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…

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…

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…

Marjolaine

Week 7: Dessert Week – Marjolaine Target Time: 3 hours No, I didn’t know what was either so a visit to the interweb was called for. If you google Marjolaine you’re likely to come across a number of sites devoted to French lingerie.  Be warned, I’m sure this was not the Marjolaine that Mary had in…

Tomato Cobbler

Autumn is finally closing in but I’ve still a large number of tomatoes to use up.  What better on a chilli October evening than a warming end of summer cobbler? Te cheesy basil scone topping soaks up all of the fresh juices, but the tomatoes are still the starts of the show Serve with a…

Herb & Garlic Fougasse

Week 6 – Botanical Week – Herb Fougasse Generally a strong week for all competitors with  a lot of last minute frantic fanning to cool the loaves in the last minutes and a little confusion over how to slash the bread, the biggest decision seemed to whether or not to add steam. Steam makes for…

Bakewell Tart

Week 5 – Pastry Week.  Technical Challenge – Bakewell Tart As it happens just like Val, Bakewell Tart (pudding) is something that I make quite often.  I’ve a tried and tested recipe which the whole family loves so I’ve no intention of trying out this week’s challenge.  I know it’s a bit of a cop…

Lacy Pancakes

Week 4 – Batter  Technical Challenge – 12 Heart Shaped Lacy Pancakes In the immortal words of Mel & Sue – “Are you a flipper or a tosser?” I can honestly say that I can’t imagine a more futile challenge!  Why on earth spend the time making lacy pancakes?  They’re tougher than normal pancakes/crepes, they…

Savoury Dampfnudel with Kartoffelsuppe

Week 3 – Bread.  Technical Challenge – Dampfnudel What?  I hear you cry!  Like all of the #GBBO contestants this week, these are a new one on me and given the generally poor results (Paul Hollywood described the 3rd place contender as ‘edible’!), it’s fair to say that I’m approaching these with a degree of…

Viennese Whirls

Week 2 – Biscuits. Technical Challenge – Viennese Whirls Much less controversy this week, other than the reciprocal challenge of week 1 – is a Viennese Whirl actually a biscuit? Surely its a small cake?  The origins of this traditional British biscuit seems to have nothing to do with Austria at all, but apparently came…

Chilli Lime Jaffa Cakes

Week 1 – Cakes.  Technical Challenge – Jaffa Cakes First up, and immediately controversy set in – is a jaffa cake actually a biscuit?  Paul Hollywood certainly upset a few people by dunking one in his tea. Technically these Jaffa Cakes seemed to create a few areas of debate – Which way up should a…

Fruit & Ginger Biscuits

A wonderful spicy biscuit just right for the festive season.  Full of festive fruit – I’ve chosen sour cherries and apricots as well as the stem ginger, but you can adjust to taste.  The chocolate is a nice touch, balancing off the treacle, and the sugar roll gives a great crunch.  Adding the oatmeal provides…

Meringue Kisses #WasteNot

If you’ve been following @HughsWarOnWaste you’re probably as angry and annoyed as I am at the unnecessary amount of food that is just being discarded for no good reason. Clearly there are some serious problems with our retailers and suppliers which need to be be addressed, but there’s plenty we can do ourselves to make better use…

Leek, Mushroom & Pancetta Roly Poly

Not just for jam, suet pastry makes a great savoury roly poly too, and this recipe has a very comforting seasonal filling Pre-cooking the leek, mushroom and pancetta means the filling won’t be too wet and the pastry will stay in one piece once baked.  As the filling is quite dry and the dough quite stretchy,…

Suet Pastry

Suet pastry brings back memories of school dinners and is a classic pastry for traditional British pies and puddings, both sweet and savoury.  I just love Jam Roly Poly with fresh custard… Using similar proportions to shortcrust, suet pastry is softer and more absorbent, with a tendency to rise in a pseudo-sponge type fashion.  This…

Rosemary & Lemon Biscuits

A wonderful buttery shortbread biscuit with delicate herbal and citrus flavours.  The dough can be made quite quickly and kept in the fridge or even frozen until required.  By rolling the dough into a log it’s simple to cut off slices and bake fresh biscuits ‘on demand’! Makes 50-60 biscuits Ingredients 360g Butter, softened 130g…

Pumpkin, Pecan & Wensleydale Tarte Tatin

The last of my 3 recipes tarte tatin recipes is much drier than the previous two, with no caramel or sauce.  This recipe relies on the sweetness of the pumpkins, offset by fresh Wensleydale cheese and a punch of mild, fruity chilli.  Throw in a handful of pecans for some crunch and you’re good to…