If, like me, you like adding extras to your buttercreams to get great flavour – for example: alcohol, fruit purées and the like – you often need to add a lot to allow your buttercream to pack a real flavour punch….and, of course, the buttercream is then prone to curdling into a horrid mess! Continue reading “How to rescue a curdled buttercream/frosting (with video)”
This is a totally fuss-free light meal: freshly made sourdough (toasted), crispy pancetta and a slowly cooked duck egg, with a few fresh chives snipped over the top. When simplicity reigns! Continue reading “A sous-vide duck egg brunch!”
A good sausage roll should bring a smile to one’s face and have a very moreish quality: one should never be enough! A far cry from those mass-produced affairs you can buy from high street chain bakeries that are full of squidgy pink “meat”! Continue reading “Herby sausage rolls”
I love scotch eggs but I don’t make them often enough. A crisp exterior, a well flavoured sausagemeat with an egg in the centre (runny yolk!) add up to give what I think is a lovely few bites. Continue reading “Quail scotch eggs with black pudding”
Having not made a Battenberg cake in a long time, I felt it time to re-visit this very firm favourite of mine. This time I went for the wonderful flavours of lime and ginger: two ingredients that go so well together.
Ok, the surprise might not be up there with the denoument of a great murder mystery story, but this cake always evokes “oohs” and “ahhs” when cut into. Granted, you might not have fallen off your chair with this reveal, but I can live with that! Continue reading “Chocolate and orange surprise cake!”
The power of baking in evoking happy memories of childhood is one of the many reasons baking is such an addiction for me; a Battenberg cake never fails to transport me back to being a child again, when slices of Battenberg were handed out as a real teatime treat. Continue reading “Rhubarb & ginger Battenberg cake”
This easy, no fuss cake is deeply chocolatey (such a good thing!), with the sharp citrus kick of candied orange and a warming hint of spice. Continue reading “Spiced chocolate and orange bundt cake”
This very refreshing cake pushes it way into dessert territory with its creamy filling. And that is no bad thing! Continue reading “Lemon & thyme drizzle layer cake”
Melt-in-the-mouth is never more the case than with Viennese biscuits or Viennese whirls or any variation on this classic biscuit. They can be served simply dusted with icing sugar, dipped in chocolate or sandwiched together with jam and a little vanilla buttercream – although they can take any flavour combination within! Continue reading “Cinnamon & orange Viennese biscuits”
Essentially this is my take on bread and butter pudding, using a spiced brioche loaf I had left over. Continue reading “Easy spiced brioche pudding in a lemongrass custard”
Simply crisp ginger shortbreads topped with lemon royal icing! Continue reading “Simple ginger & lemon iced biscuits”
I have such a weakness for chocolate: mass-produced chocolate often hits the spot but the exquisite ones you can buy in artisan chocolate shops are always a treat. Continue reading “Tangy blackcurrant chocolates”
Bruschetta is one of those things that cannot fail to put a smile on my face when I eat it. Perfect as a starter, served with barbeque food or just as a light bite at any time of the day, one slice is never enough. Continue reading “Bruschetta: when simplicity reigns!”
This is my version of spring rolls, using some left-over filo pastry I had made for another dish and ingredients that I adore to eat. The rolls are very easy to make and a large batch can be made up and frozen until you want to cook them. Continue reading “Spiced prawn and crab spring rolls”
Although an unembellished home-made croissant is a truly wonderful thing to eat, savoury variations excite me hugely! Continue reading “Easy ham, cheese & mustard croissant whirls”
Inspired by a passion fruit pannacotta I had a few months ago, these are very simple tarts that I made for a friend’s birthday: the tarts have a full-on passion fruit flavour, a kick of rum-soaked peaches and the richness of white chocolate. Continue reading “Passion fruit & peach tarts (lower-fat!)”
This is my take on cauliflower bhajis: they are great served with cold drinks or just placed on the table with a cool minty dip for people to just tuck into. I made these during the semi-final of Britain’s Best Home Cook, and while they needed more heat, they went down very well. Continue reading “Simple spiced cauliflower fritters”
This is my chocolate and cherry version of a brioche: very rich, with a buttery interior that is actually very light to eat and practically melts in the mouth. Continue reading “Chocolate & cherry brioches”
This is my slightly spiced take on Portuguese custard tarts. They might not be traditional flavour-wise but that hardly matters – and they certainly don’t hang around long whenever I have made them! Continue reading “Lemongrass custard tarts”
This is a very simple, low-fat tart using hot-smoked salmon: one of my favourite ways of eating salmon! With its rich, deep, smoky flavour a little goes a long way: about 200g of the salmon will make this tart, with generous chunks of salmon in each bite. Continue reading “Hot-smoked salmon & horseradish tart (low-fat)”
After over two years of blogging my recipes, I have finally got round to doing a full recipe index: something I have been meaning to do for ages! Continue reading “Creating a basic recipe index for a food blog”
If you have never heard of, or eaten Kouign-Amann pastries before, think crisp bites of buttery, caramelised croissant…..wonderful as an occasional treat! Continue reading “Mini ginger Kouign-Amann”
These are light, full-flavoured sticky buns that have had slow rises to give a far greater depth of flavour. Small pieces of dried cranberries, juicy raisins, ginger and vibrant bursts of citrus run through the sweet, spiced dough. Continue reading “Hot cross buns with attitude”
This is a return to the classic Battenberg, a cake that is right up there in my list of top 5 cakes. Continue reading “Salted mocha & walnut battenberg cake”
Post updated Feb 13th 2020 (new photos)
Rich, buttery biscuits topped with a very firm royal icing are always a joy to eat. While I have made these heart-shaped with simple heart icing embellishments, these are great made into any shape for eating at any time of the year: with or without the icing! Continue reading “Lemon & honey Valentine shortbreads”
When I make a Battenberg cake I usually I go for a coffee and walnut one: my favourite cake flavours! This time, though, I’ve gone for orange and dark chocolate. Continue reading “Chocolate & Orange Battenberg Cake”
A challenging but rewarding bake, this is a taste of summer in each mouthful: these macarons are sandwiched together with a Pimms ganache and small pieces of a sweetened cucumber and mint jelly: you really can’t have Pimms without the cucumber! Continue reading “Pimms macarons with Pimms ganache & minted cucumber jelly”
This is one of the easiest preserves to make and it tastes wonderful.I always make a large batch towards late summer once the chillies are ready in the greenhouse. It is a great way to use up a glut of ripe tomatoes, but this chilli jam works very well using tinned tomatoes. Continue reading “Chilli Jam”
There are few greater pleasures than the evocative smell of bread as it bakes, followed by eating warm bread that has been spread liberally with good quality butter: simplicity at its very best!
This post is about the basic, but nonetheless majestic bread loaf, made with commercial yeast, along with simple variations. I dip into pre-ferments as a great way to add even better depth of flavour to bread and I also give recipe links for classics such as focaccia.
My detailed post on sourdough bread, focusing on making and maintaining a sourdough starter, as well as how to make an excellent sourdough loaf with variations, can be found here.
A batch of traditionally made croissants can take the best part of a weekend with all the resting and chilling in between the turns and at other stages.
Don’t get me wrong, making croissants this way is one of the top baking pleasures for me, but there are certainly times when effective shortcuts are called for. And this shortcut is certainly effective in that it gives excellent results and is easier to achieve than traditional croissants. Continue reading “The quickest & easiest croissants: 20-minute lamination!”
A very simple and insanely good chocolate dessert, this is my variation of the inspirational Elizabeth David, whose books, many decades later, are never less than an joy to read. Essentially this is a top-notch chocolate mousse that is indulgent yet light textured; this might well be a retro dessert but, quite frankly, when something is this good it matters not one jot! Continue reading “St Émilion au Chocolat”
A very simple canapé: small discs of puff pastry, topped with crab meat that has been mixed with a little fresh mayonnaise, a spritz of lemon juice, some chopped chives and just a little grated Gruyère cheese. Continue reading “Crab Canapés”
If you want shatteringly crisp baguettes with depth of flavour and an open crumb, this will tick all those boxes. This is a real artisanal bread and is a joy because of its lack of fuss! Continue reading “Perfecting Baguettes”
A classic for a reason, a Victoria sandwich cake is a simple yet satisfying treat at any time. And it is a great example of simplicity at its very best. Continue reading “Lemon & vanilla Victoria sandwich”
It’s an exciting time of the year in the late summer with preserves-a-plenty to be planned over the coming weeks. With an abundance of vegetable and fruit on the allotment preserving is a key part of the growing year. Continue reading “Pickled shallots – a preserve of great beauty!”