Recipe posts

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As a contestant on Britain’s Best Home Cook – BBC1

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”

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Coloured mirror glazes

(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”

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Rough-puff pastry & other laminated pastries

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”

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Shortcrust pastry & fool-proof blind-baking

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”

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Tips for making & decorating cakes

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”

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Making Sourdough bread

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”

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The joys of Afternoon Tea

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”

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Croissants

A croissant is one of the greatest things both to eat: its 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”

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Perfecting macarons – the queen of confections

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”

Tomato & pesto focaccia

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”

Chocolate and ginger truffles

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”

Perfect, fool-proof Yorkshire Puddings

An essential accomplishment with 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”

A light Christmas pudding with no-weighing out

Whenever I have served this to people who claim they do not like Christmas pudding, they have eaten their words – and the pud!

Continue reading “A light Christmas pudding with no-weighing out”

Custard Cream biscuits

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”

Poppy seed and saffron sourdough

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”

Lemon, pistachio & rose cakes

Rose, lemon and pistachio work so well together and my poshing-up of the classic fondant fancies – real, unashamed retro food – gives what I think is a delightful sweet treat. Continue reading “Lemon, pistachio & rose cakes”

Spiced coconut & lime chicken

Spiced coconut & lime chicken is one of my go-to speedy curries! Easy, warming and very satisfying.  Continue reading “Spiced coconut & lime chicken”

Smoky butternut squash hummus

Roasted squash, smoked chickpeas and gently warming spices give what I think is a lovely autumnal twist on hummus.  Continue reading “Smoky butternut squash hummus”

Butternut squash gratin

Whether served as an accompaniment to a roast, with some slowly cooked sausages or simply eaten by itself with some bread to mop up the cheesy sauce, this gratin is real autumnal comfort food. Continue reading “Butternut squash gratin”

Apple and almond lattice tart

An easy tart using wonderfully sharp autumal apples with a kick of almonds, this is lovely served simply with custard or a dollop of crème fraîche. Continue reading “Apple and almond lattice tart”

Courgette, cheese & chilli soda bread


Perfect for using up some of the homegrown courgettes, this very speedy soda bread is made and ready to serve within about 45 minutes. Continue reading “Courgette, cheese & chilli soda bread”

Peanut butter biscuits with a chocolate filling

Chewy, nutty and oaty, sandwiched together with a peanut butter ganache, these incredibly simple biscuits are certain to be devoured quickly.

Continue reading “Peanut butter biscuits with a chocolate filling”

Fig, rose & pistachio rolls

This is particularly good timing: our fig tree is currently being generous with its fruit and the technical challenge for Episode 2 of The Great British Bake Off is that classic crowd-dividing biscuit: the fig roll. Continue reading “Fig, rose & pistachio rolls”

The best lemon meringue pie

A true British classic, this recipe is dedicated to my late gran who used to make THE BEST lemon meringue pie I have ever had: any other lemon meringue pie that I have tried since has not quite been as good. Continue reading “The best lemon meringue pie”

Blackcurrant, lime & vanilla Angel Cake slices

With the return of Great British Bake Off, it is the Technical round that interests and excites me the most. This is my tangy take on Episode 1’s Angel Cake slices.

Continue reading “Blackcurrant, lime & vanilla Angel Cake slices”

Smoked cheese & onion pasties

Some of my favourite dishes arise from using whatever is lying around and these full-flavoured pastries do just that: with the additional use of the indoor smoker for the remains of a block of cheese and some onions… Continue reading “Smoked cheese & onion pasties”

Apple & blackberry cake (gluten-free)

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)”

Smoked hummus

Forget that sludgy beige-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”

Raspberry and rose éclairs: with a cheat’s mousse filling!

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!”

Quick Mongolian beef

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”

Chinese steamed buns

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”

Red velvet cake

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”

Dairy-free sticky toffee ginger puddings

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”

Stem ginger scones

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”

Spiced lamb egg chops

This sublime dish – great as a starter or 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!

Continue reading “Spiced lamb egg chops”

Coconut chocolates: posh Bounty Bars!

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!”

My ultimate burger buns!

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!”

Thai Sticky Quorn wraps (vegan)

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)”

Saffron and roasted garlic bread

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”

Rhubarb, ginger and white chocolate muffins

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”

Nalli Gosht: lamb shanks in a spiced yoghurt sauce

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”

Spiced onion & chilli bread

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”

Peach Bellini macarons

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”

Fool-proof focaccia

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”

Spicy aubergine & tamarind pickle

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”

Chocolate strawberry shortbreads: vegan & gluten-free

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”

Salted caramel pretzel rocky road

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”

Bacon and goats’ cheese cruffins

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”

Thai fish cakes

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”

Spiced tandoori chicken wraps

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”

Blackcurrant and mint macarons

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”

Aubergine & onion pakoras with roasted cumin salt

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”

Pan-fried sweetbreads in a lemon, garlic & caper sauce

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”

Pistachio and strawberry macarons

Tangy, fruity macarons are a joy to eat and this is one of my favourite macaron flavour pairings.

Continue reading “Pistachio and strawberry macarons”

Date & walnut tea loaf

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”

Moroccan lamb tagine

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”

The finest Italian ragu sauce

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.

Continue reading “The finest Italian ragu sauce”

Easy spiced orange & vanilla Danish pastries

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”

Hot Coronation chicken: tangy chicken curry

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”