Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Christmas Hampers at The Pink Pig

Stuck for Christmas gift ideas? It's not too late to get along to the Pink Pig Farm in Scunthorpe where you'll find fabulous Christmas hampers stocked with tasty local food and drink. And these aren't just any old hampers...once you've finished enjoying its contents, the hamper turns itself into a planter within which you can plant and grow seeds.

With two different sizes available, the hamper starts at £21.00 and includes luxurious treats such as the Pink Pig's very own red onion marmalade, famous barbeque sauce and delicious ginger bread men. The Pink Pig Farm is also supporting the local community by including homemade products from other local producers such as the Calendar Girls raspberry jam and Montezuma organic chocolate are some of the appetizing products on offer.

When all the food presents have been eaten over Christmas, all the recipient has to do is use the hamper liner to line the box, add compost and plant the seeds to enjoy a gorgeous window box planter well into 2010!

The Pink Pig window box hampers are available from the farm shop in Holme, Scunthorpe or via their website at www.pinkpigfarm.co.uk.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Breakfast Week in Lincolnshire: 24-30 January

Did you know Breakfast Week is taking place across the UK from 24th to 30th January?...

We all know breakfast is regarded by health professionals as the most important meal of the day - whether you're a slice-of-toast and cup-of-tea type or more into your cornflakes, semi-skimmed and a sprinkling of sugar. Of course not forgetting the great English breakfast...sausage, egg, bacon, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms (the list goes on) - admittedly not an every day morning staple for most, more a weekend indulgence especially when accompanied by a fresh newspaper and pot of coffee. Pure joy!

So starting Breakfast Week off with a bang in Lincolnshire is The Great Australian Breakfast 2010 (Sunday 24th Jan) in Lincoln which celebrates the twinning of our historic city with Port Lincoln in Australia. Everyone is welcome to come along and tuck into a traditional English breakfast whilst watching local bands and enter into the raffle.

Pink Pig Farm near Scunthorpe (pinkpigfarm.co.uk) will be serving up their breakfasts all day, every day for the week with a USA twist. Using Lincolnshire ingredients, indulge in Lincolnshire beef steak, homegrown eggs, homemade pancakes made with local flour, homegrown bacon drizzled with local honey, homemade granola, local yoghurts and British autumn berry compote! Mmm...

That's about it for now but there'll be more breakfast news as I get it.CL

Black Forest Chocolate Roulade

A spectacular alternative to Xmas Pud, this roulade is full of flavour and will wow your dinner guests...

You'll need to leave the roulade in the fridge overnight to allow it to rest, so make sure you have this worked into your Christmas schedule.

5 Eggs
225g/8oz Caster sugar
180g/6oz Plain chocolate
3-4 tbsp Water

575ml/1pt Double cream, lightly whipped with 2tsp vanilla essence
2 tins Black cherries, drained and stoned
3tbsp Kirsch or Cointreau
Icing sugar for dusting

100g/4oz Plain chocolate

Preheat the oven to 180 deg C/350F/Gas 4. Line a swiss roll tin with greaseproof paper and set aside. Seperate the eggs, beat the yolks with the sugar until the mixture is lemon coloured.
Melt the chocolate in the water over a gentle heat and when it is a thick cream draw the pan aside. Whip the egg whites into a firm snow and then add the chocolate to the egg yolk mixture.
Cut and fold the egg whites into the  mixture and turn it into the prepared tin. Place in the pre-heated oven for 10-15 minutes or until firm to the touch.
Have a clean tea towel wrung out in cold water. Take out the roulade, cool it slightly then cover with the cloth. (this prevents a sugary crust from forming). Leave it in a cool place for 12 hours or in the refrigerator overnight.
Lay a piece of greaseproof paper on a table and dust it with icing sugar.
Remove the cloth and turn the roulade out upside down on to the greaseproof paper. Strip the paper case off the roulade carefully and drizzle with Kirsch or cointreau. Spread with a layer of whipped cream and black cherries and roll it up like a Swiss roll.
To make the scrolls, place two baking trays in the oven on the lowest setting. Allow them to heat up and remove from the oven. Rub a 100g/4oz block of plain chocolate up and down each tray in even lines, so that it melts in a thin even coating. Leave in the fridge to set.
Before you start to make the scrolls bring the trays back to room temperature, use the edge of a fish slice and hold the tray with one hand and push the chocolate away from you at a 45 degree angle so it rolls up into a pencil shape. Leave in the fridge to set again and carefully remove. Decorate the roulade with the scrolls.
Lift it onto a serving dish and dust well with icing sugar.

Original recipe by Rachel Green. As featured in Good Taste Autumn/Winter 2009