Category Biscuits

The effect of different oven temperatures in baking

While baking is one of the most rewarding aspects of cookery, it can, nonetheless, be frustrating – especially when things do not work. Now things not working can occur when trying out a new recipe for the first time, error with the techniques or even when baking a reliable favourite that has never yet failed……..and […]

Salted caramel shortbreads

This is my take on Millionaire’s Shortbread, but slightly jazzed up: a real excuse for indulgence – but is an excuse ever needed? Essentially, you have a buttery shortbread base, topped with a generous amount of salted caramel and coated in thick milk chocolate. A real treat for chocolate lovers and caramel lovers. It’s salted caramel all […]

Cashew nut & cocoa nib snaps

These biscuits, which are a cross between brandy snaps and florentines, are incredibly easy and quick to make, with a batch made and ready to eat in under 30 minutes. The snaps are perfect eaten just as they are, or served with coffee or tea after a meal. They also make excellent edible gifts. About […]

Luxury orange shortbread mince pies with a macaroon topping

I usually prefer to make mince pies using shortbread dough rather than pastry: it makes them more special than a standard pastry mince pie and it is really no harder to make. Besides, Christmas would not be Christmas without shortbread! And whenever I have made these mince pies, they have gone very quickly. These are also easy […]

Cinnamon & orange Viennese biscuits

Melt-in-the-mouth is never more the case than with Viennese biscuits or Viennese whirls or any variation on this classic biscuit. They can be served simply dusted with icing sugar, dipped in chocolate or sandwiched together with jam and a little vanilla buttercream – although they can take any flavour combination within! I went for several […]

Simple roasted coffee shortbread – with no rolling out

Shortbread is the first thing I ever made as a young boy and I love coming back to it, either making a very traditional shortbread (what can beat that?) or a flavoured variation. A bake for all! Shortbread is also a very simple thing to make and is a particularly great bake for people who are […]

Roasted coffee bean butter: a great ingredient for coffee lovers

I am so excited to share this post for roasted coffee bean butter. Coffee is one of my favourite flavours, almost beating chocolate for me. This butter, which is basically freshly ground coffee beans infused with hot butter, has a very rich, deep coffee flavour that you simply cannot get close to when using either instant coffee […]

Simple ginger & lemon iced biscuits

Crisp ginger shortbreads topped with lemon royal icing! A few dried raspberry pieces on the icing add colour and further tangy flavour, but small pieces of stem ginger or candied lemon peel work wonderfully. The mixture for the biscuits themselves take moments to make up. They can be baked in advance and stored in an airtight container until you […]

The simplest cheese, caraway & walnut biscuits

These are very simple and tasty savoury biscuits that are an ideal vehicle for a gutsy dip, eaten with a cheese and chutney, or munched on just as they are. You can use any cheese, but a cheese that packs a punch flavour-wise is perfect. Favourites of mine include Parmesan, mature Cheddar, Stilton and Comté […]

Salted caramel pretzel rocky road

Post updated: June 2016 A rocky road is a very guilty pleasure of mine – one of many, admittedly! It is very rich (and rightly so) but moreish. It is also one of the easiest things to make and can be varied in so many ways. I made this take on rocky road with ingredients that […]

Lemon & honey Valentine shortbreads

Rich, buttery biscuits topped with a very firm royal icing are always a joy to eat. While I have made these heart-shaped with simple heart icing embellishments, these are great made into any shape for eating at any time of the year: with or without the icing! The shortbread is very buttery and crisp with […]

Savoury macarons: smoked salmon & horseradish

When it comes to the list of my food pleasures, smoked salmon on sliced brioche with a thin spreading of caper butter is up there near the top: the smoky saltiness of the salmon, the sweet butteriness of the brioche and the slightly tart capers make for a perfect partnership. These macarons are my bite-sized version […]

Mince pies with pistachio Viennese biscuit topping

I do like to take a humble mince pie to a level that is so much more than what commercially is usually just indifferent pastry with a fairly non-descript filling. So I often vary things a little so that the mince pie is that bit more special. I first had a mince pie with a […]

Ginger snowmen macarons

Although I make macarons frequently, it is a first for me to do a macaron shape that is anything other than circular, so having seen meringue versions of snowmen in a shop recently I felt I had to make some as macarons….well, why not?! Looking online, it is little surprise that macaron snowmen and other quirky […]

Spiced cranberry & orange baklava

A Christmas-inspired baklava that is simple and very tasty. Ok, it doesn’t skimp on the calories but this is, after all, an indulgent treat rather than a staple bake! This version is not as sickly sweet as some baklavas can be: sweet, yes, but not to the level that you need to ring the dentist after a couple […]

Cranberry, orange & fennel seed biscotti

I adore a good biscotti, but have never been a fan of the (ridiculously expensive!) ones you can buy in coffee shops and the like that can be little more than an expensive work-out for the jaw! Flavour and texture are crucial in any biscotti: the taste should certainly pack a real punch as you eat […]

My take on Bourbon biscuits – with mocha ganache & caramelised sugar

A bourbon biscuit is one of my favourite biscuits, but I had never made them fully before. What I crave in a bourbon biscuit is: a very crisp biscuit (it has to be crisp) a nice chocolate flavour through both the biscuit and the filling and  “something else” flavour-wise that makes it not just a chocolate biscuit! And I […]

Apricot shortbread

This is a very simple and utterly delicious shortbread biscuits: rich, crisp and buttery with a hint of vanilla and soft pieces of dried apricots. I used dried apricots given to me by Whitworths. The dried chopped apricots make a classic biscuit even more special; those lovely juicy nuggets set in the shortbread are wonderful: […]

Whitworths Blogging Event: fruiting, chatting, baking & tiffin!

I was invited to my first food-related blogging event in London, organised by Whitworths and held at Venturis Table in London. It happened to be held on my birthday, so what better way to spend a birthday than with a fun event such as this. It was a thrill not only to do bake in a terrific kitchen and […]

Orange & cranberry macarons

I was working on a new cake recipe for the Christmas 2015 edition of a magazine, using orange, cranberry and white chocolate as the key flavours. However, I had a fair bit of ganache left over….so macarons were called for! Besides, I need no excuse to make a batch of macarons! The basic macaron recipe: The recipe for the macarons […]

Two flavours of savoury biscotti: gluten-free

  In this post I have given two recipes: one for sun-dried tomato, basil & pine nut biscotti; the other for olive and rosemary biscotti As moreish as sweet biscotti unquestionably are, savoury biscotti are in a slightly higher league for me, but then more-ish savoury food is one of my weaknesses! These biscotti are great […]

chocolate cherry & almond biscotti

I adore a well flavoured biscotti but have never been a fan of the ones you can buy in coffee shops and the like that can be little more than an expensive work-out for the jaw! Flavour and texture are crucial in any biscotti: the taste should certainly pack a real punch as you eat […]

Gluten-free pistachio & passionfruit shortbreads

This is a variation on the salted caramel shortbreads I posted a while ago. For these ones I make mini pistachio shortbreads, topped them with fresh passionfruit curd (something I make and use a lot in my baking: recipe below), and coated them in white chocolate. Passionfruit and white chocolate go so well together that these are not […]

Say it with biscuits with Biscuiteers Biscuit Company

This Valentine’s Day, why not tell a loved one how much they mean to you with biscuits? Not just any biscuits but top quality, hand-made and personalised biscuits from Biscuiteers Biscuit Company, that taste amazing. It is my pleasure to draw your attention to my friends at Biscuiteers, the award-winning bespoke bakery who create biscuits, […]

Quick & easy version of the “After Dark Gü-Zillionaires’ Puddings”

This is my fairly quick, but certainly very easy version of the gorgeous After Dark Gü-Zillionaires’ Puddings: chocolatey biscuit base with layers of luscious cheesecake with a hint of treacle, salted caramel and finished with a soft dark chocolate ganache. A very naughty, but once-in-a-while treat! They can be made a couple of days in advance […]

Mango and lime “egg cup” desserts

Post updated April 2017: recipe slightly tweaked and re-photographed. I have seen this sort of sweet dessert with sponge and various goodies such as mousse inside an egg shell, although often it is served in the actual egg shell. However, I wanted the whole thing to be edible so I decided to make a light dessert in […]

Macaroons (as opposed to macarons!!)

A few years ago I made what was apparently a significant social faux pas in a restaurant while being served petits fours: when I referred to what I thought were macaroons the waiter, bristling with petulant superciliousness, exclaimed “they are not macaroons, sir. They are macarons“. All done with a pronunciation that could well have […]

Watermelon & lime sorbet

A very refreshing and simple sorbet: the flavours of both the lime and the watermelon come through very well, with the lime striking a subtle note against the watermelon. The sorbet is great eaten just as it is, although I like to make coconut tuiles to serve with them. I make my sorbets and ice […]

St Émilion au Chocolat

A very simple and insanely good chocolate dessert, this is my variation of the inspirational and quite fabulous Elizabeth David, whose books, many decades later, are never less than an joy to read. Essentially this is a top-notch chocolate mousse that is indulgent yet light textured, and it eats effortlessly; this might well be a […]

Mango & Passionfruit cheesecakes domes

A slight twist on the cheesecake, inspired by one of the goodies served to us when having Afternoon Tea recently. I often get inspiration while eating out and it was fun trying to recreate the feel of this sweet at home. These have crumbly, buttery shortbread bases with a bit of toasted coconut, topped with domes of fresh […]

Chocolate Teacakes

This is my take on those wonderful chocolateteacakes you can buy. A great treat for anytime of the day: crisp buttery biscuit base, coated in chocolate, a light vanilla flavoured marshmallow filling and a thin chocolate shell that snaps as you bite into it. A small amount of strawberry purée adds a fragrant zing to the […]

Nut-free Macarons

While I often vary the nuts I use for my macarons, I had never made a macaron that was totally nut-free. As I was to give my students a baking lesson in macarons, being a nut-free school this could have posed something of a challenge…but I thrive on a culinary challenge! After some experimentation with nut […]

Savoury Macarons

Although I often go for macarons filled with a fruit ganache, this time I’ve gone for savoury macarons. The light sweetness of the shell is a perfect foil for each of the savoury fillings I have used, with the gentle saltiness coming from the fillings creating a flavour contrast that is, quite simply, divine. I […]

The macaron – the queen of confections

Originally posted on bakingfanatic:
Post updated: July 2016 (with Vegan & nut-free section added) Introduction Flavour all the way! An initially challenging, but rewarding bake Top Tips for successful macarons A note about the recipe The recipe for basic macarons (with detailed notes at each stage) – click here to scroll straight to the recipe A few FAQs…

Parmesan and ham tuiles

An insanely simple bake, these are so moreish to eat just as they are or with a glass of wine. While making flour-based tuiles is fun, this is the more instant approach and you always get a melt-in-the-mouth crunch. But although these are easy to make, you need to guard against over-baking: check them after 4 […]

Pineapple and Coconut Macarons

My version of a piña colada cocktail in a macaron! These were created for my partner who wanted a particularly special macaron, and as he is such a fan of piña coladas…… These are not too sweet; the pineapple and lime juice in the filling strike the right balance between the sweetness of the white chocolate […]

The joys of Afternoon Tea

All images are of my bakes. 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. […]

Perfecting macarons – the queen of confections

Post updated: July 2016 (with Vegan & nut-free section added) Introduction Flavour all the way! An initially challenging, but rewarding bake Top Tips for successful macarons A note about the recipe The recipe for basic macarons (with detailed notes at each stage) – click here to scroll straight to the recipe A few FAQs – includes how to […]

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