– Mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarb and salt in a small bowl.
– Cream together the butter, sugars and vanilla.
– Add a spoonful of the dry mix to the butter mix and beat well to combine.
– Gradually add the remaining flour mix, beating well between additions until a smooth, dark dough is formed.
– Add the chocolate chips and mix in.
– Divide the dough in two, press down into rounds on a baking tray and sprinkle with the salt flakes.
– Bake for 12 minutes. The cookies are ready when the tops have cracked. If the tops aren’t cracked, they’re not done.
– Remove from the oven and leave on the tray for at least 5 minutes. This is very important! The cookies will be soft when they come out but will solidify in those 5 minutes. Leave them a further 10 minutes before eating for best results.
– Melt the butter in a medium sized pan. Add a small splash of olive oil to stop it catching.
– Add the mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until soft and browned.
– Add the white wine and vegetable stock.
– Blend with a stick blender until your desired level of smooth. (I like bits in my soup but if you want a totally smooth soup you’ll need to decant into a liquidiser and blend in that then resume cooking.)
– Bring the soup to a boil then turn down to a simmer.
– Add the cream and heat gently until the edges are bubbling.
From time to time I find myself craving the food I had in Japan. Sometimes it’s the simplest of things, like this Japanese egg salad sandwich. Because even though you’d think there isn’t much wiggle room in how to make egg salad you’d be amazed what a difference a few little tweaks make. I think the biggest difference is that the egg is mashed, not chopped and the mayonnaise must by kewpie for a truly authentic taste. The pinch of salt adds that little je ne sais quoi that makes this run of the mill sandwich spectacularly moreish!
For one sandwich:
2 hard boiled eggs
2tbsp kewpie Japanese mayonnaise
Pinch of salt
Soft salted butter
Two slices white bread
– Put the eggs, mayonnaise and salt in a bowl and mash with a fork until there are no large chunks. You could even use a food processor to get it even smoother (some conbini do) but I prefer a little texture.
– Spread the bread with butter and add the egg mix. This should be a well filled sandwich! (Though factors such as egg size and bread size will affect it, you may find this makes two less well filed sandwiches if using smaller bread.)
This Cinnamon Scone Cake was actually the first of the Giant Scone Cakes. I had the idea of a cinnamon flavoured scone smothered in clotted cream and honey and I couldn’t rest until it had been created!
450g self raising flour
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
100g butter, softened
1 1/2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
Just under 300ml milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice added* (or 300ml buttermilk)
2 tbsp brown sugar + 1 tsp cinnamon
50g icing sugar + cold water
– Heat the oven to gas mark 5 /180C and line a baking tray.
– In a large mixing bowl mix the flour, salt and baking powder.
– Rub the butter into the flour mix until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
– Add the sugar and cinnamon and stir lightly.
-Mix in the milk quickly and thoroughly but be careful not to over mix the dough.
– Trn the dough out onto the baking tray and use floured hands to shape into a round.
– Slice though the dough to to the number of sections you want.
– Brush the top with a little milk and a sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon.
– Bake for ~30 minutes until the sugar on top is caramelised and the scone cooked through.
– Mix the icing sugar with just a little water then drizzle over the top.
– Serve with clotted cream and honey. Plain butter is also delicious!
If you’re quick you may just get to the last of the wild garlic in a shady spot. The distinctive smell should guide you!
This is a quick easy supper that takes advantage of the wild food available for such a short season. Although, I admit, I grow some ‘wild’ garlic in a container in my garden for convenience and I always find gnocchi very satisfying after a long day in the garden!
1 pack gnocchi (I use giant gnocchi here but regular ones work just as well)
200ml double cream
2 tbsp green pesto
a good handful of wild garlic leaves, washed and slices into ribbons
4 tbsp* freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano *at least
Cook the gnocchi according to the packet instructions.
Gently heat the cream and pesto in a small saucepan. Do not allow it to boil.
Add the garlic leaves and Parmigiano Reggiano and make sure it’s piping hot through.
Pour the sauce over the gnocchi in bowls.
Excellent with some crusty bread and a crisp Riesling after a long day in the garden!
The last of the home grown rhubarb is coming this month, after that you need to let the plants rest and regroup. So I whipped up this Rhubarb and Orange Frangipane Tart to make the most of it while it’s still with us!
The later season rhubarb isn’t as vibrantly coloured as the younger forced rhubarb you get at the beginning of the year, if you made it with that then this would really be a pink showstopper! However, the regimented rows of rhubarb are very pleasing to me and the taste is amazing!
The natural tartness of the rhubarb and the sweetness of the orange frangipane go together so well and make a wonderfully refreshing tart that’s full of flavour.
Makes 1 rectangular tart
One sheet ready rolled sweet shortcrust pastry (or make your own but I was short on time!)
~4 sticks rhubarb
85g butter, softened
85g caster sugar
85g ground almonds
zest of one large orange, finely grated
1 tbsp caster sugar
Heat the oven to gas mark 7 and grease your loose bottomed rectangular tart tin well.
Shape and roll the pastry to fit (I had to trim a bit off the sides to make an extension, the scraps then went for jam tarts!)
Press the pastry into the tin carefully, leaving a small overhang around the edge.
Slice your rhubarb into batons the width of the inside of the pastry shell.
In a small mixing bowl combine the butter, sugar, egg, ground almonds and orange zest and beat until well combined and smooth.
Scrape the frangipane mixture into the pastry.
Place the rhubarb on top of the frangipane evenly.
Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tbsp sugar.
Bake for 30 minutes until the top of the frangipane is golden brown and the pastry an even colour.
Remove from the oven and trim away the excess pastry from the edges with a sharp knife.
Leave to cool completely in the tin then carefully unmould.
Serve with fresh clotted cream for a delightful afternoon treat!
A lovely simple biscuit, quick and easy to work with and it gives a delightfully crisp buttery biscuit. Nothing fancy at all, as simple and wholesome as a biscuit can get! These biscuits remind me of some I had as a child at a farmhouse on the way to the lake district. There were no such things as hygiene certificates then, this was literally the farmer’s wife selling tea and biscuits in her kitchen and they were some of the best I’ve ever had!
Makes 18 biscuits
125g butter, softened
70g golden caster sugar (Plus a few tsp extra for sprinkling)
1 egg yolk
160g plain flour
small pinch of salt
Heat the oven to gas mark 5 and prepare two baking trays with baking paper.
Cream together the butter and the sugar in a small mixing bowl.
Add the egg yolk and beat well to combine.
Add the flour and the salt (if your flour is at all lumpy do sift it in as it will mix easier).
Bring all the ingredients together into a soft dough. It can help to use your hand to get it all together in the last bit.
Pinch off small walnut sized balls of dough and roll them in your palms to shape into rounds.
Place on the baking tray and use the heel of your palm to squish them flat.
Sprinkle the tops with the extra sugar.
Bake for 10 minutes until the edges are just starting to colour.
Remove from the oven and allow to sit on the tray for 5 minutes before trying to move them as they will break otherwise.
Hi, I'm Anna and this is what's going on in my kitchen and growing in my garden.
Everything you see here is how it looked as I cooked and ate it. I don't like to make things too fussy. I want you to know that if you try one of my recipes what you see is what you'll get.
Don't forget to leave a comment, I love to know what you're thinking and if you do try out a recipe then let me know how it worked for you. Happy cooking!