Simple Wholemeal Apple Cake

Simple wholemeal apple cake - easy to make, moist wholemeal cake filled with fresh apple and spices

As much as I enjoy making towering, intricately decorated layer cakes, the cakes that I most enjoy eating, and crave most often, are generally a far simpler affair. The kind of cakes that aren’t too pretty to look at, but you feel much less guilty about eating a massive wodge of for a mid-morning snack. I had been craving apple cake for a couple of weeks and when the tree in the garden yielded a few ready-to-pick apples that weren’t great for eating fresh, but were good for cooking with, I finally got round to satisfying the craving with this simple wholemeal apple cake. (more…)

Spiced Roast Pumpkin Soup With Garlic Croutons, Feta & Crispy Fried Sage

Spiced roast pumpkin soup with garlic croutons, feta cheese and crispy fried sage

The weather suddenly got properly chilly and Autumnal, so much so that we have (reluctantly) had to switch on the heating. It is definitely the time of year for hot drinks, cosy jumpers and hearty soups. Although I do make soup year round, it becomes much more of a staple in the colder months, and I make at least one batch a week; it is so easy to make, healthy, filling and is just the thing to warm you up after a wet, chilly dog walk. (more…)

Norwegian Fjord Trout


Last week I attended the Good Housekeeping Institute in London for the UK launch of Norwegian fjord trout, a unique and versatile salty-sweet water trout which until now has not been readily available in the UK. It has a mild, delicate flavour and melt in the mouth texture and it doesn’t taste ‘fishy’, which makes it perfect for people who are a bit on-the-fence about fish. It is also incredibly healthy, it’s an oily fish which stores it’s fat mainly in it’s belly which means that the flesh is lean and full of protein, vitamins and omega. (more…)

Meringue Bone Palace Halloween Cake

meringue bone palace halloween cake - moist chocolate cake filled with vanilla swiss meringue buttercream and raspberry jam covered in meringue bones with berry coulis blood on the side

So now it’s October (how already?!) I think it’s acceptable to start posting Halloween things. I love coming up with Halloweeny bakes, it’s a chance to let my gothic creativity run wild and I have so many ideas that there’s no way I’ll be able to make them all. I actually made this cake a couple of weeks ago but have been waiting till October to post it; I wasn’t quite sure what to call it – meringue bone garden? Pile? Graveyard? In the end I went with palace but any of the former would fit. Basically it’s a chocolate cake filled with vanilla swiss meringue buttercream and raspberry jam, covered in meringue bones with berry coulis ‘blood’ on the side. (more…)

Apple Crumble Ice Cream

apple crumble ice cream

I did a very grown up thing last week – I bought a house with my fiance! Granted, it’s a badly designed, hideously decorated, 1960’s build, terraced ex-council house but hey, it’s ours and it’s a start. We also already live in it so there’s no need to move house, and now that we own it we can do something about the hideous decor (a visual onslaught of colours, patterns and textures, including the most intricately patterned artex ceiling I have ever seen (painted peach….the horror!)). Doing it up is going to be a very slow and frustrating process involving a huge amount of wallpaper stripping; it also needs a new kitchen and bathroom, but I think we may have to save up a bit before we can afford such drastic improvements so sadly I’ll have to put up with my awful oven for a while longer (sob). (more…)

Tangzhong Chocolate Swirl Buns & VonShef Stand Mixer Review

tangzhong chocolate swirl buns

One of the biggest powerhouses in any baker’s arsenal is the stand mixer, it renders a great many tasks considerably easier and enables you to do other things whilst at the same time mixing cake batter, making meringue or kneading bread dough. Unfortunately they are generally prohibitively expensive, which is why when my (second-hand and gifted) KitchenAid mixer exploded I was unable to afford to replace it and have been without one for a long time. I still have it, sat in a cupboard awaiting the time when I get round to finding a replacement circuit board for it, but I keep forgetting to do so. (more…)

Tangy Lemon & Lime Curd


I don’t make fruit curd very often, for the simple reason that I cannot resist eating the lot. No word of a lie, I ate this entire batch of lemon & lime curd by myself in under a week… It is dangerously addictive stuff! It also happens to be very simple to make and amazingly versatile, not to mention so much nicer than shop-bought. It is fantastic just piled generously on toast, but also works well as a cake, tart, doughnut or eclair filling, swirled through ice cream, yoghurt or cheesecake, on pancakes, waffles or scones and can even be used in steamed puddings and souffles; the list goes on. (more…)

Blueberry Banana Buckwheat Layer Cake

Blueberry banana buckwheat layer cake with vanilla mascarpone cream frosting (gluten-free)

Not gonna lie, I chose the ingredients for this cake based on the fact that I liked the alliteration of ‘blueberry banana buckwheat’; so it’s a good job that they turned out to be delicious together! I’d had a bag of buckwheat flour sat in the cupboard for a while that I had been meaning to bake with, and a couple of over-ripe bananas in the fruit bowl just begging to be made into cake. The resulting banana buckwheat cake was delicious as is, but I couldn’t resist fancying it up a bit with the addition of vanilla mascarpone cream, jam and fruit. As mentioned above, I chose blueberries purely for the alliteration, and they worked perfectly, but strawberries, raspberries or a combination of the three would all also work just as well. (more…)

Spinach, Ricotta & Feta Quiche (Spanakopita Tart)

Spinach, ricotta and feta quiche (spanakopita tart)

One of the ingredients that I always make sure my freezer is stocked with is frozen spinach; I even prefer it to fresh spinach as the fresh stuff cooks down so much that you have to buy a vast quantity of it to end up with barely any once cooked. I use it for a variety of things, my favourites being spinach pesto and various variations of spanakopita – Greek spinach cheese pie. Spanakopita is traditionally made with homemade filo (phyllo) pastry, though shop bought can absolutely be used as well; but I was in the mood for something different so tweaked my usual recipe to turn it into a quiche instead. (more…)

Chocolate Porter (Or Stout) Ice Cream & A Giveaway

milk chocolate porter (or stout) beer ice cream with porter caramel sauce

It was only a few years ago, while managing a country pub, that I started to like beer; before then I had found the taste too bitter. But maybe something to do with the fact that I was serving many pints of it a day and taking care of the casks in the cellar changed my mind, and I grew to appreciate the bitterness. I have not however managed to grow to like drinking stout or porter, it is just too strong for me; but, pair it with chocolate and add to to ice cream (or cake) then it is a whole different story. Used in this way the deep, rich flavour complements and accentuates the chocolate and adds a malty flavour without overpowering. It is in short, utterly delicious.


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