Unpasteurised milk

I buy unpasteurised milk from the Meadow Cottage Farm stall at the Hampshire Farmers’ Market in Winchester. I also buy their unpasteurised cream which, at certain times of the year, can be almost buttercup yellow and nearly as thick as butter. Not yet tried their ice-cream mainly because I make my own ….. more of that later. Here’s a short video about Meadow Cottage Farm made by the Hampshire Farmers’ Market people.

Orange Polenta Cake

I’m not really into cake making but this is one I love. A slice with a mid-morning latte is perfect.

Oranage Polenta Cake

The cake is a little deeper than perhaps it should be because the recipe calls for a 23cm cake tin and mine is less than that. I keep forgetting to buy the larger tin so my Orange Polenta Cake always looks like this. I prefer it made with coarse polenta, my wife prefers it made with fine cornmeal. You’ll need to cook both to decide which is best!

250g softened unsalted butter
250g unrefined golden sugar
4 eggs
150g polenta or cornmeal
200g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
zest and juice 2 oranges (less 100ml juice for the glaze)
100ml orange juice
100g unrefined golden sugar

Beat the butter and sugar together, then add one egg at a time beating as you do. Mix in the dry ingredients (I’ve got them already combined in another bowl so that the flour, polenta and baking powder are well mixed together), the orange zest and the orange juice after 100ml has been kept back for the glaze.

It’s probably safest to line the base and sides of your cake tin with grease proof paper, I seem to be able to get away without this with my tin. Place the mixture in the tin and smooth. Bake at 160C, or 140C for a fan oven, for around 45 minutes. If like me the cake is deeper than expected then it will take longer. Use the clean skewer test to determine when yours is cooked. This recipe doesn’t include the sliced orange on top of the cake, you’ll need a third orange if you want to add these. The orange is sliced as thinly as possible and added about 15-20 minutes before you judge the cake will be ready.

When the cake is cooked remove from the oven and allow to cool. In the meantime bring the glaze ingredients to a boil, simmer for 5 minutes and then allow to cool. Prick all over the top of the cake with skewer and then slowly pour and spread the glaze all over the top. By now my hand is itching to get hold of knife but it is best to leave the cake for another hour or two for the glaze to really soak in properly.

Cod and Parsnip Chowder for Dinner Tonight

Tonight it was separate dinners. My wife who is Zimbabwean had an African meal based on Sadza, which to be honest I’m not keen on, so I had something with parsnip which she’s not keen on!


This is how I made the chowder. I sweated a finely chopped Shallot in some butter while poaching a skinless piece of Cod loin in milk. I then added equal quantities of diced (approx. 10mm cubes) potato and parsnip, plus a splash of water, put a lid on the pan and cooked until done. I then added the milk the fish had been poached in, the fish broken into chunks and a good splash of double cream. Brought everything back to temperature, adjusted the seasoning and served.

After this I had some of my favourite cheese, Époisses de Bourgogne.


I ate the fully ripe cheese with my white bread. The cheese was sublime.

Kohinoor of Kerala Restaurant

I didn’t feel like cooking dinner last night so we (my wife, son and I) went to Kohinoor of Kerala, in Southampton. On Tripadvisor it’s “Ranked #1 of 573 restaurants in Southampton”. We’ve eaten there before and wouldn’t go back if we didn’t enjoy their food but to rank it #1 is stretching things a bit in my opinion. Then again, Southampton is a bit of a gastronomic desert, you have to go outside the City to eat really well. If we hadn’t fancied something spicy it would have been back to the Noodle Fusion Bar which I’ve reported on before.

What is different about Kohinoor of Kerala is that the food doesn’t rely on the usual Indian restaurants’ mainstays of Balties, Vindaloos, Jalfrezies, Kormas etc. but specialises in South Indian food. You can view the menu here. I had the Pineapple Pacchadi for a main course – pineapple cooked with coconut, green chilli, garlic, cumin seeds, yoghurt and seasoned with mustard seeds and curry leaves. As you’ll see the prices are very reasonable.