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…

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 Liqueur

As an aside, you may think that your Chocolate & Chilli Extract is just going to sit on in the kitchen cupboard gathering dust. Why not create a Chocolate & Chilli Liqueur instead? Follow the recipe as for the extract but also add 70g of white sugar (or more, to taste) I’m planning to use…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Tropical Fruit Pavlova

I can’t really take much credit for this one – Alex saw a picture of something very similar in a Tescos magazine and immediately declared that this is what she wanted for her birthday party, instead of a cake.  So yesterday Alex had her very first ‘Pizza and Pavlova Party’ Well, I have to admit these…

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…

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…

Sweet Thai Chilli Macarons – Flora’s Revenge!

And so another series of Great British Bake Off has finished, the nation has finally finished mopping up those tears after Nadiya’s closing speech. A worthy winner from 3 impressive finalists, but part of me wishes Flora had made it through the semis. Also, her desire to plaster everything in sight with macarons was her…

Spicy Caribbean Salsa

A spicy fruit based salad to accompany my Caribbean pork dish This salsa needs assembling quite quickly to prevent the fruit from discolouring – getting it mixed with the lime juice will help retain all of the vibrant colour and flavours Ingredients 2 ripe Avocado, stoned & peeled 3 firm Bananas Pineapple chunks, diced 1…

Coconut Rice & Beans

A nice spin on ‘rice and peas’ which accompanies Caribbean dishes very well.  When you get everything into the pan you’ll be wondering what you’ve done wrong – it looks like a rather odd pudding rice dish, but have faith & do not stir!!! Warning!!! Do not stir this dish – it will break up…

Chicken Korma

Just to show that you can use this method to produce a curry with lots of rich sauce, he’s one of my Chicken Korma’s.  You should be aware that Korma’s don’t usually tick my boxes – I tend to find them too sweet, too rich and too mild for my tastes.  This recipe addresses these…

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…

Cranberry & Cherry Hot Cross Buns

OK, so I’m a couple of days late – these should have been ready on Good Friday but there was so much going on!  A great variant of the traditional Hot Cross Bun, this uses alternative fruits for a alternative the the seasonal favourite.  If you wish, replace the ginger and dried fruit* with 160g…