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What’s Cooking Parkerchef?

Our staff have been busy creating some culinary delights in the kitchen during the lockdown. This issues’ guest chefs are Ben Carpenter, Carrieanne Beer, James Suatt and Martin Wilson.

Martin Wilson’s Biscotti

Martin Wilson is well known to everyone at Parkeray as a bit of a culinary expert after whipping up some treats for our Respect morning last year. Here he shares with us one of his favourite recipes, Biscotti!


  • 250g plain flour
  • 250g caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon of fennel seeds
  • 100g whole almonds
  • 100g of raisins


Preheat oven to 180C/fan gas 4, line a baking tray with baking paper

Put the flour, sugar and baking powder into a bowl and mix together, then add raisins the vanilla extract, yolk, orange zest, fennel seeds raisins and nuts, and mix by hand until everything is incorporated.

Once combined into a dough, tip it onto a floured surface and roll into a sausage shape about 32-34cm long. Roll it in some sugar, dusting evenly, then place on the baking tray.

Place in the oven and bake for 30 mins until golden brown and still a bit soft to touch. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for approx. 10 mins.

Turn the oven down to 120C /fan/ gas mark 1 or 2.

When cooled, slide it onto a chopping board and cut into 1 cm slices. Put the slices back onto the baking tray and return to the oven for 40mins, after 20 mins turn over.

Remove from the oven, leave to cool. Lovely as a snack with tea or coffee.

Ben Carpenter’s Black Bean Soup with Feta & Kale & Apple & Pecan Salad

A keen cook, Ben Carpenter says “I love cooking so I am always trying new recipes, here’s one I’ve done recently using a great app called Mealime.”
To view this tasty recipe, please click the link below.

Carrieanne’s Carrot Cake

A previous, inter-company ‘Bake-off’ semi-finalist and according to Mike Murray creator of “the best Bakewell tart ever” on her first attempt, Carrieanne shares her favourite carrot cake recipe from the BBC’s Good Food website:

Carrieanne said, “Nothing better than a freshly baked homemade cake. I like this recipe and I think the yoghurt enriches the cake and adds to the texture.”

James Suatt’s Three Fruit and Ginger Marmalade

James enjoys making jams and marmalade, although he hasn’t made any this year so far. He loves to make jam from the fruit he grows in his garden including plums, strawberries, blackberries and blackcurrants. He says, “it’s not a big secret, I got it from a book, but I have adapted it a little bit and if done right, it’s amazing.”


  • 1kg fruit (grapefruit, lemons and sweet oranges)
  • 75ml lemon juice
  • 250g crystallised stem ginger finely chopped (Holland and Barrett stock this)
  • 1.75kg demerara sugar (you can use ordinary granulated sugar)

You will need …

  • Large preserving pan (8 or 9 litres)
  • Wooden spoon
  • Sharp knife
  • Chopping board
  • Preserving thermometer


  1. Scrub the fruit and remove the buttons on the top of the fruit
  2. Cut the fruit in half and squeeze out the juice and keep to one side. Remove any pips.
  3. Using a sharp knife, cut the peel, pith and all into thin, medium or chunky shreds according to taste. Remove any other pips that you find.
  4. Put the sliced peel etc into the preserving pan with the fruit juice that you squeezed out and 2.5ltrs water. Cover with a tea towel and leave to soak overnight or up to 24 hours.
  5. Once soaked, bring to the boil on the hob and simmer slowly until the peel is tender (should take about 2 hours). By this point, the contents should have reduced by about one-third.
  6. Whilst this is simmering, finely chop the crystallised ginger.
  7. Stir in the lemon juice and slowly add the crystallised ginger and sugar, stirring constantly so that it dissolves and doesn’t get stuck to the bottom of the pan (it’s a nightmare to get off later if it sticks and burns).
  8. Once all of the ginger and sugar has dissolved, boil rapidly until the “setting point” is reached (see below), and this should take about 20-25 minutes. Leave to cool for 10 minutes and then stir gently to disperse any scum.
  9. Pour into warm sterilised jam jars and seal immediately.

Setting Point

Leave it to sit overnight and enjoy!

As long as the proportion of ingredients is correct and you follow the recipe, the marmalade should set once it has sufficiently cooked. There are three simple methods you can use to check if the setting point has been reached but make sure that you remove the marmalade from the heat whilst you test or you will lose more water as it continues to cook and may set too firmly. If setting point has not been reached, return to the heat, boil for a couple more minutes and test again.

Crinkle or saucer test – drop a spot of marmalade onto a saucer that’s been in the fridge for an hour or two. Allow to cool for a minute and push gently with your finger. If it crinkles, it’s set.

Flake test – dip a clean wooden spoon into the marmalade and hold it up over the pan. Twirl it around a couple of times and let the marmalade drop from the side of it. If the drops run together to form a flake, it’s set.

Temperature test – Place the preserving thermometer into the marmalade when it has reached a rolling boil. When it reaches 104.5C, it’s set.

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