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The Great British Chefs Cookbook Club: February 2018

The Great British Chefs Cookbook Club: April/May 2018

Welcome to the Great British Chefs Cookbook Club! Find out how it works, how to get involved and what prizes you can win.

Even with the vast number of recipes available on the internet these days, there’s nothing quite like leafing through a beautiful book full of recipes. It’s a medium that’s stronger than ever before, with cookbooks topping bestseller charts throughout the year. If you’re anything like us then you’ll have shelves upon shelves of them in your home – some kept in pristine condition, others earmarked, stained and scrawled over after years of use.

It’s this national love for cookbooks that has prompted us to start our very own cookbook club. Each month we’ll select a cookbook that we think stands out from the rest and ask you, the Great British Chefs community, to cook a recipe from it. We’ll publish a small selection of recipes on our site so, even if you don’t already have the book, you can still get involved and see how your cooking compares to everyone else’s. Join the Facebook group here and take a look at this month's book (and recipes) below. We've also included the winning post from last month's book, as well as some of our other favourite entries.

Join the Cookbook Club today!

Click here to join our cookbook club, meet likeminded home cooks and share your creations for the chance to win prizes.

This month's book: Planted by Chantelle Nicholson

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Rising through the ranks of Marcus Wareing’s restaurant empire, Chantelle Nicholson is now a fantastically talented chef in her own right, and is chef-patron at London’s immensely popular Tredwells. But what makes her really stand out is her commitment to prove that eating healthily or following a free-from diet shouldn’t mean missing out on incredible flavour. Her first solo cookbook Planted (£25, Kyle Books) is a fantastic collection of recipes that just so happen to be vegan.

Plant-based cooking (which is what we seem to be calling vegan food these days) is more popular than it has ever been before. Whether you’re already a vegan, cooking for someone who doesn’t eat meat or dairy or just want to get some more fruits and vegetables into your weeknight meals, this book is full of fantastic recipes no matter what you usually eat. We’ve made it our chosen cookbook this month as we feel it’s high time a brilliant chef took vegan cooking to the next level.

The three recipes below are from Planted so if you don’t have the book you can still take part. There are dozens more incredible recipes in the full tome though (which you can buy here). Chantelle herself will be on-hand to answer them in our live Facebook Q&A on Thursday 10 May; just post a question on our Facebook Cookbook Club page beforehand.

Slow-cooked aubergines, tamarind, roasted onion, white bean purée

The silky flesh of aubergine is particularly good at soaking up other flavours, and in this main course Chantelle serves them with a tangy tamarind sauce, a flavourful homemade vegetable stock, soft sweet onions and a creamy white bean purée. The dish manages to balance sweet, savoury, sour and umami perfectly, and any leftover vegetable stock (which can be made in advance) can be frozen and used in all sorts of other delicious recipes.

Rhubarb panna cotta, poached rhubarb, warm almond cakes

Make the most of Britain's incredible rhubarb with these beautiful little vegan panna cottas. Topped with poached pieces of pretty pink rhubarb in jelly and served with some simple almond cakes on the side, they’re the perfect dessert to serve when the sun’s shining outside. You can find the vegetarian gelatine needed to set the panna cottas in most supermarkets (look in the home baking aisle).

Dark chocolate mousse, cocoa nibs, passion fruit and chamomile

So many store-bought chocolate mousses contain either gelatine or dairy, but in this recipe Chantelle shows that coconut and oat cream – as well as one of her favourite ingredients, aquafaba – makes a perfect substitute. The passion fruit pulp and chamomile jelly cut through the rich mousse, while the crunchy cocoa nibs add a contrast in textures. The perfect dessert to prepare for people who turn their nose up at plant-based cooking.

Last month's winner

We celebrated home cooking last month with Marcus Wareing's New Classics. Hundreds of you got involved to create some simply stunning dishes, and we enlisted Marcus' help to choose his favourites from the most popular posts in the group. Huge congratulations to Jez MC whose winning dish meant she received a signed copy of the book – take a look at her submitted photo below, as well as six other entries Marcus thought deserved to be mentioned.

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Anne Hudson's burrata dish was beautifully plated
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Sophie Rushton-Smith submitted a twist on Marcus' brown shrimp and fennel recipe – perfect for spring
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John Harlow's fish taco feast went down a storm
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Hannah Steen served up a tray of desserts that would round off any dinner party perfectly
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Kinga Wachowska's elegant salmon with beetroot aioli was a popular post
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Linda Farrell's pear, almond and rosemary cake looked like the perfect teatime treat

Make sure you post photos of the dishes you cook from Chantelle Nicholson's Planted in our Facebook group to be in with the chance of winning a signed copy of the book (or you can choose to get a copy of next month's featured book instead).