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 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”
A gutsy focaccia that really hits the spot, using chunks of Parmesan and the delicous sweetness that comes from roasted onions. Continue reading “Parmesan & roasted onion sourdough focaccia”
This is great way to use good quality fruit gins in cooking – as if excused are needed! You could even serve these with a glass of gin and tonic for the ultimate indulgence…. Continue reading “Raspberry gin macarons”
A light-as-air Swiss Roll sponge, filled with Cranachan and smothered with a little of the whisky and honey cream, this roulade is a delicious centrepiece for any occasion. Continue reading “Cranachan roulade”
With the smoked mushrooms, blue cheese and hint of tarragon sitting on crisp, buttery puff pastry, these easy tarts are full-on comfort food. Continue reading “Smoked mushroom & Dolcelatte tarts”
Fruity, tangy and suitable chocolatey, with a cheeky kirschy-kick! Continue reading “Black Forest choux buns & éclairs”
Shamelessly rustic chocolate biscuits made in moments! What more can I say? Continue reading ““Break the rules” chocolate biscuits”
I love a katsu curry, whether using chicken, pork, prawns or vegetables: the contast of that gorgeous silky sauce smothering the crispy meat, fish or veg is wonderful. Continue reading “Katsu curry”
If you have a glut of cucumbers to use up, these tangy and refreshing pickles are sure to hit the spot. Perfect cold from the fridge and great to tuck into during the depths of winter with bread and cheese.
I adore poppadoms either with a curry or just to snack on shamelessly, especially if I have with a fiery chutney or two to scoop onto them! Continue reading “Poppadoms from scratch”
These seasonal cakes are so delicious and really make use of blackberries, both in the buttercream, the fondant icing and to decorate. Continue reading “Mini blackberry sponge cakes”
Ah, the many joys of a Swiss Roll: one of those classic cakes that is just perfect sliced (thickly!) and served with a cup of tea or a mug of coffee. Continue reading “Coffee & walnut Swiss Roll”
Quite simply, this delicious food is perfect eaten in the garden for a street-food vibe or piled onto plates inside for people to assemble themselves! Continue reading “Crispy ginger & soy chicken bao with spiced mayo”
Packed with flavour, I return to these gutsy mini tarts frequently for simple snacks, as part of an Afternoon Tea spread or even for a picnic in the garden! Continue reading “Chorizo, Manchego & caramelised onion tartlets”
These very simple chicken wings are packed with flavour, take moments to prepare and will have you coming back for more. Continue reading “Crispy air-fried harissa chicken”
The combination of crispy, sticky, spicy and utterly delicious ticks every box for me. Ingredients such as soy sauce, garlic, ginger, chilli, sesame seeds and panko breadcrumbs combine with the cauliflower to give an exceptional dish. Continue reading “Teriyaki cauliflower “popcorn””
No excuses, no apologies – just seriously chocolately shortbreads! Continue reading ““Death by Chocolate” biscuits”
A Snickers bar is one of my favourite chocolate bars and this is my homemade “cheat’s” take on a Snickers bar.
These light blinis (or potato cakes in this case), are so easy, so tasty and so much fun to make! Continue reading “Mustard and dill potato blinis”
As the summer tentatively approaches, I get so excited about food that can be eaten outdoors: whether at a picnic, a BBQ or even just on the patio if there is the merest teasing of sun, I love to eat al fresco. This tart is one of those I often have outside but, of course, it makes a wonderful starter indoors for a less informal meal!
This is an adaptation of my earlier passionfruit and lime drizzle loaf this lily has been gilded somewhat with the addition of a luscious Mascarpone topping and a splash of rum in the drizzle.
Sticky chicken wings and a punchy blue cheese dip: two very compatible bed-fellows that always guarantee foodie happiness. Not to mention very messy fingers! Continue reading “The best sticky BBQ wings with blue cheese dip”
Deliciously simple pan-fried cheese patties, using left-over bread and a few staple ingredients. Continue reading “Kaspressknödel – cheese dumplings”
One egg (yes, just one egg) goes a long way: it actually makes 10 of these Bakewell Tarts to be precise! Continue reading “Strawberry and orange mini Bakewell tarts”
A simple, kind of “throw it all together” bake, this is basically stollen crossed with rum babas and is a popular sweet treat in this house. It is not just for making and eating at Christmas either; I often make it for Easter and at various other times of the year. Continue reading “Rum baba stollen bites”
Rye bread is something of an acquired taste; some people avoid it, but others, like me, love its dense, slightly chewy qualities with its pronounced flavour. Continue reading “My favourite seeded walnut rye bread”
This is what I think is a real store-cupboard winner: they are delicious, take minutes to prepare and taste like you have spent ages making them!
The gorgeous flavours of ginger and lemongrass in a macaron: pure bliss in every mouthful! Continue reading “Ginger and lemongrass macarons”
Sweet, floral honey with a heady dill kick and the gentle heat of mustard, this sauce is fabulous with smoked fish or as a light dressing for many salads. Continue reading “Honey, mustard and dill sauce”
Generously stuffed Thai-style chicken, coated in a sticky soy and honey glaze, these are great eaten for any occasion: my favourite is devouring them in front of the TV! Continue reading “Thai-style stuffed chicken drumsticks”
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”