Monday, 16 July 2012

Scallops and Black Pudding

This is the type of fusion food that is common in Ireland you wouldn't normally a mix of meat and fish on the same plate. The flavours in this really compliment each-other. The only thing is I dont know if you can get black pudding in most other countries you could substitute for venison sausage or a spicy Italian sausage (you have to grill it so it has to be a fresh meat sausage) This is a single serving, usually I would say 3 scallops depending on the size is equal to a portion;

2/3 Scallops
1 Slice each of Black & White Pudding
I heaped tablespoon of Red Onion Marmalade
Olive Oil

Red Onion Marmalade:

2 Red Onions
Glass of red wine
Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Caster Sugar
  1. Cracked Black Pepper
  2. Water 


  1. Heat a ridged grill pan and cook the slices of pudding. On the same pan, sear the scallops for 1 minute on each side
  2. Place the onion in the centre of the plate, stack the pudding and the scallops neatly on top and drizzle with the pesto.
  3. Marmalade: Slice the onions and sauté in oil over a low heat for several minutes. Season with the pepper, add the sugar, water and wine and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for about 20 minutes until it reaches a shiny, jammy consistency.
  4. Pesto: Blend together 4oz Basil leaves, 1 teaspoon Pine Kernels, 4oz Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 4oz Grated Parmesan Cheese. If the consistency is too thick, add a teaspoon of cold water.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Cupcake Adventures; Mighty Mini Attacks

This week was the beginning and the end of the shortbread, I was finally done with the wedding favors but on with the Scottish themed shortbread - so shortbread with a variety of decorations to the Highland cow, to a thistle to a Scottish terrier, it was different getting to be very creative with the shortbread this week, all good things must come to an end though. Shortbread week ended and it was an attack of the Mighty Mini Cakes and the even Mightier Mini-Mini Cakes, it was a fierce battle some were fruit cakes which meant I had to face the dreaded marzipan - even thinking about it is horrifying, everything about marzipan is just wrong - I'm digressing. The Mini Cakes and the mini-mini cakes needed to be iced and then decorated, some were to be with a Scottish theme so with thistles and flags, some terriers, and some roses I also decorated some with flowers, stars and Happy Birthday just for the general public. This week though ended on a cupcake high with the "Wicked" themed cupcake tower, which was vanilla cupcakes with green decorations and it was on a black iced board with a green ribbon.

That's on for this installment of Cupcake Adventures tune in next time!

Friday, 6 July 2012

Black Bream with Basil and Peas ‘Bonne Femme’

This fish dish is great, Sea Bream can be quite expensive but if you buy it from a fishmongers and not a supermarket you would get a much better deal. Great for a Friday night dinner and the peas that accompany it are so good! This recipe serves 6

6 Black Bream Fillets, Skin On, About 175g Each
Small Handful Of Basil Leaves

Peas 'bonne femme':
250g Unsmoked Bacon Lardons
Olive Oil, For Cooking
Few Sprigs Of Thyme
150g Pearl Onions
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
600g Fresh Or Frozen Peas


  1. Remove any small bones from the fish fillets with tweezers. Score the skin of the bream fillets at 1cm intervals.
  2. Season with salt and pepper and place a few basil leaves on the flesh side.
  3. Place each fish fillet on a large piece of cling film and drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Wrap up to enclose the fillets in the cling film, twisting the ends to seal.
  5. For the peas bonne femme, fry the lardons with a little olive oil for 8-10 minutes until golden brown and crisp.
  6. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Add the onions and thyme to the pan and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender.
  7. In the meantime, bring a large pan of water to the boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer.
  8. Add the wrapped bream fillets and gently poach for about 10 minutes until the fish is opaque and cooked through. If the centre is not cooked through, poach for a further 2-3 minutes.
  9. Add the peas and crispy bacon to the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes until the peas are tender. Season well.
  10. Divide the peas. Unwrap the bream fillets and place on top of the vegetables, skin side up. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Cake adventures - June 2012

I have now completed my first month of cake adventures there has definitely been highs and lows, but it has all
been new and exciting adventures. After a well deserved break (in my opinion) I will be returning to Scotland after my brief reappearance in Dublin where I once again reclaimed my role as head chef!

Just a few words on cake adventures as I sit here in Starbucks in Dublin airport gloating over the fact I got through security with a bagful of Irish classics in my hand luggage! I have some soda bread, some homemade brown bread, a selection of soups, some chocolate and butter, I know what your thinking "surely chocolate tastes the same in Scotland" - no it doesn't it's a bit sweeter there, well to me!

Thinking about the nice weather there was a bit in Dublin this weekend unlike Scotland where the rain is the only thing you can be sure about but I will adapt I will return in 2 months with webbed feet I'm sure!

The cake adventures this month have been plentiful if I think about how much I got to do - some photos I have posted to my Facebook and how much I have learnt in only one month I can only imagine what I will get to see and do is very exiting for a young Irish girl to go to Scotland they expected me to come to work all "top of the morning laddy" and I expected them to wear kilts all the time and have bagpipes as a ringtone - they don't which is a bit disappointing!

Scotland has definitely been a change but something I'm not going to forget anytime soon, will keep you posted on how things are going.

Tune in next time for the next instalment of CAKE ADVENTURES!!!!!!!