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…

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…

Puff Pastry, Flaky Pastry & Rough Puff Pastry

So you want a light crispy pastry with flaky lamination? You have a choice. 3 recipes with broadly identical ingredients – so what’s the difference and how do you choose? I’ve captured all 3 recipes here but quite often you’ll only see reference to 2. ‘Flaky Pastry’ and ‘Puff Pastry’ are used interchangeable, and given…

French Meringue

The first of my 3 meringue recipes is the easiest to make.  It’s also very versatile and can be used for ‘hard’ meringues such as meringue nests or Eton Mess, ‘chewy’ meringue dishes such as pavlova or as a soft pie topping for the likes of a lemon meringue pie – there are some tweaks…

Choux Pastry

One of the easiest to make, Choux, or Pâte à Choux, provides a light, crisp, fluffy pastry for both sweet and savoury indulgent bakes.  Use for eclairs, profiteroles, choux buns, savoury gougeres and controversially, alternative non-yeasted beignets The wonderful rise you expect in choux comes from the steam as the leavening agent, consequently you need…

Covering the basics

I realised a few months ago that I’ve not really captured any of my basic ‘building block’ recipes here, so over the next few weeks I need to rectify this.  If you trawl through the backlog of posts you’ll find most of the elements covered, but hopefully this will provide an easy reference.  I plan…

Special Lemon Curd

It’s all very well making meringues and macarons – but you do end up with lots of egg yolks.  Of course these can make a great rich custard or ice cream, but if you want to try something different how about making a fruit curd? I’ve made a great lemon curd before, but by using…

Cheese & Pesto Soda Bread

So the Great British Bake Off is underway again in earnest, but this year we’ve had a little wager at work.  A sweepstake where we randomly select a contestant, and if they are eliminated you have to bake for the team following the theme of that week’s programme.  The last 3 left in the sweepstake…

Jerk Seasoning

You can buy Jerk seasoning, but if you have the right dried ingredients it’s easy enough to make yourself.  It keeps well in a sealed container and tends to be used for as a marinade or rub.  If you intend to use it all straight away, you can replace the dried thyme and chilli pepper…

Pre-cooked Chicken for Curry

Stage 2 of creating your restaurant-style curry is to pre-prepare your meat. The target here is to get the meat to a point where the cooking can be completed in a few minutes, and seasoned to a point where the meat doesn’t taste bland in the final curry sauce You can do this in advance…

Base Curry Sauce

Do you want to make a curry just like the ones you get in the restaurant?  Do you want to know how to create a curry in 20 minutes?  Do you have a family with differing tastes and requirements when it comes to Indian food?  Then you need to invest some time up front and…

The Model Restaurant Curry

I first started blogging my recipes many, many years ago on a site I had created which was dedicated to spicy food.  Many of my recipes were focused on creating ‘authentic’ restaurant curries based on experiments which run all the way back to my first ‘real curry’ exposure at University in Bradford.  More recently my…

Alex’s Lemon Curd

Lemon curd is so easy to make, and much nicer than anything you can buy in the shops.  Alex and I made this batch as surprise filler for mummy’s Lemon Drizzle birthday cake. We’ve used a bain marie here to prevent the mix from curdling and turning into a pan of lemon scrambled eggs –…

Turkey Giblet Gravy

So your bird is in the oven, roasting away, and you’re left with a vacuum sealed bag of poultry body parts – what are you going to do with these?  Make a great stock for your gravy, of course.  First of all you have to establish whether or not you want to include the liver….

How to Roast a Turkey

So you’ve bought your turkey – hopefully a free range, hand raised bird from your local farm shop like mine which you know will have the best of flavours.  If so, you’ve probably just collected it a day or so before it’s needed.  If you’ve gone to the supermarket, your turkey is probably frozen.  Make…

Sangre del Diablo

So, my chilli experiment was a success. I’ve been left with bags of chills of all varieties, intensities shapes and sizes.  I’ve got some fresh, many frozen and plenty dehydrated for use in the  months to come.  But I’m left with 1 problem – my Morouga Chillies.  They’re just, well, frightening!  They are unbelievably hot,…

2013 Chillies

2013 Chilli Success! I don’t normally take the liberty of documenting my gardening delights on my recipe blog, but I felt the need to capture this for posterity. Over the past few years I’ve been searching for ‘the perfect chilli’ to grow for my recipes, and this year was no exception. What made this year…

Turkey Gravy

So you’re roasting your turkey to perfection, but what about that gravy?  Well, if you’ve followed the recipe, there’s really nothing to it.  If you follow my turkey roasting recipe, and buy the best quality free range bird, there will probably be no need even to season the gravy- this will be the best you’ve…

Sourdough Starter Complete!

After 9 days, I have officially created a new form of life!  If you’re interested in baking sourdough bread, and want to create your own starter from scratch, why not follow the instructions laid out in my post?  It’s not as hard as you may think – you just need some bread flour, water, a…

Sourdough – Make you own Starter

If you want to make your own Sourdough bread, you’re going to need a Sourdough Starter (a.k.a. Levain, Leaven, Culture, …). The quickest way would be to tap up a friend or acquaintance for a sample of their starter and start to feed that up to make a batch of your own.  However, as the…