Day 5 – Kumquat Compote

On Friday I made three deceptively simple recipes. They seemed quick and easy but actually had some sneaky hidden steps.  With being in a new kitchen and having to do things the “right”way, everything took longer than I thought!

I made goats cheese salad, with kumquat compote and fresh walnuts, penne with mushrooms and marjoram and loganberry jam. (Loganberries are very similar to raspberries but have a longer shape. Round raspberry, long loganberry).  The salad was lovely but I overdressed the leaves and put too much on the plate. My teacher then made another more professional one! My partner Hilary made a hazelnut, chocolate and orange tart and went off-recipe by adding nutmeg – it was deep, dark and fabulous.

Then in the afternoon demo when everyone was feeling exhausted Darina’s son Toby came in with some free eggs which perked us all up. The chickens must have been going crazy with excitement over their newfound freedom so were laying eggs like mad and we got to eat the results!


I learned : 

Creme brûlée is made with cream, creme caramel is made with milk.

Funnily enough, granulated sugar dissolves more quickly than caster sugar so is preferable for jams and conserves.

Less is more when it comes to presentation. Darina referred to some Michelin starred restaurants as trying to distract you from inferior quality food by using ‘skid marks on plates.’

Food of the Day : 

Soft goats cheese with mango, medjool dates, pistachio and honey. The very delicious, colourful love child of a salad and a dessert.

Line of the Day : 

From Chef Pam. ‘HOLD YOUR NERVE.’ She was talking about making caramel but I think it can be applied elsewhere.

I don’t know whose bike this is but they propped it up very aesthetically.