You don’t always have to buy expensive ingredients or spend hours in the kitchen to make a tasty dessert for your dinner guests. We’re going to talk you through three quick and easy puddings that never fail to impress.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Most people know how to knock up a sponge mixture, and you only need to make some slight adjustments to make a sticky toffee pudding. Along with sifted flour, add dark brown sugar, vegetable suet, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, egg and golden syrup. Then you bake. Easy.
This another favourite, and you only need flour, cooking apples, flour butter, honey and egg to make this traditional dish. For extra flavour, we recommend you add a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of mixed spice.
Quick Lemon Sponge
Forget baking, a microwaved lemon sponge can be just as delicious, and with 2 eggs, 100g caster sugar, 100g softened butter, 100g self-raising flour, 4 tbsp lemon curd and the zest of 1 lemon, you’ll have a perfect dessert. This can be completed from start to finish in just 10 minutes.
There’s a lot more to the Highlands than just mountains and lakes, and one dish many people try whilst they’re on a Scottish holiday is haggis. It’s a dish that divides opinion, mainly because it includes sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs).
Obviously there are oats, onions and spices too, and even though it doesn’t seem very natural to eat part of an animal’s heart, you’ll completely forget it when you have a taste. Many top restaurants have haggis on their dinner menu, and it’s a dish that goes back thousands of years and it’s been perfected over time.
It has been incorporated into other dishes from around the globe too, such as nachos, pasties, pies, lasagna and burgers. And if you have a fear of haggis, we invite you to overcome this fear and try just a small bite. If you don’t like it after that, at least you can say you’ve had a taste.
School catering is an interesting catering service which has a number of benefits which make it attractive for a lot of people. While you may think that this type of service is expensive, you would be mistaken for thinking that, as in reality it is a pretty inexpensive service which is affordable for a lot of families.
The system of school catering is one where you pay to have a variety of meals prepared for your children, so that they have a ready made meal, all of them healthy and of high quality, prepared for them. The idea is that the service makes up for shortfalls in your time and the school’s own meal plan, providing the child with a greater variety of options for a meal, all with higher quality ingredients and much healthier as well.
When you’re planning a catering event, perhaps a dinner party, a BBQ or a hog roast, it’s important you do your homework first. You need to know how many people are coming, dietary requirements, the amount of food you need to order, and the equipment you need to make the dishes.
When you get each of these different aspects nailed, you’ll feel a lot more confident and you can start organising a plan. To make sure the courses come out on time, you need to know how long each course is going to take, and you can then create a schedule for each of the courses. People won’t want to be left waiting for meals, and they’re going to expect a nice portion size and good quality food.
Drinks are also going to be important and the great thing is these can usually be prepared before hand, so you could create a large batch of cocktails the night before.
Catering for children can be quite difficult, because many youngsters can be fussy eaters, and it’s important that there are some snacks that every child can enjoy. There’s a lot of pressure today on caterers providing healthy food for kids, but that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be any sweet treats.
Triangle sandwiches can be a nice option, and if you create different types such as ham, chicken, tuna and cheese, there’s likely to be something for every child. Having party snacks can also be a nice idea, but the most important food is going to be the cake.
It should be fun and reflect the child’s personality, and you can’t go wrong with a chocolate cake with creative icing. The great thing with children’s parties is that they don’t have to be fancy, there just has to be a lot of variety, and there are plenty of different simple savoury foods and sweet treats to choose between.
Noodle soup may seem like an easy dish but it takes some skills to get the flavours right. To help you make a noodle soup that leaves a long lasting impression, we’re providing a quick and easy recipe:
- A handful of dried wholewheat noodles
- A splash of groundnut oil
- 1 tablespoon of grated ginger
- 1 red chilli(deseeded)
- 4 boneless chicken thighs
- 700ml of vegetable stock
- 4 medium sized sliced mushrooms
- A splash of dark soy sauce
- 2 spring onions, sliced
Boil some water in a pan and start cooking the noodles when the water reaches boiling point. Then when cooked, rinse and drain the noodles under cold running water and place them into two separate bowls. Next up, heat up a wok and add the rest of the oil, while slowly adding in ginger and the chopped red chilli. You should now get a feel for the flavouring, and after several minutes you can add the vegetable stock, bring to a simmer, and then add the mushrooms. Now it’s just a case of keeping the soup moving, and when you feel the texture is right, simply place the noodles on top, along with the spring onions.
In London, and Camden in particular, you will see an array of mobile caterers, and their dishes are often referred to as ‘street foods’. You will come across Thai noodles, fish and chips, burgers, kebabs and curries among other dishes, and it’s an ideal line of business to break into for a caterer.
If you can set up shop in a busy area, you hardly have to self-promote. People will smell your foods and come to you, but you can’t price your food to high, after all it is coming from the inside of a van, in a plastic container.
Many roadside caterers have made successful family businesses, and money is there to be made at special events, such as Christmas markets, craft fairs, and exhibitions. Take your niche to the streets if you fancy a different challenge, but remember you have to be able to produce a lot of quality food fast!
Catering can be rewarding at the best of times and very stressful at the worst of times, and you have to get that message across when you’re teaching new students.
What they need to know…
It’s not always glamorous, and you have to learn how to calm your nerves, stay organised and remain upbeat.
It’s important to learn early on the foods that you have a passion for, you can then create your own niche, making your product stand out from others. As a caterer, you need to be firm on your prices, but flexible and friendly, and there can be delays before food is served, so communication with the client is always key.
The most important aspects of catering are timing, taste and customer service, and if you can completely nail all three of these, then you’ll do very well, but to get to this stage, you need to put in a lot of time and effort.
Many couples celebrate their wedding day by organising a hog roast dinner, and this is a popular meal, especially during the spring and summer months.
A quality hog roast will often be served with rolls, seasoned vegetables and apple sauce, while the hog itself will guarantee platters and platters of succulent pork that only tastes better as the night goes on. A hog roast is a little bit different, and it’s still seen as a medieval kind of dinner, and it’s ideal if you’re planning a country theme rather than sophisticated wedding or event dinner.
It’s similar to a barbecue, but there’s something a little more special, eye-catching and quirky. Not every caterer can provide a hog roast, and it’s very much a specialist area, but there are many professionals to choose between, yet the most important aspect to consider is the quality of the meat.
Some people are absolute health freaks, meaning they want to know how much protein, fat, salt and sugar is included in a particular desert, while they’ll be counting the calories too. To make sure you’re prepared, we’re going to give you some ideas.
Peanut butter cookies
These look a bit like lumps of gooey chocolate. There’s oviously the sweetness of chocolate, a surprising protein rich peanut butter centre, and an overall fudge-like texture that perfectly blends the sweet with the savoury.
Crushed raspberry creams
This is simple to prepare; it’s basically crushed raspberries with crème fraîche and yogurt. You can decide on the layers, other flavours, and presentation, and if you stick with these three main ingredients, you’ll get a superb, summery, healthy pudding.
Rice pudding may be easy to make, but when you add nutmeg and lemon zest, you get a real nice freshness, whilst it should always be chilled for 2 hours before being served.