Rothay Manor Blog

Festive Snacks & Tempting Treats

For those of you who were lucky enough to visit the Rheged Centre this Sunday you would have seen our Head Chef Dan McGeorge, and Head Pastry Chef Russel Lewington at a live cookery demonstration. They were called upon to showcase some festive snacks and tempting treats to wow your guests this Christmas at the “Cumbria Life Christmas at Rheged” show. Don’t despair if you couldn’t make it, as Dan and Russel have very kindly shared their recipes below, so you can treat your friends and family this Christmas and stun them with your culinary skills!

Smoked Salmon Blini

Smoked Salmon Blini

  • 255g Dried Mash
  • 30g Plain Flour
  • 40g Crème Fraiche
  • 2 Whole Eggs
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 100g Smoked salmon
  • Dill
  • Caviar (Optional)
  1. Wash and bake whole potatoes in the oven at 180c until you can easily pierce with a knife, the centre should be soft.
  2. Pass the potato through a fine drum sieve to get a smooth mashed potato. (Do this when hot to prevent the potato from becoming sticky).
  3. In a blender add the mashed potato, crème fraiche and eggs (both whole and yolk) and blend until smooth, add flour and season to taste.
  4. Place a non-stick pan on a medium heat and rub with a little oil to lightly grease the surface.
  5. Spoon teaspoon sized portions of the mix in to the pan.
  6. Cook until golden then turn over and cook the other side. Remove from the pan and allow to cool.
  7. Cut the smoked salmon into portions and begin to dress the blini.
  8. Start by laying the smoked salmon on top of the blini and add a little crème fraiche, pick a sprig of dill and place on top. For an added touch grate some fresh lemon zest over the top for a hint of freshness.


  • 59ml water
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • salt (pinch)
  • 30g plain flour
  • gruyère cheese
  • 2 eggs
  1. Bring water, butter and salt to a rolling boil.
  2. Add flour and work into a dough, allow this to cook out on the stove, this should leave starch on the bottom of the pan, do this for a few minutes to ensure flour is cooked out.
  3. Add finely grated cheese to this mix and allow to melt removing from the heat.
  4. Move to another bowl and allow to cool slightly before adding beaten egg.
  5. Add egg slowly until dropping consistency is achieved (you might not need all the egg as sizes may differ)
  6. Pipe onto greaseproof paper leaving enough space as they will rise.
  7. Lightly grate over some cheese and bake in the oven at 190c for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden and crisp.
  8. Fill with a mixture of cream cheese and chive and enjoy.
Chocolate Florentines


  • 140g flaked almonds
  • 50g chopped dried cranberry
  • 50g pistachio
  • 65g unsalted butter
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 125ml double cream
  • 30g honey
  1. Heat oven to 150c and roast nuts until golden.
  2. Heat butter, sugar, cream and honey till it reaches 118c remove from the heat and add nuts and cranberries.
  3. For best results place into a silicone muffin tin and bake at 170c for 8-12 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool slightly and remove from the silicone case. These can then be dipped or drizzled in melted chocolate.

Chocolate truffles 

  • 200g 70% dark chocolate
  • 100ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • pinch of salt
  • Dried orange zest (powdered)
  • Cocoa powder (dusting)
  1. Place chocolate and butter into a bowl over a low heat. Heat cream in a small pan, ensuring it doesn’t boil over.
  2. Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir from the inside working your way out, until you have a glossy consistency.
  3. Pour into a container and allow to set, preferably overnight.
  4. You can either cut the ganache or ball using a melon baller.
  5. Mix orange zest powder and cocoa powder together and roll the truffles in the mixture.

I’d love to hear how you get on and see photos of your creations!




Rothay Manor Hotel
Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 0EH

Telephone: 01539 433605
Email: [email protected]

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