This is a recipe from the wonderful Daniela Paiva, we made these minus the Guinness at the last workshop (4)

Daniela passed this recipe on for us to try out (see below) :

… soooo delicious!

You can see more on Daniela’s website

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” Brigadeiro with Guinness


350ml Guinness

400g of condensed milk

1 spoon of butter

Cocoa powder or chocolate sprinkles


Part 1 – beer

Boil the beer over low heat until it reduces from 350ml to 150ml, which takes 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool down.

Part 2 – brigadeiro

In a medium heavy-based saucepan, heat the butter and condensed milk, to boiling, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to medium-low; cook for 10-15 mins, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick.

Add the chill Guinness stirring constantly until the mixture is thick again and shiny and starts to pull away from the bottom.

Let it cool down.

Butter your hands and pinch off some of the dough to make 2.5cm balls.”

…..  We rolled the balls in crushed nuts/cocoa powder or you can use chocolate sprinkles or flakes. Why not experiment!

Thanks Dani!

Tapioca Crepe Recipe

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1 cup tapioca starch

1/2 cup water (approximately)

1/4 teaspoon salt

Filling of your choice

1. In a bowl at the salt and gradually add 2 tablespoons of water to the tapioca. Stir with your fingers until the mixture forms clumps that you can break into small clumps.Keep crumbling and adding water until you have an even mix of small clumps. You will know if you add too much water because the mixture will start to flow like a thick liquid. If that happens, add more starch.

2. Pass the moistened starch through a very fine sieve into a clean bowl. Use a wooden spoon to push the starchthrough the sieve to help it pass through.
Heat a nonstick frying pan over a medium heat. Quickly sprinkle the sifted starch over the entire skillet in a thin layer. Let the crepe cook for about 30 seconds, or until the crepe slides easily in the pan.

3. Flip the pancake or by toss it. Cook for 30 to 40 seconds and put on a plate. Make sure you wipe the pan after each crepe to keep it clean, this prevents burning.
4. Fill the crepe with a filling of your choice and fold in half or roll it up.

5. Serve warm, the crepes stiffen as they cool.


Filling ideas:

Cheddar cheese (grated cheddar cheese can be mixed straight into the tapioca flour after you have passed the tapioca through a sieve and  sprinkle the mix into the pan as above.

Jam and Feta Cheese


Feta cheese and red pepper

Cheddar cheese and baby tomatoes

……. Be as creative as you like!! Enjoy.


Workshop 4 – Vicki Johnson and Daniela Paiva

Workshop 4 was a colourful fusion of cultures. The delights of Brazilian cuisine was bought to us by super chef Daniela Paiva to the sounds of Brazilian music. Participants were presented with new Brazilian tastes and ingredients whilst constructing a beautiful paper Pajaki ( a traditional Polish folk craft ). The Pajaki is a beautiful paper chandelier, artist Vicki Johnson taught the group how to make this marvellous construction out of paper straws, card and tissue paper . The group then participated in making tapioca crepes and we dined on various casava dishes, guava jam, palmito (palm tree heart), sweet beak peppers in carnival costume under our paper chandelier to the sounds of Brazil. Thank you Vicki and Dani.

Recipes below:


Chef Sam Hanison’s salad dressings to try…

Salad Dressings

  • Salad dressings are all about sweet and sour, or agrodolce as the Italians call it. It is the most addictive flavour combination in the chef’s palate. Learn the ratio of sweet to sour that you like best – most oils are slightly sweet in flavour, incidentally. If in doubt, I would suggest adding more sour (usually in the form of vinegar or citrus).
  • Which oil you use matters. Olive oils cover a spectrum of flavours from the peppery early-season oils (which sometimes have an almost acrid aftertaste) to the softer late-season ones. Taste your olive oil. If it is too powerful for your palate, dilute it with rapeseed or sunflower oil. Also, be aware that oils can go stale if left in the heat (eg by the stove) or in sunlight.
  • Make more than you need. You can keep it in the fridge in a jar for ages.
  • Season carefully. Taste for salt, pepper, sweet and sour. Before you dress the salad (the point of no return) dip a leaf into the dressing, taste and adjust the flavours if necessary.
  • If you are using raw garlic in a dressing, it is best to smash it to a paste with a little salt – this breaks it down more than a garlic crusher can. The flavour will spread more evenly through the mix, and you won’t get little lumps floating in your dressing.

Classic lemon and olive oil

This is a very easy dressing that is useful for strong-flavoured leaf salads, such as rocket, mizuna, or mustard leaves. You can add a little water to this dressing (maybe a teaspoon) to thin it slightly and give it more delicacy.

1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and black pepper

Whisk together, taste and adjust seasoning.

Leon house dressing

A French classic. Adds real punch to those old‑fashioned lettuce leaves.

40g dijon mustard
80ml white wine vinegar
350ml rapeseed oil
Sea salt and black pepper

Whisk the mustard and vinegar in a bowl. While still running, slowly add the rapeseed oil until you have a fully emulsified dressing. Season carefully.


Red onion and shallot

Use this with roasted beetroot and lentils, topped with goat’s cheese or feta.

1 red onion or shallot
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp soft brown sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and black pepper

Combine the onion, vingegar and sugar, then season. Leave for about an hour. Then add the olive oil and stir well.

Honey and mustard

For those who prefer something sweeter. Also a great dressing to go with avocado halves. Simply whisk it all together and season.

1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp runny honey
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
100ml sunflower oil
Salt and black pepper


This is a lovely dressing for French beans. Blanch French beans and runners and add them to the dressing while they are still warm. Finish with finely diced apple, shaved fennel and chopped chives.

100g walnuts
A pinch of cayenne pepper
A drizzle of olive oil

Mix the walnuts with the other ingredients and bake at 180C/350F/gas mark 4 for 5 minutes, until lightly toasted. Crush gently and add to the honey and mustard dressing above along with 1 tbsp of walnut oil.




Best for drizzling over fresh tomatoes, grilled courgettes or a tomato salad.

A bunch of basil
1 garlic clove, crushed
100ml olive oil
A pinch of salt and black pepper

Remove the leaves from the basil and blend with the rest of the ingredients.

Pink peppercorn and elderflower dressing

It is good to use in salads containing avocado, asparagus or even strawberries, but is equally delicious with crisp lettuce..

1 tbsp pink peppercorns
1½ tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp elderflower cordial
75ml groundnut oil
75ml single cream
1tbsp chopped chives
Salt and pepper

1 Grind the pink peppercorns roughly, either in spice grinder or in a pestle and mortar.

2 Place in a liquidiser with the rest of the ingredients and blend together until an emulsion is formed. Season well.


Vinegars are ubiquitous in the kitchen. This ingredient is used in cooking and baking; for making salad dressings, to transform milk into a buttermilk substitute, and in marinades. Which type of vinegar should you use when cooking and baking?

  • Balsamic vinegar is the most expensive because it is aged for a long period of time. The longer it’s aged, the sweeter and thicker it gets, and the more expensive too. You can find white balsamic vinegar and red balsamic vinegar; choose the type according to the recipe. If you’re making a light colored salad dressing, purchased the white balsamic. Buy several different types of balsamic vinegar for different uses. Less expensive vinegars are used for marinades and salad dressings where there are lots of other ingredients. The really expensive balsamic vinegars that are aged for years in oak are used to drizzle over cheese and greens as an appetizer, or as a garnish or finishing touch to many recipes.
  • Red and white wine vinegars are more ‘everyday’ vinegars. They are good for salad dressings and marinades. Red wine vinegar is best used with heartier flavors and foods, like beef, pork, and vegetables. White wine vinegar is best for chicken and fish dishes. Champagne vinegar and white wine vinegars are light in color, so are good for dressing lighter foods like pale greens, chicken, and fish.
  • Apple cider vinegar is mild and inexpensive; it’s the one I use most often when making salad dressings. Since it is mild, it’s a good choice for marinating fish or chicken. It’s also good for making Flavored Vinegars. Flavored vinegars should be stored in the refrigerator, because some dangerous bacteria such as E. coli can grow in acidic environments.
  • Rice vinegar is the mildest of all, with much less acidity than other vinegars. It’s often used in Asian or Chinese cooking.
  • Plain distilled vinegar is made from grain alcohol and has a very sharp, unpleasant taste. Use it in very small quantities; it’s best to add a bit to milk to ‘create’ a buttermilk substitute, or for cleaning purposes.
  • All vinegars should be stored tightly closed in a cool, dark place. They will last for about a year after opening; after that time, the flavors will diminish. Purchase expensive vinegars in very small quantitites and be sure to use them within one year.
  • Lemon and lime juices can be substituted for red wine, white wine, apple cider, and rice wine vinegars. Don’t use them in place of balsamic vinegar, because you won’t get the same depth of flavor.


Making vegetable dyes – Kasia Posen

On the 25th February we made delicious salad dressings with the guidance of chef Sam Hanison. We took time over tasting the base oils, such as olive oil, walnut oil, sesame oil and hazelnut oil. It was great to taste the oils individually and really appreciate their flavours. To remember our recipes we made recipe cards and drew images with pen and ink. We then experimented using the natural pigments found in vegetables to colour our drawings.
We used raw beetroot to make a gorgeous red and turmeric to make a golden yellow. You can use fruit and vegetables as a natural food colouring to colour dough, icing, frosting, pancakes.

To make red, use raspberries, pure pomegranate juice or beetroot.

To make yellow, use raw carrots, turmeric or mangoes. To make blue, use red cabbage.

Here is a link on how to make fabric dyes from food: Food dyes

Have a go! Have fun.


Workshop 1

On Thursday 16th November we were lucky enough to have Chef Sam Hanison and artist Kasia Posen running our first Around the Table workshop, focusing on the preservation of food and how it can be used for far more than extending the longevity of produce.

Sam and Kasia worked with adult carers to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for create sensory works of art that can also taste delicious.

They kicked things off exploring a little of the history of pickling and fermenting; armed with vibrant reference cook books and examples of pickles, the carers began to get a feel for the topic and formulate some of their own ideas. This was followed with a memory jogging exercise to examine the sensory qualities of the ingredients; a range of spices and peeled fruit were handed around for the carers to smell, triggering feelings and memories that they noted down as a point of reference.

The carers went onto build their eclectic range of colourful, layered pickles. (Recipes for the pickle base liquor and method as well as sauerkraut can be found at the end of this post). Using simple mark making techniques with tools you would find in most kitchens, such as wooden kebab skewers, Kasia taught the carers to make beautiful monochrome, illustrated labels; wonderfully contrasting the vibrant backdrop of their pickles.

It’s safe to say the carers enjoyed themselves as well as learnt some useful new skills. June said the session was “very good, can’t wait for more!” while David commented that the workshop was “Fantastic, with some laughs along the way.” Claire had a great time too, remarking that it is so nice to have an opportunity to learn new things as well as meet other carers, as “…I wouldn’t get the chance to meet other adult carers normally.” We are very much looking forward to the next session, as we continuing to be inspired by the decorative and sensory qualities food can have.



Basic pickling liquor

Make enough for 4-5 small jars worth of pickle

450ml white wine vinegar

250g sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Spices of choice

Vegetables and herbs of choice, chopped (think about colour and flavour combinations as well as textures, to give a beautiful and delicious pickle result)


Place all the ingredients apart from the vegetables into a pan, gently warm until the sugar and salt has totally dissolved. Do not boil.

Once you have made the pickling liquor, choose your pickling vegetables of choice and slice into desired shapes and layer in sterilised glass jars. You can add extra spices to the jar for increased flavour as well as contrasting shapes and textures to the veg.  Make sure to pack the jars tightly with veg to avoid floating pieces. Once you have built up your colourful veg/herb layers, pour over the liquor until the contents are entirely covered. Do up lid tightly on jar and set aside to pickle for anywhere from 2 days to many months, depending on the flavour and texture you require – pickles will soften veg over time. Pickles will keep for a long time if stored in cool place, out of direct sunlight.


Sauerkraut – a good alternative to pickling for those who have a sugar free diet or those who are trying to build their gut health.

2kg very firm, pale green/ white/red cabbage (any leathery outer leaves removed), cored and either chopped finely or grated by hand or with a food processor

3 tbsp coarse crystal sea salt (or 6 tbsp flaky sea salt)

1 tsp caraway seeds (optional – can use other spice or chilli if you prefer)

1 tsp peppercorns


  1. Make sure that your hands and everything else coming into contact with the cabbage, are very clean. It’s wise to use a container that will comfortably fit the softened cabbage, allowing several inches of room at the top to avoid overflow.
  2. Shred the cabbage thinly – a food processor makes light work of this. Layer the cabbage and the salt in the tub or bowl. Massage the salt into the cabbage for 5 mins, wait 5 mins, then repeat. You should end up with a much-reduced volume of cabbage sitting in its own brine. Mix in the caraway seeds (or alternative spice/chilli) and the peppercorns.
  3. Cover the surface of the cabbage entirely with a sheet of cling film, then press out all the air bubbles from below. Weigh the cabbage down using a couple of heavy plates, or other weights that fit your bowl, and cover as much of the cabbage as possible. The level of the brine will rise to cover the cabbage a little. Cover the tub with its lid (or more cling film) and leave in a dark place at a cool room temperature (about 18-20C) for at least 5 days. It will be ready to eat after 5 days, but for maximum flavour leave the cabbage to ferment for anywhere between 2-6 weeks (or until the bubbling subsides).
  4. Check the cabbage every day or so, releasing any gases that have built up as it ferments, and give the cabbage a stir to release the bubbles. If any scum forms, remove it with a spoon, rinse the weights in boiling water and replace the cling film. You should see bubbles appearing within the cabbage, and possibly some foam on the top of the brine. It’s important to keep it at an even, cool room temperature – too cool and the ferment will take longer than you’d like, too warm and the sauerkraut may become mouldy or ferment too quickly, leading to a less than perfect result.
  5. The cabbage will become increasingly sour the longer it’s fermented, so taste it now and again. When you like the flavour, transfer it to smaller sterilised jars and keep it in the fridge for up to 6 months.