Tag Archives: cheese

Plate Lickers take on Umbria and Tuscany…

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m not particularly good at getting away on holiday, however, I can confirm that I managed to escape and truly relax for 5 whole days on a recent trip to Citta della Pieve in Italy with my Plate Lickers Supper Club co-host Ivana (Miss Igs). As you may expect when two food obsessives are let loose in such a gastronomically plentiful country, we did a LOT of eating! And here’s a (not so) little summary of our adventures in Tuscany and Umbria.

We flew into Pisa and drove via a gorgeous little hill top town called Volterra, straight into a huuuge thunder storm. The weather went completely mental on us but Ivana did a sterling effort at keeping our little car on the road and as we arrived in the town of Citta della Pieve, the sun came out to greet us…

Sunshine after the rain

We had arranged our accomodation through AirBnB and were staying in a beautiful little cottage on an agriturismo called Cimbolello, a short drive out of town…

Our gorgeous abode

We couldn’t believe our eyes…we thought we’d arrived in heaven…

View from our front door

My meditation station

After we’d unpacked and settled in we headed into Citta della Pieve to find our first meal. Francesco and Luisa had drawn us a map and highly recommended that we head for Trattoria Pizzeria Serenella. We located it easily and as we entered the full restaurant, all eyes were on us! It wasn’t a tourist haunt (definitely a good thing) but our obvious foreignness and lack of command of the Italian language made us stick out like a sore thumb! (which is why I didn’t take any photos) 🙂 We persevered and were found a seat and read the menu at lightning speed. Ivana had heard about Pici, a local hand rolled pasta that looks like fat spaghetti but is 100% better, which we had with a simple but amazingly meaty ragu and a lasagna bianco…the stuff cheese dreams are made of! Serenella is a no frills establishment with paper table cloths and abrupt but swift service, the food was delicious and 2 main courses + 2 beers came to 15 Euro!

Back at the ranch the next morning, we woke up to bright sunshine. Our hosts had gifted us with a basket of freshly laid eggs & after a successful trip to the supermarket for a few more supplies, our breakfast was well and truly sorted…

Breakfast #1 before

Fresh tomatoes, of the variety that taste sooooo much better than we will EVER get hold of in our own country :), smoked speck, pecorino, creamy butter and our home-layed eggs, whipped up into a delicious omelette…

Breakfast #1 after '

with a strong espresso of course!

Breakfast #1 after

With our bellies full, we decided to head to Montepulciano, across this beautiful countryside…

Montepulciano

We meandered the streets…

Montepulciano

and stumbled on the Talosa wine cellar…

Montepulciano

We were directed to a stairwell, which felt like it went down forever but eventually ended up in the most amazing cellar full of the biggest oak barrels I have ever seen (see Ivana for scale)…

Talosa wine cellar

After sampling some of their wines we found our favourite and bought a few bottles of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The very helpful guy in the shop directed us to his favourite restaurant for lunch and although we were still quite full from breakfast, I’m sooo glad we followed his advice. We found ourselves on the terrace at Osteria del Borgo with this awesome view…

The view from Osteria del Borgo

Eating a selection of Cinta Senese (an ancient Tuscan breed of pig) cold cuts…

Selection of regional cold cuts at Osteria del Borgo

The most amazingly fresh Pappa al pomodoro (stale bread and ripe tomatoes, flavored with garlic, onions, and basil)…

Stale bread with tomatoes & garlic served warm at Osteria del Borgo

and the all round winner…cheese with honey and walnuts that had been grilled in an earthenware dish giving it amazingly crispy, golden edges…

Baked sheeps cheese with honey and walnuts at Osteria del Borgo

After lunch we strolled around and picked up a few more goodies including our first taste of panforte packed full of juicy fruits and nuts, homemade seeded flatbread, aged pecorino, our wine from Talosa and…2 gorgeous black truffles, bought from a little man on the street market in Citta della Pieve! We were both so chuffed with our truffle purchase and haven’t stopped planning what we’re going to do with them! So far I’ve shaved it on top of my scrambled eggs and made truffle honey…I also have plans for a classic truffle topped risotto…

Goodies picked up in Montepulciano

That evening, we continued our eat-fest and headed for dinner at Saltapiccio in Citta della Pieve, which had a beautiful roof terrace…

Saltapicchio in Citta della Pieve

The menu was pretty impressive, making it very tricky to make a decision on what to have…

Menu at Saltapiccio

The waitress was very helpful even though I did go against her recommendation of tartare.

We were brought a selection of simple crostini…

Crostini at Saltapicchio

For mains, we’d decided on ‘Lo Stinco d’agnello al forno con polenta e raddichio brasato al vino e miele’ lamb shank with polenta and radicchio cooked in wine and honey…

Lamb shank, polenta and radicchio at Saltapicchio

and ‘La bresaola di chianina con ricotta affumicate’ bresaola (air-dried, salted Chianina beef) with smoked ricotta…

Bresaola and smoked ricotta at Saltapicchio

We headed home to drink some of our Talosa wine and plan the next day’s trip to Florence, a destination that we were both very excited about.

Now, you may think that eating a big breakfast before heading on a food tour of Florence is a bit of a silly idea but hey, we were here to eat, so eat we did. Breakfast #2 was a quesadilla…2 olive oil tortillas filled with fresh tomato, pecorino and speck with a special sprinkling of truffle salt, fried in butter (natch)…

Breakfast #2

Breakfast #2 quesedilla

Ivana had found us a food tour online (link here) that we used as a base to explore Florence and after a 2 hour drive on the alarmingly fast Autostrada we arrived at Sant’Ambrogio market, where believe it or not, I had my first taste of fresh figs…

Figs at Sant'Ambrogio market

Before we started our exploration of the indoor market and our Florence adventure we fulfilled an item on my ‘must do’ tick list and drank a strong, black espresso, whilst standing up at a counter in the middle of the market with the locals and traders…

Espresso at Sant'Ambrogio market

The indoor market was packed full with a plethora of stalls selling meat, fish and pasta amongst other delicacies…

Sant'Ambrogio market

Sant'Ambrogio market

Next we moved on to a little street side cafe for a bit of refreshment and couldn’t resist a cannoli and pistachio eclair…

Morning snacks

There was so much to look at everwhere we turned. I loved this ice lolly shop, although I didn’t get to sample any of the goods…

Ice lolly shop

We momentarily battled with the hoards of tourists to get our holiday shot at The Ponte Vecchio…

Our tiny bit of being tourists

before hastily retreating into the back alleys and our next gourmet pit stop at Venchi for a gelato. We tried the caramelised fig and mascarpone and an Aztec chocolate…they were both delicious and a great combo!…

Gelato at Venchi

Next stop was Cantinetta dei Verrazzano, an amazing little place…

Cantinetta dei Verazzano

Just check out their coffee machine!…

Cantinetta dei Verazzano

We were already getting full but we couldn’t walk past this slice of foccacia topped with mozzarella cheese, courgette flowers and a liberal sprinkling of salt…

Zucchini flower foccacia in Cantinetta dei Verazzano

We’d been saving space for a very special delicacy of Florence…Lampredotto, the fourth stomach of a cow served in a roll! When Ivana first told me about it I point blank refused to try it but by the time we located the Lampredotto street food van on the Corner Via Dante Alighieri & Via dei Cerchi and having had a few days to psych myself up, I was well and truly ready for it!

Lampredotto stall, Florence

I loved the van and the father and son team who ran it…they had a lot of banter with their customers, mostly local workers on their lunch breaks…

Lampredotto stall, Florence

Look away now if you’re squeamish! When we were in the food market we located Lampredotto in its uncooked state, I’m not sure I should have looked at it but I’m stubborn so there was no backing out now…

Lampredotto before

And here is what a panino lampredotto looks like once cooked…

Lampredotto after

The stomach is boiled in a vegetable broth. When you place your order, they take a piece of lampredotto from the broth and chop it up. Then dip a crusty roll in the broth before filling it with the lampredotto and topping it with salsa verde and chilli sauce. We perched ourselves on stools at the edge of the van and got stuck in! I have to say, I nearly backed out when I caught a whiff of it but I was actually very pleasantly surprised by the taste, which I would liken to hot pate. I was ok as long as long as I didn’t look at it 🙂 I’m not sure I would be in a rush to recreate it at home (Plate Lickers Supper Club guests can breathe a sigh of relief) but I was glad we got to try such a local delicacy.

At this point we were full to bursting point but on the way back to the car we stumbled on this little gem…

Dolci & Dolcezze

and had to buy a creme brulee for later 🙂

Creme Brulee from Dolce & Dolcezze

We got pretty good at locating public outdoor swimming pools during our trip and with our swimming gear always at the ready in the boot we managed to fit in a quick refreshing dip before hitting the Autostrada again!

Once home and still somehow thinking of our stomachs, we bought some fig mustard from Francesco and Luisa’s homemade stash…

Homemade fig mustard from our agriturismo

Snacks

and rustled up a simple but delicious dinner of pici with gorgonzola and a tomato salad…

Homemade pici dinner

followed by the guiltiest of pleasures…classy! 😉

Guilty pleasure dessert

We decided that the next day would be used for some much needed rest and relaxation without any huge car journeys. And in the evening we were very lucky to benefit from the pearls of Luisa’s wisdom and to work alongside her making fettuccine. It was the first time I’d ever made pasta…I’d imagined it to be a lot harder, but then we had a great teacher!

Ivana & Luisa making fettuccine

I made pasta!

I made pasta

Here’s a little video we made of our fettuccine making https://vine.co/v/hmzbhebeIJX and here’s the finished product…

Our fettucine

Then, what was my perfect lastnight of holiday ensued…Luisa cooked up the pasta we’d made and served it with her homemade basil pesto and ricotta, which was divine!…

Our fettucine with homemade basil and ricotta pesto

Francesco filled our glasses with his homemade red wine and later his homemade cognac and walnut liqueur and we tucked into huge wedges of their homemade pecorino, pizza, sourdough & chutney…

Tasting the pecorino

We all chatted into the evening in a mismatch of languages and with the help of plenty of hand gestures until the fireflies came out and it was time for sleep. Before we all went our separate ways we made arrangements to help milk the sheep at 8am the next morning, as you do!

So at 8am on the dot we all headed over to meet the sheep. Now, I have to make an admission…I didn’t attempt the milking myself as I’m not a great animal lover and there were a few too many inquisitive sheep sharing the pen…

Sheep

I was in charge of general encouragement and picture taking. But here’s proof that Ivana got stuck in…

Ivana milking the sheep

Even though it was so hot, their small flock produced about 8 litres between them…

Sheeps milk before

Luisa showed us how she makes pecorino by heating the milk and adding a vegetarian rennet type liquid made from artichokes, which separates the curds (solids) from the whey (liquids). The curds are scooped into moulds that have perforations up the sides so that the liquid escapes and the cheese compresses over time…

Sheeps milk after as pecorino

Here you can see the cheeses varying in age, the older ones are the darker ones at the bottom…

Francesco & Luisa's pecorino stash

which is what we had sampled the night before…

Tasting the pecorino

I love the fact that in Francesco and Luisa’s house nothing goes to waste. The whey that was left over after making the pecorino was boiled up and became ricotta…

sheeps milk after as ricotta

Oh to be so self sufficient!

The time had come for us to leave our Umbrian paradise but not before picking some figs for our journey…

Figs fresh from the tree

and saying goodbye to our wonderful hosts…

Goodbye Franceso & Luisa

On the way back to Pisa we stopped in at San Grimignano in the hope of sourcing some wild boar salami with pistachio’s that my father had requested. We searched high and low but to no avail, there was plenty of wild boar salami (salame di cinghiale) available but apparently pistachios are not a regional addition, so I had to back down on my mission :(. The little town was very pretty but chockablock full of tourists and overpriced cafes.

San Grimignano

We managed to find a little cafe slightly off the beaten track for a quick espresso and slice of marzipan topped panforte…

Marzipan topped panforte

before continuing our journey. We were both sad to be leaving and found Livorno to be a bit disappointing. It didn’t help that we arrived in the afternoon when all shops and restaurants were closed until the evening, which included ALL of the places on our to do list 😦 However, we enjoyed the last rays of sun by the coast before heading home.

What an epic blog post! Congratulations to those of you who made it to the end. I hope my enthusiasm and new found love for Italy came though in my words and pictures. I highly recommend a trip to Umbria…we only touched the tip of the iceberg in 5 days! I have a feeling I’ll make an excuse to go back as soon as possible!

A presto Italia!

x

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Tea tasting with Kandula and a recipe for leek and smoked Camembert filo tarts…

After a strenuously indulgent weekend as part of my annual family ‘Easter Eat Fest’, I thought it was the perfect time to finish off a well overdue blog post about an event I did as part of the EAT Cambridge festival at the beginning of March. I was invited by Liz from local boutique B&B, Duke House and local tea company, Kandula to come up with an afternoon tea menu to complement 5 teas from their range for a tasting event for a lucky few guests at Duke House. It was a great chance for me to experiment with new dishes and cakes and to (hopefully) come up with the perfect match for the teas that had been chosen. I spoke at length with the Gail and Jane from Kandula, and they advised me of the flavours that would bring the best out in their teas. The final menu looked like this…

Kandula Tea and Afternoon Tease Menu

With the Ebony Ceylon I matched homemade wholemeal and white soda bread scones topped with delicate cream cheese and cucumber and smoked salmon, creme fraiche and dill. It’s a delicate tea that needed a delicate but savoury food to set it off perfectly…

Homemade soda bread scones

The guests really got into the event and spent time (in between mouthfuls) discussing how successful they felt each food and tea combination was…

Tea tasting guests

Next up we matched the English Breakfast with a new invention of mine…leek and smoked Camembert filo tarts. I was told that the English Breakfast tea was robust enough for a more strongly flavoured savoury dish and had recently been introduced to the existence of smoked Camembert so decided this was the perfect chance to put it into action. The combination of a light filo tart, leek, a creamy filling and melted, lightly smoked Camembert was an absolute winner! (see below for the recipe)…

Leek and smoked Camembert filo tarts

Kandula English Breakfast Tea

Kandula’s signature tea is their Pink Ceylon, a unique green tea with a beautiful pink colour, which won a gold star in the Great taste Awards 2011. It’s a wondefully delicate tea, perfect with Portuguese style custard tarts…

Portuguese style custard tarts

Custard tart matched with Kandula's Pink Ceylon

The next tea, was definitely my favourite, the Earl Grey, which is complemented by anything fruity or citrussy. I had opted for my lemon drizzle cakes topped with lemon curd cream and blueberries…

Lemon drizzle cupcakes with lemon curd cream and blueberries

Lemon drizzle cupcake with lemon curd cream and blueberries

and finally we matched the spicy Ebony Chai with my ginger chocolate shortbread topped with dark chocolate ganache and cristallized ginger…

Ginger and chocolate shortbread with dark chocolate ganache

It was a real treat for me to work on this event and in such a lovely location. I hope to do more in the future.

Now, without further ado, here’s the recipe for my delicious leek and smoked Camembert filo tarts…

You will need…

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 leeks, finely sliced (I always make sure I wash them well in a colander once sliced in case there is any dirt or grit trapped between the layers. Be sure to pat them dry with some kitchen towel though or your tarts will be soggy)

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves only

3 free range medium eggs

200ml double cream

100ml milk

1 packet ready made filo pastry

60g butter, melted

1 smoked Camembert* (you won’t need all of this but it’s so delicious I’m sure there are many other ways you can find to enjoy it! 🙂

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

This recipe will make 12 small tarts using a 12 hole muffin tin but it can also be used to make 1 large tart using a 20cm (8inch) pie tin.

To make the filling…

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the leeks over a medium heat for 10 minutes until soft (but not too brown). Then add the garlic and thyme and cook for a few more minutes before removing from the heat and setting aside for later.

Mix together the eggs, cream and milk in a jug and season with salt and pepper.

Now to prepare the filo cases for the filling…

Brush each hole of the muffin tin with a thin coating of melted butter.

Take the filo pastry out of it’s wrapping and cut it into squares large enough to fit into the hole of a muffin tin and come right up the sides. Once you have a stack of small squares of pastry, take 1, brush it with melted butter and lay another square on top of it at a 45 degree angle. Repeat this again with another sheet and another until you have 4 squares lying on top of each other but slightly offset to create a spiky edge. Gently take the stack of pastry and push it into a hole of the muffin tin, being careful to push it into the edges without  ripping it. Do this until you have filled all 12 holes.

Spoon some of the leek mixture into the bottom of each pastry case and then divide the liquid mixture between the tarts. Finally place a small square of smoked Camembert on top of each one and pop them in the oven for 25-30 minutes, keeping an eye on them to make sure the pastry doesn’t burn.

When they are done the pastry should be golden brown and the egg mixture set. Remove them from the oven. These can be enjoyed straight away or can be left to cool for a few minutes before removing them from the tin and leaving them to cool completely on a wire rack so they can be eaten cold…the perfect picnic food! I decided to warm mine through slightly just before serving.

*A quick note on smoked Camembert…if you’re Cambridge based, I know you can get smoked Camembert from River Farm Smokery, it’s also stocked in The Larder at Burwash Manor. If you are unable to find smoked, them normal Camembert would be delicious too or perhaps some Dolcelatte or Gorgonzola if you like a cheese that packs a punch!

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Punting & afternoon tea…the perfect combo…

I’m very excited to share some news about a cakey collaboration I’ve been working on with ’Let’s Go Punting’, a small independent punting company in Cambridge. This summer I’ll be providing birthday cakes for their birthday party tours and ‘Afternoon Tease’ packages for their picnics and hen parties!

In my mind, punting and afternoon tea are the perfect combo, but then again maybe I’m biased 😉 What better way to spend a summer weekend, kicking back and relaxing, whilst being chauffeured in a punt down the river Cam, laughing at the hoards of tourists trying to ‘do it themselves’ and careening into one another…it’s more entertaining than an episode of Britain’s Got Talent I can tell you! 🙂 Anyhow, I digress…you’ll now be able to do all of the above but with the added bonus of enjoying an inimitably English, homemade afternoon tea on the riverside! Take a look at the menu below, which can be booked alongside any of their punting packages…

A selection of delicate finger sandwiches (no crusts of course!)

filled with… 

cucumber & cream cheese

ham & wholegrain mustard

free range egg mayonnaise & cress

or cheese & homemade chutney

Homemade mini scones…

with a choice of either plain scones served with lashings of jam & clotted cream…

or cheese scones served with butter…

A homemade cake…

There’s a choice between either a victoria sponge sandwiched with jam & vanilla buttercream icing…

a chocolate fudge cake with chocolate ganache icing…

or a lemon drizzle cake sandwiched with lemon curd buttercream icing…

and as if that weren’t enough there’ll also be…

Mini homemade brownie squares

and…

Homemade iced tea 

Now, with the British weather being as unpredictable as it is, my afternoon tea’s can be supplied in a lovely reusable picnic bag that can be taken away to a location of choice (preferably somewhere cosy & dry) or if the the sun has got his hat on, can be enjoyed in one of Cambridge’s gorgeous green spaces. You can find everything you’ll ever need to know about booking etc on the ‘Let’s Go Punting’ website…or just give them a bell, they’re a lovely bunch 🙂

All this talk of afternoon tea got me craving scones so, I decided to revisit my good old Be-Ro cheese scone recipe. It’s one that I’ve been using for years and was originally recommended to me by my Mum.

As a slight cheese related aside…whilst wandering the aisles of Asda buying my scone ingredients I stumbled upon a selection of cheeses by none other than Alex James (The previously hot one from Blur). Now please excuse me, if I’m about to sound unbelievably snobby, but I was pretty shocked that not only had Mr James sold out to a major supermarket but also that he’d chosen Asda. Don’t get me wrong, I frequent Asda on a regular basis as a cost effective place to buy the copious amounts of baking goods that I need and even spent a summer (back in the day) as an Asda checkout girl, but…tomato ketchup and salad cream flavoured cheeses Alex! really!? Having done a bit of googling on the subject I found that I’m not the only one who thinks that Mr James may have sold out, Xanthe Clay is pretty vocal about it here along with blogger Fiona Beckett aka The Cheeselover. However, as the saying goes ‘Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it’ so I picked up the most innocuous looking variety…’Alex’s Best Ever Cheddar’…

It was actually ok, not amazing, but a good, strong cheddar, which made it suitable for my cheese scone recipe.

To make 8 small cheese scone you need…

175g self-raising flour

freshly ground salt & pepper (the recipe recommends a pinch but you can use your own taste and judgement on this one)

1/2 tsp mustard powder

25g butter

75g cheese, grated

1 egg

2 tbsp milk

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Mix the flour, salt, pepper and mustard powder together in a bowl.

Rub in the butter until there are no big lumps of it left and the mixture has the texture of breadcrumbs.

Stir in the grated cheese, saving a little for later to sprinkle on top of your scones.

Add most of the beaten egg and milk until you’ve made a soft dough. Add  little at a time until you’re happy with the texture, if it gets too sticky add a sprinkling of flour. There should be just enough of the egg mixture left for glazing your scones just before they go into the oven.

Once you’re happy with the consistency, tip the dough out onto a surface and roll it out until it’s about 3/4 inch thick. Using a circular pastry cutter, press down firmly to cut out your scones. Try not to twist the cutter as this has a detrimental effect on the way your scones rise…just one firm push is all it should take.

Place each scone on the baking tray, brush with the egg mixture and sprinkle with grated cheese…

then pop them in the oven for 10-15 minutes until they’re golden brown and delicious!…

Serve warm with a generous amount of salted butter…

and a nice cuppa…

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Foodie adventures in the wild west (of Ireland)

It’s been at least a week since I’ve posted any baking photo’s or recipes but I’ve just returned from an amazing trip visiting a good friend in the Wild West of Ireland. So for the time being I hope a healthy dose of Irish food porn will suffice…

My mate Brig lives in a gorgeous little village called Kinvara in an area of West Ireland called the Burren in Co. Galway and runs The Burrenbeo Trust, a landscape charity dedicated to protecting the future sustainable management of the Burren region. As part of the charity they run Cafebeo, where I worked for two days and which I completely fell in love with. 

Cafebeo is Ireland’s only conservation cafe, it serves only Burren produce and 100% of its proceeds go back into the work of the Burrenbeo Trust. They serve delicious homemade soups, Burren organic smoked salmon with local goats cream cheese on homemade brown bread and fresh salad and cakes and the most amazing scones baked by a local lady.

I didn’t realise how popular scones are in Ireland. They’re a whole different ball game to English scones…apparently the main difference is the addition of buttermilk. I’m intrigued by them so I’m going to source a recipe and attempt to make my own.

Brig is well aware, as are most people, of my passion for cafe’s, cakes and food in general and did a sterling job of taking me on a tour of all the culinary hot spots in the area. First stop was the Gallery Cafe in Gort…

where, amongst other things, we ate a yummy goats cheese and beetroot pizza. I forgot to take any photos as I was overcome by hunger after a long day working in the cafe 🙂

Every Friday Kinvara hosts a farmers market, my own little slice of heaven…

It had everything….live music…

cheese…

and the most amazing cake stall serving chocolate fudge cake…

carrot cake…

even the gluten free lemon cake looked amazing…

and a chocolate and guiness cake…not a traditional Irish recipe as you may imagine…apparently it’s one of Nigella’s – another to add to my ‘to bake’ list.

After much deliberation and drooling I decided to buy a slice of mango, banana and coconut cake…it was quite similar to a hummingbird cake that I made a while ago from the Hummingbird Cookery book but substituting pineapple for mango. It was one of the most moist, fruity cakes I have ever eaten…

That evening we popped into Galway and paid a visit to Bar No.8 on the docks. It didn’t look much from the outside but the food turned out to be a real hidden gem. The menu sounded so amazingly good that we decided to share a couple of things…

Parsnip, wild garlic and red cabbage fritters with beetroot yoghurt…

Potted crab with Jess’s Brown Bread. The crab was rich and creamy, mixed with celery and spring onion and was accompanied by a scrummy dressed salad. Simply perfect!

We couldn’t resist the chocolate brownie with wild berry biscuit ice cream for desert. It arrived looking like a true work of art, decorated with edible flowers (well at least we hoped they were edible because well…we ate them). They even cut the brownie in half for us so that we didn’t get into a fight about who had eaten most 🙂

We spent my last day on a mini road trip taking in the beautiful scenery of the west coast and despite not being in the least bit hungry, managed to fit in one last cafe trip to the Burren Perfumery

for carrot cake…

and a chocolate cupcake…

After such a wonderful trip it was a real struggle making myself leave Kinvara and get on the plane back to London…I have no doubt that I’ll be back.

 

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What to do with some leftover cheese and a day off work…

The title kind of gives away the fact that today I had both, a day off work and some leftover goats cheese and cheddar knocking around my fridge. I trawled my recipe books and found a recipe for savoury cheese muffins which I adapted slightly to become…

Savoury goats cheese, cheddar, red onion and rosemary muffins.

255g plain flour

2tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/4 tsp salt

60g grated cheese ( I used half cheddar, half goats cheese)

1 egg

2tbsp white granulated sugar

120ml plain yoghurt

180ml milk

90ml vegetable oil

Grated cheese for topping

3tbsp fresh rosemary chopped finely

4tbsp red onion chopped finely 

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. My recipe book said that these stick to paper cases more than sweet muffins so it might be best to use a muffin tin and grease it well. However I used my wonderful silicone cases – I don’t think it’s possible to get anything stuck to them!

In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarb, salt and grated cheese. 

In another bowl mix together the beaten egg, sugar, yoghurt, milk, oil, fresh herbs and onion.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix with a metal spoon but try to minimise on stirring.

Fill the muffin cases 3/4 full and top with grated cheese and sprig of rosemary.

Bake for about 20 minutes until brown. They are extra tasty fresh out of the oven. 

You don’t have to add the rosemary and onion but they compliment the cheesiness perfectly! mmmmmm cheese!

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