Wednesday, 30 September 2015

River Cottage Edible Flower Butter Roulade

Those who follow me on my Twitter, Facebook or Instagram accounts may have spotted the #BlogCampRiverCottage hashtag putting in a number of appearances last week. Back in May, Foodies 100 announced that they would be running a food bloggers event at River Cottage HQ in the Autumn. I duly applied for a place and crossed my fingers and toes. When I received the email to say I was on the guest list I'm sure my excited scream could be heard all 600 miles away in Devon. I would definitely be the furthest travelled blogger at this event!





If there was one thing that encompassed for me the whole ethos and excitement of the day it had to be making an Edible Flower Butter Roulade. I've made my own butter on numerous occasions, often in jam jars as part of my children's cookery classes and outdoor food and foraging events. However at River Cottage we went one step further and filled the butter with beautiful edible flowers from their stunning Victorian vegetable garden. Instructions of how to make your own at the end of the post but firstly some photos that sum up a fantastic day. 





Our day comprised of three group sessions alongside networking with fellow bloggers and a sumptuous two course lunch. First up was Food Styling and Photography with the lovely Capture by Lucy of whom it was a delight to finally meet having stalked her online for so long. The Bread and Butter Cookery session was led by Group Head Chef Gill Meller (The bread part will be revealed in future post - I promise it's worth the wait) whilst Head Gardener Will Livingstone took us on a farm and garden tour. 



River Cottage HQ is a 90 acre certified Organic mixed farm. Livestock wise they have beef cattle, large black pigs, sheep, chicken, ducks, guinea fowl and bees. Everything grown on the farm stays on the farm and there is a 30 mile food sourcing policy for their additional requirements. Vegetables are grown in two poly tunnels and the kitchen garden. The Victorian style garden is divided into four plots with a Mulberry tree in the middle (alas there were no takers when I suggested we dance around it). Brassicas, legumes, roots and onions and 'everything else' are rotated annually to help reduce pests and diseases and avoid the depletion of nutrients. The farm aims to be as sustainable as possible with a wind turbine, solar panels, reed bed system for sewerage and biomass generator for heating and hot water. As he showed us around and answered our many questions Will's passion for local, seasonal, organic food shone through, as it did with the whole River Cottage HQ team throughout our day. At last it was time to head to the cook school and get hands on. 


River Cottage Edible Flower Butter Roulade

500ml Double Cream
Sea Salt Flakes
Culinary Herbs
Edible Flowers e.g. nasturtiums, marigolds, chives, borage, pansy, violets. Check the Royal Horticultural Society Guide before including anything you're unsure of 

Whip the cream with an electric whisk until it starts to split and looks a bit like scrambled eggs.
Use a wooden spoon to continue to beat and press against the side of the bowl until you have butter and buttermilk.
Take small balls of the butter into your (ideally cool) hands and squeeze out excess buttermilk.
(At this point you may wish to refrigerate the butter for a short time if it's rather soft)
Wash the butter in iced water to help prolong its life before squishing it out onto a sheet of greaseproof paper to form a rectangle.
Sprinkle with salt if desired and top with edible herbs and flowers.
Run a knife between the butter and the baking parchment before rolling the butter up "swiss roll" style.
Place the butter roulade on a fresh sheet of parchment and wrap it up like a Christmas cracker, twisting the ends to secure.
Refrigerate until solid then slice and serve.


Of course I now had the added complication of requiring to transport my butter 600 miles home. It made it safely back to my B&B, the gorgeous Fingle in Uplyme, Lyme Regis. My landlady Jane kept it in the fridge for me and I enjoyed a slice of it on toast for breakfast on my final day in Devon. Alas by the time it spent the day in a suitcase in the boot of my hire car and onwards to Exeter, Manchester and Aberdeen airports it didn't look quite so pretty!


Thanks to Time To Be An Adult, Lovely Appetite, Supper In The Suburbs, Sophia's Choice and Jen's Food for allowing me share a montage of their beautiful butters above. I'm a wee bit obsessed with this whole idea now and the possibilities are endless. You don't necessarily even need to make your own butter from scratch, just soften and squish out a block of shop bought butter. Fill with edible flowers, herbs, pesto, tapenade, chilli, garlic, lemon & lime zest, wholegrain mustard - my mind is now in overdrive with potential fillings. Its uses are equally plentiful. Beautiful spread on bread or toast but also on top of meat, fish or pasta. The perfect idea to take away from a perfect day. It could only have been better if HFW himself had put in an appearance. However I suspect he has bigger (sustainable) fish to fry than an excitable group of 50 food bloggers


Disclosure - I attended #BlogCampRiver Cottage as a guest of Foodies 100 and River Cottage HQ. All views expressed are my own.

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Thursday, 24 September 2015

Making Butteries and Pancakes at JG Ross for Craft Bakers Week

The iconic regional speciality food of the North East corner of Scotland has got to be the Buttery. Depending on where you're from you might call it a Rowie or an Aberdeen Roll. Terry Wogan caused outrage when he branded the local delicacy as tasting “like a mouthful of seaweed”. If you've never tasted one and haven't a clue what I'm on about, listen to me and not Mr Wogan. They can best be described as a dense, round, flaky, flattened, buttery, salty kinda croissant! They were originally made for Aberdeen fishermen who needed a roll that would not become stale during the two weeks plus that they were at sea. The high fat content, traditionally from lard, also meant they provided an immediate energy boost.



When I was offered the opportunity to be a baker for a few hours as part of the celebrations for Craft Bakers Week I jumped at the chance to visit the JG Ross headquarters in Inverurie and try my hand at buttery making. The general consensus of most Aberdonians is that they are made purely of lard, salt and calories! Would their secrets be revealed?!


For the past fifty years, craft baker JG Ross has been servicing the bakery needs of the North East of Scotland and beyond with baked goods. Traditional recipes, ingredients, skills and most importantly hand crafted methods are what make them a Craft Baker rather than a mass producing factory bakery. A second generation family business, under the watchful eye of the founder Mr Ross, they produce to quality rather than price and will always work that way. Local butchers and producers supply them with meat, oats and rapeseed oil and they take pride in serving the local community. Throughout my visit I was amazed at how extremely hands on everything was and impressed with the skill, passion and pride that all the staff showed in their work.


I donned my glamorous white coat and shoes and coordinating blue hairnet and gloves (essential due to my nail varnish - you don't want any of that in your buttery!) The dough had already been made and was waiting my arrival. The batch that I was baking were vegetarian so no lard in them. There are no secrets behind the buttery's few humble ingredients – flour, yeast, water, fat, sugar and salt. Alas Foreman Baker Roger Cooper wasn't about to reveal to me the quantities and proportions of each that go into a JG Ross Buttery. Everything is combined by hand in a very physical process to make a soft and sticky dough. It was at this point that I was let loose to form the 2kg lumps of dough into balls ready to go through the hand divider which formed 36 equal pieces.


24 Butteries went onto each tin and were pressed out into their traditional shape. Every dimple on the top of one is created by fingers and knuckles on a human hand. Not something that any machine could ever successfully replicate. Into the prover for 40 minutes so the heat and humidity can work their magic before heading into a very hot oven to bake for 12-14 minutes. The smell at this point was amazing. In fact it was the first thing I noticed when I got out of my car in the car park however all the staff told me that they quickly became oblivious to it. With the butteries cooling it was time for my next task. Large American style pancakes. 


With the pancake batter already prepared all I had to do was cook and flip. How difficult could that be?! Two squeezes on the handle of the batter dispenser deposited exactly the right amount of mixture for a consistent size. I'm going to have to get me one of these for home. Roger demonstrated a batch of 8 pancakes and then it was my turn. But I had to fill the whole hotplate. It really was hot work. 


I reckon I didn't do too bad for a first attempt although I did have a couple that were a wee bit too close together and another spilling off the edge. Flipping was done with what looked to me like a wallpaper scraper. It did the job much better than a palette knife. Something else for my wish list. After a shaky start I managed to get into a bit of a rhythm and discovered that approaching the pancakes from the side rather than the front was the way to go.


The final part of the process requires asbestos fingers. Collecting up a pile of four hot pancakes in one hand and transferring them to a cooling rack. If I'd have known that I'd get the stack of dodgy ones to take home with me I'd have made more mistakes. My next task was to decorate a celebration cake. This was undoubtedly the part of the visit that I was least looking forward to. I'm a reasonably proficient cook and baker but simply don't have the skill or patience for the pretty stuff. This did not bode well.


Confectioner Cheryl Cooper, Rogers daughter, showed me the ropes and let me loose with a piping bag. I simply don't do Birthday Cakes for my children. Supermarket novelty cakes all the way. But with my daughter's 11th Birthday only days away I couldn't miss out on the opportunity to ice her a cake. Pink was my colour of choice although the final hue was somewhat more vivid than the look I was initially going for as I was a bit heavy handed with the gel colouring. 


After attaching my ribbon, Cheryl demonstrated on the work surface how to ice around the base. She made it look so easy. My attempts looked very amateurish in comparison. I decided just to go for it and with the cake on the turntable I managed a full circle of pink and white. Next up the writing. Lets just say that the photos make my efforts look rather better than they did in real life. My hands would just not stop shaking but I managed to fit all the letters in, spelt everything correctly and kept it all reasonably straight. Really glad I gave my daughter a short name. 


More piping round the top to finish it off before being let loose with a lustre spray to make it all sparkly and professional looking. Kinda like a soft focus for cakes. My final job for the morning, before I could actually eat some of the fruits of my labours was a short stint on packaging and labelling section. 



Time to remove the hairnet and gloves and hand back my white coat and shoes before heading down to the Coffee Shop. Over a pot of tea and a warm buttery with homemade raspberry jam Marketing Manager Dianne Smith filled me in on some of my unanswered questions. Firstly the thorny subject of exactly how calorific a buttery is. Clearly not all butteries are created equal, but for JG Ross ones I was surprised (and a wee bit delighted) to learn that they shape up as follows: Buttery 181 calories, Banffshire Buttery (made with locally milled oats, 15% less fat & 20% less salt) 163 calories, Veggie Buttery 152 calories. In comparison a JG Ross oven scone is 212 calories and a Mars bar is a whopping 280 calories. 150,000 Butteries are produced every week on average by JG Ross. This includes their popular Friday speciality Butteries which rotate between Haggis, Bacon, Cheese and Cheese & Bacon. During the upcoming Craft Bakers Week, JG Ross will be highlighting their handcrafted products and using it as a focus week to show the heritage and the traditional methods and tools that they use. From what I saw during my visit they have every reason to be proud of their passion and history. Long may they continue with their slogan Baking for you since '62.





The nation’s bakers are calling on the public to show them some love during this autumn’s Craft Bakers’ Week (28th September – 3rd October). This national celebration will showcase the skills bakers use every day, to make a host of foods including breads, cakes, pies and more. Bakeries have been a feature of many high streets for generations and businesses are often passed down through the family – along with baking know-how, regional specialities and even secret recipes.

Follow @craftbakersweek on Twitter
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Disclosure : This is a sponsored post commissioned by Craft Bakers Week. All views expressed are my own. Many thanks to JG Ross for facilitating my visit.

Charlotte's Lively Kitchen - Food Year Linkup

Monday, 21 September 2015

Roast Duck with Fig, Port and Star Anise

Figs seem to be popping up everywhere I look at the moment. They're all over my Instagram feed and beautiful boxes of them are tempting me in the supermarket. I know how Adam and Eve must have felt. When Gressingham Duck, the remarkable duck people, asked me to come up with a twist on the usual fruity sauces served with roast duck, figs immediately sprang to mind. This fruit is worthy of much more than the humble Fig Roll.





Combining fruit with meat is a bit of a Marmite thing for some folk. With the exception of a Ham and Pineapple pizza I'm generally in the love camp. In some cases its a real match made in heaven. Pork & Apple being a perfect example. The sharpness of the fruit cuts through the fattiness of the meat and makes the perfect combination. Duck is often paired with Plumb, Orange and Cherry sauces. Time for an in-season figgy twist.



ROAST DUCK WITH FIG, PORT AND STAR ANISE

1 Whole Gressingham Duck
8 Fresh Figs
150ml Port
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 Star Anise
25g Demerara Sugar
Salt & Pepper

Roast Duck
Pre-heat your oven to 220°C, Fan 200°C, Gas Mark 7
Remove all packaging. Take bag of giblets out of the body cavity (they’re useful for stock)
Weigh the duck without the giblets. It’s important to do this – don’t just use the weight on the bag, as this includes the giblets
Place on a rack in the roasting tin, prick the skin all over an rub a teaspoon of salt into the skin
Roast in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes per 500g, plus 20 minutes extra
Cut a cross in the top of 4 of the figs, going only 3/4 of the way down. Nestle these in the corner of the roasting tin with the duck for the last 15 minutes of cooking.
Rest the duck for 10-20 minutes before serving.

Fig Sauce
Chop up four of the figs into 0.5cm cubes and place in a small pan with the star anise, port, balsamic vinegar and sugar. 
Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes or until syrupy and jammy.
Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Serve alongside the roast duck and roasted figs.


For further inspiration take a look at these 10 quacking (sorry!) recipes from fellow food bloggers plus a couple more from me. Lots more to be found in the recipe section of www.gressinghamduck.co.uk

Gressingham Duck have provided have provided a fantastic hamper worth almost £60 as a giveaway for readers of Foodie Quine. It contains:

• 2 x duck steaks (£4.75 each)
• 2 x duck legs (£4.00 each)
• A whole duck (£8.99)
• Mini fillets (£4.00)
• Duck breast (£8.49)
• Pulled duck legs (£4.00)
• A Gressingham Apron (RRP £15.00)
• A Gressingham Thermometer (RRP £5.00)

Entry is via the Rafflecopter widget below. To enter, let me know in a comment "What's your favourite way to eat duck?" For additional bonus entries you can follow me on Twitter, Tweet about the Giveaway or like me on Facebook. Giveaway ends 12th October 2015 12:00am. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure - Gressingham Duck provided me with product and vouchers in return for this post. All views expressed are my own.


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Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Sweet Potato Crispy topped Fish Pie for the Young Fish Pie Master Challenge

Today's recipe comes courtesy of my 13 year old son Kyle. A few weeks ago a friend tagged me in a facebook post about a Young Fish Pie Master Cooking Challenge taking place at Macduff Marine Aquarium as part of their Fish Fest weekend. As she'd thought, this was right up his street and he set to work creating a recipe. The contest was open for participants aged 12-17 with the Young Fish Pie Master title to be awarded to the contestant who created the best fish pie, using local or sustainably sourced seafood ingredients. The pie could be traditional, a family recipe or a new creation but had to include locally sourced/sustainable fish, a sauce and a topping. The selected finalists would each have a work station with 2 single gas burners and access to an oven. Competitors could prepare the raw ingredients in advance but must assemble and cook the pie during the cook off. Competitors would have one hour to cook their pies.


Sweet Potato Crispy topped Fish Pie for the Young Fish Pie Master Challenge



Recipe development commenced and with a practice pie made and some tweaks to the recipe he submitted his entry.



About You and Your Fish Pie: Please tell us a bit about yourself and your fish pie recipe – for example, is it handed down the generations of your family or your own twist on a traditional dish?
My name is Kyle Jessiman and I am 13 years old. I live in Newtonhill and go to Portlethen Academy. I love cooking and baking especially with seafood, my favourite would be shellfish. Every month we get a Fish Box from Coast and Glen and I always really look forward to it. In there I have had live lobster, crab, oysters and scallops which I have had to shuck plus many more fishy things. I have made up this recipe because I think that it all works well together. I think that using mascarpone as the sauce just changes it slightly from a usual white sauce and the sweet potato complements the dish nicely and the crisps add a bit more texture.

He emailed off his entry form just in the nick of time to meet the deadline and waited patiently to see if he'd secured a coveted place in the final. Much excitement when at last an email arrived and he found out that he was one of the chosen finalists. CONGRATULATIONS! Your fish pie recipe has made it to the final of the Young Fish Pie Master competition.

At this point big thanks must go to Coast & Glen who scheduled a special Fish Box delivery so Kyle had ingredients to practice with use on the big day itself. 


Kyle’s Sweet Potato Crispy Topped Fish Pie
Finalist in the Young Fish Pie Master Cooking Challenge at Macduff Marine Aquarium

Ingredients
650g sweet potatoes
3 spring onions
250g mascarpone
50g frozen peas
100g ready salted crisps
300g Coast & Glen Fish Pie Mix - smoked haddock, salmon & haddock
3 hard boiled eggs
50g grated cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to season 

Method:
Cook the sweet potatoes in salted boiling water for aprox 15min then drain. Put through a ricer or mash until smooth. Set aside in a bowl and mix through 1 Tbsp of the mascarpone.
Preheat your oven to 200c 
Finely chop the spring onions, wash well and place in a bowl.
Add the mascarpone to the spring onions and beat until soft. Mix through the frozen peas,
Chop the fish into bite sized pieces and add to the mascarpone mix. Fold in the fish along with a pinch of salt and a good scrunch of black pepper
Now place the fish mix into an oven proof dish and spread evenly, nestle in quartered hard boiled eggs then cover with the sweet potato mash.
Finally sprinkle crushed crisps over, then the cheese and cook for 35 – 40 min.
(Alternatively make four individual pies and cook for 25-30 minutes until golden and bubbling)






All five contestants coped extremely well in the pressure of the tent. A cut finger, forgotten ingredient and an under performing oven didn't ruffle the feathers of any of the young chefs. All too soon time was up and the judges made their rounds to sample the finished pies. There was a real mix of traditional and more exciting ingredients including coconut oil, mustard seeds, cumin, chilli, olives, pesto and basil. The judges duly deliberated, cogitated and digested and with positive feedback and constructive comments made to all, the winner was announced as Pheobe's Italian Inspired Fish Pie.






Many congratulations to Pheobe who was awarded the inaugural "Young Fish Pie Master" trophy. Her fish pie recipe will now be included as a special on the menu at the Banff Springs Hotel and will be published on the Macduff Marine Aquarium website. All the competitors received a goody bag and with the assistance of the River Cottage Fish cookbook which was part of its contents Kyle's already started planning his 2016 entry! Despite not winning he thoroughly enjoyed the experience of taking part something which I'm not altogether sure I'd have had the confidence to do at that age. Although I did cook a meal for the late Charles Kennedy MP at around the same age so perhaps it's a case of like mother, like son after all. (I never did manage to become a professional chef and they spelled my name wrong!)



For further Fish Pie inspiration here are some tasty recipes from fellow food bloggers

A Comfort Food Fish Pie by It's Not Easy Being Greedy
Fish Pie with Scallops by Farmersgirl Kitchen
Crumble Topped Ocean Pie by Supper in The Suburbs
Soy Sauce Fishermans Pie with Miso Mash by Emily's Recipe & Reviews
Weaning Recipe for Dairy free, Cornish hake fish pie by Penelope's Pantry

Fish Pie by Fab Food 4 All
Frugal Freezer Fish Pie by Elizabeths Kitchen Diary

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Monday, 14 September 2015

#LoveFife Chocolate, Seafood and Gin in the East Neuk

The one thing that can't be planned for when organising a press trip is the weather. However on my recent trip to Fife as a guest of Fife Council the weather Gods were smiling and the sun shone on the East Neuk and showed its true beauty. The trip kicked off with a visit to Scotland's first Chilli farm, Chillilicious. Unfortunately I was unable to attend this part of the day but Janice at Farmersgirl Kitchen has already blogged about it at Chillies & Chocolate in Fife so do catch up from her point of view. My first port of call was Pittenweem Chocolate Company


#LoveFife Chocolate, Seafood and Gin in the East Neuk
I'm much more of a savoury than a sweet tooth but when I do indulge in chocolate I'm all for quality over quantity. Owner Sophie Latinis welcomed us to her chocolate boutique and Cocoa Tree Cafe and led us upstairs to her working kitchen where we were offered a cup of her signature hot chocolate. It was far removed from the powdery drinking chocolate we are used to. Thick, viscous liquid chocolate with absolutely no need for cream or marshmallows on top. Think chocolate river from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Amazing. Although I struggled to finish the cup as it was so rich. 

Pittenweem Chocolate Company - #LoveFife Chocolate, Seafood and Gin in the East Neuk

Sophie had made up a fresh batch of Chilli Chocolate truffles for us to try and we were astonished when she said that this summer has actually been too warm for chocolate making in Scotland! We watched her expertly cut the truffles and coat them in a mixture of chocolate and chilli powder before we tried them along with one from her exclusive series of single malt liqueur chocolates. This was filled with smoky Laphroig whisky. The real deal, not a syrup. With warmed mouths from chilly and scotch we headed back downstairs for a look around the cafe and shop. There was a real continental feel to both with an abundance of chocolate memorabilia at every turn. You could have just as easily been in Paris as in Fife. The menu boasts produce from a host of local suppliers and of course there are plenty of chocolate specialities to choose from. A few purchases in the shop and it was time to hop back on the mini bus and head to our next stop.

St Monans - #LoveFife Chocolate, Seafood and Gin in the East Neuk
St Monans - #LoveFife Chocolate, Seafood and Gin in the East Neuk
East Pier Smokehouse, St Monans - #LoveFife Chocolate, Seafood and Gin in the East Neuk

I'd like to think that I know the East Neuk reasonably well. I've spent time in St Andrews and visited Crail, Anstruther, Pittenweem, and many of the other small villages around the coast. However our next stop in St Monans was uncharted territory for me and our destination of East Pier Smokehouse can only be described as a hidden gem. Of course the glorious weather helped and I got a wee bit snap happy with flowers, cottages and fishing boats all proving very Instagram worthy.

East Pier Smokehouse, St Monans - #LoveFife Chocolate, Seafood and Gin in the East Neuk

Situated in the bright blue smokehouse beside the harbour the East Pier Cafe is very informal. You order in the shop downstairs and take a seat in the gallery upstairs or on the outdoor terrace. Help yourself to cutlery, napkins, glasses and the food is delivered to you in cardboard take away boxes. We started with Smoked Langoustines, Crusty Bread and a Courgette and Goats Cheese soup. All were absolutely fantastic, however if I'd known what was still to come I would have curtailed my greed. To follow was a sharing platter of crab cakes, whole lobster, quiche, smoked salmon and a selection of salads. Truly wonderful and I managed to sample them all. I even glanced enviously at other tables who had smoked brie bagels, whole smoked mackerel and amazing looking (and smelling!) chips. A return visit is most definitely on my to do list. You can't book tables during the day so make sure to arrive early for lunch, the place was heaving when we left. Over the summer they also offer evening meals for which tables can be pre-booked, alas these have now stopped for the season.

Seafood & Shellfish, East Pier Smokehouse, St Monans - #LoveFife Chocolate, Seafood and Gin in the East Neuk
Smoked Langoustines. East Pier Smokehouse, St Monans - #LoveFife Chocolate, Seafood and Gin in the East Neuk


We did manage to grab a quick five minute chat with owner James Robb who showed us were the smoking magic happens behind an innocuous wee door. The smell inside was amazing as was the colour of the freshly cold smoked salmon in stark contrast to the blackened walls. If my favourite Scottish food is shellfish then my favourite drink has to be Gin. Our next stop was Eden Mill. Scotland's only distillery and brewery on a single site producing beer, gin and single malt whisky. 

East Pier Smokehouse, St Monans - #LoveFife Chocolate, Seafood and Gin in the East Neuk
James Robb, East Pier Smokehouse, St Monans - #LoveFife Chocolate, Seafood and Gin in the East Neuk

Tour guide Kathryn Baker welcomed us to Eden Mill which is located in an old paper mill at Guardbridge near St Andrews. She explained the history of the site and the ethos of the brewery and distillery. In the case of Eden Mill, small is indeed beautiful. Small batch, local ingredients, real passion and big dreams.

Eden Mill, #LoveFife Chocolate, Seafood and Gin in the East Neuk
Eden Mill Brewery & Distillery, #LoveFife Chocolate, Seafood and Gin in the East Neuk

In keeping with the theme of the day we tasted a Chilli Ginger Porter. I'm more of a Blonde girl and not much of a Porter fan but Janice from Farmersgirl Kitchen couldn't get enough of it. I was more excited about what was to come next. A visit to the gin still. I've previously visited Caorunn so had an idea of what to expect of small batch gin production. At Eden Mill the beautiful shiny copper gin still is called Curtis and the botanicals are incorporated using the vapor infusion method. There are 5 gins within the current range. Eden, Hop, Love, Oak and Golf. All come in beautiful iconic ceramic bottles which gives them great shelf appeal. Two of them already feature on my own gin shelf. 

Gin Still, Eden Mill Brewery & Distillery, #LoveFife Chocolate, Seafood and Gin in the East Neuk

No Eden Whisky to taste yet as it needs to mature for a minimum of three years. A waiting game whilst the angels take their share. Our gin tasting encompassed a chocolate pairing with truffles from The Highland Chocolatier. Alas I was unable to take full advantage as had to drive home later in the day. My favourite combinations were the Eden matched with White Lime and Chilli Truffle and Golf with Lemongrass and Lime Velvet Praline. The visitor centre was stylish yet quirky and was very busy during our visit. Brewery Tours and Gin Experiences are offered, best to book ahead for these. On my next visit I'll definitely be making sure I don't have to drive.

Eden Mill Brewery & Distillery, #LoveFife Chocolate, Seafood and Gin in the East Neuk

Our final destination of the day was Courses for Cooks in Cowdenbeath. In this victorian manse Jenny Tompson created a three course meal encompassing the flavours of our day in a "Demo and Dine" format. Our menu consisted of

Seasonal Fish Ceviche with Chia, Flax and Cocoa Nib Crackers
Roasted Rolled Yard Bird served with Rainbow Vegetables and Puy Lentils
Chocolate and Chilli Souffle

The perfect end to a wonderful day which showcased only the tip of the iceberg of what Fife has to offer in terms of local produce and gastronomy in this Year of Food and Drink. There's so much more to discover at www.welcometofife.com

Courses for Cooks, #LoveFife Chocolate, Seafood and Gin in the East Neuk

Disclosure - Press Trip courtesy of Fife Council. All views expressed are my own.