Farmersgirl Kitchen

Chia Seed Crackers, Yard Bird and Chocolate Chilli Souffle – Courses for Cooks in Fife


This is the final post in the trilogy from a visit to Fife with Welcome to Fife, discovering chocolate and chillies in Fife.   There are links at the bottom of the page to the other posts.

Our final stop was at Courses for Cooks held in the beautiful Victorian Manse, just outside Cowdenbeath, the home of Jenny Thomson.  Jenny is an experienced and well-travelled professional chef and cook who believes in cooking with fresh, local, seasonal produce with the minimum of fuss and maximum flavour.

As you can see the kitchen is spacious and beautifully appointed.  Claire from Foodie Quine and I were the only participants in this Chocolate and Chilli Demo and Dine but there is plenty of room for larger parties and this would be a fun alternative to going out to dinner for a special occasion.  We were greeted with coffee and shortbread and then settled down to watch Jenny prepare our dinner!

This was our menu:

Seasonal Fish Ceviche
with Chia, Flax and Cocoa Nib Crackers
Roasted Rolled Yard Bird
served with Roasted Rainbow Vegetables with Puy Lentils
Chocolate Chilli Souffle

Each dish was beautifully presented, as you can see, and Jenny explained everything she was doing while preparing the meal.  As someone who loves to cook I would have enjoyed getting my hands in there myself preparing the recipes. Courses for Cooks runs a range of courses including Seasonal Entertaining, Vegetarian Feast, Fantastic Fish, Easy Bread Making, Beginners Baking, Perfect Puddings, Game Cooker and A Taste of…(France, Italy etc.)

Seasonal Fish Ceviche
Chia, Flax and Cocoa Nib Crackers

I found these Chia, Flax and Cocoa Nib Crackers completely fascinating, from the gloopy texture of the soaked chia seeds to the deliciousness of the finished crackers.  Thanks to Jenny for agreeing to let me publish the recipe.

Chia, Flax and Cocoa Nib Crackers
Delicious, crisp gluten free crackers with a nutty flavour.
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  1. 3tbsp chia seed
  2. 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  3. 1 tbsp rice flour
  4. 1 tbsp buckwheat flour
  5. 1 tbsp cocoa nibs
  6. 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  7. 1/4 tsp flaky sea salt
  1. Set the oven to 170C/Gas 3
  2. Put the chia seed in a bowl and pour over 100 ml boiling water. Allow to stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Pour hot water over the cocoa nibs t just cover and allow to stand for 10 min, then chop finely.
  4. Combine the ground flax seed, rice flour, buckwheat flour and fine sea salt in a bowl
  5. Add the soaked chia and cocoa nibs to the dry ingredients and mix to forma stiffish paste.
  6. Lightly oil pieces of non-stick parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  7. Put the dough onto the mat, cover with the second piece and roll out to the thickness of 1 seed.
  8. Peel the top mat off the dough, you can either bake it in a whole piece or cut square or triangle shapes into the dough.
  9. Put the mat with the dough on it onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 min.
  1. Store in an airtight tub or tin.
Farmersgirl Kitchen

The Chia, Flax Crackers, in the photo in the recipe card are the ones I made at home, I didn’t have any Cocoa Nibs so used sesame seeds instead.  I wouldn’t recommend using baking parchment as I found that the crackers stuck and I only managed to salvage about half of them.  Definitely go for silicone baking mats!  They still tasted great though and I will be making them again.

Roasted Rolled Yard Bird with Roasted Rainbow Vegetables with Puy Lentils

The Yard Bird is a roasted chicken breast stuffed with pheasant leg meat, breadcrumbs, vegetables, herbs, cocoa nibs and chillies and served with a delicious dish of roasted vegetables served with lentils cooked in vegetable bouillon and topped with goats cheese walnuts and cocoa nibs.

Chocolate Chilli Souffle
Finishing with a classic chocolate souffle spiced up with tabasco sauce, there is a lot of tabasco in the souffle, but there wasn’t a huge chilli kick. It was gorgeous with cream poured into the centre. 

Dinner was served in the traditionally decorated dining room of the Manse with a glorious view  of the surrounding countryside.

Courses for Cooks vouchers make great presents, ideal for Christmas, they last one year and can be used towards any of the cookery courses. 
Read about the rest of the Chocolate and Chillies in Fife:
Disclaimer: I was the guest of Welcome to Fife I’d like to thank them and the host organisations who made this a memorable trip. 
  1. Dom
    October 4, 2015

    wow!!!!!!!! What a day of feasting! Love the chocolate put and the little bird… and of course I adore your new website! It’s beautiful. Love the logo! So stylish!
    Dom recently posted…lime and fresh ginger loaf cakeMy Profile

    • Janice Pattie
      October 4, 2015

      Thanks Dom, it was a pretty full on day and all of the food was soooo good.

  2. Choclette
    October 4, 2015

    Woohoo Janice, you’ve made the move. Well done. You already know how jealous I am of your chilli and chocolate trip, so I won’t repeat it. The pudding sounds divine of course, but I really want to have a go at those chia seed crackers.

    • Janice Pattie
      October 4, 2015

      Thanks Choclette, a first step, lots still to do but on we go!

    • Janice Pattie
      October 7, 2015

      Thanks Jill, we had a good time and I learned a lot, more than I thought at the time but as I’ve revisited the recipes I realise that I got even more out of it.

  3. Anne
    October 8, 2015

    Roasted rolled yard bird doesn’t quite roll off the tongue but it looks good!

    Well done on saving your crackers – I always though baking parchment was fairly foolproof, obviously not!
    Anne recently posted…Cauliflower Cheese and Gammon SoupMy Profile

    • Janice Pattie
      October 8, 2015

      It’s a particularly sticky mixture, Anne. I got enough crackers for the photo, but will definitely try again as they taste great.

    • Janice Pattie
      October 9, 2015

      Thanks Emily, there is always something new to learn.

  4. Kevin Chambers-Paston
    October 9, 2015

    It looks like you had a lovely time and those crackers really are quite fascinating. I really do need to try chia seeds sometime, I hear that chia pudding is also lovely.

    • Janice Pattie
      October 9, 2015

      Thanks Kevin, it was a blast. I was sceptical about chia seeds but was really impressed by their qualities

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