Eggless Pasta Dough

This traditional pasta dough often used in southern Italy and Sardinia with no eggs gives a lighter, more chewy pasta which tends to be cooked with sauces to full absorb flavours. This can be used for a variety of traditionally shaped pastas – I use this for Orecchiette Cavatelli Pici Trofie Follow the links above…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Blind Baking

Blind Baking is a technique commonly used with both ‘normal’ and sweet shortcrust pastry.  It ensures a perfectly cooked pastry every time without the infamous ‘soggy bottom’ There are 2 circumstances when you’ll need to ‘blind bake’ your tart of flan case – either when your filling needs much less cooking time than the pastry (or no…

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…

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…

The Model Restaurant Curry

I first started blogging my recipes many, many years ago on a site I had created which was dedicated to spicy food.  Many of my recipes were focused on creating ‘authentic’ restaurant curries based on experiments which run all the way back to my first ‘real curry’ exposure at University in Bradford.  More recently my…

Turkey Giblet Gravy

So your bird is in the oven, roasting away, and you’re left with a vacuum sealed bag of poultry body parts – what are you going to do with these?  Make a great stock for your gravy, of course.  First of all you have to establish whether or not you want to include the liver….

How to Roast a Turkey

So you’ve bought your turkey – hopefully a free range, hand raised bird from your local farm shop like mine which you know will have the best of flavours.  If so, you’ve probably just collected it a day or so before it’s needed.  If you’ve gone to the supermarket, your turkey is probably frozen.  Make…

Turkey Gravy

So you’re roasting your turkey to perfection, but what about that gravy?  Well, if you’ve followed the recipe, there’s really nothing to it.  If you follow my turkey roasting recipe, and buy the best quality free range bird, there will probably be no need even to season the gravy- this will be the best you’ve…

How to Roast a Turkey

Keep it simple for the best roast turkey.  A little basting, preferably overnight, then a hot roast in the oven.  Nothing flash – let the best quality free range meat speak for itself.  Try and get something from a local farm shop – it’s well worth it! I like this hot roast – it takes…

Sourdough Starter Complete!

After 9 days, I have officially created a new form of life!  If you’re interested in baking sourdough bread, and want to create your own starter from scratch, why not follow the instructions laid out in my post?  It’s not as hard as you may think – you just need some bread flour, water, a…

Sourdough – Make you own Starter

If you want to make your own Sourdough bread, you’re going to need a Sourdough Starter (a.k.a. Levain, Leaven, Culture, …). The quickest way would be to tap up a friend or acquaintance for a sample of their starter and start to feed that up to make a batch of your own.  However, as the…

Puff Pastry

Yes, you can but it in the shops, and its very good.  But it’s really not that difficult to make yourself – it just requires a little planning as the end-to-end time is quite long, even though there’s not a huge amount of effort involved. Puff pastry gives a more consistent result than a rough-puff…

Madeira Cake

Madeira Cake is a classic rich, golden, moist sponge flavoured with lemon.  Traditionally served with afternoon tea and often with a glass of Madeira, hence the name.  Today, Madeira cake is often used as a base for many other recipes requiring a sponge base such as a trifle, tiramisu or this wonderful zuccotto, but you…

Make your own… Filo Pastry

Filo Pastry is readily available, pre-rolled into fine sheets, generally to be found in the freezer section of your local supermarket.  It’s incredible thin, which makes for a crisp pastry shell, and consequently everyone assumes it must be really difficult to make.  After all, if you struggle to make shortcrust pastry without filling it full…

Seasonal Beetroot and how to cook them

Beetroot is a much maligned and generally underrated vegetable.  It is incredibly versatile, given it’s sweet but earthy flavour, intense (and wide range of) colours and terrific texture, can be used from everything from chocolate beetroot cake to beetroot risotto, Super-nutritional sports drinks to ice cream.  A number of high profile celeb chefs have been…