New Recipe: Annie Collins: My life in food

Annie Collins from Annie’s Delights discusses favourite restaurants and what her last meal would be.

Do you think you’re a good cook?

I like to think so! I would say I am a country cook, homely food with fresh ingredients. I would give anything a go, it may not always work out but you learn from experience.

Your most memorable dish was…

The first thing that comes to mind as being most memorable isn’t a dish but a cake.

I made my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding cake a few years ago having never made a wedding cake before. It consisted of three tiers of cake, raspberry and white chocolate, carrot and chocolate fudge with Italian buttercream icing. I also had not made Italian buttercream icing before so nothing like going with what you know. Thankfully it all turned out good.

Are you more sweet or savoury?

Definitely sweet. I love baking and making desserts. My family, as my testers, probably wish I wasn’t as much of a sweet maker.

I’d love to be able to make…

Gosh I never thought of that. As I said I would give anything a go, so there isn’t a dish coming to mind.

Which food(s) do you dislike?

Dried fruits. I do not like it when they are part of any food. No matter what they are in, it is all I can taste.

Is there anything you won’t eat?

Fish (sorry), I do not like any type of fish. It’s just the texture and taste has never been for me. I have no problem cooking it for the family as long as I don’t have to eat it.

What’s your favourite restaurant in NI?

I like going to The Brown Trout in Aghadowey. It does delicious traditional food and is also pet friendly so Suzie (the family beagle) gets to dine with us. There is always a friendly welcome for us and the four-legged friends.

What’s your favourite comfort food?

It would have to be chocolate, probably Dairy Milk Whole Nut if I had to choose one. As long as it does not contain fruit – why spoil good chocolate?

What’s your favourite cuisine?

Good pub food, just a basic dish made well, nothing fancy.

Your last meal would be…

Steak. You cannot beat a good cut of steak. I prefer rib-eye and cooked medium, that along with lovely homemade chips and tobacco onions, yummy.

Which celeb chef do you rate?

I have to say James Martin. I have watched all his shows from early days on Ready Steady Cook to now. I got to meet him in 2019 when he was filming his show, Islands to Highlands, in Northern Ireland with Paul Rankin and he was very down to earth.

Do you enjoy a takeaway?

I do enjoy an occasional takeaway. I cannot do hot or spicy food so for me it would probably be a Chinese and sticking to a more conservative dish like chicken chow mein.

What was the first dish you learned to make?

That’s a hard one. Probably my first memory of cooking as a child with my mum was making boiled cake.

I can remember as children sitting with the fruit until it cooled enough to finish making the cake.

I actually still make my mum’s recipe boiled cake as one of my products for Annie’s Delights.

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Belfast Telegraph

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