I am thrilled to be able to announce that I am a contestant on BBC’s Britain’s Best Home Cook, with Episode 1 being shown on Thursday 3rd May at 8pm on BBC1. 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 really is a thing of great beauty: chewy, crusty, an open crumb with layers of flavour that is much more than even the joyous standard home-made bread. Heavenly! And perhaps there is also something of a fingers up at those ridiculously expensive sourdoughs that can be bought…… 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”
A croissant is one of the greatest things both to bake and to eat. A crisp outer shell that rains flakes as you bite into it, revealing an open honeycombed interior structure with a buttery flavour and a lovely, almost nutty aroma. A joy! Continue reading “Croissants”
If you have ever wanted a fool-proof recipe for making terrific macarons, this is the place to be! Continue reading “Perfecting macarons – the queen of confections”
A very seasonal and light sponge cake, celebrating the delighful pairing of apples and blackberries. A tangy blackberry buttercream and fresh blackberries finish off the cake. Continue reading “Apple & blackberry cake (gluten-free)”
Forget that sludgy beigey-grey slop that passes itself off for hummus in the shops. Home-made hummus is infinitely better than any you can buy and it is elevated to spectacular heights when you use smoked chickpeas. Continue reading “Smoked hummus”
These éclairs – with the great flavours of raspberry and rose – are made with a cheat’s mousse and are topped with raspberry fondant. A sweet treat that is bound to please! Continue reading “Raspberry and rose éclairs: with a cheat’s mousse filling!”
Made in about 15 minutes, this insanely tasty dish – think hoisin sauce coating tender strips of beef – has THE most addictive sauce and it easily tops any dish you can buy from a take-away. Continue reading “Quick Mongolian beef”
Soft, pillowy and slightly sweet, steamed buns are a joy to eat. Perfect for a burger such as a sticky, spiced burger flavoured with lemongrass, ginger, soy sauce and the like. Continue reading “Chinese steamed buns”
With its light sponge, its generous hint of vanilla and chocolate and its tangy cream cheese and white chocolate vanilla icing, this red velvet cake – with very little food colouring – is seriously good for any occasion. Continue reading “Red velvet cake”
To hear Mary Berry saying this dessert is “to die for” is still one of the best moments in my life! This is my dairy-free adaptation of the sticky toffee ginger pudding I made in the final of Britain’s Best Home Cook. Continue reading “Dairy-free sticky toffee ginger puddings”
The sweet heat you get from stem ginger works particularly well here in these quirky scones that are simple to make and will brighten up any day! Continue reading “Stem ginger scones”
This sublime dish – which is also great to serve with drinks – is a joy to behold and I guarantee that once you start eating these chops you will not want to stop!
Sweet, sticky coconut enrobed in chocolate, a Bounty Bar is one of my guilty-pleasures when it comes to commercial chocolates. This is my very simple version….. Continue reading “Coconut chocolates: posh Bounty Bars!”
Soft, slightly sweet and a perfect foil for a hearty filling, these brioche-style burger buns are my go-to whenever I want to make the buns from scratch. Continue reading “My ultimate burger buns!”
Sticky, spicy, sweet and fragrant, this Thai dish proved to be a massive hit at a recent vegan supper I gave recently. So much so that I was asked for the recipe by several of my guests. Continue reading “Thai Sticky Quorn wraps (vegan)”
Delicately scented but with much depth of flavour, my saffron and roasted garlic bread is a real treat when eaten with good butter and perhaps some cheeses. Continue reading “Saffron and roasted garlic bread”
These very simple muffins give an incredible taste explosion in your mouth: gingery heat, tangy rhubarb and the sweet creamyness of white chocolate. And they are so quick and easy to make. Continue reading “Rhubarb, ginger and white chocolate muffins”
This majestic curry, with melt-in-the-mouth spiced lamb and a thick sauce that is, quite frankly, to die for, is easy to make. It can be made a couple of days ahead, reheating gently when you are ready to eat. Continue reading “Nalli Gosht: lamb shanks in a spiced yoghurt sauce”
Think onion bhajis in a bread, with a chilli kick, and that will give you the idea behind what I think is a wonderful tear-and-share bread. Continue reading “Spiced onion & chilli bread”
Macarons that have a fruity tang tick every box for me, and if there is a kick of alcohol in the filling then I am all over them! These Peach Bellini macarons are little bites of pure, unadulterated indulgence. Continue reading “Peach Bellini macarons”
I am always sceptical whenever I see “fool-proof” preface anything: this often leads to vastly inferior approximations of what you really want….but this approach to focaccia gives an exceptional bread. Continue reading “Fool-proof focaccia”
If you crave a sticky, spicy, smoky pickle then look no further: this will have you diving back into the jar! Perfect as an accompaniment to Indian food, or simply served with cheese, this recipe is both easy and satisfying to make. Continue reading “Spicy aubergine & tamarind pickle”
Vegan and gluten-free shortbread, topped with luscious dark chocolate & tangy dried strawberries: little bites of melt-in-the-mouth joy! Continue reading “Chocolate strawberry shortbreads: vegan & gluten-free”
This is such an easy, no-bake treat, using mostly ingredients lying around. A real crowd-pleaser, it is packed with goodies such as chocolate pretzels, salted caramel, Kirsch-soaked cherries and the like: very rich (and rightly so!) but moreish. Continue reading “Salted caramel pretzel rocky road”
The combined flavour of salty, spiced bacon, creamy goats’ cheese and buttery pastry is hard to beat and these are fast becoming one of my “go to” savoury bites. Continue reading “Bacon and goats’ cheese cruffins”
Very simple and immensely satisfying – both to make and eat – these Thai fish cakes never last long in my house. And nor should they…. Continue reading “Thai fish cakes”
Tender, spiced chicken pieces in soft flat breads, bursting with lettuce, red onion and a tangy yoghurt dressing, these are incredibly easy to make and are so tasty. Continue reading “Spiced tandoori chicken wraps”
The combination of blackcurrant and mint is a fabulous one, and when used to flavour macarons you have the most sublime little sweet treats. Continue reading “Blackcurrant and mint macarons”
Crisp, spicy and bursting with flavour, pakoras are a joy to eat. They are also very easy and as customisable as you want. Continue reading “Aubergine & onion pakoras with roasted cumin salt”
Sweetbreads might be one of those “love them or hate them” foods, but pan-fried and finished with a lemony butter sauce, served with caramelised onions, they are a real treat. Continue reading “Pan-fried sweetbreads in a lemon, garlic & caper sauce”
Tangy, fruity macarons are a joy to eat and this is one of my favourite macaron flavour pairings.
A tea loaf is a true classic and my fool-proof version, packed with dates and walnuts, is sublime sliced thickly and spread with salted butter. Continue reading “Date & walnut tea loaf”
A tagine, with a warmly spiced, almost perfumed sauce that caresses the meat or vegetables, is a wonderfully comforting dish. This is my verson of a lamb tagine, with a sauce made using pomegranate juice and a simple homemade spice mixture. Continue reading “Moroccan lamb tagine”
If you have ever had a disappointing ragu – too acidic, bland, no sense of indulgence….- then look no further. This ragu, a recipe I have been using for almost four decades, is seriously good and has the most impressive depth of flavour.
Always a total comfort to eat (cue what has got to be guilt-free indulgence!), these buttery pastries, with with an orange and vanilla almond filling, evoke the flavours of Panettone. Continue reading “Easy spiced orange & vanilla Danish pastries”
This very simple, speedy tangy chicken dish is essentially a hot version of the classic cold dish Coronation Chicken: a dish that never fails to raise a smile and make me happy! Continue reading “Hot Coronation chicken: tangy chicken curry”
Sourdough brownies might sound bizarre but these are a great way to use up sourdough starter that might otherwise get discarded, with the starter adding a subtle tang to the brownies. Certainly everyone who has tasted these has gone back for at least another brownie! Continue reading “sourdough Black Forest brownies!”
This is my chocolate and orange version of panettone, which gives a wonderful chocolate hit that complements the buttery and light-as-air crumb that melts in your mouth effortlessly. Not to mention the heady flavours of vanilla and orange…. Continue reading “Chocolate and spiced orange Panettone”
This is a recipe I am VERY proud of, creating it for one of the elements of my Ultimate Sharing Feast for episode 6 of Britain’s Best Home Cook: a bread that received raves from Mary Berry, Chris and Dan. Continue reading “Basil & roasted garlic soda bread”
Whether made using traditional Danish pastry dough, a shortcut version or, even simpler, commercial puff pastry (the all-butter variety, not the cheap, nasty version made with oil!), these festive treats are sure to hit the spot. Continue reading “Quick and easy festive Danish pastries”
This is my take on the classic panettone: a rich, buttery but oh-so-light sweet bread, adapted from a recipe by Andrea Tortora, using multiple fermentations for THE best flavour. Continue reading “Panettone”
As I am getting to grips with YouTube, I am very much enjoying being filmed as I cook some of my favourite dishes. Continue reading “My YouTube video for my apple, marzipan & mincemeat tart”
A fabulously simple, speedy tart that positively screams Christmas. It takes minutes to assemble and makes what I think is a good alternative to Christmas pudding – especially when served with cream, with a generous splash of alcohol of choice mixed in! Continue reading “Apple, marzipan and mincemeat tart”
This is my roulade take on the classic Tiramisu (one of my favourite desserts) and it has proved very popular whenever I have made it for dinner parties. Continue reading “Tiramisu roulade”
A far cry from the white, bland prawn crackers that have hardly any flavour at all, these ones, made entirely from scratch, are more like those lovely crackers you can get in good Thai restaurants.
A dessert classic with my own twist, this shamelessly indulgent roulade is a sure-fire hit when served.
Shatteringly crisp, melt-in-the-mouth and with a gentle curry kick, these chicken skin shards – think spiced pork crackling – are so easy to make and are insanely moreish.
Sticky, spicy and packed with flavour, these steamed dumplings are fairly easy to make and always go down a storm. They can be made ahead and frozen, to be steamed straight from the freezer. Continue reading “Pork & prawn jiaozi (spiced steamed dumplings)”
One of several favourite starters in my local Thai restaurant is melt-in-the-mouth glazed chicken wings: smothered in a sticky and dark spicy soy sauce glaze, it ticks every box for me. Made in under 30 minutes, my version of this great dish is so easy to make, whether or not you have a pressure cooker. Continue reading “Spiced soy sauce-glazed chicken wings (pressure cooked)”
My favourite flavours for a cake, but in a chocolate! Ok, these are purely for eating without shame just as they are, but they would make a fabulous adornment for a cake. Continue reading “Coffee and walnut chocolates”
I am not a fan of those carrot cakes that are overly laden with spices, resulting in a cake that tastes almost medicinal. This carrot cake is gently spiced, has a very moist sponge and the most luscious melt-in-the-mouth icing that is slightly sweet with a hint of sharpness.
This is a recipe I am very proud of: I had some smoked mackerel pâté to use up and had that “I wonder if this will work…” moment. Luckily, it does work and it is now one of my go-to dishes for buffets and the like. Continue reading “Smoked mackerel pastry rolls”
This is such a simple and quick dessert: kind of Eton Mess meets trifle. And there is no fussing about with custard: just lemon curd and cream…… Continue reading “5-minute cheat’s trifle: passionfruit & lemon”