Autumn has arrived in my kitchen! This is one of my favourite times of year and I just love the abundance of fruit that fall brings with it. This apple and caramel cake is a perfect everyday cake made super special topped with apple cider caramel and roasted Pink Lady crisps!Read More
I didn't need much of an excuse to whip up a batch of cupcakes. Then I found out it was National Cupcake Week and it was just like kizmet!! Hello, Nutella and Almond Cupcakes with Whipped Chocolate Cream Frosting :) Where have you been all my life?!Read More
Clinging to the summer days of warm winds and the beautiful sunshine of our holidays, these mini cherry clafoutis are perfectly delicious. Light, almondy and studded with rich red cherries - the perfect treat!Read More
We're enjoying an Indian summer here in London and this beautifully light semifreddo is a perfect refresher for the heat. Sweetened with orange blossom honey and packed with raspberries and pistachios, this is a lovely treat for a warm sunny day before autumn sets in!Read More
I love the combo of raspberries and pistachios and they are just divine in these lovely millefeuilles. Pistachio paste can be quite an investment but it's so simple to make and transforms your cream into the sublime! Combined with raspberries and puff pastry, your friends and family will love you forever :)Read More
Panzanella has been the taste of my summer. Garlanded with the ripest of peaches, tomatoes and avocadoes, on a bed of the most delicious ciabatta and scattered with torn mozarella and parmaham rosettes. A wonderful base recipe for you to create your own personalised panzanella!Read More
Coconut Sago Pudding is a beautiful asian fusion dish inspired by our travels in the southern hemisphere. Very similar to rice pudding, it has the delicious flavour of coconut and is sweetened with honey. Eaten warm it's just amazing!Read More
Beautiful Bellini Jellies bringing a touch of summer to your dinner parties! Fresh peaches and mint leaves encased in a jelly of prosecco and peach juice. Perfect to share with friends :)Read More
Nothing beats homemade shortbread. This is my very favourite recipe -- a lovely rich buttery shortbread with a delightful crunch. It's especially decadent when topped with this beautiful rich lemon frosting made with freshly squeezed lemon juice. It's just divine!Read More
This Lavender Lemonade is the perfect drink for long, lazy days in the sunshine. Freshly squeezed lemon juice and water with a stunning lavender sugar syrup over ice. Deliciously refreshing!Read More
Slightly in love with my mini skillet pans and these delicious Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies baked perfectly in them! Crunchy yet squidgy cookies bejewelled with gooey chocolate pieces. How can you resist?Read More
Perfect for summer days, this beautiful Nectarine Rose & Custard Tart is the best for entertaining family and friends. A sweet pastry filled with whole egg custard and topped with slivers of sweet, ripe nectarines. Absolutely delicious and look stunning!Read More
Delightful mini doughnuts packed full of banana and chocolate chips, then topped with the best caramel sauce EVER. These doughnuts are so lovely and light (I can't wait to try them topped with chocolate sauce and sprinkles!)Read More
This super dense chocolate cake covered with a rich fudgy sauce is perfect for afternoon tea or a cosy supper with friends. This is my first bake from John Whaite's Perfect Plates in 5 Ingredients and features a rather odd secret ingredient. Can you guess what it is?Read More
Ultimate Chocolate Brownies. A bold claim but these chocolate brownies are super dense, truffle-like and the most chocolatey brownies I've ever tasted!Read More
I'm so excited to have finally made a cake from Tessa Huff's Layered. I've been seeing my favourite bloggers making Tessa's different cakes to celebrate the launch of her book and am happy that I finally got to taste one for myself. And it's divine! This semi-naked London Fog Cake is a beautiful chocolate cake covered and filled with Earl Grey Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Super yummy!Read More
This delicious Salted Caramel Magic Custard Cake is perfect for sharing with friends this bank holiday. Layers of Genoise sponge, silky caramel custard and a moist cake base. And the magic? All this from one simple batter!Read More
The great thing about living in London (and one of my favourites) is that we're so close to amazing cafes, shops and restaurants within a stone's throw of us. It's perfect if you run out of some ingredient, fancy popping out for a drink with friends and we walk everywhere. The cafe culture has certainly given us fantastic eateries, delis and patisseries!
We have a cafe close to us which is the place for meeting up with friends for a cuppa and enjoying some of their freshly baked goods. But as much as I enjoy eating their wares, it always inspires me to want to make my own versions at home. One of my lunchtime favourites is the Spinach and Feta Roll and now I've created a homemade version, I can see it frequenting my kitchen on a regular basis :)
This little roll is super tasty and is filled with a mixture of spinach and feta, rolled in a blanket of puff pastry and then topped with eggwash, parmesan and fennel. They are simple to make but are delicious and you can have them freshly baked on your table in next to no time. I've never been a fan of aniseed but the fennel really does add a lovely twist to these and with the parmesan, a perfect crisp exterior to the little rolls.
We start by making the filling. I use frozen spinach and cook it in a small saucepan with a couple of tablespoons of water for around 5 minutes or until the spinach fully defrosts. Then we need to remove some of the water, so it's placed in a sieve and the water squeezed out by pressing the spinach against the sieve sides with the back of a spoon. Once we've removed most of the water, the spinach goes into a small bowl. The chopped feta is added and mashed together with the spinach using a fork. You're not looking for a puree consistency, but for it to be combined with small chunks of feta remaining. Next we season with a dash of nutmeg and a little salt and pepper.
Once the filling is ready, we unwrap our puff pastry and lay it on a lightly floured work surface. The pastry needs to be cut in half horizontally to make two rectangles (each rectangle will make two rolls) and then half of the filling is laid half-way down, in a line horizontally across the first rectangle. The pastry is rolled up from the bottom side to the top to make a long sausage roll and then sealed with eggwash. This is then repeated with the second piece of pastry.
Finally we brush the tops of the rolls with egg wash and then grate parmesan across the surface and sprinkle fennel seeds on top. They're popped into the oven for around 15-20 minutes. Once they're out of the oven, the rolls can be cut in half to make four rolls for sharing (or you can eat one long roll if you're really hungry!)
When we all lead such busy lives, it's nice to be able to treat yourself to a tasty lunch which doesn't take too much time to prepare but which has lots of amazing flavours and is freshly baked.
And if you're working away from home, the rolls can also be made the previous day ready for you to take with you.
Nothing's better than one of these rolls on the run!
Spinach & Feta Rolls
Makes 4 rolls (1 roll per person)
- 200G FROZEN SPINACH
- 120G FETA, CRUMBLED INTO PIECES
- 320G PUFF PASTRY
- 1 TSP NUTMEG
- SALT AND PEPPER (for seasoning)
- 1 EGG, LIGHTLY BEATEN (this is the eggwash)
- 2 TBSP FENNEL SEEDS
- 2 TBSP PARMESAN, GRATED
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (fan)
- Place the frozen spinach into a small saucepan with a couple of tablespoons of water and heat on a medium heat until the spinach is completely defrosted
- Transfer the spinach to a sieve and using a fork, press the spinach against the sides of the sieve to remove as much water as possible
- Put the spinach in a small bowl and add the crumbled feta cheese
- Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste and then combine them with a fork -- you're looking for the ingredients to be combined but not over-mixed as you don't want a puree consistency
- Remove your puff pastry from the fridge
- Lay it on a lightly floured board with the long sides at the top and bottom of your board
- Cut the pastry in half down the middle from left to right so you have two pieces of pastry
- Half-way down each piece of pastry, spread a line of filling evenly from left to right
- Roll each piece of pastry from top to bottom so you have a long sausage roll and then seal the pastry with a line of eggwash
- Brush the top of each roll all over with eggwash, then grate parmesan across the surface and then sprinkle the fennel seeds on top
- Place on baking paper on baking trays and then bake for around 15-18 mins -- when they're ready the tops should be a lovely golden brown
- Remove from the oven and eat immediately -- or allow to cool and eat the next day :)
One of my favourite puddings ever is Fruit Crumble. It doesn't really matter that much what you pair the Crumble with (although my absolute favourite is apple and raspberry), it just needs as much flakey crumble as possible on the top (generally two to three times the amount regular recipes would suggest!) I always think of it being an autumnal-going-into-winter pud but I have a recipe for you that transforms it into a light, beautifully fresh cake that brings with it the sweetness and summery fruits that are just coming into season.
These Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble Muffins are simply divine. Strawberries are so sweet at the moment and they add freshness and juice to the final cakes. The cakes themselves have a delicate crumb and with the moistness of the strawberries they are quite fragile. I tried making them straight in a muffin tin, but having a wrap around the outside really helps hold them together, although you could use cupcake papers instead. The idea for this came from my Apple and Rhubarb Crumble Cake which I was going to make the other day and then I decided I'd love to put some fruity strawberries into it instead. They are are stirred through the batter and then topped with rhubarb and finally the crumble.
The hardest part of making these muffins is the chopping! I suggest cutting up the fruit into very small pieces, particularly the rhubarb. And I always start making these by doing this job first. My recommendation is around four large strawberries for six muffins and one stick of rhubarb. Then I make them crumble -- you can either rub the butter into the flour and sugar with your fingers or blitz them in the food processor. The muffin batter itself is very simple. We cream the butter and brown sugar, then add the eggs and vanilla. Once they're all incorporated, sift the flour over the top, mix thoroughly and then finally stir through the milk and strawberries.
I use an ice cream scoop to fill my muffin cases and once the mixture is divided evenly amongst the cases, sprinkle the tops with rhubarb and then finally the crumble (and I like to completely cover the top of the muffin with the crumble layer, so you can't see any fruit peeking out). They should be baked for around 25 minutes and you can check them as you would with any other cake, by checking a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Once they're baked and out of oven, we leave them in the tin for around 10 minutes and then lift them out carefully to cool on a rack. I recommend leaving them in their wrappers for stability -- they do firm up as they get cooler but they are at their most delicious warm from the oven.
These muffins are perfect for coffee mornings, lunch or afternoon tea. They do have a sweet sugary hit from the crumble which might seem a bit over-indulgent for breakfast, but just amazing for brunch!
You could kid yourself that the fruit in them makes them healthy, but when something tastes this good, you should just enjoy it for what it is :)
Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble Muffins
Makes 6 muffins
- 50G SELF-RAISING FLOUR
- 40G SOFT BROWN SUGAR
- 1/2 TSP CINNAMON
- PINCH OF SALT
- 40G BUTTER
- 100G BUTTER
- 100G SOFT BROWN SUGAR
- 2 EGGS
- 2 TSP VANILLA ESSENCE
- 175G SELF-RAISING FLOUR
- 2 TBSP MILK
- 4 LARGE STRAWBERRIES
- 1 STICK CHOPPED RHUBARB
- Start by putting all the crumble ingredients in a bowl and rub the mixture with your fingertips until a fine crumble has formed and set this aside
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees (fan)
- Line your muffin tin with paper cases
- Chop the rhubarb into small pieces and set aside
- Chop the strawberries into small pieces and set aside
- Cream the butter and sugar
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla
- Sift in the flour
- Fold in the strawberries and milk
- Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin wrappers
- Sprinkle the rhubarb over the top
- Scatter the crumble over the top, ensuring that no fruit can be seen
- Bake them for around 20-25 mins (you can test the muffin centres with a skewer to ensure they're cooked)
- Enjoy them warm from the oven for the best taste experience!
- If you're keeping some for another day, store them in an airtight container -- I always like to freshen up the muffins with around 10-15 seconds in the microwave :)
This week sees my little boy go on his first residential course with school. He's eight and so, so excited. Midnight feasts, fun activities, outdoor pursuits, sleepovers, disco dancing. He can't wait; I just know I'm going to be in pieces! So I'm over-compensating and spoiling my boys with some yummy goodies for the next few days. Cue these delicious Chocolate Financiers.
I love patisserie. It makes me think of Paris and the counters of stunning old-fashioned patisseries over-brimming with pastries, tarts, custard, cream, fruit. So many amazing delicacies to sample but the word patisserie when it comes to home-baking can be quite scary. You imagine huge complicated recipes with lots of stages and the truth is that it can be like that. But there are other more simple bakes that are much more manageable and don't need huge reams of fancy equipment or two days to prepare. The most important thing you need to do is follow the ratios of the ingredients and measure them accurately. If you do that, you too can create their delicious delicacies.
These Chocolate Financiers are incredible. Traditionally they would be little rectangles (like little loafs) but I don't have that tin and am already packed to the rafters with baking equipment and different types of tins. So I used my Friand tin where the shapes are little ovals - but you could also make these in cupcake tins or whatever you have to hand. Just be sure to adjust the baking times accordingly if your individual Financiers are a lot larger or smaller than mine.
I wanted to make chocolate financiers since my boys love chocolate and this is a special treat for them, after all. I would usually have put pistachios into the cake batter but my boys aren't fond of nuts in the cake itself so I held back and sprinkled them over the top and this way they can removed later! What I did do, was add a few chocolate chips onto the top of the batter before popping them in the oven and they melted deliciously.
So the first thing we do is preheat the oven and grease the cavities of your chosen tin well. Then melt the butter and vanilla in a saucepan over a medium heat until melted. Keep the butter over a medium heat until it turns brown (around 5 minutes), being careful not to let it burn. This makes a buerre noisette and when making blonde financiers (ie not chocolate ones) this gives them their golden colour. Once brown, the chocolate is added and stirred together until melted. Then set aside to cool a little.
The next stage is to whisk the egg whites and icing sugar together until soft peaks form. This takes around 5 minutes. Sift the flour and ground almonds over the top of the egg and sugar mixture and then fold them in with a metal spoon. When they're fully mixed, pour the chocolate into the bowl down one of inside edges (this is so that you don't drop the chocolate straight on top of your mixture when you've taken time to fold it and keep lots of air in). Fold the chocolate into the mixture, making sure that you scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl well as the chocolate will all sink to the bottom and you want it folded throughout. The worst thing is when you come to put your mixture into the tin and find a layer of chocolate at the bottom that hasn't been mixed through properly.
When the mixture is fully incorporated, take a small spoon or ice cream scoop and put one spoonful into each cavity of your baking tin. Each one should be around half-full. Then pop them in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Mine took 18 minutes but you can check that they're ready by inserting a wooden skewer into the middle of each one and it should come out clean. When they're baked, leave them in their tins for around 10 mins. Then check that they are loosened from the tin with a flat knife and use this to help lever them out, but they should come out very easily.
These would be stunning served with raspberries, pistachios, extra chocolate sauce :) As I mentioned earlier, I sprinkled chopped pistachios over the top to give a little extra crunch and then dusted them with icing sugar.
Chocolate Financiers are seriously delicious. Lovely and light, they would be perfect for afternoon tea or a coffee morning. Even a little after dinner treat if you're hosting a dinner party.
I can't wait to share them with my boys when they get home from school today :)
Makes 12 financiers
- 150G UNSALTED BUTTER
- 1 TSP VANILLA EXTRACT
- 100G CHOCOLATE, CHOPPED INTO PIECES
- 200G EGG WHITES (5 eggs)
- 175G ICING SUGAR
- 50G PLAIN FLOUR
- 85G GROUND ALMONDS
- OPTIONAL: CHOPPED PISTACHIOS AND/OR CHOCOLATE CHIPS
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees (fan)
- Grease the cavities of your chosen tin well
- In a medium saucepan and over a medium heat, melt the butter and vanilla extract together until fully melted
- Continue to heat the butter until it turns a golden brown colour (around 5 minutes)
- Add the chocolate and stir until melted
- Set aside to cool a little
- In a freestanding mixer, whisk the egg whites and icing sugar together until soft peaks form (around 5 minutes on a medium speed)
- Sift the flour and icing sugar over the top of the mixture and then fold in using a metal spoon
- Add your chocolate butter mixture by pouring it down the inside side of the bowl rather than straight on top of your mixture
- Fold the chocolate in, ensuring that you scrape down the sides and bottoms and thoroughly mix the chocolate in
- Using a spoon or small ice cream scoop, fill each cavity of your baking tin around half full
- Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle of the financiers comes out clean
- Remove from the oven and leave them in their tin for around 10 mins to cool a little
- Gently using a flat knife, loosen them from the sides of the tin and remove each one
- If you would like to add the pistachios, chop a handful of them and sprinkle them on the top
- Finally, dust them with a light sprinkling of icing sugar
- And enjoy :)