Saturday, 22 November 2014

M&S Mince Pies Christmas 2014

If you're a regular reader of ours you will know of our love of Marks and Spencer's however we feel the need to tell you about a story which makes us proud of a local family run bakery in Northern Ireland.

McErlain's bakery in Magherafelt County Derry is run by six brothers, who are all bakers. They produce a range of bread and cakes under the brand called Genesis Crafty. They also supply "own brand" goods to major supermarkets. The business was established by their parents in 1968 and thrived ever since. All six brothers are involved in the day to day running of the bakery which we feel is especially great.

It wasn't always a big operation..... You can see in the image we obtained from the brothers, the original bakery shop. Then a small bakery in the town of Magherafelt. The brothers have all had a love of baking from a very young age as you can see from the image of them enjoying some time in the family kitchen.

The original bakery 
The McErlain brothers enjoying some time in the family kitchen
McErlain's now boasts a staff of over 230 people to produce their delicious baked treats for nationwide distribution.

The bakery has been producing bread and cake products nationally for Marks and Spencer's stores in the UK and Ireland from 2010 which include a range of handcrafted Mince Pies.

This Christmas the bakery will supply:

- Marks and Spencer's Café Ultimate Mince Pie (now served in stores).

- Ultimate 4 pack Mince Pies (In store 30th November.)

- Collection Mini Selection Cranberry and Clementine Mince Pies 12 pack (In store 30th November.)

- Customer Food to Order Mini Selection Cranberry and Clementine Mince Pies 36 pack. (Available to order in store and on line.)

We have tried the Cranberry and Clementine mince pies to order. Their flavours are mouthwatering and a great alternative to the traditional mince pie. We can see these being a firm favourite in many family homes this Christmas. 

In store the Marks and Spencer's Ultimate 4 pack of Mince Pies will be available from 30th Nov. Keep your eyes open for thee and give them a try for yourself.

Cornflake Tarts

Many of you will recognise these sweet treats from school days, some of you have probably forgotten about them until now. But we have put together a recipe which makes cornflake tarts taste exactly how they did back then. Cornflake Tarts are shortcrust pastry shells with a layer of jam and syrupy cornflakes.

The top tip with this recipe is to use shop bought ready rolled shortcrust pastry. It takes pastry chefs years of training to make the perfect pastry, and we don't have that time to spend making cornflake tarts. It's ok to use ready made pastry in some instances, in others it tastes so much better to make your own.

This recipe is to make 6 mini tarts.

The Ingredients:
1 Sheet Ready Rolled Shortcrust Pastry
60g Golden Syrup
25g Butter
45g Cornflakes Breakfast Cereal
20g Billingtons Dark Brown Sugar
50g Strawberry Jam

Recommended Equipment:
Small Saucepan (preferably non stick)
The Pampered Chef Mini Tart Pans
Ceramic Baking Beans
Roul'Pat Non Stick Work Surface

The How-To:
Preheat oven to 180c.
On a non stick surface spread out the ready rolled shortcrust pastry. Using the mini tart pans as a guide cut out circles of pastry a little larger than the pans themselves.

Lightly grease the pans and gently push the pastry into the pans gently pushing the edges against the sides of the pans. Prick the bottom of the tarts with a fork. Place a small circle of baking paper in the bottom of the pans and cover in ceramic baking beans or dried peas.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 20 mins. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 mins before removing the baking paper and baking beans. Remove the tarts from their cases to cool.

Now we need to make the filling of the tarts.
In a small saucepan melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup together and stir until combined.

Slowly add the cornflakes and stir until evenly coated in the mixture.

Before we add the cornflake filling we need to spread some strawberry jam on the bases of the tart shells.

Spoon some of the cornflake filling into the tart shells until flush with the surface.

To help the tarts stick together and become nice and sticky place them back in the oven for 5 mins at 150c.
Remove and allow to cool slightly before enjoying. Can be kept in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

You're Done!


You all know how we love to be ahead of new technology and be among to first to try out anything new which comes along which might make our hectic lives a little easier. Tesco have released a fantastic app specially designed for you to manage your clubcards and even your vouchers too!

Tesco is urging its customers in Northern Ireland to get ‘Appy with its brand new next generation Clubcard app. Tesco actually launched this new app in our very own Nothern Ireland in Tesco Knocknagoney store complete with Salsa dancers Carolina and Tony Sherwani brought a Latin beat to the store as they tried out the easy-to-use app which ensures no-one misses out on savings.

Tapping into discounts: The UK launch in Northern Ireland of the next generation Tesco Clubcard app had them literally dancing in the aisles at the Knocknagoney store recently. Salsa dancers Carolina and Tony Sherwani brought a Latin beat to the store as they tried out the easy-to-use app which ensures no-one misses out on savings.
Tesco is leading the digital revolution in shopping as one of the first supermarkets  in the UK to introduce paperless discount coupons as part of a response to customers’ demands – so no more bulky paper coupons cluttering up your purse or wallet. And the great news is Northern Ireland is the first region in the UK to be able to download the next generation app.

The updated app, which is available for download from the Apple App Store or Google Play, takes
the strain out of the weekly shop while keeping a tally of Clubcard points, fuel savings and discounts.
Now shoppers never have to lose out on all-important money-saving offers with discounts to slash grocery bills at their fingertips.

The high-tech app has a host of features which are tailored around each individual shopper, including a ‘create your own shopping list’ component meaning you spend less time on the weekly shop. Tesco customers can tick items off a list as they move round the aisles and tap on which money-saving offers they want to use thanks to the new app. They can email or text the list to another family member or friend to ensure they’ve got everything they need as well.

The app keeps a tally of Clubcard points and fuel savings, as well as the top offers at each local store. Customers can even fine-tune their shop by searching for a discounted price on a specific product simply by entering one word – it really is that simple.

The new generation app means Northern Ireland shoppers can use their Clubcard even if they’ve left it at home as the app means the Clubcard is right in their pocket. Checking points, cashing in money-saving coupons at the till all add up to an ‘Appy way to shop at Tesco.

Tesco Clubcard app is easy to download and is set to become a valuable tool for Tesco shoppers who want to make the most of all their money off coupons. There are tutorials and a FAQs section on the app. You can find information on the apps on the Tesco website clubcard section.

Tesco Does Strictly Shopping in Belfast for UK launch of next generation Clubcard app from SERIOUS PR on Vimeo.