Prepare ahead and you will have delicious treats, like these Oatcakes with smoked trout and crème fraîche, for friends and family – and Santa, says Neil Forbes, chef patron of Cafe St Honoré

  • 50
  • 8-10
  • Medium
If you have never made your own oatcakes have a try, it’s so easy. I recently bought a girdle from a charity shop – one of the old ones our ancestors would have used to cook drop scones on – and the taste is completely different from baking in an oven. The smokiness from the flames of a real fire lick the edges of the girdle which flavours the oatcakes, giving them real character.

Ingredients

  • 500g pinhead oats
  • 100g porridge oats
  • 40g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 150g bacon fat, lard or butter, melted
  • 30g sugar
  • 15g salt
  • a knob of lard and butter for greasing the girdle
  • approximately 500ml water, or buttermilk, which makes for a really rich oatcake
  • a few slices of smoked trout, I get mine from Belhaven
  • enough crème fraîche for a dollop on each oatcake, I like Katy Rodger’s
  • a few cornichons, or pickled cucumbers
  • a few chives

Method

Make about 50 £2 coin sized oatcakes that will keep in an airtight tub for a week

1 Mix the oats, flour, bicarbonate of soda, bacon fat, sugar and salt together and trickle in the water, or buttermilk, a little at a time. If you are using a mixer or food processor, combine until you have a good dough.

2 Roll the dough into 4 sausage shapes, about the width of a £2 coin, then wrap in clingfilm and store in the fridge until firm. Then slice into ½ cm thick discs using a very sharp, serrated knife. Cook on a pre-heated girdle, or heavy-based frying pan, rubbed with a little lard or butter, for a couple of minutes on each side. Finish cooking them in a low oven 125C/Gas Mark ½ for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

3 To serve, top each oatcake with a few flakes of smoked trout, a slice of cornichon or pickled cucumber, a dollop of crème fraîche and snipped chives.

 

About The Author

Neil Forbes

Neil is one of Scotland's most passionate chefs who describes cooking as an “emotional experience that uses all the senses”. Born into a family of chefs, it was his granny”s soup that first inspired a young Neil to get behind the stove, and inspires him still.

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About The Author

Neil Forbes

Neil is one of Scotland's most passionate chefs who describes cooking as an “emotional experience that uses all the senses”. Born into a family of chefs, it was his granny”s soup that first inspired a young Neil to get behind the stove, and inspires him still.