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Cashew, Orange & Nutmeg Biscotti

Claire Thomson

 I make biscotti often. I’ve used ground cashew nuts here instead of the more usual ground almonds, because that’s what I had on the shelves (#theartofthelarder), the rain was lashing & I didn’t much fancy leaving the house to buy some. Switch around spice too if you like, ground cinnamon, caraway & fennel are all great. Equally, lemon, tangerine, you name it. Here for those of you who asked for the recipe on instagram...

 Ingredients 

makes about 18-20

100g peeled cashew nuts, blitzed to powder  

1 large egg

85g sugar  

150g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 large orange, zested

1/3 freshly grated nutmeg 

good pinch of salt  

method  

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 C
  2. In a bowl whisk the eggs & sugar together until frothy. 
  3. In a large mixing bowl add the flour, ground nuts, salt, baking powder, orange zest, nutmeg & salt.
  4. Add the egg & sugar. Using your hands knead the mix together to form a firm cohesive dough. 2 minutes of kneading should do it?  
  5. Shape the mix into a large flat log, about 20cm long, 10cm long & 2 - 3 cm deep. Don’t stress about measurements too much, you just want an even shaped log. 
  6. Put the biscotti log on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper & bake for 20 - 25 mins until firm to touch & golden all over. 
  7. Cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes. 
  8. Using a bread knife slice the biscotti approximately into 3/4 - 1cm slices.
  9. Return slices to the baking tray & bake again in the oven for 10 - 12 minutes until completely crisp throughout. 
  10. Remove from the oven & cool on a wire rack. 
  11. These biscotti will keep in a well sealed container for up to a month (+.... if they even last that long!) 
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1st bake biscotti  

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2nd bake biscotti 

Pembrokeshire, you beauty

Claire Thomson

We had a spectacularly good half term walking (even, for some of us, swimming in frosty waters) in Pembrokeshire last week. Special thanks to Cafe Mor / The Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company for sharing some of that fish asado, plus those dreamy - cooked on the embers - tiny pumpkins too. Memorable was my lunch & I’ll forever now be a fan of seaweed butter on a bacon butty. 

 

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famous 4 + 1 taking the photo 

The Good Life Experience 2018

Claire Thomson

One life, and we certainly lived it well last weekend at The Good Life Exerience. Such a tremendous festival. I love the inclusivity of this weekend, there’s no celebrity pecking order. One fire, with all the chefs cooking & feeding everyone throughout the day. The girls climbed trees, made a bow & arrows, found other fires, shared marshmallows & ran free all weekend long. Thanks Charlie, Caroline & Cerys for the invite. Next year again, for sure. 

VW kindly lent me a California ‘Ocean’ Campervan for weekend. Snug were the 5 of us under starry skies.

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New Post: Apricot, Yoghurt & Lavender Cake.

Claire Thomson

This is a terrific cake for lunchboxes as it will keep well for at least 3 – 5 days. Use any stone fruit you like. Lavender is a classic match for apricots.

Ingredients 

175g butter, melted

175g caster sugar

175g self raising flour

175g plain Greek yoghurt

2 eggs, beaten

1 tsp. baking powder

3 or 4 apricots, stoned & cut into 6

2 or 3 heads of lavender, flowers picked off stalk

Juice of 1 small lemon

50g sugar

Method 

1.Preheat the oven to 180º

2.Mix the melted butter with the sugar in a mixing bowl.

3.Add the eggs and the yoghurt, mix well.

4.Add the flour and baking powder, mix well.

5.Pour the batter into a greased 20cm cake tin. I used a Bundt tin, but you don’t have to.

6.Arrange the apricots on top of the cake.

7.Bake in the oven for 35 – 40 minutes until a skewer comes clean.

8.Meanwhile make syrup, boil lemon juice & additional sugar until syrupy, 3 - 5 minutes.

9.Drench the cooked cake with the syrup and add the lavender flowers.

10.Cool in tin for 20 minutes before slicing.

 

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Since so many of you asked... 

New Post: Chocolate, Sour Cream & Rye Muffins

Claire Thomson

So many of you asked for the recipe, Matt made these with Dot at the weekend & they’ve been going strong in lunch boxes all week. I froze them on the day they were made & wrap loosely in brown paper to defrost in their lunchboxes throughout the week.

I try & keep sugar levels down, and these have 200g but divided by x12, I’m ok with these as a lunchbox midday treat.

Now I’ve finished up on 4th book, New Kitchen Basics, I might log additional recipes on here from time to time.

Keep me posted how you get on.

Ingredients 

Makes about 10 – 12 muffins

125g dark rye flour

125g plain flour

80g cocoa powder

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp. salt

2 eggs + 1 egg yolk

200g caster sugar

125ml veg oil

Good pinch of ground cinnamon, ginger or cardamon

350g sour cream or use crème fraiche

200g chopped dark chocolate, use milk chocolate if you prefer

Method

1.Preheat the oven to 190ºC

2.In a bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, spice and salt.

3.Using an electric mixer beat the eggs and sugar together until pale and thick.

4.Add the oil and beat well to incorporate.

5.Using a spoon or spatula, add the sour cream and mix to incorporate.

6.Add the dry ingredients and mix to incorporate, don’t over work the mixture from now.

7.Add ¾ of the chopped chocolate, mix lightly.

8.Pour the mix into well greased muffin tins and top with remaining chocolate pieces.

9.Cook for 10 minutes in preheated oven, and then reduce the heat to 170ºC and cook for a further 5 – 10 minutes until a skewer comes clean when inserted into the centre of the muffin.

10.Cool in the tin for at least 10 minutes before removing.

11.Stored in a tin, these muffins will keep well for 3 days. Alternatively, freeze on the day of baking and defrost as needed.

 

 Dark Chocolate, Rye & Sour Cream Muffins

Dark Chocolate, Rye & Sour Cream Muffins

New Post || Coconut, Cardamon & Lemon Cake

Claire Thomson

Vegan by accident. The coconut milk works as alchemy in this cake batter. I’ve found this cake eats even better the next day. I ended up with too many recipes for the lemon chapter in my new book, New Kitchen Basics, this one was surplus, but it’s a very good surplus!

Ingredients:

250g self raising flour

150g caster sugar, plus more to sprinkle

Big pinch of salt

½ tsp cardamon

200ml full fat coconut milk

100ml vegetable or melted coconut oil

Zest and juice of two lemons

Method:

Heat oven to 180C. Prepare a 23cm cake tin with greaseproof paper.

First, mix the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

Whisk together the milk, oil and lemon juice and zest. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir ingredients together gently until well combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared tin and sprinkle with a good pinch of sugar. You can add a couple of thin slices of extra lemon to cook on top if you like as decoration? Bake for about 30 - 35 minutes to cook, until a skewer comes clean when inserted in the middle.

Cool for at least 15 minutes in the tin before turning out.

 

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New Post

Claire Thomson

Pembrokeshire. Half term. 

I don’t blog. But I might make a start. My friend Liz is selling her house in Pembrokeshire. 30 mins from the beach & what beaches they are! Falling in love with this stretch of coastline. Grace, Ivy & Dot... homesteaders all 3.

 

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