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…

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…

French Meringue

The first of my 3 meringue recipes is the easiest to make.  It’s also very versatile and can be used for ‘hard’ meringues such as meringue nests or Eton Mess, ‘chewy’ meringue dishes such as pavlova or as a soft pie topping for the likes of a lemon meringue pie – there are some tweaks…

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…

Lemon Curd Eclairs

So I find myself with some double cream and a batch of lemon curd to use up – what better way than to make up a batch of decadent eclairs? Mixing the lemon curd into the cream filling cuts through the richness, making these seem light and refreshing by comparison to some chocolate equivalents.  The…

Choux Pastry

One of the easiest to make, Choux, or Pâte à Choux, provides a light, crisp, fluffy pastry for both sweet and savoury indulgent bakes.  Use for eclairs, profiteroles, choux buns, savoury gougeres and controversially, alternative non-yeasted beignets The wonderful rise you expect in choux comes from the steam as the leavening agent, consequently you need…

Special Lemon Curd

It’s all very well making meringues and macarons – but you do end up with lots of egg yolks.  Of course these can make a great rich custard or ice cream, but if you want to try something different how about making a fruit curd? I’ve made a great lemon curd before, but by using…

Lemon Macarons

A terrific zesty macaroon with a creamy lemon buttercream and surprise lemon curd centre. This recipe uses a French Meringue technique rather than creating an Italian meringue, which is much simpler. Use the spare egg yolks to make your own lemon curd – it’s really easy! Makes 15-20 Ingredients 150g Icing Sugar 75g Ground Almonds…