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3 Mar 2020 11:35 AM | Tim Reynolds

The Belgian Federal Public Service (FPS) Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment has established a website on the #COVID19 virus that is available in English as well as Flemish, French and German.

Contact us if you want the BBCA to post a News Story or an Event that is strongly linked to the British Community in Brussels.  We reserve the right to select items for publication and to edit items as required for style and space.

Email    BBCA.NewsAndEvents@gmail.com


News and Events -----------

  • 5 Jan 2022 8:50 AM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    The Belgian authorities have decided to drop the requirement for fully vaccinated people to self-isolate following a close contact with someone infected with COVID-19 from Monday 10 January 2022. However, people are asked to continue to be extremely careful, maximise teleworking, avoid contact with vulnerable people, and wear a FFP2 mask if possible.


    The new rule applies to anyone who has received their second vaccine dose or booster in the last five months.

    Vaccinated folk whose last jab was more than five-month ago must still isolate for 10 days following a high-risk contact, but can be released on day four with daily negative antigen tests taken until day seven. A negative PCR test will no longer be required to end quarantine.

    However, for unvaccinated people, the rules remain the same. They will have to undergo PCR testing on days one and seven, will remain in quarantine until they have received a negative result for the second test, and must also undergo daily negative self-tests until day ten.

    Infected people still have to isolate, but only for seven days rather than ten and, once symptoms have diminished, they can leave isolation providing they have undergone a negative self-test.

    These new rules were backed by federal and regional health ministers on Tuesday (4 January) and will come into effect on 10 January 2022.

  • 4 Jan 2022 12:22 PM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    The Belgian government has today (4 January 2022) released a handy infographic on the current COVID-19 testing regime applicable to travellers heading abroad and/ or returning home to Belgium.

    An image of the infographic is shown below and you can access the pdf version with clickable links here: 20220104 FODKAN_POSTER_OP_REIS_FR.pdf


  • 31 Dec 2021 2:02 PM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    ICYMI some UK citizens normally resident in Belgium have, since 28 December, been prevented from returning home to Belgium from the UK by car by French authorities. This rule preventing land transit through France follows new guidance on COVID travel restrictions introduced before Christmas and issued to the French Border forces on 28 December. However, the French authorities have now issued further guidance to allow UK citizens resident in EU countries who travelled to the UK on or before 28 December to return without hinderance.


    This welcome suspension to allow travel through France for UK citizens returning to their main home in an EU country during the festive period is very welcome. It follows extensive representations to the French authorities by the UK Embassies in France and Belgium and the Belgian authorities.

    However, this is a temporary measure and UK citizens are still largely banned from going to France unless they have a compelling reason and return car transit through France for a journey to the UK starting today would not be possible.

    The French interior ministry has issued a ‘tolerance instruction’ to facilitate the transit of British nationals through France to reach their residence in an EU country during the end of the year celebrations.

    The rules and regulation can always be found on the website of the French Ministry of the Interior.

    The current regulations, introduced as part of measures to combat a surge in COVID cases in France, cover travel to France from the UK, which is classified as a COVID red zone. Travel is only authorised for:

    • European (EU) nationals returning to their main residence in France or located in another EU country
    • Nationals of a third countries holding a long-stay visa or a valid residence permit having their main residence in France

    In addition, France has added UK citizens who reside regularly in France and are exempt from a residence permit under the Brexit withdrawal agreement, but can provide proof of residence.

    However, British citizens who reside in another EU country, as nationals of a third country, are not covered by this measure and, therefore, cannot transit through France to another EU country while the COVID restrictions are in place.

    As many UK citizens residing in an EU country travelled to the UK for the Christmas/ New Year holidays before the new guidance was issued and now would face unexpected difficulties in returning home, the French have issued tolerance instructions to their border forces.

    Happy New Year everyone!

  • 28 Dec 2021 3:37 PM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    Our second seasonal celebration recipe comes from BBCA Council member and Editor of The Bulletin - Sara Crew. This recipe is Sarah's adaptation of a recipe first published in De Standaard magazine. The Bulletin shares an office with the Flemish newspaper.

    First make a meringue with 4 egg whites, 150g sugar and 1.5 teaspoons of cornflour or cream of tartar. Pile the whipped meringue (swirl the mixture into a  messy pile, leaving a cavity for the cream filling) onto baking paper and cook for at least two hours at a low temperature (125-150°) and leave to dry in the oven for a couple of hours (or overnight).

    In the meantime empty a bottle of rosé or white wine into large saucepan and add spices (cloves/star anis/cinnamon stick/ cardamom pods) as well as 20g of dried hibiscus flours (sourced from an organic supermarket). Add 75g of sugar and when dissolved, add peeled (you can leave the stalks on) and cored whole pears (smaller sized fruit are recommended). If necessary, add water to ensure the pears are completely submerged.

    Although rosé or white wine is suggested, Sarah has considered using red wine instead and adding an extra dose of alcohol to the syrup to create a heady mulled wine mixture that would be very fitting for a winter festive pud!


    Simmer until the pears are cooked, turning them from time to time so that they evenly colour. The pear poaching fills the kitchen with a lovely Christmassy fug! Remove from the heat, leave to cool and when cold, remove the pears and then reduce the syrup on high heat to make a sauce. You can add a little lemon juice when reducing the liquid.


    Now assemble pavlova shortly before you want to serve it. Pile whipped cream (you can add some citrus zest for additional flavour) onto the meringue and top with the pears. Drizzle a little hibiscus syrup over the top and serve the remainder in a jug separately. For extra pizazz, you can sprinkle the dessert with dried hibiscus powder created by grinding some flowers.

    Enjoy!

  • 23 Dec 2021 12:43 AM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    On Wednesday 22 December, the Belgian Consultative Committee discussed the COVID situation in the country and noted that the Omicron variant is rapidly gaining ground. With this in mind, the Committee advocates caution and has moved to reinforce protective measures from Boxing Day, Sunday 26 December 2021.


    While the total number of infections has decreased, with a slight drop in pressure on the healthcare sector, the number of beds occupied in intensive care by COVID patients remains high at 693. In addition, the new Omicron variant is gaining ground in Belgium and already accounts for more than 27% of infections across the country. This variant is much more contagious than previous variants and is expected to become the dominant variant by the start of 2022. Due to the high contagiousness of this variant, extreme caution is required.

    Vaccines remain the main protection against severe forms of COVID, with the booster dose in particular providing additional protection against the Omicron variant. Nearly four in ten adults (37%) have already received their booster vaccine and the Committee wants all adults to have had the opportunity to be vaccinated by the end of January.

    To slow down Omicron's progress, to reduce its impact on hospitals and to avoid jeopardizing the reopening of schools after the Christmas holidays, the Committee has therefore taken a series of measures, which will come into force from Sunday December 26. These are itemised below.

    1. No relaxation of rules

    The current rules, decided by the Committee on 3 December, remain in force, in particular the wearing of a mask (compulsory from 6 years old), the obligation to telework (with a maximum of one day of return per week in the office) and the closure of the hotel and catering industry (at 11 p.m., with no exceptions for Christmas or New Year's evenings).

    2. Indoor and outdoor events prohibited

    All mass events inside are prohibited. This also applies to Christmas markets, winter villages, cultural and other performances, as well as congresses organized inside.

    The interior spaces of the cultural, festive and recreational sectors are also closed, with the exception of:

    • Libraries, game libraries and media libraries;
    • Museums;
    • Organized activities focused on the needs of vulnerable groups, i.e. socio-cultural activities, continuing education activities and activities for young people with professional supervision;
    • Party and reception rooms, only for weddings and funerals;
    • Wellness centres, including saunas, solariums, jacuzzies, hammams and steam baths.
    Cinemas, laser games, bowling alleys, escape rooms, paintball, snooker, darts and billiards centres as well as indoor trampoline parks must also close.

    The sports sector remains open, including fitness centres and swimming pools. Recreational elements of swimming pools and subtropical swimming pools must close, as well as the interior spaces of amusement and animal parks. Sports courses can only take place without an overnight stay.

    3. Stricter rules for outdoor events

    With regard to outdoor events, stricter regulations will apply to avoid crowd effects:

    • Prohibition on the use of marquees and other covered spaces welcoming visitors
    • Maximum one visitor / 4 m2
    • From 100 visitors: one-way traffic plan with separate entrances and exits.

    4. Sports competitions without an audience

    The presence of the public during professional and non-professional sports competitions and training is prohibited. This rule prevails inside and out.

    5. Safe shopping

    Shopping can be done with a maximum of two people (with the exception of minors from their own household). One visitor is allowed per 10 m2 of retail space. It must be possible to guarantee a distance of 1.5 m between consumer groups. If the retail area is greater than 400 m2, adequate access control must be provided.

    6. Mandatory teleworking

    Teleworking remains compulsory with a maximum of one return day to the office per week.

    7. Safe parties

    The Concertation Committee recommends continuing to limit contact during the Christmas period and encourages recourse to self-testing. Ventilate indoor spaces and wear a facemask. And if you are feeling sick, then stay home.

    Given the positive opinion of the Higher Health Council and the Bioethics Advisory Committee, the Committee also asked the Vaccination Taskforce to start the vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 as soon as possible and on a voluntary basis.

    The Committee recommends the use of FFP2 masks for vulnerable people. Recent scientific studies indicate that the omicron variant resists longer in air than the previous variants.

    The Committee will reassess the epidemiological situation in the first half of January 2022.

  • 18 Dec 2021 12:12 PM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    The Brussels British Community Association (BBCA) is happy to announce that it will donate €3,900 to the Community Help Service (CHS) Helpline thanks to the hard work of its volunteers and supporters throughout the year. This is a significant increase on previous years and reflects the large rise in demand for CHS services during the pandemic.


    With the end of the year approaching the BBCA Council has been deliberating on its charitable donations for 2021. In recent years, our policy has been to split the funds available equitably between our four principle associated charitable bodies: The British Charitable Fund (BCF), The Community Health Service (CHS), The Royal British Legion Brussels branch (RBL), and The Wednesday Club. However, for 2021, in the light of the increased level of calls on the CHS due to the COVID pandemic and Brexit we are giving a larger amount to support their valuable work.

    2021, like 2020 before it, has been a very difficult year for many people. While levels of anxiety and associated mental health issues on the rise, the ability of many charities to fund raise has been limited. With this in mind the BBCA Council has decided to prioritise its donations this year to focus on where greatest support is needed.

    “In close consultation with the leadership of our four main charitable associations we have decided to donate to just two of the charities this year,” explains Glenn Vaughan, Chair of the BBCA Council. “In the light of massively increased calls on their services we will be donating €3,900 to CHS this year. This is by far the largest donation BBCA has been able to make to a single cause for some years and is very appropriate in the circumstances.”

    In addition, €600 will be donated to RBL this year to support their local activities including the development of some centenary projects in Belgium.

    CHS and COVID

    “Even before the pandemic, there was a pressing need to raise awareness about mental health issues,” says Jeremy Jennings, Chair of the CHS Board. “But now, focus on mental health has never been more relevant, more important. CHS is proud to be a community leader shedding light on these issues, encouraging community care and offering vital services. And we thank the BBCA for its continuing, generous support for our work.”

    The pandemic has forced CHS to modify and adapt the way in which they work. Pre-COVID, CHS Helpline volunteers would meet, face to face, on a weekly basis to discuss calls under the mentoring supervision of two trained psychologists. During the pandemic, everything has had to move to Zoom. But in anticipation of a return to a new normal, CHS has upgraded the CHS Boardroom with a new large screen (donated by Samsung) and high-quality video conferencing facilities. This facilitates "hybrid" meetings where some volunteers can attend in person (whilst respecting social distancing requirements) and others connect remotely.

    CHS has also made a big investment in new communication technology. They have recently moved from their old Proximus system to Destiny Mobile. And whilst this has produced the inevitable teething troubles, CHS now has a much more flexible system where each volunteer has their own CHS smartphone. The new system is much easier to operate and provides the service with incredibly rich statistical data. For example, in the final quarter of 2021 CHS were able to note that roughly 15% of individuals calling the Helpline are from outside Belgium. CHS now has a global reach!

    “COVID has inevitably had a huge impact on the people that use our services. The total number of calls to the Helpline in 2021 will be over 6,500, far more than any previous year,” comments Jeremy. “Similarly, the Mental Health Services Centre has seen a 30% increase in people seeking a consultation with a therapist over 2020. And 2020 was also record-breaking year! This increased workload has had a real impact on CHS people. COVID fatigue is a very real phenomenon. But the CHS family - therapists and volunteers alike - are enthusiastic in their desire to support the wider community (not just in Belgium) to manage our way through the pandemic.”

    What does CHS do?

    In 2021, CHS celebrated its 50th anniversary. Since 1971, the organisation has been supporting the international community in Belgium, regardless of nationality or circumstances . No-one should feel that they are alone – and help from CHS is always only a telephone call away.

    CHS operates a Mental Health Services Centre in Brussels, housing an international team of professional therapists who provide support for a comprehensive range of mental health issues. All the CHS therapists speak English and many also work in other languages. The therapists are supported by a team of volunteers who also manage the administrative aspects of CHS, a non-profit organisation.

    CHS also operates a 24/7 Helpline in English, for children, adolescents and adults. Calls are free of charge, anonymous and confidential. The Helpline is staffed by a team of volunteers that is recruited, trained, supervised and supported by the mental health professionals working with CHS.

    CHS currently has 25 volunteers of whom 20 are active. This is the most volunteers CHS has had for a number of years, but more are always welcome. And you can always donate direct to CHS yourself via this web page.

  • 13 Dec 2021 9:58 AM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    The British Charitable Fund (BCF) was established in 1815 on the initiative of the Duke of Wellington to help British people in Belgium and their dependants, who find themselves in difficult circumstances. Over 200 years on the BCF continues its valuable work in Belgium and BCF Chairperson Julie Huckle has recently reviewed their activities in 2021.


    During 2021, the world continued to come to terms with the on-going effects of COVID-19. The pandemic has had an impact on the way that the BCF has been able to work this year. Calls for assistance have had to be handled from a distance which can be difficult and has effectively removed a large part of the human contact element of the BCF’s work.

    The help that the BCF offers comes in two main forms: financial support and pastoral care. The financial aspect is fairly straight forward and relies on the generosity of supporters to help maintain a sufficient level of funds. Pastoral care is far less simple but, at the end of the day, is about the care we all have for one another as human beings and is a very large part of what the BCF does.

    BCF volunteers provide social and emotional support to people in our community who need it. Care can include all forms of human needs from ordinary physical and biological needs, through the need for safety and security, to social needs for connectedness and love and, finally, the higher needs for respect, personal growth and fulfilment.

    Pastoral care

    Pastoral Care is about providing an accompaniment for people, to help them and encourage them to take care of themselves. It may well include practical help (including referring them to other agencies) but also involves lots of listening and helping people to clarify their own thoughts. Perhaps most importantly, it also includes trying to ensure that they know they are being thought about and cared for. This can be achieved by staying in touch, sometimes just with a message. And there can be a spiritual element to this as well and the BCF is proud to work closely with Holy Trinity Church, St Andrew’s Church of Scotland and St George’s Memorial Church in Ypres. Adding The Wednesday Club, the Community Help Service, the Royal British Legion and the British Consulate as combined resources means that BCF can assist just about anyone who needs help.

    The BCF In general, there are no fixed rules for the provision of assistance and the fund tries to help anyone in genuine need. In practice, applicants should have exhausted all other means of support from family and state agencies. However, there are often gaps in the provision of social help that can uniquely affect foreigners in Belgium, and it is these cases that the BCF is best suited to assist.

    BCF assistance

    Jim was living in an unpleasant apartment which was causing both his physical and mental health to be affected. He asked for assistance to find a new, more suitable, place to live and the BCF helped him to bridge the financial gap which inevitably appears when someone moves location. Not only that, BCF volunteers helped him move some of his more cherished belongings to his new home, all of which helped to ease the stress of the whole proceeding.

    The BCF has provided on-going support to people affected by the terrorist attacks of March 2016. These cases are very complex and challenging, which have required not only financial support, but also patience, time and expert input from the BCF volunteers involved.

    How can you help?

    The work of the BCF volunteers continues to be entirely supported by the generosity of people like you. EUR 30 covers the cost of a one-way bus ride back to the UK. EUR 90 covers the cost of a replacement passport. EUR 250 can help to cover the cost of a loan for the up-front payment of a rental guarantee. All donations to the BCF, no matter the size, are welcome and any amount of EUR 40 and over is tax deductible in Belgium.

    Donations can be made directly to the BCF account: BE37 3101 8900 8428

    If you know of anyone who may need BCF help, please do not hesitate to get in touch. All of BCF’s work is carried out in total confidence.

    Similarly, if you would like to become a BCF volunteer, please contact Louise Lang on 02 354 7563.

    The BCF committee, and especially its beneficiaries, thank all the supporters of the fund, including the BBCA, and wishes everyone a very happy Christmas and a peaceful and healthy New Year.

    You can find more information on BCF activities at: www.bcfund.be

  • 10 Dec 2021 9:50 AM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    With only three weeks to go before the M card application deadline the latest issue of the UK Embassy's Citizens' Rights Newsletter has been published. You can download a pdf copy of the newsletter here.

    The latest update for UK nationals resident in Belgium contains news that all UK citizens need to know and act on to avoid significant complications for their lives in Belgium in 2022. The most significant items are outlined below.


    Issues for recent Dual nationals

    If you have acquired Belgian nationality/ citizenship, you do not need to take any action unless you want to stay registered under your UK nationality as your commune/gemeente will have received automatic notification of your new Belgian citizenship.

    However, if you have acquired another EU nationality other than Belgian, such as Irish citizenship, you need to take action as you can only be registered under one nationality. If you wish to remain registered under your UK nationality, you must apply for an M card by 31 December 2021.

    If you wish to be registered under your new EU nationality, you must inform your commune/gemeente and get a new E or E+ card. Your existing UK nationality E/E+ card will automatically become void on 31 March 2022. It will also stop being accepted as proof of residence when travelling from 1 January 2022 unless accompanied by an annexe/ bijlage56.

    Your children and the M card

    Children under 12. The Embassy has recently been informed by the Belgian Office for Foreigners that children under 12 with UK nationality also need to have an application on their behalf submitted at the local commune/gemeente to regularise their status by 31 December 2021. The children will receive an annexe/bijlage 56 as evidence that they have applied for a status under the Withdrawal Agreement but will not be issued an M card. They will receive an updated 'identity document' with a specific reference to the WA.

    Between 12 and 18 years. Children between 12 and 18 with UK nationality need to submit an M card application at your commune/gemeente by 31 December 2021. They will receive an M card, but they will not need to provide a criminal record extract with their application.

    Bpost and your Christmas pressies

    Most of us have had some 'issues' with Bpost over the year since Brexit happened - in particular with parcel deliveries from the UK and the introduction of new EU customs declarations requirements from July 2021. The Embassy has been in touch with Bpost and they have changed the way they implement the requirements to reflect customer concerns.

    Now most parcels clearly identified as gifts with a value of less than EUR 45 and clearly labelled with the correct name and address details of both the sender and the recipient should be delivered without the recipient needing to supply additional information.

    So tell your family and friends in the UK to ensure that they include their name and address on the packaging and that they must specify a value for the gift - if the value is left blank or described as "unknown" this will cause delays and Santa may not manage to deliver by 24 December.

    Obviously, the BBCA (and the Embassy) will be keen to receive reports on your Bpost experiences over the Christmas period to ensure that the new guidelines are being implemented by Bpost staff.

    Other items

    You can download the full newsletter here and please take the time to watch the video below.

    A message from UK Ambassador Martin Shearman and Belgian Secretary of State Sammy Mahdi


  • 8 Dec 2021 5:21 PM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    The Brussels-based law firm Cabinet David is launching a series of free early evening webinars on Tax and Estate Planning (TEP) commencing this Thursday evening. Details of the events are given below. Prior registration is required, which you can find by following the link in each specific event title. All events will commence at 18h00.


    9 December 2021 What does the taxman want to know about my overseas property?

    After the European Court of Justice ordered Belgium to change its rules on the taxation of overseas properties and to pay a penalty of €2 million and a daily payment of €7,500 (for prior coverage see here). Finance Minister Vincent Van Peteghem rolled out an ambitious plan to set up a register of all properties held by Belgian residents all over the world and give them a ‘cadastral value’.

    The Belgian tax authorities are sending out forms to report your overseas properties. Why is that? And what does this mean? How do I fill out this form?

    This free webinar will explain how we got here, what the cadastral revenue is, and what the effect is going to be on your taxes. Some practical examples will help you fill out this form before 31 December.

    16 December 2021 The New Expatriate Tax Regime

    Next year, Belgium will phase out its expatriate tax regime and introduce an impatriate tax regime. This webinar will set out the conditions and benefits of the new tax regime for impatriates.

    This is all but necessarily good news for expatriates who benefit from the current expat tax regime.

    12 January 2022 Mort Subite, an expatriate dies in Belgium - what next?

    Estate Planning for Expatriates. If you came to live in Belgium for work or love, you may have discovered that things are different from home. Things can also get a little bit more complex in other circumstances – for example if you are about to inherit from your parents, have a holiday home in Italy and France and foreign bank accounts.

    The purpose of this TEP-talk is to correct some misunderstandings and help you plan your estate. The webinar will look at it from the point of No Return: Mort subite. You are dead, what now?

    20 January 2022 The Art of the Gift

    In Belgium, one way of planning one’s estate is to make gifts during one’s lifetime. If gift tax is paid, no further inheritance tax will be due. Gift tax is due on all gifts before a notary. However, it is not obligatory to make gifts of movables before a notary. Hand-to-hand gifts and bank gifts are valid and exempt of gift tax. Nonetheless, the donor needs to plan.

    17 February 2022 Estate planning without children

    When you do not have any children, estate planning gets a bit more complicated When we think of estate planning, we think of a family with two parents and two children. The reality is often quite different. The inheritance tax rates for siblings, nieces and nephews, or family friends are easily twice the rates for children and parents. How can you make your estate planning work?

    17 March 2022 The art of writing a tax-efficient Will

    A Will is a useful tool for tax planning. In fact, it is the first and last tool for tax and estate planning. Getting your Will right is important. Since no inheritance tax is due on the family home between husband and wife and between registered partners, it can be advantageous to leave the family home in full to your spouse or partner. But then there are other aspects to consider.

    Further TEP-talks are planned and you can always find the full forthcoming programme here: www.taxation.be/events.

  • 7 Dec 2021 4:45 PM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    Welcome one and all to the BBCA’s 2021 festive thematic! Last year various members of the BBCA Council shared some of their favourite winter walks and bike rides. This year we are turning to some favourite bakes and recipes. Kicking off the series of articles, Tim Reynolds shares his method to clot cream – yes even Belgian cream!

    With supply chains well and truly up the creek in the immediate post-Brexit transition we all faced some serious obstacles to obtaining supplies of traditional UK delicacies in Belgium. Over the years, the Lee Reynolds household has managed to wean ourselves off many items or discovered acceptable continental alternatives.

    But for some consumables that is just not possible. One is leaf tea that actually makes a real strong cuppa. A second is the traditional Pork Pie – any news on a reliable source gratefully received. And the third is Cornish (or you may substitute your favourite British Isles regional variation here) Clotted Cream.

    However, I have found that you can make your own! It is fairly long-winded, but you do end up with a reasonable 'dollop' of definitely clotted cream.

    Ingredient(s)

    There is just one ingredient: one (1) litre (or whatever you can get your hands on) of 'double' cream (or your local equivalent).

    Now double cream is also not so easy to find in Belgium / Europe and most of it is UHT treated. I had been reliably informed by a reputable food scientist that cream that has been Ultra-High Temperature (UHT) processed will not clot - but I thought I'd give it a go anyway.

    The cream I use is from my local Delhaize store (see below) that has between 35 and 40% fat content (depending on the volume bought: 200ml declares 35%, while the one litre tetra Pak declares 40% despite having identical packaging).


    It is described as creme culinaire et fouettable (i.e., whippable) and is stored in the chiller cabinet but has also been UHT treated. In the US I think it would be described as 'heavy' cream. All Belgian supermarkets should have an equivalent. If you can get cream that has been pasteurised but not 'UHT'd' - then the method may work even better.

    Method

    Take your cream and place it in a largish shallow ovenproof dish. The cream should be no more than a few centimetres deep (see below).


    Then you need to 'slow cook' your cream at 80 degrees centigrade for around 8-10 hours (lower for longer if you can). Overnight is about right.

    The cream will form a crust (see below). After the low, slow bake take the dish out of the oven, let it cool and then place the dish in the fridge to chill further.


    By 'teatime' it should all be ready. Take the dish out of the fridge and skim/ peel the top clotted layer of cream off and 'modge' it up in a bowl.


    Et voila - clotted cream for your jam and scones! Apologies to unbelievers in the audience but we adopt the 'Cornish' cream on last approach to the 'which comes first' cream/ jam controversy. Also butter those scones!


    The remaining creamy/ milky stuff can be used as per heavy milk / light cream. However, it is no longer whippable - I know, I tried.

    The science bit

    As I was a research chemist in a previous life, I think you need to know what is going on here. Cream in milk is usually separated from the main liquid by sedimentation as the fat rises to the top - older British readers will remember the fat at the top of  bottles of full fat milk delivered to your doorstep by the local dairy. 

    To separate even more fat you heat up the cream. By gently heating up the cream you denature some of the milk whey proteins and destabilise the fat bubbles (aka micelles), helping the fat to float to the top of the mass. This is then slowly cooled to consolidate the ‘crust’.

    As a lapsed chemist I get a little anxious about yield and mass balances etc. So, I/ you need to know that for every litre of cream in, you should expect 400-450g of clotted cream out, together with around 400-450g of remaining creamy liquid.

    Enjoy!

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