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Showing posts from 2013

Making the most of English Raspberries

Raspberry, Lemon & Yogurt Tea loaf

Because raspberry and lemon is such a fantastic flavour combination this tea loaf if a real success with our guests - and us.  Shamelessly nabbed from 'Yeo Valley Family Farm, The Great Britisih Farmhouse Cookbook' by Sarah Mayor, it is a recipe to make over and over and no one will mind.

Makes one 1kg loaf

250g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
115g soft butter
225g caster sugar
finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
2 large free-range eggs
100g wholemilk natural yogurt
25g ground almonds
200g fresh raspberries
100g granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 180C / Gas 4. Grease & line a 900g loaf tin.Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.Cream the butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy, then beat in the lemon zest.Beat in one egg at a time. Add a spoonful of flourmix with the second egg.Mix in the flour and yogurt, and finally the almonds.Spoon a third of the mixture into the loaf tin, scatter wit…

Lovely Cake

The cake baked for guests the week is a recipe out of the winner of BBC2's The Great British Bake Off John Whaite's Book.  It uses a lot of white chocolate which is so beautifully complimented by the raspberries.

White Chocolate & Raspberry Melting Cake

200g unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into cubes 100g white chocolate, broken into pieces 4 large free-range eggs 200g caster sugar 200b self-raising flour 175g fresh raspberries Icing sugar for dusting
For the ganache filling 200g white chocolate 250ml double cream
 Preheat the oven to 180oc/Gas 4 Grease and line 2x20cm/8-inch round loose-bottomed cake tins. Put the butter and chocolate in a large heatproof mixing bowl above a pan of simmering water, and allow the butter and chocolate to melt together, stir occasionally.  Remove from the heat and cool for a minute or two. Add eggs and sugar to the cooled butter chocolate mix and beat with an electric mixer until formed a smooth batter.  Fold in sifted flour and raspberries. Pou…


Our breakfast granola is very popular and it's not unusual to have to bake a batch each day to keep up with demand.  After trying various recipes we have stuck with this one.

The Wolseley Granola 30g Demerara sugar 20g (about 1 tablespoon) honey 10g (about 2 teaspoons) golden syrup 20g butter 40g rolled oats 30g desiccated coconut 25g pecans 15g flaked almonds 10g pistachio nuts 10g chopped hazelnuts 10g sunflower seeds Grated zest of ½ orange ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
Preheat the oven to 150oC or gas mark 2. In a pan melt the sugar, honey, syrup and butter, until the sugar is disolved. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and tip on the dry ingredience, mix together. Pour the sweet honey mixture onto the dry ingredience and mix to coat. Bake for 35-40 mins until golden, turning the mixture every 5 mins. Serve with yogurt and fresh berries

Cheese and Herb Cornbread

This loaf, just from the oven, smells amazing.  Full of chives and dill and a very strong Quickes cheese.  We serve with creamy scrambled eggs and the optional extra of Tregida Smokehouse's smoked salmon or Devon Rose's unsmoked bacon (thick sliced of course).

155g self raising flour 1 table spn caster sugar 2 tea spns baking powder 1 tea spn salt 110g fine polenta 60g grated cheddar 1 handful chopped herbs (parsley, dill) 2 large eggs 250ml buttermilk 4 tablespns oil (rapeseed or olive)
Pre heat oven to 180 / gas 4 / 170 convection Grease a 20cm x 10cm loaf tin Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl.Add polenta, cheese, herbs, eggs, buttermilk and oil and mix in to combine.Spoon mixture into tin and bake for approx 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.Cool in tin for a few minutes and turn out carefully onto a wire rack. (Can be frozen whole or in slices)

Herb Labne

A quick and easy 'yoghurt' cheese is a Labne, which has a fresh cream cheesiness about it and works as both a sweet and savoury dish.   I follow Alice Hart's recipe from her wonderful Vegetarian cookbook, which I set out below.  So far, I've made a sweet Labne with sugar and lemon zest through it and ate it with poached fruit - blooming lovely!  However, this time, I've made a herby one to accompany smoked salmon and sourdough bread (and having not eaten it all, is available to guest as a breakfast special).

How to make labne ©Rinse and wring out a sheet of muslin and use to line a sieve, make sure there is enough cloth overhanging the edge of the sieve to be folded over the yogurt later.Place the sieve over a bowl.

©Stir ½ teaspoon of salt into 500g of plain yoghurt (I've been using sheep's yogurt) and add your chosen herbs.

©Spoon the yoghurt into the cloth and fold the cloth edges over the yoghurt.

©Place a small plate or saucer on top and weigh down with a t…

A Great Gluten-free Breakfast Dish

Goats Cheese, Caramelised Red Onion & Red Pepper Tortilla

This dish works great as both a vegetarian breakfast and a gluten-free breakfast with a difference.

Olive Oil
2 red onions sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced
500g waxy potatoes
5 free-range eggs (large)
Chives, snipped
Capricorn goats cheese, sliced
Seasoning to taste

Pre-heat oven to 180 or gas 4.

In a non-stick frying pan, heat the olive oil and gently fry the onions until lights brown.  In a separate pan cook the potatoes in salted water until just cooked (15-20 mins), cool and peel and slice.  Add the potatoes to the onions to soak up some of the juices, add the diced pepper, season and cook for 5 mins.  Whisk eggs, season and chives together, pour over the potatoes, pepper and onions making sure all ingredients are covered.  Arrange sliced cheese on top and bake in the oven for 15-20 mins until set.

Devon Open Gardens

There are some wonderful local gardens taking part in the National Gardens Scheme and raise a lot of money for charity.  I've listed below local gardens that are in The National Gardens Scheme which are open to visit in April.

Sunday 14  - 17                   Bickham Gardens in Kenn, EX6 7XL   2 - 5pm

Saturday 20 & Sunday 21      Sidbury Manor, Sidbury, EX10 0QE    2 - 5pm

Saturday 27 & Sunday 28      Hillrise, Sidford, EX10 9SL                1.30 - 5.30pm

Not forgetting that Burrow Farm Gardens in Axminster and Forde Abbey Gardens are now open for the year.

Please contact me if you would like more detailed information.

Axe Estuary Wetlands and Seaton Marshes

We are so lucky that the Axe Estuary Wetlands (including Seaton Marshes) are just on Swan Hill House's doorstep.  As the evenings are getting lighter, take an evening stroll to the hides and watch the wide collection of wildlife.   Or take a tram and view the wetlands on wheels! 

The EDDc's Countryside Team and the Seaton Tramway host a number of events over the year from bird watching trips, bat spotting and BBQ's.  Take a look at the coming events list and give it a visit.

Meet the Birds sessions run on every second Thursday and last Saturday of the month throughout the year. No booking required and is free to join. Meet at Tower Hide.

Here is what's happening in April

Bird Ringing Breakfast - Saturday 13 April   8am - 12pm - free

Wild Wetlands BBQ - Friday 26 April  5pm - 7pm   - £2.50 per hot dog/burger

Contact the EDDS's Countryside Team on 01395 517557 or for details on these two events

Bird Hide on Wheels - Saturday 27 April  5pm -…