Welcome!

Unless otherwise stated, recipes are my twists on classics or my attempts at creating something a little different. All photos are of my bakes; I am gradually re-photographing earlier bakes!

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

You are most warmly welcome to dip in and out as casually as you want. Whether you are starting out on your baking adventure or are well seasoned, I hope you will get ideas for bakes and discover a few interesting or different bakes along the way.

This blog

Over the years I have scribbled so many recipe ideas on bits of paper and in the back of books, so I felt it time to put these ideas and recipes into a blog.

The recipes, unless otherwise stated, are my own – apart from the classic base recipes for the standard types of pastries, cakes and the like, which are an important starting point, from which many exciting bakes can be created.

I have given full guidelines and step-by-step instructions for techniques needed for pastries, cakes and bread, among others, at this link: key baking tips

The joy of baking

Baking is seriously great therapy. It has been of huge importance in my life on so many occasions when I have needed an escape, and it never fails to make me happy.

As soon as I step into the kitchen ready to start a bake, I get this wonderful feeling of everything being well with the world. Baking always fills me with a sense of occasion and every bake, whether simple or complex, means something very special.

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?

But although there is much pleasure when baking for others, there is always something extra special when you get eat other people’s bakes: I often think food tastes better when someone else has made them.

Random baking ideas!

I often wake up in the night with an idea (often a mad idea, sometimes a more plausible idea) and I then scribble down some thoughts onto paper: I always have a pad by my bed for just this reason!

And if the bake doesn’t quite work out first time, I love tweaking the idea until I am happy with it.

Simplicity often rules!

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 is need to unwind (or even get totally lost in a glorious world of baking), but it does not need to be.

Often, just grazing on a few simple things that are easy to throw together can be just as satisfying as a more full-on meal!

My greatest loves in baking

Of all the things I bake, breads and pastries are my greatest loves, being the ultimate in comfort food for me. They never fail to evoke happy memories and I particularly love the fact that you can make great things using very few ingredients – often with just what is lying around the fridge and the cupboards. 

And a slice of simple home-made bread, toasted and buttered, is a very satisfying thing to eat!

For decades I have been fascinated by 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.

I love working on savoury variations with laminated doughs, both yeasted (croissant dough) and without yeast (puff & rough-puff pastry).

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, Afternoon Tea 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 when it comes to eating (well, excluding anything chocolatey!), I love making and decorating cakes: the cutting of a cakes to be shared with others is a terrific social joy.

While the simplicity and taste of a Victoria Sandwich, for example, is hard to beat, I aim for my more elaborate cake attempts to scream “eat me”, but my primary goal is for the flavour to shine.

Baking and other treats

My recipes and my general food ramblings on 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 and hot savouries.

And I could not be without a dollop or two of home-made jam with warm croissants!

My recipes can be found via the Recipe Index at the top of the page, along with my detailed guides for perfecting bakes such as macarons, bread, pastry and cakes.

Indulgence in moderation!

Despite a lot of my recipes containing what some would say are naughty ingredients (cream, butter, sugar……), they are not necessarily the sort of bakes you would eat all the time: I will probably only have a rich cake in the house once every few weeks. And butter-laden pastries are very much an occasional treat.

But what is life without wicked treats?

Healthier bakes

I like to re-bake some of my favourites with a healthier slant, but only if the healthier version can stand up to the original – and I love this creative challenge.

Fortunately there are many great blogs that celebrate healthier food, with a key emphasis on flavour. After all, baking and eating should be pleasurable, and healthier food can and really must taste good: those dull “healthy eats” that are hard work to actually chew, let alone enjoy, have no place in my mouth!

The moment I bite into something that just has healthy ingredients but with no sense of joy or excitement, (and I’ve made quite a few things in my time that fit into that category!) is the moment my heart sinks in despair…….you need a hefty whack of indulgence in some form – otherwise, why bother?

Whatever your baking interests are, enjoy the baking, the eating, the experimenting and the sharing.

Happy baking.

Key links

Recipe index
Baking techniques

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Instagram

49 comments

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

    Like

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

      Like

  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

    Like

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

      Like

  3. chocoholic · · Reply

    amazing recipes and photos.

    Like

    1. Thank you

      Like

  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!

    Like

    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.

      Like

  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

    Like

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

      Like

  6. uncle mike · · Reply

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

    Like

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

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    1. Thank you, Jon

      Like

  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.

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    1. Thank you, and happy baking

      Like

  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

    Like

    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

      Like

  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

    Like

    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

      Like

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

    Like

    1. Thanks John. Regards, Philip

      Like

  12. Lisa White · · Reply

    such a treasure trove of exciting bakes and helpful tips. I,ve been regularly looking at your blog for ideas and guidance and love how it has developed hugely over the past year

    Like

    1. thank you Lisa.And a warm welcome to my blog

      Like

  13. KateAtkins · · Reply

    Oh Philip this is such a resource of great baking info. I have bookmarked several of your pages that I keep returning to and I always love to see your new posts.

    Like

    1. thank you, Kate🙂

      Like

  14. I love your passion for baking, your blog is amazing & the photos are delightful!

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    1. thank you Jeanne. I made your chicken parmesan the other day – a gorgeous dish.The pumpkin sourdough pancakes are next (got a lot of the starter to be used – always such a shame to discard it)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Excellent, Philip! That just made my day! I know what you mean about the starter…I sort of look for things to make with it, haha!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Lucy Dibsdall · · Reply

    Phil – the wedding cake you made for us was absolutely divine! Thank you. Everyone devoured it with gusto, and is most jealous that we may get to try your future creations. Wonderful baking. Fact. X

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    1. Hi Lucy. It was a pleasure to make the cake for you both. So glad it went down well xx

      Like

  16. I saw some of your recipes in Sainsburys magazine and checked out your blog- it is awesome! I adapted your ‘chocolate collar’ for one of my cakes and it went down a treat, everyone was super impressed! Keep blogging!

    Like

    1. Thank you, Grace. I am glad the chocolate cake went down well: it’s a fun one to make. Best wishes

      Like

  17. Wonderful site – thanx for sharing these great recipes and pictures.
    Greetings
    Robby(licious)

    Like

    1. A pleasure Robby. Welcome🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. You have a lovely blog. Everything looks amazing! Warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. 🙂

    Like

    1. Thank you very much Linda. Best wishes

      Like

  19. Amazing recipes. ..

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    1. Thank you very much Prabal. I hope you enjoy dipping in. Kind regards

      Liked by 1 person

  20. That Maltesers cake is spectacular, I love it!

    Like

    1. thank you. It was great fun to make

      Like

  21. Amazing recipes. I love baking and I love your blog
    http://tuckerwalsch.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you. I love your bread – very inviting

      Like

  22. Just found your blog and it is absolutely lovely! Can’t wait to try making some of your recipes

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you Claire. I hope you have found some recipes to try out. Apologies for the delay in responding – I only just got you message popping up. Regards

      Like

  23. Thank you for this very enjoyable look at some fantastic bakes!🙂

    Like

    1. thank you Lili. Best wishes

      Liked by 1 person

  24. thank you for the recipes and your baking tips. I can now make macarons really well after so many horror stories with them

    Like

    1. Thank you Angie. Congratulations on the macarons: it’s a great feeling when they work.

      Like

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