Honeycomb tips #cupcakehour

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use a thermometer and take it to 160C

coat  in chocolate, tastes like home made crunchy!

1 hr- 1 hr 30mins the honeycomb will be hard and ready to crumble or snap into chunks.

Store in an air-tight container

Scrape into the tin immediately but be careful as the mixture will be very hot

tip in the bicarbonate and beat in with a wooden spoon

Once completely melted, turn up the heat a little and simmer until you have an amber coloured caramel

Try not to let the mixture bubble until the sugar grains have disappeared

Mix the caster sugar and syrup in a deep saucepan

Carmel tips #cupcakehour

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1. Thermometer– Pre-test your thermometer for accuracy. A degree or two off can make the difference to how your sugar hardens

To test take a pot of boiling water and completely submerge the thermometer into the water without touching the bottom of the pot

2. Cleanliness– Some recipes call for an absolute grease free environment. Before making candy I rewash all utensils

3. Pure Ingredients– make sure that the sugars you are using are contaminant free

4. Prepare– Making candy is about timing and readiness

5. Patience– Don’t rush the sugar boiling stage. A better caramelization happens with a slow development over time

Eyes on the Prize– Boiling sugar is it’s own animal. It can turn quickly

Don’t Stir– This is a very common mistake for first time candy making. Stirring boiling sugar causes the crystals to become unstable and start to bind

Follow chef noel on twitter @chefnoelk & instagram @chefnoelkeane

Reflective by paul

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Round 2

As many of you know I recently did my second live feed from the sea shore as promised in the 1st feed. This time slightly more confident withy surroundings that I would have better reception and the feed would go uninterrupted. Being honest I prefer the shoreline foraging, something about the sea air I always leave refreshed from the sea breeze whether warm summer or bitterly cold winter.
My 2nd interview with the lovely Avril Allshire-Hawe of caherbeg free range pork and roscarbery recipes, was for me more enjoyable more relaxed I was less nervous about it, I felt better equipped to take on this interview. I discovered this jewel of West cork food a few years ago while on a trip with my college classmates. I thought this would be a great interview to do as it’s an artisan and award winning product. I could be in West Cork at any stage during the year as my fiancée is from there (@wattonarts on Instagram please follow she does some amazing drawings).
Also these products won an award at the Listowel food festival recently and are also developing a new product called billtong it’s a south African snack of of cured meat traditionally beef, it’s something I’m looking forward to its release but i know it wont be until it’s as good as they can get it, and are happy with it. Avril’s and her family’s enthusiasm shines through in all their products, taking these humble products and giving them the time care and dedication to the practice of perfection.  Available in SuperValu Tralee, Listowel, Dingle, with tastings regularly, my advice pick it up try it and you won’t go back.

Follow me @chefpaulc Instagram and Twitter
Like Avril on Facebook :Caherbeg free range pork and follow @RoscarberyReci on Twitter for more information

Dill pickles

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I prefere apple cider vinager for picking but malt vinager works just as well

For these it is equal parts vinager and water and 1/3 of that sugar a little salt

As for the other flavours here im using chilli , black mustard seed and dill

But you can use any flavours you like and play around with differant flavour mixes

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Bring the vinager sugar and water to the boil with mustard seed and cool a little

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You can slice the cucumbers any way you like add the dill and chilli.

Using very clean jars (i steam mine just before using) or place in a pot of boiling water .

Pour the mix into the jars while warm and cover the cucumbers

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Put the lids on but not tighty and leave over night then , seal tightly and place in the fridge . After making these you will never go back to shop bought dill pickles again

Follow chef noel on twitter @chefnoelk & instagram @chefnoelkeane

Sid on childhood diet

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CHILDHOOD BEHAVIOUR & DIET

“THE KID LIFE CRISIS”

 

It’s both common sense and scientifically proven, that if our bodies receive optimal nutrition, they function at their best. However, it’s the connection between diet and brain function that we need to be more aware of. In particular with our children as their behaviour can be very much determined by what they eat and drink.

Childhood should be happy, fun and carefree, however something far more sinister is happening with many young children. Learning difficulties, behavioural issues and social inadequacies are all rapidly on the rise. Recent studies have shown that a quarter of all children between the ages of eight and fourteen ‘often’ or ‘always’ feel stressed. Childhood depression and even suicide are also rapidly increasing.

Surely this can’t be right, can it?

From mild Dyspraxia at one end of the spectrum, to ADHD and severe Autism at the other, all of us can relate in some way to how a family can be impacted by such a disorder.

Let’s look at some of the symptoms that many kids exhibit daily:

Poor coordination, inability to concentrate, mood swings or tantrums, inappropriate emotional reactions, fatigue, digestive problems, poor eye-to-hand coordination, reading and writing difficulties.

In the past, children with such symptoms were labelled as slow learners, weepy & fragile, spoilt rotten or just out of control, but then again that generation of parents and teachers had never heard of ADHD or Dyspraxia or any other behaviour disorders for that matter.

So what do they all have in common with the brain?

Our brain relies entirely on the nutrients with which we feed it. Foetal and early childhood development, are profoundly impacted by the nutrients we supply to the brain. Modern day diet and lifestyle leave us susceptible to nutrient deficiencies. Particularly the junk food diet of high trans fats, high-refined sugars, processed foods laced with artificial colours, flavour enhancers and preservatives. These foods have little in the way of nutritional benefit and are virtually absent of vital nutrients for the brain.

E.F.A. (Essential Fatty Acid) deficiency is common with ADHD. Symptoms include excessive thirst, dry skin, eczema and asthma. Males have a higher E.F.A requirement than females so it’s interesting that ADHD affects four times more boys than girls.

Zinc deficiency is also common leading to a lack of digestive enzymes being produced, which can cause gut permeability or ‘leaky gut’. This is partly the reason for gluten and casein (proteins found in wheat & dairy) aggravating the already fragile biochemistry of a child with ADHD.

This is just a snapshot at how diet and nutrient deficiency can alter brain chemistry and unfortunately lead to a whole host of disorders. If you are a parent of a child with such a disorder and sometimes the attached stigma, then surely dietary intervention and nutritional supplementation are worth looking at.

 

Sid on food intolerance

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COULD YOU HAVE A FOOD INTOLERANCE?

What is a food intolerance?

A food intolerance is quite simply an unpleasant reaction to a food. It is our body’s natural defence mechanism telling us that this particular food does not agree with us. The immune system, which protects us produces anti-bodies that deal with anything which invades the body. Sometimes these antibodies not only destroy the invader but also destroy some of the bodies tissues. This over sensitive immune system causes inflammation, discomfort and pain associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), eczema and arthritis amongst many other inflammatory conditions. Over time, if we continue to consume these offending foods on a regular basis the result is a lifetime of chronic inflammation. By correctly identifying and removing these problem foods, there is very often a significant improvement to health.

Allergy v Intolerance

Both of these terms are very often used in the same context, but it is important that you understand the difference between the two. Both are reactions to a food but it is the type of reaction that is important.

Food allergy

This reaction occurs almost immediately after consuming the offending food, usually within the first hour. The reaction is often very obvious and quite violent. Common symptoms are itchy skin, rash, swollen lips and tongue, vomiting and/or diarrhoea. In more severe cases, you may not even have to consume the food but just be in contact with it. Difficulty breathing can also be experienced in extreme cases. Immediate medical attention is required. Only about 2% of the Irish population actually suffer from a food allergy.

Food intolerance

This type of reaction affects a far greater number of us every day. A food intolerance can develop at any time of life whereas a food allergy most often develops in early childhood. The reaction rarely occurs immediately after consuming the food, in fact it can take up to 48hrs before any symptoms will be felt. Many chronic conditions may be associated with an intolerance to a particular food, here are just a few of the more common offenders and how they may affect you.

Dairy: Some of the reactions to dairy (particularly cow dairy) include digestive distress, asthma, skin conditions and sinus problems.

Wheat: This major offender may be linked to headaches, bloating, diarrhoea/constipation, fatigue and brain fog.

Gluten: If allergic to gluten, it causes coeliac disease. An intolerance to gluten may be linked to malabsorption of nutrients (leading to a whole host of illnesses), IBS, behavioural issues in children and depression.

 

By Richard Sheehan Nutritional Therapist Dip NT mIANT

web http://www.nourishbynature.ie

email nourishbynaturelistowel@gmail.com

mobile 087 3848818

#cupcakehour macroon

macroons

Aging the egg whites dehydrates them, resulting in a firmer, more stable meringue

Be sure to bring the egg whites back to room temperature before using.

 

old almond meal causes a macaron to lose its glossy luster.

Liquid food coloring can alter the texture of your macarons, making your batter too runny

I use gel color and add it while whipping the meringue.

Don’t be afraid to use a little too much: incorporating the almond meal mixture slightly diminishes the potency of the color

The idea is to press out just enough air from the batter so that it runs off your spatula thickly, slowly, but consistently

If you find that the tops of your macarons are cracking in the oven, allow your piped macarons ample time to dry with the next batch

You’ll know they are adequately dried when you dab the tops with your finger and nothing sticks

Forgo the unreliable temperature gauge in your oven and get a trusty oven thermometer instead

Try using a wooden spoon handle to prop open the oven door just a smidge for the first two minutes of baking

. Get ready for a baking adventure, but when you create the perfect, airy-light macaron, it will all be worth it

macroon recipe

macroons

125g/4oz ground almonds

  • 200g/7oz icing sugar
  • 3 free-range egg  whites
  • 2 tbsp. caster sugar
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • pinch red powdered food colouring

For the chocolate filling

  • 200g/7oz dark chocolate chopped
  • 200ml/7fl oz double cream
  • 1 tsp brandy
  • 15g/½oz unsalted butter

 

  1. Blend the ground almonds and icing sugar in a food processor until well combined. Set aside.
  2. Using an electric whisk, slowly whisk the egg whites in a large bowl at a low speed until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed. Slowly whisk in the cream of tartar and caster sugar until the mixture is smooth and glossy, increasing the speed of the whisk as the mixture stiffens.

  3. Gently fold in the food colouring and blended ground almonds and icing sugar until the mixture resembles shaving foam.

  4. Spoon the macaroon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm/½in round nozzle. Pipe 5cm/2in circles onto the baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. If a peak forms, wet your finger and smooth it down. Sharply tap the bottom of the tray to release any air bubbles from the macaroons, then set aside for 60 minutes (the macaroon shells are ready to go in the oven when they are no longer sticky to the touch).

  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160C/315F/Gas 2½.

  6. Bake the macaroons in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Carefully peel away the greaseproof paper and set aside to cool completely.

  7. Meanwhile, for the chocolate filling, heat the double cream and chocolate in a saucepan over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth and well combined. Add the brandy and butter and stir until smooth, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely.

  8. Use the filling to sandwich the macaroons together then chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.