Pecan & Raisin Banana Loaf

As good as they are, after 12 months of smoothies for breakfast, they’ve started to loose their novelty value and I’ve found myself with an increasing number of over-ripe bananas.  You know the kind – now just brown skinned but black, with soft, squishy flesh which pours out!!! This recipe is a superb way to…

Oat & Cranberry Cookies with Pumpkin Seeds

This is a really easy recipe which you can make quickly with store cupboard ingredients I often find Oat & Raisin cookies a bit chewy and homogenous for my tastes, so came up with this version which has a bit more texture and a great tang from the cranberries Makes: 16-24 Ingredients 75g Butter 1…

Chocolate Beetroot Muffins

So if you’ve not guessed already, I’ve a garden full of beetroot which needs using.  The varieties I grow stand well in the ground all season without going woody, which means I don’t tend to make lots of sowings but it does mean that by the end of the year I’ve got some massive beetroot….

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…

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…

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…