ground cinnamon and rub together to form breadcrumb like granules. Don’t do it too fine as lumps add texture and crisp up nicely during baking.  At this point mix in a half a cup or so of oats, and sprinkle the mixture over the cake batter. As you can probably see from the pics, my crumble didn’t sprinkle well because I did not have any chilled butter, so had to use some which had been sitting at room temperature, and it never makes good crumble like that, although it will still taste delicious.

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Bake at about 180oC for about 45 minutes, or until the batter is cooked and the rhubarb is softened. Leave to cool in the tin before cutting into squares. Serve with custard or clotted cream if you do desire. 

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Love your leftovers.

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I have been utterly disorganised this week when it comes to meal planning, which resulted in me gawping in the fridge at 5pm trying to decide what I could hash together for dinner. (Thankfully) We’d had friends round for afternoon tea so didn’t want anything too heavy.

Some left over mash, half a left over trout, some spring onions, seasoning and a polenta crumb later, dinner was served. Trout fishcakes with a crispy polenta coating served on whatever salad I could find in the fridge.  Quick, easy, nutritious and delicious. Happy days.   

Simply stunning and stunningly simple fruit tartlets

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I don’t know about you but I find great satisfaction in serving guests scrumptious little morsels that taste as delicious as they look. These fruit tartlets definitely fall into the edible art category, but they are ridiculously simple to boot. Happy days.

Firstly, make a Creme Patissiere (pastry cream).This can be made the day before and kept in the fridge until ready to serve. I used Raymond Blanc’s recipe on the BBC website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/pastry_cream_36417

Cut sheets of filo into squares and put one square into each hole in a cupcake tray, brush with butter the repeat until you have three layers. Bake for around 8 minutes until golden and crispy.

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Cut up whatever fruit takes your fancy. I used clementine, grapes, strawberries and blueberries.

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Spoon the Creme Patissiere into the filo tartlet cases and adorn with the fruit. Dust with icing sugar et voila. Enjoy immediately.

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