Rory’s blackberry and sweet geranium posset@Ballymaloe

Watch How to Cook Well with Rory O’Connell at 8:30pm on Tuesday evenings on RTÉ One.

By Rory O’Connell Celebrity Chef
More from
How to Cook Well, with Rory O’Connell


Watch How to Cook Well with Rory O’Connell at 8:30pm on Tuesday evenings on RTÉ One.
Ingredients
A classic lemon posset or set cream is a simple and lovely thing and my version here with blackberries and sweet geranium leaves is I believe a good and delicious variation on the theme. It is remarkable how easy this is and how without the aid of egg or gelatine, the mixture sets into a tender chilled pudding. I like the possets served straight from the fridge, so nice and chilly. 
I often make this during the winter months using wild blackberries that I have frozen in the late summer or early autumn. If you are using frozen berries, use them straight from the freezer. I never cease to be amazed by the value one gets from a few bags of frozen fruit when fresh local fruit is simply not an option due to the seasons.  
A little softly whipped cream is the perfect accompaniment along with a fresh organic or crystallised rose petal. The combination of rose and blackberry is a marriage made in heaven and I might be tempted to add a few drops of rose water to the cream when whipping. Be careful though as too much rose water will yield a flavour that is too strong and overpowering. The flavour of the rosewater cream should be akin to catching the scent of a rose while walking about the garden – there but almost illusive.
If you do not have the lemon or rose-scented geranium, you can just leave it out. The fragrant leaves do however bring a magical element to the dish. The plants are easily found at good garden centres and can be treated as a house plant living on a bright window-sill or if the weather is mild where you live, they can spend spring, summer and autumn out of doors in a sheltered sunny spot. I can’t imagine not having one of these plants for the ravishing flavour to bring to certain dishes. In fact, it is the sort of magic that one receives from this rather innocuous looking leaf that humbles and mesmerises me and reminds me every time I use it, how astonishing nature is and how fortunate that my career has brought me down this path where I handle these treasures all of the time. Oh, joy.
The possets can be served in little cups or glasses or the prettiest receptacle you like to use. The portions are quite small as this is quite a rich little dish but I always think it is better to be longing for one more spoonful rather than being faced with too much food.
 A thin lacy biscuit such as the Nougatine biscuits would also be good here and I might be tempted to add a few drops of rose water to the cream when whipping. 
Serves
400ml cream
90g caster sugar
5 leaves of rose or lemon scented geranium
100g blackberries
50ml lemon juice.
Method
Place the cream, sugar, geranium leaves and blackberries in a small saucepan and bring to a bare simmer.
Stir the saucepan occasionally to encourage the sugar to dissolve. Maintain that bare simmer for 5 minutes. If the cream boils hard the texture and consistency of the posset will be spoiled. 
Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. You will notice the colour of the cream improving dramatically as soon as the lemon juice goes in.
Now strain the cream through a sieve to remove the geranium leaves and at the same time push as much of the blackberries through as possible. 
Pour the strained cream into 8 little cups or glasses and allow to cool before placing in the fridge for 3 hours to set.
The posset will keep perfectly in your fridge for several days. I like to cover them to protect the delicate flavour.
Serve with a little softly whipped cream and if you have them, a fresh or crystallised rose petal and a nougatine biscuit. 

Neven Maguire’s Brown Scones – Serve with butter or lightly whipped cream and strawberry jam.

 

21m21 minutes ago

Neven Maguire’s Brown Scones are full of roughage and great for breakfast –

Brown scones are full of roughage and great for breakfast. And here is a good tip: you can make this mixture, shape the scones and freeze them. You can then cook the scones straight from the freezer to the oven – just give them an extra 5 minutes and make sure the scones are golden brown and well-risen.

Ingredients

  • Rapeseed or sunflower oil, for greasing
  • 225g (8oz) self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 225g (8oz) coarse wholemeal flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 50g (2oz) wheat bran
  • 25g (1oz) butter, diced and at room temperature
  • 1 tsp light muscovado sugar
  • 300ml (½ pint) buttermilk, plus a little extra if necessary

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/gas mark 7). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and grease the paper with a little oil.
  2. Sift the flours, baking soda and salt into a bowl. Tip in the bran left in the sieve and stir it in with the wheat bran. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until it is evenly dispersed. Stir in the sugar.
  3. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk and golden syrup. Using a large spoon, mix gently and quickly until you have achieved a smooth, not-too-sticky dough. Add a little more buttermilk if necessary, until the dough binds together without being sloppy.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 2.5cm (1in) thickness and cut into rounds with a 6cm (2½in) plain cutter. Arrange on the lined baking sheets and bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown and well-risen.
  5. Serve with butter or lightly whipped cream and strawberry jam.

Sourdough Tartine with Blue Cheese and Roasted Honey Figs






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A lusciously rich lunch with no meat, this blue cheese and fig open sandwich is both comforting and elegant.

By Donal Skehan

Celebrity Chef

Tartines – open sandwiches are absolutely adored by the French. Because they are simple, you need good bread, preferably sourdough, and the best, ripest blue cheese you can find. Serve it with the watercress tossed in vinaigrette made with walnut or hazelnut oil, and some toasted nuts.

Ingredients

  • 2 Slices sourdough bread
  • About 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 150 g Cashel or crozier blue cheese, rind discarded
  • Knob of butter
  • 3 Fresh ripe figs, cut in half
  • 3 tblsp Sherry vinegar
  • 3 tblsp Runny honey
  • Watercress salad, to serve (see intro)
  • 50 g Toasted nuts, hazel or walnuts are best

Method

  • Heat a griddle pan until smoking hot. Toast the slices of sourdough and then drizzle with the olive oil.
  • Put the cheese on top and half-spread it just to flatten it down a bit. Put one slice on to each serving plate.
  • Heat the butter in a small frying pan and cook the figs on both sides until they have a little colour – it will only take about 25 seconds on each side.
  • Add the sherry vinegar – it will spurt so be careful and then drizzle in the honey. Stir the juices around and turn over the figs.
  • Spoon the figs on to the blue cheese and drizzle the juices over the top. Add a small mound of the watercress salad to serve.

Neven Maguire’s Brown Scones – Serve with butter or lightly whipped cream and strawberry jam.

 

21m21 minutes ago

Neven Maguire’s Brown Scones are full of roughage and great for breakfast –

Brown scones are full of roughage and great for breakfast. And here is a good tip: you can make this mixture, shape the scones and freeze them. You can then cook the scones straight from the freezer to the oven – just give them an extra 5 minutes and make sure the scones are golden brown and well-risen.

Ingredients

  • Rapeseed or sunflower oil, for greasing
  • 225g (8oz) self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 225g (8oz) coarse wholemeal flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 50g (2oz) wheat bran
  • 25g (1oz) butter, diced and at room temperature
  • 1 tsp light muscovado sugar
  • 300ml (½ pint) buttermilk, plus a little extra if necessary

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/gas mark 7). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and grease the paper with a little oil.
  2. Sift the flours, baking soda and salt into a bowl. Tip in the bran left in the sieve and stir it in with the wheat bran. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until it is evenly dispersed. Stir in the sugar.
  3. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk and golden syrup. Using a large spoon, mix gently and quickly until you have achieved a smooth, not-too-sticky dough. Add a little more buttermilk if necessary, until the dough binds together without being sloppy.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 2.5cm (1in) thickness and cut into rounds with a 6cm (2½in) plain cutter. Arrange on the lined baking sheets and bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown and well-risen.
  5. Serve with butter or lightly whipped cream and strawberry jam.

How to make instant coffee iced lollies at home

Perk up while you cool down…
Ingredients
1 tbsp of your favourite instant coffee (a strong bean is best)
3/4 cup of water
1 cup of milk of your choice
2 tsps of honey or a salted caramel syrup
An ice lolly mould nd wooden sticks

Method
Pick a bean and brew. Make your regular coffee (if you have a stronger bean, this would be better because coffee loses its strength when frozen).
Add some sweetness. To give it that sugary kick, add a little bit of liquid sweetener such as honey or a light caramel syrup. We would advise not to use granulated sugars as you may end up with a lump in the bottom if it fails to dissolve.
Get in the mix. Before mixing, make sure you add in your milk of choice. Any milk works well. If you’re looking for a dairy-free option, we would recommend coconut milk to give the mix that slightly nutty taste. Allow to cool and mix well. Allowing the coffee to cool gives it its best chance of maintaining flavour.
Freeze! Place the mix into six identical iced lolly moulds. Top up mixture with milk, if not full. Place the tops on and freeze for one hour. Add wooden sticks. Freeze for four more hours. Enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of Coffee Friend

How to make instant coffee iced lollies at home

Perk up while you cool down…
Ingredients
1 tbsp of your favourite instant coffee (a strong bean is best)
3/4 cup of water
1 cup of milk of your choice
2 tsps of honey or a salted caramel syrup
An ice lolly mould nd wooden sticks

Method
Pick a bean and brew. Make your regular coffee (if you have a stronger bean, this would be better because coffee loses its strength when frozen).
Add some sweetness. To give it that sugary kick, add a little bit of liquid sweetener such as honey or a light caramel syrup. We would advise not to use granulated sugars as you may end up with a lump in the bottom if it fails to dissolve.
Get in the mix. Before mixing, make sure you add in your milk of choice. Any milk works well. If you’re looking for a dairy-free option, we would recommend coconut milk to give the mix that slightly nutty taste. Allow to cool and mix well. Allowing the coffee to cool gives it its best chance of maintaining flavour.
Freeze! Place the mix into six identical iced lolly moulds. Top up mixture with milk, if not full. Place the tops on and freeze for one hour. Add wooden sticks. Freeze for four more hours. Enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of Coffee Friend

Rachel’s Cookies and Cream Cheesecake

 
Rachel shares the recipe for her mouth-watering Cookies and Cream Cheesecake from her show Rachel Allen’s Everyday Kitchen

 

Ingredients

  • For the double chocolate chip cookies
  • makes 20 large cookies
  • 225 g (8oz) butter, softened
  • 325 g (111/2oz) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 225 g (8oz) plain flour
  • 75 g (3oz) cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 175 g (6oz) dark chocolate (55–70% cocoa solids), chopped into small pieces, or dark chocolate chips
  • For the cheesecake
  • 15 g (1/2oz) cocoa powder, sifted
  • 25 ml (1fl oz) strong coffee, such as espresso
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 500 g (1lb 2oz) mascarpone
  • 400 ml (14fl oz) double or regular cream
  • 50 g (2oz) icing sugar
  • 50 g (2oz) dark chocolate (55–75% cocoa solids), grated, for sprinkling
  • 9-12 of the double chocolate chip cookies
  • 23cm (9in) diameter spring-form cake tin

Method

  • Place the butter in a large bowl and beat until very soft. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Crack in one egg at a time, beating between each addition, then add the vanilla extract. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt, then add the chocolate pieces/chips and fold in to combine. Alternatively, place all the ingredients except the chocolate pieces/chips in a food processor and whiz briefly until they come together, then fold in the chocolate.
  • With wet hands, form the dough into balls each the size of a golf ball (or use two soup spoons to scoop up and shape the same amount of dough). Arrange on the prepared baking sheets, placing 6–7 balls of dough on each sheet and leaving space for the cookies to spread.
  • Bake for 10–14 minutes or until the cookies look slightly cracked on top. (With three baking sheets, you will need to cook them in three batches, or two batches in a fan oven.) Take out of the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes, then remove from the baking sheets using a palette knife or metal fish slice and place on a wire rack to cool down completely.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, coffee, vanilla extract, mascarpone, cream and icing sugar for 1–2 minutes or until thick.
  • Arrange one-third (3–4) of the cookies in the bottom of the cake tin, then spread over one-third of the chocolate cream mixture. Add a second layer of cookies, then another layer of chocolate cream, followed by a final layer of cookies and a final layer of chocolate cream.
  • Use a spatula to smooth the top layer of chocolate cream, then cover the tin with cling film and place in the fridge to chill for eight hours or overnight.
  • To remove the cheesecake from the cake tin, run a small, sharp knife around the cheesecake to loosen the edges, then unfasten the clip and lift away the sides of the tin. Using a palette knife or a metal fish slice, loosen the cheesecake from the base of the tin and carefully slide off onto a plate. Sprinkle with the grated chocolate to serve.

How to make instant coffee iced lollies at home

Perk up while you cool down…
Ingredients
1 tbsp of your favourite instant coffee (a strong bean is best)
3/4 cup of water
1 cup of milk of your choice
2 tsps of honey or a salted caramel syrup
An ice lolly mould nd wooden sticks

Method
Pick a bean and brew. Make your regular coffee (if you have a stronger bean, this would be better because coffee loses its strength when frozen).
Add some sweetness. To give it that sugary kick, add a little bit of liquid sweetener such as honey or a light caramel syrup. We would advise not to use granulated sugars as you may end up with a lump in the bottom if it fails to dissolve.
Get in the mix. Before mixing, make sure you add in your milk of choice. Any milk works well. If you’re looking for a dairy-free option, we would recommend coconut milk to give the mix that slightly nutty taste. Allow to cool and mix well. Allowing the coffee to cool gives it its best chance of maintaining flavour.
Freeze! Place the mix into six identical iced lolly moulds. Top up mixture with milk, if not full. Place the tops on and freeze for one hour. Add wooden sticks. Freeze for four more hours. Enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of Coffee Friend