Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Delicious home made Crunchy Granola

I thought it best to quickly post my Granola recipe to use in yesterday's recipe for Cranachan. What is left is great as a snack, as cereal or delicious for breakfast with some thick creamy Channel Islands yogurt. Surprisingly for this chef it is a relatively healthy dish if you ignore the sugar  ( honest ) and watch out for my bacon and maple granola recipe posted soon !!!!!

Just a quick plug for my new friends at Urbangrains living on a small island it is not always easy to get hold of great ingredients they have some fantastic products watch out for some more recipes using their lovely stuff.

Home made Crunchy Granola

3 cups rolled oats
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup pine honey
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup dried fruit; raisins, sultanas, small diced dried apricots, freeze dried strawberries
½ cup toasted flaked almond nuts or flaked coconut

Heat the oven to 300°F / 150 C / Gas mark 2. Place the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine; set aside.
Place the honey, oil, and vanilla in a small bowl and stir to combine. Pour over the oat mixture and mix until the oats are thoroughly coated.

Spread the mixture in a thin, even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then stir and continue baking until the granola is very light golden brown, about 5 to 15 minutes more.

Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and cool the granola to room temperature, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. (Note: It will harden as it cools.)

Add the fruit and nuts or seeds to the baking sheet and toss to combine. Store the granola in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Monday, 29 September 2014

My Cranachan Recipe you can now eat in Jersey

As you know I have spent the best part of the last twenty years learning to cook. And I am still learning ! When the recent summer fruit season reached it's peak, it reminded me that I have watched some very talented pastry chefs turn a glut of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and currants into fools and mousses, press into purées, sauces and coulis and set as ices, jams or jellies. In my humble experience however, the summer favourite, the dish everyone adores the most, is Eton Mess, the creamy, strawberry and meringue confection.

My good friend Donald, the Scottish born pastry chef at the old Island Hotel, Tresco  taught me to make the north of the boarder cousin of the meringue mess, Cranachan. This is an altogether more grown up dessert, god bless him, with delicious raspberries folded into cream flavoured with honey, whisky and the crunch of toasted oats. As it ticks the alcohol and cream boxes how could I resist and well oats lower your cholesterol don't they.

Here is my slightly updated recipe created for a new restaurant in Jersey, so if you don't want to make it you can go eat a yummy dinner and then try the dessert and told them I sent you. I used crunchy granola replacing the oats ( home made if possible, save the rest for breakfast with nuts and dried fruit ) and fragrant pine honey, from my friends at Urbangrains, whipped in with the cream, which added a whole new level of flavour. Please enjoy.

Cranachan                                                                                                      serves 4

4 tlbsp Granola
300 gr fresh British raspberries
350ml double cream ( I use thick Jersey double cream)
75 gr home made granola
30 gr caster sugar
2 tlbsp pine honey
2 to 3 tlbsp good quality whisky
mint and icing sugar to garnish

First purée half the raspberries and caster sugar in a blender and sieve. Whisk the double cream until just set, thick Jersey cream really only take a few turns of the whisk, then gently stir in the honey and whisky. Do not over whip or the mix will separate.

Fold in the raspberry purée in light ripples then serve in bowls alternating layers of the cream, the granola and the remaining whole raspberries. Chill before serving and top with raspberries, mint and dust with icing sugar.