22 Feb

Patisserie with Ross Baxter (Bostock Bakery) at Artisan School of Food

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Image courtesy of Ross Baxter

Pâtisserie is the chapter in any baking book that has, until now, filled me with dread and awe in equal measure. I bought myself a gold edged, suede covered copy of the Ladurée Sucre book a decade ago and never felt quite worthy of even attempting a single recipe… However, this weekend has changed my perception of the subject, from being something I was unashamedly scared of, to something I can now attempt – as long as I have enough time and freezer space!

 

The Artisan Scimageshool of Food is set in the most stunning grounds of Welbeck Priory, a stones throw from Chesterfield and Worksop. It offers an extensive array of courses, both in subject matter and duration from day courses to a year long diploma (how amazing!). Our course had 11 other participants, a sprinkling of professionals amongst us but mostly civilians. The school offers breakfast on arrival, here’s the heads up, it’s worth arriving a little early for – homemade bread, preserves and granola. The cookery classroom is an expansive, well lit room – even fitted with swanky air con, which we did need for our chocolate work session. The first day was mind boggling, so much so, I still have no recollection whatsoever of making the Chocolate Crémeux which made up the middle section of the Bostock Praline Chocolate. I am hoping that eventually my brain will process all the information and file it in an orderly fashion!?

What struck me this weekend, is that Pâtisserie is not hard per se, what it does require is patience, time and a large freezer. The Praline Chocolate requires 3 different sections, first the frozen crème, a disk of dacquoise, a mousse and a disk of feuilletine (brittle crispy flakes with caramelized, praline flavour), all enveloped in a dark chocolate glaçage. Each step of the recipe requires freezing so ideally  48 hours. Once the assembly is complete the whole thing needs decorating. This means tempering chocolate and making ribbons & collars with the chocolate, I even made a set of feathers!

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I have come away thinking that Pâtisserie is a little *smoke & mirrors * the end result is spectacular, yet the processes involved are relatively simple. Again, on reflection, simple may not be the right term, but for me I was relieved because apart from getting a few bubbles in my glaçage, I am proud of myself – go me !!

*Just in case there is any ambiguity on how many stages and individual recipes we covered just to make 2 entremets and 3 petit gateaux (just 2 flavours in different sizes) Here’s the list :

  • Raspberry Glaze,
  • Raspberry Syrup,
  • Raspberry Biscuits Cuillère
  • Pink Glaze
  • Swiss Meringue
  • Raspberry Mousse
  • Gelatine Mass – for both recipes
  • Dark Chocolate Glaçage
  • Praline Feuilleté Noisette
  • Chocolate Crémeux
  • Hazelnut Dacquoise
  • Mousse Sabayon au Chocolat
  • Caramelia Whipped Ganache

So when you see a demure little Raspberry Charlotte fluttering its eyelashes at you from the Pâtisserie counter boasting the biggest ticket price, you may now be able to appreciate why  she is so very expensive, remember she is indeed worth every penny!

Would I recommend the course : YES

Would I recommend the School : YES

Was the course instructor a Patisserie legend : YES

What course is next Haxby Bakery 1 day Bread Course 

10 Jan

31 Days of January

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We’re already a few weeks into 2017 and as mentioned in a previous post we don’t believe in making “New Year’s Resolutions” (as we never stick to them!) we do however believe in having new goals and aspirations – ours mostly relate to food of course!

The goals and aims don’t have to mean making huge lifestyle commitments or banishing whole food groups. Instead, making small changes every day can make a big difference to your overall wellbeing. There are 31 days in January and so it’s never too late to start.

Download our 31 day goals and aims calendar for January for daily simple (and often delicious) tips to help make your life healthier, one step at a time.

Let us know how you’re doing on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook by tagging your posts with #31daysofJanuary and #Quarmbys!

Download the calendar here quarmbys-calendar

 

04 Jan

Beat the January Blues

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Lots of people make  “resolutions” for January –  starting the gym or a new diet… we’ve found once you call them “resolutions” you don’t tend to stick to them much..

So instead we’re just trying to change our mindset slightly to help beat the January blues by eating healthier and being more mindful of what we put into our bodies..

For a delicious yet very simple meal get started with a squash or pumpkin, here’s one of our fave’s..

1. Roast off some pumpkin or squash (scrub the skins first then pop in the oven whole and roast at 180 degrees for between 45-60 minutes for an average sized squash).

2. Take the roasted squash and halve, remove the seeds with a large spoon then cut into wedges. (You can do this first step in advance so you have ready roasted pumpkin in the fridge but I do like there to be a bit of warmth left in the pumpkin so bring it up to room temperature if you have time)

3. If the skin is soft enough it is fine to eat it (especially a Butternut Squash) so no need to peel. Layer the wedges on top of a mixed baby leaf salad.

4. Finally crumble over some Goat’s milk cheese and drizzle with your favourite dressing.

If you like, you could scatter over some toasted pumpkin seeds which will add another texture.

 

pumpkins

This as a meal in itself has lots of wonderful health benefits: 

* Heart Healthy Magnesium.

* Zinc for Immune Support.

* Plant-Based Omega-3 Fats.

* Prostate Health.

* Anti-Diabetic Effects.

* Benefits for Postmenopausal Women.

* Heart and Liver Health.

* Tryptophan for Restful Sleep

* Anti-inflammatory benefits

25 Nov

Staying healthy in winter

I am pretty lucky to have naturally good immunity and it’s practically unheard of for me to go down with a cold but I think as I get inevitably older and increasingly time poor, health is the first tell-tale sign that one is burning the candle at both ends or simply not making time for oneself.

Guilty?

In order to combat this we have to make sure we are giving our body the best chance of staying healthy to resist infection by consuming the best fuel possible. I am a true believer in the word NOURISH, it’s my answer to Hygge the “word of the moment”. I believe in Nourishing Body & Soul when you eat. I don’t do deprivation, I make sure if I am eating a treat – I enjoy it, guilt has no place in my kitchen. This is made easier when what we are eating, whether a meal or an indulgence, is made with wholesome, healthful ingredients. This is also true of drinks.

My all time favourite winter warmer is a hot chocolate, so try this for a really satisfying and nourishing version of the classic:

 

Raw Cacao Quarmbys

 Serves 1

2 tsp raw cacao powder

¼ tsp cinnamon (optional – but does bring healthful properties)

125ml almond milk

125ml additive free Coconut Milk (such as Biona)

1 tsp Xylitol granulated (or to taste)

 

 

Put the cacao powder and cinnamon (if using), in a small heavy pan and add 2 tbs of the almond milk. Stir over a  medium heat until thoroughly combined, then add the remaining almond milk and the coconut milk, then stir frequently until warmed through. Stir through the xylitol and drink immediately. Tastes best when served in your favourite mug!

This also works well with just almond milk – if you use the Rude Health Almond Drink taste before adding the sweetener as it is sufficiently sweet without for me.

Another way to combat the colder weather is to get out in it and enjoy it! Wrap up warm and get outdoors. It might take a good kick to get you out but once you’re breathing the bracing fresh air you will DEFINITELY feel energised and invigorated. Take the dog for a walk, get the children looking for different bugs, birds and animals (whatever ignites their enthusiasm), go climb a hill – it’s all good and your body with thank you for it by firing up your metabolism and allowing you a restful night’s sleep.

5 additional tips on  how to stay healthy in winter

Winter walks

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Eat well, not too much, mostly green
  • Rest is as important as play – make time to recharge
  • Nourish your body
  • Exercise – getting outside is enough it doesn’t always have to be a slog
  • Listen to your body, respect it, refuel it with thought & care
  • Then you will be best prepared to make it through winter and the holiday season on top form.
18 Nov

Stir up Sunday is on it’s way…

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Stir-up Sunday is the last Sunday before Advent, this year it falls on 20th November and is traditionally the day when Christmas puddings are baked, giving them a whole month to mature before Christmas. Do it the traditional way and get the whole family to help! It’s the day when wishes are said to come true, so get stirring!

What is Stir-up Sunday?

It is a tradition that harks back to Victorian times when the family would gather together to stir the Christmas pudding five weeks before Christmas. The opening words of the Book of Common Prayer read on this Sunday before Advent at church are ‘Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord’, and so the tradition stands that this is the day to get stirring!

The Stir-up traditions

  • Christmas pudding would traditionally contain 13 ingredients to represent Jesus and his disciples.
  • It is traditionally stirred (while making a wish) by each member of the family from East to West, to remember the Wise Men that visited Jesus in the Nativity Story.
  • The traditional garnish of holly represented the crown of thorns (be warned the holly berry is very toxic, so perhaps adorn your Christmas pudding with fake foliage!)
  • Adding coins, originally charms, to the pudding was said to bring luck if you found them in your pud on Christmas Day. The traditional lucky charms were a silver coin for wealth, a wishbone for luck, a thimble for thrift, a ring for marriage, and an anchor for safe harbour. Although biting on to such a thing would surely cause a trip to the dentist with a cracked tooth, so not necessarily advised without a thorough inspection on Christmas Day.

Ingredients

  • 450g white breadcrumbs
  • 1tsp ground ginger
  • 1tsp mixed spice
  • 2tsp salt
  • 225g suet, shredded or finely chopped
  • 225g brown sugar
  • 110g mixed peel, chopped
  • 110g currants & 110g sultanas
  • 450g seedless raisins
  • 75g carrots, grated
  • 3tbsp brandy
  • 2tbsp milk
  • 110g golden syrup

picture2INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Mix the breadcrumbs, spices, salt, suet, sugar dried fruits and carrots together in a large bowl.
  2. Blend the brandy, milk and syrup and stir thoroughly into the dry ingredients.
  3. Let the mixture stand for at least 1 hour then put into a greased pudding basin or pudding steamer.
  4. If using a pudding basin cover with greaseproof paper and cloth or foil.
STEAM PUDDING ACCORDING TO THE VOLUME OF THE BASIN:
  • for a 500ml pudding allow 5 hours
  • for a 750ml pudding allow 7 hours
  • for a 1 litre pudding allow 9 hours
  1. When cooked remove the basin from the steamer and allow to cool.
  2. Cover with fresh paper and store in a cool place.
ON THE DAY OF SERVING RENEW THE COVERING AND STEAM THE PUDDING AS FOLLOWS:
  1. for a 500ml pudding steam for 2 hours
  2. for a 750ml – 1 litre pudding steam for 3 hours
  3. Turn out on to a hot dish, decorate with holly and flame with warmed brandy. Serve with brandy or rum butter.

TOP TIP

  • puddings will keep for 12-18 months and improve and mature during this time.

To finish off all the ingredients from above are available from the Deli so call in and we’ll point you in the right direction..

 

29 Sep

Northern Bloc – Rock!

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We first spotted the Northern Bl°c team at the Harrogate Fine Food fair and were drawn in – not only by the fabulous product but by their super cool branding..

Northern Bl°c are another one of our handpicked suppliers that we love because of the values at their core,

“a desire to create great tasting ice cream that is natural and free from artificial ingredients. An ice cream that’s both indulgent and pure.”

Their products are drawn from inspiring Northern cities that have created innovation from straight talking pioneers. Ice cream to them is deemed a science – their chef is an ice cream master who is relentless in the pursuit of perfection. Whilst paying homage to the traditional flavours you’ll also find they have a modern twist. With no additives, colourings or artificial flavours the result is a magnificent, super smooth, melt in the mouth flavour that is 100% natural.

 

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Ice cream is not just for Summer!  We stock the smaller on-the-go pots (perfect as a little pick me up on your cycle/walk route) and we’ll soon have some flavours in the larger take home tubs.

Two of our fave’s are the Hazelnut and Tonka Bean or Ginger Caramel which are a perfect addition to an autumnal blackberry and apple pie.

 

All products are GLUTEN FREE & suitable for vegetarians. The sorbets are suitable for VEGANS and the milk used comes direct from a local farmer every day and is made into ice cream within 12 hours. 
If you haven’t already finished it on your way home and your ice cream makes it to your home freezer! We recommend ice cream is best stored AT -18°C and no colder. Good storage is key to enjoying the flavours at their best.

 

08 Sep

Squirrel Sisters

We’ll now be spotlighting a supplier or product of the month via the blog so keep your eyes peeled for updates..

 

First up is the fantastic Squirrel Sisters with their delicious and healthy snack bars.

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Gracie and Sophie share the same core values about food as we do – you’ll see from our last post we love searching for the perfect recipe to satisfy hunger, refuel the body and nurture the soul – food should nourish not only your body but also your mind.

The sisters believe (as do we!) that there doesn’t need to be a choice between health and fun; if you can combine the perks of being healthy without compromising on fun then you have a brilliant product! The sisters motto and mission is to help others believe that in treating yourself – you can also treat your health!

Their company name ‘Squirrel Sisters’ was a nickname, which has ended up sticking with them since childhood – Squirrel rhymes with their surname ‘Tyrrell’ (and is much more fun to say!). Coincidently and perhaps luckily, they also love nuts!

After starting a blog to keep in touch with one another when living apart due to work commitments, they found their recipes and love for good food then grew organically and so…. the snack bars (and their business) were launched in 2015.

The yummy bars that we are now stocking at Quarmbys are their own recipes that have developed over time; Gracie used to make them for Sophie at home because she has a gluten intolerance and couldn’t find anything gluten-free that actually tasted good and was completely natural.

 

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We currently have two flavours available; Raspberry Ripple and Cacao brownie. Both are gluten free, vegan, raw, paleo, a source of fibre and with no added sugar.

So as well as being the perfect snack for adults on the go, they are also a super way to get a bit of health into your little ones too.

At the moment we’re the only stockists in Yorkshire which means they are selling like hot cakes, so pop in and get your hands on a few whilst you can.

We hope you like them as much as we do!