You are currently viewing Learn to Cook – sessions 3-5; Our Guide to Eggs; Roast Chicken & The Good Bits; Sweet things

Learn to Cook – sessions 3-5; Our Guide to Eggs; Roast Chicken & The Good Bits; Sweet things

FS Guide to Eggs

Boiled – get water boiling in pan, then follow rough timings depending on the egg size

Time to boil: Medium Soft boil: 2½-3 mins, hard boil: 6-7 mins. Large Soft boil: 3½-4 mins, hard boil: 9-10 mins.




2 large free range eggs

6 tbsp single cream or full cream milk – about half the volume of the egg

a knob of butter


Lightly whisk 2 large eggs, 6 tbsp single cream or full cream milk and a pinch of salt together until the mixture has just one consistency.

Heat a small non-stick frying pan for a minute or so, then add half the butter and let it melt. Don’t allow the butter to brown or it will discolour the eggs.

Pour in the egg mixture and let it sit, without stirring, for 20 seconds. Stir with a wooden spoon, lifting and folding it over from the bottom of the pan.

Let it sit for another 10 seconds then stir and fold again.

Repeat until the eggs are softly set and slightly runny in places. Remove from the heat and leave for a moment to finish cooking. Whisk in the remaining butter

Give a final stir and serve the velvety scramble without delay.


Make sure your eggs are really fresh. Fresh eggs have a thicker white near the yolk that will better hold a round shape as it cooks. You can tell how fresh an egg is by putting it in a glass of water; if it lies horizontally at the bottom, it is very fresh; if it starts to float or stand on end it is less fresh. If your egg isn’t so fresh, crack it into a small bowl and drain off the runnier white.

Bring a pan of water filled at least 5cm deep to a simmer. Don’t add any salt as this may break up the egg white.

Chefs tip

On a large spoon, dip the egg, in its shell into the boiling water for a second or 2 – this helps centralise the yolk in the white

Crack your egg into a bowl or onto a saucer, this makes it easier to slide into the pan. If there is any very runny white surrounding the thicker white then tip this away.

Add a drop of vinegar to the water in the pan

Stir the water to create a gentle whirlpool to help the egg white wrap around the yolk.

Slowly tip the egg into the centre. Make sure the heat is low enough not to throw the egg around – there should only be small bubbles rising.

Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the white is set.

Lift the egg out with a slotted spoon and drain it on kitchen paper. Trim off any straggly bits of white. If you need to cook more than one poached egg, keep it at the right temperature in warm water, but make sure the water isn’t hot enough to overcook the egg.

Baked – with spinach and cheese


8 small spinach leaves

8 cherry tomatoes

4 eggs

Double cream

1 matchbox-size piece of cheese



Butter 4 ramekins

Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Put cut the spinach into strips and put some in each ramekin.

Rough cut the cherry tomatoes and add into each ramekin.

Crack egg into each ramekin

Tablespoon of double cream on top of each egg and grate the cheese and sprinkle some on top of each egg with some black pepper.  Bake 12-15 or until the egg white has set. 

Hollandaise Sauce


125g clarified butter or ghee

2 egg yolks

½ tsp white wine vinegar or tarragon vinegar

squeeze of lemon juice

pinch of cayenne pepper

Salt to taste



If you use normal butter, you would need to melt in a pan, then skim the white solids from the melted butter, this becomes clarified butter.  Having a tin of ghee is really helpful – it lasts for ages and is a great cheat.

You need a pan with a mixing bowl that fits over it.  Bring 2/3 pan water to the boil and reduce heat, it should be just simmering.

Separate the yolks from the whites of the eggs and add to a mixing bowl with the vinegar, a pinch of salt and a splash of cold water in a metal or glass bowl that will fit over your pan. Whisk well, then put the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and whisk continuously until pale and thick, about 3-5 mins.

Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the melted butter bit by bit until it’s all incorporated and you have a creamy hollandaise sauce. (If it gets too thick, add a splash of warm water.) Season with a squeeze of lemon juice and a little cayenne pepper.  Cover to stop a skin forming.


Roast Chicken Dinner

1 whole chicken – make note of the weight

1 lemon – halved

Handful – thyme/ rosemary/ bay or herb of your choice

2 cloves garlic


Soft butter

1 onion/ 1 Carrot to make trivet for the chicken to sit on.


Push the lemon halves into the cavity along with the bay and rosemary sprigs.

Rub a little oil all over the chicken skin, scatter over the remaining chopped herbs and season very generously with salt and black pepper.

With your hands push butter under the skin of the breast and squash. 

Slice onion and carrot into the oven tray – rest chicken on top.

Into preheated oven 180C, for 20 minutes per 500g of chicken, plus 20 minutes.   Juices will be clear when cooked through, rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.

Roast Potatoes

Par boil your potatoes which are peeled and cut to size.  Preheat oil in oven tray.

Drain and toss potatoes in colander, seal in hot oil in the oven tray then add sprigs of rosemary and whole garlic

Into oven for 40 minutes until golden and crispy, squeeze roasted garlic over potatoes and mix


Cauliflower Cheese

Use cheese sauce recipe from earlier session optional to add wholegrain mustard or truffle oil as required.  Cut cauliflower into florets – into oven proof dish and cover cheese sauce.  Grate cheese on top, sprinkle with oregano and bake alongside the potatoes


Roast Parsnips

Cut into 4 chunky pieces, toss in oil and maple syrup.  Roast along potatoes – can be same pan if enough space.  If your parsnips are too thin, they will cook quicker.

Carrot and swede mash

Peel both carrots and swede and cut the carrots twice the size of the swede.  Put into cold water, covering the veg, add some salt and white pepper and boil until soft.  Drain, and return to the pan to dry…add large knob of butter and mash – taste to check seasoning.

Braised Cabbage and Leek

Removed outer leaves from both cabbage and leeks, cut the leeks lengthways and shred.  Shred the cabbage.  Wash all together in a colander and into a pan.  Add 100ml of veg stock, 100ml of apple juice or cider and 100g butter with some picked thyme.  Cover and onto medium heat on the hob for 20 minutes


Use a packet mix and add some sausage meat if you like.  Form into balls and bake as per instructions.


Use packet mix but make sure you add the juice from the chicken to give depth of flavour.  You can make from scratch in the chicken pan, using small amount of liquid to deglaze pan, a sprinkle of plain flour and chicken stock.

Rice Pudding


40g/1½oz butter

100g/3½fl oz pudding rice (or Spanish paella rice)

75g/2½oz caster sugar

1 litre/1¾pints full-fat milk

150ml/5fl oz double cream

1 tsp vanilla extract or ½ vanilla pod, split lengthways

pinch salt

plenty freshly grated nutmeg


Preheat the oven to 140C

Melt the butter in a heavy-based casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Continue stirring until the rice swells and becomes sticky with sugar.

Pour in the milk and keep stirring until no lumps remain. Add the cream and vanilla and bring the mixture to a simmer. Once this is reached, give the mixture a final stir and grate at least a third of a nutmeg over the surface. Bake for 1-1½ hours and cover with foil if the surfaces browns too quickly. Once there is a thin, tarpaulin-like skin on the surface, and the pudding only just wobbles in the centre, it is ready. Serve at room temperature.


Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup

1 knob butter

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 large white onion, diced

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced to 2cm cubes

1 butternut squash, peeled and diced to 2cm cubes

900ml vegetable stock

1 can coconut milk

Fresh Ginger – thumb sized – rough chop


Melt butter in pan and add oil.

Roast t

Add onions to soften, then the sweet potato and butternut squash; stir for about 10 minutes.

Add stock and bring to the boil, turn down heat and simmer for around 45 minutes.  Add the ginger once the soup is simmering.

Add the can of coconut milk

Use a hand blender to blend all the ingredients together (be careful as it will be hot) or leave it to cool before doing this step. Serve with crusty bread.

Apple tarte Tatin

400g of puff pastry, good quality, all butter

5 Braeburn apples

100g of unsalted butter

100g of caster sugar

plain flour, for dusting

Caramel sauce

125g of caster sugar

125g of double cream


Peel the apples, cut in half and then into quarters. Use a small turning or paring knife to remove the seeds. Soften the butter slightly (so it is pliable, but not too soft) and press into the base of a non-stick 20-24cm ovenproof frying pan so it covers the flat surface of the pan

Sprinkle over the sugar to evenly cover the layer of butter, then arrange the apples neatly on top, cut-side up, overlapping in a fan style pattern

Dust a clean work surface with a little flour and evenly roll out the puff pastry until it is just over 0.5cm thick – this should be enough to cover the ovenproof pan with 5cm excess

Use the back of a spoon to gently press the excess pastry into the edge of the pan – this will help to keep the apples in place. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes for the pastry and butter to firm up

Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5

Once firm, place the pan over a medium-high heat to caramelise the sugar and butter, gently shaking the pan every few minutes to ensure that the butter and sugar have mixed together and do not burn

Once the sugar is caramelised and golden (you can check this by lifting the pastry slightly to check underneath), transfer to the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the pastry is dark golden and crispy.

Remove from the oven and carefully lift away the edge of the pastry to check that the apples are lightly browned – if not, return to the oven for a further 5 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly while you make the caramel sauce

Place the sugar in a non-stick saucepan and place over a medium heat until the sugar is golden in colour. Add the cream, taking care as it will spit. Stir well to dissolve the sugar and make a smooth caramel sauce

Serve the sauce with the tarte Tatin, along with a scoop of clotted cream or ice cream

Victoria Sponge

3 large eggs, weighed in their shells

The same weight of soft lightly salted butter, caster sugar and self-raising flour

1tsp baking powder

Generous pinch salt

2tbsp milk

5tbsp raspberry jam

Caster sugar, to top

For the buttercream:

100g butter, softened

200g icing sugar

50ml double cream


Preheat the oven to 180C (350F/gas mark 4) and grease and base-line 2 x 21cm sandwich tins. Put the butter and sugar into a food mixer, or use a hand mixer to combine until light and really fluffy – this should take a good couple of minutes.

Scrape down the sides, beat the eggs together, then add them to the mixture a little at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl down to make sure everything is mixed in properly.

Fold in the flour, baking powder and 1/2tsp salt, then add enough milk so that the mixture drops easily off a spoon, but does not run off. Divide evenly between the tins, smooth the top and put in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden and well risen: a skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean.

Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then put, flat-side down, on a wire rack to cool completely. Meanwhile, make the buttercream by beating the butter until light and fluffy, then adding the sugar and cream and a pinch of salt. Beat together well, then set aside until the cake is cool.

To assemble the cake, put the least favoured cake, whichever it is, on to a plate or stand, and spread generously with jam. Top with a layer of buttercream, then add the second cake, flat-side down. Dust the top with caster sugar, and devour.



Banana Brownies

Five Ingredients = Fabulous Brownies

1 cup (225 g) mashed very ripe bananas

1/2 cup (125 mL) smooth nut or seed butter (e.g., peanut, cashew, almond, sunflower seed)

1/3 cup (28 g) unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons (16 g) coconut sugar (see notes for options)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda


2 to 3 tablespoons miniature semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Line an 8-inch (20 cm) square baking dish with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on opposite sides.

In a medium-large bowl, combine the bananas, nut butter, cocoa powder, coconut sugar and baking soda until completley blended.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. If desired, sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until the surface appears set and dry.

Transfer pan to cooling rack and cool completely. Use the parchment paper to lift and remove brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 9 squares.