Banbury Cookery School Blog

Piadina May 13, 2014 08:59

A delicious and quick to make Italian snack. Makes 6


  • 500g tipo 00 flour
  • 10g salt
  • 150g lard or vegetable shortening at room temperature
  • 200ml water
  • 2g bicarbonate of soda
  • Taleggio, squacquerone, stracchino, mozzarella, spinach, rocket, parma ham, salami or anything else you like.


- Preheat the oven to the highest setting. - Line some baking trays with some greased greaseproof paper. - Sift the flour, salt together and add the lard and water to the dough, mix together until you have a soft pliable dough, you may need a little more flour so that the mixture can be rolled out. - Leave to rest for 30 minutes in the fridge. - Prepare the fillings for the Piadina - Turn out the rested dough onto a floured surface and divide into 6, then roll out into circles no more than 1/2cm thick. - Put them on the oven tray and place in the oven for about 3-6 minutes or until lightly browned. You can also pan fry them in about 2-3 minutes each side. - When done spread the fillings over half and fold the other half on top. - Serve and enjoy.

Telur Belado March 11, 2014 13:43

A delicious, easy to prepare Indonesian dish. serves 4-8


  • 8 eggs
  • 3 tbsp chilli paste (or to taste)
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ tsp belacan (dried shrimp paste)
  • 1 tbsp peanuts, coarsely ground
  • 450ml coconut milk
  • 100ml water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt
  • Peanut oil or vegetable oil for frying
  • Sprigs of parsley for garnishing


Boil eggs until hard (about 7 minutes). Heat oil in a wok, when the oil is hot carefully lower the hard boiled eggs and fry turning frequently to brown evenly on all sides and to form a light crust. Remove eggs with slotted spoon and drain on some paper. Add the onions to the wok and fry until translucent, then add the garlic, belacan, peanuts and chilli paste, stir fry for about 30 seconds. Add the coconut milk, water, lemon juice, sugar, bay leaves and eggs and season with salt. Bring to the boil slowly then immediately reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until the sauce reduces and thickens. Top with the parsley leaves and serve with steamed rice.  

Delicious & Easy Chocolate Truffles December 10, 2013 09:59

A really quick way to make delicious chocolate truffles.

Makes about 20


  • 150ml double cream
  • 350g plain chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 100g icing sugar, sifted
  • 60ml whisky, warmed (optional)
  • 100g cocoa powder, for dusting


  • Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  • Bring the cream to the boil in a saucepan, then remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate pieces.
  • Whisk until smooth, then whisk in the icing sugar.
  • Pour in the warm whisky and whisk again until smooth.
  • Pour into the lined baking tray and cover with cling film, chill for about 6 hours until set.
  • When the mixture is set, dust a plate and your hands with cocoa powder.
  • Divide the chocolate mixture into about 20 equal portions – about the size of a walnut – and roll into balls in the palm of your hand.
  • Roll the balls in the cocoa powder and leave to firm up in the fridge.
  • Before serving, place the truffles in petit four cases.

Gluten & Sugar Free Almond Cake October 28, 2013 15:21

A really easy to make Gluten & Sugar free cake.


  • 200g ground almonds
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 50g Xylitol
  • 30g Sweet Freedom/honey/Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
  • 5 egg whites


  • Pre heat oven 160 degrees C.
  • Mix the butter with xylitol and syrup/honey until creamed.
  • Add the vanilla, ground almonds and mix well.
  • Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks and first spoon 1 spoonful into the almond mixture and mix, then add the remaining egg whites and fold them in carefully.
  • Line an 8” cake tin with greaseproof paper.
  • Gently pour the mixture into the tin and place into the oven, middle shelf (no higher).
  • Bake for 25-35 minutes or until the cake is golden on top. If unsure prick with a knife and make sure it comes out clean, then it’s done.
  • Leave the cake to cool and then slice in half so that the middle of the cake can be filled.
  • Fill the cake with a natural sugar free jam (not with artificial sweeteners), I use St. Dalfour, and some cream. I use mascapone mixed with a little coconut nectar.

Salt Cod Fritters with Aioli August 8, 2013 15:15

A delicious & easy fish dish for a summers day. Serves 6


  • 500g salt cod
  • 500g floury potatoes (such as King Edwards)
  • 250ml milk
  • 6 spring onions finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Plain flour, for dusting
  • 100g dried white breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil, for shallow frying
  • Lemon wedges and salad leaves, to serve
For the Aioli
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 250ml approx olive oil
  • Juice of ½ lemon, to taste


  • Soak the salt cod in cold water for at least 24 hours, changing the water two or three times. The cod should swell as it rehydrates. Sample a tiny piece. It should not taste unpleasantly salty when fully rehydrated. Drain well and pat dry with kitchen paper.
  • Cook the potatoes, unpeeled, in a pan of lightly salted boiling water for about 20 minutes, until tender. Drain. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes, then mash with a fork or use a potato masher.
  • Pour the milk into a pan, add half the spring onions and bring to a simmer. Add the soaked cod and poach very gently for 10-15 minutes, or until it flakes easily. Remove the cod and flake it with a fork into a bowl, discarding bones and skin.
  • Mix the mashed potato with the cod. Add the remaining spring onions and the parsley.
  • Season with lemon juice and pepper to taste - the mixture may also need a little salt but taste it before adding any. Add one egg to the mixture and beat it until thoroughly combined, then chill until firm.
  • Shape the chilled fish mixture into 12-18 balls, then gently flatten into small round cakes. Coat each one in flour, then dip in the remaining beaten egg and coat with dried breadcrumbs. Chill until ready to fry.
  • Meanwhile, make the aioli. Place the garlic and a good pinch of salt in a mortar and pound to a paste with a pestle. Using a small whisk or a wooden spoon, gradually work in the egg yolks.
  • Beat in about half the olive oil, a drop at a time. When the sauce is as thick as soft butter, beat in 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice. Continue adding oil until the aioli is very thick. Season to taste, adding more lemon juice if you wish.
  • Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a large, heavy frying pan. Add the fritters and cook over a medium-high heat for about 4 minutes. Turn them over and cook for a further 4 minutes on the other side, until crisp and golden.
  • Drain on kitchen paper, then serve with the aioli, lemon wedges and salad leaves.

Bracknell Food Festival Recipes July 4, 2013 15:23

For those that attended out interactive workshops on Saturday at the Bracknell Food Festival, below are the recipes that we covered:

Mussels with Spinach & Pancetta July 3, 2013 09:39

A quick & delicious summer dish!

Serves 4 -6


  • 1kg mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 500g spinach, washed
  • 200ml full fat milk
  • 150g pancetta, chopped into cubes
  • 100 ml double cream
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp white wine
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Sea salt & freshly ground pepper


  • Place a large pan over medium heat and add the butter, then add the shallots and pancetta.
  • Cook until the onions are translucent and the pancetta has started to release some of its fat.
  • Then add the wine, 2 tbsp water and bring to a simmer, then when the liquid has reduced by half then add the garlic and the spinach.
  • Cook for a further 5 minutes or until the spinach has started to wilt.
  • Add the mussels and cover with a lid and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Squeeze in the lemon and  add the cream.
  • Season and serve hot. (Discarding any mussels where the shells have remained shut).
  • Serve with some crusty bread.

Co op Member Recipes March 9, 2013 19:32

Lots of recipes from Co op store events to try. We have recently been in Co op stores across the Mid-Counties cooking up some delicious recipes. If you would like to try some of them at home, please have a browse through what we have been making. Membership-Recipe-Cards-1  

Chicken Chasseur January 15, 2013 08:59

A really easy delicious winter dish!


  • 8 chicken breasts
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms
  • 100g butter
  • 40g shallots, finely chopped
  • 400ml dry white wine
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp snipped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp snipped tarragon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Wipe the mushrooms clean or peel them and slice them finely and evenly.
  2. Heat half of the butter in a shallow pan, add the mushrooms and cook over medium heat for 1 minute.
  3. Add the shallot and cook for 1 more minute allowing them to go translucent, without colour.
  4. Tip the mushrooms and shallots into a fine mesh colander to drain off the coking butter.
  5. Put them back into the pan and add the wine and reduce it by half over medium heat.
  6. Pour in the stock and cook gently for 10-15 minutes or until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  7. In the meantime cook the chicken breast in either some butter and allow to go golden or under the grill.
  8. Take the (liquid)pan off the heat and whisk in the remaining butter and the snipped herbs.
  9. Season to taste and pour over the chicken.

Christmas Pudding (Grain Free) November 21, 2012 13:30

A delicious grain free Christmas Pudding. Serves 8-10 (1 litre basin)


  • 100g sultanas
  • 100g raisins
  • 100g currants
  • 70ml cider
  • 70ml alcoholic ginger beer
  • 2 tbsp rum
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g desiccated coconut
  • 100g coconut butter
  • 200g coconut nectar
  • 75g cooking apples, peeled and chopped
  • ½ zest of orange
  • ½ zest of lemon
  • 2 eggs


  • Place all the dried fruit and candied peel in a mixing bowl; soak overnight with the alcohol.
  • Mix the ground almonds with the mixed spice, nutmeg, cinnamon & bicarb of soda.
  • Add the desiccated coconut, coconut butter and nectar to the ground almonds.
  • Drain the fruit from the alcohol. Add to the dried mixture along with the apple & grated zest.
  • In a separate basin, beat the eggs with the alcohol.
  • Add the liquid to the fruit and mix thoroughly.
  • Pack into a lightly greased basin (1litre). Cover with a sheet of greaseproof and aluminium foil and secure well.
  • Steam for 8 hours over a pan with simmering water, keep checking the water levels to prevent the pan going dry.
  • Remove from the steamer and allow cooling. Remove the greaseproof and foil and replace with new. Secure well.
  • Allow to mature for at least 2 months. Reheat by steaming for a further 2 hours.
  • Serve with rum and brandy sauce.

A Delicious Pea & Pesto Soup September 4, 2012 14:03

Very quick, very easy, very good! Serves 2 Ingredients  •    480g frozen peas •    1 tsp rock salt •    1 tsp lime juice •    2 tbsps fresh pesto Method •    Bring the peas to the boil in 1 litre of water. •    Add the salt and lime juice to the pan and let everything simmer together for about 7 minutes. •    Add the pesto and blend with food processor, add more water if necessary. •    Taste for seasoning. It's that easy, enjoy!

Broccoli & Stilton Pie July 6, 2012 11:56

  Delicious vegetarian dish or add meat if you prefer! Serves 4 Ingredients 1 head of broccoli 150g medium stilton 1 onion, finely chopped 2 tablespoons of plain flour 25g butter 300ml vegetable stock 200g puff pastry 10ml Milk or egg wash   Method •    Melt the butter in a pan and add onions and shallow fry until the onions are translucent. •    Par boil the broccoli in a separate pan for 5 minutes. Add to the onions. •    Add the flour and gradually add the stock until a nice sauce consistency. •    Crumble the stilton and add to the sauce. •    Whilst the mixture is on a low heat, roll out the pastry to fit a suitable oven dish •    Transfer the mixture into the oven dish, cover with the pastry and baste with milk or egg wash. •    Put in a pre-heated oven at 225 Degrees C/ Gas Mark 7 •    Cook until golden.

Thai Spare Ribs May 28, 2012 12:18

This recipe is easy and delicious. Perfect for the good weather! Serves 2-4


2-3lbs pork ribs, chopped into 2” lengths 2 spring onions, sliced Marinade; 5 cloves garlic, crushed 2 thumb sized pieces ginger, grated 2 tbsp fish sauce 3 tbsp oyster sauce 2 tsp dark soy sauce ½ - 1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste) ½ tsp ground coriander 75ml liquid honey 75ml coconut milk 1 tbsp lime juice


•    Put all marinade ingredients together in a large casserole dish (you will also need a lid). •     Stir well to dissolve the honey. •    Add the ribs to the marinade, stirring and turning them to coat. Cover and leave in the refrigerator to marinate at least 1 hour or more (up to 24 hours). •    When ready to cook, preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Stir the ribs once more, then cover and set in the oven to bake (right in the marinade) for 1 hour. •    Remove ribs and turn the oven up to 225 degrees C. •    Cover a baking sheet with foil (turn the foil up at the edges to prevent juices from spilling). Then remove the cooked ribs from the casserole dish and place on the foil. •    Spoon 1/2 Tbsp. of the marinade from the casserole dish over each rib. Then set the baking sheet on the second-to-highest shelf of your oven. Leave in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until the ribs are sizzling, lightly browned, and shiny. •    Enjoy as they are or turn the ribs over and give them another 5 minutes. •    Serve right on the baking sheet, or transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle the sliced green onion over the ribs and enjoy. This dish goes well with rice, but is equally delicious on its own as finger food.

Vegetable Moussaka April 30, 2012 13:42

A great dish even if you are not vegetarian, really tasty enjoy! Serves 4 Ingredients 2 large potatoes peeled and sliced Olive oil 1 large onion finely chopped 3 cloves of crushed garlic 2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes Splash of red wine 1 tsp of dried oregano Pinch of cinnamon Pinch of Sugar 2 Tbsp tomato puree 1 400g can red kidney beans 2 aubergines sliced 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped Salt & pepper 1 recipe for Bechamel sauce Method •    Boil potatoes until just tender. •    Cook onion and garlic gently in olive oil for about 10 minutes or until soft but not coloured. •    Add tomatoes, wine, oregano, cinnamon, sugar, tomato puree. •    Boil. •    Then reduce heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes, then add the beans and simmer for another 20 minutes. •    Taste. •    Season. •    Fry aubergine slices in two to three tbsp olive oil turning till just soft or griddle them, drain on kitchen paper. •    Make cheese sauce. •    Pre-heat oven to 190 degrees C. •    To put together: Use either 4 small shallow heat proof dishes or one large, spread tomato/bean mix at the bottom, then layer aubergine slices a little grated cheese, then potato. Repeat until all used, finishing with aubergine. •    Cover with cheese sauce and bake for one hour, rest 10 minutes before eating.

Aubergine Bake with Saffron Rice March 27, 2012 13:37

A great dish, easy to prepare, even easier to eat! Enjoy. Serves 6-8


30g butter Sunflower oil for frying 3 large aubergines (800g) cut into 5mm thick slices Flour for coating 1 litre passata 250g buffalo mozzarella 100g parmesan, grated 3 tbsp oil 1 onion, finely chopped 200g Arborio rice 5g saffron 150ml white wine 1200ml vegetable/chicken stock Salt & pepper


•    Butter an oven proof dish (approx 20x30cm) set aside. •     To make the rice first, heat the olive oil in a pan and gently fry the onions until soft, about 7 minutes, stir in the rice and when it is glossy add the saffron, stir briefly and then add the wine. •    Allow it to be absorbed by the rice and then start adding the stock gradually. When the rice is doubled in size and cooked through, remove from the heat and allow to cool. •    Pre heat the oven 180 degrees C. •    Heat a deep fat fryer (or large pan with at least 3cm oil) until 170 degrees C. •    Coat the aubergine in flour and shake off any excess, fry in batches until golden brown on both sides. Drain on kitchen paper. •    Coat the base of the ovenproof dish with a ¼ of the passata and scatter a ¼ of the mozzarella and the parmesan on top followed by the aubergine. •    Cover with all of the rice and then repeat with the passata and cheese. •    Bake until golden for about 30 minutes and bubbling around the edges.

Dutch Apple Cake February 20, 2012 20:23

A delicious recipe taught to me by my Dutch grandmother. This recipe is also available to watch in Video form here. Ingredients 300g flour 220g butter (cold & chopped into small pieces) 150g soft brown sugar ½ small egg + the other half for brushing 2g salt 400g apples 60g raisins (optional, washed) Sugar and cinnamon Method • Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees C. • Add the flour, sugar, butter and the salt into a bowl and roughly mix together. • Add the egg and knead it all together with a cold hand until it forms a dough. • Roll 2/3 of the dough on a floured surface into a circle and then lay on a pre-buttered round cake tin with a removable base. • Peel the apples and cut them in slices or cubes and add the washed raisins and sprinkle with some sugar and cinnamon. • Add the apples onto the pastry. • Roll the remaining 1/3 of the pastry and cut into strips and place into a weave on top of the apples and brush with the remaining egg. • Place the cake on the bottom shelf in the oven, bake for about 45 minutes or until light brown. Leave to cool completely before trying to remove from the cake tin, otherwise it’ll fall to pieces. This cake also tastes better as the days go on.

Meatballs In Tomato Sauce January 6, 2012 11:39

A great healthy recipe to start the New Year, enjoy! Serves 4 Ingredients 2 tbsp olive oil 200g minced beef or pork (preferably lean or organic) 50g fresh white breadcrumbs 2tbsp grated parmesan cheese 1tbsp tomato puree 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 shallots, finely chopped 2tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped ½ tsp turmeric 1 tin of plum tomatoes, chopped 2tbsp red wine Salt & pepper 2 tsp basil leaves, chopped 2tsp rosemary, chopped 1 egg Method
  • In a bowl, thoroughly mix together the meat, breadcrumbs, cheese, tomato puree, garlic, shallots, egg, thyme, turmeric, salt and pepper. Shape the mixture into 12 to 15 firm balls.
  • Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook for several minutes or until browned on all sides.
  • Add the tomatoes, wine, basil and rosemary. Simmer gently for around 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked. Season generously with salt and pepper and serve hot.

Chicken Jalfrezi January 1, 2012 15:52

A very quick dish, it tastes really fantastic too, enjoy ! This months recipe is also available as a video, click here to watch

Ingredients                                                         serves 4

2 cloves garlic, chopped 750g skinless chicken thigh fillets, cut in half 3 tsp ground turmeric 1 onion finely grated 1 tsp red chilli powder 1 tsp salt 400g chopped tomatoes 30g ghee 3 tsp ground cumin 3 tsp ground coriander 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger 30g fresh coriander, leaves roughly chopped oil for cooking


•    Heat up about 2 tbsp of oil in a deep frying pan and fry the onion and garlic for 2 minutes over high heat. •    Mix in the chicken, turmeric, chili powder and salt. Gently fry for 5-10 minutes or until golden, turning the chicken frequently. •    Mix in the tomatoes, cover and stir fry over medium heat up for 20 minutes. Uncover and simmer (boil slowly at low temperature) for 10 minutes to let all the excess liquid evaporate and the sauce thicken. •    Mix in the ghee or oil, cumin, ground coriander, ginger and fresh coriander and simmer  for 5-7 minutes or until the fat separates out from the thick sauce.

Mince Pies Video Recipe November 21, 2011 10:46

We have just posted our latest video recipe, Mince Pies! Watch the video here. Or you can follow the recipe below: Makes about 8-12 pies 25g suet 25g mixed peel, chopped 25g currants 25g sultanas 25g raisins 25g apples, chopped 25g soft brown sugar ½ tsp mixed spice ½ lemon, grated zest and juice ½ orange, grated zest and juice 15ml rum 15ml brandy 350g sweet short crust pastry Method •    Roll the pastry out and using a cookie cutter cut out some rounds and carefully put them in a Yorkshire pudding tin. •    Also cut out some smaller rounds or shapes such as stars to go on top. •    Mix all the other ingredients together and fill the pastry about half full. •    Put the top on, brush with a little egg wash. •    Place in a pre heated oven of 200 degrees C for about 15 minutes or until golden.

New Website for Diet Plan November 7, 2011 14:23

The new Forever Plan diet website has just gone live. Not long now until the trials start, we are busy getting together meal plans, samples of food etc and we will be all ready on time! A huge thank you to Tjobbe Andrews for all his help in designing this site and getting it working so quickly. More news as we have it.

Christmas Pudding Video Recipe November 3, 2011 14:32

You still have time to make your Christmas Pudding .... just. Check out our latest video recipe and enjoy your pudding in time for Christmas. Pudding Pie Cookery School, cooking up some treats for Christmas!

The Forever Plan September 29, 2011 10:19

We are delighted to announce that the trials for our new Healthy Eating Diet are going well. No more counting calories or points, no more unhealthy packet meals or shakes and no starving yourself to lose weight. Our plan helps you to beat cravings, eat healthy food, improve your overall health and lose weight in the process. As an added bonus we also teach you how to cook, so you have the support and skills you need to continue to eat healthy meals in the future and to stay slim. We have the support of a qualified nutritionist to ensure the meals are well balanced and we have motivational Cd's to give you that extra little boost. Our trials were started a week ago and on just 2 people initially and the results in week one were a weight loss of 9lbs for each person, 2 weeks upto 15 lbs, more energy, being able to sleep better, and generally feeling better in themselves. We will soon be rolling out the trials to 20 volunteers and we will keep you informed of the progress they make. Pudding Pie Cookery School, teaching skills to improve your lifestyle.

Apple & Ginger Jam September 20, 2011 10:48

A really quick and easy to make delicious jam. We hope you enjoy trying it, we love it! Ingredients 1kg peeled, cored, and chopped apples 250ml water 2 lemons chopped in half 1.75kg caster sugar 10cm of fresh ginger, chopped finely 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg 100g dark brown soft sugar Method •    In a large saucepan, combine apples, water and the lemons, pips and all. Cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the caster sugar, and continue boiling and stirring uncovered for 1 minute, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and stir in brown sugar, ginger and cinnamon and nutmeg. •    Whilst the jam is cooking, prepare your jars by running through a short hot wash in your dishwasher. Or wash thoroughly by hand, then put in a hot oven to sterilise for 10-15 mins. •    Remove lemons and any pips and quickly fill jars to within 1cm of the top. Wipe rims clean, and top with lids. Process jars in boiling water for 10 minutes to seal. This recipe is also fantastic using rhubarb, gooseberries or plums, just leave the cinnamon out and use a vanilla pod instead.

Video Recipes September 20, 2011 09:54

We have started to put together a selection of video recipes, we hope you enjoy them! Please select a video to watch below:

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Jalfrezi

More to follow very soon ....