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Posts in 'Recipes'

Aloo Keema Recipe
A brilliant recipe for spicy lamb mince! For more Indian spiced dishes, why not attend our Indian Cookery Classes...



500g minced lamb

1 medium onion finely chopped

2 tbsp vegetable oil

4 cardamom pods

1 giant black cardamom

2 cinnamon sticks

4 cloves

2 tsp salt

1 tsp turmeric

2 tsp roasted ground cumin

1 tsp hot chilli powder

½ tsp garam masala

2 tsp finely chopped garlic

2 tsp finely chopped ginger

2 medium sized potatoes cut into chunks

200 g chopped tinned tomatoes

8 strands of fresh coriander

200 ml hot water

1 tsp lemon juice


Cooking Instructions:


  1. Heat the oil in a non stick pan, when hot add the whole dry spices; cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, giant cardamom.  Sizzle for a few seconds then add the onions and fry, stirring for a few minutes until their just turning brown.

  2. Add the tomatoes and cook on a low to medium heat until the water has evaporated and the oil is separating.

  3. Now add the minced lamb, use the back of the wooden spoon to break down the morsels of meat to prevent it from being lumpy.

  4. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli powder, turmeric, cumin, garam masala, and salt.  Stir well to ensure the spices blend into the lamb and cook for 10 minutes with the lid on the saucepan.

  5. Add the potatoes and the water to the pan stir well, cover with the lid and simmer gently for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.

  6. Remove from the heat, garnish with the freshly chopped coriander and lemon juice and serve with chapattis or naan bread.


Cooks tip 1:  The potatoes can be optional and omitted if preferred, however the flavour of the potatoes cooked in the meat is very tasty.

Cooks tip 2:  If you want a very thick consistency reduce the level of water.
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Bacon & Gruyère Cheese Tart with Spring Onions & Thyme


For the pastry

250g plain flour

140g cold butter, diced into small pieces

2 egg yolks mixed with 3-4 tbsp ice cold water

Pinch of salt


For the filling
15g butter
6 very thin rashers smoked streaky bacon
6 spring onions, finely sliced
A few sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
250ml double cream
4 eggs
75g grated gruyère
30g grated parmesan


Preparation instructions:

  1. Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. First make the pastry. Pulse the flour, salt and cubed butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs and turn into a mixing bowl.

  2. Add 2tbsp and 2 tsp of the egg and water mixture and draw into the crumb with a round bladed knife to create large flakes, bring the pastry together with your hands and form it into a round flat circle. Roll out the pastry and lay it across a 23cm flan tin, pressing the dough well into the corners, then chill in the fridge for 30 minutes until firm.

  3. Cover the pastry with baking paper and baking beans, and bake for 15-20 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and return the tart case to the oven for five minutes longer, until pale golden and sandy to the touch.

  4. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. When it’s hot, add the bacon and fry until crisp and golden on both sides, then remove and drain on kitchen paper.

  5. Add the spring onions and thyme to the same pan, and cook for a few minutes, until the onions have softened, then take the pan off the heat and leave to cool.

  6. Whisk the cream until slightly thickened, then whisk in the eggs and gruyère. Season the mix with only a little salt as the cheese and bacon are quite salty and a sprinkling of white pepper.

  7. Break the bacon pieces into halves or thirds, and lay these and the onion mixture over the base of the tart. Pour in the egg mixture so it fills the tart case right up to the edge, and scatter over the parmesan.

  8. Put the tart on an oven tray in the middle of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden on top and set with just a slight wobble in the middle. Leave to cool and firm up a little before serving.

#tartrecipes #baconrecipes #baking #cheeserecipes #worklunch# lunchideas
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Fruity Pavlova
We are firm believers in the phrase 'Waste Not Want Not' here at The Cooking Academy, so we transformed our unused eggs into a crisp meringue, a perfect base for our fruit pavlova. For more delicious dessert recipes, why not join our Desserts & Pastry Cooking Class? 


For the meringue:

3 large egg whites

175g golden caster sugar

For the filling:

600ml double cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the topping:

1 small pineapple cubed

1 papaya cubed (and seeds removed)

1 mango sliced

1 kiwi fruit cut into fan shapes

Pulp from 3 passionfruit


Cooking Instructions:-

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 150c/gas mark 2

  2. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

  3. For the meringue: place the egg whites into a large, clean, grease free bowl and whisk them until they form stiff peaks (do not over-whisk the egg whites because they will start to collapse)

  4. Now start to whisk in the golden caster sugar a tablespoon at a time, whisking after each addition until all the sugar is incorporated and the mixture looks thick and glossy. Secure all four corners of the baking paper with small blobs of the meringue mixture.

  5. Now take a metal tablespoon and spoon the meringue mixture on to the prepared baking sheet, forming a circle about 20 cm in diameter. Make a well in the middle of the meringue to make room for the filling.

  6. Place it in the oven, then immediately turn down the heat to 140°C , gas mark 1 and leave it for 1 hour.

  7. Then turn the heat right off but leave the pavlova inside the oven until it's completely cold (or overnight). The pavlova is cooked when it lifts easily off the baking paper.

  8. When you are ready to serve the pavlova whisk the cream with the vanilla essence until it is just holding it’s shape. Pile the cream onto the meringue base and top generously with the chopped and sliced fruits. Finish by drizzling the passionfruit pulp over the top.

  9. Enjoy!

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Baked Banana Oatmeal Cups
Perfect as a healthy breakfast or snack for anytime of the day! For more healthier recipes, have a look at our Nutritional Cookery Class.

Makes 12


250g rolled oats

2 tbsp honey

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

3 mashed bananas

2 tbsp olive oil

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

500ml skimmed milk – soya/almond work well too

Chocolate chips – optional


Preparation Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C, 350 F. Line a muffin tray with muffin cases.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, cinnamon, salt and baking powder. Mix together.

  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mashed bananas, eggs, oil, vanilla and honey until well combined. Then whisk in the milk.

  4. Poor the milk mixture over the oats and stir well until both have combined. Add the chocolate chips if using. The consistency will be very soupy.

  5. Fill the muffin cases all the way to the top, ensuring there is an even amount of oats and liquid.

  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.

  7. Allow to cool slightly and serve. Alternatively they can be kept in an air tight container and eaten cold.

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'Berry Mad' - Rhubarb and Strawberry Pudding
We’re berry mad here at The Cooking Academy as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and cherries are now in season!

Berries are a food we should all be consuming now more than ever, as not only are they deliciously tasty, they are also high in fibre, low in fat and one of the best sources of antioxidants and vitamin C to boost our immune systems.  Berries are also good for the heart and keep you looking younger, so what’s not to like.

So how can you tell if your berry is ready to be eaten?

Firstly ensure that the whole berry is rich and vivid in colour.  For example, a strawberry should be a deep red throughout, if it is still white on the inside or around the leaf area, this is a sign that it’s still under-ripe.  If possible, give them a slight squeeze!  Ripe berries should be soft yet still firm and plump.  If they are easily squashed between your fingers or mushy this means the fruit has now passed its best.  When harvesting, the berry should fall off the plant. If you need to give them a slight tug, it means they are not ready to be picked or eaten.

Incidentally, blueberries aren't actually blue, but deep purple, which is the colour of anthocyanin, a pigment that is especially rich in blueberries.  The anthocyanin is an anti-inflammatory agent.  Generally the darker the berry the more anthocyanins are present.  Essentially, the darker the colour of a food, the higher the contents of antioxidants and nutrients will be, and the healthier the food.  In fact, one health and nutrition study found that those who ate purple fruit and vegetables regularly had a reduced risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.

We took our own advice and went strawberry picking to ensure we had the juiciest, plumpest strawberries to cook with and promptly rewarded ourselves with a well-deserved treat of tea and our rather scrumptious rhubarb and strawberry pudding!  A beautifully moist sponge, topped with sweet and tangy rhubarb and strawberry compote is perfect for summer garden parties with friends, or just to enjoy with afternoon tea, not that we need an excuse to eat a pudding.

The recipe was inspired by our dear colleague over in California, Shanna, who regularly contributes to our blogs and you can follow her delicious recipes on Instagram @shannawashungry

Our nutritional cookery class also provides information relating to nutritionally dense ingredients such as the use of nuts, seeds and berries in cooking.


Rhubarb And Strawberry Pudding 



3 stalks of rhubarb

7-8 strawberries

40g brown sugar

4 tsp corn flour


4 tbsp butter

4 tbsp brown sugar

FOR THE sponge 

190g plain flour

100g sugar

1 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

¼ tsp salt

1 tbsp vinegar

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp honey or maple syrup

125 ml rapeseed oil

180 ml buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk, use regular milk and omit the water)

40 ml water


Preparation instructions:

  1. Firstly, grease a bundt tin or a cake tin without a loose bottom and preheat the oven to 180º C or gas mark 4

  2. Prepare all the fruit and place into a bowl.  Add the sugar and corn flour and stir together.  Leave to rest for 5 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the butter and sugar and let it all melt together for 2 mins.  Add this mixture to the bottom of the sponge tin.

  4. Now add the fruit mixture on top of this and set aside.

  5. To make the sponge, add all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix.

  6. Next add the liquid ingredients to the bowl and mix together. Pour the sponge mixture on top of the fruit in the tin.

  7. Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes. When you press the top, the cake should bounce back. Or if you insert a skewer, it should come out clean.

  8. Let it cool slightly and serve.

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