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30 January 2012

Snuggle up with a deeply dippy chocolate fondue

Photo: © childsdesign

We tried out the BBQ Chocolate Fondue from Mortimer Chocolate Company over the weekend and before you wonder what us crazy people were doing having a barbecue in the depths of winter, we chose to use the oven method. That's the beauty of this kit as it can be enjoyed any time of the year come rain or shine. Just empty the contents of the bag into the foil tray, place in a warm oven for about 15 minutes and a couple of stirs later you'll have a luxuriously smooth and rich, warm chocolate dip.
We found it best to pour the chocolate into warmed bowls to keep it gooey for longer.

This could be just the perfect treat on Valentines day as it's so good to share and completely up to you what you dip in it (within reason of course!) We decided on some salted pretzels and crystallised ginger, but you could try fresh fruit, strawberries, although not in season, are probably the most popular Valentines choice, but how about pineapple or mango, bananas or cherries?
The chocolate has a pleasing fruity and mellow character which means it goes with most things.

Photo: © childsdesign

And if there's any left over you can pour it into moulds and leave to set. We put some cling film on to a plate and then placed on some heart-shaped cookie cutters, into which we poured the molten chocolate.
The chocolate sets hard and you'll have a nice piece to nibble on later.

If you fancy indulging someone for Valentines why not order a BBQ Chocolate Fondue from Mortimer Chocolate Company.
Visit their page on The Artisan Food Trail here where you'll find links to their website/shop.

27 January 2012

Dreamy Valentines gifts from Fudge Kitchen

Drinking Fudge 
Valentines Gift Set
Available for a limited time only!
Send a special gift to your loved one with this Drinking Fudge Valentines Gift Set.

All wrapped in special heart themed gift wrap and finished off with a bow, the pack contains:
  • Branded Fudge Kitchen travel mug
  • Three sachets of gorgeous drinking fudge in Classic Chocolate, Tangy Orange and Winter Spice flavours
  • Three generous portions of mini marshmallows

Valentines Fudge Selection
Order your dreamy Valentine fudge now for delivery on the romantic day of the year – the sweetest, dreamiest flavours all lovingly hand made by the Fudge Kitchen fudge experts for your Valentine.



Each slice is wrapped in greaseproof before being placed in a 4 slice box and finished with the beautiful Valentines sleeve.
Add a message or maybe just let them guess!

The box contains the following varieties:
  • Eton Mess
  • Double Trouble
  • Best Traditional Toffee
  • Belgian Chocolate Swirl

To place your order, visit the Fudge Kitchen page on The Artisan Food Trail where you'll find links to their website here

26 January 2012

5 Good Reasons to Have Breakfast

© The Artisan Food Trail / Lisa Childs










Did you have breakfast today? As it is the most important meal of the day we have found five reasons why you should be eating it.


  • Research suggests that breakfast eaters have lower stress levels than people who skip breakfast
  • Skipping breakfast is not the way to lose weight! It has been shown that people that start the day with a healthy breakfast are more likely to be within their ideal weight range than those who skip breakfast
  • Have breakfast within two hours of waking as this replenishes energy stores after an overnight fast
  • Several studies have shown eating breakfast can have a positive impact on concentration levels
  • Research has found that people eating breakfast cereals performed better in attention and memory tests than those eating less traditional breakfast foods or nothing at all

www.shakeupyourwakeup.com

21 January 2012

Farmhouse Breakfast Week Recipe: Smoked Salmon & Egg Brunch


We chose this recipe from the Farmhouse Breakfast Week website as it would be perfect for a lazy Sunday morning brunch.
At the end of the recipe we give you an ingredient suggestion using produce from one of The Artisan Food Trail's members.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4tsp cornflour
  • 300ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 2tbsp grainy mustard
  • 2tsp caster sugar
  • 3tbsp chopped dill or fennel
  • 4 large or 8 small slices of wholemeal bread
  • 4 eggs
  • 200g smoked salmon

Method
  1. Blend the cornflour in a small saucepan with a little of the milk until smooth
  2. Stir in the remaining milk
  3. Cook gently over a moderate heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until the sauce is thickened and smooth
  4. Stir in the mustard, sugar and dill or fennel and set aside
  5. Bring a saucepan of hot water to the boil and poach the eggs
  6. Meanwhile toast the bread
  7. Spread the toast with a tablespoon of the sauce on 4 warmed serving plates
  8. Pile the smoked salmon on top
  9. Drain the eggs with a slotted spoon and place an egg on top of the smoked salmon
  10. Spoon the remaining sauce over the eggs and serve immediately
TIP: Do not add the mustard to the sauce until it has thickened or the vinegar in the mustard might make the sauce curdle.

Ingredients suggestion
Try using The Artisan Smokehouse's Cold Smoked Scottish Salmon – the salmon is from the cold clear waters off the North West coast of Scotland. It is certified by RSPCA Freedom Food, demonstrating the farmer’s commitment to the welfare and sustainability of their fish. Very low stock densities and experienced hand rearing (using no growth promoters or chemical supplements) ensures happy healthy salmon of exceptional quality. The Artisan Smokehouse dry cures the salmon for up to three days before cold smoking it over maple wood. The final product is an award-winning smoked salmon that has a remarkable taste and texture.


www.shakeupyourwakeup.com

19 January 2012

Carrot Cake

Photo: © childsdesign


We hope not too many of you are on post festive diets otherwise this cake recipe might be seen as inappropriate for the moment. However, this is a cake with a difference, and we like to think that it contains enough good ingredients to make it wholesome enough to at least indulge in a little.

We added our own twist to Yare Valley Oils’ recipe (which features on their website). Usually carrot cakes use sunflower oil but this recipe uses the liquid gold that is Yare Valley Oils Extra Virgin Coldpressed Rapeseed Oil. The oil has a wonderfully nutty flavour and is packed with omega 3 and vitamin E, so along with the heap of grated carrots, the cake should be (dare we say) quite good for you!

Ingredients

  • 175ml extra virgin cold pressed rapeseed oil
  • 175g light soft brown sugar
  • 3 eggs (medium sized)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 110g chopped walnuts
  • 225g grated carrots
  • 100g raisins
  • 175g spelt flour (you could use wholemeal or white)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • pinch salt

Icing

  • 75g soft cheese
  • 50g butter (softened)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • grated zest of 1 orange
  • 110g icing sugar

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas 4.
Grease and line an 20cm round tin (6cm deep). A loose bottomed one is useful.
Beat the oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla thoroughly.
Add carrots, walnuts, raisins and the rest of the dry ingredients and beat well.

Pour the mixture into the tin and cook for approximately 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. The time may vary depending on your oven and could take an hour.

Take the cake out of the oven and leave to cool slightly in the tin before removing and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting beat together all the butter, cream cheese, icing sugar, vanilla extract and orange zest and decorate the top of your carrot cake.

For lactose free frosting replace cheese and butter with 2 tablespoons of orange juice.

To find out more about more about Yare Valley Oils visit their page on
The Artisan Food Trail here

16 January 2012

January Offer: Free delivery from The Artisan Smokehouse

The Artisan Smokehouse has a FREE delivery offer until the end of January 2012 on all orders over £25 when you order through their website – this offer is only available to people in the UK and you’ll need to use the coupon code: @artisansmoker

Choose from a selection of handcrafted smoked goods, including meats, cheeses, fish, garlic and oils.

Visit The Artisan Smokehouse's page on The Artisan Food Trail here to find links to their website where you can place your order.
OFFER ENDED – SORRY

13 January 2012

Shake Up Your Wake Up! for Farmhouse Breakfast Week – 22-28 January 2012

Photo: © childsdesign


Despite well-meaning family members and friends telling us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, there are people that still miss the value of breakfast.

When you think about it, it has probably been at least 10-12 hours since you last ate, as soon as the alarm clock bleeps. That's quite a long time to go without food, after all if this amount had passed during the day with an empty stomach, most of us would be famished and flopping about.

Thankfully Farmhouse Breakfast Week is just around the corner and from
22 – 28 January 2012, the awareness event will be endeavouring to change our thinking and get us all into the habit of eating a good breakfast. 'Shake Up Your Wake Up!' is the campaign’s motto.

All stages of the food chain, from farmers to food producers and retailers to consumers are being encouraged to hold events to promote the importance of starting the day with breakfast and to celebrate the wealth of wonderful breakfast produce available around the country.
Over the week, The Artisan Food Trail would like to introduce you to a variety of producers offering some of the greatest British produce which will make your breakfast time something to look forward to.

There's so many things besides boring cereal or dry toast and the campaign website has lots of lovely recipe ideas for exciting daybreak treats. We’ll be featuring some of those recipe ideas on our blog with suggestions of where you can find great ingredients fit for a king.

For more information about Farmhouse Breakfast Week visit www.shakeupyourwakeup.com