A giant Easter cake

Mary Berry made this cake on a Christmas special but, lets be honest, a Tunis cake, fragrant with lemon, dense with ground almonds, and covered in more chocolate than can be considered decent, is a cake for Easter if ever there was one. It’s also very straightforward to make for something that looks pretty spectacular and would feed a crowd and then some. Continue reading

Coconut and salted caramel macaroons

A first attempt at macaroons

Macaroons. With their delicate crisp shell, light, nougaty centre, and ever more exotic fillings, is it worth making them yourself? Or are they one of those things that is really best left to the professionals? Should I be spelling it macarons? And can I catch eggs with my feet? This weekend, I was on a one woman mission to find out the answer to all these questions. Spoiler alert, I can’t catch an egg with my foot. Continue reading

Green tea cake

This is a grown up cake, both in the making and the eating. The slight bitterness of green tea can be an acquired taste and the sponge is close to a genoise, with all the careful whisking that requires. The result is a delicate cake with a sticky sweetness that comes from green tea syrup drizzled over the top. Continue reading

Beef Wellington

I’ve often fancied making a beef wellington but the cut of beef required is so expensive, and the risk of overcooking it so immediate, that I’ve never tried. Confessing this fear to a friend I was told that if I were willing to cook it for him, he’d buy me the meat. So I spent a tense afternoon cooking a fillet of beef that cost the price of a small car. Even the butcher seemed worried. Continue reading

An austere bread and butter pudding

Bread and butter pudding is the quintessential way of stretching out leftovers but this is a particularly stingy effort, made from skimmed milk and not quite enough eggs. The fact it was still delicious, fluffy and custardy, says a lot for bread and butter pudding. Continue reading

Please look after this bear: A marmalade cocktail

The eye-twitchingly sharp Seville oranges that go into marmalade are still just about in season, if you fancy having a go at making your own. I have an excellent supplier, who produces stuff Paddington would be proud to put in his sandwiches. It’s brilliant in this eye-opener of a cocktail, a Hawksmoor special, which is also known as a breakfast martini. Although, if you’re going to have one for breakfast, I wouldn’t plan too much for the rest of the day. Continue reading

Hasselback potatoes

Named, not after Jimmy-Floyd, but rather the Swedish hotel where they were invented, these potatoes take no longer to cook than your standard jacket potato but are a very different beast. For only the slightest extra effort, your reward is a multitude of discrete slices with crispy edges and gaps just waiting to be stuffed with cheese. Continue reading