Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Blue Cheese Crème Brûlée

This is surprisingly simple to make, but looks amazing when served up.
  • 100g stilton or other blue cheese, crumbled
  • 250ml double cream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 50g walnuts, finely chopped



  1. Gently grease 4 125ml ramekins (what I'd call normal size) with a tiny bit of butter
  2. Put the cheese and cream into a saucepan and heat on a gentle heat: you don't want it to boil
  3. Once the cheese has melted into the cream, take it off the heat and stir it well
  4. Put the yolks into a bowl and break up
  5. Pour the cream mixture into the bowl and yolks and mix well
  6. Split the egg, cheese and cream mix between the ramekins
  7. Cover the ramekins with cling film and refrigerate for at least 3 hours
  8. Place the chopped walnuts in a dry frying pan and put over a medium-low heat
  9. Toss the walnuts around the pan every couple of minutes until they have changed to a darker brown, then remove from the heat and place in a bowl to cool
  10. When ready to eat, pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees
  11. Place the ramekins in a high sided roasting tin and pour in about half an inch of boiling water before placing in the oven
  12. Cook for 15 minutes in the oven
  13. Top with the toasted walnuts and then serve with freshly cooked bread and a green salad

Makes 4 portions.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Butternut Squash and Potato Curry

This is a simple curry which can be left cooking in the slow cooker while you go to work.


  • 1tsp garam masala
  • one large onion
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 2 tsp chilli (2 chillis)
  • 2 tsp chopped ginger
  • 2 tsp vegetable bouillon (or two vegetable stock cubes)
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 5 medium potatoes, peeled
  • 1 squash, cut into chunks
  • chopped tomatoes tin
  • 200ml water


  1. Place all the spices, onion, oil and bouillon powder (everything apart from the water, tomatoes, squash and potatoes) into a blender
  2. Blend into a smooth paste
  3. Fry the paste in a pan for 5 minutes
  4. Place the fried paste into a slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients
  5. Cook on low for 8 hours (or high for 5 hours)
  6. Serve with freshly cooked rice or naan
  7. Optionally you can add a couple of tablespoons (30ml) of double cream and 1 tsp of toasted (in a frying pan, not raw) garam masala, just before serving
  8. Garnish the curry with some freshly crushed coriander leaves and some pan fried paneer cheese cubes once you've served it on a plate

Serves 4 people.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Pork Bao

This filling is a nice mix of sweet and meaty flavours and goes wonderfully with some sweet chilli sauce to dip.


  • One quantity of bao dough
  • 500g cooked pork, finely chopped
  • 3 spring onions, washed and finely sliced
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp Chinese five space
  • 5 tsp hoisin sauce
  • a pinch of salt


  1. Mix all the ingredients (other than the dough) together in a large bowl and let it rest at room temperature.
  2. Make the dough.
  3. Form the boa, taking care not to over fill them and don't let the filling dirty the very edge of the pastry when you pinch it together at the top (if it does get dirty then it won't stick as well).
  4. Place on baking parchment and steam to 10 to 12 minutes.

Fills 28 to 30 bao.

Bao Dumpling Dough

This dough is fun to work with and build the little parcels. The slightly sweet dough goes well with savoury or sweet fillings.


  • 7g quick action yeast
  • 350g plain flour (not strong)
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp dried milk powder
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 200ml warm water


  1. Cut 32 squares of greaseproof paper, about a couple of cm on each side.
  2. Place all the ingredients in a bread maker and put onto the pizza dough setting. If you don't have a bread maker then mix all the dry ingredients be fore slowly adding the liquid, then work the dough until it stops being incredibly sticky and finally leave to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes (a bread maker does make things far easier).
  3. Dust a surface with a bit of plain flour and use some to coat your hands.
  4. Divide the dough into 32 balls and lay out on a surface.
  5. Leave to rise for a couple of minutes (but not too long as then they'll dry out).
  6. Use your fingertips to press each ball into a 3 inch wide circle.
  7. Place the circle on a square of paper and then place about a tablespoon of filling in the middle.
  8. Use your fingertips to draw the edges up to the middle and pinch together.
  9. Transfer to a tray and leave to rise for 30 minutes while you make the others.
  10. When ready to eat, steam for 10 to 12 minutes. You don't have to remove the paper before placing in the steamer.

Make 32 bao.