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    School’s out for…spring? That’s the song right?

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    The kids have been released from school and are roaming the pleasant pastures of freedom, for two weeks at least. So we’re celebrating the little chefs around the spice-nation and we are here to offer a few ideas for keen kiddie cooks! We’ve had some wonderful entries into our Wall of Fame by junior spicerers and we want to encourage many more to take part during their time off! Granted not all dishes have been successful, below demonstrates the necessity for shots of milk while chowing down on a particularly pokey spicebox, but we love the enthusiasm!

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    Take a look at this brilliant Little Chef sent in by Gemma. He is looking pleased as punch after completing his first curry! I would be too! We particularly love the matching hat and apron (perhaps a Spicery side project?!)

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    Here’s little Bailey, brilliantly demonstrating the various spice packets included in a typical spicebox! At only 6 years old, he’s probably one of the youngest spicerers we’ve ever had, we’re lucky he took the time away from cooking Big Plate Chicken to pose for this picture sent in by Sarah. We hope his sous chef in the background is keeping things under control in his absence!

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    Cooking our recipes with Poppy and Sophie is an absolute breeze! We were reliably informed by Mum that it was ‘so easy, even a 10 year old can cook it!’ Good job guys!

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    So to channel the energy of these exemplary junior spicerers, we have a couple of recipes which will be great for the family to try out together over the Easter holidays.

    First up we have the Persian Khoresht. A subtle fragrant spiced stew, which isn’t packed with chilli, so you can put away the milk shots! We’re serving it with a delicious mint and garlic butter-coated yogurt along with sabzi polow – sabz means ‘green’ in Persian, see, they’re still being educated outside of school!

    KIT091604 Khoresht Photo CMYK

    If the kiddies like a bit of constructive cooking, then Yucatan Tacos will be perfect! With a colourful mix of flavours, this kit is for slightly more adventurous ones, but I’m sure they’ll be up for the challenge!

    KIT Yucatan Tacos Photo RGB

    Finally, to celebrate this lovely season and to please the children with a particular sweet tooth, (which is all of them right?) we have Pineapple Upside Down Cake. It’s a traditional favourite in Jamaica and our sophisticated, spiced up version is easy to make and looks really impressive!

    Jamaican Upside Down Cake

    You will need:

    • Mixing bowl
    • Baking parchment
    • Whisk
    • A sous chef (one adult!)
    • 22cm (approx.) round cake tin greased and lined with a single piece of baking parchment (don’t leave any gaps at the base for the caramel to leak out)

    Shopping List:

     

    • ½ a small ripe pineapple (or about 200g ready prepared pineapple) – peeled, cored and chopped into bite size pieces
    • 200ml double or whipping cream
    • 80g butter
    • 3 medium eggs
    • 320g soft brown sugar
    • 1 tbsp caster sugar
    • 200g self-raising flour (or use plain flour plus 1 tsp baking powder)
    • 150ml sunflower oil

    The Spices:

    • CAKE WHOLE SPICES: 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 bay leaves
    • CAKE GROUND SPICES: 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • CREAM SPICES: ½  tsp ground allspice, ½ tsp ground cinnamon

    All can be found at our spicestore! 

    • Preheat oven to 180 deg C/gas mark 4
    • Put 120g of the soft brown sugar and the butter in the lined cake tin with the CAKE WHOLE SPICES and place in the oven for 5 minutes or till the butter melts
    • Mix the flour, the remaining soft brown sugar,the CAKE GROUND SPICES, and a big pinch of salt in a bowl. Beat together the oil and eggs, then gently mix into the dry ingredients to form a batter
    • Remove the tin from the oven and mix the melted butter and sugar, then arrange the pineapple in the tin on top of the CAKE WHOLE SPICES
    • Spoon the batter over the top then smooth over and bake for 40 minutes or until the cake has risen, is springy to the touch and when you insert a skewer into the centre it comes out clean.  Leave to cool, in the tin, for 5 minutes
    • Whip the cream to soft peaks with the CREAM SPICES and the caster sugar
    • Carefully get your Sous Chef (the adult!) to turn the cake out onto a serving plate and remove the baking parchment.

    Serve the cake warm or cool (don’t eat the CAKE WHOLE SPICES, they’re a bit crunchy!) with the allspice whipped cream on the side

    BAK Pineapple Upside Down Cake Photo RGB

    Yum yum!

    We all hope you enjoy the holidays and fingers crossed for lovely weather! Finally, we’ll leave you with Eva’s moment of magic while sampling her first Ancho Chilli Chocolate Pot!

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    Happy Spicing!

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    Spring has arrived and Easter is approaching, which means Lent is almost over! For some of us at The Spicery, this means some well deserved treats after 40 days of resisting the things we love (why do we do it…)

    We’ve brought back a few of our past favourite recipes to bring you three Spicery style Easter- related bakes. I’m going to be honest, there were a few setbacks the kitchen and it’s safe to say i’m not a natural baker but I made it through (and took pictures along the way).
    And so onto bake number one! This one’s inspired by Kulich, a Russian Easter Cake, basically like a spiced panettone which traditionally uses raisins soaked in vodka. This time however, we used a recipe for a more simple loaf version using the same rich and fragrant spices (vanilla, cardamon, sweet mixed spice), and creamy paskha (a spiced citrus cream cheese) on the side.

    Fun fact about Paskha: Traditionally made at Easter, Paskha contains ingredients which are forbidden during lent. As well as cheese, it often will contain  butter, eggs, heavy or sour cream, raisins, almonds, vanilla and candied fruits.  It’s white to symobolise the purity of christ, and usually formed into a tall towering pyramid shape to represent the tomb of Christ. Here, we’re just adding a dollop on the side.

    FNCD Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken Photo RGB

    Kulich, Russian Easter Cake

    You Need:

    4 tbsp milk (60ml)

    100g caster sugar

    100g butter at room temperature

    3 eggs-beaten

    250g self raising flour

    100g sultanas or raisins

    50g candied peel

    40g flaked almonds

    200f cream cheese or mascarpone

    50g icing sugar

    1 lemon

    KULICH SPICES: 1/4 tsp ground cardamon, 1/2 tsp vanilla powder (or half a vanilla pod), 1/2 tsp mixed spice

    PASKHA SPICES: 1/4 tsp ground cardamon, 1/2 tsp vanilla powder

    Method

    • Pre heat oven to 170C/gas mark 3
    • Put the KULICH SPICES into the milk
    • Beat the sugar and butter together well until very light in colour
    • Mix in the beaten egg a little at a time
    • Mix in the flour and a pinch of salt
    • Mix in the spiced milk, the zest of the lemon, dried fruit and flaked almonds
    • Pour into a greased loaf tin and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden on top and a knife through the centre comes out clean
    • Mix the cream cheese, icing sugar, juice of 1/2 the lemon and the PASKHA SPICES together until smooth
    • Serve slices of the cake with a spoonful of Paskha on top

    Makes about 10 servings

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    The Paskha is just seriously SO GOOD on top

    Bake number two: Easter Biscuits!

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    Ok, this is where a few things went wrong. I’ve concluded that I added just a bit too much milk in my ‘splash’, which meant adding more dry ingredients to get my dough back to the consistency I wanted! But something great also happened, I found out that the Paskha from the last recipe is delicious on these.

    Easter Biscuits

    You Need:

    110g Butter

    90g Sugar + a bit extra

    1 large Egg – separated

    200g Plain Flour

    50g Currants

    2tsp GROUND CASSIA

    30ml approx. Milk

    Pinch salt

     

    Method

    • Cream the butter and sugar together.
    • Beat in the egg yolk.
    • Sift the flour, salt and CASSIA then fold into the mix. Stir in the currants and add a splash of milk if necessary to make a smooth dough.
    • Chill the dough for 15 minutes or so in a fridge to firm it slightly then roll it out and cut into whatever sizes you prefer.
    • Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170 0 C / gas mark 4 for 10 minutes or until just lightly coloured on the surface.
    • Beat the egg white then brush the surface of the biscuits with the beaten white and sprinkle the coated surfaces generously with the extra sugar. Return to the oven for a couple of minutes more then cool on a rack.

    FNCD Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken Photo RGB-10

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    And saving the best for last, the famous Hot Cross Bun!

    Hot Cross Buns

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    You Need:

    500g strong white bread flour

    ½ tsp salt

    2 heaped tsp ALLSPICE

    50g caster sugar

    50g butter, chopped into cubes

    200g mixed dried fruit

    7g sachet easy-blend dried yeast

    200ml milk

    2 eggs

     

    Method

    • Tip the flour into a bowl and stir in the salt, ALLSPICE and sugar.
    • Rub in the butter with your fingertips. Stir in the dried fruit, then sprinkle over the yeast and stir in. Gently warm the milk so it is hot, but still cool enough to put your finger in for a couple of seconds. Beat with the eggs, then pour into the dried ingredients.
    • Using a blunt knife, mix the ingredients to a moist dough, then leave to soak for 5 mins. Take out of the bowl and cut the dough into 8 equal pieces.
    • Shape the dough into buns on a floured surface. Space apart on a baking sheet, cover loosely with cling film, then leave in a warm place until half again in size. This will take 45 mins-1 hr 15 mins, depending on how warm the room is.
    • When the buns are risen, heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Mix the flour with 2 tbsp water to make a paste. Pour into a plastic food bag and make a nick in one of the corners. Pipe crosses on top of each bun.
    • Bake for 12-15 mins until risen and golden. Trim the excess cross mixture from the buns , then brush all over with honey or golden syrup. The buns will keep fresh for a day. After that they are best toasted and served with butter.

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    Although they didn’t rise as much as expected in the proving stage, they do expand in the oven, so never fear!
    They’re especially delicious still warm from the oven, and maybe with a little Paskha spread on top?

    Conclusion= Paskha is good with EVERYTHING

    Happy Easter!

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    Tung’s Top 5 Fiery Chillies

    March 30, 2017

    Here at The Spicery we’re constantly dicing with danger, most notably chilli danger. Stinging eyes, burning skin and a numb tongue. However, even some of the hottest chillies hold delicious and distinctive flavours when used well! Here’s a quick guide to some of our newest chillies on the block, fire extinguishers at the ready! Bullet Chillies […]

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    The Spicery Hay fever Preparation Guide

    March 17, 2017

    As Spring envelops the south west, everyone is beginning to dig out their shades, iron their shorts or dresses and debate whether or not it is too early for sandals, whilst dreaming of the endless barbecues, tall glasses of Pimms and the smell of freshly cut grass… For others, like myself, Spring is the beginning of […]

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    Staff Testing March – Beef 2 ways, fried chicken and a saucy Spanish number

    March 15, 2017

    Chris – World Kitchen Explorer – Nigerian Egusi After a trip to the shops and a short discussion about which bananas were least ripe we had our ingredients prepped and ready to go. Off to a super rocky start; the red oil spices didn’t quite follow the instructions. Have had (bad) experiences with frying chilli […]

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    Spicery Food Truck Dinner

    March 10, 2017

    Last night, to celebrate the launch of our brand new Food Truck subscription, we opened our doors at the Spicery HQ to spice-lovers to enjoy a 5 course Food Truck meal. As our dining room filled with our 40 guests, Matt and Alice prepared plates in the “Food Truck” Meanwhile, our guests started by cleansing their […]

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    Time to spice up your Shrove Tuesday!

    February 28, 2017

    Ah yes, Shrove Tuesday – the one excuse to literally eat everything in your house in preparation for Lent. Pancakes are great, but fancy a spicy twist on this flipping marvellous holiday? We did some experimenting here in the Spicery kitchen to add a little kick to the average pancake filling…have a go at home (with a stack […]

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    The book you’ve all been waiting for…

    February 24, 2017

    Big news at Spicery HQ! After a few years deliberating the best way to bring out a book, the recent Curry Legends workshop triggered boss James’ brain into action and the How to be a Curry Legend Cookbook was formed. For all you curry lovers out there, the book will contain around 60+ recipes – […]

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    Spicery Christmas Open Day 2016

    December 15, 2016

    We all had a great time at the big Spicery Christmas open day this year – over 200 of you visited for our Christmas market, make your own curry stall, turkey kathi roll lunch and moor beer’s delicious Christmas ale. Here are a few highlights from the day…   Faduma and Maria serving a hot […]

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    Staff Testing November 2016

    November 28, 2016

    Chris on WKE Persian Duck Stew: From the get-go we had to make a few compromises: I don’t own a blender, so instead of pulverising electrically I took to crushing the walnuts with a small-but-heavy saucepan – this seemed to do the job pretty well. Secondly, I was cooking for my girlfriend, who is intolerant to […]

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