Baumkuchen (“tree cake”)

Multiple layers of thin grilled (yes, grilled!) sponge, orange and Amaretto liqueur and a chocolate glaze, finished off with pistachios: a wonderful cake that is superb when eaten with a cup of really good coffee. Continue reading “Baumkuchen (“tree cake”)”

Dairy-free chocolate orange mousse cake

There are times when a spot of indulgence is needed, and this cake – which pushes itself into dessert territory – is just that! It serves at least 12 people but it can be scaled down. Continue reading “Dairy-free chocolate orange mousse cake”

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”

Raspberry mocha mini rolls

Gooey and chocolatey, with a raspberry tang and a real coffee kick, Swiss Rolls are a firm favourite in this house. And in the current climate, foodie treats are particularly appreciated.

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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”

Orange and raspberry roulade

This orange and raspberry roulade, filled with vanilla cream and smothered in a orange-flavoured milk ganache, is an indulgent dessert that should hit the spot for any occasion.

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Orange and star anise macarons

These punchy macarons are far too easy to eat and when dipped in dark chocolate with a grating of orange zest they are sure to liven up the palate. Continue reading “Orange and star anise macarons”

Spiced chocolate orange truffles

Another batch of chocolate truffles, this time with orange and a few drops of Fiori di Sicilia, an intensely fragrant citrus extract, often used in panettone. Continue reading “Spiced chocolate orange truffles”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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)”

Isaphan éclairs: with a cheat’s mousse filling!

These éclairs – with the great flavours of raspberry, lychee 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 “Isaphan éclairs: with a cheat’s mousse filling!”

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”

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!”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

sourdough Black Forest brownies!

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!”

Chocolate and spiced orange Panettone

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”

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”

Chocolate and raspberry roulade

A dessert classic with my own twist, this indulgent roulade is a sure-fire hit when served.

Continue reading “Chocolate and raspberry roulade”

Coffee and walnut chocolates

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”

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!”

Home-made Baileys chocolates

I adore filled chocolates, and while there are some stunning chocolate shops out there, it is fun to make your own: not least as you then get to experiment with different fillings. Continue reading “Home-made Baileys chocolates”

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)”

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”

Toasted nut chocolates

These crisp chocolate shells are filled with a rich chocolate ganache that has been blended with toasted and crushed nuts: a kind of grown-up Nutella, with a soft, melt-in-the-mouth finish. And this is a great way to use up the remains of various packets of nuts that were opened ages ago! Continue reading “Toasted nut chocolates”

Harry Potter Spell Book birthday cake

This is my Harry Potter-themed cake for the daughter of one of my colleagues. Chocolate sponge and salted caramel buttercream, with various fondant Potterisms I made….. Continue reading “Harry Potter Spell Book birthday cake”

smoked sea-salted caramel chocolates

Caramel-filled chocolates are right up there among my favourite chocolates to make, so this time I used smoked sea salt to flavour the caramel. These are great to give to people as gifts or simply to munch on without guilt! Continue reading “smoked sea-salted caramel chocolates”

Cascading Maltesers cake & chocolate wraps!

Maltesers have always been one of my favourite sweets: honeycomb and chocolate – a perfect match, and I often make chocolate cakes using Maltesers. This particular cake was made for my 6th formers at school.   Continue reading “Cascading Maltesers cake & chocolate wraps!”

Orange & coconut domes

These tangy, refreshing and very simple desserts need to be eaten with no shame whatsoever! They are great for parties, buffets, Afternoon Tea or just as a sweet treat whenever the mood takes you. Continue reading “Orange & coconut domes”

Lemon and elderflower cake

A simple cake: tangy, refreshing and with the level of indulgence needed to satisfy any cake craving! Continue reading “Lemon and elderflower cake”

Guinness and chocolate cake

This is a suitably rich cake with the deep, but not over-powering, flavour of Guinness and the refreshing topping of white chocolate, tangy crème fraîche and cream. Easy to make, it is a cake that demands more than one slice…..or maybe that is just me being greedy!! Continue reading “Guinness and chocolate cake”

Lime & ginger Battenberg cake

Having not made a Battenberg cake in a long time, I felt it time to re-visit this very firm favourite of mine. This time I went for the wonderful flavours of lime and ginger: two ingredients that go so well together.

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Mocha walnut loaf cake

My rich chocolate loaf cake with a kick of coffee and the crunch of fabulous walnuts: a combination that makes what I think is a perfect tea-time treat! Continue reading “Mocha walnut loaf cake”

Passionfruit macarons

I adore passionfruit and I need no excuses to use its fragrant sharpness in a dish: these macarons are filled with a simple passionfruit filling which cuts through the sweetness of the shells. Continue reading “Passionfruit macarons”

Cherry, pistachio & clementine biscotti

I love different flavours with biscotti so I have gone for what I think is a festive cherry and clementine version, studded with chopped pistachios.

Continue reading “Cherry, pistachio & clementine biscotti”

Home-made gianduja chocolates – chocolate & hazelnut treats

A chocolately nutty treat of such joy, these smooth bites melt in the mouth in an intensely luscious way.

This is my version of the gianduja, a classic Italian sweet, and this recipe uses just 3 ingredients – well, four if you want to top it with dark chocolate! It might not be totally authentic, but it has now over-taken good commercial gianduja in this house. Continue reading “Home-made gianduja chocolates – chocolate & hazelnut treats”

Salted mocha Opera cake

Multiple layers of liqueur-kissed almond sponge cake, salted mocha buttercream and chocolate ganache: very much a cake for when a special treat is needed. And with elements that can all be made in advance, this becomes a matter of gentle assembly rather than frantically using a whole day or so in the kitchen! Continue reading “Salted mocha Opera cake”

Quick lemon cheesecake fruit tarts

Something of a cheat of a recipe, using handy shortcuts, these gorgeous tarts can be made up very speedily and with total ease, yet they taste as good as any of the high-end tarts you can buy for a small fortune!

Continue reading “Quick lemon cheesecake fruit tarts”

Chocolate orange mini rolls

I couldn’t resist making the Technical Challenge from the first episode on this new series of Bake Off. And this recipe really does give a rich, moist and oh-so-wicked sweet treat.

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Spiced orange & rum cake with mirror glaze

This cake is a cross between a blonde Sachertorte(!) and a Victoria Sandwich: you get the richness of the Sachertorte with the almonds and ganache, and the lightness of the Victoria Sandwich with the key flavours of ginger, orange and rum. Continue reading “Spiced orange & rum cake with mirror glaze”

Chocolate and cherry focaccia

A sweet focaccia is a joy to eat, and my chocolate and cherry focaccia gives a lovely twist on a classic bread – it is also very easy to make. This focaccia is particularly great served in slices with a cup of tea, especially when spread with salted butter or with a dollop of tangy crème fraîche. Continue reading “Chocolate and cherry focaccia”