Favorite recipes

Pecan Shortbread Cookies 
Makes about 24 cookies 
1.3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped 
2.5oz unsalted butter, at room temperature 
3.1/2 cup sugar 
4.1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped 
5.1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
6.1/2 teaspoon salt 
7.1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
8.3 tablespoons brown sugar 
9.1 egg yolk, lightly beaten 
1.Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the chopped pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for about 6 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool. 
2.In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter with the white sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, vanilla extract and salt at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the flour in 3 batches, beating at low speed until just incorporated. Discard the vanilla bean. Stir in the pecans. 
3.Transfer the dough to a work surface and roll into a 1 1/2-inch-thick log. Wrap the log in plastic or parchment paper and refrigerate for about 1 hour, until chilled. 
4.Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the demerara sugar on a platter. Brush the log with the egg yolk and roll in the sugar. Slice the log into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Transfer the rounds to the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 1 inch apart. 
5.Bake the shortbread cookies for about 20 minutes, until the edges are golden; rotate the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let stand until cooled completely, about 30 minutes, before serving. 
Make Ahead 
The cookie dough can be frozen for up to 1 month. 


•TOTAL TIME: 2 HRS plus 2 hr cooling 
•SERVINGS: Makes one 8-inch square/round cake
1/3 cup sesame seeds, ground
2 Tbsp black sesame seeds-whole
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2  cup almond flour
2 teaspoons baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1 3/4 sticks (14 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened 
1 cup granulated sugar 
4 large eggs 
1 pear, peeled cored and sliced
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


1.Grind remaining 1/2 cup sesame seeds in spice mill to form a thick paste, about 2 minutes. 
2.Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly grease and flour an 8-inch square or round baking pan, tapping out any excess flour. Place pear slices neatly & slightly overlapping around base. In a medium bowl, whisk the flours & whole seeds with the baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the butter with the granulated sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the sesame seed mixture and beat at medium speed until just combined. Add the eggs to the batter one at a time, beating well between additions. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. 
3.Bake the cake for about 45 minutes, until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert it onto a wire rack and let cool completely, about 2 hours. Dust the cake with confectioners' sugar, slice and serve


The Old Rectory B&B

4 oz oats (flat)
4 oz flour
4 oz caster sugar
4 oz salted butter

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder
3 oz (2Tbsp) golden syrup (from cane-not corn)

2 tsp water


Put your oven on at 180*C/375*F

Whip butter & sugar in mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Next add the flour, soda, bp, oats, water & Lyles syrup. Mix well.

Remove dough from bowl and roll into long roll about 1 inch thick, then slice into 15-20 equal pieces.

Put them onto a greased baking sheet. Flatten the discs slightly, bake until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.

When they are ready take them out of the oven and let them cool for only 2 minutes, then remove onto cooling rack. Leaving the biscuits too long on baking tray will not let them crisp up.


Rumour is that for 500 years the monks of St John the Baptist Abbey in ColchesterU.K. were famous for their crunchy oat Priory biscuits which were also baked and enjoyed by the townsfolk. All that's left of the Abbey today is its 15th century gatehouse and its biscuits!


1 lb 12 oz   strong Flour

12 oz         brown Flour

2 Tbsp       milk powder

5 tsp         dry yeast (granules)

1 Tbsp       salt

½ cup       12 grain - red river mix will suffice

8 fl oz       warm milk

1 ½ Tbsp   brown sugar

4 oz          butter

1 Tbsp      fresh rosemary-finely chopped

8 fl oz      (our homemade) buttermilk

28 fl oz     warm water

4 fl oz       extra virgin olive oil

Add 12 grain & sugar to warm milk, leave to soak for 1 hour.

Brown the butter in frying pan, add rosemary and immediately pour into 12 grain mix stirring well.

Mix 1st 5 ingredients together in mixing bowl. Then add the 12 grain mix.

Next pour in buttermilk, olive oil & water and knead for 12 minutes in mixer.

More water may be required depending on texture of dough. Dough should be starting to come together and off the sides of the bowl.

Leave to rest for 1 hour.

Remove from bowl and cut into 4 equal pieces. Knead into desired shape. We make loaves and smaller buns from the mixture. A quarter batch can be made into approx 15-20 buns.

Leave proof for another hour, then gently egg wash tops. Preheat oven to 425*F and bake buns for 12-15 minutes until golden. Loaves take 30 minutes.

Turn onto wire rack to cool.



•225g plain flour


•85g white sugar


•1 tsp mixed spice


•½ tsp baking powder


•50g butter, cut into small pieces


•50g lard, cut into small pieces


•50g currants


•1 egg, beaten


•½ cup milk or buttermilk




1.Tip the flour, sugar, mixed spice, baking powder and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Then, with your fingers, rub in the butter and lard until crumbly. Mix in the currants. Work the egg into the mixture until you have soft dough, adding ½ cup of milk if it seems a little dry – it should be the same consistency as scones.


2.Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to the thickness of 1cm. Cut out rounds using a 6cm cutter, re-rolling any trimmings. Grease a flat griddle pan or heavy frying pan sparingly with lard, and place over a medium heat. Cook the cakes in batches, for about 3 mins each side, until golden brown, crisp and cooked through. Toss in sugar to coat and cool on rack.


Serves 14.

150g butter

  • 300g golden syrup
  • 200g muscovado sugar
  • 250ml Cobblestone Porter
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 300g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 300ml sour cream
  • 2 eggs.

Measurement Conversion Calculator

  1. 1.Preheat your oven to 170 degrees. Grease your oven tray or muffin pans if making individually.
  2. 2.Put the butter, syrup, muscovado sugar, Porter, ginger, cinnamon and ground cloves into a pan and melt gently over a low heat.
  3. 3.Take off the heat and whisk in the flour and bicarb.
  4. 4.Whisk the sour cream and eggs together and then beat into the gingerbread mixture in the sour cream and eggs, whisking to get a smooth batter. It will be runny
  5. 5.Bake for 45 minutes
  6. 6.Let the gingerbread cool before cutting into slices or squares.

The gingerbread can be baked up to 1 week ahead. Wrap in baking parchment followed by layer of plastic wrap and store in airtight container in a cool place. Keep for total of 2 weeks.


  • Makes one 8-inch square cake


    1. 3/4 cup poppy seeds
    2. 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
    3. 2 teaspoons baking powder
    4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
    5. 7 oz unsalted butter-softened
    6. 1 cup granulated sugar
    7. 4 large eggs
    8. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    9. 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
    10. Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


  1. In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the poppy seeds and cover.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly grease and flour an 8-inch square baking pan. In a medium bowl, whisk the 1 1/3 cups of flour with the baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the butter with the granulated sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the poppy seed mixture and beat at medium speed until just combined. Add the eggs to the batter one at a time, beating well between additions. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the cake for about 45 minutes, until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert it onto a wire rack and let cool completely, about 2 hours. Dust the cake with confectioners' sugar, cut into squares and serve.  


Serves: 8-10
230g raw cane sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp honey
1 egg
75g butter
3g bicarbonate of soda
150g chopped dates
300ml chai tea, or tea of your choice(Use 2 t-bags)
225g plain flour
1 tsp mixed spice-I use goodalls brand
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 160C/330f.

Spray cake tin with canola spray and
line base with baking paper. Boil chai tea for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, put dates
and bicarb soda and butter in a large metal bowl. When tea is boiled measure
out 310ml and pour over dates, butter and bicarb mix. Leave until at room
temperature at least 20mins, preferably overnight.
2. While chai mix is cooling, beat sugar, honey, egg, vanilla for 5 minutes on
speed 3 until white and light and creamy. Combine dry ingredients together.
3. Pour date mix slowly into sugar mix on speed 1, until combined (2
minutes). Handful by handful, add the dry ingredients to this mix. Do not
overbeat, mixer should be on for maximum of 2 minutes.
4. Pour into loaf tin and bake for about 40 minutes, until springy and
bounces back on touch and nice and brown all over. Let cool for 10 minutes
before releasing from tin.


Serves: 10

5  Ounce  All purpose unbleached Plain Flour 
1  Ounce  Cornstarch
4  Ounce  Butter 
2  Ounce  Dark Brown Sugar

1  tsp vanilla essence (D'lis) 
1  Orange-zest only 


Mix all ingredients in cuisinart, let rest 1 hour in fridge. Roll to desired shape, about 1/4 inch high. Cook at 180 degrees 'F'. Cool on wire rack and sprinkle with caster sugar.

Serves: 12

1 Cup Instant or fine grind Polenta
1/3 Cup Plain Flour (omit flour for gluten free, use rice or tapioca flour instead)
1 1/2 Tsp. Baking Powder
Pinch Salt
1/3 Cup Plain Yogurt
2 Tblsp Melted Butter
1 Tblsp Olive Oil
1 Grapefruit-Rind Finely grated 
1 Grapefruit-Juiced
2 Eggs
2 Egg whites
3/4 Cup Sugar

Sift polenta, flour, salt & baking powder. Combine yogurt, butter, oil, rind and juice in
small bowl. Beat whites, eggs and sugar until thick and creamy. Beat in yogurt mixture.
Fold in dry ingredients until just combined. Pout into 8 " pan. Bake at 375*F for 45
minutes. Remove from oven and turn out onto wire rack & turn right side up. Drizzle hot
lemon syrup over cake; cool.

Lemon Syrup..... 1/2 Cup Sugar 1/3 Cup Water 1/3 Cup lemon juice, plus optional 10 leaves verbena.
Simmer for 3 minutes, pour over cake.


Try this with the Revel Coffee house blend available on Market Square preferably with some quiet time after the Christmas rush! P.S. They brew lovely hot chocolate too, just ask Conor.

1 1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
2 1/2 Cups Soft Flour
1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp. Salt
3 Large Eggs
1 Tsp. Vanilla
1 Cup Sliced Almonds
1 Large Egg as eggwash


1).Preheat oven to 325*f.
2).Soak Cranberries in boiling hot water for 5 mins. Drain and pat dry.
3).Mix together flour, sugar, soda, b-powder and salt with beater. Add eggs and vanilla until dough forms. Add cranberries and almonds and mix at low speed.
4).Turn out onto floured surface and knead several times.
5). Halve dough and form each piece into a 13-by2 inch slightly flattened log.
6). Brush each log with egg wash,and bake in oven for 30 mins. 7). Cool logs slightly then cut diagonally into half inch thick slices with serrated knife.
8). Bake these slices for 10 mins each side, until golden and crisp.


We make different savoury types: cheddar & apple, smoked gouda and thyme etc, sometimes even sweet treat like a pear and vanilla one. Homemade relishes top these savoury delights too! They are the 'Brent Carver' of souffles-not too tall but sublime!!!


50 g Butter
50 g Plain/Soft Flour
300 ml Cream-35%
300 ml Milk

1 Tbsp Marmite (optional)
1 Tsp. Thyme or Oregano
1 Pinch Nutmeg
4 Yolks
6 Egg Whites
225 g Cheese (havarti or goats or cheddar)

Lining the Moulds....
50 g Melted Butter
100 g.each Breadcrumbs/Parmesan/Hazlenuts..finely ground (nuts are optional)


1. Line moulds by brushing the insides with melted butter and then sprinkling the breadcrumb mix in. Tap out excess crumbs.
2. Pre heat the oven to 220*C or 425*F.
3. Make white sauce....melt butter in pot then add flour to make a paste. Slowly add milk, marmite & cream and seasonings(herbs) and boil gently for 5 mins. Stir frequently as sauce will tend to 'catch' in pot & burn. Leave to cool for 8/10 mins.
4. Meanwhile grate your cheese (eg cheddar) and put in large bowl with egg yolks. Pour the sauce over the cheese and mix until the cheese has melted.
5. Whip the egg whites to a stiff peak consistency.Fold into the cheese mix until evenly distributed.Spoon mix into ramekins to the top.
6. Place ramekins into a shallow tray with about 1cm of warm water in the tray. Cook in the oven for about 15/25 mins or until fully risen and golden on top.
7. To unmould leave souffle to cool to blood temp and then gently slide a knife around the inside of the mould to loosen it. It should pop out when turned upside down.
Store in fridge for up to 2 days and reheat in 400*f oven for about 10 mins. Serve immediately.
(Can be eaten cold...nice as part of a plowmans lunch)



2018 Season Playbill


The Tempest
Directed by Antoni Cimolino
Festival Theatre

Directed by Robert Lepage
Avon Theatre
Julius Caesar

Directed by Scott Wentworth
Festival Theatre

The Comedy of Errors
Directed by Keira Loughran
Studio Theatre (tentative)


The Music Man
Directed and Choreographed by Donna Feore
Festival Theatre

The Rocky Horror Show
Directed and Choreographed by Donna Feore
Avon Theatre


To Kill a Mockingbird
Directed by Nigel Shawn Williams
Festival Theatre

Long Day's Journey Into Night
Directed by Miles Potter
Studio Theatre (tentative)

An Ideal Husband
Directed by Lezlie Wade
Avon Theatre

Napoli Milionaria
Directed by Antoni Cimolino
Avon Theatre (tentative)


Brontë: The World Without
Directed by Vanessa Porteous
Studio Theatre

Paradise Lost
Directed by Jackie Maxwell
Studio Theatre

Full 2018 details at Festival website