Simple, small Victoria sponge with raspberry honey lemongrass preserves
4 inch cake / Baking / Cakes / dessert / Preserves / Recipes / Sweet / vegetarian

Simple, small Victoria sponge with raspberry honey lemongrass preserves

A classic Victoria sponge: light, tender, buttery cake sandwiching a tangy-sweet layer of raspberry jam and buttercream. Don’t tell any of them in the WI, but I filled the sponge with homemade raspberry honey lemongrass jam. You can of course use any raspberry jam you want–perhaps choose one which isn’t overly sweet so it balances the buttercream … Continue reading

Grilled strawberries + elderflower, honey, stem ginger & One summer day in Oxford
dessert / Recipes / Sweet / Treats - no flour / vegetarian

Grilled strawberries + elderflower, honey, stem ginger & One summer day in Oxford

Strawberries have come. Ideally you’d eat them fresh, perhaps with some cream and a little sugar (and maybe a drop of balsamic vinegar), but sometimes life gets the better of you and you end up a few quid’s worth of strawberries sitting in the fridge. At other times, strawberries are  disappointing and you’ve decided you want to make them more … Continue reading

A banoffee pie tricked out with chocolate
Baking / chocolate / dessert / No yeast baking / Pies and tarts / Recipes / Sweet / vegetarian

A banoffee pie tricked out with chocolate

The original banoffee pie is perfect as it is, but for this year’s Easter lunch I wanted to make something that was familiar and very welcome but also a bit different. I’m hesitant to call this a straight-up chocolate banoffee pie because the chocolate doesn’t actually dominate in the way that such a name would suggest. The aim was for the chocolate … Continue reading

Rhubarb syrup + oven-poached stems, scented with vanilla and orange
dessert / Drinks / Recipes / Sweet / Treats - no flour / vegetarian

Rhubarb syrup + oven-poached stems, scented with vanilla and orange

Quite unlike Tara’s charming rhubarb story, the main way I’ve come by rhubarb recently is squatting on the pavement, picking out stalks from a crate. Once I encountered a slug so tiny that it was like the crescent of dirt beneath one’s fingernail. It glistened on the rhubarb stem. I flicked it off: no need for a … Continue reading

Rhubarb and orange swirly buns (with optional rose-orange glaze) – tart, ugly, endearing
Baking / Breads / Recipes / vegetarian

Rhubarb and orange swirly buns (with optional rose-orange glaze) – tart, ugly, endearing

January has so far seen many, many failures. These buns are the result of learning and succeeding. I bequeath them to you: a perfect balance of sweet and tart swirled into rich, tender dough. The icing is a bonus. You don’t have to have it, but I’d recommend it. These are adapted from Deb’s cranberry … Continue reading

Easter + Banoffee Pie
dessert / No yeast baking / Pies and tarts / Recipes / Sweet / vegetarian

Easter + Banoffee Pie

Oh, so loverly sittin’ absobloominlutely still I would never budge till spring Crept over me winder sill… Which will happen when, Britain, when?! Come on, Spring!!! Move your bloomin’ arse, etc. etc. I had an enjoyable Easter break. In Britain, there’s a long weekend around Easter, Good Friday to Easter Monday inclusive, which is (in … Continue reading

Heart-shaped Custard Creams
Baking / Biscuits and Cookies / dessert / No yeast baking / Recipes / Sweet / vegetarian

Heart-shaped Custard Creams

Yeah, I went there. Or rather, Nigella Lawson went there first in ‘Feast’, which is one of my favourite cook books. I think she conveys quite well the sort of feelings I have towards Valentine’s Day: she talks about her all-round cynicism (and it’s this darker side of Nigella which comes through in her writing … Continue reading