Tag Archives: baking

Wensleydale, Apple and Thyme Muffins

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Now that both children are at school I am endeavouring to be a good mother and provide them with a vaguely nutritious snack. Last week was flapjacks; stuffed with maple syrup and dried fruit, they were predictably well-received. This week I thought I’d gamble with savoury. Now that the season is mellowly fruitful etc. etc. apples are in abundance and so I’ve paired sweet eaters with a creamy sheep’s milk Wensleydale to make these muffins. There’s also a passing nod here to the Yorkshire saying ‘an apple pie without the cheese is like a kiss without the squeeze’ (note though, Mr Trump – you ask first).

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Cheese Gougères with Cornish Gouda

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I’ve wanted to make gougères for a long time but was afraid that my limited baking skills would falter when it came to choux pastry. I wrote about Cornish Gouda with Honey and Clover a couple of weeks ago and, on tasting it, I could imagine what a great cheese it would be to cook with: sweet but with interesting savoury notes. So, it seemed like the opportune time to get to grips with gougères. I used this Guardian recipe as my basis.

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Cheddar Cheese and Wild Leek Scones

DSCF0427Last week I was off to see the Barber family, who make Cheddar cheese down in Somerset. I’ve been to see them before but, as they are the guardians of the last traditional cheese cultures, I wanted to talk to their cultures expert (I’m not very scientific so need such things explaining to me at least three times, preferably with pictures). I thought it only polite to take something suitably cheesy with me, so opted for scones, made with their 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar. There’s nothing worse than a cheese scone that isn’t cheesy so the 1833 is a good choice, punchy and tasty as it is.

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Crab, Samphire and Barber’s 1833 Quiche

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Well, it looks like the summer holidays have certainly taken their toll on my blog. Museum visits, cricket in the park and excessive ice-cream consumption (not to mention the small matter of doing some actual work on top) left little time for writing about cheese. And the more you feel guilty about not doing something, the harder it becomes to actually do it after a while. Fortunately, the schools have opened their doors once more and, at the same time, the cheddar-makers at Barber’s asked me if I’d like to develop a new recipe for their flagship 1833 brand. It was just what I needed to get back on the cheese-horse again.

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Wild Garlic and Wilde’s Curd Cheese Cornbread

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It’s been a while since I posted a cheesy recipe on here but the lovely chaps at Wilde’s Cheese sent me away with such a mammoth cheese doggy-bag that I had two choices: use all the pieces to build a cheese igloo, or get my cooking cap on. As well as cheese, they also gave me a gorgeous bunch of wild garlic, the last of the season. I can only find wild leeks round here so this was a real treat. Searching for inspiration, I came across and slightly adapted this recipe, which seemed the perfect way to wed up some of my ingredients. The result was lovely, gritty cornbread, studded with melty bits of curd cheese. I halved the quantity of wild garlic in the recipe but even so it packs a punch, so probably not a great first date food. Fortunately, I am old and well past all that malarkey.

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Potato, Celeriac, Pear and Nuns of Caen Bake

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You know you’re advancing in years when a) you get excited by the thought of buying a mandolin (the chopping, not the Captain Corelli variety) and b) you then get enraged because it turns out it doesn’t slice thinly enough for your liking. So, all ideas of conning my children by making vegetable crisps out of the window, I was left pondering what to do with my new toy so that I didn’t hurl it against a wall. As fate would have it, I was also pondering what to do with the remains of last week’s Nuns of Caen that the kinds folks at The Cheese Market had given to me in abundance. This recipe is therefore the coming together of some too-thickly-sliced vegetables, a luscious cheese washed in perry and – it only seemed fitting – some pears. It was eaten with pork chops, also cooked in perry with shallots and sage.
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Sourdough Pizza with Salami and Paddy’s Milestone

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I am fascinated by natural yeasts and like to grow a sourdough starter in my kitchen. It was given to me by an Italian friend who got it from her in-laws in Italy who got it from a bakery. So it feels a bit like a pedigree pet, one of those long-haired hamsters or something that needs food and attention or it starts to smell. The problem is that if it was a hamster I’d be in big trouble with the rodent obesity protection league as I feed it far too much and end up with a giant Kilner full of starter:

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