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”

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”

Poppy seed and saffron sourdough

The combination of poppy seeds and saffron make a wonderful combination in a cake, but they are fabulous in a bread such as this. Continue reading “Poppy seed and saffron sourdough”

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”

Apple and almond lattice tart

An easy tart using wonderfully sharp autumal apples with a kick of almonds, this is lovely served simply with custard or a dollop of crème fraîche. Continue reading “Apple and almond lattice tart”

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”

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”

Fig, rose & pistachio rolls

This is particularly good timing: our fig tree is currently being generous with its fruit and the technical challenge for Episode 2 of The Great British Bake Off is that classic crowd-dividing biscuit: the fig roll. Continue reading “Fig, rose & pistachio rolls”

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”

Raspberry and rose éclairs: with a cheat’s mousse filling!

These éclairs – with the great flavours of raspberry 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 “Raspberry and rose éclairs: with a cheat’s mousse filling!”

Chinese steamed buns

Soft, pillowy and slightly sweet, steamed buns are a joy to eat. Perfect for a burger such as a sticky, spiced burger flavoured with lemongrass, ginger, soy sauce and the like. Continue reading “Chinese steamed buns”

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”

Dairy-free sticky toffee ginger puddings

To hear Mary Berry saying this dessert is “to die for” is still one of the best moments in my life! This is my dairy-free adaptation of the sticky toffee ginger pudding I made in the final of Britain’s Best Home Cook. Continue reading “Dairy-free sticky toffee ginger puddings”

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”

Spiced onion & chilli bread

Think onion bhajis in a bread, with a chilli kick, and that will give you the idea behind what I think is a wonderful tear-and-share bread. Continue reading “Spiced onion & chilli bread”

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”

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”

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”

Bacon and goats’ cheese cruffins

The combined flavour of salty, spiced bacon, creamy goats’ cheese and buttery pastry is hard to beat and these are fast becoming one of my “go to” savoury bites. Continue reading “Bacon and goats’ cheese cruffins”

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”

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”

Easy spiced orange & vanilla Danish pastries

Always a total comfort to eat (cue what has got to be guilt-free indulgence!), these buttery pastries, with with an orange and vanilla almond filling, evoke the flavours of Panettone. Continue reading “Easy spiced orange & vanilla Danish pastries”

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”

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”

Quick and easy festive Danish pastries

Whether made using traditional Danish pastry dough, a shortcut version or, even simpler, commercial puff pastry (the all-butter variety, not the cheap, nasty version made with oil!), these festive treats are sure to hit the spot. Continue reading “Quick and easy festive Danish pastries”

Apple, marzipan and mincemeat tart

A fabulously simple, speedy tart that positively screams Christmas. It takes minutes to assemble and makes what I think is a good alternative to Christmas pudding – especially when served with cream, with a generous splash of alcohol of choice mixed in! Continue reading “Apple, marzipan and mincemeat tart”

Smoked mackerel pastry rolls

This is a recipe I am very proud of: I had some smoked mackerel pâté to use up and had that “I wonder if this will work…” moment. Luckily, it does work and it is now one of my go-to dishes for buffets and the like. Continue reading “Smoked mackerel pastry rolls”

5-minute cheat’s trifle: passionfruit & lemon

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: passionfruit & lemon”

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)”

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”

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”

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!”

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!”

Brie scones with bacon jam

Brie and bacon: a marriage made in Heaven. These savoury scones, pairing these two wonderful flavours are so simple, so moreish and are so loudly calling out to be made!

Continue reading “Brie scones with bacon jam”

Stilton, pear & piccalilli pork pies

I loved making my ultimate pie during “pie week” on Britain’s Best Home Cook, and as expected there was much debate among us contestants (as well as among the judges) regarding whether a pie needs a bottom as well as a top…..

Personally, I am in the “I really don’t mind as long as it tastes good” camp!  Continue reading “Stilton, pear & piccalilli pork pies”

Simple orange & raspberry brûlée

This is a very simple version of the great classic dessert, crème brûlée, made with an easy posset (that has barely any hand-on time), which I like to serve with easy (no rolling out!) orange shortbread biscuits. Continue reading “Simple orange & raspberry brûlée”

Easy orange shortbread

This is a very simple shortbread, flavoured with orange. The dough is made up in moments, left in the fridge to chill before being sliced thinly and baked. Continue reading “Easy orange shortbread”

Pear and Parmesan sourdough bread

Something of a resurrection has been going on in my kitchen: what I though was dead sourdough starter has now been gently nurtured back to life……

Continue reading “Pear and Parmesan sourdough bread”

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”

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”

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”

Black treacle and Guinness bread

A simple and full-flavoured bread that is perfect with some salted butter, perhaps with seafood (it goes particularly well with crab) or as part of a Ploughman’s platter.  Continue reading “Black treacle and Guinness bread”

Layered pork pithivier pie

This hearty pie, packed with layers of tender herby pork, apples, caramelised onions and mustardy-sausagement is excellent served either hot or cold. Continue reading “Layered pork pithivier pie”