Recipe posts

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As a contestant on Britain’s Best Home Cook – BBC1

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”

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Coloured mirror glazes

(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”

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Rough-puff pastry & other laminated pastries

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”

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Shortcrust pastry & fool-proof blind-baking

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”

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Tips for making & decorating cakes

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”

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Making sourdough bread

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”

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The joys of Afternoon Tea

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”

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Croissants

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”

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Perfecting macarons – the queen of confections

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”

Butternut squash and crab soup

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”

Boule (tangzhong method)

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

Continue reading “Boule (tangzhong method)”

Simple vegetable tarts

Very delicious tarts using practically whatever vegetables you have…..an ideal lunch or light main course. Continue reading “Simple vegetable tarts”

Spiced carrot chutney

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”

Apple and almond lattice tart

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”

Thai chicken ballotine in lemongrass & ginger broth

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”

The best Cranachan!

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!”

Carrot & caraway mince pies with smoked sugar

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”

The perfect gravy for a roast dinner

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”

Honey-glazed pigs in blankets with cranberry & apricot

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.

Continue reading “Honey-glazed pigs in blankets with cranberry & apricot”

The perfect Brussels sprouts!

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!”

My ultimate carrots to accompany a roast

A simple, delicious and slightly extravagant carrot side dish that can be prepared in advance and then heated up just before serving

Continue reading “My ultimate carrots to accompany a roast”

Chocolate, orange & ginger pots

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”

Chocolate and cinnamon mini pavlovas

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”

Baumkuchen (“tree cake”)

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”)”

Steamed buns incl. bao, hirata… & the best filling ideas

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.

Continue reading “Steamed buns incl. bao, hirata… & the best filling ideas”

Bean burgers & “falafelesques”

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””

Mantecados de Almendra (Spanish almond shortbread)

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 left-overs pancake rolls (gluten- & dairy-free)

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)”

Dairy-free chocolate orange mousse cake

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”

Smoked cheese & chive scones

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”

My ultimate coffee and walnut drip cake

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.

Continue reading “My ultimate coffee and walnut drip cake”

Fresh tomato & basil tartlets (gluten-free, dairy-free)

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)”

Vegan “sausage” rolls

Forget those indifferent vegan “sausage rolls” that were sold by a certain UK high street chain bakery; these rolls are packed with flavour.

Continue reading “Vegan “sausage” rolls”

Perfect roast potatoes

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”

Raspberry mocha mini rolls

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.

Continue reading “Raspberry mocha mini rolls”

Meatballs in tomato sauce

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”

Paprika-spiced vegetable peel crisps

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”

Hot & sour chicken and lentil curry

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”

Harissa chickpea flour flatbreads

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”

Carrots with cumin and caramelised onions

A great dish using a few very modest ingredients, this works well as a side dish to accompany all manner of curries.

Continue reading “Carrots with cumin and caramelised onions”

Quick chocolate and orange mousse pots

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”

A fabulous store-cupboard curry sauce

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”

Coriander glass dim sum

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”

Black truffle arancini

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”

Hot and sour fish curry

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”