Although I love carrot cake and spices, 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 both sweet and slightly sharp.
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”
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”
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”
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!”
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)”
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”
This is a very simple salad with bags of flavour that is a great way to use courgettes, which are very much in season here in the UK at the moment. Continue reading “Char-grilled courgette salad”
I adore classic dishes and often like nothing more than to bake a true classic without embellishment. However, while clearing out the fridge and thinking how to use up what was left in there, I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to make my twist on the brilliant Quiche Lorraine: so much for unembellishing! Continue reading “Smoked ham and fennel tart: a great “left-overs” dish”
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 getting a neat sticky glaze. Continue reading “Tangy fruit éclairs & tips for a neat glaze finish”
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”
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 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!”
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!”
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!)”
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”
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”
This is a totally fuss-free light meal: freshly made sourdough (toasted), crispy pancetta and a slowly cooked duck egg, with a few fresh chives snipped over the top. When simplicity reigns! Continue reading “A sous-vide duck egg brunch!”
Shatteringly crisp, buttery pastries, glazed with lemon syrup, filled with an almond and vanilla cream and fresh strawberries: what is not to love?
I made a wild mushroom arancini during the quarter-final of Britain’s Best Home Cook, which got great comments from the judges and this is one of my favourite risottos to make. However, with the first of this year’s beetroot being picked on the allotment, I couldn’t wait to use some for my different take on arancini.
A good sausage roll should bring a smile to one’s face and have a very moreish quality: one should never be enough! A far cry from those mass-produced affairs you can buy from high street chain bakeries that are full of squidgy pink “meat”! Continue reading “Herby sausage rolls”
I posted my recipe for Brie scones yesterday, recommending this bacon jam to be served with them. Today, however, I felt the bacon jam deserved its own post. Seriously, this jam is THAT good: or, rather, whenever I have made this over the past decade, people have always asked for a pot of it – one of the best compliments that can be paid!
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!
I adore honey and love using it in both sweet and savoury dishes. The sweetness in this very easy recipe is carefully balanced with the salt and gives a dessert that has always proved hard to resist.
I am not the greatest fan of rhubarb, so finding ways to use up the allotment rhubarb we inherited years ago is a particular challenge for me. However, I do love this particular cake, which I always make around this time of year when my rhubarb is prolific. As an extra bonus, this cakes takes moments to “throw together” before getting baked. Continue reading “Rhubarb and ginger crumble cake”
Last week, the roasts cooked by Dipa and me on Britain’s Best Home Cook were chosen as the judges’s favourites, which was a real thrill: and I was so pleased for Dipa, my wonderful “bench buddy” in the show. So we were given the task of choosing the ingredient for the Ingredients Challenge: crab or cauliflower…. Continue reading ““Britain’s Best Home Cook – episode 4”: our roasts followed by a crab or cauliflower dish”
I love scotch eggs but I don’t make them often enough. A crisp exterior, a well flavoured sausagemeat with an egg in the centre (runny yolk!) add up to give what I think is a lovely few bites. Continue reading “Quail scotch eggs with black pudding”
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”
Episode 2 on Britain’s Best Home Cook proved to be something of a particular challenge for me, with a few elements in my earlier dishes being not quite right: schoolboy errors mainly! But that was part of the entire delicious learning experience. Continue reading “Episode 2 of my time on Britain’s Best Home Cook – the roulade challenge”
A good salad is hard to beat and this very simple salad, made in moments, is an immensely satisfying dish in its own right. It is also a somewhat healthy salad that doesn’t taste as if you are missing out – a bonus in my book! Continue reading “Chicken, peach and Feta salad”
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”
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”
I am thrilled to be able to announce that I am a contestant on BBC’s Britain’s Best Home Cook, with Episode 1 being shown on Thursday 3rd May at 8pm on BBC1. Continue reading “As a contestant on Britain’s Best Home Cook – BBC1”
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……
A simple cake: tangy, refreshing and with the level of indulgence needed to satisfy any cake craving! Continue reading “Lemon and elderflower cake”
If you like cauliflower cheese you really must make this tart!
I have been making this particular tart for several decades and I never tire of it, whether made as one large tart to serve at the table or made into small individual tarts. Savoury comfort food at its best, this tart is perfect served hot with a salad, and whenever I serve it, it always goes down well. Continue reading “Roasted cauliflower cheese tart”
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”
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.
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”
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”
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”
This is a cake that revels in its simplicity (you just mix the sponge ingredients together and bake!) and it tastes wonderful. A very easy crowd-pleaser, it is perfect for so many occasions.
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”
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”
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”
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!
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. Now, many episodes into this series, it is nice that the bakes remain interesting and often inspiring.
Chicken, chorizo and sweetcorn, in a rich sauce and wrapped up in crisp, buttery puff pastry, giving a savoury tart that is wonderful served hot for any meal or cold for a buffet or picnic. Continue reading “Chicken, chorizo & sweetcorn plaited tart”
Savoury crumpets and pikelets are particularly wonderful things to eat when toasted and buttered – whether or not you then want to dress them up further with cream cheese or a poached egg or any manner of adornments. Continue reading “Crumpets and pikelets: cheese & onion flavour”
This is very much a return to basics with the modest crumble, arguably one of the best and easiest comfort foods there is. Whether eaten with ice cream or hot custard, a crumble takes moments to prepare, will bake quite happily without attention and is a joyous way to end any meal.
Continue reading “Blackberry and apple crumble”