Friday, 21 November 2014

Tis the season to be jolly, eat too much and share drinks with friends...

Get into the Christmas spirit this year with some of our favourite festive cocktails...

Candy Cane Martini
2 x Peppermint candy canes
12.5ml Peppermint schnapps
25ml Crème de cacao (white)
25ml Vanilla vodka

Crush one candy cane using a rolling pin, dip the edge of your martini glass in a shallow dish of water and then into the crushed candy.
Shake ingredients hard with ice and double strain into a martini glass.
Hook second candy cane onto side of glass.

Just looking at that candy cane garnish makes us feel Christmassy inside. If this recipe seems a little strong you can always top with a dash of soda or tonic water.

50ml Advocat
12.5ml Lime Cordial

The classic 80's snowball; shake Advocat with lime cordial and ice, strain over a fresh hi ball glass of ice and top with lemonade. Garnish with a slice of lime. Easy peasy! Now who's up for a cheese fondant and a game of Trivial Pursuit? 

Brandy Alexander
37.5ml Brandy
25ml Crème de cacao (dark)
Half and half (1/2 milk & ½ cream)
Nutmeg for dusting on top

This cocktail is delicious served hot or cold. Shake with ice for frappe style or if you like it hot (our favourite), pour brandy and crème de cacao into the bottom of a latte glass, top with steamed milk or half and half and dust with nutmeg.


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 

from everyone at 

Dentons Catering Equipment xx

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Banoffi Pie - British Pudding Day - 9th November 2014

Until recently I always thought Banoffi  Pie was an American dessert but it was actually invented by Nigel Mackenzie and Ian Dowding at The Hungry Monk restaurant in East Sussex in 1971 after a trip to Ians sisters where she demonstrated that you could create soft toffee by boiling condensed milk. Nigel and Ian thought this would go down a treat with some bananas and cream, tweaked a coffee flavoured cream pie and Voila! Banoffi Pie was invented.
Celebrate British Pudding Day with an original Banoffi Pie

After several supermarkets began to sell the banoffi pie as an American dessert, Nigel Mackenzie offered a £10,000 reward to anyone who could find a recipe pre dating 1971 for the banoffi pie to prove it's origins and there were no successful claims!

Here is the original Banoffi recipe by Ian Dowding as found on his website. We thought it would be a perfect dessert to celebrate British Pudding Day on the 9th November -

To make the toffee:

Large Casserole - £36.00
1. Find a deep saucepan or casserole that will go in the oven.
2. Put into it as many tins of condensed milk as will fit (THE TINS MUST BE UNOPENED). It's worth doing several at a time to save on power. (You need 1.5 cans for the recipe below).
3. Cover the tins with water and bring to the boil.
4. Cover with a lid and transfer to the oven set to gas mark 1 / 140ºC (less for fan assisted)
5. Cook for 3.5 hours.

This way there is no danger of the water boiling dry and being in a more controlled temperature you get a more consistent result. Lift the cans from the water, cool and store.
Fluted Flan Tin - £9.98

For the base:

250g / 9 oz plain flour
25g / 1oz icing sugar
125g / 4.5oz butter
1 egg & 1 egg yolk

Baking Beans - £3.98

1. Place the flour and sugar in a bowl, cut the butter into cubes and then rub it in the flour / sugar until it resembles fine bread crumbs.
2. Work in the egg to form a paste.
3. Chill for half an hour and then roll out to the thickness of a pound coin and line the flat tin.
4. Prick the base, line with parchment paper and weigh down with dry beans.
5. Cook for fifteen minutes then remove the beans and paper.
6. Put the pastry case back into the oven and cook until it is evenly golden.
7. Remove from the oven and cool.

For the topping:
Dualit Whisk - £48.75

1.5 tins of banoffi toffee
5-6 ripe bananas
425ml / 0.75 pint of double cream
1 teaspoon of instant coffee
1 dessert spoon of caster sugar
A pinch of ground coffee

1. Carefully spread the toffee over the pastry base.
2. Peel and split the bananas lengthways and arrange them on top of the toffee, (see how they fit the curve of the pastry - that's why God made bananas curved).
3, Whip the cream with the instant coffee (if they are granules they will dissolve as you whip the cream) and the sugar until it just holds it's shape - take care not to over whip it.
4. Spread the cream over the bananas right up to the pastry edge then sprinkle sparingly with the ground coffee.
5. If you are not serving it immediately cover first with some baking parchment or greaseproof paper directly onto the cream and trim the edges then wrap in cling film. It does not lend itself to being frozen.

Large saucepan with lid or casserole - suitable to use in the oven
Kitchen scales
Mixing bowl
Rolling pin
Parchment paper
Baking beans
10" / 25cm deep fluted flan tin
Chopping board and knife
Hand whisk or electric whisk

Monday, 20 October 2014

Get the kids involved this Halloween!

Countdown to Halloween is on! Paper mache outfits are drying, trick or treat routes have been drawn up, now all you need is something delicious for your trick or treaters when they come knocking on your door next Friday..

Why not keep your children occupied this half term and get them involved in baking by helping to make some bootiful chocolate krispie creatures for your trick or treaters?

We love the Spider and Owl Krispies from Cookies and Cups and set about making our own version with our little helper and top taste tester, George.

For the body

900g coco pops
300g mini marshmallows
55g butter

1. Lightly grease a square 9 x 9 inch baking pan with butter or       cooking spray.
2. Melt butter over a pan and stir in marshmallows until melted.
3. Put coco pops in large mixing bowl and pour butter and marshmallow mixture over the top. Stir in until all the coco pops are covered and mixed in.
4. Press in to square baking or cake tin and leave to cool for 15 minutes.
5. Using a cookie cutter cut out circles and decorate.

For the decoration

2 x mini marshmallows (per creature)
Black icing
Pack of Starburst sweets (or something similar that can be squashed flat)
Pack of pretzel sticks
Sticky marshmallow mixture left over from the mixing bowl

1. Push 8 pretzel sticks in to the side of the body for legs.
2. Squash 2 marshmallows and stick to the body for eyes using a bit of the sticky marshmallow mixture left in the mixing bowl. Dab a dot of black food colouring on each eye for pupils, or even better if you can get your hands on an icing pen.
3. Squash the Starburst with a rolling pin and cut 2 triangle fangs using a sharp knife.

1. Make your eyes the same as the spider.
2. Push two broken pretzel sticks on top of the owls head for ears.
3. Using a squashed Starburst sweet cut out a triangle and stick to the body for a beak.

square baking or cake pan
large mixing bowl
mixing spoon
round cookie cutters
rolling pin
small chopping board and sharp knife
black food colouring

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Chocolate Week - Oct 13th - 19th

As if we need Chocolate Week as an excuse to bake chocolate cakes or treat ourselves to hot chocolates loaded with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.

Millionaires shortbread is one of my favourite things to bake, it's smothered in chocolate and is super easy!

For the shortbread: 
175g butter
250g plain flour
75g caster sugar

1. Line a loose based cake tin with greaseproof paper and pre heat the oven to 180ºC
2. Mix the flour and sugar together in a large bowl and then rub in the butter using your finger tips until it resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Knead the mixture together into a dough and then push into the base of the cake tin.
4. Prick the top of the shortbread using a fork and bake in oven for about 25-35 minutes or until firm to touch and slightly browned.
5. Leave to cool in the tin.

For the caramel

50g butter
50g light muscavado sugar
1 x 397g condensed milk

6. Put all ingredients into a pan and heat gently until the sugar and butter have dissolved.
7. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring all the time. Once the mixture has slightly thickened pour over the shortbread base and leave to cool.

For the chocolate

200g of dark or milk chocolate broken into pieces.

8. Gently heat the chocolate in a glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Be careful not to let the bowl touch the bottom as this may burn the chocolate.
9. Once melted, pour over the shortbread and caramel, spread evenly and leave to cool.

Kitchen Scales
Large mixing bowl
Loosed based cake tin
Wooden spoon
Glass bowl
Chopping board & Knife

The hardest part of making this recipe is waiting for everything to cool because it smells so delicious you will want to eat it straight away! I like to make it in the evening and leave over night in the fridge. Once it is cool, remove from the tin, cut into chunks and enjoy!

Monday, 29 September 2014

London Cocktail Week 6th - 12th Oct 2014

London Cocktail Week is back this October with over 200 bars offering £4 cocktails, tastings, pop ups and much more. But don't worry if you're miles from the capital, we have some of our favourite cocktail recipes below for you to recreate.

Why not have a cocktail party at home? Ask everyone to bring one spirit and one mixer/fresh fruit so you have plenty of flavours to choose from to create your own unique cocktails.

Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri
Let's start with an easy one, throw it all in together and let the blender do the work! We love strawberries but you can substitute these for other fruits such as raspberries, melon, mango, orange....

50ml white rum (we use Appletons White Rum)
Handful of hulled strawberries
25ml lime juice
12.5ml strawberry liquor (we use Bols)
Dash sugar syrup
small scoop full of crushed ice

1. Throw it all into a blender and blend until slushy.
2. Pour into a hurricane or large martini glass and garnish with a strawberry.

25ml / 50ml Measure
Strawberry huller
Lime juicer
Ice crusher
Large martini glass

Perhaps one of the easiest cocktails to make, the classic champagne cocktail originated from a cocktail competition in New York in 1899. As you drink, the sugar dissolves changing the drink from dry to sweet

1 x brown sugar cube
12.5ml brandy/cognac (we use Courvoisier v.s.o.p)
Angostura bitters
champagne (we use Ayala Brut Majeur - The house champagne served at Gordon Ramseys restaurants ;-) )

1. Dash angostura bitters over the sugar cube until covered and drop into the bottom of an empty champagne flute.
2. Top up with champagne

Champagne flute
25ml measure (use upside-down for half measures)

See we told you it was easy! Tip: If you find your champagne glass fizzing over when you pour the champagne over the sugar, tip your glass 45 degrees.

Old Fashioned
This drink takes a little more time and patience but it is definitely worth it! There are lots of variation of this drinks, we like it sweet so have added caramel syrup instead of sugar.


3-4 slices orange peel
Angostora bitters
12.5ml caramel syrup
62.5ml bourbon (we use Jim Beam)
Plenty of clean fresh ice

1. Cut 3-4 large pieces of orange peel and cut away the pith.
2. Muddle the orange with a dash or two of angostora bitters and the caramel syrup (we've put 12.5ml as we like it sweet - start with just a little and you can always add more). 
3. Half fill the glass with ice and pour 12.5ml of bourbon in. Using a long cocktail spoon gently mix the cocktail by moving in a circular direction.
4. After about 15 seconds, top up with more ice and pour another 12.5ml of bourbon in.
5. Repeat step 4 until you have used all of the bourbon.
6. Garnish with an orange twist.

Old fashioned glass or short tumbler
25ml measure (use upside-down for half measures)
Chopping board and knife
Long bar spoon

Remember you can add more/less sugar/lime depending how sweet or sour you like your drinks, and don't be afraid to experiment with different flavours! 

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie....

Have you seen the fun Ceramic Blackbird Pie Funnel that has just been added to our website? Not only does it have a fun design but it will let steam escape meaning crispier crusts and avoiding soggy pastry.

With Great British Bake Off starting again and fun gadgets like this how can we not be thinking about some home made baking? Blackberry season is just around the corner - here is our favourite blackberry pie recipe...


(For the pastry)
  • 150g soft salted butter
  • 275g plain flour
  • 30g icing sugar
  • 2 large egg (beaten)
  • 1/2 tablespoon water
(For the filling)
  • 4 cups fresh blackberries
  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 65g plain flour 
  • 2 tablespoons milk


1. Using fingers, rub the butter, plain flour and icing sugar together. Add 1 large beaten egg and 1/2 table spoon of water and briefly kneed before wrapping in clingfilm and chilling in the fridge for 30 minutes. 

2. Preheat oven to 220ºC

3. Combine 3.5 cups of blackberries with 65g flour and 100g sugar.

4. Chop pastry roughly in half and roll out the bottom of the pie on a lightly floured surface and put in base of pie dish. Lightly brush the base with the remaining beaten egg to prevent soggyness.

5. Place pie funnel in the centre of the pie and pour the sweetened blackberry mixture around it, top with the remaining unsweetened black berries.

6. Roll out the top crust, again on a lightly floured surface and place over top, cut off any excess and use your thumb to crimp to the edges.Brush with milk and sprinkle with the remaining sugar.

7. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce to 190ºC for an additional 20-25 minutes or until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden brown

8. Serve warm with ice cream or custard.


Monday, 14 July 2014

Happy Bastille Day!

Bastille day or Fête Nationale is a French National Holiday to mark the storming of the Bastille on 14th July 1789 by the Parisian revolutionaries, the start of the French Revolution. It became a national holiday the year after in 1790.

We think this is a perfect excuse to tuck into some freshly baked home made French pastries!!

Here is our favourite croissant recipes, from Paul Hollywood's collection.

  • 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting 
  • 10g salt, plus a pinch for the eggwash 
  • 80g caster sugar 
  • 10g instant yeast 
  • 300ml cool water
  • 300g chilled unsalted butter, preferably a good-quality Normandy butter 
  • 1 medium egg to glaze


Dualit 1000w Stand Mixer
1. Put the flour into a bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the salt and sugar to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other. Add the water and mix on a slow speed for 2 minutes, then on a medium speed for 6 minutes. The dough should be fairly stiff.
2. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape it into a ball. Dust with flour, put into a clean plastic bag and chill in the fridge for an hour.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough to a rectangle, about 60 x 20cm; it should be about 1cm thick. Flatten the butter to a rectangle, about 40 x 19cm, by bashing it with a rolling pin. Put the butter on the dough so that it covers the bottom two-thirds of the dough. Make sure that it is positioned neatly and comes almost to the edges.
4. Fold the exposed dough at the top down over one-third of the butter. Now gently cut off the exposed bit of butter, without going through the dough, and put it on the top of the dough you have just folded down. Fold the bottom half of the dough up. You will now have a sandwich of two layers of butter and three of dough. Pinch the edges lightly to seal in the butter. Put the dough back in the plastic bag and chill in the fridge for an hour to harden the butter.
Silicone Rolling Pin
5. Take the dough out of the bag and put it on the lightly floured work surface with a short end towards you. Roll into a rectangle, about 60 x 20cm, as before. This time fold up one-third of the dough and then fold the top third down on top to make a neat square to make a neat square. This is called a single turn. Put the dough back into the plastic bag and chill for another hour. Repeat this stage twice more, putting the dough back into the fridge for an hour between turns.
6. Your dough now needs to be left in the fridge for 8 hours, or overnight, to rest and rise slightly.
7. When you are ready to shape the croissants, line 2 or 3 baking trays with baking parchment or silicone paper.
8. Put the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out to a rectangle, a little more than 42cm long and 30cm wide; it should be about 7mm thick. Trim the edges to neaten them.
9. Cut the rectangle lengthways into 2 strips, then cut triangles along the length of each strip; these should be 12cm wide at the base and about 15cm high (from the middle of the base to the tip). Once you have cut the first triangle, you can use it as a template for the rest. You should get 6 triangles from each strip.
10. Before rolling, hold down the wide base of the triangle and gently tug the opposite thin end to cause a slight tension in the dough. Now starting at the thick end of the triangle, roll up into a croissant. You will have 12 medium-sized croissants. For a traditional crescent shape, turn the ends in towards each other slightly.
Pyrex Glass Baking Sheet
11. Put the croissants on the prepared baking trays, leaving space in between them to expand; allow 4 – 6 per tray. Put each tray inside a clean plastic bag and leave the croissants to rise at cool room temperature (18 – 24°C) until at least doubled in size. This should take about 2 hours.
12. Heat your oven to 200°C.
13. Lightly whisk the egg with a pinch of salt to make an egg wash. Brush the top and sides of the croissants with the eggwash. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Eat warm.

Cooling rack

Bon Appétit!