Lets Cook!

Cookery School Recipes

This week saw me do cookery schools, held at a local Middlebrook Retail and Leisure Park

20140803-162246-58966989.jpgI taught Adults and Children,(190 Children and 28 Adults), for the adults it was an introduction into canapes and afternoon tea items that work every-time and also are quick to make

20140803-162325-59005156.jpgWe started with super quick bread recipe which can be easily personalised. The breadstick or “grissini”- aka dipping stick originating from Italy, Turin region served as appetiser in the italian cuisine’s also comes in different thickness making it crispy or soft bread, this particular recipe is a soft breadstick.

Bacon and Maple Syrup Breadsticks served with avocado dip

• 500g strong plain flour, Bread flour or Italian 00 flour
• 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast or ask your local baker for18g fresh yeast
• 4tbsp best quality olive oil (Rapeseed oil or nut oils work well too)
• 1 free range egg, beaten, can also use milk
• 2 rasher of smoked bacon, chopped finely
• 1-2tbsp rock salt
• Maple syrup to drizzle
• 1 x Advocado
• 1tsp of hickory liquid smoke or 1tsp smoked paprika
• 2 tsps of plain yoghurt
• Rind of a lemon and juice
• Fresh coriander or parsley as you prefer very finely chopped
• Salt and pepper
How to …..
• If using fresh yeast prepare first crumble t into 3 tsp of tepid water and allow ferment a little (the longer the bigger the rise , so here we need a little rise 5-8 minutes is fine)
• In a bowl put your flour into a bowl, salt and yeast and bacon finely chopped (include water if using the fresh yeast) and mix together
• Put the oil and 300ml/1/2pint of water into your flour mix and create a dough.
• Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes until it becomes elastic and non sticky (this is ensuring the glutens to expand allowing the air pockets to be created for a light bread)
• Making the breadsticks shape- roll out the dough, (to about the size of a newspaper), then cut into strips about 1cm (½in) thick.
• Place the strips on the baking sheets sprinkled with semolina and cover with oiled cling film or a clean tea towel. Leave the strips in a warm place, they should rise to double their size
• Place on a baking sheet, Brush egg wash ( egg and a little water ) over dough and sprinkle salt .Bake for 12-15 mins in 200 degree oven
• Whilst they are baking make your dip- simple quick and delicious dip take out the stone from your avocado, and put all ingredients into a bowl and mash with the back of a fork. ( you can food process it if you want it really smooth)
• Remove your breadsticks form the oven ( tap the bottom they should sound hollow if cooked) , allow to cool slightly .Serve with your dip

The bread recipe can have sesame, chai, nuts, fruit, cheese etc all added , also you could wrap it with parma ham to it to really create a quick bread side dish for a dinner party or your afternoon tea.
The dip can have chilli, grated garlic, salsa, grated apple and celariac, different spices smoked paprika can be added to make it different and lift and/or compliment it ot any bread personalisation you make

Cinnamon Palmiers with Hazelnut Cream

20140803-162409-59049285.jpga great addition to an afternoon tea and can also be personalised to make a savoury canape, if you want to make it savoury try grated cheese manchego would be great, parma ham, bacon have a go and try something different.

A palmier is French delicate and tasty pastry originating from Languedoc-Roussillion sometimes referred to as “elephant ears” , “palm trees”and even French cookies, Mexican version is topped with honey and called “Orejas” –ears.
• 85g Cinnamon Sugar (from recipe below)
• 3 tablespoons butter, melted
• 1 packet of store bought puff pastry
• 1 free rage egg, beaten
• 100-200ml double cream
• 50g Hazelnuts ( 25g of each) : ground & roasted and some nibbed
• Vanilla Pod or 3 tsp of vanilla paste
• 25g tsp Icing Sugar (leave 3 tsp for the hazelnut cream)

Make the cinnamon sugar put 1 piece of cinnamon bark and 5tsp of cinnamon into 500g caster sugar and mix together thoroughly, allow to infuse over night (cna be used immediately if required). Keep in an airtight jar and use for this recipe and also for coffees, and other baking
How to …….

• Weigh out 85g of your cinnamon sugar into a bowl and stir in your melted butter until it mixes into a smooth paste , put aside.
• With your pastry roll out until about 1/2cm thick, should make a larger rectangle shape. To make sure it doesn’t stick to your work surface sprinkle a little icing sugar on the work surface (also a this will caramalise a little when the palmiers is cooking adding a lovely taste and colour)
• Using a pastry brush ( good tip is to use a paint brush with natural bristles ), make sure you paint an even layer of your sugar/cinnamon/butter mix across the whole of the pastry sheet.
• Mark the central line down you pastry, using the longest edges roll them into the centre point
• Slice the pastry 1/4-inch palmiers
• Place your Palmiers on a flat baking sheet with greaseproof (easier to remove). Bake them for 12-15 minutes, they will puff up and turn a lovely golden brown
• Whilst they are cooking make your hazelnut cream, pour the hazelnuts, double cream, icing sugar and 1 vanilla pod (seeds as well, or use a vanilla paste) whisk on high speed until soft drop peaks ( keep watching it as whisking cream turns very quickly )
• Put your cream into a serving bowl or on your serving platte Once cooked remove palmiers are cooked, remove from the baking sheet and serve warm or at room temperature

Vienesse Whirls with Chantilly Buttercream and Fruit Compote


My alltime favourite biscuit and so easy and quick to do you can make them look super fancy using different icing tips, dipping in chocolate, making rounds, making fingers, making different shapes.

The vienesse whirl is not from Vienna it’s a English creation (made famous by Mr Kipling!) from the style of the famous Vienna cafes and their delicacies, it has a similarity to the Linzer or Empire biscuit sandwiched with jam


o 100 g Unsalted butter
o 85g icing sugar
o 170g Self raising flour
o 1 tbsp Cornflour
o 2tbsp milk
o 250g butter
o 250g icing sugar
o 1 vanilla Pod deseeded or 2 tsp of vanilla paste
o 250g mixed berries or fruit of your choice
o 125g jam sugar and a packet of (pectin)
o vanilla pod or fresh mint

How to…..
• Put the butter and (170g) icing sugar in a mixing bowl and mix together until completely combined
• Sieve in the flours and again mix completely if to gets to thick add a little of the milk to loosen slightly , it is a thick batter like consistency that you need
• Once mixed thoroughly (I use a food mixer for mine and leave running for at least 5-10 minutes), by hand mix until very smooth.
• Put into a icing bag (with star nozzle if you prefer a shaped biscuit) and on a greaseproof paper baking sheet ice circle ( tip is to hold the bag directly downwards and lift as you finish, squeeze all the time)- make sure you make even number as they a pair.
• Bake in the oven for 10-14 minutes until golden brown
• Whilst they bake make your compote/jam and butter cream
• In a pan put all you fruit and sugar and vanilla pod and mush with a fork or masher- cook until thickened about 10-15 minutes, allow to cool
• In a bowl put your butter and icing sugar, vanilla and mix until a smooth paste , put into a piping bag ready to put into your cooled Viennese whirls
• Cool the biscuits, place one biscuit upside down so you can put a layer of your jam/compote on, then ice (or dollop) your Chantilly butter cream on , place another biscuit on top and sprinkle lightly with icing sugar







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