Baking is something I save for one of two occasions; a rainy day (classic excuse) or a day where my eyebrows have been almost continuously furrowed. With the return of the Great British Bake Off on our screens I felt it was high time I got out my scales and greaseproof paper to make something truly indulgent. Well if you're only going to bake occasionally then why make something healthy? Millionaire's Tart is possibly my favourite tart of all time.
Back in July I was at a food festival and got talking to a company called Baked In. They sell the dried ingredients you need to make a cake, all pre-weighed and ready to go. They asked me if I'd like to give one of their mixes a try, the sticky toffee and date was calling out to me so I grabbed a bag and headed off looking forward to putting on my apron. Since then we have had some very lovely hot weather and baking on a hot day wasn't appealing to
A crumble to me has a whiff of autumn about it. Apple crumble is a classic pudding but a while ago I tried a strawberry crumble and it was so good I couldn't wait to give it a try myself. This is a pudding form of my previous cocktail post; a mixture of strawberries, mint and elderflower syrup but under a biscuity crust. The ingredients in this crumble scream of summer and the smell of cooking strawberries and buttery crumble is irresistible.
There is a guilt associated with serving up a berry laden pudding. Someone is always going to end up with more fruit or more of one kind of fruit than everyone else. You could of course try making a coulis to atop your dessert of choice but sometimes it's not the most attractive option; or the most sensible, no one wants a soggy shortbread stack. To counteract any unfair fruit distribution I scatter a few fruits onto the pudding and then serve the
It's that rhubarb time of year. A little later than last year but it's finally arrived and I am exceptionally pleased as it's one of my absolute favourite ingredients. I love the smell, texture, flavour and sourness and the fact that it can be pink, white, stripy, green, tall or stumpy. To me it's also a sign of changing seasons; its appearance in the garden and on market stalls tells me that there's plenty more to look forward to in the coming months.
Oh rhubarb. Not only the choice swear word for the less potty mouthed among us but also a rather delectable vegetable. I know it's sort of a fruit but as it doesn't have any seeds I will class it as a vegetable. I acquired my most recent handful of stalks after spending a lovely morning at a local farm shop (more about that in a separate post). I was even allowed to pull this straight out of the ground myself which was a rewarding, if somewhat exhausting,
I find I get a craving for tropical flavours this time of year; pineapple, mango, dragon fruit and such but it's a bit of a bore to just eat it raw. I have been enjoying a coconut yoghurt with banana for breakfast but I wanted to make something creative with it. I do like yoghurt on its own but I think it gives a great flavour to icings, ice creams and other desserts. I like the tang and interest it brings and so it was high time I got my Hawaiian
January is the month in which we all need a bit of sunshine. When the clouds fail to part sometimes you need to rely on a plateful of bright beams to keep you going. The dark mornings and evenings are easily punctuated by citrus fruits; particularly the blood orange. If anything is going to brighten a chilly evening it's a platter of thinly sliced citrus fruits covered in a decadent Champagne sabayon with hints of mint and pomegranate.
A picnic must always have something sweet to round it off; a jam tart or two, some chocolate biscuits or even a slice of cake. This being an autumn picnic meant that the sweet must have a seasonal feel. Pears were an obvious choice but you can't finish a picnic with just a pear that would be akin to having a carrot instead of a birthday cake. No, these pears needed some warmth and caramelised pears seemed just the ticket.
Parkin is a traditional
Pears are funny things. They make us wait for that moment of perfect ripeness and when it occurs we have to eat them immediately. I had two conference pears in my fruit bowl. Every time I went into the kitchen I could see their skinny, stalked tops just poking out over the bowl looking at me, testing my patience. These pears seemed to be staying forever firm; even after four days there wasn’t a whisper of softness.
Pears poached in red wine is