Summer fruits in Champagne Syrup

Here’s a really simple recipe for an amazing summer BBQ pudding. 
I’m new to Instagram https://www.instagram.com/ukfoodscene and was flicking through my phone to find some nice food picture to upload.
I found these pictures from a Barbecue last summer and the colours jumped out at me.
This recipe can be easily adapted in a million ways but keep the core components and you can’t miss.

Step 1 of 1!
Take a selection of summer fruits and fresh herbs then layer them neatly in a deep oven proof dish. (Even though this is going to turn into a sticky fruit mess it does help if you make it neat)
I went with what we had in which was:
Raspberries
Peaches
Strawberries
Basil
Mint

Sprinkle over the top:
Caster sugar
Tiny pinch of cinnamon
A couple of grinds of black pepper

Now cover this up and leave it until your guests arrive.
Late on in the evening when all the meat has been cooked and everyone’s stuffed – but the BBQ is still lovely and hot – put the dish onto the BBQ and pour on at least 1 bottle of Champagne (Don’t use anything too posh. The cheap stuff tends to be sweeter which helps the dish. Pour in enough Fizz to cover the dish and then…..just….wait.

I can’t tell you precise times for cooking as I have never been sober when serving this one, but as with most food it will tell you when it’s ready. The fruit and champagne liquid will become a thick bubbling syrup, and the smell will become almost TOO much to resist. It is most likely done when at least 60% of your guests have made a comment on the smell. I’d say between 25 minutes and an hour! Now take it off the fire and place in front of everyone. Put a load of bowls & spoons out and a tub of Vanilla ice cream and let people dig in.

The perfect way to end a Barbecue and the dish is always scraped clean!!

 

fruit-2
Fresh Sweet Portuguese Fruit
fruitty
You don’t have to make it look pretty (but it helps)
fruit-3
On the coals you go
frit-fizz
Adding the champagne
fruitr-done
the most incredible smelling, sweet, sticky fruit pudding!!
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Dreams of a happy life

This is a journey in to food (This is also my first EVER blog post)

As I write this I am sat in a large open plan office in Manchester, where I sell Fibre Optic Broadband to Small businesses.
I don’t ‘love’ broadband (although I couldn’t write this blog without it) and I don’t ‘love’ this company (although I couldn’t have bought my first house without it).
The real love in my life is Food -I also love playing the guitar and boxing, but I’m not good enough at either to make any money! Food is the only one of my passions that I know enough about to potentially make a living out of, and I was told that if you find a job you love, then you will never work again.

So I want to be my own boss within the food industry, then I want a restaurant right? Yes!
Ultimately the dream is to have my own place. I don’t want somewhere huge, nor do I want a restaurant empire. My dream is to own somewhere in the sun, by the sea, serving fresh seafood with freezing cold drinks to around 30 covers. All to the soundtrack of laughter, live guitars, and crashing waves -Heaven.

How do I get there?

Firstly I need to leave this job. I am not getting any younger (36) and prospects here aren’t good. I don’t earn enough to save money, and there is no ladder to climb. I spend hours looking online for other jobs, but the positions that match my skill set are all office based roles, selling some sort of technology product for another huge corporate. I hate my job and no job I’ve seen gets me excited. I’m getting married this year and I cannot imagine a world where I have to return to this office after my wedding. Something has to change in my life!

My fiancé and I are both complete ‘foodies’ with the same ambition to own a restaurant. If I was younger and single, then I’d get a job in a restaurant today, I’d do anything and work my way up (hindsight is a wonderful thing), but now we have a mortgage and are trying to saving for our wedding and children etc., so it isn’t financially realistic for me to take a restaurant job. So what do I do?

About 6 weeks ago I was going through online job adverts for the 10th time that day. I found something that looked like it could be a bit special. This was something different, something unique, something that ticked boxes I didn’t even know existed, something which brought together my skills and my passion, something amazing….so I applied.

4 weeks of intensive interviews and presentations later, I have just found out that I GOT THE JOB!!!!

In 2 weeks I start my new role as:
Field Sales Consultant for bookatable.com

This role is the dream job for me. I will be selling an incredible booking system to restaurants! Selling a product that is already being used by some of the most successful restaurants in the world, and they love it! I will be selling into my favourite industry.  I will no longer be sat in a huge office selling broadband over the phone; I will be working from my home office, setting up meetings and appointments with restaurateurs. I will be able to get out and about, meeting restaurant owners face to face in their restaurants. 
I still can’t quite believe it’s true.

In order to be successful at this new role I will need to develop a deep understanding of all things food in my area (Leeds). I will need to know what’s happening and who’s doing it. I need to know which are the up and coming places. Where are the hidden gems? Who’s under rated? Who’s over rated? Who’s making the most exciting food? Who’s using new techniques? Who’s heading for a Michelin star? Who’s who when it comes to food in Leeds?

In all my time working in restaurants I have gained some insight into the behind the scenes operations. This new role is going to allow me to get to know every single aspect of the restaurant industry in minute detail.  I want to become well known on the UK restaurant scene and to become someone with a fantastic – and well earned – reputation in the food industry. I want to be someone who’s views and opinions matter. I want to be someone who can help restaurants become successful!

I want to use this incredible opportunity to put me on the path to owning my own restaurant.

I don’t know how long this journey will take, or where I will end up, but I want to share my experiences with you along the way and this blog is the very start of this journey.

I currently have 2 weeks of my notice period still to work and then the new life can begin.

Wish me luck!!!