Pavlova Recipe

4 egg whites

250g caster sugar

1 tsp cornflour

1 tsp white (wine) vinegar

600ml cream

6 tbsp icing sugar

Assorted summer fruits

– Heat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C and live and baking tray.

– In a clean glass bowl whisk the egg whites until full and satiny.

– Add the sugar a spoonful at a time, continuing to whisk until the mixture is stiff and shiny.

– Fold in the cornflour and vinegar.

– Scoop our onto the prepared tray and smooth to create a well in the centre.

– Put the baking tray in the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to gas mark 2/140°C.

– Bake for an hour and a half. Leave to cool in the oven, if using an electric oven open the door a bit.

– When the meringue is cooled prepare your fruit.

– Add the cream and icing sugar to a large mixing bowl and whisk until stiff.

– Split the cream in half and stir chopped fruits through one half.

– Spread the cream with fruit over the meringue.

– Top the fruity cream with the remaining whipped cream. (Doing this means that you get a clean, white topping with no bleed through from the fruits. Feel free to skip this design if you prefer.)

– Decorate the top with good looking fruits.

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Japanese Potato Salad

You will need Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise for this to taste right but it’s easy to get hold of, either a local Asian supermarket or Amazon will sort you out! I would also advise the chunkiest ham you can get, either go for trimmings or bake a ham joint and use some in this.

2 large floury potatoes

1/2 small tin Sweetcorn, drained

100g ham, chopped

1/2 medium carrot, julienned

1” cucumber, very finely sliced

6 tbsp kewpie mayonnaise

Pinch of salt

– Peel and chop up your potatoes and boil in a large pan of salted water for 20 minutes. Drain and return to the pan, let them air dry for 5 minutes.

– Mash the potatoes until smooth.

– Add your other ingredients and give a good stir through. Eyeball it, if you feel you want different proportions go for it! Alter it to your taste.

– Voila! It’s a Japanese Potato salad!

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Filed under Easy, Japanese, Sides

Childhood Risotto

Thus named because this is the risotto that we had throughout my childhood in the week following a roast chicken dinner as a good way to use up leftovers… it still is!

Serves 4

3 tbsp olive oil
25g butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
250g arborio rice
150ml white wine

700ml hot chicken stock (make it from the roast chicken carcass if possible)

Leftover cooked chicken (I use the two thighs)

~8 mushrooms, quartered

1 cup frozen peas

100g cold water prawns

1tbsp lemon juice
small knob of butter

– Heat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C.
– Melt the butter, with the olive oil, in a large, deep casserole dish with a lid until just bubbling and foaming.
– Add the garlic and cook on a medium heat for 1 minute.
– Add the rice and cook for about 1 minute, stiring well.
– Add the wine and cook, stiring until the liquid is absorbed.
– Add the hot chicken stock and stir.

– Add the clocked chicken, frozen peas, mushrooms and prawns and give a good stir.

– Add the lemon juice and stir.
– Put the lid on and put the casserole dish and out it in the oven for 35 minutes.

– Remove from the oven give it a good stir and check the rice is to your taste, if it is too al dente (hard) then put it back in for another 5 minutes.

– Add the knob of butter and leave to sit for 5 minutes to melt before storing through and serving.

When I was little I would add soy sauce to it but as I grew older I would add Parmesan and creme fraiche, follow your own taste buds

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Rhubarb, Strawberry and Orange Crumble

2 stalks rhubarb

~ 6 large strawberries

4 tbsp granulated sugar

Zest of half an orange

100g plain flour

75g light brown sugar

30g porridge oats

Pinch salt

50g butter

– Cut the rhubarb and strawberries into chunks and place in an oven proof dish.

– Zest the orange over the dish and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

– In a small bowl mix the remaining ingredients. Rub together until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

– Sprinkle the crumble mix over the fruit.

– Bake at 200°/Gas 6 for 30 minutes until the fruit is bubbling and the topping browned.

– Leave to stand to cool for five minutes before eating. (Boiling sugar is hot!)

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Nigella’s Vegan Chocolate Cake

Posting this here in case the original recipe ever goes away. This is the best chocolate cake ever! Super simple and quick to make and the fact that it’s vegan is just a bonus!

  • 225 g plain flour
  • 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp instant espresso powder
  • 75 g cocoa
  • 300 g soft dark brown sugar
  • 375 ml hot water from a recently boiled kettle
  • 75 g coconut oil
  • 1½ tsp cider vinegar or white wine vinegar

– Heat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C.

– Grease and dust the inside of a Bundt tin with cocoa powder. (Or silicone round ‘tin’ or mini Bundt tins)

– Combine the flour, bicarb, salt, espresso powder and cocoa powder in a mixing bowl. Make sure there are no lumps.

– Mix the sugar, water, coconut oil and vinegar in a large jug. Again, make sure there are no lumps.

– Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly and, you guessed it, make sure there are no lumps! Dry bits of flour love to hide!

– Pour the mixture into your prepared tin.

– Bake in the middle of the oven for 30-35 minutes. The centre of the cake should not wobble when it is done.

– Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then carefully invert on a wire rack to cool completely. Do not leave in the tin or it is liable to crumble when removing from the tin.

– Ice with a basic chocolate ganache when totally cool. I use 1 part oat cream to two parts dark chocolate for a vegan ganache. Raspberry buttercream is also an excellent icing.

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Easy Garlic Flatbread Recipe

An easy 20 minute flatbread recipe. This is gorgeous, light and fluffy and ready in just 20 minutes!

250g self raising flour

200g Greek yogurt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp nigella seeds

Pinch salt

20g butter

1 clove crushed garlic

1/4 tsp dried parsley

– Mix the flour, yogurt, baking powder, nigella seeds and salt in a bowl until a soft dough is formed.

– If possible leave to rest for 20 minutes.

– Divide into four.

– Press or roll into circles.

– Cook on a hot griddle for 1-2 minutes on each side.

– Melt the butter and mix with the garlic and parsley.

-When the flatbreads ad cooked take off the griddle and brush with melted butter on each side.

– Devour!

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Sticky Chicken Skewers

Since I’m a beekeeper I have a lot of honey! This recipe is incredibly moreish!

500g chicken thighs, diced

3 tbsp olive oil

3tbsp soy sauce

3tbsp honey

2 large clove crushed garlic

– Mix the oil, soy sauce, honey and garlic in a bowl.

– Add the diced chicken and mix.

– Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for at least 2hours.

– Skewer the chicken on bamboo or metal skewers. (About 8)

– Cook on a grill, bbq or health grill for 4-5 minutes each side until charred and delicious looking!

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Salted Caramel Sauce

A very quick post today as I know some people are eagerly awaiting this recipe for Salted Caramel Sauce. It’s simple once you know how and absolutely amazing! I have had to restrain myself from simply eating it from the jar! 

Makes 1 jar

250ml double cream

1 cup granulated sugar

1tsp salt

– Pour the cream into a small pan and heat to just short of boiling. Turn off the heat and set aside. 

– Place the sugar in one flat layer in a large, heavy bottomed pan. You need it to be much bigger than you think as when you combine the ingredients it can bubble up and rise to nearly 10 times the height! Also, thin pans mean that the sugar may quickly burn as the heating is more intense. Heat your sugar on a LOW heat. It will take time (about 8 minutes to start to melt) but if you heat it too intensely then the sugar may burn and cause problems for you. Do Not Stir!

– Once about 8 minutes has gone by you should be able to see the sugar melting around the edges. At this point you can gently turn the sugar so the melted stuff on the bottom comes on top and the solid sugar on top gets to the bottom. Your sugar should be turning from white to golden caramel. Don’t rush, it will get there. 

-Once your sugar is all melted with no lumpy bits take it off the heat. 

– Pour half your hot cream into the sugar. It WILL bubble, spit and rise up. Stir vigorously the whole time. 

– When it has died back down pour the remaining cream in, remembering to keep stirring. It will usually rise and spit again. It will look like a lumpy mess. This is normal. 

– Return the pan to a low heat and keep stirring. The lumpy mess will slowly melt back in and you will get a smooth pale caramel sauce. This will probably take about 10 minutes. If you have any huge lumps it may take longer but they will eventually dissolve. You don’t want the mixture to boil so keep it on a nice low heat and it will get there! 

– When you have a nice, smooth sauce sprinkle over the salt and give it a good mix then pour into a heat proof container. 

– I store mine at room temperature but that’s because it doesn’t last long at all! If you plan to be more restrained in your consumption then you can keep it in the fridge but be aware that it will stiffen at a lower temperature. 

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Filed under Basic, Desserts, For the Keen Cook, Gluten Free, Jams and Preserves

Blackberry and Apple Loaf Cake

It’s that time of year again! The hedgerows are bursting with blackberries and the apple trees are laden with fruit. I’ve always loved this end of summer/beginn g of autumn period when the evenings are getting darker and the mornings just a little cooler. So long as we still have those hot days to carry me (and the crops) through I’m happy with this all too brief slice of the best of both worlds! 


This recipe for Blackberry and Apple Loaf Cake is one of my mother’s and she always has one freshly baked in the kitchen at this time of year. It’s a delicious, moist loaf with a wonderful crumbly cinnamon topping that ticks all the boxes for me. The hint of orange adds a lovely depth of flavour and really brings out the best in the blackberries.  The perfect pick me up with a cup of tea! 

Makes 1 x 1.7l loaf

1 eating apple, grated

2 eggs, beaten

zest of 1 orange

250g self raising flour

175g butter

175g light muscovado sugar

1/2tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp Demerara sugar

1 tsp baking powder

200g blackberries (pick more than you think you’ll need)

1 small eating apple, sliced

– Heat the oven to gas mark 4/180C and line and grease a 1.7l loaf tin. 

– Grate the apple into a small jug, leave the peel on but don’t use the very centre. 

– Add the eggs and the orange zest to the apple and mix well. 

– Using a food processor combing the flour, butter and light muscovado sugar and pulse until the consistency of fine breadcrumbs. Alternately use a large mixing bowl and rub together using your hands. 

-Remove 5 tbsp of the flour mixture and place in a small bowl with the Demerara sugar and the cinnamon. Mix to combine. 

– Combine the liquid ingredients with the remaining dry mixture. Mix swiftly but well until you reach a dropping consistency. It may seem dry at first but trust me, it will come. 

– Fold 2/3 of your blackberries into the mixture with a metal spoon, try to avoid crushing them. 

– Scrape the mixture into the loaf tin and level it with the back of the spoon. 

– Scatter the remaining blackberries on top and place a row of apple slices along the centre of the loaf. 

– Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon mixture evenly over the top of the loaf. 

– Bake for 1 1/4 hours, checking at 50mins to ensure the top is not overly browning. Cover with foil for the remaining bake time if necessary. 

– Test that a skewer comes out clean and the cake is firm before removing from the oven. Leave to cool in the tin. 

– Put on a pot of tea and enjoy with your feet up!

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Chocolate Fudge Cake

Sometimes you need cake. Chocolate Cake. Special Cake. And sometimes you need two Very Special Mini Chocolate Cakes! 

One for you, one for a friend… Or something! Mini cake is always a good idea, right? 

Basic Cake Mix:

180g self raising flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 pinch salt

40g cocoa powder

125g caster sugar

2 eggs

150ml olive oil

150ml milk

2 tbsp golden syrup

– Heat the oven to gas mark 4 and grease and line your chosen cake tins. 

– Sift the flour, bicarbonate, salt and cocoa into a large mixing bowl. 

– Mix the sugar and wet ingredients together in a large jug. 

– Stir the wet I to the dry and mix well until thoroughly combined. 

– Divide between your chosen cake tins. 

– Bake! 4″ tins should take around 25-30 minutes, 8″ sandwich tins around 30-40 minutes and if you want to bake it all as one huge cake (23cm springform) then you’re looking at about an hour. Check regularly and test to ale sure a skewer comes out clean before removing from the oven. 

Chocolate Fudge Icing: 

50g butter

200g icing sugar

45g cocoa powder

4 tablespoons milk

– Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. 

– Sift in the icing sugar and cocoa powder. 

– Add the milk and mix well until smooth. 

– Leave to cool and thicken before spreading on the cakes or pour over as a glaze. 

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Filed under Cakes, Easy