North Northamptonshire based food blogger who is obsessed with good food and proper cooking. I'm part of the Midlands Blogging team for the BBC Good Food Shows. This is where I share my own recipes and carry out recipe development and product reviews for brands, including food and wines. Please contact me using the link below.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Unilever Picnic Challenge Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

Using a more of the ingredients that arrived in my gorgeous picnic hamper from the Unilever Kitchen, is time I made dessert to take on the picnic with you.

This cheesecake is not dense, but more like a light chocolate mousse. By using 85% dark chocolate too, it also makes it not overly sweet, which I like.

400g Digestive biscuits
2tsp Ground ginger
200g Flora Buttery
300ml Elmlea double cream
300g Philadelephia cream cheese
200ml Evaporated milk
1tbs Jif Lemon juice
2tbs Icing sugar
1tsp Vanilla Powder
100g Lindt 85% Dark chocolate
350g Frozen raspberries, thawed
75g Icing sugar

1. Blitz together the digestive biscuits and the ginger until finely crumbed.
2. Melt the Flora Buttery.
3. Mix the Flora Buttery with the digestive crumbs until thoroughly combined.
4. Tip into a large rectangular Pyrex lidded dish and press down firmly, then chill until required.
5. Whisk together the Elmlea double cream, Philadelphia cream cheese, evaporated milk, Jif lemon juice, icing sugar and vanilla powder until thickened.
6. Melt the chocolate and the whisk in to the cream, milk & cheese mixture.
7. Pour over he crumb base and smooth the surface. Chill for 2 hours, or until required.
8. Mix the raspberries and icing sugar, gently crushing the raspberries a little.
9. Serve the chocolate mousse cheesecake with a generous spoonful of the raspberries drizzled over the top.

Unilever Picnic Challenge Honey Mustard Crispy Chicken

I was invited to take part in the Unilever Kitchen Picnic Challenge and was sent the most amazing hamper

Which came complete with some fabulous ingredients with which to create my picnic recipe.

I came up with this chicken recipe that can either be enjoyed hot or left to cool, sliced and enjoyed cold with a salad on your picnic.

1 Egg
1tsp Maille au Miele (honey mustard)
1 Knorr chicken stock cube
2 slices of bread, toasted and left to cool
4 Chicken breasts
Bertolli spread
2 tbs Hellmans Mayonnaise
2 tbs Colemans sweet chilli & mango sauce

1. Beat the egg and the mustard together and place onto a dinner plate.
2. Blitz together the toast and the stock cube to become crumbs, then tip onto a separate dinner plate.
3. Place a chicken breast between two layers of cling film and beat until about 1cm thick all over.
4. Repeat with the other 3 chicken breasts.
5. Dip both sides of the flattened chicken breasts in the egg & mustard mixture and then coat on both sides with the toast crumb and stock cube.
6. Heat the Bertolli spread in a frying pan and cook each side of the chicken breasts until golden brown and cooked through.
7. Mix the mayonnaise with the sweet chilli & mango sauce.
8. Serve the chicken hot, or allow to cool and then slice into strips about 2cm wide to serve with your picnic salad.

I served mine hot with fried sweet potato, a fresh leafy salad and a chunk of warm ciabatta.

Perfect and enjoyable served either way!

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Ol Extra Virgin Olive Oil Focaccia

This recipe for focaccia is published with huge thanks to Holly Bell (finalist in the 2011 Great British Bake Off).  I had the privilege to attend two of Holly's classes; baking & decorating cupcakes and then her bread course.  The recipe below is the one she taught us on the bread course, and is now my 'go to' recipe for focaccia bread that I bake. Thanks Holly xxx

I was kindly provided with 3 bottles of Ol Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  This bread has been made with one of these varieties.

250g Allinson strong white bread flour
5ml Salt
1 sachet (7g) dried, easy blend yeast
15ml Ol Extra Virgin Olive oil
200ml Cold water
Cornish Sea Salt

1. Put all the dough ingredients into a bowl and, using one of your hands, bring all the ingredients together, almost with a stirring action.
2. Still using your hand, stretch the dough from the side of the bowl, and press into the centre of the mix.  Give the bowl a 1/4 turn. Your mix will be very sticky, but this is normal.
3. Repeat this stretching, pressing and turning for about 5 minutes.
4. Liberally oil your working surface with olive oil and then tip out your dough onto the surface.
5. Using a dough scraper in one hand to help, use your other hand to continue to knead the dough for 5 more minutes.  DO NOT ADD MORE FLOUR.
6. Place your dough back into your bowl, and cover with cling film.  Leave to prove until doubled in size.
7. Grease a baking sheet well with oil.
8. Tip your proven dough onto an oiled working surface and knead again for 5 minutes.
9. Add any flavourings at this point (torn basil leaves, fresh rosemary, garlic, chopped chilli, caramelised onions).
10. Put the dough onto your baking sheet and flatten down.
11. Cover the baking sheet with your upturned bowl to help it rise, then leave to prove for an hour.
12. Preheat your oven to 220°C.
13. Drizzle your dough with a generous amount of olive oil, then using your fingers, press deep indentations over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle with sea salt.

14. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.
15. Remove from the oven and immediately drizzle it with more olive oil.

16. This bread can be enjoyed either hot or cold, with a tomato & mozzarella salad or simply dipped into olive oil.
17. The crumb should be irregular.

I used Ol Extra Virgin Olive Oil for this recipe, which was generously supplied to me, free of charge.  The recipe is courtesy of Holly Bell for kindly allowing me to re-publish it.  

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