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Stuck for inspiration whilst we're all spending a little more time at home?Shortbread and ganache

The Catering team are on hand with the Imperial Recipe Club - a regular series of recipes that are designed to let you try new and interesting cooking adventures! 

Each fortnight, a member of our Catering team will post a video recipe of one of their favourite dishes for you to try at home. 

You can find the complete collection of recipes in full here, for you to follow along with. 


Week 1 - Chocolate Ganache with Orange and Poppy Seed Shortbread








Chocolate Ganache pot with Orange & Poppy Seed Shortbread (serves 4-6)

Chocolate Ganache - serve in small ramekins
100g x 70% Cocoa Belgian chocolate
200ml x Double cream
5ml Vanilla Extract
3 tsp Cacao nibs
100g Fresh Raspberries

1. Break the chocolate into small pieces (1cm approx). Place into a bowl with the vanilla extract.
2. Bring the cream to the boil and pour over the chocolate. Cling film the bowl immediately and leave for 6-7 minutes.
3. Remove the cling film and stir the mixture until glossy and fully incorporated.
4. Divide between your serving dishes and sprinkle on the cacao nibs and raspberries. Place in the refrigerator for at least three hours.

Orange and Poppy Seed Shortbread
300g x Plain flour
200g x Room temperature Butter
100g x caster sugar-plus a little to sprinkle onto the shortbread when cooked
Zest from one orange
1 x beaten egg
50g x poppy seeds

1. Place the butter, sugar, flour & zest in a mixing bowl and mix until a smooth paste is formed. Divide into two equal halves.
2. Double layer cling film 45cm in length x 2.
3. Place the two halves of mixture onto the cling film and make a cylinder shape.
4. Roll the mix tightly up in the cling film and tie both ends. Chill until firm
5. When chilled either freeze one roll or continue with both for extra shortbread biscuits.
6. Remove the cling film and brush the chilled mix with egg mixture and roll in poppy seeds.
7. Cut into 7-10mm discs and place onto an oven tray lined with non-stick baking parchment.
8. Bake at 140C  in a pre-heated oven for 12-15 mins until slightly golden - they will firm up when cooled.
9. Sprinkle shortbread with caster sugar both sides.

Serve and enjoy!

Week 2 - Classic Minestrone Soup with Rosemary Focaccia

Classic Minestrone Soup with Rosemary Focaccia
(serves 4-6)

Classic Minestrone Soup
500g carrot
Three sticks of celery
Two medium onions
175g pasta (any)
Three cloves garlic-finely chopped
Two tins chopped tomatoes
Two tbsp tomato paste
1tr vegetable stock
150 ml olive oil
One bunch basil
Two tsp dried oregano
100g parmesan shavings

1. Dice the vegetables.
2. Place a large 4ltr pot over a medium heat and warm 100ml olive oil.
3. Add the vegetables and cook for around four to six minutes.
4. Add the garlic and oregano and cook for a further two minutes.
5. Stir in the tomato paste & chopped tomatoes and add the vegetable stock .Very gently simmer for 15-20 minutes.
6. Whilst that’s cooking, finely shred the basil.
7. Add the pasta to the soup and cook for a further 8-12 minutes until pasta is cooked - you may need to top up with a little water. Remove from the heat.
8. Add three quarters of the shredded basil, stir and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
9. Add salt & pepper to taste.
10. Serve with bread, parmesan, grilled chorizo and top with shredded basil and a drizzle of olive oil.

Rosemary Focaccia Bread
500g strong bread flour
75ml Olive oil
7g fast action dried yeast
3g salt
300ml warm water
One bunch rosemary

1. Place the flour in a mixing bowl and create a well in the middle.
2. Place the salt to one side of the flour and the yeast in the centre.
3. Pour in the warm water and olive oil.
4. Leave for 30-45 minutes until the yeast begins to bubble.
5. Stir the mixture to form a dough.
6. Knead the dough for 8-12 minutes until elastic and pliable. (Don’t add additional flour-it will come together after a few minutes)
7. Place in an oiled bowl covered with cling film and leave to prove until doubled in size. (Time will vary dependant on room temperature)
8. Once doubled in size, knock back the dough and shape to 2cm high.
9. Top with rosemary sprigs, olive oil and black pepper. Leave for a further prove until doubled.
10. After second prove firmly press your fingers down into the loaf and create indentations.
11. Drizzle with olive oil again and cook for 20-25 minutes.

Did you know? Minestrone shows up in cookbooks as far back as 30 AD. However, at its beginnings, there was no prescriptive recipe but rather used whatever vegetable were available - sometimes including beans and pulses. Tomatoes, however, have always formed a key part of its flavour. 

Tomatos are a food rarity as they contain more nutritional benefits after cooking. Though the vitamin C is eliminated, cooking substantially raises the levels of beneficial compounds called phytochemicals, including lycopene, the phytochemical that makes tomatoes red.

Week 3 - Bread and Butter Pudding

Straight from the Senior Common Room to your kitchen! This week Tony is recreating a favourite dessert from the SCR: Bread and Butter Pudding.

Milk Bread - makes one medium loaf
500g bread flour
350ml whole milk warmed to just above body temperature
7g dried fast-action yeast
15g sugar
2g salt
Butter to grease the loaf tin
2lb/900g loaf tin

1. Add all the dried ingredients into a bowl and pour in the milk - mix until fully incorporated.
2. Knead for ten minutes.
3. Place into the loaf tin and allow to prove until doubled in size.
4. Score the loaf and dust with a little flour.
5. Bake in an oven at 200c for 35-40 minutes. It will sound hollow when cooked.
6. Remove from tin and place on a cooling rack.

650ml whole milk
350 ml double cream
6 egg yolks
1.5 tbsp cornflour
100g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod

1. Deseed the vanilla pod and place in a saucepan with the milk and cream.
2. Bring to the boil then take off the heat and leave to steep for 15 minutes.
3. Mix the yolks, sugar and cornflour to a smooth paste.
4. Bring the milk mixture back to the boil and then pour half onto the yolk mixture.
5. Pour the hot yolk and milk mixture into the pan with the remaining milk mixture.
6. Cook on a low heat for 8-12 minutes until it becomes thickened and glossy.
7. Serve with your pudding.

Bread & Butter pudding - Serves 6-8
1.5ltr pie dish
10 slices of bread
3 whole eggs plus 1 yolk
100g butter plus some for greasing
50g caster granulated sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
100g sultanas
1tsp cinnamon powder
400ml whole milk
50ml double cream

1. Grease the pie dish with butter.
2. Spread the bread with butter then cut into triangles.
3. Layer the dish with bread, sprinkle with cinnamon and sultanas. Repeat another layer.
4. Mix the eggs, yolk, sugar and vanilla extract to a smooth paste.
5. Boil the cream and pour onto the egg mixture and stir thoroughly.
6. Pour egg/milk mix onto the buttered and spiced bread.
7. Grate nutmeg over the pudding and allow to rest for 45minutes.
8. Bake at 160c for 30-30 minutes.
9. Serve with fresh warm custard.

Enjoy! Thank you to Farzana Shakoor and Gwen Mott who requested this week's recipe.