Asparagus wrapped in phyllo dough

I recently joined the Secret Recipe Club – a group of food bloggers, each of whom is secretly assigned a food blog each month from another member of the group, from which you make and post about a recipe of your own choice. Continue reading “Asparagus wrapped in phyllo dough”

Bruschetta: when simplicity reigns!

Bruschetta is one of those things that cannot fail to put a smile on my face when I eat it. Perfect as a starter, served with barbeque food or just as a light bite at any time of the day, one slice is never enough. Continue reading “Bruschetta: when simplicity reigns!”

Spiced prawn and crab spring rolls

This is my version of spring rolls, using some left-over filo pastry I had made for another dish and ingredients that I adore to eat. The rolls are very easy to make and a large batch can be made up and frozen until you want to cook them. Continue reading “Spiced prawn and crab spring rolls”

Simple spiced cauliflower fritters

This is my take on cauliflower bhajis: they are great served with cold drinks or just placed on the table with a cool minty dip for people to just tuck into. I made these during the semi-final of Britain’s Best Home Cook, and while they needed more heat, they went down very well. Continue reading “Simple spiced cauliflower fritters”

Gooseberry chutney

This is my very simple recipe for gooseberry chutney that is made in about 20 minutes: a perfect partner for cheese or smoked fish.

Continue reading “Gooseberry chutney”

Piccalilli: a prince among preserves!

Piccalilli is one of my favourite preserves and making a batch late summer is something of an annual ritual that I always look forward to. Continue reading “Piccalilli: a prince among preserves!”

Sun-dried Tomato & cheese scones

This is another savoury twist on the wonderful sweet scones that are traditionally served with clotted cream and strawberry jam.

Continue reading “Sun-dried Tomato & cheese scones”

Earl Grey scones

I love scones so much: with a little clotted cream and jam or home-made fruit curd they are divine. Earl Grey tea scones are one of my favourites and make a perfect accompanyiment to any cream tea – or simply eaten in the garden on a warm day with a pot of tea! Continue reading “Earl Grey scones”

Blackcurrant & raspberry éclairs

It is never less than a joy to eat a crisp éclair that is filled with a well-flavoured centre and topped with a sticky icing! While chocolate éclairs should never be turned down, fruity éclairs are delightful to eat. Continue reading “Blackcurrant & raspberry éclairs”

Spiced smoked cod & fennel tart

This is a lightly spiced tart with rich, smoky cod and the subtle aniseed flavour of fennel. It is very much a comfort-eat and makes a satisfying light meal served warm or cold. Continue reading “Spiced smoked cod & fennel tart”

Roasted onion, chorizo & Parmesan focaccia

I have posted several focaccia recipes on this blog, and while I make my roasted garlic focaccia many times more than any other flavour, I do like to play around a little. This time, I used ingredients lurking around in the fridge and the larder! Continue reading “Roasted onion, chorizo & Parmesan focaccia”

Beetroot & toasted walnut sourdough

Beetroot bread is nothing new but I like to add walnuts to the dough for added crunch and the lovely flavour they give, which is a great complement to the slight earthiness you get from the beetroot here. I gently toasted the walnuts here to really bring out the flavour. Continue reading “Beetroot & toasted walnut sourdough”

chicken, tarragon & roasted onion pithivier: a feast using left-overs!

Essentially a posh “roast dinner in a pie”, this is made using left-over roast chicken flavoured with an instant tarragon sauce and filled with other extras from a roast dinner made the day before. Continue reading “chicken, tarragon & roasted onion pithivier: a feast using left-overs!”

Raspberry & dark chocolate mousse domes

One of the great joys for me when having Afternoon Tea, in addition to eating the most delectable sweet and savoury treats, is the inspiration I get. I shared one of these entremets as part of an Afternoon Tea a while ago and was blown away by it, not least by the raspberry explosion inside! Continue reading “Raspberry & dark chocolate mousse domes”

Pimms macarons with Pimms ganache & minted cucumber jelly

A challenging but rewarding bake, this is a taste of summer in each mouthful: these macarons are sandwiched together with a Pimms ganache and small pieces of a sweetened cucumber and mint jelly: you really can’t have Pimms without the cucumber! Continue reading “Pimms macarons with Pimms ganache & minted cucumber jelly”

Chilli Jam

This is one of the easiest preserves to make and it tastes wonderful.I always make a large batch towards late summer once the chillies are ready in the greenhouse. It is a great way to use up a glut of ripe tomatoes, but this chilli jam works very well using tinned tomatoes. Continue reading “Chilli Jam”

Bread & butter pickles: spicy, sweet cucumbers

Preserves are terrific partners for good bakes, and these sweet, spiced and crunchy cucumbers are very easy and quick to make. Essentially these sliced cucumbers are bathing happily in a sweetened and spiced vinegar. Continue reading “Bread & butter pickles: spicy, sweet cucumbers”

Gluten-free Victoria Sandwich Cake

This is very much a quick, no-frills affair: utter simplicity and great flavour; what more is needed? The cake takes literally a couple of minutes to mix together, about 20 minutes baking and a few minutes to assemble the cooled sponges. Continue reading “Gluten-free Victoria Sandwich Cake”

Salmon & mushroom coulibiac

A very firm nod towards the classic dish of a few decades ago, this is an easy bake to throw together and is excellent served for a special occasion. Wonderful served warm with a salad or steamed vegetables, it is also excellent served cold; I must confess, I often make this for picnics. Continue reading “Salmon & mushroom coulibiac”

Mini Gluten-free Pistachio Fraisiers using left-overs!

 

Further to posting my version of a large Fraisier a few weeks ago, I decided to make another large one for this month’s Clandestine Cake Club – this time going for a gluten-free version. And with left over elements, I also went for mini Fraisiers. Continue reading “Mini Gluten-free Pistachio Fraisiers using left-overs!”

Easy orange & rhubarb Danish pastries

These very easy Danish pastries, using quick croissant dough, are an excellent approximation to Danish pastries that are made with traditional croissant dough. Continue reading “Easy orange & rhubarb Danish pastries”

Pistachio & lemon Fraisier cake

This Fraisier is a slight variation on the classic recipe, using a pistachio joconde sponge, sprinkled liberally with Amaretto, and a thin layer of pistachio ganache. A fragrant crème mousseline, subtly flavoured with lemon, envelops the strawberries, and the cake is topped with a thin layer of a tangy strawberry jelly glaze. Continue reading “Pistachio & lemon Fraisier cake”

Fruit Punnet Madeira Cake

The “fruit punnet cake” or fruit basket cake has freshly picked fruit covering it as well as spilling over the top: whenever I pick fruit from the allotment I always end up putting far too much into the punnets, often with fruit to be found rolling around in the boot of the car, so these cakes are very much me! Continue reading “Fruit Punnet Madeira Cake”

Roasted garlic, red pepper & parmesan bread “flower”

This is my savoury version of the classic Fiore di pan brioche, this time using a standard bread dough into which roasted puréed garlic and olive oil are added prior to kneading. Packed with flavour, it is great fun to make and is excellent as a tear and share bread. Continue reading “Roasted garlic, red pepper & parmesan bread “flower””

“Grow your own”: introducing Pumpkin Beth

Being fortunate to have an allotment has influenced many of my bakes: I am always trying to come up with different ways to use the produce, especially any gluts. Mind you, a simple fruit crumble, a roasted vegetable pie or a home-made preserve with some good cheese and bread often hits the spot. But baking with the seasons is a natural and satisfying thing to do. Continue reading ““Grow your own”: introducing Pumpkin Beth”

Blackcurrant & white chocolate mousse entremets

These mini dessert cakes were created as a different way to use some of the blackcurrants from the allotment, as well as any excuse to have a play in the kitchen. It was also a nice surprise for these to feature during an episode of The Great British Bake Off: Extra Slice after submitting them. Continue reading “Blackcurrant & white chocolate mousse entremets”

Blackcurrant marshmallow macarons (& “wagarons”!)

I am such a fan of Wagon Wheels but they have become noticeably smaller over the years so I felt I might as well jump on their band wagon(!) and go even smaller, using macarons: after all, miniature things are among the most exciting thing for me to both bake and eat. Continue reading “Blackcurrant marshmallow macarons (& “wagarons”!)”

Joconde Imprime Fruit Mousse Entremets

Although I have made joconde sponge before, I had never made a joconde imprime (a sponge design baked into a sponge) so this was an exciting first for me. Continue reading “Joconde Imprime Fruit Mousse Entremets”

Vegan raspberry macarons

I need little excuse to make macarons, but this time I was asked if I could make some for a friend who was investigating more of a vegan lifestyle and wanted to be convinced that she could still enjoy indulgent things: which of course she could…and should! Continue reading “Vegan raspberry macarons”

Simple caraway & cumin flatbreads with baba ghanoush

These simple flatbreads are wonderful with a full-on dip to dunk into with gusto. My dip of choice here is baba ghanoush, a wonderfully smoky aubergine dip. Continue reading “Simple caraway & cumin flatbreads with baba ghanoush”

Rhubarb & strawberry cordial

This is a very refreshing cordial, made using the some of the rhubarb and the first of the year’s strawberry pickings from the allotment. Just dilute it with ice cold water or, better still, sparkling water: 1 part cordial to 4 or 5 parts water. Continue reading “Rhubarb & strawberry cordial”

Vegetable suet puddings with a cheese & mustard sauce

Steamed suet puddings (whether sweet or savoury) are up there among my top 5 all-time favourite dishes: they epitomise comfort eating for me. These savoury steamed puddings are packed with a variety of vegetables in a light cheese and mustard sauce that oozes out as you cut into them. Continue reading “Vegetable suet puddings with a cheese & mustard sauce”

Poached Salmon & Asparagus Tart

I adore tarts: served warm with a good salad, perhaps with some cheese, a few pickles and some good bread they make for a satisfyingly light meal. Continue reading “Poached Salmon & Asparagus Tart”

Tomato & Pesto Canapés

Home-grown tomatoes with freshly made pesto make for one of my favourite flavour combinations and I have been making simple tarts using these two ingredients for many years. Continue reading “Tomato & Pesto Canapés”

Cupcakes: a contemporary camp classic!

As with macarons, there is nothing butch about a cupcake, but it revels in its campery – and rightly so! They flounced onto the baking scene with great style several years ago, demanding to be noticed, and all of a sudden the shops started featuring them and everyone started making them. Continue reading “Cupcakes: a contemporary camp classic!”

Pickled shallots – a preserve of great beauty!

It’s an exciting time of the year in the late summer with preserves-a-plenty to be planned over the coming weeks. With an abundance of vegetable and fruit on the allotment preserving is a key part of the growing year. Continue reading “Pickled shallots – a preserve of great beauty!”