One of my greatest ambitions – to cook on television – came true when I was chosen to participate in Series 1 of Britain’s Best Home Cook for BBC television. Continue reading “As a contestant on Britain’s Best Home Cook – BBC1”
(Post updated: May 2019). As its name suggests, a mirror glaze is a very shiny covering for a cake or dessert that is so reflective you should be able to see your face quite clearly in it. There are several recipes for mirror glazes but I make what I think is one of the simplest – and it always gives me great results. Continue reading “Coloured mirror glazes”
I have been excited by laminated pastries ever since I was a boy, watching my gran make up batches. I love the process of achieving those buttery, light layers that melt in the mouth, especially with rough-puff pastry, a much simpler cousin to puff pastry. In this post I give the recipe for a fool-proof rough-puff pastry, along with recipe ideas for using the pastry. Continue reading “Rough-puff pastry & other laminated pastries”
It might be easy to feel daunted when it comes to making pastry, but I hope this post will go some way towards facing any doubts you might have when it comes to shortcrust pastry. I have also included what I think is the most fool-proof way to blind-bake the pastry, giving perfectly cooked pastry and a neat finish. Continue reading “Shortcrust pastry & fool-proof blind-baking”
Cake should be eaten without any hint of guilt whatsover. Even when wanting another slice…..
This post gives key tips for making several types of cake successfully, along with recipes for cakes and icings, troubleshooting and general ideas for decorating. I have also given the quantities needed to make a Victoria Sandwich cake for different sized tins. Continue reading “Tips for making & decorating cakes”
A sourdough loaf is a thing of great beauty: chewy, crusty, with an open crumb and with layers of flavour. Heavenly! Continue reading “Making sourdough bread”
A marvellous institution in itself, you do not need a reason to justify taking Afternoon Tea: wonderfully indulgent, it is one of the most pleasurable ways to spend what should be several unrushed hours, allowing gasps of excitement to escape out as both sweet and savoury goodies are presented. Continue reading “The joys of Afternoon Tea”
For me, a croissant is one of the greatest baked goods to eat: a crisp outer shell that rains flakes as you bite into it, revealing an open honeycombed interior. And then there’s it’s rich buttery flavour and an almost nutty aroma. Certainly not to eat if you’re counting the calories, but a real joy! Continue reading “Croissants”
If you have ever wanted a macaron recipe for what I consider to be “as fool-proof as is possible”, I hope you find that this is the place to be! Continue reading “Perfecting macarons – the queen of confections”
Put simply, this is a delicious, low-fat warming soup that will have you diving back into the pan for more. Continue reading “Butternut squash and crab soup”
A deliciously simple bread using a technique popular in Japanese baking that requires cooking some of the flour and liquid from the recipe, resulting in a very soft-textured interior with great depth of flavour
Very delicious tarts using practically whatever vegetables you have…..an ideal lunch or light main course. Continue reading “Simple vegetable tarts”
I adore dips, chutneys, relishes and similar accompaniments with all cuisines, so when I first tried the carrot chutney at the wonderful Benares restaurant years ago, I knew I had to try to make it at home. Continue reading “Spiced carrot chutney”
A roast dinner -always one of the most exciting meals to eat – is never complete without an assortment of sides and accompaniments. Continue reading “Perfect roast dinner accompaniments”
An easy tart using wonderfully sharp autumal apples with a kick of almonds, this is lovely served simply with custard or a dollop of crème fraîche. Continue reading “Apple and almond lattice tart”
Packed with Thai flavours and served with a simple and delicious broth, these rolled and stuffed chicken thighs make what I think is a light but gorgeous dish. Continue reading “Thai chicken ballotine in lemongrass & ginger broth”
A very quick and tasty salad with a Caesar dressing that is, I think, to die for! Continue reading “Speedy Caesar salad: a celebration of left-overs!”
Cream, whisky and honey: three tremendous ingredient in their own right that combine to give the most delicious concoction: perfect as a filling for cakes, but wonderful mixed with toasted oats for a dessert such as Cranachan. Continue reading “The best Cranachan!”
This is my take on Heston Blumenthal’s delicious Night Before Christmas mince pies that can be bought in Waitrose.
Continue reading “Carrot & caraway mince pies with smoked sugar”
This is the stuffing I make more than any other: laden with many goodies, it enhances any roast dinner. Continue reading “My ultimate stuffing”
A delicious gravy brings together all the accompanying dishes in the most harmonious way to really make a roast shine. This recipe is my go-to gravy for all manner of roasts. A selection of some of my favourite roast accompaniments (including fool-proof Yorkshire Puddings and the best roast potatoes) is at the bottom of the page. Continue reading “The perfect gravy for a roast dinner”
For me, a roast is just as much about all the vegetables and other sides than the centrepiece itself: perhaps more so! And it’s little treats such as pigs in blankets that add even more bursts of pleasure when tucking into a roast.
This is my ultimate Brussels sprouts dish: little goodies such as smoked bacon, slightly caramelised red onions and chestnuts adding exciting additional flavours and textures that complement the sprouts. Continue reading “The perfect Brussels sprouts!”
A simple, delicious and slightly extravagant carrot side dish that can be prepared in advance and then heated up just before serving
Chocolate, orange and ginger are great bedfellows and, for me, are some of the flavours that scream Christmas. This quick and very simple dessert is ideal over the festive period. A warning, though: it is very rich, so serve it in small shot glasses or espresso cups! Continue reading “Chocolate, orange & ginger pots”
These mini pavlovas are not only a favourite dessert in my kitchen in the summer, when freshly picked fruit from the allotment gets put to good use, but it is a dessert I make over the winter months, often using fruit I had frozen months earlier. Continue reading “Chocolate and cinnamon mini pavlovas”
Multiple layers of thin grilled (yes, grilled!) sponge, orange and Amaretto liqueur and a chocolate glaze, finished off with pistachios: a wonderful cake that is superb when eaten with a cup of really good coffee. Continue reading “Baumkuchen (“tree cake”)”
I get SO much pleasure from street food, but I would say that steamed buns – whether Chinese bao, Japanese hirata – are right up there among my favourites.
Two-tone bagels of different shapes and sizes that are not just naturally coloured, they are also fully flavoured: part pesto and part beetroot & walnut. Continue reading “Two-tone bagels – 100% natural”
Something of a sweet treat to welcome in the Autumn. As if I needed an excuse! Continue reading “Coffee and walnut choux buns”
A rustic recipe, but no less tasty for its homeliness I think, the mixture, using butterbeans as the key protein, is great whether shaped as burgers or into balls as a homage to falafels. Continue reading “Bean burgers & “falafelesques””
These sweet, crumbly almond delicacies might be traditionally served at Christmas, but they are so good to eat at any time of the year. Continue reading “Mantecados de Almendra (Spanish almond shortbread)”
Crispy, with a hint of spices and bursting with flavour, these pancake rolls/spring rolls are easy to make. Continue reading “Crispy left-overs pancake rolls (gluten- & dairy-free)”
There are times when a spot of indulgence is needed, and this cake – which pushes itself into dessert territory – is just that! It serves at least 12 people but it can be scaled down. Continue reading “Dairy-free chocolate orange mousse cake”
A return to fabulous basics with these simple scones that are packed with flavour, thanks to the smoked cheese and the allium bursts of the chives in there. Continue reading “Smoked cheese & chive scones”
A coffee and walnut cake is a classic for a reason: the flavours work so well together, it is always a crowd-pleaser (even in socially-distanced “crowds”!) and it tastes great.
My bruschetta-inspired tartlets, using wonderful, simple ingredients that are being picked right now in the garden, give a real taste of summer. Continue reading “Fresh tomato & basil tartlets (gluten-free, dairy-free)”
Forget those indifferent vegan “sausage rolls” that were sold by a certain UK high street chain bakery; these rolls are packed with flavour.
A rich cake, with a batter that is made up in seconds. Oh, and a secret ingredient…… Continue reading “My “secret ingredient” mocha cupcakes!”
Shatteringly crisp potatoes with a very soft, fluffy and nicely seasoned interior are a must with any roast dinner. To be honest, though, I could eat them just on their own! Continue reading “Perfect roast potatoes”
Gooey and chocolatey, with a raspberry tang and a real coffee kick, Swiss Rolls are a firm favourite in this house. And in the current climate, foodie treats are particularly appreciated.
Proper comfort food using thrifty ingredients, these easy meatballs are a far cry from the tinned meatballs or those ones that come vac-packed in the supermarket! Continue reading “Meatballs in tomato sauce”
I love a dish that uses up whatever there is to hand and this delicious no-waste dish is cooked in the oven with hardly any effort. Continue reading “Paprika-spiced vegetable peel crisps”
This is my chicken and lentil version of my hot and sour fish curry and it remains a simple, quick and very addictive curry. Continue reading “Hot & sour chicken and lentil curry”
A toasted English muffin is a delight to eat. They are also quite easy to make either as a sourdough version or with commercial yeast. Continue reading “Sourdough English muffins”
These very simple flatbreads are perfect if there is a shortage of traditional flour (which is certainly hard to come by in some shops currently), but they are also great if you can’t have gluten. And these do not taste at all as if they are limited flavour-wise. In fact, quite the opposite. Continue reading “Harissa chickpea flour flatbreads”
This quick and easy version of muhamarra is a tasty way to make use of store cupboard ingredients. Continue reading “Store-cupboard red pepper dip”
This wonderfully refreshing lychee and raspberry sorbet is great as a dessert or as a cheeky little palate cleanser.
A great dish using a few very modest ingredients, this works well as a side dish to accompany all manner of curries.
Food always makes me happy, especially in the most uncertain of times, and indulgent treats using what is probably already in the kitchen never fail to do their bit to create pockets of joy. Continue reading “Quick chocolate and orange mousse pots”
This is an even simpler version of my Fish Curry (recipe here). Now that curry was hardly extravagant, but this version uses even fewer ingredients and still tastes, as my partner said the other day, “bloody good”. Praise indeed! Continue reading “A fabulous store-cupboard curry sauce”
A deliciously simple dish using basic store-cupboard ingredients, these fishcakes are quick and, I think, very tasty. Continue reading “Store-cupboard fishcakes”
Mouth-puckeringly sharp and lusciously creamy, this very simple lime and ginger dessert, with a hint of lemongrass, is a great way to end a meal. Continue reading “Lime and ginger possets”
The joys of Har Gow: transluscent steamed dumplings, with a pork and prawn filling. Little bites of sheer pleasure. Continue reading “Coriander glass dim sum”
Tender strips of chicken dipped in spiced buttermilk and then a multi-spiced flour….a very tasty spiced chicken dish! Continue reading “PFC: Philip’s Fried Chicken!”
If you love a bread packed with flavours, with every bite like a party going on in your mouth, I think this bread more than fits the bill. Continue reading “Caramelised onion & cumin bread”
Light, crisp risotto balls bursting with the flavours of black truffle, garlic and Parmesan, with a melting Fontina cheese centre: terrific little bites. Continue reading “Black truffle arancini”
Rich, smoky, oily and pungently garlicky, baba ghanoush is a joy of a dish and for me it makes the best use of aubergines. Continue reading “Baba ghanoush”
This majestic and intensely fragrant curry, using common store cupboard spices, is very simple and quick to make. Continue reading “Hot and sour fish curry”