Charity Food Bloggers Challenge Supper Club
Afternoon all, it’s a loungy Sunday, I’m sitting in the conservatory with a gorgeous smelling vanilla sponge and cupcakes baking in the oven.. The house smells so good! Well after a busy day and evening on Friday for my Supper Club its only natural one should treat themselves to relaxation time!
Here’s the lowdown and things you need to know;
I took part in this food bloggers challenge for Social Media Week and to help raise money towards Action Against Hunger, a great charity that I’m already fundraising for by doing a challenging trek over 26 miles of the Hadrian’s wall in June with my sister.
I love to cook for people, host supperclubs and dinners at my house, we are welcoming and have a cosy environment and ambience!
I LOVE to eat, you probably have gathered this by now, being an avid food blogger, its my favourite pastime, discovering and cooking new dishes, experimenting with flavours and cooking up world cuisines.
I hosted my Valentines Supper Club on Friday 17th February, purple candles adorned tables, Bob Marley singing on the stereo, tables to fit 12 people,all placed with cutlery and new plates/glasses..what’s not to love?
Prepping the tables…
Parmesan & Thyme Popcorn- As a pre-starter when guests arrived, I used chef Marcus Wareing’s recipe for honey mustard popcorn but tweaked it to add a different combination of flavour, fresh thyme and cheesy grated parmesan. This worked so well, two bowls were gone!
Fresh Bread & Homemade Butter- A recipe I had tried before by The Fabulous Baker brothers, creamy homemade, smooth butter, made from double cream being whisked into a frenzy!
Smoked Baby Beetroot, Mascarpone and Tarragon salad-
Another Marcus Wareing dish which didn’t need too much prepping, I put the beetroot into my bamboo steamer, it look over both levels of it, in a saucepan placed the sugar, tea leaves (lapsang souchong) and uncooked rice, let it heat till smokey. The beets were smoked for around 8 minutes then I left it on there for over 30 minutes to take on the flavour. It was a delicate smokey smell that protruded from these baby beets.
The balsamic was reduced down in a saucepan for an intense heat, then added extra virgin olive oil for the dressing. The walnuts were toasted in a pan with some butter for luxurious crunch.
When plating up this dish, using purple plates (great contrast for the white mascarpone, smeared on the plate) with toppling baby beets, walnuts, tarragon leaves and a drizzle of balsamic. This dish was a success with everyone! They used it to smear on fresh grilled bread, great starter. Recipe here
Chicken Legs with Wild Mushrooms & Leeks-
I chose this main because we have some fish allergies attending the supper club and so fish was off the menu! Plus I wanted to challenge myself with prepping and cooking 14 chicken pieces! I chose not to use the breasts because always find them a bit dry and wanted to try chicken legs as I could get them really juicy.
It took time to sear 14 chicken legs, to get the skin browned and crisp, set aside and all set out on baking trays to go in the oven. The sauce was about 7 finely cut slices of shallots with white wine, simmered down till soft, then placed over the chicken.
They baked in the oven for the same time and once all cooked and juices ran clear, I could prep the sauce! Which consists of cream, wild mushrooms, julienne leeks, seasoning, lemon, cubed butter and chicken juices. Every ingredients spoke for itself and the sauce took time to come together nicely, it was rich, buttery, creamy sauce with nuttiness from the wild mushrooms. Perfect with the chicken.
The chicken was moist, the wine really helped to tenderise the meat, the creamy sauce was full of bundles of flavour from the string leeks, nutty mushrooms and chicken juices. Beautiful.
Recipe is here
This dessert won a standing ovation! From one guest anyway
Passion fruit and white chocolate cheesecake with fresh orange sorbet by Chef Matthew Tomkinson
I made the orange crisps for this dessert two days prior so they had time to dry out after poaching them in sugar-water, then placing on a low heat in the oven for hours! It helped to speed the process if you don’t have an airing cupboard!
The sorbet was utterly divine, fresh orange juice mixed with a sugar syrup and then placed in the freezer, couple of hours later taken out and forked up and placed back in the freezer to set.
The cheesecake was easy to make, using hobnobs for the biscuit base, I had a chunky base (you can never have enough crumble). The filling was a mixture of double cream, cream cheese, melted white chocolate and gelatin to help it set.
The passionfruit layer was passionfruit juice with gelatine and sugar, this went ontop of the creamy filling after it had set for an hour or so. This vibrant orange topping would turn to jelly.The final step was the make a passionfruit syrup, using fresh mixed with sugar and water till reduced into a concentrated flavour.
Plating up this dessert, I had realised I had made too much (not like that would be a problem!), the cheesecake slice, had a orange crisp on the side, small melon balls or orange sorbet, fresh orange segments and piped dots of passionfruit syrup.
A perfect match of white chocolate & tangy passionfruit!
The end of the meal, finished off with glasses of jasmine tea!!
What a great experience and opportunity to raise money for charity and do what I love most and cook for friends and family. If you liked by blog post and Supper Club experience please vote for me! x
Pics from some of my supper clubbers….!