Friday, February 20, 2009


Doing a little bit of foodie reading I came across this bit of news about Jamie Olivier...he's about to open a new cooking shop in Clapham Junction in London. By cooking shop they mean it's like a drop in cookery school. There are two options (as far as I can make out!) - you can book a 1 hour session online and then drop in and learn how to cook a fish pie for example and then sit down and eat it (which is about £30-35) OR you can choose to go and cook yourself a one, two or three-course meal (for between 1-4 people)....drop your choices into a shopping basket online and when you get there for your slot you are provided with prepped ingredients and a recipe card to follow - and people on hand to help you along of course. You cook your choices and then they get packed up for you to bring home. Sounds like a great idea to get people cooking and no excuse now for not having a homemade meal every day. Also a nice idea for something different to do when on a visit to London perhaps?. Check it out here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A murderous day of work!

Here are some snaps from a recent shoot for some Uncle Ben's recipe leaflets. The things I have to put up with eh?...

working away like a busy little bee, minding my own business
while, photographer Harry decides he's had enough of me
no, we're good buddies really...thankfully a happy ending!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Quigley's Bakery

Here are a couple of shots from the Quigley's Bakery job I posted about previously here. Designworks sent them onto me - it's always nice to see how the images got used in the end and the fruits of your labour.

Monday, February 16, 2009

website design

Thanks to Neil from Fuel who designed my website, for adding it to his website portfolio. Check it our here.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Neven's Food From the Sun

Neven's programme starts on RTE 1 this Wednesday at 7.30pm and runs for 13 weeks. After a very busy few weeks working on it last April / May, I'm really looking forward to seeing the finished result. Check out RTE for more details. Hope you enjoy!

...additional news...the series has just been sold to UKTV Food for transmission in the summer.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The food of love!

(c) Jack Caffrey

Well, if you haven't yet decided what to cook to woo your honey on Valentine's, then here's a dessert recipe that Neven Maguire wrote for the Journal Magazine in the Farmer's Journal (& I styled in all it's girlie gloryiness!) that is sure to win them over...

Serves 2

finely grated rind of 2 lemons
50g caster sugar
3 passionfruit, halved and pulp scooped out
2 eggs, separated
40g chilled butter, diced
10 raspberries

for the lemon sables:
50g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
25g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
finely grated rind of 1 lemon
50g room temperature butter
1 egg yolk
grapeseeds oil for brushing

To make the lemon sables, sift the flour and icinf sugar into a bowl. Stir in the lemon rind, then add the butter and egg yolk. Beat well to form a soft dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes, or up to three days is fine.

Preheat the oven to 190C / 375F / Gas Mark 5. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a 3mm thickness. Stamp out heart shapes or 2 1/2 cm rounds using a biscuit cutter, then transfer to oiled baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until crisp and lightly golden.

To make the passion fruit mousse, place the lemon rind in a heatproof bowl with half of the sugar, the pulp from two passion fruit and the egg yolks. Set over a pan of simmering water and cook over a low heat for 8-10 minutes, until the mixture coats the back of the spoon, stirring occasionally. Whisk in the butter, a little at a time until smooth and shiny. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Whisk the egg whites in a seperate bowl until soft peaks form, then add the remaining sugar, a bit at a time until stiff and shiny. Fold half into the cooled passion fruit mixture using a slotted spoon, then fold in the remainder. Divide among serving glasses, cover and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight is fine.

To serve, arrange the glasses on plates and decorate each glass with the pulp from half a passionfruit and the raspberries. Place a couple of the lemon sables on the side for dipping. Yum!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Chocolate Fetish

It's that time of year....indulging in chocolates is on the cards as it's almost Valentines! Not just to be fed them by your dearest but also to gorge out yourself - any excuse! Here are some test shots i worked on many moons ago with photographer Lis Parsons when we were both starting out. I have given the recipes (2 of them are mine) also in case they have you coming over in a hot flush...


Makes about 24

225g plain or milk chocolate, chopped
100ml double cream
3 tbsp coffee or orange liqueur (or coffee or orange extract)

to decorate:
- cocoa powder
- finely chopped toasted hazelnuts
- finely chopped pistachios
- ground almonds

Place the chocolate and cream in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water and leave until the chocolate melts. Stir until smooth, remove from the heat and leave for about 20-30 minutes until cooled and thickened.

Add your choice of liqueur (or extract) and beat with an electric whisk for about 5 minutes until light, fluffy and paler in colour. (This will take double the time if done by hand, but will obviously work off more calories!). Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until quite firm.

Scatter your choice of coatings on small plates and make sure your hands are cold. Scoop out a teaspoon of the chocolate mixture at a time and roll it into a small ball. Toss the truffle in a coating to stick evenly and arrange on a parchment lined tray. Repeat until all the truffles are made and either refrigerate until ready to serve or package into pretty boxes to give as gifts.


Serves 2-4

100g white chocolate, chopped (milky bar is ideal)
2 tbsp cold water
150ml double cream
1 egg white
1 warm shot of espresso mixed with good glug of coffee liqueur
small handful coffee beans

(This was written by my friend Jo Pratt for the book to accompany a series we worked on for the BBC called Nation's Favourite Food. I added the coffee beans in as they looked nice for the shot)

Place the chocolate and water in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and leave to slowly melt. Remove from the heat, stir and leave to cool for about 5 minutes.

Whip the cream until it thickens to form soft peaks and, in a seperate bowl, whisk the egg white until it also forms soft peaks.

Pour the melted chocolate into the whipped cream and gently stir in. Fold in the egg white before spooning into coffee cups, making sure you leave about 1cm of a rim at the top for the coffee.

Place in the fridge for about 2-3 hours until set. Just before serving, pour over the warm espresso and coffee liqueur mixture, decorate with the coffee beans and enjoy straight away.


Makes about 450ml

150ml double cream
75ml milk
200g plain 70% cocoa chocolate, broken into small pieces
2 egg yolks
3 tbsp of your favourite liqueur (eg tia maria, frangelico, ameretto, grand marnier)
25g unsalted butter, softened

Heat the cream and milk in a small pan until just coming to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, stirring until melted and smooth.

Beat in the egg yolks and your chosen liqueur and leave to cool slightly. Stir the butter through until melted.

Pour the chocolate mixture into a 500ml kilner jar and refrigerate for about 4 hours until set. Label and then package with a small pastry brush tied with ribbon. (This should be kept refrigerated when not in use and will keep for up to a week).

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

little love muffin..

(C) Cliona O'Flaherty

Well, Valentines is looming and as much as the cheeseyness fills my heart with dread, I do give into gorgeous edible temptations (any excuse of course!). This is a recipe I wrote for Food & Wine magazine a couple of years ago. Keep them to yourself or send them to your little love muffin...


Makes about 18 hearts

200g plain 70% cocoa chocolate, broken into pieces
100g unsalted butter (plus a little extra for greasing)
2 eggs
125g dark muscavado sugar
50g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
50g dried cherries, halved
50g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
icing sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 170C (Gas Mark 3). Grease a 19cm square cake tin, line with parchment and grease again.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl until smooth. Pour the melted chocolate into the egg mixture, add the hazelnuts and cherries and mix everything together.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt over the mixture and gently fold through. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 30 minutes, until a skewer comes out just slightly wet.

Remove from the tin when cool enough to handle and leave to completely cool on a wire rack. use a heart shaped cutter, measuring 4cm at it's widest point to cut hearts from the brownie. Dust with icing sugar and send to your sweetie in pretty packaging.

- I'm sure the leftover bits of brownie from cutting the hearts out won't last long, but use for quick individual trifles or crumbled over ice cream if any survive!
- This brownie is even better a day or two after making so get organised and make in advance, leaving nothing to do on valentines day but love!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Dear Diary..

What will the year hold? A peaceful looking new diary....