Here are some recepies of autumn cooking.
1 tbsp olive oil
25g / 1 oz butter
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2-3 large courgettes, trimmed and sliced
600ml / 1 pint vegetable stock
Salt and pepper
160g / 6oz Brie, chilled
Put the oil and butter into a saucepan and add the onion. Sauté the onion until softening but not brown. Add the courgettes and toss in the oil mixture. Cook for 2-3 minutes, but do not allow to brown.
Pour on the stock. Cover and bring to the boil. Move to the simmering oven (for an Aga) or simmer gently on the hob. Cook for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile trim the rind from the Brie. This is easiest to do if the cheese is cold. Cut the cheese into chunks.
Add the cheese to the soup off the heat, and whiz in a blender or with a blending stick. Check the seasoning.
Serve in warm bowls with crusty bread.
© Louise Walker
1 tbsp. Vegetable oil
4 tsp red Thai curry paste
2.5cm / 1” cube ginger, peeled and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric
500g / 1lb 2oz diced pork
150-200ml / 5-7fl oz vegetable stock
2 tsp soft brown sugar
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
Zest and juice 1 lime
200g / 7 oz green beans, trimmed and halved
200ml carton coconut cream
Heat the oil in a sauté pan and add the curry paste, ginger and garlic. Fry gently for 2 minutes. Stir in the turmeric and the pork. Stir to coat the meat in the spices.
Pour over the stock, sugar, fish sauce and the zest and juice of the lime. Cover and bring to the boil and then move to the simmering oven for 45-55 minutes. Check that the meat is tender and check the seasoning.
Cook the beans in boiling water for 3-4 minutes and drain and refresh in cold water. Drain.
When the pork is cooked stir in the beans and the coconut cream. Bubble gently for 4-5 minutes.
Garnish with basil leaves and serve with Thai rice.
© Louise Walker
140g / 5 oz self-raising flour
1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 level teaspoon salt
50g / 2 oz butter, softened
110g / 4 oz soft dark brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 bananas, mashed
110g / 4 oz dates, chopped
50g / 2 oz walnuts, chopped
110g / 4 oz glace , cherries, halved and washed
25g / 1 oz raisins
Butter or line a 1kg / 2lb loaf tin.
Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt together.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, with a tablespoon of the flour mixture. Beat in the mashed bananas.
Fold in the dates, walnuts, cherries and raisins and finally fold in the flour.
Spoon the mixture in to the prepared tin. Bake.
2-oven Aga. Put the shelf on the floor of the roasting oven and put in the loaf. Hang the cold shelf on the second set of runners from the top of the oven.
3 and 4-oven Aga. Hang the shelf on the bottom set of runners and bake the loaf.
The loaf will cook in 40-50 minutes and a skewer inserted in to the middle will come out clean.
Conventional oven. Bake in the middle of the oven at 180C/ 160C/ gas mark 4 for 40-50 minutes until risen, golden and a skewer comes out clean.
Cool in the tin. Slice and spread with butter.
© Louise Walker
200g / 7 oz caster sugar
200g / 7 oz soft brown sugar
250g / 8 oz plain flour
50g / 2 oz cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
110g / 4 oz butter, cubed
250ml / 8 fl oz water
1 tsp vanilla essence
125ml / 4 fl oz crème fraîche
1 tbsp brandy or rum
425g can morello cherries, drained
100g / 3½ oz plain chocolate
100ml / 3½ fl oz double cream
Butter a 24cm/9½in round spring release cake tin or the small roasting tin.
Into a large mixing bowl put the caster sugar, brown sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Whisk together to blend well.
Put the butter and water in a saucepan and heat gently to melt the butter.
Beat together the vanilla essence, eggs, crème fraîche and brandy or rum.
Bring the water and butter to the boil and pour in to the flour mixture. Fold in well. Fold in the egg mixture.
Scatter the drained cherries over the base of the prepared tin. Carefully spoon over the chocolate cake mixture.
Bake: for a 2-oven Aga put the shelf on the floor of the roasting oven, put in the cake and slide the cold shelf on the second set of runners from the top of the oven.
Bake for 40-45 minutes.
For a 3 or 4 oven Aga put the shelf on the second set of runners from the bottom of the baking oven. Slide in the cake and bake for 45-50 minutes.
For a conventional oven bake at 180C / mark 4.
For combination steam oven bake at 180C / 30% humidity.
Bake until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Cool in the tin. Put the cake on a serving plate with the cherries on the base.
Put the chocolate for the ganache in a basin and stand at the back of the Aga to melt. When ready to ice the cake remove the chocolate from the top of the Aga and gently stir in the cream. When the ganache is thick spoon on to the cake and swirl.
© Louise Walker