First of all I’d like to wish you all a very Happy Easter. Yesterday, I made a chocolate fudge cake with chocolate cream cheese icing. It’s destined for Easter tea with my mother and some friends later today. I think it’s going to be a good one. I also have an easy and fun Easter competition for all baking enthusiasts. The prize is the Mary Berry Collection afternoon tea set that you can see in this post, plus a possible added bonus. Read on.
Have you tried lemon and white chocolate before? It’s a lovely combination. The zing and tartness of the lemon offsets the sweetness of the chocolate very nicely. The sponge of these lemon & white chocolate cupcakes is delicious in its own right. If you top it with lemon chantilly cream, however, it’s raised up to the level of sublime.
Every county in the UK will have a regional recipe or two, but Cornwall has a wealth of them. It’s famed for its dairy, saffron, fruit, cauliflowers and potatoes as well as fish. It’s also a poor county so the thrifty folk of Cornwall had to be inventive with their frugal fare to come up with something interesting and delicious. Read on to find 14 Cornish recipes made by our Best of British participants.
Those human whirlwinds, Fiona of London Unattached and Karen of Lavender and Lovage have come up with a new challenge in order to celebrate British Food. As local food is a topic close to my heart, I’m really chuffed to be hosting the very first challenge. The idea is that each month for six months, a county or region around the UK will be selected and bloggers will post their interpretation of a recipe or dish from that region.
As Cornwall is the first (and dare I say best) county in the UK, it is no surprise that Kernow kicks things off. I am somewhat partisan, I confess – Cornwall is my home after all.
So to the challenge. I am looking for you to showcase something that embodies Cornish food. This could be the good old Cornish pasty, or for those that love fish, Stargazey pie. For those with a sweeter tooth, there is of course saffron cake or how about a good Cornish cream tea? Not forgetting, of course, that the jam goes first with a hefty dollop of clotted cream on the top – unlike the heathen practices of other counties. Or you may prefer to use some great Cornish ingredients. Famed for its dairy, seafood, vegetables and soft fruit, Cornwall has a wealth of fresh and delicious produce to choose from. Our new potatoes are second to none, our cauliflowers famous and I had my first punnet of local juicy and flavoursome strawberries this weekend. Clotted cream everyone knows about, but we also have some amazing cheeses, including Cornish Blue, winner of the World Cheese Awards 2010, Yarg, a semi-hard cheese wrapped in stinging nettles, Cornish Camembert, Allet Dairy Goat’s Cheese and the Cornish Crackler, an award winning cheddar.
I’m not sure how local chocolate is to Cornwall, but I shall endeavour to sneak it in anyway!
There are prizes to be had too. This challenge is being sponsored by New World Appliances, which is one of only a few British manufactures of kitchen appliances. Each month an entrant will be picked at random and will win a £50 Amazon voucher. At the end of 6 months all entries will be judged and the best will be awarded a £300 Amazon voucher, so get your aprons on and cook up a Cornish storm in your kitchens.
The full rules are posted on The Face of New World Appliances. But in essence this is what you need to do:
- Post your recipe on your blog with a link back to The Face of New World Appliances AND to this post.
- Add the Best of British badge to your post.
- Add “Best of British” to your post or as a tag.
- E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your recipe title, a link to your post and a photograph by Midnight of 15th June.
- If you post on Twitter, you can use #BestofBritish and if you mention @fionamaclean or @Choclette8 or @newworldapps, we will try and retweet.
- The round-up of entries will be posted on or before the 20th June on The Face of New World Appliances and here on my blog too.
The Fairy Hobmother has been flitting here and flitting there and turning up in all sorts of unexpected places, although it has to be said these are mostly (and maybe exclusively) food blogs. Following on from a comment I left on Nic’s blog Cherrapeno, this fairy, aka Ian of Appliances Online visited me recently. I had wished for a new nut or spice grinder. In the end I got something rather different from what I’d originally intended, but I’m really pleased with it.
It is a hand mill for grinding, grating and slicing nuts, vegetables or chocolate. Guess what the first thing I used it for was? I really like the fact it is simple and easy to use and that I’m not reliant on electricity for everything. It’s particularly good for grating chocolate as I find trying to hold a piece if chocolate whilst grating it leads to lots of melted chocolate all over my hands – not necessarily a bad thing of course, but not the most efficient way of getting either melted chocolate or grated chocolate. My one complaint is catching the gratings; much of the chocolate spilled onto the work surface rather than the saucer I’d placed to collect them. Next time I shall try it with a bowl. You’ll find out what I wanted that grated chocolate for in a later post.
Do leave a comment here stating your wish and you never know, it just might be granted and the Fairy Hobmother could be visiting you. Good Luck.
Beth of Jam & Cream PR has been strutting her stuff again and thanks to her efforts, I was recently sent this rather cute 100g Praline Toasty egg sandwich from Hotel Chocolat. This is not the usual sort of thing I have for breakfast, but is more than acceptable later in the day. Needless to say, this egg sandwich was not your traditional fried egg with a bit of tomato sauce slapped between two slices of bread, no, it was two slabs of chocolate sandwiched between a praline chocolate egg – a fun and novel concept.
The slabs of chocolate turned out to be more than I had bargained for. They were in fact half Hotel Chocolat’s house 40% milk chocolate and half praline chocolate which was particularly delicious. The chocolate was smooth and creamy and the white chocolate streak down the middle of the egg gave another dimension to its flavour. I was expecting the egg to be filled with praline, but actually it was hollow – it was almost a relief as the hazelnutty praline was quite rich and sweet. – just about the right volume for two people to share after a hard day’s labouring.
Hotel Chocolat are currently looking for help in naming their new Easter Baby. If you’d like to help them out and be in with a chance of winning £75 worth of chocolate then go to the following link on facebook and have a go at Name our bouncing Easter baby.
Thank you to all who entered this competition and thank you also to Dorset Cereals for providing this great prize. All the lovely ideas you’ve shared are much appreciated. As you can imagine, it was really hard to come up with a single entry that we liked the best – there were so many good ones. I did think, fleetingly, of trying them all out and in an ideal world (one where I was a lady of leisure) I would have done.