Tag Archives: bonfire night food

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.

Share

BONFIRE NIGHT FOOD – VEGETARIAN STYLE

Today, food is more than just something we throw onto a plate and hope for the best; it is communal and brings people together more than anything else and coupled with pyro, you are onto a winning team.

As a lover of everything, including meat and fish, many are stuck for what to make for those who are vegetarian or indeed vegan so here I have a DELICIOUS recipe for kebabs which everyone will enjoy. The recipe is there to be expanded on and indeed if you don’t like a particular element, replace it with something else like cherry tomatoes or even sweet potatoes which would just need a few minutes of par boiling beforehand for a lovely alternative.

This recipe will make 8-10 kebabs (depending on the size of the skewers and of course the veggies!)

You will need:

8-10 KEBABS SKEWERS (SOAK IN WATER FOR AN HOUR BEFOREHAND)
2 PACKS HALOUMI CHEESE CUT INTO 16 CUBES (IF VEGAN, CHANGE TO TOFU)
2 RED ONIONS
2 LARGE COURGETTES
2 LARGE PEPPERS
16 MUSHROOMS (AS CLOSE TO THE SAME SIZE AS POSSIBLE)
PREPARE THE VEG BY CUTTING THE ONIONS, PEPPERS AND COURGETTES INTO 16 EQUAL PIECES

For the marinade:

4 FINELY CHOPPED SPRING ONION
6 CLOVES OF GARLIC
4 TSP GROUND ALLSPICE
1 TSP SMOKY PAPRIKA
½ TSP CAYENNE PEPPER
1 TSP BLACK PEPPER
1 TSP GROUND CINAMMON
½ TSP NUTMEG
4 TSP DARK BROWN SUGAR
2 TSP SALT
4 TBS OLIVE OIL

To make the marinade, put all the ingredients into a food processor and blend together if possible but it can be done straight into the bowl if you don’t have one to hand.

Put all the veggies, cheese and marinade into a large bowl and pour the marinade over ensuring all the items have some of the marinade over them and cling film and put into the fridge for up to 3 hours (1 hr min).

Once marinated, take the bowl and gently thread one of each item onto the skewer until it is full and continue until you have used all the cheese and veggies (cheese, onion, pepper, courgette, mushroom … repeat!) you are ready to cook them.

Brush each kebab skewer with oil and place onto the grill, taking care to turn regularly to avoid burning. They should be ready in around 5-7 minutes (depending on how much you have packed onto your skewers of course).

Serve with warmed pitta bread and some spicy mayo (you can buy dairy and egg free mayo from most leading supermarkets for vegans). The mayo I use is a simple mixture of mayo and hot sauce and drizzled over the kebabs is simply yummy.

For dessert, I would highly recommend chocky pops which are made with popcorn, chocolate and of course marshmallow but no dairy required (Green and Blacks organic chocolate is dairy free) and are fun, tasty and great for the whole family.

marinating kebabs

SPICY LENTIL SOUP

You will need:

4 TBS VEGETABLE OIL (YELLOW BEAN IS THE BEST)
8 CLOVES OF GARLIC
2-3 CM PIECE OF FRESHLY PEELED GINGER
2-3 RED CHILLIES (DEPENDING ON HOW SPICY YOU LIKE THINGS)
4 LARGE TOMATOES CHOPPED FINELY
4 LARGE ONIONS FINELY CHOPPED
2 STICKS OF CELERY FINELY CHOPPED
400 GMS OR 1LB OF GREEN OR PUY LENTILS (THEY KEEP THEIR SHAPE WHEN COOKING)
1 TSP PAPRIKA
1 TSP GROUND TURMERIC
1 TSP GARAM MASALA
½ TSP FENUGREEK
½ PINT VEGETABLE STOCK
1 TSP SALT
½ TSP BLACK PEPPER

METHOD

Using a food processor, blend the garlic, chilli and ginger into a paste.

Heat the oil in a large pan and add the chopped onions, salt and pepper and cook gently until the onions are see through and then add the garlic, chilli and ginger paste and the spices and cook for a few minutes until you are left with a spicy onion paste add the chopped tomatoes, celery and the lentils (which should be rinsed and drained thoroughly beforehand) and then add the stock. Cover and leave cooking until the lentils are tender. Serve piping hot with a little chopped coriander.

This is a delicious, vegan dish which will be a delightful warming soup for your guests and one of my family’s favourites.

Share

CRUNCHY FLAPJACK SQUARES

The traditional ‘sweets’ for Bonfire Night are of course Bonfire Toffee, Toffee Apples and Parkin and of course, no self-respecting Bonfire Night would be complete in some areas without delicious pie and peas.

But if you are struggling to keep the sugar content of your children’s snacks down, this is a great alternative with a healthy twist, that they will absolutely love – and, they can help in the making too!

Home made flapjack

This recipe makes 24 bars:

You will need:
8 TABLESPOONS OF COCONUT OIL (VEGETABLE OIL/RAPESEED OIL CAN BE SUBSTITUTED)
180 ML HONEY
2 OUNCES LIGHT MUSCOVADO SUGAR
12 OUNCES OATS (12 OZ)
2 OUNCES SESAME SEEDS or CHOPPED WALNUTS/HAZELNUTS
2 OUNCES DESICATED COCONUT
4 0UNCES DRIED CHOPPED APRICOT PIECES (CHOPPED FINE)
2 OUNCES CHOPPED DATES
4 OUNCES SULTANAS
2 OUNCES GLACE CHERRIES (CHOPPED)

1 large heavy bottomed pan
2 greased oven trays (min ½ inch deep)

Melt the coconut oil, sugar, and honey in the saucepan – heat until melted then add all the remaining ingredients and stir well. Press into the two greased trays and bake for 20-25 minutes at Gas Mark 4 (180° C fanned or 350° F) until golden brown. Once removed from the oven, score where the squares are going to be and allow to cool enough to touch (not completely cool or you will not get them out!) Remove from tray once able to handle and leave on a wire tray to cool.

They will keep for up to a week in an airtight container.

Share