Best ever fudgy chocolate brownies

Dense, fudgy chocolate brownies have to be one of my all time favourite things to bake – simple, cheap and so goddam good they beg to be made as frequently as you can justify.

Joel has a pretty insatiable sweet tooth in comparison to me and so these were requested a few days ago as we have no treats in the cottage, and these are certainly a treat. Baked until just cracking on the surface yet still quivering in the centre, these are so rich and fudgy you don’t need to eat much at all to feel sated. Eat as they are or serve warm with vanilla ice cream or some indulgent chocolate custard.

These brownies are cheap to make as well as being really easy. I use the 40p 100g bars of dark chocolate from Sainsburys or Tescos (they were just 30p not long ago and I’m still grumpy about the increase). They are decent quality and a good cocoa content, no need to spend lots on expensive bars and never use cooking chocolate, that stuff is vile.

You can easily customise these by adding 100g chocolate chips/nuts/marshmallows after you’ve folded in the flour and cocoa. I usually add milk chocolate chips or big dollops of Biscoff spread or dulche du leche, in fact I cannot recommend this enough!

Ingredients:

  • 100g butter
  • 200g plain dark chocolate
  • 4 eggs
  • 250g caster sugar (use golden if you wish)
  • pinch salt
  • 100g plain flour
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 180C. Scrunch up some baking parchment then unfurl and line a 20cm x 20cm baking pan.
  2. Smash up the chocolate, I just hit the packet hard against the worktop several times. Melt together the butter and the chocolate either gently in the microwave or over a simmering pan of water in a glass bowl. Leave the chocolate mix to cool down so it feels lukewarm to the touch.
  3. Beat together the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy then use a spatula to fold in the cooled chocolate mixture. I use an electric whisk to beat the eggs and sugar as I’m all for lazy baking but you could use a stand mixer or hand whisk. Add the salt.
  4. Gently fold in the flour, cocoa and baking powder, trying not to knock out the air. Don’t overmix as it’s this gentle folding that means your brownies will have such a glorious texture.
  5. Pour into your prepared tin and bake for 25-27 minutes. The top will be set as will the edges but the centre will still be quivering. This is what makes them so fudgy. Allow to cool then slice and devour.

Lazy lamb stew

lazy lamb stew

Dark days and cold winter nights call for hearty comfort food and this lazy lamb stew steps up and gives you a big cuddle when you need it most.

Lamb neck on the bone is a highly underrated and economical cut of meat, packed full of rich flavour and with enough fat to create an unctuous stew that’s silky and moreish without feeling fatty. Cooked on the bone the lamb is meltingly tender, a real treat for sure.

We are lucky to have a fab butchers just down the lane from the cottage and also a brilliant fruit and veg shop just around the corner. My butchers have come to my rescue many times over the years. They have been working so incredibly hard over the lockdowns and the queues are often long but a visit is always a joy and their dry cured smoked middle bacon is second to none. Make friends with your local butchers, they have a wealth of knowledge and will be happy to give you tips for cooking the lesser well known cuts that are usually much cheaper too.

You can pretty much chuck whatever root veg you have to hand into this stew, likewise add leeks if you fancy or if you are trying to bulk it up then a tin of chickpeas or butter beans would work really well. It makes lots of rich liquid that’s perfect mopped up with some nice crusty homemade bread.

I call this lazy as I pretty much just bung everything in the casserole pot and let the oven do the work. I do recommend that you brown the lamb first though for those lovely Maillard flavours.

Lazy lamb stew

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 rounds of lamb neck on the bone
  • 3 tablespoons oil or fat for frying ( I used leftover goose fat)
  • one onion, chopped/sliced – whatever your preference
  • 3 handfuls of rainbow Chanternay carrots (or just regular carrots sliced but my veg shop sells these incredible mini rainbow carrots that just taste wonderful)
  • 3 sticks celery, chopped
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • a few handfuls of baby new potatoes
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 3 bay leaves – I have a bay tree so use them all the time but just leave out if you don’t have any
  • 4 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 bottle of full bodied red wine
  • chicken stock and water to cover (I used powdered chicken bouillon that I buy in bulk from Amazon, 1.2kg for £14.99, it lasts for ages and is lovely as a drink too), I would use Lamb stock if I had it but its expensive and chicken works just fine, plus cooking the lamb on the bone creates a wonderful lamb stock anyway.
  • salt and pepper
image of veg in the pot being cooked with herbs

Method:

  1. Heat your oven to 160C.
  2. Pop the oil, or goose fat if you have it, into a hot casserole pot then add the lamb in batches and cook until nicely browned on each side then remove and set aside on a plate.
  3. Add the onions, veg, garlic and herbs and cook until the onions are starting to colour.
  4. Add the lamb and red wine and season with salt and pepper. Scrape the bottom of the casserole to dislodge any crusty bits and cook the wine for a few minutes then add in the stock, enough to just cover everything, it may seem like a lot of liquid but you lose a lot in the oven as it simmers away.
  5. Pop the casserole pot in the oven and leave to gently cook for 4 hours. Check on it after 2 hours and add more seasoning if required.

Easy white loaf – good baking for bad days

Lockdown means that we are not venturing to the shops very often so I’m back baking bread again. Baking bread fulfils 2 roles for me right now, one it means we have something gorgeous to eat that fills the cottage with the heady scents of baking and two it brings a sense of achievement to days when I feel like I’m not able to do much else, but want to feel useful and competent at something, anything.

Bread is a staple of feeling like we are not going without. It’s such a valuable commodity in my kitchen, toasted and slathered with butter and sea salt, dunked into thrifty yet hearty soups and stews, turned into sandwiches, grilled with cheese or simply when I can’t face cooking, bread is an easy and filling go-to.

This is not a sourdough loaf, I killed my starter though abject neglect, they’re needy little buggers. Very easy to make though so I may get another one on the go in the coming weeks but right now I just want things that are easy, low maintenance and come without the threat of death.

Like all my recipes this is another lazy loaf, I let the Kitchenaid dough hook do all the work for me but if you don’t have a dough hook and mixer you can knead it yourself and get those arm muscles working.

Easy white loaf

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 1 x 7g sachet fast action died yeast
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 370ml warm water

Method

  1. Put the water and yeast into your food mixer bowl, stir and leave for a minute or two, some people leave until it goes frothy but I find a couple of minutes work just fine.
  2. Add the flour and salt and stir well to mix using a spoon (I find this speeds up the mixing process).
  3. Using the bread hook attachment let the machine knead the dough for 10 minutes then put the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave until doubled in size. It’s cold at the moment in the cottage so this took 2 hours but in the summer this would be much less.
  4. Gently tip the dough onto a floured surface then gentle fold in the edges to the centre and form it into a ball. Try not to knock all the air out. Put the dough seam side up into a well floured round proving basket (this will give the lovely flour rings on the loaf). Pop some floured cling film loosely over the bowl and then leave for about 45 minutes.
  5. Cut a circle of baking parchment that’s larger than the base of your casserole pot (I use the lid as a guide).
  6. Heat your oven to 230C and put a cast iron lidded casserole in to heat up for at least 20 minutes..
  7. When ready to bake your loaf remove the cling film and place the baking parchment over your proving basket then in one swift move tip and flip the dough out of the basket and onto the parchment.
  8. Remove the casserole pot from the oven, take the lid off and gently lower the dough into the pot. Slash the top however you fancy (I use a scalpel) and then get the lid back on and the pot into the oven.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes then remove the lid and bake for 15 more minutes.
  10. Admire your loaf as it cools and feel an enormous sense of glowing achievement.

Best ever Yorkshire puddings

I am always getting asked about my recipe for Yorkshire puddings whenever I post pics of them on my social and they really are the easiest things to make.

Yorkshire puddings aren’t just for roast beef either, we have these with whatever we are roasting on a Sunday, usually a chicken, and I often pop a bit of powdered chicken stock into the mix if so and maybe some chopped fresh sage.

The fundamental principles of yorkies are equal volume of eggs, flour and milk, a very hot oven and smoking hot beef dripping or oil, also don’t be tempted to open the oven door whilst they are cooking.

I usually make these first thing on Sunday morning and then when nearly ready to serve with the roast I just pop them back in the oven for a couple of minutes.

Best ever Yorkshire puddings (makes 10 yorkies)

Ingredients:

  • 300ml free range eggs (about 5 or 6 eggs roughly)
  • 300ml plain flour
  • 300ml semi skimmed milk
  • beef dripping or veg/sunflower oil (not olive)

Method:

  1. Combine the milk, eggs and flour in a mixing bowl and beat together for a minute. Don’t over beat, I’ve found this doesn’t give as good a rise. Put the mix into a jug and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or even overnight.
  2. Heat oven to maximum temp, mine is 240C.
  3. Put some beef dripping or oil into each hole of a metal muffin tray. I use enough dripping to come about 1cm up from the bottom of the muffin hole once liquid. Place muffin tray in the oven to heat until smoking hot, around 10 minutes.
  4. Pour batter into each hole quickly and put back in oven, try not to let heat escape too much whilst doing this.
  5. Cook for 25 minutes or until crisp and brown.

Slow roast lamb shoulder on Boulangère potatoes

Autumn has arrived and with it comes roaring log fires, the twinkling flicker of scented candles and hearty fare here at the cottage.

I’ve been pretty poorly for a while now but I’m finally getting back into the kitchen occasionally and it’s doing the world of good for my mental health. I still have a really foggy mind but I’m breathing better, so I’ll take that as a sign that I’m on the mend, and being enveloped in the scents of this beautiful lamb dish as it gently roasts on a Sunday is some pretty good medicine.

Because I can’t stand up for very long or focus, I’m sticking to recipes that take barely any prep, or if they do then Joel has been doing the vast majority of it, and it’s working out nicely – minimum effort, maximum results and this recipe sums that ethos up completely.

This is one of my all time favourite go to’s for a lamb dish. The oven does all the work and makes the magic happen. Lamb/hogget is expensive so it’s a rare treat here at the cottage, usually only when we find it on offer or drastically reduced. This particular recipe uses a half shoulder cut so its much more affordable than getting a whole one and there’s always plenty of leftovers for the following day. Win.

Slow roast half lamb shoulder on boulangère potatoes:

Ingredients:

  • half a lamb/hogget shoulder
  • potatoes, thinly sliced (I used about 6 large ones for this sized roasting tray just use as many as you need to almost fill the tray)
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced plus 5 whole cloves
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • fresh thyme leaves
  • chicken stock
  • salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Heat the oven to 160C, bring your lamb/hogget out of the fridge 30 minutes before you start to prep. Pierce the lamb shoulder all over and pop a clove of garlic in each slit.
  2. Mix together the potatoes, sliced garlic, onion and thyme and layer into a roasting tray. Pop the lamb on top, skin side up then pour over hot chicken stock until it comes 3/4 of the way up the potatoes. Sprinkle everything liberally with salt and pepper then pop in the oven for 3 1/2 hours or until the lamb is soft and tender and simply falls apart. Cover with foil and leave for 20 minutes before serving.

No-bake mascarpone, Biscoff and Nutella cheesecake

cheesecake

A quick snap before devouring…

It’s currently 34C here in Melton Mowbray, I’m sat in the garden sipping on a lagerita and feeling very thankful.

I find myself feeling incredibly thankful for a lot these days. Despite the financial and emotional adversity that lockdown has brought, it has also brought a great deal of positivity into my life – the kindness of friends, family and strangers, the shift to working entirely from home, my new found love of succulent plants (seriously, I’m addicted just check out my Instagram!), my tiny garden (where I sit every day it doesn’t rain and indeed even some when it does) and today the fact that my cottage is like a fridge on the hottest of days.

I got up at 6:30am with the well placed intention of watering the garden before the sun unleashed its scorching rays on my unsuspecting plants, I looked at the hosepipe and then thought: I really fancy cheesecake…

I picked up a couple of very cheap tubs of mascarpone yesterday from Lidl, not entirely sure what they were going to be used for but with the best intentions of something to do with fruit…yes, more well placed intentions.

You can make this with cream cheese instead of mascarpone but I just love the silkiness that the Italian softy cheese brings, full fat though, always full fat. I had some Biscoff biscuits knocking about, half a pat of butter and a pot of double cream that was bought for a pasta dish and a punnet of strawberries picked up from the Reduced Section for just 15p, so I was all set for a fruity cheesecake. Then I spotted the jar of Nutella winking at me seductively.

So this is a pretty experimental cheesecake that turned out to be perfect. If I had a bar of chocolate I would have melted it and drizzled it across the top but alas the pantry was bereft of such delights.

This is really easy to make, needs time to set in the fridge before serving but an hour or two later and you are good to go…

Ingredients:

  • 400g Biscoff biscuits
  • 100g melted butter
  • 500g mascarpone
  • 2 tblsp icing sugar
  • 300g Nutella
  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • chocolate balls to decorate (or some melted chocolate to drizzle)

Method:

  1. Put 300g of the Biscoff biscuits in a processor and bliss to a fine crumb then pour in the melted butter and blitz again to mix.
  2. Put almost all of the biscuit mixture in the bottom of a 23cm springform cake tin and press down with the back of a spoon. Reserve a bit to sprinkle on the top later if you like or chuck the lot in.
  3. Put the mascarpone, icing sugar and Nutella in a big bowl and beat together until well incorporated. I’m lazy so use an electric beater for ease.
  4. In separate bowl beat the double cream and vanilla paste until it is fluffy and full of air but not overly stiff. Fold the double cream into the mascarpone mix and mix until all is the same colour.
  5. Put the mascarpone and double cream mix on top of the biscuit base and put in the fridge to chill for a few hours or even overnight.
  6. Once ready to serve release it from the tin and then decorate with the crushed biscuits, the remaining whole biscuits and your chocolate balls (or melted chocolate).

Very lazy sourdough loaf

sourdoughIt’s been a while since I made sourdough, probably about 4 years or so, but the lack of yeast on the shelves means it’s back on my lockdown radar.

Two weeks ago my friend Andy got in touch asking me if I had a sourdough starter that he could have. I didn’t, but said I would happily make some as my old cottage seems to make a pretty good starter.

There are LOADS of various sourdough starter recipes online, some really complicated ones, some that add all kinds of things from yoghurt to leaves, but I have no interest in complicated recipes so I do my own lazy version, and you know what? It works a treat.

All I do is put some plain flour into a Tupperware dish then add enough cold water to make it into a thick paste, like a tin of matt paint. I don’t weigh or measure the water or flour, I really can’t be arsed with dicking about weighing and measuring. Each day I add a bit more flour, maybe about 3 tablespoons and a bit more water to it and give it a good stir to get back to a thick consistency that is still liquid and drops off a spoon easily. When it separates I just stir it all together. If the Tupperware gets too full, I discard some and then add the flour and water. I leave the Tupperware, uncovered in the  kitchen out of the way at this point.

I ran out of plain flour after about 10 days so added some organic stoneground rye flour that I had knocking about and it really liked this, it bubbled better and started to get really sour smelling, happy starter.

It took two weeks to get to the point I wanted it. Starters take time, don’t rush it, it will get there. I knew it was ready as about half an hour after feeding it would have risen up the Tupperware and be bubbly and was smelling quite sour.

Then it came to making the loaf, and you know what? I did a really lazy loaf too.

Easy, lazy sourdough loaf:

sourdough top

Ingredients:

  • 270g strong white bread flour
  • 200g sourdough starter (unfed that day, see above for how I make it)
  • 130ml water, I use cold water straight from the tap, you may need a little more depending on how runny your starter is.
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar

Method:

  1. Put everything into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix for about 10 minutes until supple and stretchy.
  2. Put the dough in an oiled bowl (I use the mixer bowl) and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave for 3 hours.
  3. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball by tucking the edges into the centre.  Put into a floured proving basket seal side up. Cover with a damp cloth and leave for 3 hours. You can pop it in the fridge and leave overnight also at this stage.
  4. Get your big dutch oven pot out (I use a cheap but very heavy enamelled Le Creuset wannabe picked up from Sainsburys years ago) and some baking parchment. Cut a round of parchment to fit the base with some excess – I just trace the shape of the lid and cut it out.
  5. Preheat oven to 230C. Put the big Le Creuset style casserole pot in with its lid on for about 20 minutes to get really hot.
  6. When the pot is hot, gently upend the dough onto the parchment (I put the parchment over the bowl then flip and tip. Score the dough with a razor blade so the loaf can expand.
  7. Take the pot out of the oven, pop in your dough on the parchment (by holding the edges of the parchment) pop the lid on and get it into the oven quickly.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes then remove the lid and continue to bake for 15 minutes.
  9. Remove your bread from the pot and leave to cool completely (well if you have any self restraint, but it helps the crust set)
  10. Enjoy your sourdough loaf.

 

 

 

Life in lockdown – wine club and the kindness of others

 

breads

White tin loaf and a focaccia, made possible thanks to the kindness of friends

On Friday afternoon I was able to order a case of wine. It arrived the following morning at 9am. I’ve no money but I am part of a wine club thing, I have been since I drunkenly signed up as a student many, many years ago, then wondered where the case of wine mysteriously appeared from.

I put some money into a wine bank account every month, I can’t really afford to and take payment holidays several times a year, but when I am able to I pop some funds in there. The wine company adds some funds too and then I forget about it, until, like now, I have absolutely nothing and I check out the wine balance and fingers crossed there is enough for a case, usually the cheapest one going, but a case nevertheless.

We are able to do one shop a month at Tescos and it’s now pot luck as to whether there is anything left. We are lucky that our butcher sells flour pretty cheaply so I’ve been making bread and pasta and we are able to get milk from the pound shop. But veg is a luxury now, salad is a once a month treat bar foraging for dandelions, sorrel, cleavers and lime leaves from the garden. I’m lucky that I had a pretty well stocked pantry before all of this but stocks are very low, unless you count a wealth of  dried hibiscus flowers (great for a gin and tonic but I rarely use them for anything else).

But I do now have wine, wine that can be swapped for something edible from a friend or neighbour. Wine that can be sipped in the sun whilst I escape the kitchen and its challenges, wine that can be added to a smoky chorizo and chickpea stew. Thank fuck for wine club.

I have some incredible friends that live close by, one gave me pasta flour and a load of garlic last week that I have roasted up and am eating straight from the jar now. Yesterday  she blew me away with a care package packed full of fresh, canned and frozen food, it was like Christmas. Shrieks of “SUGAR! STRAWBERRIES! OIL! COURGETTES!” resounded throughout the cottage. I’m still teary as I write about it. I was able to make a salad for dinner of fresh watercress, tomatoes, onions and dressing alongside the frozen prawns she had very generously included. Magical! As I type this there is bread dough in the mixer to make a loaf and some more focaccia so we will have bread again.

One friend left a huge bunch of rosemary on my doorstep that has since been turned into focaccia, gone into stews, pasta dishes and sits in a massive vase of water in the kitchen so I can keep dipping into it. It will also go into some pampering sugar scrubs once I get time and I’ll be sure to make her some lovely sugar scrub in return. Another has had some tobacco dropped off for us and the kindness of that delivery blew me away also.

This is not a post about asking for sympathy, far from  it.  We are in fact very lucky, we have amazing friends who live locally, flour in the pantry and now wine in the fridge which makes us more than lucky.  Until I had begun accepting help I was beginning to feel quite alone in this, there is self isolation and then there is feeling isolated, and poverty can make you feel incredibly isolated.

I’ve been in dire straits before, hell I used to sell The Big Issue many years ago and get food from skips as standard. We will come through this.

I’m learning the power of true friendships, the generosity of others means the world. I’m learning to focus on the positives. I’m learning to take some time to relax, despite the huge pressure to bring in any money. I’m learning to ask for help.

I could focus on the things I miss, and there are many, but I’m trying to focus on the things we have instead. We have our health, a roof over our heads, a small outdoor space to escape to on a sunny day (and this really has been a lifeline) and I’m a pretty good cook so I can turn a group of random ingredients into a meal for two.

I am so very thankful that this has not happened in winter as there’s NO WAY we’d be able to heat the cottage, which stays cold even on the hottest of days. I have some income, not enough to cover bills, but enough to buy us food once a month and milk as we go. I have amazing friends and family…and I have wine.

So why am I writing all of this down? Well I wanted to let you know that you are not alone. Reach out, ask for help. I don’t have much but I will happily share what I do have, so if you need anything and you are local just drop me a message. If you just want someone to chat to, if you need a rant or a giggle, if you need recipe ideas, or if you’d like me to make you a loaf of bread, please, drop me a message. We will get through this, together.

Quick and easy smoky chorizo and chickpea stew

smoky chorizo & chickpea stewLike many of you I’m having to be a little more creative with my cooking these days – delving into the back of the cupboard and pantry for long forgotten bags of “stuff” that have now become my staples. Cans, pulses, long forgotten spice mixes bought on sunny holidays and jars of pickles that have previously had their time to shine gazumped by the allure of fresh meat, pasta, plump fresh tomatoes, salad leaves and cheese, oh how I miss cheese!

Where the weeds in the garden are giving me my greens I still want something substantial in the evening as I’m generally too busy to eat during the day. Between my part time day job where I’m now working from home, and time in my studio working on silversmithing projects or homemade pamper packs (you’ll see more about this to follow I’m sure!), I just struggle to find the time to eat, so come 6pm I want something quick and hearty.

This dish is so quick to make, so packed full of flavour and so cheap, it’s the perfect lockdown meal for me. Joel is averse to eating anything without meat. I can quite happily go without any meat but he’s a confirmed meat lover and so this dish was a sure fire winner over my suggestion of “Puy lentils and beetroot with dandelion”.

I buy bags of frozen veg these days when I am able to, as there is no wastage, no half an onion to sit forlornly in the fridge for a few days or half a pepper to slowly wilt. Frozen veg is absolutely brilliant for recipes like this where the water is cooked out and it doesn’t matter if the veg is a tad mushy, of course you can use fresh if you have it though.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ring spicy chorizo, sliced into rounds
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 large handfuls chopped frozen onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried fennel seeds
  • 2 handfuls chopped frozen mixed peppers
  • good splash red wine
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained (you can use the liquid to make vegan meringues)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste

To garnish:

Lemon balm pesto, wild garlic flowers

Method:

  1. Gently fry the chorizo in the oil to release the gorgeous orange hued oil then add the onion, garlic and fennel seeds. Gently fry for a few minutes.
  2. Add the peppers and cook until the water has come out of the peppers and evaporated then crank up the heat and add the wine. Cook for a few minutes to boil the alcohol off then add the tomatoes.
  3. Cook for a few minutes then add the chickpeas and smoked paprika then cook long enough to soften the chickpeas. Season and serve topped with the pesto and wild garlic flowers and serve with a big chunk of crusty bread or focaccia.

Lemon balm pesto

lemon balm pestoWell I don’t know how lockdown is going for you but times are pretty tough financially speaking here at Wyldelight Cottage, with just half a wage coming in to support two people. It means I’m having to be pretty creative in the kitchen and so more and more I find myself using whatever is growing in the garden to add extra flavour to the pulses and grains that we have come to rely upon. I have plenty of nettles, cleavers, dandelions and wild garlic growing alongside a huge amount of lemon balm. These greens have been an absolute saviour for adding in extra vitamins and minerals and also colour to what I’m cooking.

Lemon balm is really invasive and will take over your garden if you let it (as I have done, more through laziness than desire!), but it’s such a gorgeous plant. Great for making a tea or infusing in a jug of water on the table in the garden for a refreshing drink, popping in your G&T and oh my days THIS PESTO!

I’ve been dunking homemade focaccia in it, I topped a smoky chorizo and chickpea stew with it last night and it would be brilliant with grilled fish or chicken or just smothering new potatoes.

I have no oil but I save the oil from jars of sun-dried tomatoes/roasted red peppers etc and use that, it’s brilliant for making dressings and works incredibly well in this but use whatever you have.

Ingredients:

  • Large handful of lemon balm, mine is quite young so was I able to use leaves from all over the plant.
  • handful of whole mixed nut (brazils, hazelnuts, cashew, almond, walnut etc)
  • 3 large gloves of garlic
  • 1 heaped teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • squeeze of orange
  • about 100ml sun-dried tomato oil left from a jar of sun-dried tomatoes (or any oil)
  • pinch of salt

Put everything in a Nutribullet or processor and blitz. It’s that easy. If you don’t have a processor or blender then you can do it in a mortar and pestle, it will just take a little longer. You could add parmesan if you have it, that would be lovely too 🙂