Friday, March 27, 2009

have your cake

Here are some snaps (with Photographer Jack Caffrey) from a recent shoot for The Journal Magazine in the Farmer's Journal...

and the finished feature....

and Neven's recipe....


Makes about 16 bars

300g butter, at room temperature (plus extra for greasing)
125g caster sugar
1 egg
175g plain flour
175g light muscavado sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
1/2 tsp lemon juice
400g roasted unsalted peanuts

preheat the oven to 180C (Gas Mark 4). Lightly grease a 18 x 27cm (7 x 11in) baking tin and then line the base and sides with parchment paper.

Using an electric beater, cream 100g of the butter with the caster sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well to combine. Sift the flour in a seperate bowl and then fold into the butter mixture using a large metal spoon until just combined. Press into the lined tin and bake for 15 minutes or until firm and very lightly browned. Leave to cool for 10 minutes.

Place the remaining butter in a heavy based pan with the muscavado sugar, golden syrup and lemon juice. Cook over a low heat for a couple of minutes until the sugar has dissolved, stirring constantly. Increase the heat slightly and simmer for another 5 minutes, stirring.

Remove the toffee from the heat and stir in the peanuts. Using two spoons, spread evenly over the shortbread base, being very carfeul as the mixture is extremely hot. return to the oven for another 5 minutes to help the toffee to set. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out and cut into squares or small bars.

To serve, arrange on plates or wrap in greaseproof paper to take on picnics or in packed lunches.

wexford food fair

I'm just back from Wexford where (after having a sneeky much needed couple of days R&R) I was at a school fund raising Food Fair. Local food producers and suppliers had stands there, including Thai Gold and Carrigbyrne Farmhouse Cheeses as well as companies such as chef Phelim Byrne's fab cookery school and also Good Food Ireland. Phelim did a great demonstration to kick off the evenings events, followed by good buddy Neven Maguire who received a great welcome to Wexford. Hopefully plenty of money was raised for the local school.

Monday, March 23, 2009

book shoot

Friday was a busy busy day in Cork working on the reportage shots for Rachel Allen's new cookbook. It was nice to see that the recipes worked perfectly also, phew! We were spoilt to work with amazing photographer David Loftus, and the lovely Jenny Heller from Harper Collins was over from London also. Really can't wait to see the finished book now - but I'll have to be patient for another few months yet!

David, Issac, Rachel & Jenny

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Food Styling in Country Living Magazine in the Farmers Journal

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Paddy's!

Food Styling in Country Living Magazine in the Farmers Journal

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Here's a prop line up from a recent editorial shoot. We've got paddy's day, mother's day and then easter coming up shortly, hence the colours. The boxes of props are still dumped in my hallway...I hate unpacking everything after a shoot!

Friday, March 6, 2009

say cheese

Cheese on toast has to be a favourite of mine, so what better to style for a shoot during the week?! I worked with photographer Trevor Hart and we did eat a bit of cheese on toast along the way. It took several hours for me to come up with the perfect cheese on toast for the shot - I definitely wouldn't get a job in a busy caffe! I'll post the finished ad here once I get hold of it.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

'the book'

I've felt like I've been guarding the devil wears prada 'book' since last November. In this post I didn't explain properly what I've been up to all this time. I've just this second finished working on Rachel Allen's new cookbook. I've been busy developing and testing recipes with Rachel and her husband Issac. It's been a rollercoaster (Rachel even managed to deliver scarlett lily in the middle of it all!) but we've managed to submit about 240 recipes so it's a whopper - watch out for it later on in the year (when I'll be able to tell you more). In the meantime here's some of the action from the job (which hopefully doesn't give too much away!)...