Blog

Posted in Fresh Strawberries

Strawberry Facts

In Season: Late April – October

Nutritional Value: High in vitamin C, fibre and folic acid. Some say strawberries whiten teeth…

Buying: Choose strawberries that are bright red with leaves intact. Smaller berries are usually sweeter and more flavoursome than the larger berries! Obviously, avoid soft or mouldy strawberries.

Preparation: Strawberries only need a quick rinse with water and can be eaten straight away. Here on our farm, we have strict interval levels of when we can fertilise our strawberries. This means that our strawberries will be completely free from any dangerous or hazardous chemicals by the time of harvest.

Serving Suggestions: Strawberries are mainly used in desserts, but can also be added to savoury dishes. Basil and black pepper compliment strawberries excellently.

Benefits: Strawberries are a good source of folate which may help to reduce the risk of heart disease. They also contain high levels of vitamin C (more than oranges!) – an antioxidant that prevents all different illnesses.

History: Wild strawberries have been around since prehistoric times, but cultivation didn’t begin until the 1300’s. The name strawberry comes from the use of straw as mulch but was actually spelt strawberry as the fruits were strewn around the leaves.

Did you know, strawberries are a member of the rose family?

Posted in Farm Updates

New Software & Traceability

Hello technology.

Hello transparent supply chain.

OK now the dramatics are over and we’ve got your attention, we are updating our software. Why? So we can tick all possible boxes when it comes to traceability and safety in the food chain. Who will be checking?

SALSALogo
Safe Food Accreditation

SALSA recognise small businesses who are able to demonstrate to an auditor that they can produce safe and legal food. Above all, the SALSA scheme exists to encourage and assist small businesses like Boddington’s Berries to help make sure food is consistently safe to eat.

SALSA will be doing their annual audit this March and we always like to be a step ahead. The rules of the supply chain in regards to traceability are ‘one step forward, one step back’. If every link in the chain follows this rule, then usually there are no problems. Our new software means we can be 100% sure that our ingredients, and anything else we buy in, like packaging, are all from safe suppliers.

How does it work?

Our new system includes the use of a bar code scanner. We know – a bar code scanner here on the farm? It’s actually pretty cool…

28 gms Strawberry Conserve
Boddington’s 28g Strawberry Conserve

Ingredients, packaging, end products, labels EVERYTHING that is involved in the jam production is given a bar code that we randomly generate on the computer. The lemon juice has one, the glass jars have one – you get the idea.

Using our strawberry conserve production line as an example, we’ll explain how the new system will be used.

  • As our stock is delivered, we will generate a bar code depending on the batch of the product. So for example, if our Lemon Juice supplier were to deliver cases of lemon that contained 2 different batches, we would have to make sure each batch had a different bar code.
  • When Jeff, our cook, collects the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice, he will scan the codes on each product he uses. In this example, our sugar is bought from Bako, which is sourced in the UK.
  • Next, the jars will be scanned along with the lids and label roll.
  • Our end product will then be placed into a box, labelled with a new generated bar code. This bar code will provide all the information on each ingredient and material used to that particular box of jam.

All of the bar codes and scanned information is automatically uploaded to our online software which records the movements of all our products and materials.

Why is this useful?

Unfortunately, problems with the food chain are still happening. Contaminants, undeclared allergens or inaccurate information are all examples of supply chain problems. If this were to happen, we would be able to find every single one of our products that contains the identified ingredients or material. Our system will also enable us to see where these products are should they no longer be with us on the farm.

So now you know.  A transparent food chain is the final result. By taking small steps like this we can help to reassure the general public that their food is not only safe to eat, but is everything described on the jar.

All natural ingredients, made here on our farm in Mevagissey.

Should anyone want to know, our new traceability software is called NotaZone, Agrantec.

 

 

 

Posted in Raspberry Conserve

Raspberry Almond Macarons with Boddington’s Raspberry Conserve

Raspberry Almond Macarons filled with Boddington’s Raspberry Conserve

(makes 30+/- macaron shells)
IMG_0815Ingredients:

Equipment:

  • Electric whisk
  • Food blender
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spatula
  • Tablespoon
  • Baking Tray & grease proof
  • Bottle cap to trace macaron circle
  • Piping bag and round nozzle
  • Lustre dust to decorate (mix with vodka and use a small brush to splatter over)

Method

1. First of all, draw circle templates onto grease proof paper – we used the bottle top of a fizzy drinks bottle. The circle needs to be fairly small. Then flip the paper over once you’ve drawn the circles to stop any pencil transferring onto the macaron.

2. Blend the ground almond and icing sugar until fine and powdery (helps give you smooth shells) *please skip this step if you are more worried about the taste than the appearance.

3. Now, whisk up the egg whites in a clean mixing bowl, slowly add the caster sugar as you would with meringues, a tablespoon at a time. Keep on whisking until the egg whites are very stiff.

4. Next, tip the ground almonds and icing sugar on top of the meringue mix. Now, grab your spatula and here begins the mixing. Start at 1 o’clock, scrape all the way along the bowl under the mixture back to the top of the bowl at 12 o’clock, then flat side leading, drag straight through the mixture and flatten against the bowl at the bottom. This is easier to do with the bowl tilted towards you.

5. Keep mixing like this for 35-40 mixes. The idea is to be gently knocking the air out while incorporating the mix together. You’ll know when the mixture is nearly ready as it’ll start to fall off the spatula. You must be very careful not to overmix here. (If the mixture runs off the spatula it’s safe to say the macarons will spilt and be a magnificent sign in the oven. Totally fine but you may not be as satisfied with the result.)

Ideally, you want the mixture to fall very slowly off the spatula, and disappear into the mixture after 5 seconds.

6. Now transfer into a piping bag with the nozzle in. Pipe out onto your tray directly above the circle. Once you’ve finished piping the circles should be smooth – if not dip your finger into some cold water and gently smooth the shells. IF they are spreading like wild-fire, you’ve over mixed them. But don’t worry too much, they will still taste delicious!

7. Heat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.

8. Leave the shells at room temperature for 1 hour or more to form a shell. This shell helps create an even rise and gives the macarons those cute little frilly feet. You’ll know when they are ready because you’ll be able to touch the shells without getting mixture on them!

9. Transfer to the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Keep a close eye on them – some ovens may cook faster and these macarons will be overcooked in a matter of seconds!

10. Once you’ve cooled the macarons after taking them out of the oven, put some Raspberry Conserve into a piping bag and pipe one half of the macaron sandwich. Then stick them together and there you have it!

IMG_0817

 

 

 

Posted in Strawberry Conserve

Jam n’ Cream Biscuits

These ‘not so little biscuits because I used a rather large cookie cutter’ are SO easy to make and look amazing! Feel free to use your own biscuit recipe if you have a personal favourite.

IMG_9586ingredients

 

 

 

 

 

 

(makes 16 biscuits)

Ingredients:

For the biscuits

  • 250g butter, softened
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 300g plain flour

For the cream filling

Assembly

Biscuit Method

  1. Whisk butter with sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Then stir in the egg yolk along with the vanilla. Beat briefly.
  2. Sift in the flour and mix with hands until well combined. Knead gently until smooth and transfer to fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, lay out some baking paper onto a baking tray.
  4. Roll the chilled dough out to roughly £1 thickness – the thicker they are, the trickier they are to eat… plus they will cook quicker if they are thinner!!
  5. Cut out all the biscuits, then use the end of a piping nozzle – or a small round cutter to remove the middle of HALF of the biscuits.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them, you may need to turn them if your oven decides to cook each corner at its own pace.

Filling

  1. Whisk butter icing sugar and vanilla until pale and fluffy. You can cover the bowl with a tea towel to prevent icing sugar from covering your kitchen and entire outfit.
  2. Place into a piping bag for easier depositing onto biscuit. We piped lots of small dots around the edge. img_9580-e1515512324262.jpg
  3. Now transfer the strawberry jam into a piping bag, we recommend using a piping bag for this as the jam could go everywhere! Using a nozzle with a big enough hole for the strawberries to get through.
  4. There you have it! Enjoy, BB x

IMG_9586.JPG