With the smell of autumn in the air and crispy leaves falling to the ground, for me, this time of year is all about home-cooked comforts; apple crumbles, cobblers, sausages in cider and root veg mash. So good! To follow on from my new ’4 ways’ series (see the coat hangers post here), I wanted to share with you a sneak peek from our November issue (out now) Flavouring your kitchen cupboard staples is a cheap and easy way to take home cooking to a new level. They might make nice Christmas gifts too…
Mix one part quality cocoa to two parts caster sugar, shake in a glass jar with a cinnamon stick, a little ground nutmeg or cardamom and a pinch of salt. Add 2-4tsp to warm milk in a pan. Use a milk frother to create a foam topping. Top with grated dark chocolate and nutmeg.
Zest a lemon and leave the pieces of peel to dry on a paper towel. Pour about 250g good-quality rock salt into a large bowl and mix in the lemon zest to taste, then add three sprigs of chopped fresh thyme. Use in risotto or to season chicken and salmon fillets. Store in an airtight container for up to a month.
Using an electric whisk or fork, beat 250g soft, unsalted butter in a medium bowl until smooth. Add 100ml maple syrup and 75g chopped walnuts. Mix well, then roll in parchment paper, twisting each end. Refrigerate until hard. Cut into discs and place on top of crumpets or melt before pouring onto pancakes.
Layer 225g granulated sugar with 30g ground cinnamon (or to taste). Scrape in vanilla seeds from a pod (use one pod to 225g sugar) and mix well. Keep in an airtight jar, letting the flavours infuse for a few days. Sprinkle on pancakes or stir into coffee.
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