A visit to St tola goats farm

Myself (chef noel) and fellow chef paul cotter headed up to St tola goat farm for a visit and some tasty bits of course.

The first thing you see is the awards of which there is alot (more inside) no surpise to me im a big fan and use it in the restaurant all the time


Inside we were given a brillant talk about goats/goats cheese the history of it and the farm itself and meet some goats of course


Then oh yes the best bit…….. the tasting .it was fantastic as the leasson contuined while we tasted the differant cheeses


I almost licked the board but we were in company and paul told me it wouldnt be polite …..


Visit the web site http://www.st-tola.ie to see when the farm visits are on a great way to spend a few hours


uses for wild leek


Some uses for wild leek here i have some ready for saute (black tub)

Pickled wild leek flowers in a simple pickle i use 3/2/1 with a teaspoon of mustard seeds (vinager/sugar/water)

Wild leek pesto equal amounts of wild leek & parsley with toasted walnuts, salt and pepper(no need to add garlic) blended with rapeseed oil

And a wild leek & mint butter just chop the leek and blanch in salted boiling water for 10 seconds and refresh in ice water. Dry and mix with the mint and mix both through softened butter the butter also frezzes well



When bread baking leave the dough rest for 10 minutes beforehand kneading

When using oats soak for 10 minutes in boiling water

Place a tray of boiling water in the bottom of the oven for a rich crust

Adding orange to loaves helps them rise better

Adding a tablespoon of vinegar to dough helps the crumb stay soft

Replace half the water with yoghurt gives more flavour

Rub oil on your hands before kneading stops it sticking

Any plain flour will do for bread no need for expensive ones

Bake seeds lightly first for a golden nutty taste


baking tricks

Cream should have 30% + fat content for whipping

Cream should be fridge cold before whipping

Place your pipping bag in a jug to fill it Hold a pipping bag in your writing hand

Use a clothes peg to clse your piping bag before refilling

chop butter into even size pieces for easier melting

Always use top quality chocolate for baking

Add 1/2 teaspoon of seasalt to chocolate cake mix for enhanced flavour

Never rush melting chocolate, melt it gently you have to seduce it

all about meringues

1 always use a spotless clean bowl

2 use half a lemon to rub around the bowl then dry off

3 always ensure the bowl and whisk are completely dry

4 add cider vinegar for chewiness

5 add cornstarch for a crispy outer layer

6 add sugar slowly whisking all the time

7 all ingredients should be room temperature especially the eggs

8 line our trays with parchment paper not wax paper

9 use a little meringue to glue the parchment paper down

chocolate tips


Chocolate is best kept between 13 & 15 c

Do not store chocolate in a fridge

Chocolate absorbs strong smells keep away from anything strong smelling Properly wrapped & stored it will last for a year

To tempure chocolate bring it to 43c no higher If dipping fruit in chocolate it must be clean and dry first

If moulding chocolate make sure the mould is at room temperature

If icing a cake with chocolate never chill below 10c Dry all untinles completely water causes chocolate to go lumpy