Baked teriyaki tofu with broccoli

Baked teriyaki tofu with broccoli

I know I should be spending my Sunday writing up this week’s blog, but I’ve fallen into a Backstreet Boys hole and now I can’t climb out of it. I went to see them last week and it has ignited my teenage obsession. I literally can’t stop Wikipedia-ing, YouTubing, Googling and general ogling my ’90s teenage obsession. After two hours of back-to-back hits and two pints of cheap wine (yes, pints), I was transported back to my 16-year-old self’s bedroom, where my Purple Ronnie wallpaper and blow-up chairs witnessed some truly shocking choreography. Without warning, I busted into my old dance routines in the O2 Arena – much to the horror of my male companion and those around me. I waved my arms, thrust my hips and flicked my hair like a deranged Britney Spears tribute act – I don’t get out much.
That being said, I had a blast and have been writing ‘I heart BSB’ on my pencil case ever since – I’m freelance now, thus the need to carry stationary around with me at all times.
Anyhoo, enough about my youth, let’s all just go away and download the Backstreet’s Back album and listen to it as we slice up some fat tofu steaks and whip up my lighter version of this Japanese classic.


Baked teriyaki tofu with broccoli
Serves 2 / hands on time 30 mins / Total time 30 mins / V Df
You’ll need: 20cm oven-proof dish
3 tbs light soy sauce
5 tbs water
1 tbs honey
2 tsp light brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
Knob of ginger
Juice of half a lemon
280g firm tofu, drained
200g tender-stem broccoli
4 whole spring onions, outer layer removed and ends trimmed
Rice or noodles to serve – I know I used noodles but feel rice would probably be a better option in hindsight
Black sesame seeds to serve (optional)


Method
1. Pre-heat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400F/gas mark 6.
2. Drain the tofu and cut into thick steaks and place in the oven-proof dish before putting to one side.
3. In a small saucepan combine the soy sauce, water, honey, sugar, garlic, ginger and the juice of half a lemon. Place over a medium heat and bring to the boil.
4. Once boiled, pour the liquid directly over the tofu and make sure it is well covered. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
5. Meanwhile use this time to cook the rice/noodles and steam the broccoli and spring onions. Divide into bowls when you’re ready to serve.
6. Remove from the oven, lift the tofu stakes out carefully and place on top of your chosen accompaniment and pour over any remaining juices. Serve topped with a sprinkle of black sesame seeds.

Baked teriyaki tofu with broccoli

If you’ve had a go at making my teriyaki tofu or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


V – Vegetarian    Df – Dairy free



Penne al’arrabiata

Penne al’arrabiata

Eaten enough chocolate to sink a small ship this Easter? Me too… Penne al’arrabiata anyone?


Penne al’arrabiata
Serves 2 / Hands on time 15-20 mins / Total time 15-20 mins / V
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp of chilli flakes (½ tsp if you like it really spicy)
1 can of good quality plum tomatoes
1 tbs tomato purée
1 ball vegetarian mozzarella (optional)
130g penne pasta
Fresh basil to serve


Method
1. Set a full kettle on to boil and measure out your penne and put in a large saucepan along with a good pinch of salt.
2. Meanwhile in a large frying pan or pot, add 1 tbs of extra virgin olive oil and warm over a low to medium heat. Peel and chop your garlic and add it to the oil (you don’t want to fry the garlic, only infuse the oil with it so watch that it doesn’t start to fry and brown). Infuse the garlic for a few minutes before adding the chilli flakes.
3. Once the kettle has boiled, pour over the penne and set over a high heat. Cook according to packet instructions.
4. Add the can of plum tomatoes to the garlic and chilli infused oil along with 1 tbs of tomato purée and a good pinch of salt. ​Stir carefully and break the plum tomatoes up with the back of a wooden spoon. Up the heat and simmer for a good 5 minutes or until your pasta is ready.
5. Drain the penne and pour it straight into the sauce making sure it is well coated. Spoon into bowls and finish by topping with torn mozzarella, fresh basil leaves and a good crack of black pepper.

Penne al’arrabiata

If you’ve had a go at making my Penne al’arrabiata or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


– Vegetarian


Carrot cake loaf

Carrot cake loaf
Carrot cake loaf
Carrot cake loaf

I’m going to keep this short but sweet – much like this carrot cake. Partly because it’s past my bedtime and partly because I’m grumpy after spending my entire Sunday burning multiple carrot cakes – would have helped if my oven wasn’t an old tin can with no temperature markings on it.


Carrot cake loaf
Make 1 loaf / Hands on time 35 mins / Total time 1 hr 45 mins / V
You’ll need: 2 lb loaf tin, electric hand whisk
Juice of 1 orange
45g sultanas
150g carrots, peeled and grated
150g soft brown sugar
80g self-raising flour
80g wholemeal flour
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp ground ginger
50g pecans, roughly chopped
Pinch of salt
150ml rapeseed oil
2 eggs
Cream cheese icing
130g cream cheese
30g soft unsalted butter
65g icing sugar


TIP: To store, refrigerate for 1-2 days at most and then allow to come up to room temperature before serving.


Method
1. In a small saucepan, heat the juice of an orange over a low to medium heat and add the sultanas. Warm through for 10 minutes before putting to one side to cool.
2. Meanwhile, grease the base and sides of a loaf tin with a bit of extra rapeseed oil and line the bottom with baking paper. Put to one side and preheat an oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ 350°F/gas mark 4.
3. Peel and grate the carrot before weighing out the sugar, self-raising flour, wholemeal flour, cinnamon, ginger, mixed spice, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the roughly chopped pecans and give it a good mix before incorporating in the grated carrots using a wooden spoon.
4. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the rapeseed oil and the eggs until combined. Pour into the carrot mixture and mix thoroughly. Spoon into the loaf tin and bake on the middle shelf for 1 hr or until a skewer comes out clean.
5. While the cake is baking, make the cream cheese icing by whisking the butter and the cream cheese together in a bowl with an electric whisk. Fold in the icing sugar with a spoon before whisking again for a couple of minutes. Cover loosely with clingfilm and refrigerate.
6. Allow the carrot cake to cool completely in the tin before turning out and topping with lashings of cream cheese icing. Delicious!

Carrot cake loaf
Carrot cake loaf

If you’ve had a go at making my carrot cake loaf or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


– Vegetarian
❄ – This cake is suitable for home freezing once cooled and before icing. Wrap well in cling film and freeze fore up to 3 months. Defrost fully before icing and serving.



Savoury green drop scones

Savoury green drop scones
Savoury drop scones
Savoury drop scones

Let’s be honest, no right-minded person in their thirties is getting up early to make pancakes before work on Pancake Day. Chances are, you have no idea it’s Pancake Day until someone mentions it to you at work, and that’s when you realise you have no lemons, no maple syrup or anything remotely pancake-y in your house. However, if you don’t want to miss out on the ‘fun,’ but are not overly keen on the idea of lemon and sugar pancakes for dinner, then skip the supermarket on the way home and try my savoury drop scones – aka, Scottish pancakes.
Made mostly from ingredients you may already have lying around, these little babies make the perfect midweek meal. Happy Pancake Day!


Savoury green drop scones
Makes 8-10 / Serves 2 / Hands on time 30 mins / Total time 30 mins / V
175g spelt, wholemeal or plain flour
200ml semi skimmed milk
1 egg
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp rapeseed oil
3 springs onions, finely chopped
1 large handful of greens (you can use any chopped greens you like for this recipe – I use a mixture of savoy cabbage and kale but spinach, cavolo nero, chard or even brussels sprouts will work. You can also use grated root vegetables such as carrots or parsnips)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Handful fresh coriander, chopped
50g vegetarian cheese of your choice – I used cheddar 
30g vegetarian Italian hard cheese or Parmesan* (optional)
½ tsp sea salt
Rocket, avocado slices and extra virgin olive oil to serve


Method
1. Preheat an oven to 100°C/80°C fan/210F/gas mark 1.
2. Weigh out the spelt flour and the baking powder and combine in a large bowl. Add 200ml of semi-skimmed milk to a jug and crack in 1 egg. Whisk the egg in the jug with the milk until fully incorporated. Put to one side.
3. Finely chop the spring onions, garlic, coriander and your selection of greens. Grate both cheeses and put to one side.
4. Add ½ tsp of salt to the flour and mix before making a well in the middle and pouring in the milk bit by bit, whisking continuously. Once you have a smooth batter, add the other ingredients until fully incorporated.
5. Put a large non-stick frying pan over a medium to high heat and add a tsp of rapeseed oil. Once hot, drop a heaped tablespoon of mixture into the pan and push down with the back of the spoon to create a round-dish shape. Repeat this process making sure the drop scones are not to close together. After a couple of minutes, flip the scones over and press down on them with the back of a spatular to help them cook through – feel free to flip them over a couple more time to insure they are cooked all the way through.
6. Turn the scones out onto a plate, cover loosely with foil and place in the warm oven while you make your second batch of scones. Repeat this process until you have no batter left. Serve warm with a simple rocket salad, sliced avocado, a good crack of black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Savoury drop scones
Savoury drop scones


If you’ve had a go at making my savoury drop scones or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


V– Vegetarian
*Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiani) is always made using animal rennet, therefore it is not vegetarian. Substitute for Italian hard cheese if applicable.



Welsh rarebit

Welsh rarebit
Welsh rarebit
Welsh rarebit

Easy, cheap and bad for your cholesterol, this teatime treat is the kind of oozy comfort food that blocks your arteries with love (and fat) – just what the doctor may have ordered back in 1725.
Believed to have taken off in 18th century England, it may surprise you to learn that Welsh rarebit isn’t Welsh at all, but an English dig at poverty stricken Wales – nice. Rabbit was a poor man’s meat in England, whereas the poor man’s ‘meat’ in Wales was cheese, thus the name ‘Welsh rabbit’. Although somewhere along the way, the alternative spelling, ‘rarebit’, crept in for some reason, and no one really knows why. Anyhoo, that’s not to say that the Welsh didn’t eat Welsh rarebit – cheese, bread and beer were food staples of the time. Sounds worryingly like my current diet. Oh well, scurvy here I come…


Welsh rarebit
Serves 1 / Hands on time 10 mins / Total time 15 mins / V
100g vegetarian mature cheddar, grated
1 egg yolk
1 tbs beer or stout (or milk if you don’t have any)
½ tsp English mustard
1 tsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce*
2 thick slices of bread


Method
1. Grate the cheese and place all apart from a small handful in a bowl along with the egg yolk, stout, English mustard and vegetarian Worcestershire sauce. Stir well and put to one side.
2. Put a grill on a high heat and toast the bread in a toaster before spreading evenly with the cheese mixture. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and place both slices on a baking tray. Place under the hot grill for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese has started to bubble and brown. Serve immediately.

Welsh rarebit
Welsh rarebit

If you’ve had a go at making my Welsh rarebit or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


V– Vegetarian
*Most brands of Worcestershire sauce regretably not vegetarian as they contain fish so always check the label. I used a vegan brand in this recipe called Biona. 



Cheese and Marmite scones

Cheese and Marmite scone
Cheese and Marmite scone
Cheese and Marmite scone

Are you skint, even though you’ve literally just been paid? Welcome to my life. As quickly as my pay cheque came – ‘pay cheque’ what am I, American? Anyway, no sooner had I been paid then the money swiftly vanished out of my account, leaving me with, well, not with nothing, but not with very much at all. It’s like I get robbed every month – stupid London.
Anyhoo, in light off my continuing impoverishment (perhaps I shouldn’t have spent so much money on Tina Turner The Musical tickets) I had to ditch the recipe I was going to make and swap it for something I could cobble together with ingredients I already had. Cheese and Marmite scone anyone?

Cheese and Marmite scones
Makes 10 / Hands on time 30 mins / Total time 40 mins / V
You’ll need: 5cm cookie cutter
1 ½ tbs Marmite
1 tbs boiling water
350g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
80g cold unsalted butter, cubed
80g vegetarian mature cheddar, grated
175ml semi-skimmed milk
1 egg
15g grated vegetarian Italian hard cheese or Parmesan*


Method
1. Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400F/gas mark 6 and line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Put to one side.
2. In a small bowl add 1 ½ tbs of Marmite and cover in 1 tbs of boiling water. Using a teaspoon, mix well until the Marmite has dissolved into a more workable liquid. Put to one side.
3. Combine the flour and the baking powder together in a large bowl and mix well before adding the cold cubed butter. Using your hands, work the butter into the flour with your fingers until you have fine breadcrumbs. Add the grated cheddar and mix well with a cutlery knife .
4. Warm the milk slightly in a pan (it’s important that you don’t over heat the milk, it should be lukewarm). Take off the heat and mix the Marmite liquid into the milk (leaving a little of the Marmite liquid behind for the topping later). Place the baking trays in the oven to warm up.
5. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the Marmite milk. Using a cutlery knife, mix quickly until combined (you need to work quickly as the warm milk with activate the raising agents in the flour).
6. Flour a clean work surface and tip the dough out onto it. Using your hands (and being carful not work the dough too much) pat the dough into a kind of giant burger shape roughly an inch thick. Flour the cutter before plunging into the dough, twist and pull out creating your scone. Continue until you can’t make anymore, before gathering up any excess dough and reshaping to produce more scones. Carefully remove the baking trays from the oven. Place the scones evenly on the trays (making sure you have enough space between each scone for them to rise).
7. Crack the egg into the bowl containing the remaining Marmite water and beat well with a fork. Brush the top of each scone with the egg and top with a small sprinkling of Italian hard cheese. Bake in the oven for 10-13 minutes or until they’re a lovely golden brown. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before serving warm with butter and an extra spread of Marmite for those who really love it.

Cheese and Marmite scone
Cheese and Marmite scone

If you’ve had a go at making my cheese and Marmite scones or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


V– Vegetarian
❄ To freeze, cool fully before wrapping individually in a few layers of clingfilm and freeze for up to 3 months.
*Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiani) is always made using animal rennet, therefore it is not vegetarian. Substitute for Italian hard cheese if applicable.



Peanut ramen

Peanut ramen
Peanut ramen
Peanut ramen

If I hear the word Veganuary one more time, I’m going to stuff my ears full of cauliflowers. Yes, I know I’m vegetarian, but I don’t bang on about it constantly to anyone who’ll listen. In fact, in my experience, the opposite is true.
“What? So you don’t eat chicken?”
“Nope.” I smile faintly, trying to attract the waiter’s eye.
“Not even lamb?”
“Nope,” I reply again, as I swig from my empty wine glass.
“But what about bacon? Surely you’ve eaten bacon?”
“Nope, never eaten bacon,” I say, exasperatedly “Scuse me? Can we get another bottle of red for the table, please?”
“So, you’ve never even tried a bacon sandwich?”
Ugh, why do I always get sat on the weirdo table at weddings? I think, as I continue to shake my head to this awful man’s line of questioning. Finally, my starter arrives, but instead of leaving me alone, he surveys it carefully before diving his fork in and telling me how surprisingly delicious it is. Who invited this guy?

Anyway, my point is that I’m always so baffled that anyone even cares what I eat? I couldn’t care less what other people eat, so when someone who has been vegan for like, a day, tries to lecture me about the dairy industry, forgive me for walking off. That being said, all this talk of Veganuary must have seeped into my subconscious, because I created this gorgeous bowl of vegan deliciousness. So, on that premise, Happy Veganuary everyone!


Peanut ramen
Serves 2 / Hands on time 30 mins / Total time 30 mins / V Vn* Df
1 tsp sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
Knob of ginger (1 inch), grated
1 tbs Thai green curry paste*, I use Blue Dragon
1 can light coconut milk (you can use full fat but I find it makes the sauce too thick)
300ml vegetable stock, I use ½ a Knorr stock pot
2 ½ tbs crunchy peanut butter
1 tbs light soy sauce
1 tsp palm sugar or granulated sugar
1 nest of rice noodles* or egg noodles
1 lime, cut into quarters
150g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1 large bulb pak choi, cut into strips
2 spring onions, chopped
Handful fresh coriander to serve


Method
1. In a large saucepan over a medium heat, add 1 tsp of sesame oil. Once warm, add the chopped garlic along with the grated ginger and cook for 2 minutes stirring continuously.
2. Add a dash of water along with the Thai curry paste and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes stirring continuously. Add the coconut milk and the peanut butter – the peanut butter will need little help to be incorporated so gently work it against the side of the saucepan using the back of your spoon until dissolved.
3. Add the vegetable stock, soy sauce, palm sugar and the juice of half a lime before mixing well and bringing to the boil. Once boiling, reduce and simmer for 5 minutes. Use this time to slice the mushrooms and the pak choi.
4. Add the mushrooms and the pak choi to the sauce and cook for a further few minutes before submerging the nest of noodles. Cook the noodles according to the packet instruction in the sauce (usually 3-5 minutes, depending on what noodles you’ve gone for).
5. Finally, spoon into bowls and serve topped with chopped spring onions, fresh coriander and lime wedges.

Peanut ramen
Peanut ramen

If you’ve had a go at making my peanut ramen or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


V– Vegetarian    Vn*– Vegan’s please substitute egg noodles for rice noodles    Df– Dairy free
* Some Thai green curry pastes contain crustaceans and fish. I use Blue Dragon which does not.



Winter ribollita

Winter ribollita
Winter ribollita
Winter ribollita

Because we can’t all survive on mince pies this December… Or can we?


Winter ribollita
Serves 4 / Hands on time 10 mins / Total time 1 hr / V Vn Gf Df
1 tsp olive oil
1 white onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
½ tsp salt
1 can plum tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 litre vegetable stock, I use 2 Knorr stock pots
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
100g cavalo Nero, roughly chopped
Extra virgin olive oil to serve


Method
1. In a large saucepan or pot with a lid, add 1 tsp of olive oil over a low to medium heat. Add the chopped onion, garlic, celery, parsnip, carrot and half a tsp of salt. Give it a good stir, cover with a lid and leave to soften for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add a can of plum tomatoes and break them up with a spoon. Add the drained and rinsed chickpeas and the vegetable stock before upping the heat and bringing to the boil. Turn down the heat and add the parsley and the cavalo nero. Simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Take off the heat, ladle into bowls and top with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and serve with crusty bread and good crack of black pepper.

Winter ribollita
Winter ribollita

If you’ve had a go at making my Winter ribollita or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


V– Vegetarian    Vn– Vegan    Gf– Gluten free    Df– Dairy free
❄ Suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.



Butternut squash & goats cheese nut roast

Butternut squash nut roast
Butternut squash & goats cheese nut roast
Butternut squash & goats cheese nut roast

It is no secret that I hate nut roast. I hate it for the same reason I hate stuffed peppers, mushroom stroganoff and risotto – because they’re the dishes that were stuffed down my throat as a child in the late ’80s.
But times have changed, and so have these dishes (or so I hear) and therefore, so must I – although actually, I’m pretty sure stuffed peppers are still pretty awful.
Anyway, nowadays, ‘I’ll have the risotto,’ is a phrase being uttered across the country, and not just out of necessity but choice! By choice, I tells you! And the same can be said for my ultimate nemesis – the nut roast, AKA – dry, flavourless, nutty gravel.
Want a way to ruin a lovely plate of roast vegetables? Simply add a big, ugly door-stopper-sized slice of nut roast. Horrible. Or so I thought.
Recently, I took a chance and ordered the nut roast at our local pub and it was (dare I say it) rather tasty. Like a rare and exotic specimen, I expertly dissected it with a fork as Jamie and his friends tried to ignore my terrible table manners – I practically face-planted into my plate in order to give it a good old sniff. In the end, I couldn’t figure out what was in it (and I was being being incredibly rude) so I just scoffed it.
So, with that in mind, and not having a clue what was in it, I decided to try and make it – not at all challenging. What I came up with in the end was this butternut squash, goat’s cheese and chestnut concoction. It’s nothing like the one I had at the Brave Sir Robin, but wrapped in cabbage leaves it’s lovely and moist and scarcely resembles the nut roast that used to end up on our Christmas table in the ’80s.

Butternut squash & goats cheese nut roast
Serves 6 / Hands on time 45mins / Total 1hr 45 mins / V
You’ll need: Food processor, hand blender, 2lb (21cm x 11cm) loaf tin, ice cubes and kitchen roll.
6 savoy cabbage leaves
50g unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
100g parsnip (1 medium) cubed
150g butternut squash, peeled and cubed
150g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
100g cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped (I used Merchant Gourmet)
75g cashews
50g walnuts
100g brown breadcrumbs
100g vegetarian goats cheese, roughly cubed
2 Sprig rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
1 tsp salt


Method
1. In a large heavy bottomed pot or large saucepan, sweat the onions in 50g of unsalted butter and ½ tsp of salt, on a medium heat with the lid on. Put a filled kettle on to boil and start preparing and chopping the butternut squash and parsnip.
2. Add the butternut squash and the parsnip to the softening onions, give it a stir and replace the lid. Turn the heat down from medium to a low heat and stir occasionally.
3. Grease a loaf tin generously with butter, line with foil and grease the foil with more butter. Put to one side. Pour the boiling water from the kettle into another large saucepan and and bring to the boil. Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes and put to one side. Remove 6 cabbage leaves from the savoy cabbage and drop them carefully into the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Once cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and place straight into the ice cold water bath. Put to one side.
4. Using a food processor, now is a good time to make the breadcrumbs by simply wizzing a couple of torn slices of brown bread in a blender. Put to one side. Preheat an oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ 350°F/gas mark 4
5. Uncover the butternut squash and onion mixture and using a hand blender, blitz half the mixture straight in the pot. Give it a good mix and add the chopped mushrooms before stirring again and covering with the lid once more.
6. In a large dry frying pan over a high heat. Once hot, toast the cashews and the walnuts together for a few minutes moving constantly in the pan to avoid burning (you want them to get a bit of colour but not too much). Turn out onto a chopping board and using a large knife, roughly chop them along with the cooked chestnuts.
7. Take the butternut squash and mushroom mixture off the heat and add the breadcrumbs and the chopped nuts. Add the roughly chopped gooey goats cheese along with a ½ tsp of salt, a good crack of black pepper and the chopped rosemary. Give it all a good stir and put to one side.
8. remove the cabbage leaves from the water bath and blot each leaf with kitchen roll to dry it off a bit. Line the tin with overlapping cabbage leaves, leaving any excess hanging over the sides. Spoon in the mixture and pressing it down well with the back of a spoon. Fold any overhanging cabbage leaves back over the top and use any spare cabbage leaves to fill any holes. Cover with foil and bake in the oven 40 mins. After 40 minutes, remove the foil and continue to cook uncovered for a further 15 minutes.
9. Once cooked take out of the oven and put a large serving plate over the top of the tin. Holding the tin with oven gloves, turn the plate over and turn the nut roast out. Peel off any foil and cut into generous slices and serve as part of a roast dinner.

Butternut squash & goats cheese nut roast
Butternut squash & goats cheese nut roast

If you’ve had a go at making my nut roast or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


– Vegetarian


 

Bitesize peppermint creams

Bitesize peppermint creams
Bitesize peppermint creams
Bitesize peppermint creams

Peppermint creams are the kind of weird recipe you get forced to make at school. “Mmm, they’re delicious Corricles,” my mum would say dutifully to my eight-year-old face, as she nibbled on the corner of a giant, crusty peppermint cream. Satisfied with her praise, I would scamper away while, unbeknownst to me, my peppermint creams swiftly made their way into the bin.
So, why have I decided to make peppermint creams after all these years? Two reasons. One: I can’t remember what they taste like and I’m curious. Two: it’s December, and you know what that means – it’s edible gift time, yay! I wonder which lucky friend or family member will draw the short straw this year?
Although actually, these were quite lovely and unlike my eight-year-old effort – the 34-year-old variety are perfectly bite-sized, dipped in delicious dark chocolate and taste just like an After Eight. Sorry, Mum, but I think it’s time for round two.

For more edible gift ideas, check out my salted sultana rum fudge, vanilla shortbread or last years Christmas offering softly spiced lebkuchens.


Bitesize peppermint creams
Makes 20-30 mini rounds / Hands on time 20 mins / Total time 40 mins + setting time / V Gf
You’ll need: Baking paper, rolling pin and a small round cookie cutter
300g icing sugar (plus extra for dusting)
¼ tsp peppermint flavouring
1 egg (the white separate from the yolk)
1 tsp of lemon juice
90g Green and Black’s Organic 70% dark chocolate


Method
1. Separate the egg yolk from the egg white in a small bowl and discard the egg yolk. In a large mixing bowl, sieve the icing sugar before adding half the egg white along with a ¼ tsp of peppermint flavouring and a tsp of lemon juice.
2. Mix slowly with a wooden spoon to avoid the icing sugar flying everywhere. The mix will seem very dry but keep mixing until the icing sugar comes together to form a firm dough. If you need more liquid add more egg white.
3. Once the dough has formed, remove the spoon from the bowl and knead the dough with your hands – like you would a bread dough. If the dough is too sticky you may need to add more icing sugar.
4. Line a large chopping board with a piece of baking paper and sprinkle with icing sugar, put to one side. Cut out another large piece of baking paper and place on a clean dry surface. Sprinkle with icing sugar and turn the dough out onto it before sprinkling with more icing sugar. Roll out the mixture with a rolling pin to roughly 1 centimetre thick.
5. Insert the cookie cutter into the dough, give it a twist and extract a little round of dough. Place the round onto the lined chopping board and repeat (gathering up and rolling out the dough if necessary). Cover the peppermint creams loosely with cling film and leave to set for at least 3 hours or preferable over night.
6. Once set, it’s time to melt the chocolate. Fill a small saucepan halfway with water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, take off the heat and place a small heat-proof bowl over it. Break in the pieces of chocolate and wait for it to melt (try not to stir it until nearly all the chocolate has melted). Meanwhile, line a baking tray or cooling rack with baking paper sprinkled with icing sugar.
7. Once melted, tilt the bowl slightly to the side to allow a deeper pool of chocolate for you to dip your peppermint creams into. One by one, dip each peppermint cream into the chocolate, wait for the drips to stop and place on your newly lined cooling rack. Repeat until all of your peppermint creams are coated.
8. Leave in a cool dry place for the chocolate to set. Once set, carefully peel the peppermint creams off the baking paper before boxing up and gifting to a lucky family member or friend.

Bitesize peppermint creams
Bitesize peppermint creams

If you’ve had a go at making my peppermint creams or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


V – Vegetarian    Gf – Gluten free