Graham’s The Family Dairy has been farming in the Stirlingshire countryside for five generations and started its dairy business in 1939. Back then it produced 400 pints of milk per day from 12 cows, delivering everything by horse and cart in the local village of Bridge of Allan.
The Graham family farm now produces 700,000 pints of milk every day, as well as 50 tonnes of butter and 50,000 litres of cream a week, making it Scotland’s largest independent dairy. Half the households in Scotland buy Graham’s products every year.
Family is at the heart of the business and its quality products are key ingredients in Scottish families’ breakfasts, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner recipes.
Michelin-star chef Nick Nairn is a champion of Scottish produce, and using quality ingredients has always been close to his heart. Here are a couple of Nick’s recipes to try at home….
Frozen chocolate pud with salted caramel and crème fraiche
For the biscuit base:
120g Amaretti biscuits
45g Graham’s unsalted butter
30g chopped hazelnuts
25g muscovado sugar
8 cardamom pods, seeds removed and finely ground
For the filling:
300g plain chocolate
300g caster sugar
300g Graham’s unsalted butter
150ml strong espresso
6 large free range egg yolks
For the salted caramel sauce
300g caster sugar
150ml Graham’s double cream
75g Graham’s butter
large pinch Maldon sea salt
a few toasted pumpkin seeds
a few toasted cashews
First, line a square 9-inch baking tray with greaseproof or baking paper.
Using a food processor, grind the hazelnuts then add the Amaretti biscuits and caster sugar and process until fine but not powdered. Add the ground cardamom seeds.
Melt the butter then mix evenly into the dry mass. Pour the mix into the lined tin and spread out evenly to a depth of about 4mm. Press the biscuit mix evenly and firmly into the base of the tin then chill to set while the filling is made.
For the filling, break the chocolate into a bowl, add butter and set over a pan of warm water to melt, then mix in the espresso and sugar.
Meanwhile, break the eggs into a bowl and whisk lightly. Beat in the chocolate mixture. Pour this mix into a shallow pan and cook gently on the stove as if you are making a custard. Heat, stirring (78C-80C if you have a digital thermometer), then strain into a clean bowl and let cool before pouring into the tin with the biscuit base.
Place on a level surface in the fridge to cool completely then cover and store in the freezer. It will keep in the freezer for three months.
Next make the caramel sauce. Be careful during this process – rubber gloves are a good idea as the hot sugar can scald easily. Take a wide shallow pan and pour in the sugar. Place on a medium heat and warm the sugar until it begins to melt. Don’t hurry the process or you may burn the sugar and don’t stir it or it will form icebergs of sugar; just a gentle shake is all that’s needed. When most of the sugar has melted stir to melt the last few crystals.
Once all melted turn up the heat slightly and watch the pan. Have the water, cream, salt and butter ready. When the sugar is caramelising a ring of foam will appear and a light blue haze will come off the pan. Quickly add the water to cool the pan closely followed by the cream. Be careful as the steam can burn. Stir gently and work in the butter. Strain into a heatproof jug and let cool. If it’s too thick once cooled, add a drop of boiling water to thin it. The sauce freezes well if you’d rather make it in advance.
When ready to serve, warm the sauce to a flowing consistency. Cut the cake directly from the freezer, but if it’s too cold sit it in the fridge for a few minutes before cutting. Remove it from the tin and trim the edges then cut the slab in half and slice each side into four or five rectangles. Place each portion onto a plate and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes to warm to a silky texture. Spoon caramel sauce around one side and set a scoop of crème fraiche on the plate. We tossed over toasted pumpkin seeds and cashews, gently heated in a pan with a sprinkling of icing sugar. Pistachios also go well.
Chicken breast with caramelised apples, chestnuts and cider cream
4 skinned chicken breasts
8 pancetta slices
1-2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 small Granny Smith apples
2 tsp icing sugar
100g chestnut mushrooms
16 chestnuts (cooked)
300ml dry cider
300ml chicken stock
200ml Graham’s double cream
2 tbsp chopped fresh chervil or parsley
freshly squeezed lemon juice
40g Graham’s unsalted butter
Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
If the breasts are large, trim and cut into thirds. Season with salt and pepper and wrap each neatly in a couple of pancetta slices.
Heat a large frying pan until hot, then add the sunflower oil. Place the breasts into the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes. Turn them over and cook again for another 2-3 minutes. Add half the butter to the pan, and baste the breasts. Lift them out of the pan and keep warm on a warmed plate.
Peel, core and slice the apples into wedges. Add the rest of the butter and the apples to the pan, then sprinkle over the icing sugar and gently fry them for 3-4 minutes until browned and glazed. Now add the chestnuts to the pan. Increase the heat slightly and stir until the chestnuts are coated with the butter. Add the cider and boil hard to reduce until the liquid has almost disappeared. Add the stock and reduce it again, this time by about two thirds. Add the cream and bring it back to the boil. Return the breasts to the pan. Warm everything through for 2 to 3 minutes. Add a couple of tablespoons of the chervil or parsley, then taste and season, adding a squeeze of lemon juice. Scatter sprinkled with the remaining herbs. Serve immediately on warmed plates with stir fried cabbage and creamy mash.