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BRING BACK A BRITISH TRADITION: TANTALISING AFTERNOON TEA AT HOME

--Award-winning NEW vanilla bean paste range from Porter Foods will add convenience and flavour to home baking--

Summer is here, so now is the perfect time to dust off the baking tins and invite family and friends round for a wonderfully chic afternoon tea in the garden.

Gourmet retailer Porter Foods (http://www.porterfoods.co.uk) will officially launch a practical, no-fuss, vanilla bean paste range at the end of June 2009. The range is perfect for creating delicious home-baked cakes, jams, ice cream and drinks for afternoon tea treats. Targeted at home cooks as well as professional chefs, the Vanilla Bean Paste was recognised as a Fresh Ideas award winner at this year’s International Food Exhibition.

[[The Vanilla Bean Paste sachets with vanilla seeds provide an innovative, longer shelf-life alternative to single-use vanilla pods.]]

Porter Foods, the foodie’s Aladdin’s cave of carefully sourced products from around the world, has launched its own range of goodies under the 'Porter Foods’ label.

Made from flavoursome whole vanilla beans and sugar, the paste is now available online at www.porterfoods.co.uk in a convenient single serve sachet or as a squeezy bottle for easy use while cooking and baking. Ready to use, one sachet equates to one standard vanilla bean pod. The handy 270g Vanilla Bean Paste squeezy bottle contains the equivalent of 30 vanilla pods. Both innovative new products provide the authentic taste and texture of vanilla beans and pods. Many cooks find that using the whole vanilla bean gives a richer complexity of flavours and aromas compared to standard vanilla extract. The paste also puts an end to having to scrape the beans out of rather expensive little pods and wasting lots of important flavour.

Michael Patton, managing director at Porter Foods, said: “With vanilla being one of the world’s most popular flavours, cooks can ensure they always have fresh tasting whole bean vanilla to hand with Porter Foods Vanilla Bean Paste. Aromatic and sophisticated, the innovative vanilla paste will turn ordinary baked goods into gourmet treats.”

Ever since Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw enjoyed a cupcake from the celebrated Magnolia Bakery in New York cupcakes have soared in popularity. Whilst they are easily the most on-trend item to serve for afternoon tea, they are also fabulously simple to make. Once you have mastered the basic vanilla bean cupcake recipe you can experiment as much as you like with icings and frostings to create your own bespoke designs. We’ve provided a selection of recipes using the Porter Foods Vanilla Bean Paste – please contact us if you’d like any more for your publication.

RECIPE 1
Vanilla bean cupcakes (makes 12)
Recreate your own Sex and the City moment!

Ingredients:

4oz/115g butter, at room temperature
4oz/115g caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 Porter Foods vanilla bean sachet
4oz/115g self-raising flour

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/ 325F/ gas mark 3. Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with paper cases.
2. Beat the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla bean paste until smooth (much easier in a food processor).
3. Turn off the motor and add the flour. With brief bursts of the beater, mix the flour in, stopping as soon as it is blended.
4. Divide the mixture between the paper cases.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and springy to the touch. Ice or frost to finish.

RECIPE 2

Strawberry and vanilla jam (perfect with homemade scones)

With all things homemade now fashionable again, why not try jam making: the ultimate in quintessentially British home crafts?

Ingredients

1.2kg strawberries, stalks removed and sliced in half
Juice of one lemon
500g preserving sugar
1 sachet of Porter Foods vanilla bean paste

1. Place the strawberries, lemon juice and sugar in a preserving pan, or any large pan. Stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves.

2. Add the vanilla bean paste and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for 25-30 minutes, or until setting point is achieved (put a spoon of jam on a plate and allow to cool - it should not run when the plate is tilted).

3. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the jam to settle for a few minutes. Ladle into sterilised jars, then seal.

RECIPE 3

Whole bean vanilla ice cream

Nothing beats homemade ice cream on a gloriously hot day!

Ingredients

1 sachet Porter Foods vanilla bean paste
300ml full-fat milk
300ml double cream
100g golden caster sugar
4 egg yolks

1. Place a container in the freezer. Squeeze the vanilla bean paste into a pan with the milk and cream. Bring to the boil, and then remove from the heat. Leave to infuse for at least 20 minutes. For the optimum vanilla flavour, prepare a few hours in advance.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the sugar and egg yolks together for a few minutes until they are pale and fluffy. Put the vanilla cream back on the heat until it is just about to boil, then carefully sieve the liquid onto the yolks, beating with the whisk until completely mixed.

3. Get a large bowl of iced water and sit a smaller bowl in it. Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook on the lowest heat, stirring slowly and continuously, making sure the spoon touches the bottom of the pan, for about 10 minutes until thickened. Strain the mixture into the bowl sitting in the iced water and leave to cool, and then churn until ‘scoopable’. Transfer to the cold container and freeze.

Visit Porter Foods (www.porterfoods.co.uk) for a treasure trove of gourmet goodies expertly sourced from around the world.

-Ends-

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

For interviews, images and samples please contact Helen Lewis, food&drink towers: +44 (0) 7904 801 669, helen@foodanddrinktowers.co.uk.

THE PRODUCT WILL BE AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE ONLINE FROM MONDAY 22ND JUNE 2009.

General enquiries and sales enquiries:

Tel: +44 20 8669 3131
Web: www.porterfoods.co.uk
Email: info@porter-foods.co.uk
Post: Porter Foods Ltd, 270 London Road, Wallington, Surrey, SM6 7DJ

Notes to editors:

1. Award-winning online gourmet retailer and distributor, Porter Foods (http://www.porterfoods.co.uk) prides itself on providing the ultimate in innovative convenience without compromising on quality. Porter Foods has proven itself as an invaluable source of original, new, premium products from around the world for both the foodservice and retail markets.

2. The vanilla bean squeezy bottle is available for purchase online at www.porterfoods.co.uk for £14.25 and a box of four 9g sachets retails at £4.25.

3. Each sachet has a two-year shelf life on average.

4. There are 88 kcal per 9g serving.

5. Porter Foods vanilla bean paste fought against strong competition to achieve award-winning status as a “truly innovative product” at The Fresh Ideas Innovation Awards in March 2009. The awards, part of the IFE, the UK’s biggest food and drink exhibition, showcased the world’s most innovative new products.

6. Porter Foods is now a division of Thew Arnott (www.thewarnott.co.uk), a leading specialist in the supply of premium quality raw materials and ingredients to the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. Its success throughout its 145 year history has been driven by an ability to provide its customers, regardless of their size, with an excellent, reliable and friendly standard of service coupled with prices that are always aimed to be competitive.

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