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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Tomato & Red Onion Tart

Another great way to use up all of those seasonal tomatoes.  Here I’ve used my 3 favourite varieties – Floridity, Sugar Gloss and Sungold The slow roasting intensifies the flavours and turns this into a real taste of summer For the cheese I’ve used a mix of Cheddar and Parmesan. Make your own Puff Pastry…

Brown Tom

This is a variation of an old family recipe that makes excellent use of all of those ripe tomatoes at this time of the year. A really simple and frugal dish that makes the most of one of my seasonal favourites. Serves 4 Ingredients 100g Pancetta, chopped 1 Red Onion, diced Pinch of Salt 2…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Cheese, Leek & Bacon Flan

I’m not a fan of quiches as I really don’t like eggs.  But as a child Mum used to make a great cheese and onion flan which was quite dry without the eggy texture and  I really loved it.  This is something between the two.  Trust me – you don’t need the egg, the filling…

Redcurrant Meringue Pie

So we know how to make our sweet shortcrust pastry and our French meringue, and I’ve got a freezer full of redcurrants.  Sounds like Redcurrant Meringue Pie… OK, I know lemon is more traditional, but see this as a contemporary spin or if you like, I just wanted to cook something pink. Ingredients 1 batch…

Pate Sucree

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry or Pate Sucree is an enriched dough and the pasty of choice for sweet flans and tarts. How enriched, how sweet and how short all seem to be a matter for debate.  At the end of the day, much of this is down to personal choice. I’ve stuck to some basic principles…