January 2021 competition


This month's competition prize includes the chef of the month trophy and our signature apron, but also includes Dr Stuart Farrimond's exceptional Science of Spice book. 

Taking the periodic table of spices as a starting point, explore the science behind the art of making incredible spice blends and how the flavour compounds within spices work together to create exciting layers of flavour and new sensations. This is the perfect cookbook for curious cooks and adventurous foodies. 

Spice profiles - organised by their dominant flavour compound - showcase the world's top spices, with recipe ideas, information on how to buy, use, and store, and more in-depth science to help you release the flavours and make your own spice connections. There is also a selection of recipes using innovative spice blends,designed to brighten your palate and inspire your own culinary adventures. 

If you've ever wondered what to do with that unloved jar of sumac, why some spices taste stronger than others, or how to make your own personal garam masala, this inspirational guide has all the answers. 

Explore the world's best spices, be inspired to make your own new spice blends, and take your cooking to new heights. You'll turn to this beautiful and unique book time and again - to explore and to innovate.



We have used this cheesecake recipe for years, it is one of our signature desserts. The recipe is incredibly simple and straight forward, because it is a set cheesecake it requires very little equipment, experience or the need of actual cooking. It is delicious set as traditional cheesecake with buttery biscuit base, covered in raspberry sauce or on a homemade granola with butterscotch sauce or even just used to spread on a whole digestive biscuit for a quick dessert.


360g Plain Philadelphia cheese

360g crème fraiche

250g icing sugar

2 tsp vanilla syrup

200ml double cream

150g white chocolate buttons

Your choice of base and toppings

For a traditional digestive base use 200g blended digestive biscuit with 60g of melted butter


2x medium sized mixing bowl

1x small plastic bowl

1x wooden spoon

1x teaspoon

1x whisk

1x microwave

Method makes 4 portions

1. Put the Philadelphia cheese into medium mixing bowl and sift in the icing sugar, mix well to ensure there are no lumps of sugar.

2. Place the white chocolate into the small plastic bowl, heat and stir at 20 second intervals.

3. Once the chocolate is fully melted add to the cheese mix.

4. Next add the crème fraiche and vanilla syrup stir in.

5. In the last bowl whisk the double cream until it soft peaks (as pictured),careful not to over whip it can cause the cheesecake to have a grainy finish.

6. Lightly fold the whipped cream into the cheese mix.

7. The mix can now be personalised however you like, whether it be chocolate chips or a fruit coulis, a praline or just some orange zest it is completely up to you.

8. We have provided some examples below of how you can finish/set your cheesecake but with endless amounts of flavour combinations the possibilities are endless.

9. However you have decided to finish your masterpiece, the cheesecake mix needs to be covered and left in the fridge for 2-3 hours to set, if you can wait that long!

Cost of cheesecake ingredients Tesco 

360g Plain Philadelphia   £3.00

360g crème fraiche          £1.32

   250g icing sugar             £0.50

   2 tsp vanilla syrup           £0.30

    200ml double cream       £0.28 

   150g white chocolate       £1.20  

                              Total: £6.60 *prices are based on quantity needed