Home » food

Tag: food

Raspberry Ripple and Peach Melba Roulade

Summer Puddings

Pudding or Dessert?

The definition of the word “dessert” is a sweet course that is served at the end of a meal. It is usually made up of sweet foods, but can also contain other items, such as herbs and cheeses. The term “pudding” has become synonymous with the term “dessert” in the United Kingdom and a few surrounding countries. However, pudding itself is a dessert dish as well as a savoury dish that is part of a meal. Suet puddings with steak and kidney or mushroom and leek are typical examples.

The word pudding is believed to come from the French boudin, originally from the Latin botellus, meaning “small sausage”, referring to encased meats used in Medieval European puddings.

Though not always admitted, some people prefer to use the term dessert as against pudding as this has connotations of class. Using “dessert” is thought to be posher than a homely pudding. This distinction has changed with more traditional recipes making a fashionable comeback in recent times — such as spotted dick, bread and butter pudding and the timeless trifle!

Raspberry Ripple & Peach Melba Roulade

Raspberry Ripple and Peach Melba Roulade

Prep time: 20mins • Cook time: 9mins + 45mins baking peaches • Total time: around 30 mins • Serves 6

For the Swiss roll:

  • 3 large free-range eggs, room temperature
  • Half the weight of the broken eggs in caster sugar
  • Half the weight of the broken eggs in self-raising flour
  • 2tbsp raspberry jam


  • 200ml whipped double cream
  • 100g raspberries
  • 4 peaches, oven-roasted, see recipe below
  • 2tbsp clear honey or maple syrup

Method for oven-roasted peaches

  1. Slice each peach into 8-10 slices.
  2. Put into an oven-proof pan with 2 tbsp water, and cook over a medium heat until just beginning to soften. Do not stir.
  3. Remove from heat and gently stir in 2 tbsp maple syrup or clear honey.
  4. Slow-roast in the oven gas Mark 2/150C for 45 minutes until starting to caramelise.
  5. Remove from oven and if using for the roulade, drain off any excess juice. The excess juice can be used as a coulis to serve with the roulade. These are also delicious served with Greek yogurt.

Method for roulade

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Lightly brush the base of a 30cm x 23cm Swiss roll tin with vegetable oil. Cut a sheet of greaseproof paper to fit the base of the tin. Brush the paper with a little more oil, then dust with caster sugar and flour.
  2. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy, until pale and thick enough for the mixture to leave a trail when the whisk is lifted. This takes about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Sift half the flour into the mixture and fold in very carefully until no traces of flour are left. Repeat with the remaining flour. It’s important to take your time and do it thoroughly.
  4. Halve the mixture and gently fold the raspberry jam into one half. Spread this gently into the prepared tin and top with the other half.
  5. Bake in the centre of the oven for 7- 9 minutes, until golden and risen and just firm to the touch.
  6. Remove from the oven. Lay a piece of greaseproof paper that is larger than the sponge on the work surface. Dust the greaseproof paper with caster sugar. Turn out the sponge onto the sugar-dusted paper. Peel the paper off the base of the sponge. Roll gently lengthwise and place on a cooling rack.
  7. Once the sponge is cool, unroll it gently. Trim off the edges of the sponge.
  8. For the filling, dot the sponge with the roasted peaches and raspberries, then top with the cream.
  9. Roll the sponge carefully. Drizzle the peach juices over the top and serve.

Brioche summer pudding with an iced custard filling

Brioche summer pudding with an iced custard filling

Prep time: 20 minutes, plus overnight in fridge & freezer • Cook time: 10 minutes • Total time: 30 minutes • Serves 1

For the Summer Pudding:

  • 60g strawberries, halved or quartered if large
  • 60g raspberries
  • 60g blackcurrant jam
  • 1 tbsp crème de cassis or Ribena
  • 3 slices brioche loaf


  • 100ml whole milk
  • 5g caster sugar
  • 7g custard powder
  • 40g double cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Method for Custard

  1. In a bowl mix together the custard powder and sugar adding the milk slowly to make a smooth mix. Heat gently in a pan or in a microwave to make a smooth custard.
  2. Remove from the heat and whisk well. Stir in the cream and vanilla if used and whisk again.
  3. Pour into an ice cube tray. Cover with cling film and put in the fridge.
  4. When completely chilled, place in the freezer for a couple of hours.

Method for Summer Pudding

  1. Place all the fruits, jam and cassis in a saucepan and cook gently over a medium heat for about 4 minutes, until softened but still holding their shape or in a bowl for 2 minutes on medium in a microwave.
  2. Drain over a bowl, reserving the juice and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Cut two large rounds from the brioche slices and three strips to line the bowl. Dip one brioche round into the juice, soak well and use line the base of a small basin. Dip the strips into the juice and line the sides of the bowl. Fill with the fruit and place the remaining soaked round on top.
  4. Cover with clingfilm and place a saucer with a weight, such as a food can, on top and put in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.
  5. 40 minutes before serving, score a small circle of brioche from the top of the summer pudding, put to one side, and remove a large teaspoonful of the fruit. Pop a cube of iced custard into the hole and replace the brioche.
  6. Invert the pudding onto a plate and spoon the summer fruit onto the top.
  7. Place extra cubes of iced custard around the edge. Leave for 40 minutes at room temperature.
Pat Bowcock living the quiet life — off-grid

Living the quiet life — off-grid

Anne King visits one of the area’s growing number of eco-homes to find out what’s involved in living off-grid.

It was 16 years ago that Pat Bowcock moved into a tiny caravan in an empty pony paddock on the outskirts of Litton Cheney.

She had a dog for company, but no power or facilities, or, it turned out on the first night, even a torch.

She had been living in a lovely house in Litton. She was married to a head teacher, was a mum with two children and had a steady job with a GP.

But she felt an increasing desire to live in a different way.

Read more

Are you going to Evershot Fair?

The roots of Evershot Country Fair go deep. Its origin dates to 1286 when a charter was granted by Edward I.

Lee Wicks discovers how many of the customs and practices can be seen in its modern descendant.

A fair was an important trading and social occasion in the rural calendar and it combined serious business with the excitement of rivalry and revelry.

In the morning, a bell rang out to proclaim the start of trading. The hire of labour and negotiation of rates ran alongside the bartering of livestock and haggling over wares from within and far beyond the county borders.

From the 1600s, it was common for long-distance packhorse trains to crisscross England, transporting merchandise to town shops and country fairs.

evershot fair 2014 crier

Seasonal walnuts, dried ling (a cod-like fish), reed mats, barrels of pitch and tar, ‘cleane soape’, harvest gloves and books both old and new were some of the items offered for sale. George Alexander Cooke’s copious travelling index of 1822 thought it important to provide his readers with details of the many fairs.

He recommended Evershot’s Annual fair for its ‘Bullocks and Toys’. These toys were not so much children’s playthings but a Victorian description of interesting knick-knacks such as shell-enamelled snuff boxes and stone bottles.

The significance of a fair in the rural psyche of individuals is apparent when it is linked to other important events.

A handbill drawn up by Charles Warren of Marnhull, Dorset, set out his requirement for a new wife as: “My wife been dead 12 months ago, last Stroton (sic) Fair” and he required “a good steady woman between 30 and 40 years old,” to look after his three young children and his pigs.

The fair was more than goods and labour-trading (and wife-hunting). After a morning of serious transactions, the afternoon was given over to drinking, dancing, strolling players and athletic contests.

evershot fair 2014 carver

Evershot’s population in the 1800s averaged 500 people, more than half of which were under 30 years of age. In recognition of the central role the fair held within a community and the excitement it generated in a largely young population, employers wisely gave permission for a day off rather than deal with mass absenteeism.

Echoes of the past will be found in this year’s Evershot Country Fair to be held on the 21 June. There will definitely be an air of revelry with plenty to eat and drink and the strolling players prefer a static gazebo to entertain with their music.

Instead of pack horses, vans and cars crisscross the borders and byways, to bring a variety of culinary delights displayed in the food marquee. More than 80 stalls will offer their wares, some of which do have knick-knack ‘toys’ as well as quality crafts.

As for hiring of hands, you can engage the skills of a coppice worker, hurdle maker and stone mason. These are some of the demonstrations of rural crafts that are an intrinsic part of the fair.

The Fair on Sunday 21 June opens at 11am and ends at 5pm. Adult entrance is £2 and it’s free for children. More information on www.evershot.org/ecf

Ham hock with boiled egg and pickles

Eating Out: Brassica, Beaminster

Brassica Restaurant
4 The Square, Beaminster
Wednesday-Saturday lunch, fixed menu: two courses: £13.50 three courses: £16.50
Also open in the evenings, Tuesday — Saturday

I first visited the building that currently houses Brassica many years ago when it was a free house that had the rare distinction of serving food on Sunday evenings. The beer was good; the kebab was a cheap disaster. Eventually The Wild Garlic arrived; my sole dining experience was a more expensive disappointment.

Read more

Splitting the Issue: Scones or Buns for Cream Teas?

Splitting the Issue: Scones or Buns, for Cream Teas?

In Cornwall, a cream tea was traditionally served with Cornish splits rather than scones. Cornish splits are little yeast-leavened bread rolls, they are split when still warm and first buttered, then spread with jam before topping it with a generous dollop of clotted cream. Sometimes treacle (Golden Syrup) would be used instead of jam; this combination goes by the name of “thunder and lightning” and although I’m not a big fan of treacle straight from the tin, it tasted — and the name sounded — rather good!

Read more