My ultimate coffee and walnut drip cake

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.

Continue reading “My ultimate coffee and walnut drip cake”

Fresh tomato and basil tartlets (gluten-free)

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 and basil tartlets (gluten-free)”

Carrots with cumin and caramelised onions

A great dish using a few very modest ingredients, this works well as a side dish to accompany all manner of curries.

Continue reading “Carrots with cumin and caramelised onions”

Quick chocolate and orange mousse pots

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”

Spiced apricot & almond shortbread 

An easy fruity shortbread with a hint of spiced citrus and a gentle kick of almond. Continue reading “Spiced apricot & almond shortbread “

Star anise sugar

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”

Almond & pistachio shortbreads

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”

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 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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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!”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

Basil & roasted garlic soda bread

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”

Glazed apple tarts

The flavour of buttery puff pastry, rich almonds and sharp apples is sublime and they combine to give a fabulously simple, speedy tart. Continue reading “Glazed apple tarts”

Tiramisu roulade

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”

Spiced crispy chicken skin

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.

Continue reading “Spiced crispy chicken skin”

The best carrot cake!

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.

Continue reading “The best carrot cake!”

5-minute cheat’s trifle

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”

Panzanella: one of the best & quickest salads in the world. With YouTube version

Great food does not need to be at all complicated or time-consuming. Sometimes the right combination of humble ingredients can become something quite majestic; panzanella is a case in point….

Continue reading “Panzanella: one of the best & quickest salads in the world. With YouTube version”

Quick spiced beetroot dip & easy salads

This vibrantly coloured dish is one of the simplest I know: made in seconds (if using ready-cooked beetroot), it tastes absolutely wonderful and is a great vehicle eaten with flatbreads. Continue reading “Quick spiced beetroot dip & easy salads”

Sticky ginger & lime cake, and my YouTube debut!

This is an incredibly simple (dare I say “fool-proof”?) ginger cake with a mixture that is made up in seconds: it is very moist, with a nice gingery kick from both ground ginger and stem ginger. A simple lime drizzle finishes off this cake beautifully. Continue reading “Sticky ginger & lime cake, and my YouTube debut!”

How to rescue a curdled buttercream/frosting (with video)

If, like me, you like adding extras to your buttercreams to get great flavour – for example: alcohol, fruit purées and the like – you often need to add a lot to allow your buttercream to pack a real flavour punch….and, of course, the buttercream is then prone to curdling into a horrid mess! Continue reading “How to rescue a curdled buttercream/frosting (with video)”

Deep-fried spiced courgettes

Shatteringly crisp smoky batter with beautifully soft courgettes within, this is a seriously tasty snack. It only needs to be mounded generously on a plate with a gutsy dip such as an aoili or a chilli relish before getting tucked into with ice cold drinks….. Continue reading “Deep-fried spiced courgettes”

Tangy fruit éclairs & tips for a neat glaze finish

A fruity take on éclairs: one of my favourite pastry treats. Fresh, frozen or even tinned soft fruit work well here to give a sticky, tangy icing. In this post, I also give a recipe for an easy fruit mousse filling and tips for achieving a neat sticky glaze. Continue reading “Tangy fruit éclairs & tips for a neat glaze finish”

Curried cauliflower soup with cumin & onion flatbreads

This is a hearty spiced cauliflower soup that is easy and costs very little to make. I often make at least double the quantities and freeze some for a later time – although all too often even a larger amount of soup gets polished off in one sitting! Continue reading “Curried cauliflower soup with cumin & onion flatbreads”

Stilton cheesecake with balsamic & honey roasted shallots

Stilton, shallots and balsamic vinegar are great bed-fellows, and they come together beautifully in this savoury cheesecake in which creaminess, sharpness, sweetness and sourness all come into play. Continue reading “Stilton cheesecake with balsamic & honey roasted shallots”

Speedy spiced tortilla bites

This is one of my “go-to” snacks for whenever I want something quick and tasty. Assembled in moments and cooked in about 10 minutes, these epitomise fast food for me and are perfect devoured in front of the television, or passed around at any gathering for others to tuck into. Continue reading “Speedy spiced tortilla bites”

Blackcurrant curd – and a video from me!

Blackcurrant curd is vibrantly coloured, intoxicatingly fragrant and tangy – and it is very simple to make. As blackcurrants are very much in season here in the UK (I am picking punnets of them every few days at the moment), I love making several batches of them. Continue reading “Blackcurrant curd – and a video from me!”

Home-made lemongrass clotted cream

Clotted cream is one of those phenomenal things that never fails to give me utter contentment. Slathered over freshly made, slightly warm scones and everything is perfect with the world! This is my quirky take on clotted cream, flavouring it with lemongrass. Continue reading “Home-made lemongrass clotted cream”

All about scones: sweet and savoury!

Freshly made scones with cream and home-made curd or jam is one of life’s best food pleasures. But savoury scones are also very exciting both to make and to eat. This post gives a selection of my recipes for both sweet and savoury scones. Continue reading “All about scones: sweet and savoury!”

Raspberry curd (and a top buttercream tip!)

I have always been a fan of fruit curds: they liven up any scone and cake. They are so simple to make and they taste far better than any curds you can buy: even the luxury ones that cost a small fortune at farm shops. This is my recipe for raspberry curd. Continue reading “Raspberry curd (and a top buttercream tip!)”

Instant minted lemonade

This is one of my favourite summertime drinks to make, needing only fresh lemons, fresh mint, water and a little sugar: made in seconds, it tastes much better than any of the artisan lemonades you can buy and can be made for a fraction of the cost of those! Continue reading “Instant minted lemonade”

Pasta with wild rocket pesto & crispy chorizo

Pesto is one of my favourite go-to sauces to make. I usually make it with basil I have grown, but it is fabulous made with other leaves: wild garlic makes a stunning pesto and rocket, which I have used here, gives a nice peppery kick. Here I give my favourite way of serving pesto: with freshly made pasta and crispy chorizo. Continue reading “Pasta with wild rocket pesto & crispy chorizo”

Crab bisque

This is a soup that I love to make whenever I have fresh crab shells: in fact, whenever I buy fish from the fishmongers I always like to ask for some of the shells from crab, prawns and the like to use as the basis of a great seafood sauce. Continue reading “Crab bisque”

Beetroot, walnut and goats’ cheese arancini

I made wild mushroom arancini during the quarter-final of Britain’s Best Home Cook, which got great comments from the judges. While that is my favourite arancini flavour, this beetroot version comes very close.

Continue reading “Beetroot, walnut and goats’ cheese arancini”