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”

Advertisements

Spiced smoked haddock scones

Try to imagine me screaming from the rooftops that you absolutely must try this recipe: I am so proud of it and I really do think they need making and devouring. Continue reading “Spiced smoked haddock scones”

Apple & cinnamon kouign-Amann pastries

This is a variation on the Kouign-Amann (roughly pronounced “queen ah-marn”) I posted ages ago. This time I went for apple and cinnamon flavour which works so well with the caramelised sugar, giving a kind of tarte tatin – but a touch more indulgent! Continue reading “Apple & cinnamon kouign-Amann pastries”

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. Continue reading “Mince pies with pistachio Viennese biscuit topping”

Chocolate & salted caramel éclairs

Salted caramel and chocolate éclairs: nothing too extreme flavour-wise, but two flavours that are nonetheless stunning together. A white chocolate crème pâtissière and a little salted caramel make a lovely filling here but you can, of course, use whipped cream. Continue reading “Chocolate & salted caramel éclairs”

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! Continue reading “Spiced cranberry & orange baklava”

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”

Treacle tart with a hint of orange

For me, a treacle tart is the epitome of comfort food, especially with the nights drawing in and the temperature outside dropping of an evening! Continue reading “Treacle tart with a hint of orange”

Coronation chicken vol-au-vents

While vol-au-vents are wonderfully retro, using Coronation Chicken as a filling makes them even more so! But Coronation Chicken is such a great thing to eat. Continue reading “Coronation chicken vol-au-vents”

Spiced smoked haddock vol-au-vents

Vol-au-vents never fail to excite me when I eat them!  For me they have always been absolute must as part of a buffet. Continue reading “Spiced smoked haddock vol-au-vents”

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!”

Chouxnuts 2: chocolate & cherry flavour

I made a savoury version of these deep-fried choux pastry doughnuts a while ago (recipe here) but this time I felt like going down the sweet route. I always have jars of dried cherries, some macerating in Amaretto and some in other liqueurs, and there is always chocolate to be found around the kitchen(!!), so a chocolate-cherry version was called for. Continue reading “Chouxnuts 2: chocolate & cherry flavour”

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”

Chouxnuts 1: cheese & chives flavour

What with cronuts, maclairs and other arguably gimmicky – but oh-so-delicious – food hybrids, I fancied seeing what would happen if I deep-fried choux pastry. I had never deep-fried choux pastry before but deep-frying here gives amazing results: these chouxnuts, as they are now known in my house, really do give a terrific doughnut effect. Continue reading “Chouxnuts 1: cheese & chives flavour”

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”

Lemongrass & ginger canelés

Canelés have somehow escaped my foodie radar; the first time I ate one – a traditional vanilla flavour – was just a few weeks ago, served with an Afternoon Tea. However, I was so taken by them that I couldn’t wait to make a batch, and have since made several batches of differing flavours! Continue reading “Lemongrass & ginger canelés”

Viennoiserie: lemon frangipane croissants & Amaretto cherry pains au chocolat.

I was eager to make another batch of croissant dough; two weeks or so since I made the last batch is a long time for me! The process of making croissants never fails to put a smile on my face from as soon as I weigh out the ingredients to when I get to taste them. Continue reading “Viennoiserie: lemon frangipane croissants & Amaretto cherry pains au chocolat.”

Piccalilli & black pudding pork pie with a cider jelly

 

Using black pudding and piccalilli gives one of my favourite flavour combinations for a pork pie, resulting in a hearty but very easy-to-eat pie. The jelly is flavoured with cider and chicken stock which, in the absence of making a stock from pigs trotters, works so well in a pork pie. Continue reading “Piccalilli & black pudding pork pie with a cider jelly”

Spanakopita with caramelised onions & pine nuts

I adore making pastry: it is up there on an equal footing for me with bread. Filo, however, is the pastry I find challenging: while I can make it, I just don’t seem to have enough hands to get full stretching without tearing, so it sometimes becomes a frustrating affair. But it is nonetheless fun to make. Continue reading “Spanakopita with caramelised onions & pine nuts”

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”

Passionfruit & strawberry custard slices (gluten-free)

Custard slices are one of my favourite teatime sweet treats, even though I don’t have a very sweet tooth! I love the crispness of the pastry, the richness of the crème pâtissière and the stickyness of the fondant topping. Continue reading “Passionfruit & strawberry custard slices (gluten-free)”

Quick & easy gluten-free sausage rolls

I have a great love of sausage rolls: as long as the pastry is light, crisp and buttery and, most crucially, the filling is generously packed with flavour then I am beyond happy! Continue reading “Quick & easy gluten-free sausage rolls”

Gluten-free choux pastry: mini BLT éclairs

These are great gluten-free mini bakes that highlight the fact that gluten-free food need not have the texture and flavour of cardboard or be at all boring! And these were quick to make, with a batch ready to be eaten within 1 hour. Continue reading “Gluten-free choux pastry: mini BLT éclairs”

The quickest & easiest croissants: 20-minute lamination!

A batch of croissants, made traditionally, can take the best part of a weekend with all the resting and chilling in between the turns and at other stages.

Don’t get me wrong, making croissants the traditional way is one of the top baking pleasures for me, but there are certainly times when effective shortcuts are called for. And this shortcut is certainly effective in that it gives excellent results and is easier to achieve than traditional croissants. Continue reading “The quickest & easiest croissants: 20-minute lamination!”

Kouign-Amann pastries: shortcut method

This is my easy version of this wonderful Breton pastry, Kouign-Amann, roughly pronounced “queen ah-marn” which loosely translates as buttery cake. And these are indeed buttery and flaky, with terrific caramelisation. There is also very little hands-on time when it comes to making them. Continue reading “Kouign-Amann pastries: shortcut method”

Canapé selection: mushroom; smoked aubergine

I adore nibbly food and am always trying out ideas and flavours to ring the changes. These two different canapés use a very light and crumbly shortcrust pastry, made with just a little Parmesan cheese. I filled half of the cooked pastry shells with a rich, smokey aubergine filling (baba ghanoush) and the rest with an intensely flavoured mushroom filling (recipe below). Continue reading “Canapé selection: mushroom; smoked aubergine”

Sour cherry & white chocolate pastries

These are very light pastries with the wonderful combination of both sweet and sharp flavours. The sour cherries, having been steeped overnight in rum or Amaretto, pack a lovely punch; the fragrant sharpness of a passion fruit crème pâtissière, enriched with a little white chocolate, offers an indulgently soft filling for the crisp, buttery pastry. Continue reading “Sour cherry & white chocolate pastries”

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”

Simple Crab & Asparagus Tart

Wonderfully simple and very quick to prepare, this is a recipe in a similar vein to my salmon and asparagus tart, created with the aim of using the asparagus from my allotment in different ways. Continue reading “Simple Crab & Asparagus Tart”

Crab Canapés

A very simple canapé: small discs of puff pastry, topped with crab meat that has been mixed with a little fresh mayonnaise, a spritz of lemon juice, some chopped chives and just a little grated Gruyère cheese. Continue reading “Crab Canapés”

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”

The very best sausage rolls……..

At the risk of sounding as though I have fallen straight out of a Carry On film I will state categorically that I absolutely love a good sausage roll. One bite and everything is well with the world! Continue reading “The very best sausage rolls……..”

Cream Horns

A teatime classic from decades past, the cream horn is still a great sweet to eat and is easy to make. The flavour and the texture you get as the caster sugar caramelises on the outside of the buttery pastry are wonderful, especially with the richness of the cream. Continue reading “Cream Horns”

Smoked Haddock Tarts – my nod to kedgeree

These are very special tarts: crisp, melt-in-the-mouth and gently spiced pastry cases filled with buttery leeks, and flakes of smoked haddock in a just-set and subtly flavoured curried egg custard.
Continue reading “Smoked Haddock Tarts – my nod to kedgeree”

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”

Gougères & other fabulous savoury choux bites

A crunchy exterior giving way to the lightest, most delicate pillows of cheesy indulgence, gougères make fabulous little nibbles/canapés. They are lovely just as they come, ideally served warm, but they are wonderful filled with all manner of goodies (see below). Continue reading “Gougères & other fabulous savoury choux bites”

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”

Croissants

A croissant is one of the greatest things both to bake and to eat. A 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”