I was pretty excited because I’d never had the opportunity to have a cooking lesson with a celebrity chef before! Besides being a Masterchef winner Mat is the owner of the Wild Garlic in Dorset.
Mat showed us how to make some nifty dishes using eggs of course! I accepted this invitation after the reassurance that the farms are indeed audited by the RSPCA Freedom Food annually and also by “field teams” to observe the hens behavior.
The company has launched a range of branded products including quiches, scotch and sandwich fillers. They also mentioned a few trial creperies around the UK.
Battery eggs are now illegal in the egg and as a result the UK has the highest free range egg rate in the world. The Happy Egg Co farms are certified gold and platinum by the RSPCA. What I didn’t know was there is a huge difference in the classes of farms and platinum farms are the very best. Happy Egg farms have items such as sand pits, perching platforms and toys for the chickens to peck at (to discourage pecking at each other).
The first thing Mat showed us how to do was make our own homemade Mayo. I never thought that making my own mayonnaise would be easy.
Mat’s Recipe for Homemade Mayo
200ml Rapeseed Oil
1 cup white wine vinegar
pinch of salt
1. Using a stick blender pour all the ingredients in a slim container. Place the stick blender directly on top of the egg yolk and begin to blend. Slowly lift the blender up and keep blending until combined. Viola!
My favorite of course was the super rich chocolate fondant. Mat used a rich dark chocolate so the fondant isn’t overly sweet.
Chocolate Fondant for One
50g bitter chocolate (70% or 85%)
50g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
pinch of salt
orange zest (optional)
1. Butter and dust a ramekin with cocoa powder and freeze for 5 minutes. In a small sauce pan melt the butter and chocolate over low heat.
2. In a bowl whisk the egg, egg yolk and sugar. Fold in the flour and salt and then fold in the melted chocolate mixture and orange zest.
3. Pour the mixture into the ramekin and bake at 220 C for about 9 minutes.
The last thing Mat showed us how to make was was poached eggs with hollandaise, which as a brunch lover I was ecstatic about.
I once wasted 6 eggs trying to make poached eggs using the “swirl” method I saw on a popular blog. Mat showed us the best way I’ve ever seen.
Hollandaise sauce was also way easier than I thought! I tried making it in my blender before and it was a disaster.
250g butter (I asked and fake butter won’t do here)
4 egg yolks
pinch of salt
1. Melt the butter and let it cool a bit. Pour the egg yolks into a slender container. Pour in the cooled butter, squeeze of lemon juice and salt.
2. Place the stick blender directly over one of the egg yolks and begin to blend. Raise the blender as it begins to combine and keep blending until smooth. Leftovers can be saved and stored in the fridge.
Best trick Mat taught us was if for some reason this fails, the sauce (and the Mayo) can be saved by cracking another egg yolk and blending again.
Thank you to Happy Egg Co and Matt for a fun evening!
I was invited as a guest by Happy Egg Co. Hopefully I have noted all the facts correctly! I was furiously scribbling notes during the evening.