What can I say, the ‘Taste of Cavan’ was fantastic. There was over 38,000 at the show over the two days which is just unbelievable and the festival has got bigger and better every year. There were close to 150 food stands there with produce to die for.
This year it was moved to the equestrian centre in cavan and I think it went really well. I have to thank Majella Tierney and the whole team who put the festival together. It really was a top quality festival and as I said last week one that I am so proud to be associated with. And as I promised there was something for everyone and I got to see a lot of it with the twins which was great.
Most of Ireland’s top chefs were there over the two days and you should check out the ‘Taste of Cavan’ website for all the recipes.
Brian McDermott was the MC and he was fantastic. He did a great job as MC and did a brilliant demo as well. Rachel Allen was there and what a lady she is and a brilliant ambassador for Irish food and a great friend too.
Then there was Anjula Devi, another lovely lady and she did a really interesting demo using all her father’s recipes form India. She was very humble and sweet and I would love to see her back again. Gearoid Lunch front he Olde Post restaurant was there and he did a brilliant gluten free demo that went down a treat.
And then there was Shane Smith. A brilliant pastry chef from Cavan and a real talent. The people really loved his demo. Kevin Dundon was also there as well and as ever his demo was loved by the audience and Kevin is a lovely guy. So we really had the best of the best in Cavan for the two days.
Here is a lovely dessert that I made at one of my Demos at the Taste of Cavan last week. I hope you enjoy.
MACNEAN CHEESECAKE WITH WHITE CHOCOLATE, COOLE SWAN AND MACERATED PAT CLARKE STRAWBERRIES
200g (7oz) cream cheese
finely grated rind and juice of ¼ lemon
½ vanilla pod, split in half and seeds scraped out
100g (3.5oz) white chocolate, broken into squares
100ml (3.5fl oz) cream
100ml Coole Swan Liquor
4 shortbread biscuits, finely broken up
white chocolate curls, to decorate
dried raspberries to decorate
Maltesers to decorate
spun sugar, to decorate
fresh mint sprigs, to decorate
Using a whisk, beat the cream cheese, lemon rind and juice, vanilla seeds, melted white chocolate and Coole swan together, until smooth and light.
Fold in the whipped cream until combined. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 1cm (1/2in) plain nozzle and place in the fridge until needed.
To assemble the cheesecake, divide the macerated strawberries among martini glasses and crumble the shortbread biscuits on top. Pipe the cheesecake mixture right up to the rim of the glasses and decorate with raspberries, white chocolate curls, dried raspberries, Maltesers, spun sugar and mint sprigs.
To serve, arrange the cheesecakes on plates.
MACERATED PAT CLARKE STRAWBERRIES
8 oz Pat Clarke Strawberries chopped
2 tbsp crème de cassis
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp mint or basil chopped
Pour the crème de cassis and vanilla extract over the strawberries. Cover with cling film and shake. Leave overnight to infuse.