Members' Recipes Archive

May 2002
Confident Cooking in Wiltshire - Beetroot Roulade with a Beetroot and Balsamic Muscovado Salad
Caroline Yates

Confident Cooking in Wiltshire - Beetroot Roulade with a Beetroot and Balsamic Muscovado Salad

By: Caroline Yates

Serves: 4

The idea was conceived back in 1995. Then, I just helped out one or two keen cooks who asked me to show them where they were going wrong with their favourite recipes. In 1996, Confident Cooking was born and consisted only of one demonstration a month, run in the evening and following morning, so that workers, mums and retireds all had an opportunity to come. Things have changed since then.

Having trained at Cordon Bleu and then, running my own catering company doing Directors' lunches and private functions, I decided to refresh at the excellent Leith's School of Food and Wine, where I subsequently became Buyer and evening class Instructor for over four years, before leaving to move permanently to the country. Initially, I had run the business from our very small weekend house. Now we needed a bigger house. Enter, our brilliant, listed manor farm house, set in its own grounds about half an hour away from Salisbury, Stonehenge, Bath and Avebury. It just happens to have a huge kitchen and large bedrooms!

With the experience of teaching kitchens behind me, I designed mine to cope with domestic and professional demands and I can now demonstrate to 25 people with the use of an overhead mirror. [The kitchen has been featured in various magazines]. I have enough space, workstations and cooking appliances to offer hands-on weekend courses for 8 people, which we run as country house parties. Guests arrive on Friday evening and leave after lunch on Sunday, having accomplished a great deal, and had a good time as well. There is plenty to do for non-cooking partners: sightseeing, shopping, shooting, fishing and pub crawling.

Men-only classes are proving popular: up to six men come here on a Saturday morning and prepare dinner party food which they take home, or for an afternoon class, to be joined by their partners for dinner that evening in my beautiful dining room. They can also stay the night, as we have four excellent double bedrooms with their own bathrooms.

I run children's classes in the school holidays and these are always messy but fun.

My web site at gives all the relevant info and we would be delighted to welcome as customers any Guild member who wanted to improve his or her own cooking skills.

Here is an example of the sort of thing you'd learn how to make, chosen for the skills and techniques required.


for the roulade:
450g cooked beetroot, roughly chopped
25g salted butter
25g plain flour
zest and juice of one orange
1 - 2 tablespoons tomato purée
generous pinch of ground cumin
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the filling:
250g cream cheese
a little yoghurt or milk
2 - 3 spring onions, finely chopped
2 large gherkins, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing:
4 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Muscovado sugar


1. Dice the beetroot for the salad first, so that you can add the offcuts to the beetroot being whizzed for the roulade. If you do not have time to cook raw beetroot, use a vacu-pack of ready-cooked beetroot. To dice beetroot (or any vegetable), slice off the sides to create a large, even block of vegetable. Cutting downwards, slice the block into four or five even slices. Stack the slices, and, controlling the stack as best you can, make four or five downward cuts again; you now have batons. Turn the stack 45° and cut the batons into dice. Put into a bowl.
2. To make the dressing: put 4 tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar and 4 tablespoons of water into a small saucepan.
3. Add 1 tablespoon of Muscovado sugar and dissolve it completely over a very low heat. When completely melted, bring the dressing to the boil and continue to boil rapidly until the liquid is reduce by half. (The juices from the beetroot will dilute the dressing so be sure to have reduced it enough). Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
3. When cool, pour over the diced beetroot and toss thoroughly.
4. To make the roulade: whizz the beetroot in a food processor until quite smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary so the mixture is evenly processed.
5. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Tip in the flour and, using a wooden spoon, mix together and cook for about 1 minute (a roux). Remove from the heat and stir in the beetroot, the orange zest and juice. Return to the heat and cook, stirring all the time, for a further 1 - 2 minutes until the mixture has thickened (a panade). Stir in the tomato purée, cumin and season well (the strength of flavour will be diluted by the egg white). Leave to cool slightly.
6. Preheat the oven to 200°c/gm6. Make a roulade case or line a Swiss roll tin with silicone paper. Beat the egg yolks into the panade. In a clean, grease-free, non-plastic bowl, whisk the egg whites to the soft peak stage. Take one tablespoon of the egg white and beat it into the beetroot mixture. Using a large metal spoon, quickly fold in the remaining white. Spread the mixture evenly into the roulade case or Swiss roll tin and bake in the middle of the oven for about 12 minutes or until firm to the touch.
7. Transfer, in its paper case, onto a wire rack. Meanwhile make the filling: in a medium sized bowl and with a wooden spoon, beat together all the filling ingredients, letting down the mixture with a little yoghurt or milk to make a thick spreading consistency.
8. To turn the roulade out, lay a piece of greaseproof paper (no need to waste a piece of silicone paper here) on top of a damp J-cloth, turn the roulade face down onto it, and peel off the baking case. Spread over the filling and then trim the edges. With the longest side nearest you, turn over, and press down the first 1cm with your hands. Then, using the paper, roll the roulade away from you, ending up with the seam underneath. Wrap tightly in the paper and put into the fridge until required.
9. Serve three slices per person with some of the diced beetroot tossed in the Balsamic and Muscovado dressing on some red salad leaves. Note: When serving this recipe as a starter, roll the roulade from the longest side. It will be a long and narrow roll making small slices. If you want to serve it as a main course, roll from the short end, which makes the roulade fatter and the slices correspondingly larger.

© Recipes copyright 2002 Caroline Yates


Author: Caroline Yates Email:

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