– 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.
For a dish that bears my name this took me an embarrassingly long time to get right. I would have potatoes swimming in butter or too crisp to eat without worrying about your fillings. These little stacked Pommes Anna finally hit that sweet spot between buttery and crispy and look fab for what is actually minimal effort. You can do a lot of the prep beforehand in assembling the stacks in the muffin tin if you want to prepare these in advance and then just pop them in the oven when ready so good for dinner parties!
6-8 new potatoes (waxy)
125g unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp sea salt
Cracked black pepper
Fresh thyme sprigs
– Heat the oven to gas mark 6.
– Use a mandolin or very sharp knife to slice the potatoes into 1/8” slices. Put in a small mixing bowl.
– Melt the butter in a small saucepan.
– Brush the insides of six muffin tins with melted butter.
– Place a small sprig of thyme in the bottom of each muffin cup.
– Add the garlic to the melted butter and remove the leaves from the remaining thyme sprigs and add those too.
– Gently heat until fragrant.
– Pour the butter over the potatoes. Add salt and pepper to season and toss gently.
– Place the sliced potatoes carefully in the muffin tins. You want to arrange them so that they will look good when turned out. Press down firmly in the centre.
– Pour the remaining butter over the potatoes.
– Cover the muffin tray with foil and bake in the oven for 35 minutes.
– Place a large oven dish over the muffin tin and carefully flip over so that the potato stacks come out intact. If any fall apart you can push them back into shape.
– Place the oven dish back in the oven and bake for another 10 minutes until the stacks look nice and crispy on the edges.
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.)
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.
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
150ml olive oil
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:
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.
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!
This was one of the tastiest things I’ve cooked all year! I was so proud of how it turned out. My kitchen smelt amazing having been full of spices! I usually have a jar of supermarket curry paste tucked away for emergencies but I was feeling creative and I knew I could do better.
It was actually a doddle to whip up and it gave me enough for two separate curries. Needless to say, the second portion wasn’t hanging around for long!
For the Korma paste:
2 tsp garlic purée
1 tbsp ginger paste
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon tomato puree
2 fresh green chillies
3 tablespoons coconut powder
1 tsp dried coriander leaf
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tablespoons flaked almonds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
For the Sauce:
2 chicken breasts, sliced
1 x 400g can coconut milk
1 tbsp corn flour slaked with a little water
– First you want to heat a large, heavy frying pan and lightly toast the flaked almonds and cumin seeds over a medium high heat until fragrant.
– Then put all of the ingredients for the paste into a food processor/blender and pulse until you have a smooth paste.
– To serve 4 add half of the paste to the large frying pan and heat on a medium high heat.
– Add the chicken breasts and stir well.
– Add the coconut milk and simmer on a low heat for 15minutes.
– To thicken your sauce add the cornflour and stir well until thickened. Then remove from the heat.
I love sitting in the garden in the summer surrounded by flowers with a big pot of tea and scones for tea! So what could be better than a Giant Victoria Scone Cake. One giant scone, sliced in half and filled with freshly whipped cream, homemade jam and berries from the garden. Yum!
Makes 1x 9″ or 2x 7″ scone cakes
450g self raising flour
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
100g butter, softened
2 tbsp caster sugar
Just under 300ml milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice added or 300ml buttermilk
– Heat the oven to gas mark 7 and line a large baking tray.
– If using milk and lemon juice, combine in a jug now and let it sit for a bit.
– Place the flour, salt and baking powder in a large mixing bowl and give a quick stir to combine.
– Add the butter and use your fingers to rub it in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
– Add the milk and mix until all the flour is incorporated. Try not to mix too much, a light hand gives a better scone.
– Tuen out the dough directly on to your lined baking tray. Scrape down the sides for any spare dough as this mix should be quite sticky.
– Flour your hands well and lightly pat the dough into a round cake.
– Brush the top with milk.
– Bake for 25 minutes until firm and just browned.
– Leave to cool almost completely before splitting in half and spreading with jam. Fill with whipped cream and fresh berries. Dust with icing sugar and enjoy!
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!