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!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

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. I love the process of thinking through an idea to a finished bake.

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.

You are most warmly welcome to dip in and out as casually as you want. I hope you will get ideas for bakes – and if I can inspire just one person to “have a go” then I will be delighted.

The joy of baking

Baking is seriously great therapy.

It certainly never fails to make me happy and it always fills me with a sense of occasion: every bake means something very special, whether it is 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?

But although I get much pleasure when I get to bake for others, there is always something extra special when I eat other people’s bakes.

Random baking ideas!

I often wake up in the night with an idea (often a mad idea, sometimes quite plausible) 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 bakes for Sainsbury’s Magazine, along with BBC Good Food Magazine, Baking Heaven Magazine, Delicious Magazine and Brilliant Baking Magazine: as an amateur baker, having my recipes appear in these magazines alongside professional bakers and chefs I have looked up to for years is such an honour.

Simplicity often rules!

There is always the thrill in baking of just what can be achieved with relatively few ingredients and achieved quite simply; this is why I am drawn to breads and pastries most of the time.

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 to unwind (or even lose thyself totally in the baking), but it does not need to be. This Maltesers birthday cake below, for example, is easy to put together, with the white chocolate “lace” effect taking moments to do: tips for the chocolate lace collar effect are in my key cake making & decorating post.

Often grazing on a few simple bakes that are fairly easy to throw together, along with a simple salad or fresh vegetables 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. They are the ultimate in comfort food for me! But making cakes to be cut and shared with others is high up there.

I love how thrilling bakes that can be created with just a few humble ingredients, often a great way to use up what is lying around in the fridge and in cupboards.

I have a particular penchant towards sourdoughs but I love baking any type of bread, which I have been doing since I was a boy. For me, it is great to add all manner of things to the dough to give whatever flavours you want, especially as the artisan breads you can buy can be very expensive. 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 with laminated doughs, both yeasted (croissant dough) and without yeast (puff and rough-puff pastry); nicely warmed savoury pastries never fail 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, 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 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 attempts to scream “eat me”, often using fresh seasonal fruit or fruit curds mixed into the butter cream:

Baking and other treats

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 and hot savouries.

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

My recipes and my comments on these can be found via the Recipe Index at the top of the page.

Indulgence in moderation!

I enjoy the fun that comes with making cakes, particularly of the dessert-type or the indulgent chocolate creations. Despite not having a hugely sweet tooth, chocolate is nonetheless something of a weakness, and if I am in the mood for something sweet then I am well up for a fleeting pang of chocolate-induced guilt!

But whether I am going for savoury or sweet, even with a healthier slant*, you have to have at least a hefty hint of indulgence – otherwise, why bother? And healthier food can and really must taste good (grey, dull “healthy eats” that are hard work to actually get down have no place in my mouth!).

* yes, despite a lot of my recipes having what some would say naughty ingredients (cream, butter, sugar……) in there, I only eat the naughtier bakes now and then.

I also 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 that is part of the fun of being creative. But the moment I bite into something that just has healthy ingredients but with no sense of joy or excitement, is the moment my heart sinks in despair…….

Happy baking!


  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


    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.


    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


  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


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


  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.


    1. thank you, Kate:)


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


    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


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


  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!


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


  17. Wonderful site – thanx for sharing these great recipes and pictures.


    1. A pleasure Robby. Welcome:)

      Liked by 1 person

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


    1. Thank you very much Linda. Best wishes


  19. Amazing recipes. ..


    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!


    1. thank you. It was great fun to make


  21. Amazing recipes. I love baking and I love your blog

    Liked by 1 person

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


  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


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


    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


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


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

the chef mimi blog

So Much Food. So Little Time.

It's All Frosting...

Projects, recipes, and other things that make life fun!

Come dine with Teo

Because eating is a necessity, but savouring is a pleasure.

joannas sydney

An insider's guide to Sydney, Australia


food books (?) pretentious writing etc

biscuits and pieces

Food, lifestyle and everything in between

Journey of a Blogvelist

The Writing of Curtis Bausse

Stefan's Gourmet Blog

Cooking, food, wine


el blog de dulceidea

This is not a pie

Young baker from Brighton presents her recipes

Bakers and Best

Baking the Michigan Difference into every loaf.

Charlotte's Web of Bakes

An experimental (albeit amateur) baking enthusiast! The outcomes of a compromising student friendly budget...


All about the passion for food

Cooking without Limits

Food Photography & Recipes

Eat The Roses

Highly Opinionated Thoughts About Food, The Universe and Everything

I Dream in Buttercream

Cloud9.1's Baking Blog

Le Céleste Pâtisserie

Professional Chef Recipes and knowledge source for patisserie, baking and pastry


baking adventures on both sides of 'the pond'

Knead to Dough

the go-to site for your foodie blog and biz resources

Love Grace and Cakes

Sitting here in a pile of flour and icing sugar, drinking wine

Wuthering Bites

Simple Gluten Free recipes for any time of day.

The Baking Hermit

Hobby baker who enjoys learning about the science and techniques behind making the perfect baked goods that taste and look good.

Blissfully Scrumptious

The sweetest things in life are baked with bliss...


Simply Pastry Delight

Natascha's Palace

A blog about culinary adventures from a Canadian living in Spain


Cook. Bake. Eat.

lili's cakes

Pâtisserie Sans Frontières


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,656 other followers

%d bloggers like this: