Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil

  • The Way to our Heart!

    What day is the second biggest gifting and card sending day after Christmas? For which occasion do we spend £880 million each year in the UK alone? Final clue - on this day you could receive some of the 110 million roses sold!

    You’ve guessed it! Valentine’s Day! 

    No-one is quite sure why we celebrate this day on 14 February, but it is thought that on this day, late into the third century AD, a man by the name of Valentinus was martyred by Emperor Claudius II for helping Christian couples to marry in secret, as single men were thought to be better soldiers and forbidden to wed.

    Inside Chiesa di Santa Maria in Cosmedin, on Rome’s Piazza Bocca della Verità, it is claimed that, inside it, resides the skull belonging to this man whose previous existence is responsible for that huge sale of greetings cards, chocolates and flowers in February. This alone is worth a trip to Rome (big hint to my other half right there!)

    More recently, the tradition of sending anonymous Valentine’s Day cards originated in the UK and was made popular by the Victorians, when mass-produced and pre-printed cards were made available. Some were romantic, some sentimental, as expected from the supposedly prim and proper Victorians, while others showed a more humorous and bawdier side to their nature!

    For me on Valentine’s Day I don’t expect roses, but I do look forward to a simple supper with extra special touches. The food has to be decadent and paired perfectly with the wine. This menu does just that, with the starter and main meal just light enough to fit in a dessert! Here’s my perfect menu…

    To start it has to be Fishcakes with homemade Tartare Sauce. This is a guest recipe from our very own recipe book; that guest being Michelin Starred Chef, James Mackenzie from the Pipe & Glass Inn. James also provides the foreword in the recipe book which is available on our website with over 100 inspiring recipes. This particular recipe also teams Pickled Samphire, which is perfect if you have pickled it in advance, as it is best when fresh and in season during July and August, but they taste just as good without! The tartare sauce has just the right combination of flavour and texture in this recipe, and teamed with our own Yorkshire Mayonnaise, it has to be homemade. This recipe is perfect for preparing earlier in the day and cooking on the evening, which is perfect for date night!

    Next it has to be Steak with Creamy Black Pepper and Mushroom Sauce! A simple dish full of flavour and hits the spot every time. Here's how! Cook a thinly sliced small onion in Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil with Black Pepper, soften and then add 100g of baby button mushrooms, cook on a medium heat for around 3 minutes. Then it’s time to turn up the heat and add the steak to the pan, fillet of course and cooked rare for me (2½ minutes on each side – add ½-1 minute for medium and the same again for well done). Once cooked, remove the steaks from the pan, add 4tbsp of double cream to the pan juices, warm through and then pour the sauce over the resting steaks. Drizzle a little of our Dijon and Black Pepper dressing over the mushrooms before serving. Great with our Garlic & Rosemary Potatoes – check out our website for that recipe.

    For me the meal has been perfection so it’s now time to finish the night off in decadent style with the unusual but definitely moreish Chilli Chocolate Ice Cream! The hint of chilli teasing the palate after the seductively smooth richness of the chocolate – this was made for Valentine’s Day! This recipe is also in our recipe book, so get armed and get out your bottle of Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil with Chilli and add a teaspoonful at a time to get your level of chilli kick – hot for me! Made in advance you’ll have all your time to spend with your loved one!


  • Fires and Feasting

    What does December mean to me?  Well it is my birthday month, so it’s very special of course! But unlike many I believe that this month has so much charm to offer with its pale Winter light, and yes I do know there will be cold and grey days but eventually this dark month brings us the shortest day of the year, and it’s down from these dark depths that we begin to feel we are finally coming up and out of the other side.  There’s a reason why in this month there are so many festivals of light – Hanukkah, Yule and the biggest one in our part of the world, Christmas.  In order to bring hope and light, we feast and light fires, lanterns and candles to ward off the darkness, and it works.  But my favourite part is of course the feasting! We all need to feel warm, cosy and comforted.

    There are so many foods in season in this month – decadent and rich foods such as black truffles, Jerusalem artichokes, duck, goose, guinea fowl and venison. But it is those comforting staples that really appeal to me and they are in abundance – carrots, leeks, parsnips, cauliflower, kale, winter cabbage, squash, apples and pears – these always provide the basics for those one pot dishes that bring everyone around the table to feast.

    In Thixendale we cling to the light – living in a valley can make a winter feel endless with cold air plunging down the valley sides and the limitations of the sun’s rays.  Add to that the landscape being all bones – with just the barest of leaves clinging to the ends of the branches, it can feel like the longest month.  In the skies above the village swallows and swifts have now long gone, to be replaced by fieldfares and redwings escaping colder climes.

    Here’s a hearty recipe using those winter staples to please family and friends.  I know they may not be in favour with younger cooks, but if they are to make a comeback in your life they really are not a lot of work. Prep time isn’t too long and then you are free whilst they are cooking on the stove.  The other positive is that they taste best the next day, so ideal for serving over the busy festive period, and make for a relaxed dish with no last-minute hurdles to overcome. This dish is best served with a buttery mash, wilted kale and a roaring fire to bring that hope and light we so crave!

    Beef & Porter Stew (serves 4)


    1kg beef skirt or stewing steak, cut into bite sized chunks

    50g plain flour

    2 tsp smoked paprika

    50ml Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil with Black pepper (or just use our natural oil)

    1 large onion, diced

    3 garlic cloves, finely sliced or use a garlic press

    ½ red chilli, finely diced

    1 large leek, finely sliced

    4 carrots, washed and sliced into rounds

    2 parsnips, washed and diced

    1 small swede, peeled and diced

    125g button mushrooms, cleaned

    500ml beef stock

    500ml porter or stout

    A couple of anchovy fillets, chopped


    1. Dredge the beef skirt or stewing steak with the mixture of plain flour and smoked Paprika (the easiest way is to put the meat, flour and the paprika into a freezer bag and shake it about until the meat is coated).

    2. Take a large pan and heat the Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil. Brown the steak in batches over quite a high heat (if you put too much in the pan at a time it won't brown very well), season with salt and black pepper and keep it moving in the pan to avoid burning. Remove each batch onto a side dish.

    3.Turn the heat down to medium. Now add to the saucepan the onion, garlic, chilli and leeks and let them soften for 5 minutes or so - be careful they don't burn - then add your vegetables and let them soften, stirring occasionally for around 10 minutes.

    4.When the vegetables have softened put the meat back into the pan along with the couple of anchovies and give it a good stir until the meat warms up. Gradually add some good beef stock and the porter, stirring until the mixture thickens a little. Then cover the pan with a lid and let it simmer for 2 hours.  Do keep an eye on the stew and if it gets too dry just add a bit more stock, porter or plain water. If it is too wet, remove the lid, stir and let it reduce to the consistency you want. Enjoy!


  • Hedgerows and Blossom

    We thought we’d have a little chat about the bits and bobs you can find in our hedgerows that herald the arrival of spring and the mean we can finally turn our back on winter, cold rain and too much mud!!

    We all look forward to spotting the first daffodil and snowdrop shoots poking through the soil in January and February and that first scattering of frothy white flowers as the Blackthorn blossom spreads slowly up the country from the south coast.

    Spring is said to move at approximately 1.9 miles per hour from south to north thereby taking three weeks to cover the whole country in the first signs of spring. We love this idea as, like everything in the countryside and in farming, it makes you feel part of an active, growing process that encompasses the whole of the British Isles!

    Once the Blackthorn has stopped flowering we can see the lovely Hawthorn blossoms appearing together with masses and masses of dandelions – gardeners loathe them but they’re a really important food source for our bumblebees and honey bees so, if you do spend a long time digging them up, maybe leave a few plants for the bees?!

    We also find the odd lone Primrose and Bluebell plant in the hedgerows on the farm – it’s windy and pretty exposed up here so we probably don’t get as many of the woodland plants and flowers as you do once you get out of the Wolds.

    We also of course start seeing lots of frantically singing birds, Blackbirds, Robins, Sparrows, Chaffinches, Blue Tits, Great Tits and Goldfinches (to name a few!) – all busily trying to find the future mother/father of their babies! You can hear a distinct change in their song at this time of the year as they start their spring and summer songs.

    As April comes to an end we see lots of Blackbirds with their beaks crammed with wriggling worms setting off to feed ever hungry babies. It’s always a surprise as to how many worms they find and how many they can cram into their beaks! We wonder whether they’ll find enough food this year as although the spring hasn’t been particularly cold there’s not been a lot of rain which makes it harder for the Blackbirds to find worms. We could have done with a few more April showers I think!

    We consider ourselves very lucky to live where we do and we do make a conscious effort to notice the different wildlife and bird life that comes and go with the seasons. We’re lucky enough to see the odd mad March Hare and we have Red Kites making ever increasing appearances in our skies together with Tawny and Barn Owls. The latter love to hunt through the Wolds and it’s always a treat to see them ghosting through the valleys in the evenings.

    As it’s spring and evenings are getting steadily lighter and brighter we thought we’d leave you with a tasty, filling and delicious meal that’s easy to make and beautifully aromatic thanks to the addition of our Yorkshire Rapeseed oil with Mixed Herbs: Mushroom and Herb Risotto…


  • Christmas Cheer and Hello! New Year

    So 2016 is speeding to a close. It’s had good bits, it’s had bad bits but, like every other year it’s passed in a flurry of lambing, growing, harvesting, cold pressing, bottling, sampling, labelling, markets and food festivals. We consider ourselves lucky to be doing what we do together with being a part of the wonderful community up here in the Yorkshire Wolds but, once every year, we look forward to slowing down just a little bit to spend time with close friends and, more importantly, family.

    Christmas is when we get to be the Palmer family, rather than the face of Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil, for a little while. Christmas for us means time spent together chatting, laughing, playing with the kids, plus a fair amount of singing takes place (alcohol’s not always involved in the singing but it definitely contributes!) and cooking (of course!).

    Our Christmas dinner tends to be a traditional roast turkey (always from a local producer!) together with all the trimmings followed by Christmas Pudding and, later on, we start on the Christmas Cake we made back in October. We then pause for a short break, maybe a quick race around outside with the littlies, then back inside for mince pies.

    Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the food we usually eat on this one day of the year (I may have eaten a few mince pies prior to Christmas Day but we’ll gloss over that for now!) but have you ever wondered when some of our Christmas traditions started?

    I know that some people write ‘Xmas’ instead of ‘Christmas’ and I’ve always thought of this as a sort of slang, shorthand way of writing Christmas but actually it isn’t; it’s been around for thousands of years. The ‘X’ stands for the greek letter chi, which was the early abbreviation for Christ or the greek ‘Khristos’ and also symbolises the cross on which Christ was crucified.

    Is everyone looking forward to a group of Carol Singers on their doorstep around Christmastime?! We don’t often have this pleasure seeing as we are a little windswept and isolated but did you know that the literal translation of ‘carol’ is to ‘sing and dance’ in a circle. The tradition of going door to door to sing carols started in mediaeval times when carol singers were banned from churches for making too much noise and ruining the more sombre Christmas services of the time. We tend to sing only amongst family you’ll be relieved to hear!

    Back to our favourite food based facts; specifically our favourite easy to make, easy to eat mince pies! In mediaeval times mince pies were baked in rectangular cases to represent the infant Jesus in his crib and the addition of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg was added to symbolise the gifts from the three wise men. It was thought lucky to eat one mince pie per day for the twelve days of Christmas (hooray! This is one tradition they should bring back!). Mince pies were meat based in those days though and it wasn’t until Victoria’s reign that mince pies were made with fruits and spices only.

    Although we all refer to a ‘traditional roast turkey’ Christmas dinner; turkey was only introduced to England in the fifteenth century after the Americas were discovered. Prior to this a Christmas meal would have been goose or venison. At the time the poor of the parish were not allowed to eat the best cuts of meat although, if they were lucky, their wealthy Lord may donate the remains of his families Christmas deer, the offal, known in those days as ‘umbles’. To make the meal go further the ‘umbles’ were mixed with vegetables and made into a pie; an ‘umble pie’. Hence today’s expression of ‘to eat humble pie’ when someone falls from grace.

    With all the planning and preparation that goes into Christmas, the food, the presents, the build up and excitement from children and grandchildren, it really wouldn’t be half as much fun without these familiar yearly rituals and the familiar annual feast to look forwards to. We thought we’d leave you with our favourite recipe for gorgeous crispy Rosemary and Garlic Roast Potatoes to set off your roast dinner – they’ll go a treat with beef, lamb, venison or any roast meat your family tradition calls for! Happy Christmas and we’ll look forwards to seeing you all in the New Year! 

    Garlic and Rosemary Roast Potatoes Ingredients:

    Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil with Garlic

    6-8 medium potatoes

    2 tbsp Plain Flour, seasoned

    A handful of fresh Rosemary sprigs, chopped


    Method: Pre heat your oven to 220C. Peel and halve the potatoes, boil for 5-6 minutes to part cook them. Drain and toss in the seasoned flour. Remove the potatoes from the flour and toss in lots of garlic oil. Fry on the hob for a few minutes until the edges are crisp then transfer into a roasting tin. Add the rosemary and sprinkle with salt. Cook for about 30 - 40 mins or until golden brown.

  • 800 Children and some tubs of rapeseed

    A few weeks ago we were invited to take part in an educational extravaganza at Driffield Showground. The idea being to give the younger members of today’s society a good sound knowledge of farming and agricultural practice.

    “What a great idea” we thought as we signed on the dotted line. It was only as the day drew nearer that we wondered how on earth we could make rapeseed, and its subsequent conversion into our favourite golden oil, interesting for, roughly,800 9 to 11 year olds from all over North Yorkshire!

    Could we grind some seeds up in a coffee grinder? Charlie, our 5 year old, is convinced this would work. We thought that perhaps Charlie could help on the day and tell each group of 20 children all about the four stages of rapeseed harvest (no, we’re not certain what they are either but he’s adamant there’s four stages!)? Adam thought it would be fun to get a stack of paper and some hammers and invite the children to crush some seeds between the papers and see the oily smears the seeds leave. We weren’t sure Health & Safety would like that idea so we compromised with just Adam giving the seeds a good bashing instead.

    After much to-ing and fro-ing of ideas we decided we’d do what we usually do and perfect the talk/demonstration on the day (sometimes called ‘winging it’!) . We ended up taking along some flowering plants, ten tubs of seeds, ten bottles of oil, a cabbage and a pot of mustard (to demonstrate they’re all from the Brassica family for those of you wondering why on earth we’d take random items!) plus two blocks of wood, some paper and a hammer.

    You know what? It went beautifully. The kids were fantastic – naturally curious and interested in everything and we had some hilarious questions. “Is there a chance that in this tub of seeds there’ll be some that have never been touched by a human hand?” was one of the more interesting questions. Every group though wanted to know how many seeds were in each tub (guesses seemed to stagnate around one million!) and how many seeds it took to make one 500ml bottle of oil (around one and a half to two kilos for anyone interested). We had some lovely kids from farming families who knew it all but were still happy to chat and explain the processes to their classmates. We also had some from urban backgrounds who had never been close to a rapeseed flower and who thought we’d have to boil the flowers to get the oil or ‘melt’ the seeds – it was these children the day was aimed at and it’s our fervent wish that they went away from the day with a much greater understanding of all things agricultural.

    The one thing that every single class had in common though is that it seems that the minute children stick their hands into a two kilo tub of rapeseed they go into a kind of trance. It didn’t matter whether the next group was noisy and boisterous or arrived looking uninterested; the minute they put their hands into the seed they became far more receptive. This makes it generally easier to chat to them and pass on information.

    We’re now thinking of marketing rapeseeds as a classroom tool – we think the idea’s got legs!

  • The birds and the bees..


    Well, I'm just discussing the bees actually.....the birds can wait for a while. I thought it'd be nice to talk about all things buzzy (and I really, really like bees and honey).

    So we're all heaving a sigh of relief that winter is creeping away and warmer weather should be just around the corner - Ok, ok, some of us are heaving sighs; others are gearing up for their busiest times of the year. Apologies to all those farmers working round the clock to bring us foodstuffs of all shapes, breeds, varieties and sizes - and, no, I wasn't prompted by someone sitting in my immediate vicinity to write that (honest!). 

    We all know bees hibernate through the winter - no one sees a honey bee zipping round on a frosty December morning; if they did then the bee would not be long for this world. Bees hibernate through winter in a cluster in order to keep the colony at a constant temperature. They do this by vibrating the flight muscles on their wings to raise the internal temperature. Interestingly (well, I think it’s interesting) a hives’ temperature is around 35 degrees Celsius; similar to human skin (37 degrees). As the bees on the outside of the cluster cool they burrow in to warm up and the next layer of worker bees take over the status of 'bee duvet'. As the external temperature warms up outside they start to send out foraging parties looking for early blossoming plants and trees. A couple of well known garden favourites, snowdrops and crocuses, contribute to the pollen gathered by early foragers. 

    Once spring's in full bloom the bees can gather enough pollen to refuel and start replenishing their honey supplies. Did you know that the colour and 'runniness' of the honey depends on the blossom the bees have gathered pollen from? If the pollen has been gathered from garden flowers the honey tends to be clear and runny, from heather honey (sometimes referred to as 'the King of honeys') it can be clear and almost jelly like in consistency. Honey made from our very own rapeseed sets hard, so hard in fact that a drop in temperature can make it hard for the bees to munch on through the winter.

    Honey has been gathered for millennia and is still used in medicine and cooking. It keeps indefinitely - edible honey has been removed from the tombs of the Pharoahs - not sure I'd want to spread 3,000 year old honey on my toast but it's still amazing!

    I always have honey in my food cupboard; it’s such a versatile sweetener – We musn’t forget our ever popular Honey and Mustard dressing, which gets used for all sorts of spring and summer salads. The kids have honey drizzled on their porridge, I have it in my coffee and, of course, I bake with it! In my quest for all things honey I had a good rummage for my favourite honey recipes and I came up with this beauty - easy to make and very, very more-ish (but don't tell the bees!). 


    Orange, Pistachio & Honey Cake

    So this particular cake lasted, ooooh, approximately 15 minutes! It's lovely to look at, easy to make and it tastes absolutely delicious. 

    You will need:
    220g self raising flour
    220g golden caster sugar
    150ml original cold pressed Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil
    75ml milk
    4 medium eggs
    zest and juice of one orange

    For the drizzle:
    150g honey
    300g unsalted pistachio nuts

    Simply mix together the dry ingredients in one bowl then mix together the oil, eggs, orange juice, zest and milk in another and add the wet ingredients slowly to the dry ingredients, mix and place in a lined tin. We used a 20cm by 26cm rectangular tin. Bake at 180 degrees celsius for 40 minutes or so (this will vary according to your oven!), take out and leave to cool.

    To make the drizzle warm the honey in a pan - take care not to let it boil! When its warm and runny add the pistachios, stir through, pour on the cooled cake and leave to set. Simples!

  • Cake, Oil and Lambs!


    So here it is, Easter. I’m not sure where it came from, last time I looked it was only mid-January, but here we are the end of March and all being well spring is well and truly on its way.
    It’s a lovely time here on the farm (that is if the weather is behaving itself) as I sit in the office and type, I am serenaded by the sound of new-born lambs. A noise that comforts me into the belief that spring and summer are not too far around the corner.
    It’s a tricky one for Adam as we find that his time is taken away from Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil for a few weeks as he takes the early morning shift for lambing season. On the flip side I think it reminds him of his roots, of our pre oily days. As he is the centre point of the business things do become trickier when he is not around. Luckily it is not a busy time with shows yet, and we have the most amazing team helping us run smoothly in his absence.
    Show season for us kicks off mid-April, so we are busy preparing for that (keep an eye on the website for up and coming dates). We also have some exciting new products that we are currently developing, they are due for launch in the summer and we can’t wait to see what you make of them!
    For me Easter is great fun, the children love lambing time, school holidays are taken up with helping dad, and when they are not doing that the love helping me in the kitchen. On that note, I thought I would share with you a school holiday treat that I frequently make with the kids ‘Charlie’s Pudding Pots’ are not only great school holiday entertainment but tasty too! Made of course with our Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil, I use our natural one but the lemon or ginger are very tasty alternatives. The best thing is you can make them up with whatever needs eating up in your fruit bowl. I use apples here but raspberries, blueberries, pear, pineapple all work equally well. For a cheeky Easter treat sprinkle some chocolate chips in with your fruit too!
    I hope you all have a lovely Easter and fingers crossed for some sunshine!


    Charlie’s Pudding Pots

    50ml Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil
    2 eating apples
    100g self-raising flour
    100g golden caster sugar
    1 medium egg, beaten
    50ml milk
    Dusting of cinnamon

    Preheat the oven to 200C / Fan 180C / Gas Mark 6

    Grease 4 x 9cm diameter ramekin dishes.

    Core and chop the apples and put them in the ramekins.

    Make the cake batter by putting the flour, sugar, Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil, milk and egg into a bowl and beating all the ingredients together well.

    Pour the batter over the apples in the ramekin dishes. Sprinkle with a dusting of cinnamon (optional) and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the sponge is cooked through.

  • It's Pie Time!

    So this week is a celebration of all things Pie – it’s British Pie Week. Whether you like yours sweet or savoury you really can’t go far wrong with a hot, tasty pie. To most of us they’re just one of our weekly (or daily if you really love them) meals but how many of you know just how ancient the art of pie making is?!

    Ancient Greeks are believed to have developed the first pie pastry (when fat is added to a flour and water paste it becomes a ‘pastry’). The 5th century (BC) playwright, Aristophanes (no, I’ve no idea either) mentions pastries filled with fruit. The Ancient Greeks even had specific pastry chefs (not sure what they were called in Ancient Greece – sorry) whom were completely distinct from their bakers. The Romans made a plain pastry of flour, oil and water to cover meats and poultry which were then baked. The idea behind the pie crust was simply to keep the juices in and to provide a handy, relatively hygienic, way of carrying the pie – you weren’t supposed to eat the crust.

    With the development of the Roman empire and its new, improved road transport system, pies were introduced to Europe. They remained a staple of travelling and working folk throughout Europe for centuries with regionally grown and seasonally available fillings used.

    Nowadays we are able to make all manner of pies, pastries, cheesecake crusts and the like using many different ingredients and methods but the pie remains a much loved part of British culinary history and long may that continue!

    In honour of all things Pie have a go at making one of our favourite winter/spring pies. Its equally good with seasonal veg and gravy or, if you really don’t feel like making an extra effort and need to give yourself a carb boost, chips and gravy!

    Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil - Pie Recipe

    Chicken, Bacon and Butternut Squash Pie 

    A delicious combination of chicken and vegetables under a crisp pastry topper. 


    One quantity of our Dairy Free Pastry 

    for the filling

    2 tbsp Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil

    1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

    200g free range chicken breast, diced

    3 rashers British smoked bacon, cut into strips

    250g butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped into 2cm cubes

    100g (1 medium leek) chopped

    20g chestnut mushrooms, quartered

    2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

    3 tbsp plain flour

    100ml dry white wine

    300ml good chicken stock

    1 free range egg, beaten


    Pre heat your oven to 200C / Fan 180C / Gas Mark 6

    Make the pastry according to our dairy free pastry recipe and set aside until needed.

    Heat the oil in a pan on a high heat and fry the onion, chicken and bacon until the bacon starts to brown, stirring continuously. Add the butternut squash and keep stirring for 3-4 minutes. Then add the leek, mushrooms and garlic. Stir and turn the mixture over a high heat for another couple of minutes then add the wine. Allow to reduce over a high heat for 5 minutes then sprinkle the flour over the mixture. Stir the flour through then slowly add the stock, stirring thoroughly until the sauce starts to form. Turn the heat down to low and cook gently while you roll out the pastry.

    Roll the pastry out on a floured surface to a size and shape slightly larger than the pie dish.

    Put the chicken mixture into the pie dish, brush the beaten egg around the edges of the dish and then cover with your pastry topper. Trim and pinch the pastry edges to hold the pastry in place and make some small holes in the top to release the steam when cooking. Use any trimmings for decorating the top of the pie crust.

    Finally brush the pastry with the remaining beaten egg and place in the oven. Cook for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden.

  • We Want You!

    Calling Yorkshires Taste Buds

    It's that time of year again when the madness of the festive season is over and we can get our heads down in the kitchen and experiment with new flavour combos to bring out over the coming year. This year we are doing something special and inviting our customers to tell us what they want to see in the 2016 line-up! 

    We’d like to hear what flavour combinations you’d think would work together in one of our oils, dressings or mayonnaise. It can be one, two or three flavours just as long as it’s delicious and something you’d like to use in, or on, your food! 

    Should you come up with something that inspires us to develop it further then we are offering the lucky person a year’s supply of that chosen product to enjoy at home or to share with their friends. All you need to do to get involved is email us at info@yorkshirerapeseedoil.co.uk and we will be in touch!


    A year’s supply is equal to 12 bottles/jars of product.

    Winners are chosen by the Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil team and will be informed via email no later than 31st March 2016.

    All ideas must be emailed to the above address of entered via our facebook page no later than 08/02/16.

  • Christmas Time!

    Rapeseed Oil Christmas Cake

    So what does Christmas time mean to me? It used to mean lots of late nights, friends, alcohol and food (cooked by other people). Nowadays it means presents, (very) early mornings, wildly over excited children and an enormous amount of preparation for weeks beforehand - buying and wrapping presents secretly (no mean feat when you have a three year old hanging off your leg for twelve hours a day), watching the present list to Santa get ever more extensive and spending several hours managing small children's expectations: "No sweetheart, it's unlikely Santa will bring an 'elephant in real life' and I doubt he'll be able to source a Garden Fairy at short notice either".

    Actually, I should come clean at this point. I probably need to amend that first paragraph to “and an enormous amount of preparation during the final thirty six hours up to, and including, Christmas Eve”. Every year I convince myself around late October that I’ll sail through late November and early December effortlessly organising Christmas well in advance. The reality is far less serene and far more panicked last minute frenzy!

    The only thing this year that I’ve planned in advance is the cake. It’s one of the things I do look foward to making in my new, improved, grown up Christmas role. I very rarely make fruit cake but I always do at Christmas - there's a special smell that comes with Christmas; spices, sherry, pine trees and sugar and, for me, making the Christmas cake epitomises everything Christmassy (no pine trees in the cake though!).

    I always have two small helpers standing on chairs, one on each side of me, ready to stir the cake mix, crack the eggs (always a tense moment that one!) and add the fruit. I've taken to making two cakes; one big one for the grown ups - I liberally soak the fruit in brandy for this one - and one smaller one for the littlies that has fruit soaked in juice rather than brandy!

    My 5 yr old has a dairy intolerance so I managed to find a fantastic recipe that uses oil instead of butter. It turned out so moist, often difficult to achieve in a fruit cake, that I use the same recipe for both cakes.

    Us lot at YRO love to share so have a look and why don't you try making this recipe with our original oil:


    150ml rapeseed oil, plus extra for greasing the tin
    280g plain flour
    650g sultanas
    300g raisins
    20g dates, chopped
    1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp ground cardamom
    1 tsp mixed spice
    120ml molasses
    180g golden syrup
    4 medium free-range eggs, beaten
    50g grated carrot
    finely grated zest of 1 orange
    finely grated zest of 1½ lemons

    4 tablespoons brandy (I use a lot more than this as I like the cake to taste nice and boozy! But this is what the recipe calls for)


    Soak the fruit in the brandy overnight.

    Preheat the oven to 140°C/120°C Fan/Gas 1. Grease a 20cm square or 23cm round cake tin with a little rapeseed oil and line it with 3 layers of baking parchment. 

    Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the sultanas, raisins, dates, bicarb, salt, cardamom and mixed spice and stir well. Add the molasses and golden syrup and mix them in thoroughly. Stir in the beaten eggs, then the rapeseed oil. Add the grated carrot and orange and lemon zest and give it all a good old stir until everything is well combined.

    Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tin – it should reach about three quarters of the way up the tin. Cover the top with a sheet of greaseproof paper and put the cake in the preheated oven. Bake for 2 hours and 15 minutes, then test it with a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake. If the skewer comes out more or less clean, the cake is cooked. If not, put it back in the oven for another 15 minutes, then test again. The cake might need up to 2 hours and 45 minutes, depending on your oven and tin.

    Once the cake is cooked, take it out of the oven and leave it to cool in the tin. Then transfer it to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Wrap the cake in greaseproof paper and foil and store in a cool, dry place until Christmas.

    And if you want to make your Christmas cake extra boozy, feed it once a week! Make some holes in the top with a skewer and carefully pour over some brandy, rum or calvados. Allow it to soak in, then wrap the cake up again.

    Wishing you a very merry Christmas! Akalia.


    Rapeseed Oil Christmas Cake


    Rapeseed Oil Christmas Cake

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