Thursday, 23 October 2014

Adam Byatt's Black Fig Tart with Mascarpone

Create's Consultant Chef, Adam Byatt, shares another of his tried and tested dessert recipes with us. This dessert is so delicious and simple to make you may find yourself making it again and again. it Adam has designed a range of seasonal menus for Create, as well as offering his culinary expertise and presence at a selection of tastings and events.

Give it a go and let us know what you think at @createfood. We'd love to see what you make!

Ingredients: Makes 8 

500g puff pastry (preferably made with all butter)
12 slightly firm, black Italian figs
60g butter
30g icing sugar
200g mascarpone, to serve

Preparation: 
Roll out the pastry on a floured surface until it is the size of an A4 sheet of paper and about 2mm thick. Place the pastry on a baking sheet and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Slice the figs.
Preheat the oven to 240°C/220°C fan/gas 8.

Method
1 Remove the pastry from the fridge and prick it all over with a fork – the holes should be about 1cm apart (this is called ‘docking’). Now crimp the edges with your thumb and forefinger, and chill the pastry again in the fridge for 20 minutes.

2 Lay the figs over the pastry in lines, overlapping them slightly so that they completely cover the pastry. Leave the tart to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.

3 Melt the butter and brush it generously over the figs, then sift over the icing sugar. Bake the tart for 30 minutes or until the edges are crisp.

4 Remove the tart from the oven and leave to cool for about 10 minutes before cutting into squares and topping each square with a spoonful of mascarpone. Serve warm.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Adam Byatt's cappuccino crème brulee




Create's Consultant Chef, Adam Byatt, shares another of his tried and tested dessert recipes with us. Adam has designed a range of seasonal menus for Create, as well as offering his culinary expertise and presence at a selection of tastings and events. This is one of his favourite autumn recipes, so give it a go and tell us what you think at @createfood.

Ingredients: Makes 6

9 egg yolks
50ml cold espresso coffee
75g caster sugar
450ml double cream
Milk Foam
5g leaf gelatine
200ml milk
20g caster sugar

To Serve
icing sugar, for sprinkling
1 bar dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
Choc Chip Cookies 

Preparation:
Turn the oven on to 130°C/110°C fan/gas ½. Take a shallow roasting tray that is big enough to hold six 150ml coffee cups. Pour cold water into the tray until half full, then place the tray in the oven for the water to heat up.

Method
1 Put the egg yolks, espresso and sugar into a bowl and mix together well with a wooden spoon.

2 Bring the cream to the boil in a saucepan over a high heat. Pour the cream over the espresso mix and stir well. Pass this mix through a fine sieve and pour into a jug.

3 Pour the mix into the coffee cups, filling them three-quarters full. Place the cups in the tray in the oven and cook for 40 minutes. Test them by shaking the tray gently, the cream should be nearly set with a slight wobble. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, then refrigerate for at least an hour until firm.

4 Meanwhile, make the milk foam. Soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water until they are soft, about 10 minutes. Bring the milk and sugar to the boil in a pan. Lift out and squeeze the leaves, then add them to the milk and stir until dissolved. Pour the milk into a siphon canister (the same contraption used to whip cream in high-street coffee shops), screw the lid on and place the canister in the fridge. Leave for an hour to allow the gelatine to set.

5 When you are ready to serve, remove the chilled creams from the fridge and sprinkle the tops with icing sugar. Using a blow touch or a hot grill, burn the sugar evenly until dark brown. Allow to cool for 2 minutes.

6 Now check that the lid of the siphon canister is screwed on tightly, charge it with 2 gas cartridges and shake well. Gently squeeze the trigger to form a small ball of foam over the brûlées. Grate chocolate over the foam and serve straight away, with cookies.  

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

The Ultimate Dessert from Adam Byatt


Create's Consultant Chef, Adam Byatt, shares his tried and tested chocolate hot pot recipe with us - it's easy to make and the utlimate crowd pleaser, so give it a go and tell us what you think at @createfood.

Adam says, "Over the years, we've had a number of complex desserts on the menu at Trinity Restaurant - soufflés, parfaits and so on - but these posh desserts were not hitting the spot for me. We worked on this recipe tirelessly, eliminating the flour completely in order to produce a warm, decadent chocolate soup that delivers the ultimate chocolate hit, and it's stayed on the menu ever since!"

Ingredients - Makes: 10 
255g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
255g butter 4 eggs
4 egg yolks
125g caster sugar 

Preparation 
Roughly chop the chocolate and butter and place the pieces in a bowl.

Method 
1 Slowly melt the chocolate and butter in the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure they do not get too hot. Remove the bowl from the pan, and stir the chocolate and butter together well with a spatula. Allow to cool slightly, but keep warm.

2 Put the eggs and egg yolks into a separate bowl and whisk slowly with an electric mixer. Add the sugar gradually, a few spoonfuls at a time (this will help aerate the eggs), and continue whisking until the mixture turns pale yellow and holds a ribbon trail when the mixer is lifted.

3 Using the spatula, gently fold the melted chocolate and butter into the egg mixture (taking care not to collapse the aerated eggs). Transfer to a container, cover and leave to relax in the fridge for an hour (or up to 3 days).

4 When you are ready to bake the hot pots, preheat the oven to 210°C/190°C fan/gas 61/2. 5 Spoon the mixture into 10 small ovenproof pots, coffee cups or medium-sized ramekins placed on a baking tray. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the centres are warm.

Serve with good quality vanilla ice cream - the combination of hot and cold takes this dessert to another level.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

An Easter Themed Menu on The Cutty Sark

create food & party design recently hosted 150 guests on board the Cutty Sark in Greenwich for a four course dinner with a particularly Easter theme.

The menu consisted of a starter of saffron, beetroot and parsley-infused quail's eggs with accompanying dipping sauces, served in an egg box. The dish also included quail served three ways, with a saffron-stuffed quail's leg, quail ballotine and a quail and parsley kiev, served alongside soft boiled scotch quail's egg.


The main course featured milk-fed leg of lamb followed with wild garlic gnocchi, broad beans and beetroot purée. Dessert was inspired by the Cutty Sark's tea clipper history, and consisted of a vanilla custard and rhubarb panna cotta, as well as hibiscus tea served in glass teapots.

For further photos of the event please click here.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

The Create Venue Dinner 2014

Tonight is one of our favourite nights of the year where we welcome over 140 of our venue clients to an exclusive dinner at a London venue. This year, the dinner is being held in none other than Cutty Sark, the beautiful Clipper ship on the Greenwich shore line.

Guests have arrived, and below the bronze hull of the ship are being served a selection of our Spring Summer 2014 canapés...

WARM 

 warm oxford blue doughnuts (v) 
topped with cherry curd and baby watercress 

COLD

 “cheese and pineapple” (v) 
Golden Cross goats cheese panacotta topped with pineapple jelly, pineapple crisp and honey cress.

 cucumber pickle cured scallop 
with dill cream, dill oil and cucumber caviar 


charred sirloin of british beef on anya potato fondant 
topped with samphire pesto, sour cream and baby rocket

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Eat the Seasons

Create's delicious homemade marmalade recipe
January and February is the season for the fabulous bitter Seville orange, the finest marmalade fruit of all - so we thought we would share with you our secrets to make your own batch of the delicious stuff.

What you need
1kg Seville oranges
1 lemon
2kg granulated sugar
1 piece of large muslin
2 litres of water
 Makes 3 x 700g Jars

Method

STEP 1.
 Using a potato peeler, thinly peel oranges and remove as much white pith fromt the peel as possible.
Cut peel to desired thickness.
 

STEP 2.
 Line a sieve with a large piece of muslin and place over a 3 litre pan.

STEP 3.
Cut your peeled oranges and the lemon in half and squeeze their juice into the muslin.
 

STEP 4.  
Add the remainder of the orange flesh, including pith and pips into the muslin and tie with string. Place in pan with juice.
TIP 1. 
We only use half the pith as it tends to make the marmalade very bitter, but do use all the pips as this will help the marmalade to set!

STEP 5.
Add the peel and water to the pan and bring to a soft rolling boil for 1.5 hours until the peel is soft.


TIP 2. 
At this stage you can add some star anise and cinnamon in a small muslin bag (to save them from breaking up in your marmalade) - this will add a spicy depth to your preserve.

STEP 6. 
Remove the muslin bag with your oranges, pith and pips in from the pan and squeeze off any excess liquid using tongs. Reduce heat and ad the sugar. Stir gently until dissolved.

STEP 7.
Bring to the boil for 20 minutes and do a setting test.

SETTING TEST:
If you have a sugar thermometer your marmalade should have reached 116 degrees centigrade. If not, pre-place a saucer in the freezer for 15 minutes and drop a small spoonful of the marmalade on the cold saucer. If it wrinkles (when you run your finger through it) then the marmalade is ready and will set, if not, continue to boil and keep trying the setting test.
TIP 3.
You can buy preserve sugar which is a fail-safe to ensure it sets! Make sure to follow the specific jam sugar timings.

STEP 8.
Sterilise jars by washing thoroughly and placing in a low heat oven dry.

STEP 9.
Using your funnel, decant the marmalade while hot into jars, top with parchement paper and seal.


Thursday, 28 November 2013

Create at the NHM Ice Rink

create are proudly delivering the catering offer at The Natural History Museum's Ice Rink café this season. The café is available for corporate and private hire and create's designers have enjoyed  designing and delivering  some delicious alpine themed menus over the past few weeks. The café serves a range of winter warming refreshments for those wanting to put their feet up and treat themselves after an energetic skate. 

We wanted to share one corporate hospitality party that took the alpine theme to the next level.

Our menu creator designed a standing starter course for 180 guests that included beautifully decorated soup stalls, a raclette station and passed around charcuterie boards.


winter spinach and roasted garlic soup
with a frogs leg lollipop

leek and potato soup
with parsley and garlic buttered l’escargot

 
Classic french raclette was served from a station dressed with baskets of ficelle breads, kilner jars of cornichons and baby onions in homemade pickle.

The cheese was carved straight form the wheel in front of guests into rustic tapas dishes onto hot new potatoes, home pickled baby onions and cornichons and a selection of toppings including crispy lardons, truffle oil and crispy shallots for guests to help themselves to.

Of course, an alpine themed party wouldn't be right without plenty of Glühwein and hot apple cider...

Call us on 020 8944 4900 to speak to our NHM Ice Rink team about corporate and private hospitality in the fabulous café.

Friday, 23 August 2013

The Create British Bake Off!

With our love of cakes and baking here at create HQ, and the return of the fabulous Great British Bake Off on BBC2 this week, we have decided to run our very own baking competition!


Tweet @createfood!
Tweet us a photo of you with your homemade masterpiece and each Friday our very own Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry (aka Alan Lucas, Executive Chef & Lulu Jones-Fenleigh, Menu Designer) will judge and select the Baker of the Week!

To be in for a chance of winning, remember you must tweet @createfood using #createbakeoff

Weekly Pastry Kitchen Prize
The winner of Baker of the Week will receive tasty treats from our very own pastry chefs the following week to share around the office, as well as being awarded a place on our January Baking Master Class (evening) at create food and party design HQ in SW19.
‘Showstopper’ Finale
Clients and venue partners of create food party design are invited to creatHQ in SW19 in October for a Champagne afternoon tea and the ‘showstopper’ finale!

Present your ‘Showstopper’ baking masterpiece to our panel of judges for your chance to be crowned…
‘Create Master Baker 2013’
Formal invitations will follow. Please let us know if you would like to guarantee a place on the invite list.

Master Prize!
The crowned Master Baker will receive an exciting weekly surprise from create, delivered to your office for one month in the New Year, alongside a place on our January Baking Master Class held by our expert pastry chefs at create HQ.


On your marks…
get set…
BAKE!


Terms and Conditions apply
Competition ends Tuesday 22nd October 2013
Prizes will only be awarded to clients, prospective clients and venue partners of create

Summer of Street Food


A while back we predicted that "street food" would be the talk of the town, the crumbs on everyone's lips and the most requested "theme" for the urban BBQ of Summer 2013 - and low and behold we were right. Our chefs have been busy all summer stirring paella in Bedford Square, carving kebabs at the Tower of London and BBQ'ing beer can chickens everywhere.
Over the summer we have...

Graffiteed 215 square metres of bespoke pop ups using 40 cans of spray paint...

Cleaned and steamed 80kg of mussels, chopped 10kg of shallots, 2kg of garlic, 12 bunches of parsley and opened 15 litres of white wine for moules mariniere...


BBQ'd 60 chickens sitting on beer cans...

made 350 posh fish fingers...


 And finally stirred a lot of tasty paella...

Not bad for 5 weeks work!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Where there is smoke there is flavour...it's BBQ time

Here at create, we love nothing better than a BBQ.

During the summer months we can be found at some of our favourite venues grilling, charring and spit roasting. We love it so much that our new venue Cannon Bridge Roof Gardens is dedicated to the great British 'barbie'. As we speak the trusty create BBQ is being hoisted up (by crane!) to it's new home above the station, in preparation for tonight's Cannon Bridge Roof Garden Summer Launch.
In honour of our exciting new project we thought we should share with you some of our tips, ideas and general BBQ expertise ahead of the big event.

1. INGREDIENTS

We never thought we would say it but BBQing isn't all about meat. Fish and particularly shellfish are a great alternative; what could be nicer than a half 
lobster and crab claws basted with lots of delicious flavoured butter, or  scallops cooked in the shell giving off salty toasted sand aromas.

Grilled cheese is always a winner, but try thinking beyond haloumi. Why not bake some feta or goats cheese in a tin foil parcel with oregano and lemon juice.
Or how about baking a whole wheel of brie in it's wooden box studded with garlic, thyme and honey (just remember to soak the wooden box first, I have known people to soak it in white wine but water does just as well!)

2. MARINADING

A delicious homemade marinade is a marvellous thing, you ideally want to marinade overnight but avoid using:

extra virgin olive oil - it will burn at a lower temperature and produce a lot of
smoke, use a light olive or vegetable oil and save the extra virgin for your vinaigrette or dressings

citrus fruits -  will break down the proteins of the meat and dry it out although a good squeeze over the meat during cooking is a better option, you can always rub the grill with half a lemon once the grill is hot, this will also remove any grease, add some flavour and hopefully stop the meat from sticking!

be adventurous - try using a few unusual flavours in your marinades, buttermilk tenderises meat and hold spicy flavours really well, but just don't pack too much punch, you want to be able to taste the meat not mouth fulls of marinade!

3. GETTING STARTED

BBQ'ing is still cooking! You're best to have someone at the BBQ who can cook rather than a have-a-go hero, if they can't cook inside they shouldn't be cooking outside!

Try putting some fresh herbs on the BBQ coals. Sage, rosemary and thyme work particularly well and will give off amazing smells as well as imparting a
flavour into the food. You can always throw on some soaked wood chips to impart a smokey flavour to the coals if you aren't using wood.

Don't use lighter fluid, it will taint the food you are grilling!

4. GRILLING

Try not to overload the BBQ, you run the risk of the food steaming rather than caramelising!

Don't prod, poke, turn frequently or flatten the meat with your BBQ tools, although it may look good or like you are doing something beneficial, it actually just forces the juices out of the meat and reduces the likeliness of an all over golden crust. Just put the meat on, turn once or twice during the cooking and sit back with a glass of Pimms.

You don't just have to use the grill, you can use the coals or wood embers. Wrapping vegetables like potatoes in heavy duty tin foil and placing around the edge of the fire will allow you to concentrate on getting everything else cooked to perfection (or making that special glass of Pimms.)

 5. EATING

Time to go condimental; no BBQ is complete without an array of sauces. 

Here at create we like to do things ourselves from making our own BBQ sauce using left over coca cola, to roasting apples until soft and sweet for hog roasts. 

Even the humble chicken thigh will taste amazing with some herby homemade mayonnaise. 


Friday, 19 April 2013

April 'Create the Seasons'

April marks the culinary gateway to Spring, and without being too ambitious, Summer, which should be just around the corner (perhaps with a few April showers in-between to be expected).

Cold hands we can handle, but when the recent weather has been threatening to affect the English asparagus season, enough is enough! With the weather a little warmer now, English asparagus is slowly making it's way into our kitchen, we just need a few more warm days to really get the ultimate spring treat in abundance. In the meantime, how about enjoying a day out at the market to get your hands on a few other bits and pieces April has to offer...

Spring Lamb: not just for Easter!  
Lamb is such a forgiving meat, it works well paired up with robust spices, anchovies and classic provencal herbs. 

However, to show off it's true colours, try it with some best of British flavours like a wild garlic and hazelnut stuffing or a heather honey and lavender crust.
 
Wild Pickings: there is such thing as a free meal! 
Follow your nose and go foraging for wild garlic, battle the elements and scour the cliff tops for sea beet, or rummage through the undergrowth for wild mushrooms. Spring means juicy little shoots; some of which are on your doorstep. Just make sure you know what you are picking and who you are picking it from! 

Coastline Crab: get cracking

Our crab comes from the fishing town of Salcombe in Devon, famous for it's crustational catch. The fisherman swear by a secret "sweet spot" which produces some of the most delicious meat. Although it is a closely guarded secret in the crabbing community, it is the location of the catch which makes all the difference in the meat. The fishermen avoid "crabbing" along the coastline and head out to deeper waters, where the undercurrant encourages the crab to grow strong muscles, making the meat even more delicious!

Sadly the majority of British crab ends up on the European markets, so get cracking (sorry bad pun again) and buy British crab.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Are you ready for Spring Summer 13? We certainly are

After weeks of tastings, plating and cooking we have launched our new Spring Summer 2013 menus. In an attempt to encourage the summer sun we have scoured the UK coastlines, farms and fields for the finest seasonal produce that our fair isle has to offer.


The menus this summer have a strong theme of "re-invention", whether it is taking a cult classic like a summer pudding, jamming it full of delicious cherries and beetroot and serving it with a perfectly pink duck breast or pressing a classic club sandwich and serving it along side a marinated breast of spring chicken, this is 'meat and two veg' with a difference. 

Our desserts are always a talking point, beautifully presented, scented and tasting - this summer is no exception. We have retro chocolate mud pie with summer berries and chocolate popped rice and an amazing peach and miso arctic roll. They are the perfect talking point for any dinner, assuming people will want to talk rather than just indulge in our desserts.

A small taster...
english pea pannacotta (v)
with chargrilled pea pods, whipped cornish yarg, red mustard frills and poppy seed white toast wafers

salcombe bay crab
with honeydew and watermelon tartare, pineapple vinaigrette, pineapple crisps and baby coriander

breast of chicken rolled in tomato flakes and thyme
with pressed club sandwich, sautéed sugar snaps, baby beetroot and herb cream sauce

chocolate mud pie
with tarragon and fresh honeycomb ice cream, strawberry pesto and freeze dried strawberry and popped rice

pink rhubarb sherbet
with homemade custard creams, marshmallow with pink peppercorn and orange gel

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

What you have all been waiting for...dessert!

“The Masque”
Beetroot, Apples & Pears
candied baby beetroot, beetroot crisps and sweet beetroot crumble, apple blancmange “scotch egg”, spiced apple cake & free form apple sponge
& pear chantilly and honey cress.


Words don't really do this beautifully designed dessert enough justice, so here are some photos....


180 edible white chocolate red velvet sprayed cloches...




'The Masque'


Now it's time to head downstairs to the transformed Undercroft; James I's original drinking den. Enjoy a damson gin martini, grab a scoop of baked somerset brie studded with garlic and rosemary, a slice of vintage farm house cheddar, blue cheese and some marzipan fruits from the petit four station.


Dinner for our 180 guests is served...


Quick look up at the ceiling whilst you have the chance, in a few minutes time you will not want to look away from your plate. Painted by Reubens and installed onto the ceiling in 1636 it is the last remaining in-situ ceiling painting. It depicts The Union of the Crowns, The Apotheosis of James I and The Peaceful Reign of James I.
 Have you seen the waitresses and waiters in their masks? This is our nod to the Masque's, a type of play written as court entertainment and often performed at Banqueting House. What's in front of you though, what's in the little kilner jar, it looks exciting? Un-hinge the lid and breath in deeply..... can you smell and see the smoke? This is your amuse of smoked salmon tartare. Smoking has been a common method of preserving meat and fish for centuries, this salmon has smoked over oak wood chips.

It must be time for the main course, those trumpets can only mean one thing. 

How Regal, a three bird roast of goose, duck and chicken encapsulating pistachio and winter herb force meat stuffing. Make sure you get a glimpse of Adam Byatt and our chefs carving in front of the throne. It's not all about the meat though, don't those vegetables look amazing parsley mash, confit thyme roasted sand carrots and braised red cabbage with apples and pears. Dig in and help yourselves there is plenty to go around. Just save room for dessert, trust us, it is seriously worth waiting for.


Adam Byatt and Alan Lucas, Executive Chef