Posts Tagged ‘Food’

ROAST PUMPKIN SOUP

This rich, warming soup is perfect for an autumn night. Nutty roasted pumpkin and glorious melting cheese come together for the perfect supper to snuggle up with now the weather is cooling off…

Autumn Pumpkin Soup
Ingredients

Serves 6

Soup
1 small pumpkin (1.3 – 1.6kg)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
850ml vegetable stock
425ml whole milk
25g butter
Salt, pepper and ground nutmeg, to season

Croutons
2 thick slices crusty white bread
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper

To serve
100g melting cheese, such as gruyere or mozzarella, grated

Method
Preheat oven to 240 °C. Start by cutting the pumpkin into quarters, scoop out the seeds, then cut each quarter in half. Brush the surface of each section with the oil and season with a liberal sprinkling of salt and pepper. Pop into the oven to roast for 30-35 minutes, or until the flesh is soft when tested with a skewer.

While the pumpkin is roasting, melt the butter in a large saucepan over a high heat, add the onion and stir. After 5 minutes, turn the heat down low and leave the onion to cook gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once the pumpkin is cooked, remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Add the stock and the milk to the onion and turn the heat up to medium. Once the mixture is simmering, scoop out the pumpkin flesh and add to the pan along with the seasoning of salt, pepper and nutmeg. Turn the heat down to low and leave to gently simmer for a further 20 minutes.

This is the perfect time to make the croutons. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut the bread into cubes and toss in a bowl with the oil and salt and pepper seasoning, making sure each crouton gets an even coating. Place onto a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes, until they are light and crispy.

Next, puree the soup using a hand blender or food processor and whizz until smooth. Season to taste, and when you’re ready to serve, slowly reheat the soup over a medium heat – keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn’t boil as this would compromise the taste. Ladle into warm bowls, top with a handful of croutons and a generous scattering of cheese.

Snug up and enjoy!

By Millie Norton

Almond and Berry Loaf

Nothing perks up an afternoon like a good old mug of tea and, of course, a piece of cake. We added some yummy summer berries to this classic almond loaf and topped with an amazing bright pink berry glaze and it’s delicious. But don’t just take our word for it, why not try it for yourself? Just don’t forget to pop the kettle on! Almond Berry Loaf cake

Ingredients
50g raspberries
120g blueberries
180g caster sugar
Juice of half a lemon
200g butter
200g caster sugar
4 eggs
200g ground almonds
40g flour
3 tbsp berry compote
100g icing sugar

Method
– Rinse berries under cold water then add them to a heavy bottomed saucepan and coat in the sugar and squeeze in the lemon juice. Bring to a boil, and then take off the heat and strain to remove the broken berries. Turn down the heat and reduce the compote until it’s nice and thick – about 10 minutes.

- Pour into a sterilised jar, ready to use for the almond loaf and berry icing. Preheat the oven to 160C/gas mark 2 and line and grease a 1lb loaf tin. In a bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add one egg at a time, mixing well after each addition.
– Next, mix in the eggs, followed by the ground almonds. Stop mixing as soon as soon as the almonds are fully incorporated.

- Add the mixture to the loaf tin and smooth the top with a knife, spoon blobs of cooled berry compote all over the top and then use a toothpick to swirl the compote in with the loaf mixture to create a marble effect. Bake the loaf for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

- Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Meanwhile, make the icing by adding the compote to icing sugar and mixing vigorously until smooth. Drizzle the icing over the loaf once cooled.

Recipe and and photography by Emine Hassan

Double Chocolate Dulce De Leche Cookies

Whilst most of us try to eat a relatively healthy diet, every now and then you just need something that is so bad that it’s amazingly good. These Double Chocolate Dulce De Leche Cookies will do just the trick and they’re not too difficult to make…

You will need:
200g plain flour
240g bread flour
40g cocoa powder
1 ¼ baking soda
1 ½ baking powder
1 ½ sea salt
284g unsalted butter
284g light brown sugar
225g granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
250g milk chocolate roughly chopped
250g dark chocolate roughly chopped
200g brazil nuts, skin on and roughly chopped
1 jar dulce de leche (approx. 400g)

Method:
- Measure out the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder into a bowl and plump the mixture up with a fork.

- Place the sugars and butter into a freestanding mixer fitted with a paddle attachment; a regular bowl with electric whisk works just as well. Beat the two together on high speed for five minutes, until very light and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one, mixing thoroughly after each addition, followed by the vanilla extract.

- On low speed, slowly pour in the dry ingredients and mix until everything is just combined – do not over mix! Add all of the chocolate and chopped nuts and mix until evenly distributed.

- Tightly wrap the dough in cling film and leave to set in the fridge for 24 to 36 hours.

- Put a square of baking paper over a plate. Place teaspoon dollops of dulce de leche onto the baking paper using two teaspoons to make a rounded dollop. Place in the freezer to harden, ready for the cookies.

- Preheat the oven to 180 C. Roll the dough into 50 gram balls, press your finger into half of the balls to create a dip and take a dollop of frozen dulce de leche and place in the middle. Top it with another 50 gram ball of dough and press together to enclose the dulce de leche.

- Place on a lined baking sheet 3 inches apart. At this point, you can place the balls back in the fridge to re-chill. Bake for 18 minutes, rotating the cookies half way through.

- Leave to cool on the baking sheets for five minutes and then transfer to a wire rack – serve warm. Cookies last for three days if kept covered. Raw cookie dough can kept in the freezer for up to one month.

Recipe and Photography by Em

Instagram Spotlight

We share another one of our favourite instagrammers, this time in the shape of Jess Powderly from @FoodfromJess. She shares some beautifully styled recipes as well as cute little foodie spots that we can’t wait to try out ourselves. Warning, it will make you hungry!

Foodfromjess instagram Long

Budget Beauty

Want an inexpensive way of achieving a youthful base without the need for makeup trickery? Then look no further than our avocado and honey face mask.

After being told as children not to play with our food, it felt somewhat unnatural plastering our faces with avocado in the name of beauty but it really does work. Avocados aren’t just there for your side order of guacamole – they are packed with vitamin A, which clears off any dead skin cells and cleanses your skin and vitamin E, which improves your skin’s health and gives you that ‘my skin is always like this’ glow. The added honey helps for an extra dose of hydration and to lock down moisture.

Avocado Face Mask Ingredients

You will need
1/2 ripe avocado
Generous dollop of runny honey

Here’s how…

1  Avocado in hand – carefully halve and de-pip.
2 Carve out one half of the avocado into a bowl.

Avocado Face Mask Step 2

3 Mash with a fork.
4 Add a dollop of honey – don’t be shy!
5 Whisk a little more. Try to get a smooth consistency as lumps can be harder to apply onto your face. The honey will stop the mask slipping off.
6 Scoop into a container so you can keep hold of any extra.

Avocado Face Mask step 6

7 Slather generously onto your face and leave to ‘set’ for 10 minutes.
8 Remove with a warm, damp cloth and see the results for yourself!

Words And Photography by Emily Smith

A few of our favourite things…

Joel Penkman is definitely a guy after our own hearts – just take a peek at his sugary sweet artwork! These realistic, simple still lifes depict a few of our favourite treats, from the rocket ice lollies, party rings and even those sherbert-filled flying saucers we so fondly remembered.

joel penkman biscuitsjoel-penkman- parma violets joel-penkman-ice lolliesjoel penkman Sherbet saucers joel-penkman-doughnuts

 We’re now on a sugar high from just looking at them…

Burgers, Burgers, Burgers

Never before has the burger been in the spotlight quite like now. As street food trucks appear to entice tourists and those on their lunch breaks alike, restaurants promising indulgent burgers and sides are popping up across the country.

Once considered within the same vein as kebabs, burgers were the guilty pleasure bought in a drunken haze at 2am but now they ooze elaborate flavours and toppings ranging from caramelised onions to chillies. Like macarons and cupcakes, burgers are having their moment as a fast-food fad which doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon.

Moving away from their processed predecessors, the burgers themselves are made of British beef, often locally sourced alongside other ingredients such as cheese, bacon and even haggis.

Vegetarians need not worry though, many places are also catering to those without a penchant for meat and that’s part of the appeal.

While it may be just another example of street food having its day, burger joints are encouraging anyone and everyone to ditch the knives and forks as they bite into a mountain of flavours. If you’re after something to brighten up your Monday, head over to your nearest diner and indulge!

By Victoria Rodrigues O’Donnell

Image sources 1,2