Posts tagged honey

Apricot, Thyme, Honey and Goats Cheese Grain Salad

Jess - nectarine

Jess - nectarine3


his weekend summer finally arrived! I woke in Wiltshire to gleaming sun rays through my curtains, clear blue skies and the promise of a warm balmy day. I could already taste BBQ in the air and with some thick marbled dexter steaks sitting patiently in the fridge, all we needed was a side dish to accompany.

Now I call this a ‘grain’ salad as its open to using any type of grain or pulse of choice. Cous cous, pearl barely, lentils. Follow your taste buds. But for this creative dish I used quite an original and special one. Sent from overseas England has yet to offer this nutty, textured ingredient. Its a cross between cous cous and pearl barley but get this health addicts –  its gluten free! But like I said sadly its not available in the UK yet but at least you know which food blog to check out when it does (ahem). This special packet of gold dust for coeliacs arrived for me overseas from a budding provider and I was keen to taste it. Being very versatile I wanted to use it simply and being gentle in taste it can easily handle strong flavours. Simmer for about 30 minutes and drain for a delicious texture and a wonderful flavour.

Available in both wholegrain and normal.

Jess - Sorghum

Jess - Sorghum2Jess - Sorghum3

Serves 4

  • 200g sorghum/pearl barley/giant cous cous/lentils
  • 6 fresh apricots
  • Small bunch thyme, leaves picked
  • 1 tbsp runny honey (I used Odysea’s ‘Wild Thyme and Fragrant Herb Honey‘)
  • 125g soft, goats cheese
  • Handful of rocket
  • 1 lemon
  1. Simmer you grain of choice until tender but with a little bite. Drain and leave to cool until just warm.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C.. Slice the apricots in half, de-stone and place on a baking tray. Drizzle over the honey and half the thyme leaves. Season and drizzle over a splash of olive oil and toss together. Roast in the oven for about 20-30 minutes until the apricots are roasted and softened but still hold their shape. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before cutting each half again in half.
  3. When ready to serve, season the grains and combine with the warm roasted apricots, the rest of the thyme and a handful of rocket leaves. Crumble in the goats cheese.
  4. Finally, dress with the juice of the lemon and stir gently to combine and coat in the lemony juices.

WINE: Served with a deliciously fruity glass of California’s ‘Folk Machine Pinot Noir’ available at Armit Wines

Jess - salad

Cranachan Ice Cream


o we all know I’m partial to ice cream. However I am not a desserts kind of girl in general. That being said I honestly feel like most desserts can be bettered in ice cream version!? Take my apple crumble ice cream or my carrot cake inventions for example. So with a Burn’s night supper party on the horizon I figured it was time to plan a traditional menu. But with the thought of the a creamy glass of cranachan to polish off a tasty haggis I was having none of it. Ice cream it was.

Serve topped with your honey ‘granola’ and a neat shot of whiskey to warm the cooling ice cream.

Serves about 6

  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 300ml single cream
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds scrapped
  • Splash whiskey (optional)
  • 250g frozen or fresh strawberries/raspberries (or a mixture)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 150g oats
  • 50g flaked almonds
  • 4 tbsp runny honey
  • Knob butter
  • Whiskey and extra honey to serve
  1. If using fresh strawberries, cut into quarters. Place the fruit in bowl and sprinkle with the caster sugar and set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. Whisk the condensed milk, cream, whiskey and vanilla seeds in a jug and pour into a tupperware container.
  3. Fold in the fruit, place a lid on the box and freeze.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180.
  5. Mix the almonds and oats in a bowl.
  6. Melt the honey and butter and pour over the oats and combine well until thoroughly covered.
  7. Spread out on a lined baking tray in a thin layer and toast in the oven for 15minutes, turning twice duinrg cooking.
  8. Leave to cool completely and crisp up.
  9. To serve, spoon generous helpings of ice cream into a bowl, scatter with the toasted oats and drizzle over and extra honey. Serve with a neat shot of whiskey!


Sticky Soy and Sesame Pork


peedy and delicious. If you get embarrassingly excited at the idea of sticky sweetly glazed tender strips of pork on soft oozing coconut rice then I suggest you give this recipe a try. Another long week at work, Friday nights recipe choice had high expectations to satisfy a variety of needs. I craved nothing more than comfort, flavour and relative speed. If you serve this on plain rice then you’ll have an even speedier dinner in minutes but I can never resist a coconut infused creation. Except coconut water. Whats the fad about? Dishwater disguised in a eco-friendly carton. Having been found on numerous occasions unashamedly desperately corkscrewing a hole into a fresh coconut only to slurp the fresh juicy ‘milk’ from inside with a straw this is a far healthier (economical) and dramatic way to get your coconut hit! Its fresh and delicious. Plus you get the joyful task of angrily throwing the empty coconut onto a hard floor (outside recommended) to crack it open to access the meaty pure white flesh. Perfect for grating into curries, porridge, use in cakes (see here) or into your coconut rice!

Serves 2

Sticky Pork

  • 1 pork fillet, sliced into thumb sized slices
  • 1 knob ginger, chopped
  • 1 small red chilli, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch coriander, stems and leaves chopped separately
  • 1 heaped tsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp rice wine vinegar
  • Sunflower oil
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 50g salted peanuts, crushed lightly

Coconut Rice

  • 4 oz brown rice
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Good handful desiccated coconut
  • 1 lime, zest
  • Handful chopped coriander to serve
  • Green vegetables to serve
  1. Begin with the rice. Warm the coconut milk in a saucepan with about ½ cup of water (you may need to add more water as it cooks). Bring to a light simmer but be very careful as the milk will boil over if left unattended on a high heat.
  2. Let it simmer on a fast simmer for about 25 minutes. You want to end up with cooked rice that has absorbed mostly all the liquid but is still loose so it oozes on a plate. Keep an eye out and add more water if it dries out before fully cooked.
  3. When cooked and still oozing, add the desiccated coconut, chopped coriander and lime zest and keep warm.
  4. Start on the pork which is a pretty speedy process so have your green vege and warming plate ready to go not soon after!
  5. Combine the cornflour with 2 tbsp of cold water in a jug. Add the soy sauce, sesame, vinegar and honey and mix well.
  6. Heat a frying pan or wok on a medium high heat. Quickly flash fry the chopped chilli, spring onion, garlic, ginger and coriander stalks in a splash of sunflower oil until softened. Add the pork and turn up the heat to get a nice colour on the outside.
  7. Fry for about 5 minutes or so until the pork is just cooked but still soft and not dry. Immediately add the soy mixture and stir quickly.
  8. This will thicken and bubble and glaze the pork. If it turns too thick too quickly loosen with a splash more water!
  9. Remove from the heat to prevent it overcooking and add the chopped peanuts and sesame seeds.
  10. Serve atop your coconut rice scattered with extra coriander, any spare sesame seeds alongside your green vegetables with a wedge of lime.

Fig, Coconut and Chocolate Tart



This is another gem of a recipe that I’d hungrily bookmarked too long ago from a fairly vintage and thumbed copy of Vogue’s ‘Entertaining and Travel’. Being unavailable in the UK, I’ve only a prized handful of these gorgeous and teasing magazines from a friends visits to Dubai. However, the recipes are a pleasing port of call for inspiration and I shall attribute the belated testing of this recipe to ‘savouring’ of my limited supply.

With a punnet of figs putting on a brave face in the face of an over-ripe death sitting safely in the fridge it seemed like an Autumn pleaser. With the added bonus that I ADORE anything with coconut it certainly was pleasing…

Makes 1 large tart (or use smaller ones if preferred)


  • 225g plain flour
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 125g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 1 egg


  • 200g desiccated coconut
  • 300ml weak, cooled tea
  • 5 eggs
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Grated zest 1 lemon
  • 100g dark chocolate, chopped (Min 70%)
  • 6 figs
  • Honey to glaze


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease and line a 26cm, deepish tart tin.
  2. For the pastry, place the butter, flour and icing sugar in food processor and blend until you get a breadcrumb-like texture (or rub together by hand). Add the beaten egg and combine until you form a smooth dough, being gentle when handling. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Roll the chilled pastry onto a floured surface and line the greased tart tin. Place on a baking tray and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Line with baking paper and fill generously with baking beans and bake blind for 15-20 minutes until the edges are a light golden. Remove the beans and return to the oven to allow the base to cook and turn pale gold. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
  5. Reduce the oven to 170°C.
  6. Place the coconut in a large bowl and cover with the tea. Whisk the eggs, sugar, vanilla and lemon together in another bowl before adding the soaked coconut.
  7. Scatter the chopped chocolate over the base of the pastry case and top with the coconut-egg filling.
  8. Bake for about 30-35 minutes until set and golden. Leave to cool in the tin.
  9. Slice the figs into circles and place on top of the cooled tart in concentric circles. Warm a few tbsps of runny honey in a sauce pan and use a pastry brush to glaze the figs. Scatter with more coconut and serve with a large spoonful of lime/lemon scented mascarpone if you like!


Peach and Lavender Crumble Ice Cream



(Roskilly’s ‘After eight mint choc-chip’ ice cream and an apple crumble and ginger milkshake)

This sunny glorious week my sister and I were wise enough to have booked a little trip to Sennen Cove, our usual home away from home down at Lands End for some surf and beach time. On the only one drizzly morning we made our long awaited pilgrimage to the Roskilly’s Farm where they make, hands down, the best ice cream and as an ice cream enthusiast I thought it only fitting. Even the calves looked content and happy- surely because they know that their Jersey milk is being put to delicious use! Each flavour tastes exactly as it should…from Rhubarb to Apple Crumble, Ginger Fairings to Malty Mystery and Salted Caramel or, my ultimate favoruite, toffee and hazelnut which, quite frankly, tastes like a chilled mouthful of Ferrero Rocher! The choices are endless so naturally we had to have a milkshake and a tub for…..ermm….lunch?



(Some happy Jersey calves)

Although my freezer is full of homemade ice cream experiments and flavours, after visiting this little haven I had to try some more. It’s only polite. And the weather seems to be sticking around too…



Peach and Lavender Ice Cream

  • 400ml whole mlik
  • 300ml double cream
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 6 large ripe peaches (or 1 can/400g ish of peach halves- this will give you a more peachy flavour)
  • 1 heaped tsp lavender (optional)
  • 1-2 tbsp honey
  • Handful of cooked crumble mixture
  1. If using fresh peaches, preheat the oven to 200°C . Half and core the peaches and drizzle with about 1-2 tbsp honey. Sprinkle with the lavender and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes until soft. Leave to cool. Remove the skins if you like (I didn’t).
  2. Now start the custard base. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl with a tea towel beneath it.
  3. Heat the milk, cream, and the vanilla seeds (and pod) on a low heat until just below boiling. Remove the pod and discard
  4. At this point, whisk the yolks continually and pour over the hot creamy milk in a steady stream to prevent it scrabbling. When all is added return the mixture to the pan and on a VERY low heat, stir the custard until it begins to thicken and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Keep the heat low to prevent it from scrabbling.
  5. Once thick enough, pour into a large bowl and place this bowl on ice to cool. Puree or roughly mash (for the desired texture) the cooled peaches in a processor or do the same with the canned peach halves, leaving some chunky pieces for texture. Stir through the custard and leave to cool.
  6. Once cooled, churn in an ice cream maker until set. Towards the end, add all but a handful of crumble mixture.
  7. Pour into a container, top with the leftover crumble and freeze.

Note: For a softer texture, add a splash of peach liqueur perhaps…?


Apricot and Vanilla Pannacotta with Rosemary Shortbread


There’s something about using herbs like thyme and rosemary in sweet desserts which I always think feels really sophisticated. Getting the right balance is essential as an overpowering flavour such as rosemary, while forgivable with lamb, will not be so delicious if overused in a dessert. It goes so well with the sweet, juicy plump apricots here and I created this recipe after being inspired by an apricot bar by a company called Baked. However, this recipe is more suitable for a after dinner dessert!

Serves about 5

Apricot Jam

  • 200g dried apricots
  • 350ml water
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 60g honey
  • ½ vanilla pod, seeds scraped
  1. Combine the ingredients in a pan including the vanilla pod once the seeds have been removed.
  2. Simmer gently for about 40-45 minutes until the apricots are plump and soft. Remove the vanilla pod and discard
  3. Puree in a processor until you form a thick sticky jam. Store in a jar int he fridge and use for the pannacotta recipe or one croissants and toast!



  • 250ml double cream
  • 250ml whole milk
  • ½ vanilla pod, seeds scraped
  • 50g caster sugar
  • Splash vanilla extract (optional)
  • 2 ½ gelatine leaves
  • Aprioct jam
  1. Combine the cream, milk, sugar and vanilla in a pan and gently heat to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water until soft.
  3. Get ready 5 ramekins, wine glasses, shot glasses or tumblers or whatever you want to serve your pannacotta in. Fill the base with a thin layer of apricot puree and smooth out evenly. There will be more jam than needed but add as much as you like.
  4. Just before the cream mix begins to bubble, remove from the heat, and remove the vanilla pod. Squeeze out any excess water from the gelatine leaves and whisk into the hot cream.
  5. Begin gentle, pour over a generous layer of the cream mixture onto your apricot puree. Leave to cool before leaving to set in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

Serve with the rosemary biscuits and topped with some cinnamon sugared almond flakes if you like!


Rosemary Shortbread

  • 125g butter
  • 175g flour
  • 50g caster sugar
  • ½- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Rub the flour butter and sugar together or combine in a food processor until you just begin to get a dough
  3. Add the rosemary and continue to mix to form a dough.
  4. Cut into biscuits shapes and bake on a lined baking tray for about 10 minutes (depending on size) until just turning the palest of gold and they are still soft. Watch them carefully as they cook quickly.
  5. Leave to cool before removing from the tray.


Pine nut, honey and rosemary tartlets


I love the subtlety rosemary can add to a dessert. Added carefully it can be delicious and after a first trying it in an outrageously scrumptious recipe which included a vat of stewed sweet apricots and some crunchy textured crumble, pine nuts were inevitably due to work. This is a cross between a pecan pie with pine nuts and a treacle tart. Served at the end of a recent dinner party topped with a chocolate sorbet, it was a winner.

Sweet pastry

  • 250g plain flour
  • 50g sifted icing sugar
  • 125g cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Splash milk


  • 150g pine nuts
  • 2 eggs
  • 75g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 100g runny honey
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • ½ vanilla pod, seeds removed OR 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 small sprigs of rosemary (optional)
  1. Make you pastry by rubbing the flour and icing sugar into the butter to form a breadcrumb texture. Add the egg and a splash of milk to bring it together to form a soft dough but make sure you are gentle. Wrap in cling and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Next, line 6 small or 1 large tart tin and bake blind (see here to do this)
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  3. In a large frying pan over medium high heat, toast your pine nuts until fragrant and golden. Leave to cool.
  4. Add the honey and rosemary sprigs to a saucepan and heat gently over a low heat until warm and runny. All the honey to sit on a low heat for a good 10 minutes to let the rosemary infuse
  5. Then remove and reserve the rosemary. Then whisk in the cubed butter until melted.
  6. In another bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs and vanilla until combined.
  7. Strip the leaves from the reserved rosemary and chopped very finely to get about 1 tsp or less of the leaves and add back to the honey and butter (optional). Whisk the butter and honey mix into the egg and sugar mixture.
  8. Now, space your pre-baked tart cases out onto a lined baking tray and sprinkle the pine nuts amongst the cases. Make sure you keep the tart case inside its metal tin (unlike I did) as this will add extra support for the thick mixture.image
  9. Fill with the honey mixture evenly and bake for 18-20 minutes until set. Remove and leave to cool and set.

(The first time I did this, I took the tart cases out their metal tins and the sides collapsed (disaster) so I strongly recommend leaving them in the tins to add support for the heavy honey mixture) Served with a generous and glossy scoop of chocolate sorbet, they were the perfect finish to a lovely dinner party.


Breakfast Granola


There is ALWAYS a jar of this in our cupboard, except this morning when we ran out…… a small tantrum was thrown before butter, oats and honey were scavenged from the pantry and a batch was in and baking before you could say ‘granola!’. This sweet jar of toasty crumbs is perfect for topping yoghurt, fruit salad, compote or just simply with milk. Its delicious and is free for adaptation depending on what your shelves depict and what your taste buds request…

  • 250g oats
  • 50g sunflower seeds
  • 50g pumpkin seeds
  • 50g flaked almonds
  • Handful of mixed nuts (I use chopped walnuts/hazelnuts)
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Handful of dried fruit i.e.cranberries, blueberries, raisins, apricots etc
  • 5 tbsp runny honey
  • 50g unsalted butter
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl except the dried fruit, butter and honey
  2. Melt the butter and honey in a saucepan until liquid
  3. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix
  4. Place on a lined baking tray and spread out thinly
  5. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes at 180°C turning every 5 minutes to get an even bake
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Don’t worry, once it cools, it will crisp up.
  7. Once cool, mix in the dried fruit and store in an air-tight container where it will keep for weeks!