Vertical Potatoes

So I love Boulangere potatoes but unless they’re properly cooked on a low heat over a long period, often struggle to judge the timings and get them properly and evenly cooked through.  This alternative address potato cooking from a different perspective, literally!  By stacking the slices up on their sides, not only do you get…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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 & Pancetta Risotto

Risotto di Zucca, Pumpkin Risotto is an Italian classic using the colours and flavours of autumn to make what is possibly my favourite risotto of the year.  The addition of pancetta  brings an extra dimension and makes this dish really special You need to use a pumpkin which will start to break down into a…

Apple Tarte Tatin

The one and only Tarte Tatin.  In this recipe I’ve used a full puff pastry, but rough puff should be perfectly fine.  This classic is all about showing off the fruit.  It doesn’t need anything else – just apple and caramel.  The choice of apple is critical here – you need something with a good…

Red Onion Tarte Tatin

A great savoury version of the french classic – the onions should caramelise to give a sticky topping to the final tarte, the sweetness is offset by the balsamic vinegar.  Unlike the apple version there isn’t too much liquid so inverting should’t be too much of a hazard.  Serve with a fresh side salad Makes…

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…

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…