French apple turnovers

As a child, my favourite day of the year was the much-anticipated family trip to one of the gigantic superstores for our annual back-to-school shopping trip.

Beautiful new notebooks. Pens in every colour of the rainbow and the fountain pen I had been dreaming of for month. And -best of all- the promise of warm-from-the-oven classic apple turnovers for le goûter.

It truly was the most wonderful time of the year!

French apple turnovers ● Recipe ● Cake + WhiskyFrench apple turnovers ● Recipe ● Cake + Whisky

My schoolyears are now far behind me but my love for the puffed up little pockets of autumn joy of my childhood remain.

French apple turnovers ● Recipe ● Cake + Whisky

Light, crisp, buttery, filled with warm cinnamon sprinkled apple and just so goddamn apple-ing!

French apple turnovers ● Recipe ● Cake + Whisky French apple turnovers ● Recipe ● Cake + Whisky

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:44]

The ultimate fall snack and the perfect accompaniment to a nice cuppa!

More fall recipes

My favourite squash soup (VE)

Butternut squash pasta bake (V)

Apple & black pudding sausage rolls

Halloween monster brookies (V)

Advertisements
French apple turnovers

Christmas Dinner in an hour – Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

The countdown to Christmas has -almost- officially begun! Only 25 days to go!

Which means it’s about time to get organised so you don’t run around like a headless chicken trying to hit the stores in quest of the perfect present / the necessary bits to cook up a worthy feast, plus getting it all wrapped, cooked and appropriately festive a few hours before the whole family rings the door bell.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

I’ve been there and I wouldn’t even wish that on my worst enemy.

Luckily, this year, I’ve had a bit of help from the expert es Super-Duper-Organised-Christmas, Katherine Frelon, whose Hall of festive fame includes a detailed plan on how to cook Christmas dinner in an hour.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

And while I’m still working on the one-hour-feast, I’m already well under way when it comes to edible presents, thanks to a little push from Mrs. Frelon herself and the kind folks at the Borough Market who recently invited me over for a little preview of Katherine’s demo sessions.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

We drank mulled cider, nibbled on festive treats (read: all the dried/candied fruit that were really meant to go into making said treats) & got a headstart on making all sorts of edible treats to be enjoyed by your nearest and dearest.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

First things first: the secret to Katherine’s mulled cider.

Because you’re definitely going to need some hot, liquid form of encouragement to get through the mountains of organisation and prep any Christmas feast requires.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

The one and only secret is home-made ‘Christmas spiced fruit bombs’. Aka mixed fruit and spices, wrapped up in tea bags and infused into your choice of hot drink for an instant festive hit!

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

Christmas spiced fruit bombs (makes 24):

Ingredients:

  • 1 lemon, thinly pared without pith
  • 1 orange, thinly pared without pith
  • 4 cinnamon sticks, crushed
  • 10g cloves
  • 20g crystallised ginger, crushed
  • 1 nutmeg, smashed into pieces
  • 10 juniper berries, smashed with the back of a heavy knife
  • 80g dried blueberries
  • 75g dried cranberries
  • 80g dehydrated strawberry or raspberry flakes
  • 24 x 10cm squares of muslin
  • Undyed cotton string

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

1. Place the citrus peel on a lined baking sheet and leave in the oven set at 60C-80C until the peel has dehydrated, but not coloured, so at least 60 minutes or more depending on the moisture of the peel.  Alternatively leave the peel overnight in a warm airing cupboard or by the Aga if you have one.

2. When the peel is cool chop it into small pieces and add to a bowl with all the other ingredients. Stir to combine well.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

3. To make the bags place approximately ½tsp of the fruit spice in the centre of each piece of muslin, gather up the corners and then twist and tie up each bundle securely with string. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

4. To make a serving, place one bag in a mug and pour over boiling water (or use boiling apple juice / cranberry juice / red wine / cider…) and leave to steep for 5 mins, then remove the bag.

To make a big batch, place one bag of mulling spice in a heavy bottomed saucepan with 2l of your choice of liquid, place on the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Remove the bag and serve the cider in heatproof glasses or mugs.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

Next up, an absolute festive must-have in the form of a gorgeous Crimson Christmas Chutney.

Sweet and sour, it’s the perfect accompaniment to a beautiful cheese plate. Presented in Kilner jars decorated with pretty ribbons and handmade labels, it also makes for a great gift.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

Crimson Christmas chutney (makes 1.5kg)

Ingredients: 

  • 1.2kg cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 2 red onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 700g cranberries
  • 400g soft dates, stoned and chopped
  • 4 clementines, zest and juice
  • 500g soft brown sugar
  • 2tsp ginger, peeled and grated
  • 30ml ruby red port or cherry brandy
  • 3 cloves
  • 7cm piece cassia bark
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 10g flaked sea salt

1. Place all the ingredients in a pan and bring to a simmer for approximately 60 minutes, until all the ingredients are soft.

2. Bottle in sterilised jars, seal and ideally leave to mature for a few weeks.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

Last but not least: CHOCOLATE! Because what’s even the point of Christmas if not as the number one excuse to have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, eh?

Katherine’s jewelled Borough bark is super simple treat to make and the ultimate oh-gosh-I-have-no-present-for-[add the name of any last minute guest here] present.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

Just melt, stir and swirl to achieve a dramatic edible gift for friends and family. Plus you get to lick the spoons, so it’s definitely a winner!

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

Jewelled Borough bark (makes approx. 600g)

Ingredients:

  • 250g good quality white chocolate, chopped
  • 350g good quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 150g Turkish delight, chopped into small dice
  • 40g green unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped

1. Place the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stir occasionally until the chocolate melts. Remove from the heat and repeat the process with the dark chocolate.

 

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

2. Spread the dark chocolate onto a lined baking sheet to a thickness of 5mm.  Drop spoonfuls of white chocolate on top, and swirl the chocolates together with a skewer to make patterns.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

 

3. While the chocolate is still molten sprinkle over the pistachios and Turkish delight and lightly press into the chocolate so they set firm. Chill until set, approximately 60 minutes.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

You can also jazz up the bark with your favourite dried or candied fruits, nuts, coffee beans or even liquorice if you dare.  Or try some heat and spice with crystalised ginger, chilli flakes and crushed cardamom.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

To package as gifts break the bark into large pieces and wrap in parchment paper with a pretty ribbon, fill a glass jar or a clear bags, or place in a pretty box and wrap with tissue paper.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

Want to get a piece of the – Christmas prep – action?

Katherine will be in residence in the Borough Market Demo Kitchen (in the glass market hall) throughout December showing the shortcuts to the most amazing Christmas meal without spending days in the kitchen.

Throughout her demo sessions, Katherine will be focusing on the following topics, so make sure you come down to the Borough Market for tones of festive tips, a little nibble (and maybe a headstart on the grocery shopping too, ’tis the best place for it after all!) on the following dates:

1st December – 12.30-2pm – Edible Gifts.
8th December – 12.30-2pm – It’s all in the planning.
15th December – 12.30-2pm – The final countdown: 60 minutes in the kitchen on Christmas Day.

*All Borough Market demo kitchen sessions are free for all to attend. I was invited by the Borough Market to attend a preview of Katherine’s demo sessions, but all pictures, words, opinions & love for that iconic foodie spot, its legendary traders & tendancies to compulsively eat any fruit/nut/candy I can get my hands on my own.

Christmas Dinner in an hour – Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

Quinoa Fried Rice

When it comes to cooking, I still have so much to learn.

I’ve always been a very decent cook, probably mainly because I’ve been free to experiment in the kitchen from a very young age, with my parents encouragingly eating up sometimes-far-from-perfect said experiments.

This learning-on-the-job sort of experience obviously has it limitations, the main one being that for a long time, I’d have to work with whatever was already in the fridge.

Quinoa Fried Rice

But every limitation has its silver lining, and in that specific case, it’s made me really, really good at cooking with leftovers. And actually enjoying it.

There’s something truly magical at making something with nothing, and that’s how I feel when I turn a simingly empty fridge into a bountiful meal, always to my boyfriend’s great surprise.

(Even though, quite honestly, he should really be used to it by now!)

quinoa-fried-rice-4

This is exactly what happened with this Quinoa Fried Rice.

Quinoa Fried Rice

Ready in minutes and requiring only a handful of ingredients, most of which are absolute staples in my house (and I’m sure many others’), it’s just as delicious and comforting as the original, but made a bit healthier with the addition of protein-packed quinoa.

Quinoa Fried Rice

Below is the basic recipe, which is absolutely delicious as it is, but feel free to add additional toppings or any leftovers hanging around in your fridge, turning your Quinoa Fried Rice dish into the most delicious way to use up meat, fish or vegetable leftovers.

Who knew fighting food waste could taste that rice?!

Quinoa Fried Rice

Quinoa Fried Rice (serves 1)

Ingredients: 

  • about 100g cooked quinoa, preferably fridge-cold
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
  • salt, pepper
  • facultative: any cooked meat, fish or vegetable leftovers you have laying around, sliced thinly

1. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

2. Heat up the sesame oil in a frying pan or wok, then throw in the quinoa (and leftovers if using) and cook on high heat until it starts smelling nice, then push the quinoa to the sides of the pan and add the egg in the middle. Cook until the egg is slightly under-set (usually about 20 sec or so), then mix together with the quinoa and cook for a little longer.

3. Transfer to a bowl, top with the thinly sliced spring onion & eat immediately.

PIN FOR LATER:

Quinoa Fried Rice

Quinoa Fried Rice

Greek Chicken Skewers + The Real Greek Cookbook Giveaway

You know that frustrating feeling when you go to a restaurant, you have the most *amazing* dish and you know that you won’t for the life of you be able to have this again ever because the restaurant has an ever-changing menu and they won’t give you a recipe so you can make it yourself at home? SO FRUSTRATING!

Well, that won’t happen with The Real Greek.

Not only do they keep classics and favourites right and centre on their menu all year round, but they also just released a cookbook running you through those same recipes that have made their success on London’s restaurant scene.

The Real Greek Cookbook with Tonia Buxton

A stunning collaboration between the team of experienced chefs at The Real Greek and the restaurant’s consultant Tonia Buxton, the cookbook is a comprehensive guide to creating restaurant standard food at home.

From delicious meze dishes to scrumptious feast, it’s the perfect companion for beginners and well-read foodies alike to explore the wonders of Greek food.

Greek Chicken Skewers from The Real Greek Cookbook | Cake + Whisky

With over 100 recipes to choose from, deciding where to start was no easy job, but I decided to try recreating one of the dishes we indulged in at The Real Greek cookbook launch: Marinated chicken skewers.

The ones we had at the restaurant were simply beautiful: tender chuncks of chicken with sweet pepper and onion pieces, basted in a light and fresh marinade, with the subtle flavour of the charcoal there had been cooked over.

Greek Chicken Skewers from The Real Greek Cookbook | Cake + Whisky

So I was curious to see if I could achieve the same results at home.

And the good news is, I did! …oh, and there’s another good news!

I teamed up with Blink Publishing to give out a copy of The Real Greek with Tonia Buxton cookbook so you also get to cook restaurant-worthy Greek recipes from the comfort of your own home!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Greek Chicken Skewers from The Real Greek Cookbook | Cake + Whisky

Chicken Skewers (serves 4-6)

Ingredients: 6 chicken breasts (boneless and skinless, cut into 3cm chunks), 1 small red pepper (deseeded), 1 small yellow pepper (deseeded), 1 red onion; For the marinade: 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp freshly chopped rosemary, 1 tsp freshly chopped thyme leaves, 1 tsp ground paprika, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large bowl, mix together the ingredients for the marinade. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken chunks, coating them well, then marinade for at least 1 hour, but preferably longer (ideally overnight in the fridge).

2. Cut the peppers into 2 cm pieces. Quarter the onion and cut the leaves into 2cm pieces.

3. Soak 6 wooden skewers to prevent them from charring. When ready to cook, thread the chicken, peppers and onion alternately onto the skewers. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Cook under a medium-hot grill or in a griddle pan for 8-10 minutes, turning every couple of minutes and basting with any remaining marinade.

5. Cut each skewer in half and arrange crossways on individual serving plates.

I served my Greek chicken skewers with a side of tzatziki and pan-fried pepper slices, but lemon mayonnaise would also work well.

A’meze’ing, isn’t it?

The Real Greek with Tonia Buxton, RRP £20, out now, Blink Publishing

Greek Chicken Skewers + The Real Greek Cookbook Giveaway

Melon and Prosciutto salad

When it’s as hot as it’s been for the past couple of weeks, the last thing I want to do is turn on the oven, or spend any time near the stove. I’m hot enough as it is, thank you very much.

So when it’s hot, salad it is!

Melon and Prosciutto Salad | Cake + Whisky

Favourites include this Mexican corn salad and this Instagram-ready Rainbow salad as well as a Summer-on-a-plate Italian classic: Melon and Prosciutto Salad!

Melon and Prosciutto Salad | Cake + Whisky

Not only is the pairing of sweet Cantaloupe melon and salty prosciutto simply irresistible, but it’s also one of the easiest things ever to make.

Perfect for those days when the very idea of standing by a stove makes you sweat!

Melon and Prosciutto Salad | Cake + Whisky

Melon and Prosciutto Salad (serves 4-6 as a starter or 2-3 as a main)

Ingredients: 1 ripe melon, 1 pack of prosciutto (6 slices), handful mini mozzarella balls (or 1 teared-up regular size ball), 2 tbsp of pesto (find my recipe in here), 2 tbsp olive oil, cracked black pepper to taste

1. Cut your melon in half, discard the seeds, then slice each half into 4-6 pieces. Remove the skin on each piece, then place on a big serving plate.

2. Tear up the prosciutto into thin ribbons and place on the serving dish, on top of the melon. Add the mozzarella balls as well.

3. Loosen the pesto with the olive oil, then pour on top of the melon. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper and serve immediately.

What’s your go-to heatwave meal?

Melon and Prosciutto salad

Lobster Masterclass at L’Ecole du Goût, Saint Malo

I rarely buy (or cook) seafood.

Partly because they’re rather pricey little buggers, partly because they are quite a bit of work (and as you all know by now, I’m lazy).

And more importantly, because I’m totally lacking the technique to be sure that my investment (both in terms of time and money) will be worth it.

But this all changed after our first morning in Saint Malo and a (cooking) life-changing lobster masterclass with Luc Morbihan, chef of Michelin-stared restaurant Le Saint Placide.

How to cook lobster | Masterclass at L'Ecole du Gout, Saint Malo | Cake + Whisky

Just arrived and already working!

No time to lose: there was water to be boiled, lobster to be cook…

How to cook lobster | Masterclass at L'Ecole du Gout, Saint Malo | Cake + Whisky

And of course, cake to be baked!

One of my very favourites as it happened: Almond friands (See my gluten-free recipe if you fancy making some!)

How to cook lobster | Masterclass at L'Ecole du Gout, Saint Malo | Cake + Whisky

Studded with beautiful, vibrant raspberries.

While the friands where baking, we moved onto the lobster.

How to cook lobster | Masterclass at L'Ecole du Gout, Saint Malo | Cake + Whisky

Learning tips and tricks to pick the best of crustaceans…

How to cook lobster | Masterclass at L'Ecole du Gout, Saint Malo | Cake + Whisky

In short, a good lobster is a live lobster, with long antennas, strong claws and a head that’s well attached to the body (with no gap inbetween).

How to cook lobster | Masterclass at L'Ecole du Gout, Saint Malo | Cake + Whisky

We prepped the lobster before learning how to cook the tail and claws, as well as make a lobster jus.

How to cook lobster | Masterclass at L'Ecole du Gout, Saint Malo | Cake + Whisky

The tail must be cooked in just-boiling water for no more than 5 minutes, before being cooled down and de-shelled.

How to cook lobster | Masterclass at L'Ecole du Gout, Saint Malo | Cake + Whisky

The sure-fire way to get beautiful, still slightly transluscent lobster tail every time!

How to cook lobster | Masterclass at L'Ecole du Gout, Saint Malo | Cake + Whisky

There were also some gorgeous wild asparagus.

A real treat as the season is so short!

How to cook lobster | Masterclass at L'Ecole du Gout, Saint Malo | Cake + Whisky

Quickly pan-fried with a bit of butter…

How to cook lobster | Masterclass at L'Ecole du Gout, Saint Malo | Cake + WhiskyHow to cook lobster | Masterclass at L'Ecole du Gout, Saint Malo | Cake + Whisky

Dressed by Luc’s expert hands.

How to cook lobster | Masterclass at L'Ecole du Gout, Saint Malo | Cake + Whisky

And topped with the lightest, most divine saffron emulsion known to mankind.

How to cook lobster | Masterclass at L'Ecole du Gout, Saint Malo | Cake + WhiskyHow to cook lobster | Masterclass at L'Ecole du Gout, Saint Malo | Cake + Whisky

A beautiful dish that highlighting Brittany’s best produce.

How to cook lobster | Masterclass at L'Ecole du Gout, Saint Malo | Cake + WhiskyHow to cook lobster | Masterclass at L'Ecole du Gout, Saint Malo | Cake + Whisky

And a stellar example of Luc Morbihan’s cooking style: refined, yet simple, and absolutely divine.

How to cook lobster | Masterclass at L'Ecole du Gout, Saint Malo | Cake + Whisky

So good in fact that I could hardly get myself to stop nibbling at it while we moved on to another recipe.

How to cook lobster | Masterclass at L'Ecole du Gout, Saint Malo | Cake + Whisky

Lobster, bisque and herbs.

How to cook lobster | Masterclass at L'Ecole du Gout, Saint Malo | Cake + Whisky

With lobster tail and claw, dressed with a reduced lobster bisque and a whole garden of micro-herbs (beetroot, nasturtium & brussel sprout flowers).

How to cook lobster | Masterclass at L'Ecole du Gout, Saint Malo | Cake + WhiskyHow to cook lobster | Masterclass at L'Ecole du Gout, Saint Malo | Cake + Whisky

Delicious and pretty as a picture!

Last but not least, a more homely take on the mighty lobster (and possibly my favourite of the 3 dishes).

How to cook lobster | Masterclass at L'Ecole du Gout, Saint Malo | Cake + Whisky

Lobster soup with pasta and red pepper.

So good in fact that I would happily have a bowl of this for dinner every night for the rest of my life.

How to cook lobster | Masterclass at L'Ecole du Gout, Saint Malo | Cake + Whisky

All topped off with golden almond friands!

How to cook lobster | Masterclass at L'Ecole du Gout, Saint Malo | Cake + Whisky

And a browse in the all-things-wine-and-liquor Aladdin’s Cave that is The Cave de l’Abbaye, where the cooking lessons take place…

How to cook lobster | Masterclass at L'Ecole du Gout, Saint Malo | Cake + Whisky

If you’re planning a trip to Saint Malo, make sure you book a session at Ecole du Gout de Saint Malo for a brilliant introduction to the best produce Brittany has to offer!

You can either book online here or by calling +33 (0) 299201720. Information about the classes available here.

…or play it lazy and book a table at Luc Morbihan’s Michelin-stared restaurant, Le Saint Placide.

And whatever you do, make sure you pick up a few bottles of Breton cider at Cave de l’Abbaye!

Cave de l’Abbaye Saint Jean7 Rue des Cordiers, 35400 Saint-Malo, France

Lobster Masterclass at L’Ecole du Goût, Saint Malo

Tomato & Feta Crumble

Isn’t it funny how some people stay in your life for a very small amount of time, yet parts of them will stay with you forever?

Now, I know that’s a rather philosophical way to start a recipe blog post.

But the truth is, every time I make a savoury crumble, I can’t help but think of my ex-boyfriend’s stepmother.

Tomato & Feta Crumble | Cake + WhiskyTomato & Feta Crumble | Cake + Whisky

We didn’t get along that well, but it doesn’t really matter all that much.

What does matter is that she introduced me to the wonderful thing that is a tomato crumble.

Tomato & Feta Crumble | Cake + WhiskyTomato & Feta Crumble | Cake + Whisky

I’ve made countless versions of this dish over the years, but the feta-enhanced recipe below is my favourite to date.

The intense flavor of roasted tomatoes, combined with the slight sourness of the feta and topped with a deliciously cheesy crumb-topping is simply impossible to resist.

Tomato & Feta Crumble | Cake + Whisky

Tomato & Feta Crumble (serves 2)

Ingredients: 300g cherry tomatoes (washed & halved), 100g crumbled feta, 1 tbs oregano (fresh or dry), 40g plain flour, 20g soft butter, small chunck of Parmesan (grated), salt, black pepper

1. Pre-heat the oven at 150°C (gas mark 5). Put the halved tomatoes in an oven-safe dish. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked black pepper and bake for 20-25 min.

2. Combine the flour, soft butter and grated parmesan in a bowl until you get a sand-like texture. Season with a pinch of salt, some cracked black pepper and oregano.

3. Take the dish out of the oven. Add the crumbled feta to the tomatoes, then sprinkle with a generous pinch of oregano. Top with the crumble and bake for another 25-30 min. Serve immediately.

Have you ever had savoury crumble? 

Tomato & Feta Crumble