Sunday, 25 September 2016

Indulgent Bramble Fool

(If you can make it with blackberries from your own garden, so much the better!)

Ingredients (serves 4)

400g blackberries
125g granulated sugar
Juice of half a lemon
300ml double cream
Few drops vanilla extract
250g Greek yogurt (one with 0% fat is recommended)


1. Pick out 12 pretty blackberries and set aside. Place the remaining blackberries in a saucepan with the sugar and one tablespoon of water,  Slowly bring to to boil over a low heat, until they are juicy. Push the mixture through a fine sieve or a food mill to remove the seeds. Add the lemon juice and leave to cool completely.

2. Whip the cream with the vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Fold in the yogurt and two-thirds of the puree, until just combined. Spoon the mixture into glasses and drizzle over the remaining blackberry puree. Decorate with the reserved berries and serve straight away.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Upside-down cake

This is a recipe for upside-down cake - NOT PINEAPPLE!! (I am using peaches and raspberries, as that is what I have). It is adapted from a recipe in BBC GOOD FOOD.


  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
    Juice of half a lemon 
    2 tbsp brown sugar

    Fruit of choice!!

    110g/4oz unsalted butter

  • 110g/4oz soft brown sugar
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1 free-range egg yolk
  • pinch ground cardamom
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • (Optional:icing sugar, for dusting)

    Preparation method

    1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
    2. Gently melt the butter in a small oven-proof, non-stick frying pan over a low heat. Add the lemon juice and sugar and stir.
    3. Add the fruit (raspberries, peaches) and cook for 3-4 minutes, to caramelise.
    4. To make the sponge, blend the butter and sugar together in a food processor until pale and fluffy. Add the flour, eggs, egg yolk, cardamom and cinnamon and pulse again to combine.
    5. Pour the sponge mixture on top of the peaches and raspberries in the pan. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.
    6. Remove from the oven and turn out onto a serving plate.  ( Dust generously with icing sugar if using) .

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Lavender scones

Lavender Scones


  • 1/2  cup  milk
  • 1  teaspoon  dried culinary lavender (see Notes)
  • 1 1/2  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1/4  cup  sugar
  • 1 1/4  teaspoons  baking powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/3  cup  (5 1/3 tbsp.) butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 2  tablespoons  fresh lemon zest


1. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring milk and lavender to a simmer. Transfer to a small bowl and let steep 15 minutes, then cover and chill for about 45 minutes. Strain milk and set aside; discard lavender.
2. Preheat oven to 375°. In a food processor, whirl flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add butter and lemon zest and pulse to form a coarse meal. Add lavender-infused milk and pulse to form a shaggy dough. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead 3 to 5 times.
3. Form dough into a 6-in. circle. Cut into 6 wedges. Arrange wedges 2 in. apart on a baking sheet and bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Lentil, Mushroom, Spinach and Spicy Nut Christmas Roulade

This recipe is copied from Mouthwatering Vegan  with the consent of the author, Miriam Sorrell.

4 Tbsp olive oil
6 large mushrooms, chopped into small pieces
1 400g /14 oz (250g /9 oz drained) tin brown lentils, washed and drained
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups cooked spinach (approx 2 lbs fresh), roughly chopped
6 to 8 sundried tomato halves
1 tsp hot curry powder
¼ tsp coriander seeds
salt to taste (don’t omit)
the zest of a small lemon or lime
2 to 3 Tbsp tomato paste
¼ tsp onion powder
1/8 cup water
¾ cup freshly roasted whole hazelnuts, 10 halved walnuts, also roasted – all finely chopped (you can process them in a food processor, but don’t make powder of them, they still need to be in small pieces).
1 cup (8 oz) vegan melting cheese – 
640 g (22½ oz) vegan short crust pastry – ( You can use Jus-Rol)
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary (I can get mine from the garden!!)
vegan milk to brush onto pastry
  1. Fry the mushrooms and garlic in a large frying pan, mixing all the time.  Then, after a few minutes of letting them sweat, add the tomato paste, the curry powder, and the onion powder, and mix. A minute later, add the cooked lentils, and stir.
  2. Add the spinach, and the remaining ingredients, except for the ‘Extras’ – those are for later.  Cover, and allow to simmer gently for 20 minutes – the mixture should be thick, rich and very aromatic.  Remove from heat, and allow to cool for 15 minutes or so.
  3. Next, place your thawed pastry sheets on a clean, floured surface, and roll the pastry sheets together in such a way that you create one sheet approximately 10 by 7 inches.
  4. Now spoon thick spinach and lentil mix onto the pastry sheet – if the mixture’s still too hot, you may have to wait a few more minutes for it to cool down further – it should be no more than lukewarm.
  5. Once your mixture is ready on the pastry, flatten and evenly distribute it using the  back of a large spoon (see picture).  Then add the grated vegan cheese, and top with the roasted nuts – leave a few nuts for dusting the sides of the roulade at the end.
  6. Now start slowly rolling the mixture away from you, until you reach the end.  You might feel you need an extra hand, so if anybody is around at home, do not hesitate to give a shout.  No panic, if any bits fall out of the side, just gently finger them back into place.
  7. Wash your hands at this point, dry them thoroughly, and dust the remaining nuts on the open sides of each end.  Brush the roulade with vegan milk, then make horizontal ‘surface-cuts’ at half inch intervals on the surface of the dough, but don’t put any weight on it whilst you do this.  These will be your markers for each slice once cooked.
  8. Preheat your oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Then line a suitably sized oven-proof dish with grease proof paper from end to end, and then grease it just the same.  Lift the roulade up gently using 2 large metal spatulas (again some help might be useful at this latter stage), although this can still be done single-handed with patience and care – however, ensure your dish is close by.
  9. Then place in the hot oven until it turns golden – around 20 minutes.  When it’s turned golden, it’s ready.  Take out, and assemble any accompanying veggies in another serving dish – but I advise that if you’re having roast potatoes, they should be nice and crunchy. Or you may prefer plain new potatoes – whatever takes your fancy. 
All recipes and content © Miriam Sorrell 2010

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Mushroom and Nut Wellington

Perfect mushroom and nut Wellington

serves 8

preparation time: 
30 minutes

cooking time:
1 hour 40 minutes


1 large red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp The Co-operative olive oil
250g (9oz) chestnut mushrooms, cut into chunky pieces
2 heaped tbsp of fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tsp of fresh rosemary
Juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp of Marsala wine (mixed with)
1 tbsp of vegetable stock
150g (5½oz) mixed Brazil nuts, cashews and walnuts
80g (3oz) blanched almonds
80g (3oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
1 beaten egg
Sea salt and black pepper
425g pack ready-rolled puff pastry

for the caramelised onions

2 chopped red onions
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp unrefined caster sugar


1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200ºC/fan 180ºC. Gently 
caramelise the onions in the butter and sugar for 25 minutes, 
then remove from pan and let cool.

2. In the same pan, sweat the red onion and garlic in the oil for 

15 to 20 minutes. Add the mushrooms and herbs, lemon juice,
 marsala and stock, and cook on a low to medium heat for 
10–15 minutes.

3. Process nuts in food processor. Add the onion and 

mushroom mixture, blend until smooth and transfer
 to a large bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, 
half the beaten egg and season to taste.

4. Roll the pastry into a rectangle and place on a

 greased and floured baking sheet. Spoon the onions 
down the middle, and top with the filling mixture.

5. On either side of the filling, cut the pastry into 
diagonal strips around 2cm (¾in) wide. Fold these 
over the filling in a plait shape and tuck in the ends.

6. Brush with egg and cook for 40 minutes until golden. 

Serve with carrot and parsnips roasted in olive oil 
and some maple syrup,roast potatoes and green vegetables, 
plus vegetarian gravy made from butter, olive oil, flour, onions, 
redcurrant jelly, red wine and vegetable stock.

nutritional values (approx. per serving)

sat fat


Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Focaccia Bread with rosemary and olives

  (adapted from BBC Food Recipes)


  • 1.5kg/3Ib 5oz strong white bread flour
  • 1 x 7g/¼oz sachet dried yeast
  • 50ml/2fl oz olive oil, plus a little extra for oiling
  • pinch salt
  • 570ml/20fl oz/1 pint warm water
For the topping

  • sprigs rosemary (fortunately, I have lots of
     rosemary  in the garden for this!!)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt

    handful of olives

Preparation method

  1. Combine the flour, yeast, olive oil and salt 
  2. Add the water to make a soft dough, and knead
     until smooth and shiny.
  3. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel 
    and leave in a warm place for about an hour until 
    well risen.
  4. Tip the mix out onto a floured surface and knead to knock out any air pockets.You can add some rosemary into the dough if you like - I always
    prefer it like this!! Roll the dough into an oval-like shape about 2cm/¾in thick. Transfer to an 
    oiled baking tray.
  5. Firmly press your fingers into the surface to 
    'pit' the surface. For the topping, drizzle wit
    olive oil and lightly grind sea salt over the top.
  6. Put a small sprig of rosemary and an olive
     into each pit.
  7. Cover with a tea towel and set the loaf aside for another 20 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  9. Transfer the loaf to the middle shelf of the 
    oven and cook for about 15 minutes until golden brown.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Nasturtium, Rocket and Tomato Salad

Nasturtium, Rocket and Tomato Salad

(I created this myself, with ingredients from my garden, so the proportions are a bit vague...!!!)
large bunch of nasturtium leaves
about half a cup of nasturtium flowers
a bunch of vine tomatoes
large bunch of rocket (no problem if some rocket flowers get included!)
(all these ingredients should be organic if possible)
1 or 2 cloves of garlic

Wash all ingredients very carefully, especially the nasturtiums.
 Slice the tomatoes.
Arrange them on a plate in an aesthetically pleasing manner - the nasturtium leaves, then the rocket leaves, then the sliced tomatoes, finally the nasturtium flowers.
Make a vinaigrette with the finely chopped garlic, some balsamic vinegar (raspberry-flavoured balsamic vinegar is especially good for this!) and some extra-virgin olive oil.