Monday, 9 September 2013

Chocolate brownies

I often get asked about our chocolate brownie. Do we make it or buy it in, well I can safely say we make it. We are also often asked if we can let the customers have the recipe.

Well our usual reply is yes for a small donation to either the Guide Dog box or Devon Air Ambulance and I'll happily print a copy off, to be fair often they get a few more recipes out of me for there pennies.

I've had the same recipe for probably 15 years and it works for me, I don't think its any much different to many out there online or in cook books buts its the one we use here at The Swan
So for no cost at all we have printed it online.


  1. 400 grams of good plain chocolate
  2. 300 grams of unsalted butter plus a little extra for greasing the tray
  3. 250 grams of castor sugar
  4. 4 free range eggs (med size)
  5. 100 grams of plain flour
  6. 1 Teaspoon of baking powder 

  1. Set oven to temperature 180c or gas mark 4
  2. Lightly grease a 20cm square baking tray and line with baking parchment 
  3. Melt half the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. and keep the other half of chocolate . You will need to cut the chocolate into small lumps.
  4. When the chocolate has melted add the butter and stir until it has all melted.
  5. remove the mixture from the heat and add the sugar and beat in the eggs into the chocolate mixture until its really well mixed in.
  6. Sieve the flour and baking flour into a large mixing bowl and slowly fold in the chocolate mixture.
  7. Add the rest of chocolate pieces and if you so wish add some hazelnuts or peeled pistachio nuts.
  8. Pour the mixture into your baking tray and bake for 25-30 mins until it feels firm.
  9. Leave it to cool and then turn out on to a wire rack and allow to fully cool down
  10. Cut it up into squares and and bingo you have brownies 
  11. If you prefer it warm when its cooled down just place into a warm oven for 5 mins             
This recipe can be great fun to make with kids and as most kids love chocolate you bound to be a hit. 

We do hope you enjoy making it.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Scotch Egg Challenge 2013

Ok so we have been chosen out of hundreds of entries to be in the final 25 of the Scotch egg challenge 2013 at The Ship in Wandsworth a" Mighty fine pub" owned by Young's and run under the watchful eye of Oisin Rogers.

You might well be wondering, well its only a scotch egg, trust me when I say the scotch egg business in a lot of pubs nowadays is a serous business. Gone are the days of the over fried, hard crumbed, brown around the outer white of the egg and hard boiled within an inch of it's life, left under a plastic dome at the end of the bar for days on end, nowadays it is an art and is a highly sort after bar snack. It's there to be enjoyed with your pint of beer or a glass of your favourite wine.

If you consider that in this final 25, there are some serious contenders for this sought after title. You have the likes of The kitchen Table owned by James Knappet highly regarded as one of the best places to eat in london right now, Duck and Waffle very rarely out the news.
Along with a very impressive list of pubs and restaurants dotted around london and a couple outside of the capital.

The British Larder
Bumpkin Restaurants
The Canbury Arms
The Dairy, Clapham
The Drapers Arms, Islington
Fino & Barrafina
Fish Market
Gauthier Soho
The George Inn, Chideock
The Grove, Balham
The Henry Root
Marquis of Westminster
The New Inn, Baschurch
Peyton & Byrne
Princess Victoria, Uxbridge
Rivington Grill
Thatched House, Hammersmith
The Queen Adelaide
The Victoria, East Sheen
Whyte & Brown.

Tickets for the main area sold out very quickly, so its also a very popular once a year event with Scotch egg fans.

The other reason for taking part is and without doubt an organisation that does some terrific work world wide is it's raising money for Each competitor has to donate 12 eggs for a 60 hour auction. I will post more details as I know them.

So what ever happens on the night wether we have egg on our face because our egg didn't quite cut the mustard or return to Devon triumphant we hope to have raised a few quid for a very worthwhile charity.

From now until the end of september for every egg we sell we shall donate 50p to the charity.

We would also like to wish every competitor the best of luck and a big thanks in advance to all The Team at The Ship for organising a great event.       

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Fish Night 26th July 2013


A special menu one off evening putting together some of the finest fish from the Southwest.
We do suggest that you book early as space will be limited. 

Friday July 26th 

Arrive 7.30 to sit down for 8.00 pm 

5 Course Dinner 

Using some of the regions finest produce 

Glass of champagne on arrival 


Brixham crab, guacamole, cucumber gazpacho 


Scallops, Heal Farm pork belly, white onion puree 


Blow torched mackerel, heritage tomato salad, confit garlic 


Fillet of cod, curry essence, summer vegetables 
A special menu one off evening putting together some of the finest fish from the Southwest.
We do suggest that you book early as space will be limited  

Lemon or chocolate, raspberry 



£35.00 per head 

Call 01398 332248 

To Book 

Station Rd, Bampton, Tiverton, Devon EX169LN 

Sunday, 10 February 2013

The Great Bampton Bake Off 

I have been asked to be a judge of this brand new event, and with pleasure I accepted, not for solely the reason of trying some great cakes but for the chance to raise some cash for Comic Relief and Cancer Research. Believe me after holding some coffee mornings at The Quarryman's Rest I know there is some great bakers in the town and yes Bawdens The Bakers we are expecting an entry from you!.

So I best lose a few pounds before this Great Event if I,m going to have to try so many delicious things in one day.

If you cant bake a cake please come and support and have a cup of coffee or tea and make a donation or even better BUY A CAKE.   

Monday, 4 February 2013

The Great Sausage Roll Off

This week Donna and myself trotted off to london for "The Great Sausage Roll Off" that was being hosted at the @RedLionBarnes(twittername)  The Red Lion Barnes  

We had devised a sausage roll of Pork and leek sausage meat from Heal Farm, Pork cheeks from our local Butcher in the town, Devon Blue and apple.
along with a well practised pasty from Donna, she had opted for flakey pastry, it was just crisp enough.

So some 20 odd chefs mostly from around london gathered and believe me they can all cook.
Angus the Landlord had organised Some Tough Judges Kate Spicer (a journalist and producer of documentary's , Charles Campion a food writer for a many a Newspaper and a judge on Master-chef , and Johnnie Mountain chef/proprietor Of The English Pig and author of the cook book "Pig"

All hosted by the Melissa Cole's author of "Let me tell you about beer"

                                                             The Judges Table 

There were many a sausage cooked all in heats and we were in the final heat, we had to roll out the pastry and apply the filling and had 25 mins to cook in the oven. Personally we could of done with another 5 mins cooking, the key was the crispness of pastry in practice it had been so crisp, no soggy bottom.    

Straight out the oven onto a board and off the to the judges, 
It was out of our hands now, 
Sadly it wasn't good enough to make the top Three , but I think we can hold our heads high, we had come from Devon and everything had come from Devon.
To be fair we were getting some high praise from the other chefs in the kitchen who thought it was a serous contender.
Congratulation to The Winners and a big Thank You to Angus. 

But I cant help wonder if they had tried the really spicy one to last!.   

Until the next time ,we shall be Back      

Friday, 4 January 2013


Today we are playing with the menu and one of the things we decided to put on was a meat based soup, as a rule we normally do a vegetarian soup.

We have gone for pea and ham, one of those old time favourite soups. the one your gran used to make when to be honest times were hard and generally had bigger families to feed.
So I popped into the Bampton butchers and asked Neil for some ham hocks found myself some marrowfat peas which are on sale in cost-cutter,or green split peas in the veg shop. put some peas to soak with a little bicarb and left them to soak while the hocks gently cooked for a few hours.
I then washed the peas off and placed in the lovely stock carried on cooking for a while until the peas were soft and blended with a little cream.

Hey Bingo!

A few hours later we got the most delicious soup ever.
I do hope that you may even be tempted to pop in and try a bowl very soon.

Personally I wouldent mind a poached egg on mine, especially one of Johns from Ex-valley eggs


Wednesday, 2 January 2013

First Post

We thought we would join the world of blogging. Hopefully we can give you a insight into what's it's like in the world of being a publican and with me being a chef, the world of food.
We also aim to give you some stories, recipes, and info on what makes The Swan tick.
As well as providing yet another media platform as to what is going on at the pub.
You will also find us on Facebook now even we have succumb to the power of its internet capabilities.
As well as being able to find us on Twitter as users theswanbampton.

Hopefully in time this will prove to be a great read.