I love any form of lemon dessert and these are the ideal tea time treat. There’s a rich buttery shortbread base and a zingy lemon topping.
OMG I love these so much, I have to distribute these among friends and family or else I could easily eat these entirely by myself. If you have better self discipline than I do, these will keep in an airtight box for 2-3 days.
Use a food processor if you have one to make them even easier to make. There’s no need to roll out the shortbread base, just press it into the dish.
For the base
120 Grams Butter
130 Grams Plain flour
30 Grams Icing sugar
For the topping
Juice and finely grated zest of 3 lemons
190 Grams Sugar
65 Grams Plain flour
Extra icing sugar for dusting the finished bars
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees (Celsius) and line a 9 in x 12 in baking tin with parchment paper
To make the base, add the flour, butter, and sugar to a food processor and pulse until it looks like breaks crumbs. If you don’t have a food processor you can use the rubbing in method to combine the butter and flour
Transfer the crumb mix to the baking sheet and press it down. Put in the oven and bake for 15 minutes until light golden brown
Allow the base to cool slightly before making the topping
Using your food processor again, add all the topping ingredients to the bowl and whizz until light and fluffy
Pour the topping on top of the cooled base and bake for 25 minutes (or until the centre doesn’t jiggle
Allow to cool completely before dusting with icing sugar and cutting into bars
This is national pie week, so it inspired me to make my version of a steak and blue cheese pie. Yes, there is a bit of work involved but I guarantee it will taste 100 times better than anything you’ll buy in a supermarket.
Before you blue cheese haters turn your nose up at this. I have served this to people who detest blue cheese and they loved it (admittedly I didn’t tell them there was blue cheese in it until they had finished). So be brave and give it a try, you can try a really mild blue cheese if you’re not sure.
If cheese just isn’t your thing, just leave it out, this recipe will still give you a really tasty steak pie.
I used homemade pastry but you can use shop bought short crust pastry if you’re short on time. I usually make the meat filling and pastry the day before (you can also freeze it if you’re organised enough to make a double batch) .
For the pastry
400 Grams Plain flour
200 Grams Butter (cut into cubes)
1 Tbsp Mustard powder (optional)
Plus 1 Egg yolk (for glazing the pastry before it goes in the oven)
For the filling
800 Grams Stewing steak (cut into 4-5cm chunks)
50 Grams Plain flour
1 Tsp Mustard powder (optional)
1 Onion (finely chopped)
2 Stalks of celery (finely chopped)
1 Tbsp Tomato puree
2-3 Tbsp Oil
100 Grams Stilton or other blue cheese
500-750 ml Beef stock
Salt and Pepper to taste
To make the filling, add a pinch of salt and pepper to flour as well as the mustard power and mix. Coat the cubes of meat in the flour
Add a tablespoon of oil to a large heavy bottomed pan, add the meat in small batches and seal on each side before removing and setting to one side. Continue doing this until all the meat has been sealed, add more oil to the pan if you need to
When all the meat has been sealed add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and gently fry the onion, tomato puree and celery for 5 minutes. Return the meat to the pan and the beef stock. Cover and simmer gently for 60 minutes. Uncover and simmer for a further 30 minutes until the gravy has reduced by at least a third (it should be quite a thick gravy). When the meat is tender remove from the heat and allow to cool completely
I use a food precessor to make pastry, but you can also use the traditional “rubbing in” method if you prefer. Add the butter, mustard powder and flour to the food processor and pulse until it looks like bread crumbs.
Add an egg and pulse, gradually add small amounts of cold water while pulsing until the pastry starts to come together
Turn out on a floured surface and form into a ball. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
While the pastry is chilling, grease a 9in x 9in loose bottom baking tin
Remove the chilled pastry from the fridge. Cut one third of the pastry and set to one side.
I like to roll out pastry between two sheets of baking parchment because I think it makes it easier to transfer to the tin, but you can simply roll it out on a floured surface if you prefer
Roll the pastry out until its about half a centimeter thick and transfer to the prepared tin. Make sure to press it gently into the edges
Spoon your cold meat filling into the pie case and spread evenly
Sprinkle the crumbled cheese on top of the steak filling
Roll out the remaining 1/3 of the pastry and top the pie, brush the edges with a little water and then press the edges of the pastry together to seal (you can crimp or press down with a fork)
Brush with egg yolk and add 7-8 little cuts on the lid to allow steam to escape
Bake in an oven preheated to 180 degrees (Celsius) for 45-50 minutes until deep golden brown
Pineapple and coconut are a marriage made in heaven, and though there is no booze in these, they are still yummy.
These are amazing for a special teatime treat or for dessert with ice cream. You can make the sponge 2-3 days in advance and wrap in cling film, then just add the topping before you’re read to serve. You can even freeze the sponge if you’re super organised (just remember to make sure the sponge is fully defrosted before applying the cream cheese frosting).
I’ve added some toasted coconut as a topping and take a few minutes to toast it, this adds a whole extra element.
I used margerine for the sponge, Mary Berry uses this in her sponge recipes. Since nobody probably knows more about cakes than her, so I’ll go with her advice, but feel free to use butter if you prefer.
Makes 18 squares
For the sponge
Large tin of pineapple junks (drained weight 340 Grams), roughly chopped
350 Grams Caster Sugar
350 Grams Margerine
275 Grams Self Raising flour
100 Grams Dessicated coconut
For the frosting
25 Grams Icing sugar (if you prefer a sweeter frosting you can use more)
200 Grams Cream cheese
25 Grams Dessicated coconut (toasted)
If you have a stand mixer I would recommend using it, but an electric hand whisk is fine too.
Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees (Celsius), and line a 9 in x 12 in baking tin with baking parchment
In a bowl, add the margerine and sugar and whisk together until light and fluffy.
Whisk in one egg at a time, along with a tablespoon of flour. Whisk the remaining flour when they eggs have been added along with coconut (don’t panic if it looks curdled)
Fold in the roughly chopped pineapple, and transfer the mix to your prepared baking tin
Bake for 40-45 minutes
Allow to cool in the tin
For the toasted coconut topping, you can spread the coconut on sheet pan and bake for 5-10 minutes while the sponge is baking. I prefer to do it in a pan, as its easier to check that it’s not going to burn. Once toasted set to one side and allow to cool
Add the icing sugar to the cream cheese and mix well. When the sponge is completely cool spread with the cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with the toasted coconut
Do you have a chocoholic in your life, then this is the recipe for you?
If you want to do something special serve them with creme fraiche or fresh cream and fruit for the perfect breakfast or brunch dish.
They also make a great dessert, served warm with ice cream and you could even spread them with Nutella if you want to make them even more indulgent.
These pancakes freeze well if you want to make a batch and freeze.
Makes 12-15 pancakes
225 Grams Self raising flour
100 Grams Chocolate chips (I used white chocolate chips as I like the contrast)
50 Grams Cocoa powder
1 Tbsp Caster sugar
1 Tsp Baking powder
Large pinch of salt
400 mil Milk
Oil and butter to fry
Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, sugar and salt to a large bowl and combine
Crack the eggs into the bowl and start to whisk, gradually add the milk and whisk until the mixture is smooth and lump free
Add the chocolate chips and mix well
In a non stick frying pan, add a small knob of butter and a teaspoon of oil and heat over a medium to high heat
Ladle in 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture in to the pan and wait until bubbles start to appear on the pancake. This will be the sign that the pancake is ready to turn, cook for a further minute or two. Repeat until you have used up all the batter (I always give it a stir as the chocolate chips will sink to the bottom and you want some chips in every pancake)
Serve with some butter or syrup, or ice cream if you’re making this for dessert
We’re currently getting battered by storms and I couldn’t face going out, so I had to work with what I had.
I love this recipe as it takes minimal effort and can be made with ingredients you normally have in your cupboard. I recommend everyone always has a tin of condensed milk in the cupboard. It can be used for everything from making ice cream, sweets and baking.
These are perfect with a cup of tea or coffee on a miserable day (they also freeze well, just freeze before you decide if you’re going to sprinkle with icing sugar)
390ml Tin of condensed milk
160 Grams Self raising flour
350 Grams Dried fruit (you can use any fruit you like or a combination)
Icing sugar for dusting (optional)
Makes 15 squares
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees (Celsius), and line a 16cm x 24cm baking tin with baking paper
Add the flour, fruit, and condensed milk to a bowl and mix well
Transfer the batter to the baking tin and bake for 25-30 mins
Cool in the tin for 30 minutes, and then add a dusting of icing sugar if you want to make it look pretty. Cut into squares and store in an air tight box for up to 2-3 days
When it’s cold and wet outside its nice to have a recipe that you can rustle up something yummy out of what you have in the cupboards. These are great for brunch, lunch boxes, or just because you want something nice with a cup of tea or coffee.
I’ve used frozen blackberries and orange zest to flavour these. This can be swapped for blueberry and lemon, which is also delicious. Dried fruit works well too.
Makes 12 Muffins
300 Grams Self raising flour
100 Grams Sugar
100 Grams Butter
150 Grams Blackberries (defrost first if using frozen)
1 Tsp Vanilla extract
1 Tsp Baking powder
Zest of one orange
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees (Celsius), line a muffin tin with paper cases
In a mixer or with an electric whisk, cream the butter and sugar together
Add the eggs and mix well before adding the flour (set aside 2 Tbsps of flour), baking powder, orange zest and vanilla and mix until combined (it might look a bit lumpy, but that’s OK)
Toss your fruit in the flour you set aside (this will stop it sinking to the bottom of your muffins). Gently fold the fruit through your muffin mix
Spoon the mix into your muffin cases as evenly as possible and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown
I love Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes, he does some amazing things with vegetables. He’s able to avoid the usual criticisms of vegetarian food, that it can be a bit rabbit foody and uninteresting.
While a lot of people are vegetarian for health reasons, there are times you still want something rich, unctuous and indulgent.
I’ve filed this under Pure Filth due to the amount of cheese involved. The original recipe calls for just Parmesan cheese. I didn’t have enough, so I used half strong Cheddar. This recipe would probably still work well as a way to use up cheese you have hanging about the fridge. The original recipe recommends that it should be served cold or room temperature (I’ve also eaten it hot, as I couldn’t wait on it cooling and it was yummy). I used a mix of nigella (onion seeds) and sesame seeds on the outside, but you could swap out this for just sesame seeds (I think using just nigella seeds would be too much)
2 red onions
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1/2 Tsp Rosemary (optional)
15 Grams Basil
120 Grams Plain flour
1/2 Tsp Baking powder
1/2 Tsp Turmeric
Salt and pepper
Melted butter (for greasing)
1 Tbsp Nigella (onion) seeds
1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
75 Grams Parmesan (grated)
75 Grams Cheddar cheese (grated)
Break the cauliflower into florets and simmer in hot water until soft (but not mushy), drain well and allow to cool
Peel the onions, slice half the first onion into 1/2 cm thick rings and set to one side. Coarsely chop the remaining onions.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the onions over a medium heat for 10 minutes, allow to cool
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees (Celsius), and line the base of a 24cm x 24cm spring form cake tin with baking parchment. Brush the sides of the tin with melted butter and sprinkle with the nigella and sesame seeds
Transfer the cooked onions to a large bowl, add the eggs, herbs, and turmeric and whisk in the flour and baking powder
Stir in the cheese, and then add the cauliflower and mix until the cauliflower is coated in the batter (be careful not to break up the florets, as you want to keep some texture)
Add the batter to your prepared cake tin, making sure you spread it to the edges. Top with the onion circles you set aside earlier and bake for 45 minutes
About a million years ago I lived in Germany, and nobody does Christmas or Christmas confectionery like the Germans.
These rich buttery cookies are the perfect Christmas cookie. I have used pistachios but you could use any type of nut you prefer. These are quite rich, but they aren’t something you’ll be eating everyday. They also make great Christmas gifts.
You could also swap out the vanilla extract for almond essence or pistachio paste if you want to experiment with different flavours.
(Makes 24 cookies)
95 Grams Ground almonds
75 Grams Sugar
270 Grams Plain flour
25 Grams Pistachios (chopped)
225 Grams Butter (chilled and cut into cubes)
1 Tsp Vanilla extract
Add all the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl and combine
Add the vanilla extract and butter, and rub the butter into the dry mix (you can also use a food processor to do this)
When the butter has been rubbed into the dry mix, start pressing together to form a dough
Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for 30 minutes
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees (Celsius), and line a baking sheet with baking parchment
Take the dough out of the fridge and turn out on a lightly floured surface
With your hands, roll the the dough into a sausage and divide into 24 equal parts
Shape each section of dough into a half moon shape with your hands and place on your prepared baking sheet
Bake for 12-15 minutes until the cookies start to brown at the edges
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire wrack
When cool, dust liberally with icing sugar
The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days
I love baking at Christmas, something about the smell of delicious things coming out of the oven adds to my Christmas spirit. It’s also brilliant way to keep little hands busy if you have kids at home.
Shortbread can be fiddly to cut out, but these cookies just need slicing into rounds. What’s even better, you can make the shortbread dough up to 72 hours in advance and let it chill in the fridge and then take the log of dough out to slice and bake them just before you need them. They can be stored in airtight box for up 3 days (they won’t last that long).
I used a food processor to make these, which makes them super quick and easy. If you don’t have one, you can chop the cranberries and mix the butter and flour together using the rubbing in method.
You can also dip or drizzle with dark chocolate if you’re feeling particularly indulgent. However they are still delicious just as they are.
Makes around 30 cookies
70 Grams Dried cranberries
100 Grams Sugar
230 Grams Butter (chilled and cut into cubes)
340 Grams Plain flour
1 Orange (zest and juice)
100 Grams Dark chocolate (optional)
Add the cranberries and about a third of the sugar into a food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds, until the cranberries have started to break up (the shouldn’t be too finely sliced)
Transfer the sugar and cranberry mix to a bowl. Add butter and flour to the food processor and pulse until they look like fine breadcrumbs.
Add the butter and flour mix to the cranberry mix with the rest of the sugar and the orange zest and mix well
Start adding the juice of the orange a little at a time (how much you will need will depend on your flour). Get your hands in the bowl and start pressing the mix together to form a dough
Turn out onto a large sheet of cling film and squeeze into a sausage shape about 4-5cm in diameter. Wrap tightly in the cling film, you can also give it a little roll to help it look a little neater
Chill for at least 30 minutes (but the dough can live in your fridge for 2-3 days if you want to make ahead of time
When you are ready to bake, pre heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a cookie sheet with baking parchment. Remove the cling film from the dough and cut into 1cm thick slices and put on the baking parchment (they will spread a little, so allow some space between them)
Bake for 12-15 minutes, and allow to cool
If you want to dip or drizzle the cookies in chocolate, make sure they are cool. Break the chocolate into small pieces into a microwave proof bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time until melted and then either dip the cookies or drizzle with a spoon