All posts by paul singh

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BONFIRE NIGHT FOOD

Bonfire Night in the UK is a traditional celebration that goes back 414 years starting out as a signal of gratitude from King James 1st of England following from the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot by Robert Catesby and Guy Fawkes and their co-horts in 1605 and it continues to this day.

The food has changed somewhat since the early 17th century but still, the basics of bread, cheese, fish, meat and desserts were simple milk puddings and fruit tarts (apple in early autumn and strawberries and gooseberries in summertime). As a period marked by war, the plague and fire (the Great Fire of London in 1666) it was also the point at which European food hit the tables of the wealthy including the introduction of French and Italian cheeses and wines to eat alongside the huge array of pickles and preserves (pickling was used to keep certain foods available all year without spoiling).

Today’s traditional fayre is usually hot dogs and burgers and of course sticky parkin (we have a great recipe tried and tested)

TOASTED MARSHMALLOW AND GINGER CAKE

First up is a great alternative to Parkin and looks and tastes great.

100g butter (plus a little extra for greasing)
100g dark muscovado sugar
100g black treacle
140g golden syrup
225g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
125ml whole milk
3 medium egg yolks, whisked with a fork (save the whites for the icing)

BUTTERCREAM

140g butter – softened
200g icing sugar
4 smalls stem ginger, finely chopped, plus 1 tbsp syrup
½ tsp ground ginger

ICING/TOPPING

  • 3 medium egg whites
  • 175g golden caster sugar

METHOD:

Melt the butter, sugar, treacle, and syrup in a small saucepan, whisking until smooth. Set aside to cool for 10 mins. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Grease and line a LARGE loaf tin with baking parchment/greaseproof paper.

In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients together (flour, bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, and 1⁄2 tsp salt). Pour in the slightly cooled syrup mixture and the milk, followed by the egg yolks. Whisk until you have a smooth batter. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hr or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool the cake in the tin for around 30 mins, then slice off the top to give you a smooth surface. Flip onto a wire rack and remove the baking parchment. Leave to cool. It can now be covered with cling film and kept for up to 5 days.

To make the buttercream, put the butter, icing, stem ginger, syrup and ground ginger in a large bowl and blend with an electric hand whisk until smooth.

To make the marshmallow icing (also known as swiss or Italian meringue) put the egg whites (separated when the cake batter was made) sugar, 1 tbsp water and a good pinch of salt into a heatproof bowl. Place over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the hot water, and whisk until thick and leaving a prominent trail from the beaters – this will take about 4 mins. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue whisking for another 3 mins until cooled slightly and stiff. Transfer half to a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle and set aside.

When ready to assemble (cake and meringue cooled) slice the cake lengthways into 3 even layers. On a cake stand or plate, reassemble the cake, with the largest slice on the bottom, layering with the buttercream.

Using a small butter/pallet knife, cover the cake with the marshmallow icing left in the bowl. Use the palette knife to create vertical lines along the edges. Now use the piping bag to pipe spikes of meringue over the top of the cake. Use a cook’s blowtorch to toast the meringue to a golden brown – a few charred patches will add to the effect. Serve straight away or chill for up to 2 days, remove from the fridge 30 mins before serving. We decorated ours with sparklers.

Next up, burgers and dogs! The smell of frying onions is one of those tempting whiffs guaranteed to get the taste buds screaming for fodder. These are my personal favourite go-to recipes for Bonfire Night:

HOT DIGGEDY DAM DOGS

  • 6 large pork sausages
  • 2 tablespoons of oil for cooking
  • 1 large onion finely sliced
  • 1 teaspoon of grain mustard
  • 6 flour tortillas
  • 2 tablespoon tomato relish
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Cook the sausages in a couple of tablespoons of cooking oil on a tray in the oven. 200° fan/electric or gas mark 6 for around 10 minutes. Once they are under-way, move the sausages to one side and scatter the finely sliced onions on the bottom and toss in the oil salt & pepper and the grain mustard before putting back into the oven for a further 10-12 minutes until the onions are softened and the sausages cooked through.  They are ready to serve wrapped in a warmed tortilla and a little relish or ketchup mmmmmm….

SMOKED PAPRIKA AND CHEDDAR BURGERS

2 tablespoons cooking oil

1 medium onion finely chopped

1 lb minced beef

1 lb minced pork

4 garlic cloves peeled and crushed

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons of paprika

1 teaspoon of dried marjoram

1 small very finely chopped chilli (optional)

1 teaspoon ground all spice

10 burger buns

10 slices strong cheddar

Finely sliced lettuce and tomato

Pickle (optional)

2 large red peppers (roasted – recommend scorch all over and pop into a plastic bag to cool a little before peeling off the blackened skin and slicing thinly)

For the relish, mayo, hot sauce, ketchup and burger relish (one dollop of each into a bowl and mix!)

Put the meat, onions, garlic, salt, and pepper, paprika, chilli and spices/herbs and mix together thoroughly. Once combined, make into ten burgers and fry gently in oil/butter on a skillet until cooked through (depending on your taste) on each side and serve on a warmed bun with a slice of cheese, lettuce, tomato and onions with a couple of slivers of the roasted red pepper – simply delicious.

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DIY CONSUMER DISPLAY PACKS COMPARISON

As the 2019 Bonfire Night season gets underway, we compare our three best selling DIY consumer display packs which are all the same price and meet different needs.

All our DIY Consumer Display packs are created with the customer in mind. In the £295.00 bracket, we have three packs which pretty much cover all bases. We spend time in China designing, selecting and firing several products before they meet our exacting standards.

CONSPIRACY

51 FIREWORKS (14 BARRAGES (CAKES) AND 37 ASSORTED ROCKETS – RUN TIME 7 MINUTES PLUS ADDITIONAL FOR ROCKETS

This is our number 1 best selling firework pack which this year contains a selection of barrages, big a small with rockets that can be fired intermittently throughout the display.  Primarily, this pack is intended for a small/medium sized crowd and contains everything you need for a first-class display filling the sky with a multitude of effects and colours.

Our Conspiracy Pack is widely used at events including scout groups and community events where a small gathering is expected.  It does contain loud whistles and screeches along with other sonic and sky filling effects and sounds. This pack contains one of our biggest sellers which has stood the test of time; Thunderous Finale.

BLACK POWDER

82 FIREWORKS (22 BARRAGES (CAKES) AND 60 ASSORTED ROCKETS – RUN TIME 12 MINUTES (IF FIRING EACH ITEM INDIVIDUALLY) PLUS ADDITIONAL FOR ROCKETS

This pack was created with younger children in mind and contains a larger number of smaller but equally impressive little barrages (cakes) along with a huge range of rockets. If all the items are fired individually, this will give you a 12-minute display whereas if they are fired in pairs (where appropriate) it will be a little over 7 minutes.  The pack also contains one of the most popular little barrages in our range; Humming Hornets.

AFTER MIDNIGHT

10 FIREWORKS – ALL BARRAGES (CAKES) – RUN TIME 6 MINUTES

The last of the £295.00 packs is the elegant After Midnight which contains only large barrages (cakes). The pack is aimed at those wanting a high impact high noise display and certainly ticks all the boxes. This pack also boasts the fabulously loud Screaming Spiders.

So, there you have them – check them all out on our website which also has videos with every item in stock so you can view before you buy. Unfortunately, these packs cannot be changed or amended but if you are able to get over to see us in Tankersley, you also get several free products for collecting in person.

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DIWALI 2019 (FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS)

WHAT: DIWALI 2019 (FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS)
WHERE: CELEBRATED ALL OVER INDIA, ASIA & CELEBRATED ALL AROUND THE UK
WHEN: SUNDAY 27TH OCTOBER 2019
COST: FREE EVENT

Diwali is known by many names including the festival of lights, the festival of lamps, Deepavali plus many more. This is a religious festival which is mainly celebrated by Hindus, to mark the return of Lord Rama who defeated the demon lord and returned to the village after 14 years in exile. The festival is also observed by Sikhs, Jains and some Buddhists, but for these religions, the celebrations are inspired by different historical or mythical events. All Diwali festivals represent similar victories and symbols of knowledge over ignorance, light over dark and good over evil.

The date of the festival tends to change year upon year as the main festival of lights takes place during the darkest night in the month of Kartik (which is the 7th month of the Bikram Sambat calendar) which runs from 18th October to 15th November.

Widely celebrated over Northern, Eastern and Western India, the significance of Diwali varies regionally; the preparations and rituals for the festival typically last 5 days and the climax and main day for the celebration is on the third day.

Houses, temples, and workplaces are decorated with thousands of lights known as ‘diyas’ along with colourful garlands. Another traditional part of the celebrations is firecrackers, bonfires and of course our favourite fireworks. The Diya’s are the small clay receptacles that contain oil. The oil is said to represent all the bad of humankind; greed, avarice, jealousy, hatred and lust and the cotton wick represents the soul, which by burning the body and spirit are cleansed.

As well as across India, today you will see Diwali celebrated in several towns and cities across the UK like Belfast, Edinburgh, Leicester, and London. One of the biggest celebrations outside of India takes place in the UK City of Leicester. Attracting crowds of over 35,000, people of all faiths head to the heart of the City on Belgrave Road to witness and take part in a street party like no other.

The light switch on brings the aptly named golden mile to life as over 6,000 lights twinkle against the night sky. during the daytime there is a buzz in the air as Bollywood dancers roam around, the streets are lined with colourful stalls of jewellery and clothing, or why not tickle your taste buds and indulge in some of the best food on offer from the country’s finest Indian restaurants. Witness the spectacular fireworks display lighting up the skies above the golden mile bringing the Diwali celebration to an end with a bang.

Alternatively, if you fancy having a Diwali celebration of your own,  why not visit our website and take look at the fantastic packages and fireworks we have on offer.

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