#Recipe Station Cold Brew Coffee Company- Food Collaboration

Title 2

Before moving to Canada I’d never really heard of cold brew coffee. I guess it was something that maybe slipped under the radar of my London life in the deluge of Hoxton Hipsters, deconstructed menus and “free-from” frenzies. But here in Toronto it’s huge. In fact “huge” is too small a word to relay how prominent it is. Now that the “Unicorn” and “Fraken-Frappe” craze has passed, “Cold Brew Coffee” is THE thing- each and every coffee shop having their own take on it.

I’ve tried (quite) a few and hand on heart, whilst the other one is holding my coffee, the best one I’ve tried is by the team at Station Cold Brew Coffee. Available in a variety of formats from the travel-friendly stubby to their innovative “Nitro Can” to the customisable concentrate (and so much more) there’s something to suit coffee-lovers galore. You can find out more about them here. You can also catch the team on Dragon’s Den airing September 28th at 8.00pm EST/PST on CBC.

I have already mentioned that I think Station Cold Brew Coffee is the best and since I only work with the best, we teamed up to do a collaboration. You’ll find here a collection recipes showcasing their wonderful caffeine-laced beverage. Ranging from sweet to savory the recipes feature Station Cold Brew Coffee in unexpected, but always delicious, ways. I do hope you enjoy!

Station Brewnies (7)

Station BREWnies

A few years ago one of my brownie recipes picked up an Observer Food Monthly award for Best Readers Recipe. The recipe combined chocolate, chilli…oh, and crispy bacon! It’s a pretty good example of my recipe development ethos- think outside the box! This recipe for Station BREWnies is kind of a redux, a 2.0 version combining chocolate, crispy bacon, and this time, coffee. I hope you enjoy!

Makes 9 or 12, dependent on selected baking tin

Ingredients

Brewnies

  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 6 ½ oz dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1/3 cup Station Cold Brew Concentrate
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups packed, golden yellow sugar
  • 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup 100% unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • ½ cup pecan pieces

Ganache

  • 2 oz semi-sweetened chocolate, broken into pieces
  • ¼ cup heavy cream

Bacon shards

  • 3 strips of unsmoked bacon (or 4 if making 12 brewnies)
  • 2 tablespoons pecan pieces
  • 2 tablespoons golden yellow sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Station Cold Brew Concentrate

*Equipment note:

This mix will yield 9 Brewnies if made in an 8”x8”x1.5” deep proprietary silicone brownie pan, or 12 brewnies if made in a standard 12”x9”x1”deep baking pan

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F/180C and grease, or line, the baking pan if using. If you are using a proprietary silicone brownie pan there is no need to prep it (see Equipment note above)
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (or bain-marie), stirring occasionally. Once melted, remove from the heat and allow to cool
  3. Beat the eggs and sugar until the mixture is thickened, fluffy and increased in volume
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt
  5. Add the cold brew concentrate to the cooled chocolate/butter mixture, and stir to combine
  6. Fold the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.
  7. Sift in the dry ingredients, and fold together.
  8. Fold in the chocolate chips and pecan pieces until well combined.
  9. Pour your mixture into your chosen pan and gently spread to level the surface.
  10. Place in the oven and bake for 35-40 mins if using deeper proprietary brownie pan, or for 20-25 minutes if using shallower baking pan
  11. When done remove from oven and leave to cool completely in the pan before removing or cutting into squares

Bacon (Step 1)

  1. Chop each bacon strip into 3. You should end up with 9 or 12 pieces (depending on your final number of brewnies) and place in a bowl
  2. Add the cold brew concentrate and mix with the bacon pieces. Set aside and leave to soak
  3. Chop the pecan pieces until fine. Add to a bowl with the sugar and mix. Set aside until needed

Ganache

  1. Gently heat the heavy cream in a in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (or bain-marie), stirring occasionally. Don’t let it boil- you want it just hot enough to bare putting a finger in. When ready, remove it from the heat, add the chocolate pieces and stir to melt
  2. Continue stirring until the mixture is well combined and glossy. It will look a little separated and mottled at first but if you keep stirring it will come together in a uniform mixture. Set aside to cool and thicken

Bacon (Step 2)

  1. Set your oven to medium high broil
  2. Remove the bacon pieces from the cold brew concentrate and dredge in the pecan/ sugar mixture. Press so the mixture sticks
  3. Place on a foil lined baking tray, top each piece with any additional pecan/ sugar mixture and place until the broiler grill under they start to crisp and bubble. DO NOT leave unattended as they won’t take long and you don’t want them to catch!
  4. Remove when done and leave to cool

To finish

  1. Once all components have cooled you are ready to assemble
  2. Smear the top of each brewnie with some ganache and top with a bacon piece
  3. Serve and enjoy. They go particularly well with an ice-cold Station Cold Brew!

**The “done-ness” of the brewnies can be checked by inserting a skewer, cocktail stick or toothpick into the mixture about 1” from the edge. It should come out with a little mixture/ crumbs attached.

Station Brewnies (5)


Kickstarter Overnight Oats (2)

Kickstarter Overnight Oats

We’ve all been there. You’ve hit the snooze button too many times so now you’re rushing around in a manic frenzy. One sock on whilst you jam a slice of toast in your mouth and running out the door is never a good way to start the day! These overnight oats massively cut corners and give you a filling and satisfying breakfast. Combining a hearty helping of oats and fruit with your (much needed) cup of coffee you’ll be making those meetings in no time at all!

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup Quick Oats
  • ½ cup Jumbo Oats
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ cup Station Cold Brew concentrate
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
  • Berries, to taste
  • Nut and seed mix, to taste

Equipment

1 medium Kilner jar or Mason jar

Method

  1. Place the quick oats and jumbo oats in a Kilner jar or Mason jar and stir to mix
  2. Add in the almond milk, cold brew concentrate, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Stir well until all ingredients are well mixed
  3. Close the jar and place in the refrigerator overnight or for 7 hours minimum
  4. When ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator and stir. Add the berries, nuts and seeds to top
  5. Serve and enjoy a tasty kickstart to your morning routine!

Kickstarter Overnight Oats (3)


Pork n Beans n Joe (3)

Pork n Beans n Joe

Pork and beans is one of my all time favourite recipes. Comforting, filling and so tasty it begs to be on everyone’s “Know How” list. This recipe came from the mental image of a Wild West campfire. The cowboys surrounding it comparing stories and scars whilst filling their hungry bellies. And what  better way to wash it down? A cup of joe!

Dependent on serving portions, usually a good serving of 4

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup shallots, chopped finely
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or chopped finely
  • 4 slices thick cut peameal bacon, or pork loin, chopped into pieces
  • 1 tin (540ml) tin white kidney beans or haricot beans
  • ½ cup tomato sauce (pasatta)
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon tomato concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons muscovado sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard (I use maple mustard)
  • ½ cup Station Cold Brew concentrate
  • Salt and Pepper, to season

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F/180C
  2. Lightly fry the garlic and shallots in a tablespoon oil in a skillet.
  3. Add the bacon pieces and continue to fry until browned. Remove from heat and leave to cool until needed
  4. Empty the contents of the beans tin (incl water) into a bowl and add the remaining ingredients
  5. Stir well to combine
  6. Add the bacon/shallots/garlic mixture, season with salt and pepper stir well again
  7. Transfer to complete bean mixture to a baking dish (mine is 9 ½” diameter x 1.5” deep) and place in preheated oven
  8. Bake for 50-60mins, stirring occasionally
  9. The liquid will reduce and the overall mixture thicken. Remove from heat, serve and enjoy! Try topping with cheese shreds, and serving alongside crusty loaf

Pork n Beans n Joe (1)


Early Bird Cinnamon Rolls (1)

Earlybird Cinnamon Rolls

Saturday mornings mean cinnamon rolls in my house. I guess you could say it’s become somewhat of a tradition since my family and I moved here to Canada. Mornings (in general!) also mean something else to me – coffee. In the words of wise Chief Hopper (Stranger Things) “Mornings are for coffee and contemplation”. The recipe for these rolls combines my favourite things of a weekend morning- cinnamon rolls slathered in cream cheese frosting and coffee. Definitely cause for contemplation.

Makes 12

Ingredients

Roll dough

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons quick rise yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • ½ stick unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup Station Cold Brew concentrate
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 cup fine sugar

Filling

  • 2 teaspoons fresh cardamom seeds, crushed finely
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar

Glaze

  • 1 cup (8 oz block) cream cheese
  • ¼ stick unsalted butter
  • 2 cups icing (confectioners) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Station Cold Brew Concentrate
  • Zest 1 orange

Equipment

12”x9”x1”deep baking pan

Method

  1. Gently heat the milk and butter over a medium heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Remove and leave to cool.
  2. When cooled, add in the cold brew concentrate and olive oil, stir to combine and set aside until needed
  3. In a bowl of a stand mixer (with dough hook attachment in place) combine the flour, yeast (to one side) and salt (to opposite side)
  4. Add the egg and start the mixer on a low setting
  5. Pour the liquid mixture into flour mixture in a steady stream
  6. When all the liquid has been added increase the setting to medium and mix for 8 minutes, until all the mixture comes together into a dough ball and the bowl sides are clean
  7. While the dough is mixing lightly oil a large bowl
  8. After 8 minutes of mixing remove the dough from tip the dough from the mixer bowl into the pre-oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling wrap. Leave to rise until doubled in size
  9. While the dough is rising, make the filling
  10. In a bowl combine the butter, brown sugar, cardamom seeds and cinnamon
  11. Beat (either by hand or electric beater) until fully combined and fluffy. Set aside until needed
  12. When dough has doubled in size, tip out onto a lightly oiled surface
  13. Punch and knead the dough, for about 5 mins, until all the air has been expelled from it (called “Knocking Back”)
  14. Stretch and shape with your hands into a long rectangular shape, approximately 16” x20”
  15. Spread the butter mixture over the dough, covering the entire surface
  16. Starting from the long edge, roll the dough into a tight log shape
  17. Trim off the uneven ends and then slice the remainder into 12 equal slices
  18. Place the roll slices into your prepared tin, cut side up, in a 3 x 4 arrangement
  19. Cover with oiled cling wrap and allow to rise until double in size again, about 45- 60 minutes
  20. Preheat your oven to 350F/180C
  21. Bake the risen roll sin your preheated oven for 25- 30 mins, until golden. (If the rolls start to brown too quickly at the edges, cover with foil and continue to bake until all are baked)
  22. Remove from the oven when baked and set aside to cool while you make the glaze
  23. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine whip the cream cheese and butter until fluffy
  24. Add in the cold brew concentrate, orange zest, 1 cup of icing sugar and whip until well combined
  25. Add in the second cup of icing sugar and whip until smooth and well combined
  26. Spread the cream cheese topping over the warm rolls to your preferred thickness
  27. Serve warm and oozing the topping!

*Breakfast Make Ahead

If you want to start your day in a tasty Station Cold Brew way, these can be made up to step 19. Place the cling wrap covered rolls in the refrigerator and let them have their second rise overnight. In the morning, remove the rolls and allow to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before final baking. You can also make the cream cheese topping the night before, cover with cling wrap and have it ready for spreading on the baked rolls.

Early Bird Cinnamon Rolls (2)


Coffee & Walnut Cake (3)

Coffee & Walnut Bundt Cake

Here is a revamp on that classic British baked staple- the Coffee & Walnut cake. I’m sure Mary Berry would spit out her battenburg at the thought of tampering which such a classic (if she were ever to read this?) but irreverence can sometimes taste oh so delicious! Spiking the cake with blackcurrant provides a pleasing tangy contrast to the delicious sponge. The glaze and nuts are just an excuse to add more of that wonderful coffee flavour. If you like Coffee and Walnut cake, I’m sure you’ll love this.

Makes 1 large bundt cake

Ingredients

Bundt Cake

  • 3 ¼ cups cake & pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 sticks butter, softened and cubed
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ Station Cold Brew Concentrate
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • ¾ cup blackcurrant conserve

Syrup

  • ¼ cup Station Cold Brew Concentrate
  • 1/8 cup maple syrup

Glaze

  • 1 cup icing (confectioners) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Station Cold Brew Concentrate

Candied Walnuts

  • 14 walnut halves, lightly toasted
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/8 cup Station Cold Brew Concentrate

Equipment

  • 10-Cup bundt cake tin

Coffee & Walnut Cake (7)

Method

Bundt Cake

  1. Preheat your oven to 350/180
  2. Prepare your bundt tin by coating either liberally with softened butter and flour, or cake release spray. Ensure every crevice receives ample coating
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together for approximately 10 minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Sift into a different bowl. Set aside until needed
  5. In a skillet over a medium height, lightly toast the walnuts. Stir them frequently to make sure they don’t catch and burn. Remove from the heat an skillet, leave to cool for a few minutes, then roughly chop. Set aside until needed
  6. In a jug combine the sour cream, coffee concentrate and vanilla extract. Set aside until needed
  7. Fill a piping bag with the blackcurrant jam. Tie and set aside until needed
  8. After 10 minutes of creaming the butter/sugar, reduce the beater speed to slow and add the eggs one at a time, alternating with 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture
  9. Increase the beater speed to medium and continue to add the flour mixture 2-3 tablespoons at a time, mixing well in between. The mixture will get quite thick and stiff
  10. Once all the flour mixture has been added, add in the liquid coffee mixture, pouring in a steady stream. Continue to mix until well combined
  11. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the cooled, chopped walnut pieces
  12. Fill the bundt tine with half the cake batter. Using a teaspoon or small spatula knife create a shallow trough in the middle of the batter, all the way around the tin
  13. Pipe the jam into the trough all the way around the tin
  14. Add the remaining cake batter ensuring that the jam ring is completely covered. Gently level the surface of the batter
  15. Bake in the preheated oven for 55 mins. You can test with a skewer but be aware that you may hit the jam ring so some jam may come out on the skewer. You just don’t want any cake batter
  16. When baked remove from oven and set aside to cool on a rack

Syrup

  1. While the baked cake is cooling prepare the syrup. In a jug add the coffee concentrate and maple syrup, and whisk well to combine
  2. After 10 mins of the cake cooling use a skewer or cocktail stick to make random holes over the surface of the cake
  3. Drizzle it over the cake 1 tablespoon at a time until it has all been added
  4. Allow the cake to cool fully

Candied Walnuts

  1. While your cake continues to cool, make the candied walnuts to top the finished cake
  2. In a saucepan add the dark brown sugar, coffee concentrate, walnuts and heat over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved
  3. Once the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat to high and continue to heat for 5-8 minutes – stirring frequently to ensure the walnut laves are coated in the sugar mixture
  4. Remove from the heat and carefully place the mixture on a lined parchment tray. Using the forks separate each of the nuts, allow to cool and set. *Please be extremely careful here as the molten sugar mixture can burn. DO NOT attempt to separate the nuts using your fingers!

To finish the cake

  1. When the cake has fully cooled, invert and remove it from the tin
  2. In a large jug combine the icing (confectioners) sugar and coffee concentrate. Whisk until you have a smooth, viscous liquid.
  3. Drizzle the glaze over the bundt cake in a desired pattern. You can cover the cake surface completely or drizzle in strands. Using a spoon may help you here.
  4. When the glaze has been added, place the candied walnuts on the surface in a pattern to your liking
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Coffee & Walnut Cake (22)

*The cold brew coffee concentrate used in the recipes in this post was supplied free of charge by Station Cold Brew Coffee Company.

For further disclaimer information please see here

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#Recipe Sweet ‘n’ Salty Upside Down #Cheesecake

sweet-n-salty-upsidedown-cheesecake-4

I recently ran a poll on my Twit-stream in connection with #NationalPopcornDay asking for votes for which recipe people would like to see from a selection of three. Each of the recipes used popcorn in an alternative way. Not that there’s anything wrong with just munching on a bag in front of a good movie! But you know me and how I like to mix it up a bit!

Think of this, if you will, as a “deconstructed” cheesecake. Literally flipping everything your familiar with about cheesecake on it’s head. “Salty taste in a cheesecake?”, you say, “That’s a bit unusual”. “The crumb layer is ON TOP!?!…well that’s just crazy!” Welcome to my world.

 

sweet-n-salty-upsidedown-cheesecake-1

Sweet ‘n’ Salty Upside Down Cheesecake

Cheesecake

200g Feta Cheesecake

300g Cream Cheese

130ml whipped cream

1/4 teaspoon salt

 

Caramel sauce

210g of sugar

85g butter

120ml double cream

 

Crumb topping

14g Sweet and Salty popcorn, crushed

90g digestive biscuit crumb

50g unsalted butter

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

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To make the cheesecake:

  • In a stand mixer bowl, beat the feta cheese until smooth.
  • Add in the cream cheese, half of the whipped cream and the salt, and mix until combined.
  • Add in the remainder of the whipped cream and mix again until fully combined.

 

To make the caramel sauce:

  • In a large saucepan, heat the sugar over a moderate heat. Continue to heat until the sugar turns a deep amber color. DO NOT STIR! If needed you can swirl the pan.
  • When the deep amber color has been reached add in the butter and stir until melted.
  • Once the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream. Take extra care here as adding the cream will cause the mixture to foam up and steam. Continue to whisk until the foaming subsides and the sauce is smooth.
  • Leave to cool fully before proceeding.

 

To make the crumb topping:

  • Over a medium heat melt the unsalted butter in a frying pan.
  • Add in the biscuit crumb and crushed popcorn. Toss to coat in the melted butter.
  • Mix in the brown sugar and stir to evenly coat.
  • Continue to stir until the crumb mixture gently browns and caramelises.
  • Remove the crumb mixture from the pan and allow to cool on a plate or bowl until needed.

 

To assemble:

  • In an oblong pie dish, spoon the cheesecake mixture and smooth.
  • Pour over the caramel sauce and spread to smooth.
  • Liberally sprinkle over the crumb mixture and lightly press down.
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
  • Serve and enjoy!

sweet-n-salty-upsidedown-cheesecake-3

#Recipe Rum Salted Caramel Stardust

 

all-change

It seems a lifetime ago that I posted my last post bidding you all farewell before I flew off into the maple colored sunsets of Toronto. So here I am, almost 2 months to the day of that post, typing amidst the glow of christmas tree lights and festive smells of cinnamon  & maple, typing from my kitchen in Toronto. As is typical of this time of year (and no doubt like so many others amongst you) I get to reflecting on how MUCH has actually happened in 2016. It’s pretty much like we’ve well and truly stepped through the looking glass. I mean serioulsy….WTF has happened!?!?

Let’s face it folks this past year has hardly been note-worthy for the right reasons. I can’t exactly see Richard Curtis penning his next movie as an ode to this past time. But I’m not going to sit here though and drag up all the mishaps, tragedies and losses of 2016- we’re all well aware of them. Christmas as well as a time of reflection is also a time of giving, in whatever shape or form.

 

As part of last year’s festivities I decided to try out the whole “Homemade Gifts” approach to the festive season.This went from filling stockings to bundle boxes to arranging hampers all with the common theme -any of the foodie gifts enclosed were made by  my own fair hands in Mr. Mom’s Kitchen. The Christmas season has a way of side-blinding me with a hearty dose of nostalgia. One waft of pine, or shimmer of tinsel and it’s “Hey-ho, here we go down Memory Lane”, a sucker punch from the Ghost of Christmas Past indeed! Amongst the goodies made last year were my (by now) family favourite Christmas Cookies, laced with sweet heady spices and spritzed with orange water; a deeply rich and moist cake combining the flavours of festive fruit, chocolate and Port; mincemeat laced with port, rum and studded with almonds and pecans. Last, but by no means least, I also included bottles of rum-spiked salted caramel sauce, in which edible gold stars floated, winking enticingly from the sweet, velvety liquor.

All of these evoked a certain memory of the festive season for me, from childhood days to feature occasions of later years, each a sensory landmark in my Yuletide roadmap. The last of those mentioned, otherwise known as my “Rum Salted Caramel Stardust”, is an homage to a particularly potent chewy caramel sweet from the Christmas sweet boxes of  my childhood. It an absolute doddle to make, taking no time at all and the effects and beaming smiles will linger long after it’s been scoffed, licked and spooned.

rum-salted-caramel-sauce

Rum Salted Caramel Stardust

200g brown sugar

2 tablespoons dark rum

50g salted butter

200ml double cream

100ml single cream

1/2 tsp- 1 tsp Maldon sea-salt (to taste)

Edible star glitter, Wilton

You’ll also need up to 6 x 250ml “retro” milk bottles (clean these in a hot cycle in your dishwasher first to ensure sterilisation)

caramel-sauce

  • Combine the double and single creams in a jug and set aside for later.
  • In a heavybase saucepan combine the brown sugar and rum and heat until the sugar dissolves.
  • Increase the heat and allow the sugar mixture to deepen to an amber color.
  • *Excercise care in these next few steps!
  • Remove the saucepan with the melted sugar from the heat and add in the salted butter. Whisk briskly and carefully so that it melts and becomes incorporated into the sugar mixture. It may hiss and spit so please take care.
  • Next add in he combined creams and stir to fully incorporate. Again take care at this point.
  • Stir in the sea-salt, to taste.
  • Finally stir in a couple of teaspoons of edible stars. The amount is to your personal preference for the final look.
  • Pour into the individual milk bottles and seal with the caps. 
  • And that’s it! The final caramel sauce will keep for up to 2 weeks in your refrigerator. I find it’s best if removed from the fridge about 30 minutes before serving to allow it the return to full “saucy goodness”.  Serve it over ice-cream, brownies, pecan pies…you name it!

 

This post came about from reflection and giving and so there would seem no better way to wrap it up than with this…

“There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,’ returned the nephew. ‘Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round—apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that—as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”
― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

And with that I’d like to wish you all a very warm, safe, and Merry Christmas.

#Recipe Chilli Chocolate Panna Cotta with Sriracha Cinder Toffee, Fenugreek Clusters & Raspberries

Panna Cotta 3

This is pretty much my most ambitious recipe yet with a number of components to make and finally assemble into the completed dish. It came about as a result of a number of hankerings of mine:

The use of fruit vinegar in a dessert. I’d tasted Wormersley fruit vinegars at a food show and was utterly blown away by them. Fruity, tart and utterly delicious these vinegars are well deserved of their awards and of a place in anyone’s pantry. I’d always envisioned using them in some kind of brownie dish with the cheek-puckeringly beauty of the vinegar serving to foil the richness of the brownie. But on developing this recipe I knew the panna cotta would provide a great canvas on which to highlight the vinegar’s pudding pimping properties.

The use of a smoking gun. My latest kitchen toy that I was itching to be use and this was more than a convenient excuse. I had never used one before and was intrigued as to how well actual smoke would work with a sweet dish. Suffice to say I was not disappointed.  Whilst it’s not necessary to the overall dish it does lend an extra “Wow factor” and an interesting talking point. A word to the wise though. It only needs a short space of time for smoking (2-3 mins) and if you do decide to use it make sure you turn your smoke alarm off! I learned this the hard way – #RookieFail. As small as the amount of smoking chips used are, they still produce a heck of a LOT of smoke from the gun. Use it sparingly and near an open window is my advice.

The use of Sriracha hot sauce. Yes the very same condiment that seems to set Buzzfeed alight had been my carving for a long time. I’d just about used it in every savory application from dim sum to fries, to cold cuts and bacon- the one thing that had alluded me had been a sweet use. To be perfectly I can’t explain why but in my head the pairing of sweet cinder toffee (otherwise known as honeycomb or hokey pokey) and tongue-tingling heat of the sauce made sense. By now you probably know there’s nothing I like better than taking two extreme, opposite flavours and “smashing” them together to see what results from the gustatory debris. Here is another perfect example.

Whilst it may take some time to make and finally assemble, the completed dish is definitely a show-stopper and one that I’m indeed very proud of. There’s a wonderful array of textures and flavours at play in this dish- sweet, sharp, smooth and crispy. It’s wonderful example of just how much I like flavour experimenation in the kitchen and for me takes my “Falvour Maths” to the next level.

Makes 5

Panna Cotta

Sunflower or Corn oil for greasing

200g Green and Blacks dark chocolate

2 leaves of gelatine

190ml fl oz whole milk

250ml oz double cream

100g caster sugar

1 tablespoon Nielsen Massey vanilla extract

1 large dried Ancho chilli 

Sriracha Cinder Toffee

200g caster sugar

4 tablespoon golden syrup

1 tablespoon sriracha sauce

2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Fenugreek Oat Clusters

200g Jumbo rolled oats

250g quick oats

375g chopped roasted nuts

3 tablespoon fenugreek seeds

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

175g dark brown sugar

8 tablespoon honey

125g butter

8 tablespoon maple syrup

100ml water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To finish

Fresh Raspberries

Womersely Raspberry Vinegar

5 teaspoons bee pollen

Smoking gun with wood-chips (optional)

Equipment of Note

5 ramekin dishes (150ml apx capacity)

20cm square Silicone baking tray

Lipped baking tray

Food Smoking Gun (optional)

To make the panna cotta

  • Lightly oil five ramekin dishes (appx 150ml capacity) with the sunflower or corn oil.
  • Roughly chop the chocolate, and place in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, don’t let the base of the bowel touch the water.
  • Once the chocolate has melted, remove from the heat and set aside until needed.
  • Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for about 5 minutes.
  • Place the milk, cream, sugar, vanilla extract and Ancho chilli in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and leave to infuse.
  • After 5 minutes pass the liquid through a sieve and squeeze the soaked chilli on to the melted chocolate. Stir well to combine.
  • Squeeze the gelatine to remove the excess water and add to the mixture, stirring as you do so. Make sure all the gelatin has been dissolved.
  • Pour into the oiled ramekins and allow to cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

To make the cinder toffee

  • Mix the caster sugar, syrup and sriracha sauce deep saucepan and stir over a gentle heat until the sugar has melted. Don’t let the mixture bubble until the sugar grains have disappeared.
  • Once the sugar has dissolved, turn up the heat a little and simmer until you have a deep amber coloured caramel.
  • Turn of the hat and tip in the bicarbonate and beat in with a wooden spoon until it has all disappeared and the mixture is foaming.
  • Scrape into the silicone immediately but be careful as the mixture will be very hot and may still be bubbling.
  • Leave the mixture in a safe place to rest about 1 hr- 1 hr 30mins, by which time the cinder toffee will be hard and ready to break into pieces.
  • (This recipe makes more than need for this dish but the finished cinder toffee can be kept in an airtight container and used for dessert/ cake decoration or even as a treat!

To make the fenugreek clusters

  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, combine the jumbo oats, quick oats, nuts, cinnamon and fenugreek seeds.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, honey, butter, maple syrup and water and heat until the mixture starts to bubble. Stir in the salt and vanilla extract.
  • Leave to stand for 15 minutes.
  • Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet oiled with sunflower oil and press it down.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven, let cool, then using a spoon or spatula break up the oat mixture into clumps. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let it cool completely on the tray then break it up into clusters.
  • (Again this recipe  makes more than needed for this recipe but the finished clusters can be stored in an airtight container and used as a granola substitute.)

To assemble and complete the dish

  • To serve, place the ramekins into warm water )just up to the top) for 1 minute then quickly remove and invert out on to chilled plates. If the panna cotta doesn’t come out return to the warm water for a few seconds and repeat.
  • Top the each panna cotta with fresh raspberries and sprinkle a teaspoon of bee pollen over each.
  • Drizzle around each panna cotta with raspberry vinegar, and sprinkle around with a mixture of cinder toffee pieces and fenugreek clusters.
  • Serve and enjoy!
  • Optional: For a final touch before just before serving, place the complete dish underneath a bell cloche and insert the hose of a smoke gun. Ignite the smoke gun and inject flavoured smoke to fill the chamber, leave for 2-3 mins, remove dish and serve. (PLEASE NOTE: DO NOT USE IN AREAS WITH A SMOKE ALARM!)

Panna Cotta 1