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      May 09

      Ok so it might not be summer in England yet but we never really know when it will be... Although I would put bets on that there will be a heatwave while I am away on holiday as there always is. Summer is a lovely time for light & fresh delicious dishes such as sushi so here is a nice recipe to start the summer with!

      Prawn, avocado and sesame maki

      • Ingredients for 6 people
      • Japanese Sushi rice: 300g
      • Salt: a pinch
      • water: 330g
      • Rice vinegar: 50 ml
      • Tigerprawns: 18
      • Seaweed: 12 sheets
      • Tempura flour: 100g
      • Wasabi: 30g
      • Ripe avocado: 1
      • Frying oil: 1 litre
      • Sugar: a pinch


      Wash the sushi rice with cold water until the water runs clear

      Place the rice in a rice cooker, cover with water, and boil it. If you do not have a rice cooker place the rice in a pan and cover it with water, close the pot with a aluminimun film, air tight and make with a tooth pick a whole in the middle. Bring to boiling point and onec the film is extended take away and place on a warm place on the stove and let it cook on the steam, once the film is collapsed the rice is done. Place in a tray and season with the ricevinegar and the sugar and salt.

      Clean the tiger prawns and devine them. Mix the tempura flour with a little bit of water to obtain a nice homogenous batter. Pull the prawns through the batter and put a bamboo stick in them this prevents them from turning when frying.

      Peel the avocado and cut in fine strips.

      Fill up a nori seaweed sheet for 95% with a thin layer of rice, place a prawn on top of it and a slice of avocado. Now roll and squeeze the bottom layer of seaweed behind the garnish and squeeze into a roll. Then roll the sushi.

      Cut the roll with a wet knife otherwise you will tear the sushi roll apart

      If you are interested in learning more about how to make sushi we have a Sushi Masterclass coming up on the 23rd May

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      This is our very own traditional mini postbox in our atelier London store!

      Today is St. George's day! St. George is the patron saint of England, legend has it that he slayed a dragon to save the kings daugher and then turned the village into christians. I think as with all the patron saints dates it is a nice excuse to remember particuar dishes (from a foody point of view) or traditions that a country has, whether you are from there, have relatives from there or are even living there why not get invloved.

      On that note there has never been a better excuse for afternoon tea and scones (how ever you like to pronouce them). I have to admit I do love a nice cup of hot tea, they all laugh at me because I brought in my own tea bags and mug to work.

      If you fancy making some tasty sultana scones to go with your nice hot cup of tea here is a recipe to try out!

      Sultana Scones

      Ingredients for 6 people

      • Self raising flour: 225g
      • Milk: 40cl
      • Butter room temperature: 75g
      • Flour: 50g
      • Sugar: 40g
      • Sultanas: 100g
      • Egg: 1


      Pre heat the oven to220 degrees

      Start by sifting the flour with a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter; this must be at room temperature. Rub in using your hands until the mix looks like bread crumbs. Add the sugar and mix in. In a small bowl whisk the egg with the milk and start to add this to the rubbed-in mixture; mix with a pallet knife. Bring the mix together with your hands. It should be soft but not sticky. Now you can add the sultanas and incorporate these to the dough.

      Flour a work surface and rolling pin and start to gently roll out the dough. Take care not to roll thinner than 1 inch. Use a stainless steel cutter to cut rings of dough out; do not twist the cutter.

      Place the scones onto a baking tray lined with grease proof paper. Brush with a little milk and dust with flour.

      Place the scones into the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes or until golden and risen.

      The Chef's tip

      If you do not have sultanas use raisins instead they taste wiil be just as good.

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      Apr 09

      I'm not really good with diets for instance I feel a healthy way to eat my Easter eggs is to melt them and dip strawberries in them yummy and one of my 5-a-day ;)

      A diet shouldn't be about restricting what you eat (she whose belly is now restricting what she wears) but about adding healthier options to what you eat, and spring is the perfect time for this.

      There are many delicious springtime favourites, Strawberries, pineapples, raspberries (I used to pick them in my grandmothers garden). Asparagus, artichokes, broccoli, carrots, lettuce, new potatoes, peas, spinach, tomato, turnip, watercress, king salmon, northern halibut, sea bass, sole, sardines, brown trout, sea trout or salmon.

      Here is a nice seasonal healthy dish to kick start spring!

      Roasted sea bream and green asparagus

      Ingredients for 6 people

      • Sea bream: 6 filets
      • Coriander: quarter bunch
      • Spring onions: 6
      • Olive oil: 5 cl
      • Carrots: 4
      • Butter: 20 g
      • Asparaguses: 18


      Preheat the oven at 230 degrees celcius.

      Take the fishbones out of the fish. Place the filets on a baking tray. Season them with salt. Sprinkle some olive oil on the top.

      Wash all the vegetables.

      Peel the asparaguses, and cut them in small slices. Keep the spear of the asparagus entire. Peel the spring onions, and cut them in small slices.

      Peel the carrots and cut them in halves, then cut them in slices. Take the leaves of the coriander branch.

      Fry the onions in a wok with hot olive oil. When they are transparent, add the carrots, season them with salt. Let them cook for about 2 minutes. Add water at the same level of your vegetables and add the asparaguses. Close the wok with a lit and let the vegetables absorb all the moisture. Once cooked, add the butter. Check on the seasoning

      Once the vegetables are cooked and seasoned at perfection, add the coriander leaves.

      Cook the seabream for 4 to 5 minutes in the oven.

      Serve the vegetables on a plate. Place the sea bream on the top. Decorate your plate with a reduction of balsamic vinegar

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      Today I am feeling very sorry for myself as I have a cold and everyone is laughing at my funny blocked nose speech. But I am determined to fight this cold I have been drinking cups of Dr Stuarts Echinacea plus tea, taking lemsips max cold and flu and tonight I am making a nice chicken noodle soup.

      For anyone who is also suffering from a cold here is the recipe for a nice Thai chicken soup

      Ingredients for 6 people

      • Chicken breast: 6 pieces
      • Limes: 6
      • Somen noodles: 1200g
      • Chicken stock: 3 litres
      • Lemon grass: 6 sticks
      • Coriander: 12 sprigs
      • Fresh ginger: 300g
      • Baby corn: 24 pieces
      • Red onions: 3
      • Fish sauce: 150 ml


      1. Remove skin and bone from chicken and slice finely.
      2. Bring chicken stock to the boil.
      3. Crush the lemon grass with the back of the knife.
      4. Peel and grate the ginger, finely dice the onion, zest and lime juice.
      5. Pick the leaves of coriander and finely chop the stalks.
      6. Cut the corn into quarters, length ways.
      7. Heat a little oil in a wok and fry the onion for 1 minute add the chicken and seal on all sides.
      8. Add the ginger and cook for 30 seconds.
      9. Add the baby corn, coriander stalks, lime zest and juice and cook for a further 30 seconds.
      10. Now add the lemon grass and chicken stock bring to the boil, add the noodles and simmer for 4 minutes.
      11. Add the coriander leaves and fish sauce

      If you are sick I hope you get better soon!

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      I do love chocolate and financier cakes are a perfect little extra when serving yourself or guests a nice cup of tea or coffee! These little melt in your mouth cakes are really quick and easy to make.

      Mini chocolate financiers !


      Ingredients for 6 people

      • Eggwhite: 5
      • Flour: 50g
      • Icing sugar: 175g
      • Grounded almonds: 85g
      • Butter: 150g
      • Dark chocolate: 100g


      1. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees celcius.
      2. Mix the egg whites, the sugar, the flour, and the grounded almonds.
      3. Heat up the butter until a brown color appears and melt chocolate.
      4. Mix the butter and chocolate mixture with the batter.
      5. Cook them in the oven for 15 -20 minutes.
      6. Serve the financier on a plate once cooled down.

      Chef's tip- Use a good quality 70% dark chocolate

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      Mar 09

      Easter is coming up and I feel very excited about all the chocolate Eggs to eat!!


      Easter-time favourites:

      • Hot cross buns
      • Simnel cake
      • Easter cakes with mini eggs on top
      • Roast Leg of lamb or roasted ham

      Here is a nice recipe for a french style Easter lunch!

      Rack of lamb with red wine sauce


      • Rack of lamb: 2
      • Red wine: 300ml
      • Breadcumbs: 150g
      • New potatoes: 30
      • Mustard: 50g
      • Salt: 10g
      • Coriander: 1/2 bunch


      1. Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees celcius.
      2. Cut the new potatoes into halves and place into cold water with the salt. Bring to the boil then simmer for about 20 minutes
      3. Portion each rack of lamb into 3 portions.
      4. Remove the excess fat that is covering the bones and remove the fat that is between the bones.
      5. Seal the lamb in a hot pan with a little oil and set aside. In the same frying pan add the wine and reduce over a high heat to make a red wine sauce.
      6. Chop the coriander leaves.
      7. Spread the mustard over the lamb meat and dip into the breadcrumbs and then dip into the coriander.
      8. Cook in the oven for about 20-25 minutes so that the lamb is cooked medium rare.

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      Don't be surprised if you see a lot of people dressed in green today, I myself have even made an effort with a green cardigan to celebrate St Patrick's Day! St. Patricks is the patron saint of Ireland, he was a Christian missionary who is thought to be behind bringing Christianity to Ireland.

      There are two things that I associate with Ireland Guinness and potatoes. This morning in the metro I saw an interesting drink to make its called a Black Velvet you half fill a champagne glass with Guinness and fill the rest of the glass with champagne, and there is a technique to it you pour the champagne over the back of the spoon so the liquids don't mix (I love little tips like that). You can use Perry or cider instead of champagne which I think I might have to do because the bubbles go straight to my head!

      Here is a tasty recipe for Potato and spinach bake


      • potatoes: 900g
      • Parmesan: 175g
      • onion: x1
      • Basil: 1/4 bundle
      • Carrots: 200g
      • Oregano: 1/4 bundle
      • Celery: 3 sticks
      • Red wine vinegar: 10 ml
      • Fresh spinach: 150g
      • Tomato puree: 2 tablespoons
      • Tomatoes: 400g


      1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 180°C.
      2. Scrub the potatoes, put them into a large pan of boiling water and cook until they are just done. Do not overcook. Drain and keep to one side.
      3. Peel the onions and garlic and chop coarsely. Put a heavy bottomed pan on a medium heat; add a table spoon of olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic until golden.
      4. Wash the carrot, peel if not organic and grate. Wash the celery and chop. Add to the onion and garlic mixture with the herbs and leave to cook for a few minutes.
      5. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, wine vinegar and grape juice. Bring back to the boil and allow cooking until the celery is soft.
      6. Whilst the sauce is cooking, pull the stalks off the spinach and wash thoroughly. Drain and shred.
      7. Once the sauce is cooked remove from the heat, season to taste and blend into a smooth mixture.
      8. Mix the potato and the spinach in an oven dish. Pour the sauce on top, add the grated cheese and cook in the pre-heated oven for 25 minutes.
      9. Serve as soon as possible.

      However you celebrate St. Patrick's Day I hope you have a good one!!

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      Mar 09

      When I was younger I always made my mum breakfast in bed on Mother's day. It would usually be a cup of coffee and a glass of orange juice, some grapes and 'pan au chocolat' which I thought was my creation as I bought plain croissants and added my secret ingredient chocolate spread!

      Here is a nice recipe for home-made Croissants!


      • Flour: 250 g
      • Fresh yeast: 8 g
      • Salt: 6 g
      • Whole milk: 120 g
      • Sugar: 30 + 100 g
      • Water: 50 g
      • Butter: 50 + 63 g
      • Egg: 1


      • Meet in a electric mixer: flour, salt, 30g of sugar and yeast. Warm the milk, then pour it slowly into the mixer. Mix until a smooth paste. Add 50g of butter and knead until the dough no longer sticks.
      • Leave overnight.
      • Roll out the dough into a square shape add some of the butter (from the 63g you prepared earlier) in the centre. Fold each corner of the square towards the centre and then spread with the roller length ways. Once flatten add some butter to the centre again and fold the top of the dough towards the center, then fold the bottom of the dough on top.
      • Again let stand 30 min.
      • Repeat this operation 3 times, allowing 30 min rest between each round.
      • Spread the dough to about 4 mm thick and then cut triangles to make croissants (or rectangles for chocolate). Roll the triangles to form the croissants, then arrange on a sheet of silicone or parchment paper and let the dough rise near a heat source.
      • Preheat oven to 220 ° C.
      • Make a syrup by mixing 10g of sugar and water the boil mixture. Reserve.
      • Brush the croissant with a beaten Egg, and bake at 220 ° C for about 15 minutes depending on size.
      • Spread the syrup mixture on top of the croissant as soon as they come out of the oven

      And there you have lovely croissants ready for the secret ingredient!!

      We have two special Mother's Day classes this month.

      Saturday 14th March 4-5:30pm Kids can cook... for Mother's Day!

      • Mini dill scones
      • Toasted brioche with mango and passion fruit
      • Rhubarb & blood orange compote

      Saturday 21st March 9:30-11:30am All about Mother's Day brunch!

      • Fresh fruit smoothie
      • "Nicoise" salad with fresh tuna and marinated anchovies.
      • Poached eggs on wilted spinach with garlic sourdough toast and crispy bacon
      • Hand-made almond croissants
      • Grapefruit crumble with raspberry sorbet

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      As macaroons are very popular here is a special treat for all the macaroon lovers out there! I wonder if there is a I love macaroons group on facebook I am going to have a look...

      Ingredients for 6 people

      • Icing sugar - 50g
      • Egg - 2
      • Almond powder -250g
      • Ginger - 15g
      • Egg whites - 215g
      • Butter - 160 g
      • Sugar - 280 g
      • Gelatin (1.5 sheet) - 3 g
      • Green lemon - 3 pieces

      Recipe Preheat the oven at 160 degrees C.

      In a mixer, ground finely the icing sugar with the almond powder, sieve.

      Whisk up the egg whites with a pinch of salt, add 150 g of caster sugar and beat until you have a stiff and glossy meringue mixture. Stir the meringue powder. Mix thoroughly the dry ingredients with the meringue mixture. Use a plastic spatula to cut and fold the mixture until it reaches the ribbon stage and it is smooth and shiny.

      Use a piping bag to pipe macaroons onto a baking mat. Let the macaroons crust 15 minutes at room temperature then cook about 10 minutes in an oven at 160 degrees C.

      Prepare the lime cream: make zests with the lime skin. Squeeze 2 lemons. Peel and grate the ginger. Heat the lemon juice, the zests, the ginger with 60 g of sugar.

      Put the gelatine in a cold water to soften it.

      Whisk the eggs with 70g of sugar. Pour the lime preparation on the whipped eggs and then boil this mixture to thicken it. Add the gelatine. Let cool down in the fridge for 30 minutes.

      Take 2 macaroons and paste them with the lime and ginger cream.


      We have 2 'all about macaroon' classes coming up on the 14th and 20th March 2009

      The wonderful photo is thanks to fellow blogger Sun-lin!


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      Today I have a craving for my mum's arepas however she is away on holiday so I have found a recipe which sounds similar.

      Arepas are a traditional dish from Colombia and Venezuela most commonly eaten for breakfast or as a lunch time snack.


      • 600ml/20fl.oz.. Warm Water
      • ½ teasp Salt
      • 450g/1lb Masa Harina Flour
      • Oil for shallow frying


      1. Preheat the oven to 200C, 400F, Gas Mark 6.

      2. Place the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and gradually add the warm water, mixing to form a stiff dough. Leave to stand for 5 minutes.

      3. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes then form into 8 balls. Flatten with the palm of your hand so they measure about 7.5cm/3-inches in diameter and are about 18mm/¾-inch thick.

      4. Heat a little oil in a large frying pan, add the arepas and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until crisp and golden, turning 3 or four times.

      5. Remove them from the pan and drain on kitchen paper then transfer to a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes.

      6. To serve – serve the arepas warm you can add butter or chesse, and my favourite is avocado mixed with tomatoes and onions delicioso

      If you have a go let me know how it goes...


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