31 Aug 2015

Camp Bestival - The Feast Collective Reviewed

Camp Bestival Fun

The London reporter gets a taste of the coolest festival food out there!

We recently came back from a very HOT and scrumptious Camp Bestival in Dorset. Set in the grounds of the rather quaint looking Lulworth Castle, this is a family festival run by DJ Rob Da Bank with music and street food at its core.

Camp Bestival Lulworth

We were there for three days and in that time there was plenty of time to take in The Feast Collective - a collective of innovative eateries under a big tent offering great street food to be enjoyed in the sunshine.

I spotted Noble Espresso from London, Le Rac Shack offering scrumptious melted raclette cheese dishes and DJ BBQ (which I'll come to) amongst 12 or so dedicated vendors.

Happy Maki provided large sushi wraps crammed with avocado as well as sweet potato chips and a hoisin sauce. Damn tasty and a great way to get a healthy kick at a festival!
The Feast Collective, Camp Bestival, Dorset
Milgi, a sister duo from Cardiff were also providing great veggie food. Everything was home made, sustainable and even the mung beans had just finished fermenting in time to be gobbled up by hungry festival goers.

We also caught up with food star DJ BBQ, who was hosting the Feast Collective. He made an appearance in the Hotpoint Festival Kitchen giving a BBQ demo surrounded by many other foodie experts! One to watch!

Apart from this, there was a cute little farmers market with fresh fruit and local cakes and lots of other food places were dotted around the whole festival site including paella, Indian wraps and pancakes smothered in Nutella. And who can beat a cold festival draught lager on a scorching hot day? Not us!

And for those who love music, we saw Underworld, Bob Geldof, Alison Moyet and 808 State, to name but a few top acts.

Overall, the attention to detail is something else. The area is fabulous with lots of things to see and do for all the family, it's in a very chilled place with no real crowds to be anxious about. We had a wonderful time and as the festival came to an end there was an amazing firework display set to music over the castle, the perfect end to a memorable few days.

Early bird tickets for 2016 are now on sale. See you next year!

Disclaimer:  We were guests of Camp Bestival, all thoughts are our own.

17 Aug 2015

Stellar Hard Anodised Bakeware Review

Mini Salted Peanut Crunch Biscuits
Mini Salted Peanut Crunch Biscuits
The Great British Bake Off frenzy has started and every Wednesday I'll be glued to the TV watching all the twists and turns and trying to figure out who I think will be the eventual winner.

Last week on GBBO it was biscuit week where the bakers turned their hands to making biscotti. I'm not making biscotti to test the bakeware I've been sent for review but I've made these delicious Mini Salted Peanut Crunch Biscuits which whilst they take a fair amount of time to make are well worthwhile because eat one and you'll find you want to eat the lot!  This week on GBBO it's bread and this tray will be invaluable for rising and baking bread products.
Butter Biscuits straight from the oven
Even heat distribution.
No warping or sticking with this tray 
This professional ovenware is part of a new 24 piece collection by trusted brand Stellar Cookware and you can safely use them in the knowledge that they will neither stick or warp and metal utensils can be used. Designed for use on the hob, under the grill or in the oven up to 240°C. I always like to wash bakeware by hand to keep mine in pristine condition, Bakeware doesn't really like dishwashers and these are handwash only. The ovenware comes with a Stellar Lifetime Guarantee.

Stellar Hard Anodised Bakeware
A selection of bakeware and ovenware from the collection
If you want your biscuits to look perfect in true #GBBO style then a measuring rule will be required but for a comfy homemade look I like to see them in different sizes.

Recipe - Makes 20 mini bites
Peanut Crunch
40g caster sugar
40g salted peanuts

150g plain flour
50g caster sugar
100g butter

Chocolate Coating
100g dark chocolate

1. Line a baking tray with baking paper.  Add the sugar to a frying pan and scatter over the peanuts. Place the pan on a medium heat, no stirring but swirl the pan every now and again to evenly caramalise the sugar until it has melted and turns a golden colour. Swirl again to coat the peanuts in the caramel.
2. Tip the nuts onto the lined baking tray to cool.  Once cool, whiz in a food processor to chop coarsely.
3. Preheat the oven to 180oC.
4. Place the flour, sugar and softened butter into a food processor and whiz until combined.  Tip the dough out onto clingwrap, bring the dough together and form into a log 30cm long and 4cm diameter. Wrap in the clingwrap, place onto a baking tray and chill in the fridge for an hour. Remove from the fridge, divide the log into four and cut five biscuits from each log.
5. Take the baking tray and line with parchment or butter the tray lightly.  Place half of the biscuits onto the baking tray and bake for 8-12 minutes until light golden brown.  Cool slightly on the tray and then remove to a cooling rack.
6. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Once melted remove from the heat.  Dip each biscuit into the chocolate, scatter over the peanut crunch and leave on a lined tray to set.

Tried and Tested:  This is a versatile tray which can be used for roasting vegetables or meat, baking biscuits, swiss rolls or bread.  The tray is sturdy without being heavy.  The product gives excellent results and will withstand high temperatures.
Price: RRP £20
Size:   36x26x1.9cm
Available: High Street or online stores

Disclaimer:  I was sent the product for review purposes.

8 Aug 2015

Rhubarb and Custard with Apricot Granola Topping

Rhubarb and Custard with a Granola Topping

I didn't buy into the expensive pink rhubarb at the beginning of the season, we've got a perfectly good rhubarb patch at the end of the garden and if you pick the stalks that are streaked with pink and resist peeling them you'll end up with some pink fruit juices.  Whilst I lingered over the pretty pink stalks in the shops with a hefty price tag and thought of all the bakes I could make with them, commonsense has to prevail and I think about my everyday rhubarb that I planted and the fact it rewards me with free homegrown fruit.

A cheat way to turn everyday rhubarb pink is to cook it with red fruits such as strawberries, raspberries or plums and this will definitely make old rhubarb look far more attractive.

Recipe serves 6 people:
450g rhubarb, trimmed (if necessary)
cut into chunks
85g caster sugar
500g tub ready-made custard
or make up the same of Birds Custard
½ quantity honey crunch granola (recipe below

Apricot, Honey and Nut Granola

Apricot, Honey and Nut Granola

200g clear honey
4 tbsp sunflower oil
300g rolled oats
100g flaked almonds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
140g dried apricots roughly chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. In a large pan gently heat the  honey and oil together until the mixture is bubbling, then add in the oats, almonds and cinnamon. Stir well until the oats are well coated, then tip onto a large baking tray, spread the mixture out on the tray. Bake for ­25 minutes, stirring halfway, until  golden.
3. Remove from the oven and immediately stir in the apricots.  Spread out again and press down
with a spatula to cool. Any leftover will keep in an  airtight container for 3 weeks.
4. To cook the rhubarb. Turn the oven down to 150°C. Place the rhubarb in a roasting tin in a single layer, scatter with the sugar and cover with foil. Bake for 15-20 minutes until just tender, cool in the tin.
5. Spoon some of the rhubarb into the base of 6 small glasses, top with a couple of tablespoons of custard, repeating the layers.  Cover with clingwrap and chill in the fridge. Remove from the fridge and just before serving sprinkle with granola.
6. Serve either at Brunch or for Dessert.

More rhubarb recipes:
Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble
Plum, Rhubarb and Apple Crumble