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…

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 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…