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 have been excited by laminated pastries ever since I was a boy, watching my gran make up batches. 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 and with an open crumb 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 things to eat: its crisp outer shell that rains flakes as you bite into it, revealing an open honeycombed interior structure. And then there’s it’s rich buttery flavour and an almost nutty aroma. A 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”
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”
A rustic recipe, but no less tasty for its homeliness I think, the mixture, using butterbeans as the key protein, is great whether shaped as burgers or into balls as a homage to falafels. Continue reading “Bean burgers & “falafelesques””
These sweet, crumbly almond delicacies might be traditionally served at Christmas, but they are so good to eat at any time of the year. Continue reading “Mantecados de Almendra (Spanish almond shortbread)”
Crispy, with a hint of spices and bursting with flavour, these pancake rolls/spring rolls are easy to make. Continue reading “Crispy left-overs pancake rolls (gluten- & dairy-free)”
There are times when a spot of indulgence is needed, and this cake – which pushes itself into dessert territory – is just that! It serves at least 12 people but it can be scaled down. Continue reading “Dairy-free chocolate orange mousse cake”
A return to fabulous basics with these simple scones that are packed with flavour, thanks to the smoked cheese and the allium bursts of the chives in there. Continue reading “Smoked cheese & chive scones”
A coffee and walnut cake is a classic for a reason: the flavours work so well together, it is always a crowd-pleaser (even in socially-distanced “crowds”!) and it tastes great.
My bruschetta-inspired tartlets, using wonderful, simple ingredients that are being picked right now in the garden, give a real taste of summer. Continue reading “Fresh tomato & basil tartlets (gluten-free, dairy-free)”
Forget those indifferent vegan “sausage rolls” that were sold by a certain UK high street chain bakery; these rolls are packed with flavour.
A rich cake, with a batter that is made up in seconds. Oh, and a secret ingredient…… Continue reading “My “secret ingredient” mocha cupcakes!”
Shatteringly crisp potatoes with a very soft, fluffy and nicely seasoned interior are a must with any roast dinner. To be honest, though, I could eat them just on their own! Continue reading “Perfect roast potatoes”
Gooey and chocolatey, with a raspberry tang and a real coffee kick, Swiss Rolls are a firm favourite in this house. And in the current climate, foodie treats are particularly appreciated.
Proper comfort food using thrifty ingredients, these easy meatballs are a far cry from the tinned meatballs or those ones that come vac-packed in the supermarket! Continue reading “Meatballs in tomato sauce”
I love a dish that uses up whatever there is to hand and this delicious no-waste dish is cooked in the oven with hardly any effort. Continue reading “Paprika-spiced vegetable peel crisps”
This is my chicken and lentil version of my hot and sour fish curry and it remains a simple, quick and very addictive curry. Continue reading “Hot & sour chicken and lentil curry”
A toasted English muffin is a delight to eat. They are also quite easy to make either as a sourdough version or with commercial yeast. Continue reading “Sourdough English muffins”
These very simple flatbreads are perfect if there is a shortage of traditional flour (which is certainly hard to come by in some shops currently), but they are also great if you can’t have gluten. And these do not taste at all as if they are limited flavour-wise. In fact, quite the opposite. Continue reading “Harissa chickpea flour flatbreads”
This quick and easy version of muhamarra is a tasty way to make use of store cupboard ingredients. Continue reading “Store-cupboard red pepper dip”
This wonderfully refreshing lychee and raspberry sorbet is great as a dessert or as a cheeky little palate cleanser.
A great dish using a few very modest ingredients, this works well as a side dish to accompany all manner of curries.
Food always makes me happy, especially in the most uncertain of times, and indulgent treats using what is probably already in the kitchen never fail to do their bit to create pockets of joy. Continue reading “Quick chocolate and orange mousse pots”
This is an even simpler version of my Fish Curry (recipe here). Now that curry was hardly extravagant, but this version uses even fewer ingredients and still tastes, as my partner said the other day, “bloody good”. Praise indeed! Continue reading “A fabulous store-cupboard curry sauce”
A deliciously simple dish using basic store-cupboard ingredients, these fishcakes are quick and, I think, very tasty. Continue reading “Store-cupboard fishcakes”
Mouth-puckeringly sharp and lusciously creamy, this very simple lime and ginger dessert, with a hint of lemongrass, is a great way to end a meal. Continue reading “Lime and ginger possets”
The joys of Har Gow: transluscent steamed dumplings, with a pork and prawn filling. Little bites of sheer pleasure. Continue reading “Coriander glass dim sum”
Tender strips of chicken dipped in spiced buttermilk and then a multi-spiced flour….a very tasty spiced chicken dish! Continue reading “PFC: Philip’s Fried Chicken!”
If you love a bread packed with flavours, with every bite like a party going on in your mouth, I think this bread more than fits the bill. Continue reading “Caramelised onion & cumin bread”
Light, crisp risotto balls bursting with the flavours of black truffle, garlic and Parmesan, with a melting Fontina cheese centre: terrific little bites. Continue reading “Black truffle arancini”
Rich, smoky, oily and pungently garlicky, baba ghanoush is a joy of a dish and for me it makes the best use of aubergines. Continue reading “Baba ghanoush”
This majestic and intensely fragrant curry, using common store cupboard spices, is very simple and quick to make. Continue reading “Hot and sour fish curry”
Fat cloves of garlic, cooked very slowly in the oven in oil until it softens and slightly caramelises is a foodie treat: perfect mashed into potatoes, mixed with bread dough or eaten just as it is….. Continue reading “Confit garlic: a must-have ingredient!”
An easy fruity shortbread with a hint of spiced citrus and a gentle kick of almond. Continue reading “Spiced apricot & almond shortbread “
This orange and raspberry roulade, filled with vanilla cream and smothered in a orange-flavoured milk ganache, is an indulgent dessert that should hit the spot for any occasion.
A great ingredient for the kitchen, this well flavoured sugar is excellent used when making cakes and biscuits, imparting a subtle aniseed flavour to the finished bake. Continue reading “Star anise sugar”
These punchy macarons are far too easy to eat and when dipped in dark chocolate with a grating of orange zest they are sure to liven up the palate. Continue reading “Orange and star anise macarons”
Melt-in-the-mouth pork belly in a sticky honey and ginger glaze with a hint of chilli heat: what’s not to love? Continue reading “Sticky ginger and soy pork belly”
Well, a sausage roll is for any time of the year, but I quite like to add a few festive flavours around Christmas: chestnuts, dried apricots, Stilton, perhaps a few cranberries: oh, and just a kick of mustard. Continue reading “Christmas stuffing sausage rolls”
Another batch of chocolate truffles, this time with orange and a few drops of Fiori di Sicilia, an intensely fragrant citrus extract, often used in panettone. Continue reading “Spiced chocolate orange truffles”
These are biscuits to come back to again and again: tasty, easy shortbreads and really rather special, these shortbreads are sure to be a hit whether smothered in chocolate or not. Continue reading “Almond & pistachio shortbreads”
This modest offering ranks as one of my favourite meat-free dishes: packed with flavour and made in moments, it is very much one of my go-to snacks. Continue reading “Spiced halloumi & hummus pockets”
Light, crispy and chewy, this focaccia is packed with flavour and is ideal torn apart to dip into oil, balamic vinegar or used as the base for a bruschetta. Continue reading “Tomato & pesto focaccia”
Perfect as a gift, to serve with coffee or just to eat as a moment of indulgence, these chocolate truffles are bound to have you coming back for another…. Continue reading “Chocolate and ginger truffles”
An essential accompaniment to any roast – even Christmas lunch – Yorkshire Puddings have a reputation for being very hit and miss in terms of them working. My fool-proof recipe and top tips will guarantee crisp, light and towering puds Continue reading “Perfect & fool-proof Yorkshire Puddings”
Whenever I have served this to people who claim they do not like Christmas pudding, they have eaten their words – and the pud!
This is my take on this classic biscuit: custardy biscuits sandwiched together with a simple custard-flavoured buttercream. A real tea-time treat. Continue reading “Custard Cream biscuits”
The combination of poppy seeds and saffron make a wonderful combination in a cake, but they are fabulous in a bread such as this. Continue reading “Poppy seed and saffron sourdough”