Today’s sushi lesson @applegarthfarm cookery school was a complete joy to teach. So nice to meet this talented lot! From the very first temari sushi ball to the biggest futomaki roll I’ve ever seen - their sushi looked amazing. Thanks to Kate and her team at the cookery school for making it all run so smoothly and keeping me fortified with lots of tea!
So I've never taught anyone how to make sushi live on air before, but first time sushi-maker and BBC Radio Surrey presenter Joe Talbot was a natural!
I took a mixture of sushi rolls I'd made earlier into the studio for inspiration, and despite being pretty sure he wouldn't be any good at it, Joe made perfect temari sushi balls and a futomaki roll. To hear how he got on, tune in here. Interview begins at 1.45pm
Thank you to everyone at Secretts farm shop who hosted my first ever book signing this weekend.
Their talented chefs made recipes from The Tin and Traybake Cookbook for everyone to try which was very popular. Lots of books were sold, and I met some lovely people, including these two, who were my first customers! Pat, the charming lady on the right, used to be a cookery teacher.
Had a great day with the lovely Zoe Richards and Andy Newbold from Surrey Life magazine, who came to find out more about The Tin and Traybake Cookbook (and to test a few recipes!) The feature is in the gorgeous Easter edition of @surreylifemagazine and includes the story behind the book and some of my favourite recipes.
The lovely team at BBC Radio Surrey have invited me onto Joe Talbot’s show today to talk about pancakes, so I’ve been experimenting with some new recipes. Savoury pancakes do make an excellent weekday supper, so it’s odd that we always seem to forget about them until Shrove Tuesday comes around. That’s about to change as having tested this recipe on my official tasters at home, it’s definitely here to stay!
This recipe uses a simple pancake batter, with finely grated cheese and chopped chives added into the mix, to make a robust, but light pancake that will hold the filling perfectly. I like to use a serious amount of wholegrain mustard to give a hefty kick, but if you prefer your recipes a little lighter, halve the mustard.
¼ tsp salt
40g finely grated cheddar
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives, plus extra to serve
Oil for frying
25g plain flour
350ml full cream milk
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
knob of butter
1 medium leek finely sliced
200g sliced ham, chopped into small pieces
140g grated cheddar or gruyere
First, make the batter. Sieve the flour and salt into a small bowl and whisk in the egg. Add the milk gradually, whisking in between each addition until smooth. Season with black pepper, then stir in the grated cheese and chives. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes while you prepare the sauce.
Melt 25g of butter with the flour and stir into a paste. Add the milk a little at a time, stirring continuously. When you have a thick sauce bring to the boil and stir for two minutes to get rid of any persistent lumps, then turn off the heat and stir in the mustard. Set aside two tablespoons of grated cheese for the final dish and stir the rest into the sauce.
Melt the knob of butter in a pan and add the sliced leeks with a pinch of salt. Cover and cook gently for 10-12 minutes until soft, then tip into the sauce and stir well. Add the chopped ham and add seasoning if needed. Cover and set aside.
Heat the oven to 190/170 fan
Heat a 20cm non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and pour in enough oil to just coat the base. When the oil is hot, add a ladleful of batter to the centre of the pan, and gently rotate the pan so the mixture swirls evenly across the pan and covers the whole base. Leave for a few minutes until the edges are starting to crinkle, then lift a few edges to see if the pancake is lightly golden underneath. When it is, loosen the edges and flip or gently lift and turn the pancake to cook the other side. When it’s ready, move to a warm plate and cover, while you continue cooking the pancakes, adding a little oil in between each one. You should be able to make six evenly sized pancakes.
When the pancakes are ready, place a sixth of the filling on each and roll up. Place side by side in a shallow ovenproof dish and sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes until hot and bubbling. Serve topped with chopped chives.
Soufflé pancakes are tall, airy, delicately fluffy pancakes that look absolutely delicious. I’d been reading about them for ages, so when BBC Radio Surrey asked me to come in to talk about pancakes before Shrove Tuesday, it was the perfect excuse to do some practical research.
But making them wasn’t nearly as straightforward as I had expected. Online recipes looked great, but rather annoyingly produced stodgy, cake-y dollops, not the sugary cloud-like pancakes I had expected. So I started fiddling about with ingredients, and after countless tweaks, and a lot of dodgy pancakes in the bin, I am delighted to say that soufflé pancake nirvana was definitely achieved!
The trick is in the addition of a meringue style mixture to the pancake batter, and specifically, how you gently fold it in to retain volume, whilst keeping it light and fluffy.
They aren’t as quick to make as normal pancakes, but when you want to make a gorgeous sweet treat for someone very special, they are so worth the effort. I’ve topped mine with spiced, caramelized pears from The Tin and Traybake Cookbook, but you could just as easily serve them with your favourite pancake topping.
Makes six pancakes, feeds 2.
4 ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut into slices
30g golden caster sugar
½ tsp ground cinammon
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp caster sugar
Seeds from ¼ of a vanilla pod or 2 drops vanilla essence
2 tbsp full cream milk
30g plain flour
¼ tsp baking powder
2 egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
2 tbsp. caster sugar
To cook and serve:
Sunflower or vegetable oil (not olive)
Make the topping first. Melt the butter in a deep frying pan until foaming, then add the pear slices and cook over a medium-high heat until golden on both sides. Turn the heat down and add the sugar and cinnamon. Keep stirring until the sugar has dissolved and the pears are caramelized. Cover and set aside.
Next, whisk the egg yolk and sugar together with vanilla, then add the milk a little at a time, whisking between each addition. Sieve over the flour and baking powder and stir well.
In another bowl, whisk the eggs whites and cream of tartar into soft peaks. Add the sugar little by little until the mixture forms stiff peaks when you remove the whisk. Take care not to over-whisk.
Add a third of the meringue to the batter and fold in very gently with a spatula. Repeat with another third, and then the remainder as lightly as possible so the mixture holds its volume, as this is what will keep the pancakes tall and fluffy.
To cook, brush the inside of a deep, heavy frying pan sparingly with oil and place over a low heat. When the base is warm, spoon two dollops of batter into the pan and cover with a lid. Cook for 3 minutes, then carefully add a smaller amount of mixture on top of each pancake to make it taller. Replace the lid and cook for another five minutes. Remove the lid and using a spatula, peep to see if the base is golden. When it is, carefully flip over the pancakes and replace the lid for another 5-6 minutes.
When both sides are golden, and the pancakes is softly firm, slide onto a plate, spoon over the caramelized pears, and sprinkle with icing sugar and flaked almonds before serving.
There are stacks of great vegetarian and vegan recipes in The Tin and Traybake Cookbook, and this Goats cheese and hazelnut tart is one of my favourites. Vegetarian Living thought so too, as they decided to feature it in their January 2019 issue.
It’s deliciously wintry outside (and please can we have some more snow) but you can still enjoy the sunshine indoors with my orange and passion fruit drizzle cake. The Simple Things Magazine loved this recipe so much they featured it for their ‘Cake in the house’ feature in their simply gorgeous Feb issue!
I’m a big fan of the fab Great British Food magazine, so I was very excited to hear that they wanted to run a recipe feature with a selection of “Easy everyday’ dishes from The Tin and Traybake Cookbook in their January 2019 issue. Out now!
Very happy to see that the lovely people at Vegetarian Living magazine have featured one of my favourite recipes from The Tin and Traybake Cookbook in this month’s issue. This delicious goats cheese, and thyme tart is encased in a yummy walnut pastry. It’s irresistible, which is why it’s luckily made in a square tin, perfect for equal portions and avoiding any squabbles!
Thank you to the friendly team at BBC Surrey for inviting me to meet the lovely Joe Talbot this week, and talk about The Tin and Traybake Cookbook. Joe tasted three recipes from the book, crumbly chocolate fudge, mini Christmas cakes and my classic almond and blueberry traybake. They all seemed to go down very well!
Interview starts 41.25.
Very honoured to see one of my favourite recipes featured by Telegraph Food last week. They rounded up a selection of the best three festive crumbles which included the Autumn apple, pear and blackberry crumble from the traybake chapter of my book. It’s the first time one of my recipes has been featured in a national paper, so it was a big moment for me!
Check out the recipe here…
After three years of writing, cooking, styling and photographing, I am absolutely thrilled to say that my new book, The Tin and Traybake Cookbook is finally here. Published by the lovely people at Little, Brown, and packed with great recipes and gorgeous pictures, I think it looks amazing and I couldn’t be prouder! Available from bookshops, Amazon, and everywhere else that sells good books. Happy cooking!
PEAR AND GINGER FRANGIPANE TART
This tart really is heavenly. It was only designed to use up a few slightly knackered pears and the last two balls of stem ginger in the bottom of a jar, but it exceeded expectations on every count.
Now it’s a perfect posh pudding or afternoon treat, and I’ve even taken little slices on a long winters walk to keep flaggers motivated. Suprisingly, it freezes well too, so if you have the same problem – bits of fruit hanging around, but no one to eat it on the spot, you can bank it in the freezer for a day when your table is full of hungry munchers.
When we moved into an old house a few years ago, I found a pile of old baking tins hiding in the garage, including a lovely old fluted tart tin. For me it was like finding buried treasure!. My tin measures 28 x 18, so that is what I use, but you can use any rectangular tins with similar measurements – just keep an eye on the cooking time as it might need less baking if the tin is bigger. If you aren’t using a loose-bottomed tin, it’s worth laying an overlapping sheet of baking paper lengthways across the tin before you put the pastry in, so you can lift it out without fear of the tart cracking.
For the pastry
220g plain flour and some for rolling
50g caster sugar
140g caster sugar
140g ground almonds
2 tbsp plain flour
2 medium eggs, beaten
½ tsp almond extract
2-3 balls of stem ginger, finely chopped
450g medium pears, peeled, cored and cut into six slices each
4 tbsp flaked almonds
icing sugar for dusting
Place the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor and pulse until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Gradually pour 2-3 tbsp cold water down the tube until the mixture forms a ball then stop immediately and gather the dough together.
Knead lightly on a floured surface, then roll out to just larger than the size of the tin. Lay over the tin and press to fit, then trim the top, with a little overlap as it will shrink a bit. Prick the base all over with a fork and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190/170 fan/gas 5. Line the pastry with baking paper and fill it with baking beans or rice. Blind bake for 15 minutes, then remove the paper, rice or beans and bake for another 15 minutes until lightly golden. Remove and leave to cool.
Turn the heat down to 180/160/gas 4. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy, then add the almonds and beaten egg, a little at a time, then the almond essence. Spoon this mixture into the pastry shell and level. Place the pear slices evenly across the frangipane and scatter with flaked almonds. Bake for 35-40 minutes until beautifully golden (you may need less time if the tin is bigger) Removed from the oven and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes. When it is cool enough, dust with icing sugar and serve.
Plums are in season at the moment and this is a great way to use up a glut, or windfalls if you are lucky enough to find them. Although the fruit layer is very moist, these flapjacks freeze well too. Makes 20-25 flapjacks.
300g ripe plums stoned and chopped into 1cm pieces
¾ tsp mixed spice
Freshly ground black pepper
200g light brown soft sugar
250g rolled oats
100g plain flour
50g chopped pistachio nuts
300g salted butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
Heat the oven to 180/160 fan/gas mark 6 and generously grease a square baking tin approx 20cm x 20cm.
Mix the chopped plums in a bowl with the spice, 50g of sugar and a grind of black pepper. Set aside. In another bowl, mix the rest of the sugar, oats, plain flour and pistachio nuts.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in the golden syrup, remove the pan from the heat and tip in the sugar and oat mix. Stir until completely combined.
Pour half of the flapjack mixture into the prepared tin, flatten, then spread over the chopped plums in a even layer. Tip the remaining flapjack mixture over the top and carefully cover the plums, making sure you can’t see any fruit.
Bake for 50-55 minutes until the edges are dark and crispy. Remove and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Cut into slices, then allow to cool completely in the tin.
Thanks to this unexpectedly glorious summer, we have been having BBQ’s several times a week. Potato salad is a BBQ staple, especially if you’re feeding a crowd, but the classic mayo and chive combo can get a bit boring, so I’ve been experimenting with more interesting flavours, and this is my latest favourite.
Here the potatoes are tossed in a feisty sun-dried tomato and caper dressing, and having made it for 25 hungry World Cup supporters, I can guarantee that it’s a winner (unlike…) Feeds 4-6
10 sun dried tomatoes in oil plus 2 tbsp of oil from the jar
1 tbsp unsalted capers
1 tsp dijon mustard
Handful of basil leaves, finely chopped, plus a few extra for garnishing
salt and pepper
750g baby new potatoes, preferably a waxy variety
Place the tomatoes, oil, capers, mustard and basil in a mini food processor and blitz. Loosen with a little more oil if needed – you need it to be the consistency of pesto. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cook the potatoes in lightly salted water until cooked but still firm (8-10 minutes)
Drain, then slice in half lengthways, and while they are still steaming hot, toss through the dressing, turning the potatoes so they are evenly coated.
Garmish with basil leaves and serve hot or cold.
This has to be one of the easiest cakes I’ve ever made. It’s a classic all-in-one cake, made even easier by using oil and yoghurt instead of butter, so you can even skip the creaming stage. This one is best eaten warm, on the day of baking. Perfect for mothers day. This is inspired by an excellent recipe from the good people at Wairtose, with a few sneaky twists from me.
220g plain Greek yoghurt
80ml vegetable oil
120g caster sugar
Finely grated zest of one lime
Finely grated zest of one lemon
220g plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
150g blueberries (if frozen do not defrost before using)
Juice of one lemon
50g caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 180/160 fan/gas 4. Grease a deep 20cm loose bottomed cake tin and line with greaseproof paper.
Tip the yoghurt, eggs, vegetable oil, sugar and citrus zest into a mixing bowl and mix well until smooth. Mix the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt and stir into the wet mixture and stir until combined.
Pour half the cake batter into the tin and scatter over half of the blueberries. Smooth the rest of the batter over the top and throw the rest of the blueberries over the top.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.