16 12 2014

Twinkleberry Ice Cream

Hi folks

This is my annual pre-Christmas blog, so I thought I’d best end the year with a real cracker ………. see how I did that?

My darling wife Di has developed this recipe over the last few years, so I am borrowing her recipe to share with my blog followers this Christmas time.  Di always uses fresh cranberries and allows them to mascerate for a couple of nights in Spanish brandy – Magno is our all time favorite with it’s intense flavour of fruit and nuts, this like many Spanish brandies from the Jerez region remain undiscovered by many.

In-case you are wondering where the name TwinkleBerry came from, Twink or Twinkle is my wife’s nickname – don’t ask!

Twinkle et moi

Twinkle et moi!

Twink has asked me to say that to get the best results, this is not necessarily a quick recipe. You could make it over one day, however, to get the very best out of this recipe, you might want to think about planning to prepare it over two or three days.


Fabulous Amaretti Biscuits


Ingredients for 8-10 people (depending on appetite)

  • 100g Whitworths juicy raisins
  • 100g Whitworths juicy sultanas
  • 110g fresh cranberries
  • 2 tbsp muscovado sugar
  • 6 tbsp Spanish brandy – Magno is good
  • 1/2 orange – zested
  • 2 cinnamon sticks – broken in half
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (fresh is best)
  • 3 cloves
  • 600ml double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod – split & seeds scraped
  • 3 large egg yolks – free range
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 80g amaretti biscuits – broken into chunks
  • sunflower oil
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp Spanish brandy
  • 100g fresh cranberries (frozen work OK)
Iconic Marketing

Iconic Marketing

Magno brandy

My favorite ‘every day’ tipple!



Take an appropriate sized bowl and add the alco-fruit. Pop into your micro for around 3 minutes, set on high. Remove from the micro, stir, cool and cover with cling film. Allow to mascerate for 24-48 hours.

juiscy raisinscranbrriessultanas


Add the spices to small saucepan and heat over a gentle flame for around 3 minutes, stirring two or three times until you start to pick up the fragrant aromas. Add the cream and vanilla seeds and increase the heat, bringing the infusion just to the boil and turn out off the heat.

Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until well combined. Whisk the infusion into the egg mixture and pour into a clean pan. Gently warm for five to ten minutes or so, stirring continuously until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon.

Pop the mixture  into a bowl or plastic container and allow to cool. Twink usually covers the container and puts it into the fridge overnight, which helps to infuse all of the flavours and give the melange that wonderful authentic TwinkleBerry flavour.

Take a chinoise (strainer) and pass the mixture into a clean bowl; cover and place into your freezer for three hours. Remove from the freezer every hour and stir in the frozen sides every hour until you have a smooth, thick mixture.

Take a 1 1/4 litre pudding bowl, brush with oil and line with cling film.

If you have left the fruit to mascerate long enough, it will have absorbed most all of the liquid, so don’t press the fruit to extract the liquid, just let it drain naturally. If no liquid runs from your sieve, then you have achieved total TwinkleBerry status!

Add the broken amaretti biscuits and orange zest to the mascerated fruit, then pour the contents into your ice cream mixture. Mix in thoroughly ( don’t worry if it looks runny), then pour into your lined pudding bowl. Cover – then place into your freezer and leave for at least 24 hours.

While you have got some spare time you can make the Cranberry Syrup. Place a small pan over a low heat and add the sugar, brandy and cranberries and heat gently until it the sugar dissolves, gently simmer for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.

Take the ice cream out of your freezer approx’ 15 – 20 minutes before you are ready to serve; this allows the edges to start to defrost a little and will help your ice cream to come away from the bowl more easily.

Place a serving plate over the bowl and holding firmly, flip it over 180oC and the ice cream should slide out neatly, ready to serve. Gently remove the cling film and spoon over the cranberry syrup to serve to your waiting guests.

Happy Holidays my friends ……….  Merry Christmas, Joyeaux Noel, Feliz Navidad, Buon Natale, ευτυχισμένα Χριστούγεννα, Milied kuntenti etc ……………….





Nancy’s Basic Bread Recipe

12 11 2014

A day in the life of a loaf

2014-11-08 16.14.38

I designed this basic bread recipe for a Thermomix customer, I’ll call her Nancy, who had been struggling to make the perfect wholemeal loaf in a timely fashion to adorn her exceeding vast breakfast table.  After a couple of weeks trying to mentor her through virtual bread making & bakery lessons, information, advice & guidance she was still finishing up with differing variations of a builders’ brick!

So I got in the car and went armed to provide a 1:1 bespoke bakery lesson at Nancy’s house. Following a little interrogation of Nancy and her husband, I thought I had identified the reason for their baking disasters that had to this point turned out to be the norm. I really do not recommend trying to prove your bread dough on an AGA folks – this is not a good idea, as too much heat will kill the yeast. I can honestly say that I have never even proved my dough in an airing cupboard either – dough really does not need that sort of heat – an optimum temperature of  27 degrees celcius is ideal. Basically, the slower the prove the better, a great loaf is not to be rushed!


Kneaded dough in a lightly oiled bowl

Kneaded dough in a lightly oiled bowl


I had taken the precaution of making a batch of dough myself just prior to my departure from “chez nous”, so with a 45 minute drive to my destination, it was going to be about spot-on ready for me to do my Blue Peter inpersonation. Once I had got myself set up in their capacious kitchen and using their new Thermomix TM5, I knocked up another batch of dough using the recipe below and put it into a lightly oiled bowl, placed the bowl into a CoOp plastic bag to prove and just doubled in size (approx 1 hour).


Place bowl into a supermarket bag to 1st prove

Place bowl into a supermarket bag to 1st prove

At this point, with a sleight of hand and like a slick illusionist,  I produced my own bowl of pre-proved dough – I think I would even have impressed the amazing Dynamo with my performance! I knocked back the dough, shaped it and popped it into one of Nancy’s loaf tins to 2nd prove in the same plastic bag for around 30 minutes, while the other dough was still proving. YES – for the observant amongst you – I had taken two plastic bags with me.  A bloke being organised I hear you say ladies!


First prove to double in volume - approx 1 hour

First prove to double in volume – approx 1 hour

I could see that both Nancy and her husband were concerned that the loaf tin dough wasn’t rising as they had expected. No problem – after 30 minutes or so, we popped it into their shiny new hi-tec oven and they were amazed to watch it rise like a modern day Phoenix as it baked to perfection.


My idea was that Nancy’s husband would knock back the second batch of dough, shape it and place it into another loaf tin and 2nd prove it slowly in their fridge overnight – just as I had recipe tested at home a couple of days earlier. I departed a ‘happy bunny’, knowing that my customer would, from now on, produce some stunning wholemeal bread for breakfast for ever and ever AMEN!


I received an email from Nancy a couple of days later, confirming that they had indeed produced yet another variety of  ….. builders’ brick! I was distraught – what had I missed, had I really failed? I was not having problems with the same recipe at home, in fact my loaves were seriously good enough to feed the proverbial 5,000 with a few ‘fishes’ thrown in for good measure.


The “light-bulb” moment came later that day. I remembered their concern that ‘visually’ they hadn’t thought my loaf had 2nd proved sufficiently – was this the problem – they were OVER-PROVING their dough, possibly so, and most likely twice, sadly reducing the yeast’s capacity to do its job properly.  I was thrilled a couple of days later to receive a couple of photos of beautiful baked bread – RESULT!

Dough knocked back and shaped to fit loaf tin - press down dough  if you wish

Dough knocked back and shaped to fit loaf tin – press down dough if you wish









Dough risen in loaf tin to nearly double in size

Dough risen in loaf tin to nearly double in size

  •  300g water
  • 7g dried yeast or 20g fresh yeast
  • 20g olive oil
  • 500g strong bread flour + extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • olive oil for greasing
  1.  Prepare 1 x 2lb loaf tin & lightly grease if necessary
  2. 300g water, sugar & dried yeast into TM bowl – 5 min/37oC/speed 1
  3. 20g olive oil, 500g bread flour & 1 tsp salt – 6 sec/speed 6
  4. Knead 2min/dough setting
  5. Lightly grease the inside of a bowl with some olive oil
  6. Remove the dough and transfer to a lightly floured surface & work into a ball
  7. Place the ball of dough into the bowl. Cover the bowl with a plastic bag to prove for one hour or until doubled in size
  8. Knock back the dough & shape. Place into your prepared loaf tin & lightly dust the top with flour (optional)
  9. Cover with a plastic supermarket bag and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size
  10. Pre-heat over to 200oC
  11. Bake 40 – 45 minutes or until golden brown.
  12. Tap underside – cooked when sounds hollow
 Thermomixing with Malcy – Recipe TIP:
  • Proving – Don’t prove on top of an AGA. Don’t prove too hot. Don’t over-prove; if anything, slightly under-prove.
  • Mixing flours – I always ‘play’ with the strong (bread) flour mix. My favourite is: 200g strong white, 200g wholemeal & 100g Allinson’s Country Grain.
  • Loaf tins – I usually only use George Wilkinson loaf tins – 2lb, 1lb and mini tins for individual loaves.
  • For breakfast ……….The night before; after stage 8, place uncovered loaf tin into your refrigerator (where nothing will drip onto it) to prove overnight. Turn your oven on first thing in the morning and bake your bread as indicated.


2nd prove overnight in the fridge - straight into a hot oven in the morning!

2nd prove overnight in the fridge – straight into a hot oven in the morning!





8 11 2014

I came across Sailing Yacht Juno purely by chance in October 2014 – and so the story begins of a 60′ sailing yacht & her TM5  heading half way around the world to Northern Australia.

Stern view


S/Y Juno is an Oyster 575 deck saloon designed by Rob Humphries. Her length is 17.5 metres with a beam of 5 metres and a draft of 2.7 metres. She is a double headed sloop with a genoa and a jib both set on electric Reckmann furlers. She has in-mast hydraulic furling by Lewmar and a hydraulic vang and backstay. The mast and boom are made by Formula.  There are twin wheels with a walkway providing easy access from the aft deck to the cockpit.  Juno has a 150 hp VW marine diesel engine which drives a Brunton folding propeller.

I am based on the Isle of Wight and made a visit recently to a beautiful home located in the leafy countryside to the North East of Petersfield, where I was to meet  Juno’s owners, Paul & Caroline.  I sold a Thermomix TM5 to a friend of Caroline’s on the ‘island’ and so had been summoned to meet up with Caroline and her friend Sarah around mid-morning to demonstrate the Thermomix TM5, as Caroline had a mind to buying one for their planned voyage to Northern Australia, which was to include the 2014 ARC, departing Las Palmas in 23 November.

Caroline placed her order with me a few days later; the only problem was that she wanted it delivering to Gibraltar, so with the days ticking by before their planned departure for Lanzarote, the top team at Thermomix had to pull out all the stops to Express Courier Caroline’s TM5 to Queensway Quay Marina before they cast-off and headed Westwards.

You can imagine how thrilled I was to receive an email from Caroline on the following Saturday morning, telling me that “Thermo”, as she had started calling it, had arrived safely at the marina on the Friday afternoon. An amazing feat of logistical prowess by the team at Thermomix and TNT. Juno set sail at the beginning of the next week and arrived in Lanzarote a few days later, where they would rest for a few days before making the short crossing to Las Palmas in Gran Canaria.
Paul is yet to be convinced that “Thermo’s” presence onboard will be of any measurable benefit. His early observations were tinged with just a tad of negativity when he wrote:
“Thermo spends his time in the galley, sitting regally on the work surface, pampered and protected from the boats movement by foam pads and lashed to the cooker for additional protection in case he lurches off his perch. Thermo is a high tech cooking contraption whose only contribution so far has been a large bill, but my wife tells me that ‘the salesman’ assured her that it would make her life richer at sea as he scampered off to the Isle of Wight.  The second addition to the crew is Zoll, who also occupies valuable space on Juno, this time in the environs of the first aid locker.  FCaroline’s logic is that with four fifty-somethings on board, it would be simply irresponsible to embark the shores of Europe without a defibrillator.”
"Thermo" snuggled up in the rather plush galley on S/Y Juno

“Thermo” snuggled up in the rather plush galley on S/Y Juno

Paul aka ‘Frewie’  (BLOG – The Travels of Juno and her Crew) now appears to be warming to his wife’s recent, high-end galley acquisition. On Tuesday 4th November her wrote:
“Thermo is looking smug today: with no apparent effort he produced perfect rice to accompany our chilli last night, followed by a frozen fruit mousse. To make matters worse, our angle of heel allows him to lean back and luxuriate on his foam throne in the galley, a look of disdain on his digital panel as we challenge him with such rudimentary culinary feats that are beneath his Michelin capabilities. Rather like asking Gordon Ramsay to boil an egg.    I am pleased to say that Zoll remains firmly in his box, in the first aid locker, where he will be shortly forgotten.”
photo 1
 In exchange for virtual cookery lessons, information, advice & guidance, Caroline has promised to keep me posted about their progress and post the odd photo of Thermo relaxing in Juno’s rather plush galley. My intention is therefore – to keep YOU posted about their adventure, but more specifically about what gastronomic challenges Caroline throws at “Thermo”.
 More posts to follow soon, as S/Y Juno departs Las Palmas and joins the 250 strong fleet for this year’s ARC race.

Home Made Creamy Greek Style Yoghurt for TM5 or TM31

8 11 2014

2014-11-08 11.25.17

Until recently I had never made yoghurt at home before, never even thought about it. In fact, I hadn’t really bothered with yoghurt at all. My Thermomix friend Nic told me about a number of yoghurt recipes that were on Thermomix blogs, so I thought – “Why not?”, so I gave one of the recipes a try.

Although inspired, I felt the recipe I used left too much to chance, so following further advice from my new found friend Nic, I bought myself an EasiYo, manual yoghurt maker. The recipe below is inspired by another Thermomix friend Andrea whose blog Forking Foodie  has a great yoghurt recipe with lots of really interesting and informative information. Do check out Andrea’s page because there are lots of amazing recipes to be found here.

2014-11-03 15.27.11



  • 1 lt full-fat milk
  • 50g natural organic yoghurt

Essential equipment

  • 1 x EasiYo Thermos & 1lt  EasiYo jar (bought together)


  1. Measure 1 lt milk into your TM bowl. Heat milk 10 minutes / 80C / Speed 2.
  2. Immediately carry on the ‘cooking’ process and heat the milk for 15 minutes / 90C / Speed 2.
  3. Pour the ‘cooked’ milk into a small  saucepan, cover with the TM lid and cover with the TM simmering basket. This will help speed up the heat reduction required.
  4. Reduce the heat down to 35C , checking with a temperature probe – this should take around 90 minutes.  The temperature accuracy is critical, however it will still work as long as it is not higher than 37C.
  5. Carefully remove any skin that has formed on the milk and discard and return the milk to your clean TM bowl.
  6. Add 50g natural organic yoghurt and cook for 2 minutes / 37C / Speed 2
  7. While cooking, boil a kettle and pour into the  EasiYo jar to sterilise.
  8. Pour 1 pint (550 ml) of the hot sterilising water into the base of the EasiYo thermos and add a further 1 pint (550 ml) of cold water to the thermos. Add the red plastic spacer provided to the Thermos flask.
  9. Pour the milk mixture into the EasiYo jar, screw the cap on tight and place into the EasiYo Thermos. Screw the top on and put to one side in your kitchen for 8 hours. Ideally you are best not to move the Thermos again.
  10. After 8 hours, remove the yoghurt jar and store in your refrigerator.

PRESTO! You have one litre of fabulous, creamy yoghurt!

So do give this great little recipe a try.

2014-10-01 08.06.45

Thermomixing with Malcy TIP:

1 lt of yoghurt usually lasts me a week; depending on whether I use it for soups, curry, cakes, brekkies, desserts etc ……

Do try the Yoghurt Cake recipe on Page 328 of The Basic Cook Book (TM5) or on the Recipe Chip.

You can also buy 250ml EasiYo screw top jars – ideal for lunch at work or home.



25 10 2014

Una historia gazpacho ………. 


For the uninitiated …….. Gazpacho is a chilled Spanish, tomato based raw vegetable soup, originating in the southern Spanish region of Andalucia. This soup is widely consumed throughout Spain, Portugal (gaspacho) and parts of Latin America. The soup is mostly consumed during the extremely hot summer months, due to it’s refreshing qualities.

The ancient roots of Gazpacho include the theory of its origin as an Arab soup of bread, olive oil, water and garlic, which arrived in Spain with the Moors, or via the Romans with the addition of vinegar. The other is that it is a legacy of the New World, when Columbus returned from ‘The Americas’ with tomatoes and peppers. Whichever is true, once in Spain, it became part of Andalucian cuisine, particularly around the beautiful medieval city of Seville.

You can easily vary the flavours, thickness and textures of this Spanish classic, which is a great low fat summer lunch dish when it’s too hot to cook. We often use this as a great little welcome drink when doing a summer BBQ.

This recipe varies from the one in my book – The Marine Cookery Bible, as I have re-written this especially for worldwide Thermomix users.   The original was written for the book launch back in 2011, so I have reduced the number of shots you get from the recipe down to around 25 depending on the size of your glasses.

This recipe has a fiery little kick to it, so if you want something a bit more subtle, just leave out the chilli sauce. I also love to finish finish each shot glass with a mini-drizzle of lime juice and Extra Virgin Olive Oil before adding the garnish.

Ingredients for 25 shots or more, depending on the size of your shot glasses
  • 1000g firm ripe plum tomatoes – peeled, de-seeded & roughly chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper – skinned (see below), halved, de-seeded & roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch spring onions (scallions) – trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber – peeled, de-seeded & roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stalk – peeled & roughly chopped
  • 1 large clove of garlic – peeled
  • 50g extra virgin olive oil
  • 40g white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Cholula hot sauce (Trappey’s or similar)
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 lime – zested & juiced
  • 200g iced water
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil leaves – finely shredded
  • fresh basil leaves – fine chiffonade
  • fresh chives – finely chopped
  • blend of lime juice and EVOO

Pre-heat your grill or oven to 225oC.

Cut the red pepper in half, drizzle with olive oil and roast or grill, flesh side-down in your hot oven  until the skin blisters and turns black. Place the hot peppers in a heat-proof bag and seal tightly. Leave to cool. Once cooled, remove from the bag  and peel/scrape away the charred skin from the peppers and remove the seeds.

Add all gazpacho ingredients (except tomato puree, water & lime) into your Thermomix bowl 10 sec/speed 6

Place the tomato puree into a bowl and gradually add the iced water, lime juice and zest. Add to the gazpacho and mix for 2 seconds/turbo.  Season to taste and refrigerate for  half an hour or more.

To serve, ladle in a jug and pour into your shot glasses and add a little garnish to finish as per photos.








Malcolm Alder-Smith (aka Malcy)

Independent Thermomix Advisor

Author of:

The Marine Cookery Bible

French Country Cooking


Lightly Spiced Butternut Squash & Apple Soup

2 10 2014

Spiced Apple & Butternut Squash
Created for Thermomix TM5  & TM31
  • 750g butternut squash – peeled, de-seeded & roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion – skinned & quartered
  • 2 x eating apples – cored & quartered (skin left on)
  • 2 cloves garlic – skinned
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground tumeric
  • 50 g olive oil
  • 500g vegetable stock
  • Maldon sea salt – to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper – to taste
  • 100g creamy yoghurt or crème fraîche
  • chilli or basil oil
  • finely shredded basil leaves
  1. Place the onion, apple & garlic into TM bowl with MC in place & chop 2 seconds/speed 5
  2. Add olive oil & sauté 5min/100 degrees/speed 1
  3. Add prepared pumpkin, coriander, cumin, tumeric & vegetable stock & cook 20 min/100 degrees, speed 1
  4. Purée 1 min/speed 5-10, increasing speed gradually for the first 5 seconds with MC in place
  5. Test for seasoning and adjust to taste
  1. Pour the hot soup into warmed bowls
  2. Add one or two tea spoons of yoghurt or crème fraîche and swirl around the bowl
  3. Drizzle a little chilli oil or basil oil over the soup – see photo
  4. Finish with finely shredded basil leaves and serve with TM bread rolls.
MALCY tip:

If too thick, just add a little more stock and blend for a few seconds on speed 5

To add some ‘texture crunch’; ‘dry fry’ some pumpkin seeds and scatter over the soup with other garnish to serve.

Please note this recipe has not been approved by

TERRINE de CANARD Corrèzienne

25 09 2014

Hand made Terrine of Duck with Crunchy Cornichons

duck terreine

When I’m cooking at home, I  like to buy my fresh poultry products at our local Farmer’s Market in Newport or direct from Paul and Sue Brownrigg’s Farm Shop – heading North on the Newport Road, a mile or so out of Godshill on the Isle of Wight.  Sue loved my Confit of Duck blog so much last year that I felt inspired to write them a special duck pate recipe for Christmas 2014, so I thought why not share it with the rest of the world!

Let me tell you where my passion for cooking with duck comes from.

Sabliers du Temps

Sabliers du Temps

My family’s life changing excursion, converting a large maison en Corrèze (Limousin – France) into a viable Chambres d’hôte in the early ‘naughties’ meant that we came into contact with some of the most wonderful food, patrons and amazing non Michelin or Relaise Chateaux restaurants in France. The piano players en Corrèze are fortunate to be able to source high quality local produce, including some of the best duck and goose products you can lay your hands on – hey, this is huntin’, shootin’ and fishin’ country we’re talking about here!

french hunter

Michel and Veronique Fouillard who run the mega-popular  Hotel Fouillard in Place Gambetta (Argentat-sur-Dordogne), serve typical and beautifully cooked Corrèzienne dishes to their many regular discerning customers. Another of our local favorites is the Hotel & Restaurant Le Sablier du Temps. There is no fine-dining here, only high level technical skills, clean country flavours, textures and true rural, gastronomique passion!

Hotel Fouillarde - Argentat

Hotel Fouillarde – Argentat

I hope the Brownriggs enjoy my recipe, which I adapted from my well flavoured, tried and tested recipe for pork, pistachio and apricot terrrine which I hope you will find to be a really tasty semi-course duck paté.

Before I get underway with the recipe, I need to point out that this one makes a large amount of terrine. I love to use mini-loaf tins to make this dish, and I freeze the little individual terrines and use as I need them – a great tip for my friends who work on superyachts.


Malcy’s Duck Terrine Correzienne

  • 2 large Brownrigg duck breast (approx 350g each) – remove skin & sinew
  • 500g pork shoulder – minced
  • 1 egg – free range
  • small bunch of parsley – finely chopped
  • small bunch of chives – finely chopped
  • 2 soup spoon orange liqueur (Cointreau or Grand Marnier)
  • 250g rindless streaky backon (green i.e. not smoked)
  • 3 shallots – skinned and very finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic – crushed
  • 3 soup spoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves – chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Fleur de Sel de Guérande (Maldon is fine)
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon green peppercorns – drained
  • 100ml Cognac or Armagnac
  • 50g pistachios – coarsely chopped
  • 1 orange – zested
  • 1 soup spoon whole pistchios
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Cut the prepared duck breasts into rough dice (cubes) and pass through a course mincer.

Place the minced duck, pork, garlic and a good teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves into a bowl and lightly season with sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper and mix well. Add the brandy and orange liqueur, mix again, cover with cling film and leave to marinate overnight in your fridge.

Pre-heat your oven to 180C / fan 160C / gas 4.

Butter a large terrine mould, loaf tins or mini-loaf tins and put the remaining sprigs of thyme in the bottom and line each with overlapping strips of streaky bacon, flattened with the blade of a kitchen knife. Make sure you leave extra hanging over the edges so you can wrap it over the top.

Remove the mélange from your refrigerator and loosen with a fork. Stir in the chopped parsley and chives, sprinkle in the spices, the chopped and whole pistachios, season well and mix well one more time.

To check your seasoning, place a small frying pan over a medium flame. Add a little vegetable oil  and heat through. Pinch off a small amount of your mixture and fry on both sides until cooked. Taste and add more seasoning to your raw mixture if required.

Pack the terrine with your duck and pork mixture and flatten with the back of a suitable sized spoon. Stretch over the overlapping bacon to cover.

Create a square of tin foil, large enough to cover the top of the terrine with an overlap.  Butter the foil, cover the top of the terrine and twist the edges over the form a seal. Wrap the whole terrine in a double layer of cling film. Unusual I know, but this really does work.

Place your terrine into a suitable sized roasting tin and place into your pre-heated overn. Half fill the roasting tin with boiling water and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Less if you are going to prepare a number of smaller mini-loaf tins.

Using a temperature probe, check that the core temperature has reached 75 degrees C. Remove from your oven and place into the refrigerator to cool and chill overnight.

To help create a firmer texture, you can press the terrine as it cools in the fridge. I usually use a small baking sheet and some 400g tins out of my larder cupboard.

I like to leave this terrine in the fridge for two days, however you can use the following day, when you will need to release the terrine from the mould. Remove the cling film and dip briefly into boiling water and turn out onto a suitable sized plate. There will be some jelly around the terrine, which I usually scrape off.

Serve with some lovely home-made chutney, relish or cornichons (crunchy gherkins). I make a crackin’ Beetroot and Orange Chutney which goes amazingly well with this terrine.

Serve with fresh baguette, boulle, pain bis, Moutarde de Dijon and the fabulous French cornichons which you can buy from your local supermarket.

pate on a plate

Correzienne heaven on a plate!


Malcolm Alder-Smith

Independent Thermomix Advisor

 No Turning Back

French Country Cooking


Massaman Curry for Thermomix TM5

24 09 2014


Massaman curry

Curry Paste – Ingredients
Preparation method

1. Dry-fry the chilli, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cloves and peppercorns in a frying pan to release the flavours.

2. Place all the curry paste ingredients into mixing bowl and grind 40 sec/speed 10 to a fine paste, scrape down the sides as required with spatula. Transfer to an air-tight container and set aside.

Massaman Curry Ingredients – Serves 4

• 1 – 2 tbsp massaman curry paste (above)
• 1 x 400g tin coconut milk
• 250g potatoes – cubed 2cm
• 1 cinnamon stick – snap in half
• 4 green cardamom pods – crushed
• 3 – 4 chicken breasts – trimmed and cubes
• 1 tsp light muscovado sugar
• 2 limes – juiced
• 1 tbsp fish sauce
• 4 tbsp peanuts – dry fry or toast
• sliced red chilli – to serve
• shredded basil – to serve
• wedges of lime – to serve

Steamed Rice

• 300g – 400g long grain, basmati or jasmine rice (wash as required).


1. Add the thick creamy half of the coconut milk into the mixing bowl. Add the curry paste and cook 10 min/100oC/speed 2, placing simmering basket instead of measuring cup onto mixing bowl lid to prevent splashing.

2. Add the rest of the coconut milk and cook 3 min/100oC/speed 1.

3. Insert the butterfly whisk.

4. Carefully add the cubed chicken, cinnamon and cardamom to both sides of the butterfly whisk. Add the sugar, lime and fish sauce and taste to achieve a desired flavour.

5. Insert simmering basket, weigh rice into it.

6. Add cubed potatoes into the varoma, spread out, lightly season and cook 20 min/100oC/reverse/stir.

7. Once the potatoes are nearly tender, carefully remove the simmering basket, add potatoes to the curry mixture and cook for 5 min/100oC/reverse/stir, leaving butterfly whisk in place.

8. Serve in hot bowls and garnish the curry sprinkled with peanuts, chilli, basil and mini lime wedges.

Malcy TIP – made in larger quantities, this Massaman Curry Paste will store in your refrigerator between 01 and 05 degrees C for up to 3 months in an air-tight container.


VENTNOR – Food and lodging heaven

28 05 2013


So, you’re planning a short break on the Isle of Wight and are wondering where to stay and maybe, more important to some folk, where to eat.  Having been involved in the hospitality industry for over 40 years, I am becoming increasingly impressed with the culinary and lodging metamorphosis that is Ventnor and its environs.

OK, so there are still a number of eye-sore properties on the promenade that need airbrushing, while some of the less aesthetically pleasing  properties in the town might be marked down to corporate irresponsibility, the recession or a lack of investment over too many years, leaving some structures looking more than a tad unhappy with themselves. However, just take a look at what has been happening over the last few years and certainly more recently with some encouraging private investment in and around the town there is reason for an optimistic future.

There are so many positives to celebrate about this vibrant little Victorian town, located to the extreme south coast of The Isle of Wight. If it isn’t there already, Ventnor is fast becoming the island’s hotspot for high quality lodging and a tempting range of eclectic, value for money and top class eateries.

The Royal - Ventnor

There are of course the obvious contenders for quality lodging; leading hotels such as The Hambrough, The Royal Hotel, The Wellington and maybe too the less obvious, but very popular The Eversley or St Maur. Another couple of little gems that I would recommend are The Hillside, an 18th century Grade II listed country house, or The Leconfield, a country house hotel, located just outside the town, perched on the edge of St Boniface Down.


If it’s high quality self-catering and location uniqueness that you are looking for, then this is provided at The Boathouse,  The Lighthouse and The Crows Nest at the fittingly named Steephill Cove. My ‘global research team’ tell me these little gems, hidden away off  the beaten track are fast becoming  popular with A-list celebrities, seeking a quiet haven away from the ‘pap’ and the certainty of a bit of quick-fix R&R chic. I can also recommend the beautifully converted barn complex self-catering accommodation at Niton Barns – a fabulous, renovated farm development a couple miles or so outside of Ventnor.

niton barns

For visitors and locals alike, Ventnor has so much to offer on the food front.  A veritable plethora of culinary diverseness awaits gastronaughts keen to indulge their appetites. Maybe it’s down to the influence of the unique Mediterranean micro-climate that you will find three Tapas Bars in the town. We ate recently at El Toro Contento and had a fun family evening of grazing and drinking more than the odd glass of tinto.


I ask myself which establishment fired it all up in the first place and I’m guessing that The Spyglass Inn was the modern pioneer that started to attract diners into the town some 25 or so years back. They must be closely followed by The Royal Hotel, whose kitchen brigade was headed up  for many years by my good friend Alan Staley. Steve Harris now plays the piano and heads up the kitchen and the hotel retains its enviable record of culinary rosetted consistency held for many years and I’m yet to talk to anyone in recent years who did not enjoy their dining experience at The Royal.

robert thompson

I can’t write about dining in Ventnor without mentioning the undoubted influence of Robert Thomson at The Hambrough and The Pond. The relentless PR machine that backed Robert from his arrival in Ventnor around 5 years back, until his  departure to pastures new in 2013 and his Michelin rated food, firmly placed the town and the Isle of Wight on the UK culinary map. Michelin starred chef Darren Beavers took over the management of the kitchen in 2013 and although the hotel lost its Michelin Star, there are strong indications that Darren will soon bring the Michelin brand back to Ventnor.


You don’t have to search too hard to find some outstanding and diverse eateries in this little town and there are still new ones opening, such as The Hillside Bistro. If you take any notice of websites such as TripAdvisor, you will see that it has already made quite an impact since its opening in the early part of 2013 at 30 Pier Street. Although I have not eaten there yet, my Global Research Team and the Ventnor Grape Vine tell me that it is definitely worth a visit.

hillside bistro

Also on the High Street you will find Tramezzini, run by Adam Fendyke (ex-The Royal & Goodmans Bistro) which is a great little Deli cum Italian Café. This informal little eatery is popular for morning coffee with some of Adam’s amazing pastries – his chocolate brownies are to die for! Adam and Gio started opening on Friday and Saturday evenings during the late summer and this proved so popular that they will be offering the same excellent cuisine through the winter months, but be aware that there are no loos! Also in the High Street, my wife and I have been pleasantly surprised by recent visits to Philleas Foggs – the place was heaving when we arrived recently and we were welcomed with a great atmosphere, attentive service and fabulous, tasty food – I particularly enjoyed the Salt & Pepper Squid. Their Sunday ‘Roast’ is a differentiated fish menu, which we are yet to sample. It was very noticable that potential diners were being turned away as the occupied tables were already re-booked for later that evening. Knowing that the Hillside Bistro was already fully booked that evening, I am guessing that there are new opportunities for additional value for money eateries in the High Street.

philleas foggs

If you are looking for something a little quirky, then you should go check out The Bonchurch Inn, located in a historic Dickensian Courtyard, dating back to the mid-1800s this stone built hostelry is run by Ulisse and Gillain Besozzi and their children Adrian and Victoria who are now partners in the business. Offering a comprehensive range of Italian cuisine, you can eat inexpensively if you want; grab a tasty lasagne for two and a glass of tinto each and you can come away with change from £20! We went there for my birthday last year and had a fabulous meal.

bonchurch inn

The Boathouse Seafood Restaurant is a gem of a secret hideaway, located at Steephill Cove on the water’s edge below Ventnor Boatanic Gardens and Ventnor Cricket Ground. The restaurant only opens for lunch time and with just 30 seats to fill, booking is strongly advised. It opens from the end of May bank holiday to the end of the first week in September, but be prepared for either a steep or long walk, depending on which direction you are approaching from.

the boathouse restaurant

If you a looking for a different dining experience, then prepare yourselves for some wonderful food at the recently refurbished and re-opened Edulis at The Ventnor Botanic Gardens headed up by Martyn Cutler who works his magic creating ultra fresh cuisine with the finest local produce. With planned jazz and comedy evenings to make use of the newly built stage, Edulis hopes to soon become the hottest out-of-town hang out.

The highly acclaimed Hillside Hotel & Restaurant (same owner as the Hillside Bistro), has “been extensively refurbished with contemporary Scandinavian themes providing great harmony with the environment and a unique homely feel.”  This charming 18t

the hillside

h century thatched country house  is only a short walk away from the town centre and can boast some panoramic views and a southerly aspect, overlooking the town and backing onto National Trust land at the foot of St. Boniface Down.

The Leconfield, a country house holiday retreat is situated on St Boniface Down elevated above the historic village of Bonchurch and has spectacular panoramic sea views. You will get a warm welcome, comfortable, luxury accommodation and plenty of beautifully cooked local island produce on your plate. This is the perfect place for a peaceful stay, as the hotel is adult only (16+), so they do not accept families with young children, nor do they accept dogs.


My final offering is Ventnor Haven Fishery, where you can buy fresh crab, lobster or ‘catch-of-the-day’ if you are self-catering or alternatively a very up market fish and chip shop down on the quay. Ventnor Haven Fishery, built and run by local fisherman and personality Geoff Blake and his wife Cheryl is very popular with both visitors and locals alike.

Ventnor Haven Fisheries

I hope you will agree, this is quite a comprehensive hospitality offer for such a small town on the south coast of the Isle of Wight; so, watch this space because if it isn’t there already, Ventnor is fast becoming the place to go on the Isle of Wight for top quality food and lodging.

Confit of Brownrigg Duck

8 12 2012


Having lived in the huntin’, shootin’ and fishin’ Department of Corrèze (Limousin), in the deepest part of rural France a few years back, I have tried many different recipes since then in an attempt to replicate a really good confit of duck – I have to say, without too much success in terms of a high end product.   Duck and Goose were very much part of our daily country life in France and we were lucky enough to have the most amazing local farm producers located just a few kilometers up the road towards the décheterie. We also had a fabulous outdoor market every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month, where we could buy some of these amazing local delicacies.

Brownrigg Poultry

When we lived just outside of Argentat-sur-Dordogne we got used to the French Christmas Eve réveillon, a long celebration dinner or possibly a party on the evenings preceding Christmas Day or New Years’s Day. Often eaten after Midnight Mass and usually consisting, where we lived, of Huitres (oysters), Fillet Steak and Canard (duck) or Chapon (capon).

Not so long back I came across a recipe which I have adapted a little and this is the one I will be using to cook Confit for my family’s Christmas Eve dinner this year – in the typical French style.

In rural France you can usually get hold of a range of high quality tinned Confit of Duck – see examples below.


Traditionally to make confit of duck leg, you marinade the legs in garlic, fresh thyme and cracked sea salt overnight. The next day you remove all the seasonings and place the duck legs into a baking tray and cover them with rendered duck fat. The whole thing goes into a very low over and is cooked slowly for many hours. The problem with this is, I guess, that unless you live near a farm that rears and sells ducks this becomes a very expensive dish to produce.

OK – this recipe is so simple and the end result is quite outstanding, so here is my take on this great little recipe which can be made 24hrs in advance. Now although my recipe is for four peeps, we usually cook two legs per person and we are lucky enough to have the most amazing supplier (Brownrigg Poultry) who lives just down the road


INGREDIENTS for four people

  • handful coarse sea salt
  • 4 bay leaves , roughly torn
  • 4 large cloves of garlic – roughly chopped
  • fresh thyme sprigs – handful, roughly torn
  • 4 x fresh duck legs
  • 100ml dry white wine


  1. The day before you want to make the dish, scatter half the salt, half the garlic and half of the herbs over the base of a small shallow dish. Lay the duck legs, skin-side up, on top, then scatter over the remaining salt, garlic and herbs. Cover the duck with cling film and refrigerate overnight. This can be done up to 2 days ahead.
  2. Pour the wine into a heavy based saucepan that will snugly fit the duck legs in a single layer. Brush the salt and flavourings off the duck legs and place them, skin-side down, in the wine.
  3. Bring to the boil over a medium high flame and as soon as the wine starts to bubble, reduce the heat and cover with a lid. Now turn the heat down to the lowest setting and cook for 2 1/2  hours, checking occasionally that the liquid is just barely simmering. After 2  1/2 hours, the duck legs should be submerged in their own fat and the meat should feel incredibly tender when prodded.
  4. The duck legs are now cooked, so remove from the liquid and place into a suitable container, cool, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. To serve in the classical French way, you need to reheat and crisp up the duck legs. Heat your oven to 220C Remove the legs from the fat and place them, skin-side down, on an ovenproof roasting tray or similar. Roast for 20 minutes on either side, turning halfway through, until brown and crisp.

The classic way to serve this dish is with braised red cabbage and and some crisp golden diced potoatoes cooked in duck fat.

If you are preparing ahead, pack the duck legs tightly into a plastic container or jar and pour over the fat, but not the liquid at the bottom of the pan. Cover and leave in the fridge for up to a month, or freeze for up to 3 months. The liquid you are left with makes a tasty gravy, which can be chilled or frozen until needed.

Check out my book 19 – Cuisine Terroire Correzienne for more rural French recipes – see Amazon for Kindle version.


Author of:

The Marine Cookery Bible

19 – Dix Neuf, Cuisine du Terroir Corrézienne

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