28 May 2011

Indigo Restaurant

I was recently invited to the VIP Evening at Indigo Restaurant. My husband took the photographs and as you can see, we all had a wonderful time. The narrative is by one of the partner's daughters who has kindly written this Guest Posting.

The restaurant concept - we wanted it to be funky, modern, yet unique in style and something to stand out. Although we chose vibrance as colour, we wanted private seating arrangements away from the outside life. As you may notice - we tried to prevent windows and made the restaurant enclosed from what is going on outside. Instead, we chose to select ideas and detail to catch the eyes of customers inside the restaurant.

Interior and colours - the colours chosen came from the name itself, Indigo and led to a purple/blue theme, which just expanded with ideas. The Managers also travelled out far to explore different restaurants (the top ones), to see what they offered, so that we could be on a similar level. We wanted the interior to look different, unique and a style no one had seen before (especially locally). Again, much research was done to get the interior spot on.

The artist with some of her work which adorns the walls of the restaurant.

How the restaurant name was chosen - the colour created the name itself, also the fact that the restaurant provides Indian foods, Indi-go!!

Food - the food served is a la carte, it was a buffet on the VIP evening though. All food is cooked from fresh including the desserts. The food on the menu includes Himalayan, Rajasthani and Jaipuri dishes and also dishes from some of India's biggest and famous cities.

The chefs - there are several chefs with years of experience. They work fast and will only cook from fresh.

Indigo Restaurant
Claverley Drive
01902 621155/621144

24 May 2011

Long Clawson Dairy - Cooking Creatively With Cheese

Cooking Creatively With Cheese has been published to celebrate Long Clawson Dairies centenary year.

The dairy, which celebrates 100 years in 2011, has worked alongside Michelin starred chef, Tom Aikens, to compile a cheese recipe bible, packed with scrumptious recipes celebrating the cheeses the world famous dairy produces.

The book takes you through the decades, starting from 1910s. It uncovers Long Clawson Dairies history piece by piece in each chapter, whilst also offering a delicious selection of cheesy recipes typical of each decade, including Bread and Butter Pudding, Broccoli & Stilton Soup and Shepherds Pie, with each dish photographed exclusively for the book.

The collaboration with Tom Aikens, who created ten new recipes for the book, came about through his love of British products and cheese in particular, Tom Aikens said 'It's been a passion of mine since I can remember, so it comes as no surprise that cheese is a regular feature in the menus of my restaurants and my recipes'.

Janice Breedon, Marketing Manager at Long Clawson Dairy, said: 'We're delighted with the book. I can't think of a better way to celebrate 100 years than to share the Long Clawson recipe collection alongside Tom's creations. We really want to inspire people and show them how versatile our cheese is - and there are 45 different recipes in the book to help do this'.

Leek and Bacon Risotto

There is a 'Did You Know' on each recipe page with fascinating facts -
Did You Know: It takes 78 litres of milk to make one whole Blue Stilton Cheese(8kg).
Did You Know: Stilton must always be made with full fat pasteurised milk and made into a cylindrical shape.

More fascinating facts:
Long Clawson Dairy is the largest producer of Stilton Cheese in the UK.

In the 18th century cheese was procured by a Mrs Paulet, a farmer's wife living near Melton Mowbray for the Bell Inn Stilton (in Cambridgeshire) where her brother-in-law, Cooper Thornhill was the landlord and that's how the cheese came to be known as Stilton. Coach travellers on the Great North Road got a taste for the blue veined cheese and its fame spread as Stilton Cheese.

Blue Stilton can only be made out of milk from Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire in strictly specified ways by the traditional dairies including Long Clawson.

I was thrilled to be sent this book as I originally came from the area, and Long Clawson Dairy is a name I grew up with. I am still a regular visitor to the area and I found this book of recipes, photographs and social history a fascinating read.

Thank you Katie.

23 May 2011


This classic recipe is taken from Nigel Slater's wonderful book Tender Vol II.
A Cook's Guide to the Fruit Garden.

Only three ingredients are used in this delicious recipe, lemons, sugar and cream and they produce one of the best desserts you will ever eat and perfect for a Summer's day.

Many people pass on making the dessert course and this is sometimes because of time restraints or possibly cost. This is a dessert that can be made in advance, takes ten minutes to prepare and for a cost of around £2.50 fills eight shot glasses. I bought my shot glasses from a well known discount department store and have used them time and time again. They are a crafty way to serve individual desserts and always look good on the plate.

My shortbread is a recipe by Lorraine Pascale from Baking Made Easy and you can see my posting here. The shot glass is perhaps swamped by the shortbread, but who wants a tiny piece of homemade sugary shortbread anyway.

Makes: 8 shot glass servings

500ml double cream, 150g caster sugar, 75ml lemon juice.

1. Place the cream and caster sugar into a saucepan and then bring to the boil, stir occasionally in order to dissolve the sugar. Now lower the heat and leave to bubble for approximately 3 minutes, stirring from time to time.
2. Reduce the heat enough to stop the mixture boiling over, now let it bubble enthusiastically for about 3 minutes, stirring regularly.
3. Remove from the heat, now stir in the lemon juice and leave to settle.
4. If you are using glasses leave to cool for a while and then pour into your glasses, cover with clingwrap to prevent a skin from forming.
5. Place in the fridge for a few hours before serving.


I made this shortbread to go with the Lemon Posset in the above posting. The shortbread melts in the mouth and is extremely moreish.

Shortbread is something I haven't made for a long time now and I forgot just how much better it is than shop bought. The recipe is easy to make and one that I will put on my list of recipes to return to time and time again. Dreamlike Shortbread is the recipe title and I couldn't think of a better way of describing it.

The recipe is taken from Baking Made Easy by Lorraine Pascale.

Click here for the recipe on the BBC Food Website.

20 May 2011

Cupcakes and Sugar Sprinkles

I have recently been sent some samples of Dr. Oetker Sugar Sprinkles, Polka Dots, Citrus flavour strands, Shimmer sugar and Cake Release Spray (a new product due to be in the shops towards the end of May).

I mixed some toffee sauce into the butter cream, put a blob of toffee sauce in the centre and then sprinkled on some delicious Fudge Chunks.

Dr. Oetker can be found on Facebook or visit their online store.

Thank you Dr. Oetker

18 May 2011

Teacup Cupcakes

These fun teacup cupcake silicone cake moulds are a must for a little girl's birthday party or if you have a cupcake party of your own.

There are four reusable oven safe silicone baking cups and they come with four saucers to put your cups on, after you have decorated them.

Find Me A Gift sell lots of baking gifts such as cake moulds, cake candles, kitchen gifts, just to name a few. They also sell unusual and unique gifts and gadgets for every age and occasion.

Thank you Find Me A Gift.

10 May 2011


Coffee and walnut cake, coffee and walnut cupcakes, both are in my top ten favourite cakes.

Some time back I was invited to the launch of Kenco Millicano. Designer Patrick Cox and Patissier Eric Lanlard teamed up with Kenco Millicano to create a Kenco Millicano 'Cake Pop'. Unfortunately, I couldn't attend because it was in London, and an evening event. I'm ok, honest, but I'm still not over missing out on this!

Kenco Millicano is a 'wholebean instant coffee': a combination of instant coffee and finely-milled Arabica coffee beans. Just perfect for making my coffee and walnut cakes.

Makes: 12

You will need: 12 hole muffin tray lined with muffin cases.

150g softened unsalted butter, 150g caster sugar, 175g self-raising flour, 3 eggs, 1 tablespoon Kenco Millicano.

1. Mix 1 tablespoon of Kenco Millicano in 1 tablespoon of boiling water. Leave to cool whilst you weigh out the other ingredients.
2. Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas Mark 4.
3. Put all the cake ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat for 2 minutes until light and creamy. Divide the mixture evenly among the cake cases.
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
5. Remove from oven and leave to cool in the bun tray.


You will need: 150g softened unsalted butter, 250g icing sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons hot water.

1. Put the butter and icing sugar in a bowl and beat until light and smooth.
2. Add the vanilla extract and hot water, beat again.

Thank you Kenco Millicano and Mel.

6 May 2011

Celebrity Eclipse May 2011

I recently went on a cruise on the Celebrity Eclipse and thought I would share a few of my photographs with you.

It was wall to wall luxury, with 2850 passengers on board and more waiting staff than I have ever seen. The ship, staff, food, room, well everything really, was just fabulous. In fact more fabulous than fabulous!

Brunch had to be seen to be believed and whilst I have only chosen to show some cakes, pastries and jellies, not forgetting the huge X ice sculpture, there was more food than I have ever seen. In fact, it was the equivalent of eating your breakfast, lunch and dinner all at one sitting. Click here to go to YouTube to see brunch being served.

These little beauties were all hand made by Celebrity Eclipse chefs.

The Martini Bar was a huge attraction and they put on plenty of cocktail shows to keep us all entertained. Click here to visit YouTube to see these guys in action, it's truly amazing.

A few of the displays next to the Martini Bar.

This was a demonstration showing us how they make cocktails in the Molecular Bar. Click here to go to YouTube to see a demo.

This display of Vodka was at the side of the Martini Bar and all of the bottles are sitting in crushed ice.

1 May 2011


This dessert is perfect for hot weather days. It doesn't take long to prepare and needs only four ingredients to make the perfect dessert.

I made this dessert last weekend when the weather was really sunny. It would have been lovely to eat outside, but the wasps were out in force, and I wasn't going to share my dessert with any crafty wasps!

Serves: 4

You will need: 4 serving glasses

4 tablespoons caster sugar, 175g blueberries, 8 tablespoons elderflower cordial, 250ml double cream.

1. Pour 4 tablespoons of water into a saucepan and add the sugar. Place the pan over a medium heat and stir for 2 to 3 minutes until the sugar dissolves. Add the blueberries to the pan and bring it to the boil. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool.
2. Strain the syrup from the blueberries into a measuring jug and add the elderflower cordial. Make the quantity up to 100ml with water, if necessary.
3. Whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks, then gradually whisk in the blueberry and elderflower syrup until the mixture holds it shape. Divide about half the blueberries between the serving glasses and divide the mixture between the glasses. Spoon the remaining blueberries and any juices on top. Put the syllabub in the fridge for a few hours before serving.