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 â—Ź Recipe â—Ź Cake + WhiskyFrench apple turnovers â—Ź Recipe â—Ź 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 â—Ź Recipe â—Ź Cake + Whisky

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

French apple turnovers â—Ź Recipe â—Ź Cake + Whisky French apple turnovers â—Ź Recipe â—Ź Cake + Whisky

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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)

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French apple turnovers

Classic Beef Bourguignon

For most of last week, I wondered what had happened to the weather and why it was so bloody cold all of a sudden.

And then I remembered. November.

Beef Bourguignon | Cake + Whisky

So, I suppose it’s only fair that days are getting chillier every week and there really is no point complaining about it.

It’s not even that bad to be honest. Biting & dry. Pretty much the best you could expect, really.

Beef Bourguignon | Cake + Whisky

And then there’s the feeling of going back home to a steaming bowl of beef bourguignon and a glass of smooth red wine (my new fave, Pascual Toso’s Cabernet Sauvignon, in case you were wondering…)

Beef Bourguignon | Cake + Whisky

Rich, intense and incredibly comforting, this classic French stew is much easier to make than you’d expect.

If you’re after a beautiful warming dish, try it; I’m sure it’ll meat all your expectations!

Beef Bourguignon | Cake + Whisky

Beef Bourguignon (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 10g butter
  • 500g beef shin, diced
  • 4 slices bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 40cl red wine (I used Pascual Toso 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon*)
  • 1 tsp corn flour
  • salt & pepper
  • spring onion, finely sliced (to serve)

1. Put the olive oil and butter into a big pot or Dutch oven. Fry the meat on all sides until well browned, season and set aside.

2. In the same pot, fry the bacon until slightly golden, then add the onion and garlic and cook until slightly golden.

3. Put the beef back in the pan. Add the carrots and the stock cube, then pour the wine on top, then sprinkle with the corn flour and mix well.

4. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, for 1.5h.

5. Remove the lid and cook for a while longer to give the sauce a change to thicken a bit.

6. Sprinkle with spring onion and serve immediately (it goes especially well with mashed potatoes or steamed rice and a little bit more of that red wine on the side) or pack & refrigerate/freeze, then reheat on a low heat, adding a bit of water if required.

*the bottle I used was gifted to me by the brand but all love for the age-old stew-and-wine combination my own.

Classic Beef Bourguignon

Market Porter Supperclub

A few months ago, I made the decision to make the difficult step to step away from supermarkets and find alternative solutions when it comes to buying food.

I wanted better ethics, better quality, and most importantly, I wanted to stop giving my money to corporations and instead, support local, independant people dedicating their life to improving the way food is produced and sold in the UK.

Market Porter Supperclub

“When we started Market Porter, we did it because the stuff we were buying in the supermarkets just wasn’t cutting it. We knew that there were people out there who were doing it better. People from across the UK who’ve made it their life’s work to care and get a kick from producing food that is so much better than just edible. People who deserve to get their produce into the hands of the wider British public.”

Needless to say, Market Porter’s moto resonates pretty strongly with me.

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You can take my words for it. Market Porter carefully selected produce is as good as it sounds.

But then again, you don’t have to.

Market Porter SupperclubMarket Porter Supperclub

Instead, you could let pictures of a recent dinner I attended do the talking…

Market Porter Supperclub

For their first-ever supperclub event, Market Porter teamed up with Young British Foodies 2015 Chef of the Year, Adam Rawson, for an unforgettable 7-course tasting menu, showcasing meat, cheese, charcuterie and chocolate from independent producers across the UK.

Market Porter Supperclub

The lovely Table CafĂ© restaurant, a champion in its own right when it comes to commitment to impeccable sourcing and quality British ingredients made for the perfect settings for the great British wonders to come…

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Starting with a few super-local cocktails highlighting the complexity and versatility of Jensen’s Old Tom Gin, a beautiful spirit brewed in small batches using only traditional gin botanicals based on recipes from the 1840s.

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Paired beautifully with Square Root fantastic soda range.

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All mixed expertly in front of an eager crowd, with results definitily going way beyond expectations!

Market Porter Supperclub

The London Collins (Jensen’s Old Tom, bitters, Meyer lemon soda).

The perfect balance between sweet and tart, and one that will steal any fresh, citrusy cocktail lover’s heart.

Market Porter Supperclub

The Britain’s Finest (Jensen’s Old Tom, Cocchi di Torino, Maraschino, orange bitters) was a bit more unexpected and possibly even better.

Market Porter Supperclub

Basically a gin cocktail masquerading as a whisky drink and doing so well at it it’d steal a great scotch’s thunder any day.

Market Porter Supperclub

Meanwhile in the (open) kitchen, Chef Rawson’s team were busy chopping, roasting, baking and making the most of Market Porter’s incredible offering.

Market Porter SupperclubMarket Porter Supperclub

Starting with a beautiful dish of Soft Highland Brie (from Highland Fine Cheeses) with oats, smoked russet apple and nasturtium.

Market Porter Supperclub

Now, as you already know, I’m the worse French person ever and I don’t actually eat cheese, but I took it upon myself to at least try this beauty (tough job eh?).

Market Porter Supperclub

And you know what? I LOVED IT!!

I was so subtle, and very un-brie like. Sweet and comforting, with every ingredient (crunchy, tart apple cubes, piquant nasturtium leaves, super textural oat granola and a caramelized apple puree so good I could eat bowlfuls of it at a time) bringing something to the table to make this simingly simple dish so much more than the sum of its elements.

Market Porter Supperclub

The next dish was the one I most had my eyes on: Pork cheeks (from Lakehaven Farm) with chervil root, shallot and watercress.

Market Porter Supperclub

A cheap, often under-estimated cut of meat that can proove so rewarding when cooked right.

Market Porter Supperclub

Which is just what Chef Rawson’s team did and it was love at first bite for me & absolutely everyone at the table.

The meat was super tender and juicy, yet there was a freshness to it I really didn’t expect from that dish.

Quite a brilliant surprise & a great reminder that underrated cuts are definitely worth a second look.

Market Porter Supperclub

Dorset air-dried beef (from Capreolus Fine Foods) with potato, rosemary and enoki mushroom.

Not quite as much of a crowd-pleaser than the previous dish, but possibly the most interesting one on the menu.

Market Porter Supperclub

Charcuterie is a difficult, demanding ingredient to work with as it’s so strong in flavour and tends to overpower any other produce it’s forced to share the plate with.

Pairing it with dashi & mushroom, which have similar, deeply umami flavours to that of cured beef, accentuated those notes, making the whole thing a challenging, yet fascinated dish.

Market Porter Supperclub

Roast chicken (from Merrifield Farm) with leek, Cornish blue (from Cornish Cheese Co) and tempura eel.

Market Porter Supperclub

Not my favourite dish (the blue cheese was very subtle, but I’m still not the biggest fan of the slightly flour-y texture).

The eel tempura was fantastic though, a bit like super fancy, complex-tasting chips. Simply divine.

Market Porter Supperclub

The last savoury dish, Gammon (from Lakehaven Farm) with egg, pineapple and chips, was highly anticipated, if only because unlike the rest of the menu, everyone sort of knew what to expect.

Market Porter Supperclub

Or at least, we all thought we did.

But of course, it wasn’t quite what anyone expected…

Market Porter Supperclub

Thick, salty gammon, crispy matchstick fries, rich orange egg yolk, chargrilled pineapple & HP brown sauce, it was all there in the plate, yet it couldn’t have tasted more different from the pub classic.

A refined, adult take on a childhood favourite and the ultimate nostalgia dish!

Market Porter Supperclub

The thin borders between sweet and savoury were further explored with the next dish, an ode to Ocelot‘s incredible Hebridean sea salt chocolate.

(seriously guys, if you’re into Lindt’s sea salt chocolate, get your hand of this one IMMEDIATELY, it’s THE BOMB!!)

Market Porter SupperclubMarket Porter Supperclub

Much like the chocolate itself, the cookie & cream-inspired dessert, featuring a vibrant chocolate custard with cookie & cocoa nib crumbs and milk sauce, was deeply salty and savoury.

An absolute triumph if you ask me.

Market Porter Supperclub

Last but not least, alittle play on the iconic Custard Cream biscuit, served with a ganache mixing custard cream filling with Creighton’s white chocolate and balanced with tart preserved orange bits.

The ultimate indulgence to finish of a beautiful meal championing British finest ingredients.

Market Porter Supperclub

Sadly the pop-up was a very, very short affair (only two days with tickets selling like hotcakes), but a little birdie told me that there might be more coming up in the future, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

And in the meantime, I strongly encourage you to treat yourself to a bar of that fantastic sea salt chocolate & a few more things from Market Porter incredible selection of amazing goodies from local, independant producers.

Meat, cheese, charcuterie, chocolate (and even a few Christmas goodies), they have it all and from what I tasted, I can voutch it’s all top notch quality and taste, right to the last morsel.

25/05/2017 edit – Market Porter has had a bit of a makeover and are now Heartier. They’re still the same friendly Market Porter bods, only better & heartier!

Market Porter Supperclub

Apricot + Passion Fruit Scones

I’m a bit late to the #afternoonteaweek (totally a thing!)… but no way I was going to miss out entirely on the opportunity to use the best excuse there is to have scones and cake and call it a meal!

Scones are my favourite part of afternoon tea, and having never baked any myself, I thought it was about time I give them a go.

The word on the street is that a good scone is actually more tricky to bake as you’d think, so I wasn’t really sure how it’d end up. Add to that the fact that I’m truly terrible at following recipes and had decided that adding fresh passionfruit to your dough was the way to go and it looks like a recipe for disaster!

Add yet, my Apricot + Passion Fruit Scones worked a charm, so I thought I’d share the step-by-step recipe below.

Apricot + Passion Fruit Scones | Cake + Whisky

For 8-12 scones, you’ll need:

  • 30g granulated sugar
  • 60g cold butter, cubed
  • 60ml whole milk
  • 240g plain flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 package instant yeast
  • 10-12 dried apricots, chopped
  • seeds from passion fruit

Apricot + Passion Fruit Scones | Cake + Whisky

1. Pre-heat your oven to 180-200°C.

Mix together the sugar, flour and yeast. Add in the cold butter and combine until you get a sand-like texture.

Apricot + Passion Fruit Scones | Cake + WhiskyApricot and passionfruit scones 4

2. Add the eggs and mix until roughly combined.

Apricot + Passion Fruit Scones | Cake + Whisky

3. Add the milk and knead lightly until the dough comes together.

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4. Add the diced apricots and passion fruit seeds and knead for a few seconds until just incorporated.

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5. Using your hands, stretch the dough on a sheet of flour-dusted baking paper.

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6. Using a cookie-cutter (or a glass), cut up rounds of dough until you run out. Place the scones on a baking-paper covered baking tray.

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7. Glaze each scone with a little bit of milk (or beaten egg), then bake for 10-15 min.

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8. Serve immediately the traditional way with clotted cream and your favourite jam.

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But then, salted butter and lemon curd isn’t half bad either!

PIN FOR LATER:

Apricot and passionfruit scones pin

Apricot + Passion Fruit Scones

Mexican corn salad

Nothing says ‘summer’ better than a beautiful, colourful corn salad.

Yellow as the sun, and emblematic of so many cuisines around the world, corn is like a tiny piece of sunshine on a plate.

Mexican corn salad | Cake + Whisky

Having sworn to do everything I can think of to make the (actual) sun come and stay, corn salad has become a staple of mine those past few weeks.

Mexican corn salad | Cake + Whisky

It’s such a simple dish, but the combination of juicy, just charred corn kernels, tart lime and Tabasco dressing and creamy, crumbly feta is trully a magical one.

Mexican corn salad | Cake + Whisky

The version below, inspired by one served in the streets of Mexico, with quick pickled red onion, fiery jalapenos and beautifully sweet grilled prawns, is my favourite… and I’m sure you’ll love it too!

Mexican corn salad | Cake + Whisky

Streetfood Style Mexican Corn Salad with Grilled Prawns (serves 2)

Ingredients: 1 big can of corn (rinced and drained), 250g raw prawns, 1 lime, 1/2 fresh red chilli (finely diced), 1 tbsp garlic (fresh or dried), 1/2 red onion (diced finely), finely diced pickled jalapenos (quantity to taste), crumbled feta, green Tabasco to taste, chopped coriander, olive oil, sea salt, black pepper

1. Heat up a little bit of olive oil in a frying pan until it starts smoking. Throw in the corn kernels, and fry until slightly charred.

2. In the meantime, combine the diced red onion, pickled jalapenos, juice of 1/2 a lime and green Tabasco to taste in a big mixing bowl. Add in the grilled corn and the coriander and rectify the seasoning if needed.

3. In a second mixing bowl, combine the juice of 1/2 a lime, fresh red chilli, garlic, salt and pepper. Marinate for 5-10 min, then cook for a few minutes in a grill pan.

4. Sprinkle some crumbled feta on top of the corn salad, top with the prawns, then drizzle with a little big of olive oil and serve immediately.

Mexican corn salad

Farmdrop + 2 Easy Lunch Ideas

I don’t know if you guys were already around when I wrote this list, but one of the things I wanted to focus on this year was being less dependant on supermarkets.

Since January, I have tried quite a few things, most of which I wasn’t entirely convinced by; it was always too far, too complicated, too inconvenient, too expensive, too something.

And then I tried Farmdrop. And that was just what I had been looking for (and no, this is not a sponsored post, I just really, really love them!)

Farmdrop | Cake + Whisky

Farmdrop is a bit like an online farmers market: it’s a place where you can get delicious food directly from local producers. Except you don’t have to wake up super early in the morning for it.

You click & pick everything, from fresh fruit and veggies, to meat, poultry, fish, pantry supplies and much more online, and Farmdrop takes care of the rest, getting it all to your door a few days later.

Producers get more money for their hard work (70-75% against 25-50% from supermarkets), there’s virtually no food waste (producers only harvest after your order has been placed) and you get much fresher, local produce. And all in all, it’s not much more expensive than the supermarket for infinitely higher quality!

Win, win, win!

I’ve already ordered through Farmdrop a couple of times and each time, I’ve been super impressed with both the service and quality of produce delivered.

Veggies were super fresh and crisp, lemons were very juicy, tomatoes super sweet. Some of the fish I ordered had been pack the same day it was delivered to me! Take that, average 105.6 hours for supermarkets!

Another definite advantage to getting such great ingredients delivered straight to your door is how much time it saves you. You don’t have to go to the supermarkets, walk miles to find everything you want, probably go to a different supermarket before they had run out of something you needed, go back home, unpack it all, start making dinner, only to realise half-way through that you’re all out of something and have to run back out again.

But once you have a fridge full of beautiful ingredients, things become much simpler. When what you’re cooking with is top quality, the simpler the better… so I’ve been cooking loads of simple, healthy, seasonal plates to try and make the best of them!

Vegetarian schnitzel & cheat's tartare with roasted veggies | Cake + Whisky

Vegetarian schnitzel & cheat’s tartare with roasted veggies

Vegetarian schnitzel & cheat's tartare with roasted veggies | Cake + Whisky

Fry’s Family’s Vegetarian schnitzel with roasted tomatoes (bake at 180°C/gas mark 6 for 35 min with olive oil and sea salt), wilted cavolo nerro (pan-fried with olive oil, sea salt, lemon zest until just cooked), cheat’s tartare sauce (chopped capers + red onion + pickles + sour cream), lemon wegdes & Newton & Pott’s amazing Gin pickled cucumber.

Vegetarian schnitzel & cheat's tartare with roasted veggies | Cake + Whisky

Ready in 20 min and one both vegetarians & meat-eaters will love!

Bacon & egg fried rice with wilted spinach | Cake + Whisky

Bacon & egg fried rice with wilted spinach

Bacon & egg fried rice with wilted spinach | Cake + Whisky

In a pan, fry up the bacon until golden and crispy, then remove from pan and set aside. In the same pan, heat up a little bit of sesame oil, throw in your cooked, cold rice and cook for a few minutes (until it starts crisping up). Move the rice to the edges of the pan, then crack in an egg. Cook for a minute or so, then stir in the rice and keep stiring until the egg is fully cooked. Top with chopped bacon + spring onions.

 

If you want to give Farmdrop a go (again, they’re not paying me anything, I just love what they’re doing!), you can get ÂŁ10 off (and more freebies down the line) by using this link.

And if you do, please make sure you tag me (@sndguerin) in Instapics of what’s cooking!

Farmdrop + 2 Easy Lunch Ideas

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