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21 February 2014

Ricotta Pancakes with Marinated Blood Oranges

Photo: © childsdesign

Pancake Day is only just a round the corner so we thought it about time we included a recipe from the AFT Kitchen to try on the day.
These pancakes are perhaps a little different from the usual in that they contain ricotta cheese and the way they are prepared produces a very light and fluffy result.

Taking inspiration from the traditional citrus accompaniment and crepe suzette we chose to serve them with marinated oranges. We managed to pick up some delicious blood oranges which are not only gloriously coloured but also have a good intense tangy flavour.
We enhanced the flavours further with the addition of Orange & Mace Vinegar from Womersley Fruit & Herb Vinegars which gave a little fragrant spiciness.

Ingredients (makes 8 pancakes)

For the oranges

  • 3-4 blood oranges or just navel oranges
  • 2 dessertspoons caster sugar
  • 2 dessertspoons Womersley Orange & Mace Vinegar

For the pancakes

  • 250g ricotta cheese
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 50g plain flour

First prepare the oranges.
Take one orange and remove the zest with a zester or grate it into a bowl.
Remove the skin and pith using a small sharp knife.

TIP: Instead of preparing the oranges on a chopping board, use a plate instead to collect any juices.

First cut a little off each end of the orange and then stand it on a cut end.
Using the knife carefully cut down through the skin following the contour of
the orange.
Then cut into 5mm thick slices, remove any pips and place in the bowl with the zest, tipping in any juice that has collected on the plate. Sprinkle with sugar and spoon over the Orange & Mace Vinegar. Stir carefully to mix and leave to marinate for an hour

To make the pancakes
In a large bowl, mix the ricotta, caster sugar, egg yolks and vanilla extract.
Stir in the melted butter. Sift in the flour and carefully fold in. In another large bowl, use a balloon whisk to beat the egg whites until stiff. Then lightly fold them into the ricotta mixture, being careful not to knock any air out.

Warm a non-stick frying pan over a moderate heat, brush with a little butter, then place a heaped tablespoon of mixture into the pan followed by another two or three depending on the size of your pan. Cook for a minute or two until they become slightly risen and underneath has become coloured. This is the slightly tricky part, but be bold and all should go okay. Using a palette knife, flip them over and cook for a further few minutes.

Serve immediately with the orange slices and some of their juices spooned over and a little drizzle of Orange & Mace Vinegar.

20 February 2014

Approved: Womersley’s Orange & Mace Vinegar

Photo: © childsdesign
Sometimes we wonder what we did before we had the pleasure of using flavoured vinegars in our cooking. Working with several producers on The Artisan Food Trail has introduced us to some interesting fruit infused vinegars all of which are individual in their own right.

One producer in particular, Womersley Fruit & Herb Vinegars, produces a range of interesting infused vinegars which deliver a fruit-packed punch equally suitable for savoury as well as sweet dishes.
We’ve already given our approval to Womersley’s Cherry and Blackberry vinegars and also their Blackcurrant & Mint Dressing, which has been our favourite to date. And now we have a new favourite – Orange & Mace Vinegar.

Golden in colour and fragrant on the nose, the smell is warm and inviting. We poured some on to a teaspoon to get an unadulterated taste and thought at first it was slightly medicinal in character – this is by no means a negative criticism. The orange is zesty with the right balance of bitterness and the mace gently builds to a comforting warmth.

The Orange & Mace Vinegar really comes into its own when partnered with food though and despite its sweet flavour, in combination with savoury foods, it proves itself to be a revelation.
The vinegar is an obvious partner to fruit salad or poached bananas and desserts such as a bowl of ice cream but splash some into carrots or an oriental stir-fry and you’ve a whole new flavour experience. Do try it over fish too especially something like sole, not too much, just a little is all that’s needed to lift and enhance the flavour of the fish.

We are pleased to award Womersley Fruit & Herb Vinegars our 'Artisan Food Trail Approved' status for their Orange & Mace Vinegar.

To find out more about Womersley Fruit & Herb Vinegars visit their page on The Artisan Food Trail here.

2 February 2014

Get In The Mood™ specialist gourmet coffee range from The House of Coffee

The House of Coffee has created an original range of coffee called ‘Get in the Mood™’ which currently consists of six recipes.
Each blend or speciality bean has been specifically created/sourced to reflect a different tasting experience or ‘mood’.
Coupled with an animal character and a relevant action to reflect that mood, the fresh gourmet coffee has ‘personality’ and provides a delicious and memorable drinking experience.
100% pure coffee with no additives & naturally high in antioxidants, the coffee is ethically sourced, roasted and blended in the United Kingdom by The House of Coffee and partners.

Drink Coffee and Be Happy
The caffeine in coffee has been shown to improve alertness and concentration as well as physical performance. So for health and everyday productivity, whether at home, at work or in the gym, The House of Coffee suggests that coffee should always be on the menu.
For further reading and to review research references, please see the article on The House of Coffee blog


I’m the panda who doesn't judge!

“If you've had a bit of a night out and getting out of bed is a struggle, you need a cup of my fresh coffee.
It's deliciously rounded with a smooth richness and promises to wake you up warmly and gently.”

About this coffee:
100% natural with no additives, Partied Out Panda is a delightful, blend of high quality Arabica beans which creates a smooth coffee with low acidity and a medium body. Suitable for cafetière and filter.


I’m the hamster who keeps you going

“If you’ve got loads to do and haven’t got time to stop, you’ll enjoy my invigorating coffee which will keep you lively all day long!”

About this coffee:

100% natural with no additives, Hectic Hamster is a light original blend of high quality Arabica beans which makes a crisp coffee with slight fruity, citrus tones. Suitable for cafetière and filter.


I’m the baboon who inspires change

“If you’ve been longing to try something new but just want a push, you need some of my superb no-nonsense coffee which will take you by the scruff of the neck and help get you out there!”

About this coffee:
100% natural with no additives, Intrepid Baboon is a wonderful blend of Arabica coffee beans which are rich and full flavoured mixed with 10% high quality Robusta for that special ‘bite’. This dark Italian roast makes a great crema and has a delightful aroma. Suitable for espresso.


I’m the dog who gives you space

“If you are looking for a quiet moment, you will enjoy the company of my mellow and light coffee. It’s smooth tasting and gentle to drink so you can totally relax whilst you savour the flavour.”

About this coffee:

100% natural with no additives, Easy Dog is a lightly roasted original blend of high quality Arabica beans which makes a mellow, chocolaty smooth coffee with no acidity. Suitable for cafetière and filter.


I’m the cat who knows how to spoil you

“If you wish to feel special and properly pampered, my exceptional, speciality coffee is just what you deserve.”

About this coffee:

100% natural with no additives, Fancy Cat is a meticulously prepared Peaberry coffee called Doi Chaang from the highlands in Thailand. Grown organically and certified by USDA this coffee has a very clean taste with ripe citrus and roasted nut tones. Suitable for cafetière and filter.


I’m the raccoon who helps you reach your goal

“If you want to be more dynamic and push yourself a little harder, my coffee will give you that kick you might need to become outstanding.”

About this coffee:

100% natural with no additives, Brilliant Racoon is an impactful caffeine-rich coffee, which if drunk 30-60 minutes before training or exercise, will give you a pure boost that can help with your performance. An original blend of high quality Arabica beans makes a magnificent, balanced and rounded cup. Suitable for cafetière and filter.

   ENTER OUR COMPETITION                                               

You could win a gourmet gift set containing five of these fantastic coffees.
The House of Coffee is giving away five sets, each worth £40 and to be a lucky winner of one of them all you have to do is answer a question over on our competition page.
Sorry this competition is now closed

   SPECIAL OFFER                                                                  

To celebrate this special range, The House of Coffee have a great offer too.

Buy any 2 bags of coffee from the GET IN THE MOOD™ specialist gourmet coffee range and The House of Coffee will send you taster samples of the other four blends to try!  Offer ends 28th February 2014.
This offer has now ended but you can still place an order here