Clotted Cream ~ it's not just for Cream Teas, You Know!


Cornish-cream-teas
I am lucky enough to live in the beautiful county of Cornwall and everywhere we go we see tea rooms, cafes, pubs and hotels offering cream teas and so they should!! If you’ve got it flaunt it! 

Clotted cream is so gorgeous, however, that it is a good idea to use it in other ways too. Such as …


Clotted Cream Truffles


These are very easy!

200g dark chocolate
200g clotted cream
50g cocoa 

~  Melt the chocolate in accordance with the instructions for melting chocolate here.
~  Stir till smooth and then stir in the clotted cream.
~  Cool then chill.
~  Put the cocoa into shallow dish.
~  Divide the chilled goo into equal pieces, roll into balls and drop into the cocoa.
~  Roll the truffles in the cocoa to coat.
~  Like your hands – they will be deliciously mucky.
~  Store the truffles in the fridge till needed.


clotted-cream-truffles-recipe

recently had an inspiration and made some of these with Lindt’s lovely Salted Caramel Chocolate and they are so good, but I think next time, which won’t be long, I might roll them in crushed caramel. 

You can, of course, coat your truffles with anything you fancy; chopped chocolate, toasted coconut, coffee granules, pretty sprinkles, cinnamon sugar or vanilla sugar, chopped nuts, etc.




Clotted Cream Ice Cream


Makes not quite enough!

You will be gobsmacked, in a good way, by the easy-peasiness of this recipe!


250 ml Cornish clotted cream 
250 ml single cream 
200 g condensed milk 

~   Slowly whisk together the two creams till merged and then up the speed and whisk till thick.
~   Fold in the condensed milk.
~   Freeze

Take this ice cream out of the freezer for a few minutes before you need it so that it can "temper" or warm up a bit. Ice creams without the addition of alcohol, syrup or other sugary addition often need to soften a bit before serving. 


clotted-cream-ice-cream

This is based on my very simple, no-churn, egg free way of making ice cream which you can read more about here ~ Luscious Ice Creams without a Machine.

Thunder & Lightning!


Thunder & Lightning is, oddly enough, the Cornish name given to a combination of clotted cream and golden syrup. It is often served on toast or make Thunder & Lightning Ice Cream by simply rippling some golden syrup through the above ice cream before freezing.

thunder-and-lightning-ingredient


Add Clotted Cream to ...


Soup

Top a bowl of soup with clotted cream or purée a spoonful into soup as in this Mushroom, Garlic & Clotted Cream Soup.  



soup-with-clotted-cream

Rich Creamy Scrambled Eggs


See here for how to make delicious creamy scrambled eggs  but add clotted cream at the end of cooking instead of butter or double cream 


clotted-cream-in-mashed-potato
Potatoes

~   See here for how to make perfect mashed potato and replace the butter and milk with a good dollop of clotted cream. Or try …

~   Jacket Potatoes filled with a spoonful of clotted cream instead of the more usual butter or sour cream – works really well!

clotted-cream-in-risotto

Risotto 

It is normal to stir a knob of butter into risotto just before serving but serving but how about a spoonful of clotted cream instead? 


Here's how to make risotto.

Garlic Mushrooms 


Sauté mushrooms in a little garlic or other flavoured butter and then finish them off by stirring in some clotted cream. 


Something for the Gentlemen! 

This is an odd one … clotted cream is pleasant with crushed anchovies or anchovy paste (Gentleman’s Relish) on toast! 

Porridge  

I’ll be honest, I don’t like porridge (it’s the texture) but for some reason I always feel that it should be served with a little Drambuie stirred in, sprinkled with soft light brown sugar and topped with clotted cream. What do you think? If not, how about Thunder and Lightning Porridge?

Pancakes 

A dollop of clotted cream together with whatever other pancake topping you fancy. 



clotted-cream-filled-meringues

Meringues

These are delicious sandwiched with clotted cream and served with summer fruits.

Here a basic easy meringue recipe with lots of variations, all of which would be happy filled with clotted cream!



Rice Pudding 

Just stir in some clotted cream with the jam. 



American-clotted-cream


The Perfect Cream Tea


Indubitably the jam should go on first when making a cream tea but this has been long disputed by our neighbours in Devon. Read how to make a cream tea correctly here together with scientific proof that jam first is the way to go!



jam-first

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Quick, Easy, Wonderful Summer Desserts ~ Fruit Fools & Messes

aka
I recently made us some Strawberry Fool and it occurs to me that this is such a quick, easy and utterly delicious thing to do with fruit I really should write about it, so here goes!

A fruit fool is simply fresh fruit, crushed or simmered with a little sugar as appropriate, folded into whipped cream. Some modern recipes replace up to half of the whipped cream with thick Greek yogurt and this works very well but is not quite the traditional fool of old. Other recipes use half cream and half custard (I’d use the ready-made here, which is unlike me, unless you are very keen!) and I believe originally fools were custard based, however  it’s all up to you, it’s your fool!


How to Make a Fruit Fool


~ Before you start set aside a few of the choicest pieces of fruit to decorate the dish.
~ Depending on the fruit you are using crush, macerate or simmer the fruit with sugar as needed till soft and syrupy.
~ Taste the fruit and add more sugar if necessary. If too sweet add a squeeze of lemon juice.
~ If you’ve cooked the fruit allow to cool completely and utterly before proceeding.
~ Use an approximately equal volume of cream as crushed or puréed fruit.
~ Whip the cream (together with any additions as suggested below) till it looks like this.
~ Fold the fruit and whipped cream (together with any additions) –you can either fold in completely or make pretty folds and swirls.

Here is how I made the fool we ate earlier …


Strawberry Fool

Serves 3-4 

300g strawberries 
1½ tbsp caster sugar
300ml double cream 

~ Hull the strawberries, slice and mix with the sugar. Set aside for 30 minutes up to 24 hours (the longer time should be in the fridge), which will result in soft strawberry pieces in a syrup.
~ Lightly mash together the fruit and its syrup.
~ Whip the cream and fold in the fruit and any juices.
~ Divide between pretty glasses and chill till needed.

A lovely addition to strawberry fool is a spoonful of Rumpot which should be whipped in with the cream! If you have no Rumpot, make some now. It does take a lot of planning ahead, but I promise you won't regret it!

strawberry-fool-recipe

Now is the Perfect Time to Make a Mess! 

Eton Mess, that is, see end of post for how to make this utterly delicious dessert with little further ado.

Fruit Fool Ideas 


As I said, this recipe/method works brilliantly for so many fruits, here are some ideas to get you started.


berries-for-fruit-foolSummer Berry Fool


Exactly as above but use a mixture of berries.


Raspberry Fool 


Same again but with raspberries which may need a little more sugar.


blueberry-fool-recipe

Blueberry Fool  


Blueberries need a little cooking and they also taste particularly well with lemon so put the berries and the sugar in a small pan with a squeeze of lemon and cook gently till they start to burst. At this stage you can either crush them for a chunky fool or purée for a smooth finish. Cool then fold into the whipped cream.

A great addition to this is to swirl in a couple of tablespoons of lemon curd after folding the fruit and cream together.



blackberry-fool


Blackberry & Apple Fool


Cook the blackberries to a mush, sweeten appropriately and cool completely. Fold together with the cream and then swirl through a few spoonsful of apple sauce – recipe here





banan-fool-recipe

Banana Fool


Simply mash ripe bananas with sugar, or honey, to taste and fold into the whipped cream. A dash of rum whipped in with the cream would be a good idea.

Coffee Banana Fool


Ripple through some coffee syrup.

Chocolate Banana Fool



As above but ripple through some chocolate sauce – the dark Chocolate Caramel Sauce here is perfect for this.  Probably a good idea to top with grated chocolate too!

Caramelised Banana Fool

20g butter
30g light brown sugar
3 bananas, sliced
a drip or two of vanilla extract
½ tablespoon dark Rum
300ml double cream

~ Melt together the butter and sugar in a frying pan.
~ Slice the banana, add to the pan and cook gently till soft, turning the slices now and then till soft.
~ Turn up the heat and cook, stirring, so that the bananas break down and start to caramelise.
~ Stir in the vanilla and, away from the heat, add the rum.
~ Cool completely.
~ Whip the cream and fold in the caramelised banana goo.


Rhubarb Fool

rhubarb-fool
Prepare the rhubarb and cut into thin slices. Put into a pan with a spoonful each of sugar and water and cook till utterly tender. In this case drain off any excess juices, if watery. Taste and sweeten, rhubarb can be quite sharp. Fold together with the cream.

Ginger goes well with rhubarb so maybe fold in a little syrup from the stem ginger jar and/or some finely chopped stem ginger.



peach-fool

Peach Fool


Peel and dice peaches and cook in a pan over medium (add a spoonful of water to get them started), stirring often, till broken down into a chunky sauce. Taste and add sugar as you wish. Cool completely before folding together with the cream.


Peach Melba Fool


Make peach fool and then ripple through some raspberry coulis – recipe here towards end of the post. 


Gooseberry Fool


gooseberry-fool
This is a very traditional and old-fashioned fool, but the basics are the same. Top and tail the gooseberries, simmer for about 10 minutes together with a couple of spoonsful of water and a fairly generous amount of sugar as they can be very sharp. When the fruit has burst simmer a little longer to cook off excess juices. Purée the fruit and juices and then strain to remove pips. Taste and add more sugar if necessary. Cool then chill. Fold into the whipped cream.


elderflower-gooseberry-fool

Gooseberry & Elderflower Fool


Quite simply stir a little elderflower cordial into the fruit purée before folding into the cream. Clean elderflowers would be a great garnish for this.


mango-fool-recipe

Mango Fool


Purée ripe mango together with either a little fresh lime juice or, my preference, a splash of rum. Fold into the whipped cream.




Serve your fools in a large glass bowl or pretty individual glasses or maybe crisp tart cases. Garnish with fresh and appropriate fruits or chopped nuts, grated chocolate, crushed caramel or even crushed biscuits. 


So that’s the idea – let me know what foolish things you make! 

Oh, and here’s a slightly different fool …


Boodle’s Orange Fool

Serves 6

This recipe originates from Boodle’s Club in Pall Mall, London which was founded in 1762 and named after its head waiter, Edward Boodle, which is quite an accolade. This is their recipe ...


6 trifle sponges or ladyfingers 
zest and juice of 2 oranges 
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp Grand Marnier – optional in inauthentic but nice 
30g caster sugar 
300ml double cream 

~ Cut the sponges into 1cm cubes and arrange prettily in 6 glasses or one glass bowl.

~ Stir together the citrus zests and juices and Grand Marnier if using, keep stirring till the sugar has dissolved.
~ Whip the cream to just thickening and then slowly drizzle in the fruit juice mixture, whisking as you go.
~ Pour over the sponge pieces and chill for at least 2 hours but more is good as it allows the juices to soak into the sponges.
~ Garnish with a slice of orange, or a twist of orange zest or even some crystallised orange zest



Eton Mess


Eton Mess is named after a strawberry dessert traditionally served at Eton on 4th June at the annual cricket match held between Eton College and Harrow School.
Basically you fold broked or coarsely crushed meringut into Strawberry Fool  Bought in meringues are fine for this but homemade meringues are even finer – here is my Simple Fail-Proof Meringue Recipe.

As I say this is traditionally strawberry based but there is no reason to make any kind of mess you like from a fruit fool of your choice.

eton-mess-recipe

To be perfectly frank with you this is the photo I have used on the cover of my book Luscious Ice Creams without a Machine and actually depicts Eton Mess Ice Cream, but you get the gist!!!
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Classic Coleslaw Recipe and How to Make it Your Own!

Isn’t coleslaw lovely – almost a miracle!

coleslaw-ingredients

Even at its most basic, just shredded cabbage, onion and mayonnaise coleslaw is delicious. It is also quick, cheap, easy, healthy and if you use light mayonnaise (and personally, so far as Hellman’s is concerned, I can taste very little or perhaps no difference) not too fattening either.  So, finding myself in possession of a surplus of cabbage I recently made myself some …

how-to-make-coleslaw


Very Basic Coleslaw 


300g finely shredded cabbage – red or white or both
1 medium sized onion – red or white or both
1 carrot – coarsely grated
3 tbsp mayonnaise
salt and black pepper to taste

~   Finely shred or chop the cabbage.
~   Similarly cut the onion and add to the cabbage together with the carrot.
~   Add the mayonnaise and stir and toss all together till everything is coated with mayo.
~   Taste and season. 

Here is a romantic portrait of my finished coleslaw!

simple-coleslaw-recipe

I really enjoy this simple salad but there are so many delicious ways vary it, for instance use a flavoured mayonnaise – see here for 38 Delicious Mayonnaise Variations all of which work well in coleslaw. 

Or try half mayonnaise and half sour cream in the above recipe plus a teaspoon of white wine vinegar and a teaspoon of caster sugar to dress the slaw.

It is also possible, of course, to make coleslaw with no mayonnaise whatsoever.

No-Mayo Coleslaw


If you don’t like mayonnaise, can’t eat eggs, are vegan or just fancy a change here are some ideas.

~   Try dressing your coleslaw with a vinaigrette, lots of vinaigrette and dressing ideas here.

~   Sour cream dressing – mix together 240g sour cream, 1 tbsp cider vinegar plus salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper to taste. I would also advise using a lot of onion in the coleslaw when using this dressing or adding finely chopped red onion to the sour cream.

Spicy Peanut Coleslaw Dressing


peanut-coleslaw
60ml runny honey
60ml vegetable oil
60ml rice vinegar
1 rounded tablespoon peanut butter – smooth or crunchy
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tsp of sweet chilli sauce
salt to taste, depending on the peanut butter you use

~  Whisk all together except the salt.
~  Taste and seaon.
~  Dress your slaw.

Or try ...




carolina-red-slaw
Now then, whichever dressing you use, make this slaw your own …

Great Coleslaw Additions


Try adding one, two or even more of the following …

~   Lemon or lime juice which brightens the taste
~   A couple of teaspoons of delicious vinegar such as cider vinegar
~   A teaspoon of sugar
~   A little whole grain mustard
~   A little horseradish sauce
~   Spring onions (scallions) cut finely on the diagonal make a tasty and pretty addition
~   Coarsely grated apple – leave the skin on if you like, especially if it is pretty, and toss with a little lemon juice to stop it browning
~   Coarsely grated mature cheddar goes well in an apple coleslaw
~   Finely shredded raw beetroot which makes lovely pink coleslaw – see here for beetroot coleslaw
~   Fresh fennel bulb, shredded – garnish with some of the pretty fronds. This is an excellent accompaniment to fish dishes
~   Fresh herbs
~   Shredded chorizo
~   Adding shredded ham with thinly sliced red and/or yellow pepper and shredded Asiago cheese added to your mayonnaise based coleslaw makes the Italian dish - Insalata Capricciosa
~   Hot sauce, sweet chilli sauce or chipotle paste
~   Nuts or seeds, roasted, salted or otherwise
~   A little dried fruit – cranberries, for instance, at Christmas
~   Olives - best stoned and chopped.



cabbage-coleslaw




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THE Best Way to Cook Onions ~ Honestly! ~ plus delicious ways to use them.

This is the way I most often cook onions; it concentrates the flavour and makes them sweet, very tender and a superb base for so many dishes.

I believe my proficiency in this department has helped a lot in my professional life and also, perhaps, in my personal life, if you believe the old adage about the way to man’s heart being through his stomach.


how-to-cook-onions

Sweet & Tender Onions


med/large onions – about 250g ea
15 g butter OR 1 tablespoon of olive oil (healthier and still delicious) per onion
pinch of salt

~    Peel the onions, halve them lengthwise and thinly slice into half moons.
~    Heat the butter or oil in a small pan with a lid and toss and separate the sliced onions in the fat to coat.
~    Sprinkle with a little salt.
~    Press something appropriate (a piece of foil, a piece of baking parchment, greaseproof paper or a butter wrapper) directly onto the onions to cover completely.  Try not to burn yourself on the side of the pan.
~    Turn the heat down to low and put the lid on the pot.   The onions should not so much fry in the butter as gently steam in it.
~    Cook slowly until the onions are soft enough to cut with the edge of a wooden spoon.  You can stir once or twice during this time - they will take about 30 minutes.

They are now melty and delicious and quite sweet too because of the natural sugars in the onions.  


Caramelised Onions


To caramelise the onions, when they are are completely soft take off the lid, turn up the heat and cook on high for a few minutes stirring constantly until the onions begin to caramelise and just start sticking on the bottom of the pan.


how-to-caramlise-onions



These onions, caramelised or not, can now be used without further ado to enhance many simple dishes – add to sandwiches, burgers, steaks, see towards end of post for loads of ideas.

They can also be used as the basis of so many dishes.  Here’s a few recipes to get you started and then links to lots more ideas and recipes.

French Onion Dip


In the States there has long been a recipe for French Onion Dip which was, basically, a packet of soup mix stirred into sour cream.  Not this one! 

Again, whichever onions you prefer will work for this but red are prettiest.
2 x 225g/8oz onions
30g/1oz butter
225g/8oz sour cream
200g/7oz mayonnaise
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
freshly ground black pepper to taste

~   Melt the onions as per usual.
~   When completely tender turn up the heat and stir until caramelised.
~   Allow to cool.
~   Beat together the sour cream and mayonnaise then stir in the onions.
~   Season to taste with the Worcestershire sauce and pepper.

homemde-french-onion-dip


Handy hint for the benefit of my American readers; in the UK we say “Worcester Sauce”, which we pronounce “wooster sauce” – give it a go, it’s so much easier!

Brie baked with Caramelized Onions


2 x 225g/8oz onions
30g butter
1 x 250g Brie in its box
60ml dry white wine
crunchy sea salt
an optional sprig or two of thyme

~   Melt the onions in the butter.
~   When completely soft add the wine and then simmer it away to nothing!
~   Preheat the oven to soubise 350°F/180ºC/160ºC fan/gas 4.
~   Unwrap the cheese and remove and discard the top rind.
~   Return the cheese to its box and stand it on a baking tray.
~   Top with the melted onions, sprinkle with sea salt and top the thyme sprigs.
~   Bake for 10-15 minutes till melted and turning golden round the edges.
~   Serve immediately with crusty bread or crackers for dipping purposes.


baked-brie-caramelised-onions

Melted Onion Risotto 

Serves 4

4 medium sized onions of either colour
3 tablespoons olive oil
950ml/33½ fl oz chicken or vegetable stock
50g/2oz butter
200g/7oz – 300g/10½oz Arborio rice
120ml/4¼ fl oz dry white wine
50g/2oz freshly grated Parmesan or similar
freshly ground black pepper

~   Melt the onions in the olive oil in accordance with the genius recipe, continuing to the final step so that they are fully caramelised. Set the onions to one side.
~   Bring the stock almost to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer gently.
~   Add half the butter to the oniony pan and melt over medium heat.
~   Stir in the rice and turn in the buttery onions to coat. 
~   Cook stirring gently for about a minute till the rice looks glossy and a little translucent round the edges.
~   Add the wine and cook for about a minute, stirring, till the rice has absorbed it.
~   Add enough of the simmering stock to the rice to just cover and simmer, stirring frequently, till almost all the broth has been absorbed.
~   Continue adding stock and simmering till absorbed until the rice is just tender – i.e. it has just a little bite to it when you try it.  It may not need all the stock.
~   When just right add the rest of the butter, half the onions, half the cheese then taste and season.
~   Serve immediately topped with the rest of the onions and the rest of the cheese.

Blue cheese is a good alternative to Parmesan type cheese in this risotto and here’s a handy hint.  Keep a piece of blue cheese in the freezer and grate from frozen, it is easier that way.


caramelised-onion-risotto


Miroton de Boeuf 

Serves 4

Whilst in the UK we tend to make Cottage Pie with our leftover roast beef the French have a different way of dealing with their leftover rosbif (or with leftover pot au feu). This is a simple version because there are many different ones out there involving such things as, mushrooms, tomatoes and cornichons.

600g/21oz or so leftover roast beef – sliced
2 med/large onions melted as above
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
600ml/21fl oz rich beef stock (if using leftover pot au feu use the stock from that)
a handful of fresh breadcrumbs

~   When the onions are really tender and just starting to turn golden stir in the flour and cook gently for a couple of minutes.
~   Add the hot stock and bring to a boil, stirring till smooth and thickened
~   Turn down the heat and simmer for at least 10 minutes to amalgamate the flavours, adding a little more stock as necessary.
~   Stir in the vinegar then taste and season.
~   Arrange the beef slices in an ovenproof dish.
~   Pour over the gravy, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake till hot and bubbling – 15 minutes or so.

For a more substantial version arrange the sliced beef over a bed of sliced


homemade-caramelised-onion-scone-recipe


Caramelised Onion Scones


1 medium onion
15g knob of butter
a little salt
1 x key recipe – no sugar

~   Cook the onion as above and caramelise it.
~   Allow to cool.
~   See here for my Basic Scone Recipe  and make the scones as usual adding the cooked onion before the milk and then adding the milk abstemiously.




Mushrooms Soubise 


Soubise has, traditionally but confusingly meant either a dish of rice and tender onions OR, more commonly, tender onions in a béchamel sauce. My sister and I, however, have always this term as a short form for this our much preferred method of cooking onions. We even named this dish after it.   
    
1 medium onion
1 ounce butter and maybe a little more
½ teaspoon minced garlic
450g button mushrooms
100ml dry white wine
1 veg bouillon cube (optional – in fact it’s all optional really, get creative!)
175ml double cream

~   Melt the onions in the butter till really tender but not taking any colour.
~   Quarter the mushrooms.
~   Tip the melted onions and all their buttery juices into a hot frying pan.
~   Add the quartered mushrooms and the garlic and sauté all together, adding a little more butter if necessary, till both the mushrooms and the onions are turning a little golden.
~   Add the wine, which will boil instantly, quickly crumble in the bouillon cube if using, and cook till almost all the wine is gone, which won’t be long!
~   Add the cream and bring to a boil.
~   Turn down the head and simmer for a minute or so till thick.
~   Taste and season.

island-art-cafe



My sister Maggie (now of the lovely Art Café and Cake Hole on Mersea Island) and I used to call this method “soubising”, I think "soubise" is a real word, possibly French and it’s even possible that it may have something to do with onions.  I’m not sure that it is used as a verb but to us it is a doing word related to onions.







And here are more dishes you can make or enhance with sweet, tender and possibly caramelised onions ...

Onion, White Wine & Parmesan Tagliatelle


Add these delicious onions to ...

Pan Sauces * Etc!

These onions are also the basis of my Super Flexible Soup Recipe.


jonathan-swift-onion-quote



I imagine Jonathan Swift hadn't tried my sweet melting onions but he is right in pricipal; onions should be fully cooked!
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