Sticky Ginger Beetroots Muffins

I’m about to do 3 things that I normally avoid – publish a recipe which isn’t mine and with very limited tailoring, publish a recipe which I think is still a bit flawed and indulge myself in a little editorial. I found 6 copies of this recipe online, identical or so very close, so it’s…

Brown Tom

This is a recipe which we roll out every year at this time to deal with our heavenly glut of fresh tomatoes.  Frankly I’m quite surprised that I’ve never typed this one up – it’s one of our favourites, it’s really simple and it’s just an amazing comfort food for those end of summer evenings….

Sweet Gherkin Pickle

I’ve been caught out again.  For some reason my petite cornichons have developed early and gone unnoticed – I now have a number of mammoth gherkins to use up, so a last minute change of plan is called for.  This is a fine pickle or relish which is great with sausages or in sandwiches.  If…

Chocolate & Pecan Shortbread Biscuits

A great combination, using quality chocolate such as Green & Blacks Milk Chocolate.  You can also make this with less flour – around 225g, to get a really rich, buttery shortbread which is very, very short and tastes great, but for everyday eating the extra flour makes  for a more practical eating biscuit, and significantly…

Orecchiette with Broccoli

A traditional recipe from Puglia – a region of Italy which (in my opinion) must have the best red wine in the world.  As ever, simplicity rules, using simple seasoning to emphasise the 2 key elements to this recipe – the chewy eggless pasta ‘ears’ and the season fresh broccoli If you’ve prepared the pasta…

Eggless Pasta Dough

This traditional pasta dough often used in southern Italy and Sardinia with no eggs gives a lighter, more chewy pasta which tends to be cooked with sauces to full absorb flavours. This can be used for a variety of traditionally shaped pastas – I use this for Orecchiette Cavatelli Pici Trofie Follow the links above…

Simnel Muffins

Simnel cake is an Easter tradition, and this muffin variant is great on its own or even served as a dessert. Like many people, some of my guests aren’t that keen on Marzipan so I’ve left that out and made a few ‘plain’ versions.  But don’t let that put you off – without the marzipan…

Vertical Potatoes

So I love Boulangere potatoes but unless they’re properly cooked on a low heat over a long period, often struggle to judge the timings and get them properly and evenly cooked through.  This alternative address potato cooking from a different perspective, literally!  By stacking the slices up on their sides, not only do you get…

My Favourite Meatball & Stuffing Recipe

Originally based on a Jamie Oliver recipe, I used a variation of this for Christmas and have never looked back. Why make your own sausage meat?  Well, I think the answer is obvious – who know’s what’s hidden inside the supermarket rubbish these days.  By using good quality ingredients you can create the best flavoured…

Chocolate & Chilli Liqueur

As an aside, you may think that your Chocolate & Chilli Extract is just going to sit on in the kitchen cupboard gathering dust. Why not create a Chocolate & Chilli Liqueur instead? Follow the recipe as for the extract but also add 70g of white sugar (or more, to taste) I’m planning to use…

Chocolate & Chilli Extract

Some years ago I made my own Vanilla Extract – this has been really successful and a much better option than buying over-priced bottles in the supermarket. I’ve applied a similar process to create a Chocolate & Chilli extract – a classic combination which is quite difficult to replicate in baking as the chilli heat…

Chilli Jelly -Choose your weapon…

I’ve a freezer full of chillies which I just won’t get through, so what better thing to do that make chilli jelly – perfect for Christmas stocking fillers! But wait – which chillies to use?  I have vast array of varieties and this recipe can be adapted for all.  In due course I’ll make a…

Spicy Pepper Relish

A full flavoured pepper pickle ideal for everyday use on sandwiches, or as a polite condiment.  The fine texture makes this ideal for spreading but prepare the peppers by hand for a more chunky version.  This makes for a warming heat – adjust the quantity of chillies up or down to taste.  The cayenne-type chillies…

Custard and Creme Anglaise

Subtly different, Creme Anglaise is both richer and more temperamental than a good pouring custard. The differences in preparation are really quite trivial, and for all but the grandest f entertaining, the custard alternative is probably the best bet.  It will give greater volume and much less chance of splitting I also use an alternative…

Spotted Dick

It’s freezing cold and miserable outside, time for another winter classic – Spotted Dick (I can hear you giggling – stop it!) A really easy dessert to prepare requiring minimal effort but quote a long steaming time. Use a dried fruit mix of your choice – stick with the traditional sultana or be a bit…

My Favourite Chilli Con Carne

My all time favourite comfort food recipe, cooked in advance makes an ideal as a mid-week winter warmer I’m amazed that I’ve yet to write this recipe up.  It’s been a mainstay ever since I went to university many years ago and was really my entry into spicy cooking.  I used to head out to…

Jamaican Ginger Cake

I used to love Jamaican Ginger Cake.  I’ve had a few attempts in the past at recreating this iconic recipe and this is by far the closest I’ve got. Absolutely luscious sticky ginger sponge, perfect drizzled with a little orange glaze icing or served warm with custard or ice cream Makes a 2lb Loaf Ingredients 225g Plain…

Victoria Sandwich

Week 9: The Final – Mary’s Victoria Sandwich At last, a technical challenge which aligns with the promise it set out at the very start of the series, to showcase the basics of baking.  And it doesn’t get much more  basic than this weeks instructions:- “Make a Victoria Sandwich using two 20cm tins, filled with…

Mini Lemon and Plum Savarin

Week 8: Patisserie Week – Savarin It’s semi-final week, and I’ve been away, so this post is really quite late (photos to follow – sorry) A ‘high end’ desert, the Savarin is a yeast leavened sponge saturated in alcohol based syrup, usually served with cream and fruit.  Paul’s Savarin was exactly this.  His orange sponge…

Tudor Jumbles

Week 8: Tudor Week – Tudor Jumbles 16th century knot biscuits cooked to a simple, representative recipe.  The contestants cooked 12 Jumbles – 6 delicate Celtic knots and 6 denser knot balls, which should be crisp on the outside and softer in the centre These may have been an example of Elizabethan decadence but these…