Welcome!

Unless otherwise stated, all recipes are my own: whether they are my twists on classics or my attempts at creating. All photos are of my bakes.

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Welcome to my world of home baking: a world in which the challenges of the outside world are left firmly at the kitchen door!

Over the years I have scribbled so many recipe ideas on bits of paper and as computer files, with no particular sense of organisation, so I felt it time to put my ideas and recipes into one central place: hence this blog. Please feel free to dip in and out as casually as you want: I hope you will get ideas for bakes to try out.

Baking always makes me feel content and relaxed, filling me with a sense of occasion: every bake means something very special to me whether it something I have baked many times before or if I am working on a new idea. And how can words do justice to that buzz of anticipation as the enticing aromas come from the oven and the oven door is about to be opened?

I often wake up in the night with an idea and I then scribble down some thoughts onto paper (I always have a pad by my bed for just this reason!). I then draft how I expect the different components for the bake to come together and how I think the finished bake should look. And if the bake doesn’t quite work out first time, I love tweaking the idea until I am happy with it.

Since creating the blog I was delighted to have created some indulgent sweet bakes for Sainsbury’s Magazine and I submitted an article for perfecting croissants in Brilliant Baking Magazine.

One of my underlying aims in baking is to be able to make whatever can be bought, not least so that I can have complete control over what goes into my food.

There is always the thrill in baking of just what can be achieved with relatively few ingredients and achieved quite simply: baking does not need to be complicated or hugely time-consuming; it can be, of course, and the more challenging bakes that take more time and focus are sometimes just what I need, but it does not need to be!

Often grazing on a few simple bakes that take moments to throw together, along with a simple salad or fresh vegetables can be just as satisfying as a more full-on meal!

Of all the things I bake, breads (the ultimate comfort food!) and pastries are my greatest loves. I have a particular penchant towards sourdoughs but I love baking any type of bread. I am currently trying to bake my way through as many different types of bread as I can find as well as finding any excuse to create a multitude of flavoured breads. Mind you, an unadulterated bread, toasted and buttered is a very satisfying thing to eat!

I have long been fascinated with laminated doughs: freshly baked croissants that shatter as you bite into them, giving way to a buttery honeycomb interior, form my ideal breakfast – especially when eaten with home-made strawberry jam and freshly ground coffee. Whenever I make up a batch, I often freeze half of it for a speedy bake at a later stage.

I love working on savoury variations on laminated doughs and a nicely warmed savoury pastry never fails to make me happy. Mind you, if I am after a sweet hit, it has to be something indulgent!

In recent years I have developed a love of macarons and I often bake batches of these sweet treats, many of which find their way quite willingly into the mouths of friends and colleagues, although I have been experimenting with savoury macarons, which are becoming a staple canapé for me: the mixture of sweet and savoury notes can, with the right fillings, create a stunning taste explosion.

I’m very much an admirer of Afternoon Tea which is a food event in its own right: there is nothing like an Afternoon Tea to create a real sense of occasion and give a warm satisfaction as you tuck into the treasure trove of goodies on offer. For me, it is like being a child again, waking up on Christmas morning, eyes lighing up as you delve into inviting packages in front of you! I love experiencing and preparing more unusual Afternoon Teas, and an Afternoon Tea with a more savoury slant is perfection for me!

Although savoury food is my preference if I am going to indulge, I love making and decorating cakes. While the simplicity and taste of a Victoria Sandwich, for example, is hard to beat, I aim for my more elaborate cakes to scream “eat me”, and in recent years I have been honoured to have been asked by friends and colleagues to create cakes for various celebrations.

My ramblings and my recipes in this blog also flirt with other areas of cooking that appeal to me. Key among these is preserving: home-made chutneys and mouth-wateringly crunchy pickled shallots can not only lift a simple snack of bread and cheese to dizzying heights of food delight, they are a perfect accompaniment to an endless number of cold savouries. And I could not be without a dollop or two of home-made jam with just-warmed croissants!

 

In the gallery section are images of my favourite things to make, and my recipes and my comments for these can be found via Recipe Posts at the top of the page or by using the search bar.

Happy baking!

Foodies100 Index of UK Food Blogs
Morphy Richards

22 comments

  1. your website is cool. The next time I do baking I’m using your website.
    From your niece Jodie xxxxx

    1. Thank you, Jodie. We must do another baking session via Skype and then bake some things when I am next visiting

  2. I’ve been dipping into your blog for ages and keep finding new things to entice me in. Great commentary with your recipes and I love the pics of what you’ve baked even though I shouldn’t look at them when I’m hungry

    1. Thank you. Yes, looking at food when hungry is always a fun thing :)

  3. chocoholic · · Reply

    amazing recipes and photos.

    1. Thank you

  4. Wow! Your recipes & blog are so impressive! I love baking but I have to say pastry still makes me very nervous! I would love to get this good!

    1. Yes pastry can take some getting your head around but go for it. It’s a lot to do with the mindset when it comes to pastry. And having very cool hands in a cool kitchen! But choux pastry is a good one to start with: it is one of the easiest and most forgiving pastries – not to mention impressive to serve up.

  5. Kneadthedough · · Reply

    quite honestly I could just look at your pictures all day. You really know how to put across your love of baking with your photos, and your writing style makes for great reading

    1. Thank you very much. Just about getting the hang of the photographs

  6. uncle mike · · Reply

    Pork pie with pistachio, apricot and quail eggs i hate you phil:)

  7. Very impressive all round. I love baking your recipes-some great ideas

    1. Thank you, Jon

  8. Your blog is amazing, i love baking at home. I can make things for me and my kids according to our developed taste. Please keep posting.

    1. Thank you, and happy baking

  9. Hi Philip,
    Saw your wonderful three cake recipes in the Sainsbury’s Magazine. They look just amazing and I will give them try and hope they’ll turn out as beautiful as yours! I am a German home bread baker and my husband and I love to spend our holidays in Britain. We are keen followers of the GBBO and it was indeed Paul Hollywood who inspired me to bake bread. I have moved on and learned a lot about bread and sour doughs from some fantastic German bloggers specialising in bread – Plötzblog and Brotdoc.
    Happy to have found a great British baking blogger now! I do not blog myself but put up photos of my breads and cakes on Instagram under Marie Nitzenplitz.
    Well, enough now I don’t want to tire you. Looking forward to browse your blog!!
    Warmest wishes
    Evi

    1. Hi Evi, thank you for your very kind words. I hope you enjoy making (and eating) my Sainsbury’s bakes. I look forward to enjoying your bakes on Instagram. Regards, Philip

  10. Gillian Figg · · Reply

    Hi Philip, I’ve just read the article about you in this month’s Sainsbury’s Magazine and was moved to read your blog. Wow! It’s all very inspiring. I love cooking/ baking (and eating, of course). My old man and I have just got back from France and I can never get over the sensational patisserie that you get over there – even the smallest village has its own patisserie and the cakes are so beautiful – made with such obvious love – but they taste wonderful too.
    I’ve tried making macarons – yours looked perfect – but I haven’t been able to achieve that professional finish.
    As an ex- (now retired) teacher, I can’t help thinking your pupils must love ‘Sir’ – especially if he teaches them how to bake as well as maths.
    Great stuff, Philip. And thanks for the blog.
    Gill

    1. Hi Gill.Thank you so much for your kind words. I am glad you liked the article and the recipes in Sainsbury’s Magazine: it was very exciting to do.
      Do have another go at macarons: they are so rewarding and when “it works” it is a wonderful feeling (having had SO many disasters with them initially!!).
      Teaching is a wonderful thing to do: and the odd “cake eating lesson” and baking sessions with my 6th formers is fun to have! I hope you are enjoying your retirement. Warm wishes, Philip

  11. Wow, you ARE a fanatic! Thanks for following my blog – I’ll be keeping an eye on yours for more ideas too. Cheers!

    1. Thanks John. Regards, Philip

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