Friday 15 March 2013

Mother's day weekend, Baked Mushrooms with goats cheese, herb crumb stuffing, fig and maple syrup jam and Moist Almond Cake

I always welcome weekends with open arms...but they are open even wider these days. Life is busy...which is a good thing...but makes weekends and a slower pace so much more precious. Last weekend I was determined to slow down a bit. I did and it was lovely. One of the best bits about weekends is time for leisurely breakfast, or taking a cup of tea back to bed with a book. Or reading in a hot bath, even better...Time to knit and long, long phone conversations catch up with TV dramas that we've missed during the week. Try out sandwiches like Morton's goats cheese, fig and honey chutney with rocket salad on multi seed baguette, while people watching from the cafe window. 

Then on Mothering Sunday being treated for supper by H at the St Giles Tavern. Drinking a beer with hot parsnip crisps. Then eating the most delicious roast chicken with cauliflower cheese  and stuffing that was as light as a soufflé, made with lots of fresh herbs and lemon zest. Thanks Pumpkin.  And remembering my mum and A's, and wishing they could have been with us too.

My, Baked mushrooms with goats cheese and herb crumb stuffing and fig and maple syrup jam, inspired by food I ate at the weekend. 

Ingredients for two people:

  • Four large mushrooms, Portobello or large chestnut.
  • Two slices of good brown bread
  • Garlic, as many cloves as you like
  • One red onion
  • Fresh herbs. I used thyme and rosemary.
  • Goats cheese
  • Lime or lemon zest
  • One or two fresh figs for the jam, plus extra for the salad
  • Maple syrup or runny honey
  • Olive oil and butter(or substitute)
  • Salad leaves. I used wild rocket and watercress
  1. Peel and slice the red onion finely.
  2. Pour a little olive oil into a frying pan and cook the onion until caramelised. 
  3. Whilst these are cooking make bread crumbs from the bread by pulsing in a blender. Chop the herbs and add to these and the lime zest, sea salt and black pepper.
  4. Remove the stalks from the mushrooms and chop.
  5. When the onions are caramelised take out half of them and reserve for later.
  6. Chop the figs and add to the remaining onions in the pan and a tiny little bit of sea salt and cook them until soft, adding a little water if necessary. 
  7. When cooked add a drizzle of maple syrup or honey and give a good stir. Remove from the pan and put into a small serving dish and keep warm.
  8. Switch the oven on, 220c.
  9. Wipe the frying pan and return the other half of the onions and the garlic and chopped mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are tender. 
  10. Add the crumb/zest/herb mix to the onions, garlic and mushrooms in the pan and combine and warm through adding some butter or a little more olive oil to help.Remove from the heat.
  11. Put a tiny bit of olive oil in the bottom of an oven proof dish. Place the mushrooms into it. 
  12. Top each mushroom with a slice of goats cheese and then top with some of the crumb mixture, piling it on and pressing into shape so that stays together.You may like to drizzle with a little more oil if the mixture seems dry.
  13. Bake for about fifteen to twenty minutes until the mushrooms are cooked and the crumb nice and brown and crunchy. You can check if they are tender with the blade of a knife.
  14. Meanwhile assemble the salad leaves and halved figs
  15. When the mushrooms are ready serve with the salad and warm fig and maple syrup jam.
This is a lovely dish the herby crumb topping was inspired by the delicious lemony stuffing I had at St Aldates Tavern for Mother's Day supper and the goats cheese filling and fig jam and rocket salad, by Morton's tasty baguette. 

Moist Almond Cake

I can't take the credit for this recipe because it's actually Mary Berry's cherry cake recipe without the cherries. But it is lovely moist and so simple to make.

To make it you will need:

  • 8oz/150g SR flour
  • 2oz/50g ground almonds
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 7oz/200g softened butter
  • 70z/200g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • I like to add a little vanilla paste/seeds or extract
  1. Prepare a 7in baking pan
  2. Preheat the oven to 160c/325f/Gas Mark 3
  3. Place all the ingredients into a large baking bowl and beat well until combined 
  4. Pour into the baking pan and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the case has rise and is firm and golden brown. 
  5. Leave to cool for a few minutes before turning out onto a cake rack.
This is a lovely moist cake. It makes a perfect pudding with nice sour yoghurt and ripe blueberries.

...and I still haven't tidied my room...


  1. Debby, I loved your description of the weekend.
    The breakfast is my favorite moment of the weekend.
    You cook a very tasty meal, one day I will cook some of your recipes
    In Spain the Mother's Day is the first Sunday in May.
    Your mother was beautiful.
    Have a good week.

    Have a good week

  2. Thank you Montse. Our Mother's day seems to be much earlier than everyone elses. I'll look forward to seeing yours. Have a lovely day.

  3. Hope you had a lovely Mothering Sunday. Those mushrooms look wonderful. Unfortunately I'm the only one who eats mushrooms but I guess that's just more for me. Parsnip crisps! I haven't had them for ages. Now that Autumn seems to have finely arrived in Melbourne I must hunt out some nice parsnips to make my own. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. It was lovely thanks Caz. Those mushrooms are wonderful. I seem to be putting crumb topping on everything except salads at the moment! I blame the weather...I can't stop eating carbohydrates...Glad the weather is cooling down a bit for you...I know how don't like it too hot.

  4. love love love the herb crumb stuffing and fig and maple syrup jam. glad you had a great mothering sunday last week. I wished I had my mum with me too, but at least I skyped her and I made her sesame oil chicken to cheer myself up :) (she handwrote, annotated and colour coded the recipe .. freaking anal. mailed me in my first year overseas) Was great dropping by and reading about your lovely weekends again, have a good one this week debby x

    1. It was scrumptious Shu Han, so moreish. Sorry you weren't with your mum but skype is the best next thing just shame you can't hug on skype! I think I'm almost as bad as your mum...I made my daughter Hannah a handwritten recipe book when she went off to uni with funny little anecdotes and photo's. Thanks for your nice comments...hope yours is good too.