All posts filed under: Sweet

buttermilk beignets

It’s my birthday this week, and it falls on a Sunday. First, this is incredibly exciting – I love my birthday. I love other people’s birthdays. I love them all. A day to celebrate the people you love with food and presents? And then a day to get food, presents, and love? What’s not to excitedly bounce up and down in anticipation of about that? But argument could be made that Sundays are also my favourite days. So it’s a double whammy. They speak of pjs and papers. Hot coffee and pottering about the house in socked feet. Brunch and, more specifically, beignets. Making beignets has been a revelation, born out of my recent obsession with the food of the American South. You make a dough the night before and the next morning, after a little oil heating and dough rolling, you’re in for crispy, fluffy, sugary perfection with your Sunday morning.   J and I have been known to make a platter of these, liberally snowed with icing sugar and plonked down on the …

peanut butter crisscrosses

Peanut butter is a fairly new discovery for me. We’d circled each other warily for years. I’d seen jars of the stuff swirled with jelly and wanted to like it. Heard about the PB&J but just couldn’t get on board. But then, seemingly through sheer force of will, I started to like it. Now? Can’t get enough of the stuff. My favourite way to eat it: liberally spread in the crevasse of a celery stick and doused with hot sauce. I have been informed that this is something of a peculiarity of mine. An aquired taste, if you will. Happily, these cookies are not. They’re crowdpleasers if ever there were ones. Softly crispy, with a pleasing chew, and a really moreish mix of sweet and salty. While they won’t be as crispy on day 2 (cookies are always going to be best the day you bake them), as long as you keep them in an airtight container, the soft chew remains, and they won’t change much beyond that. Yum. The recipe is adapted from The …

seville orange marmalade

Okay, it might be a little late in the Seville Orange season to be taunting you with marmalade. Actually, it’s passed. But taunt I must. It’s just that good. After all, you can always ignore me now and come back next January and February armed with kilos of those marvellously golden-orange globes. I got so excited when I saw them in the market that I gathered them up by the armful. I think I made it home with around 4kgs, not to mention a few blood oranges and ruby red grapefruits for good measure. I love making marmalade. I’ll just say that now – it will explain everything that is to come. There’s just something so soothing about peeling oranges. The bright, sunshine-scented oils mist in the air, making everything smell hopeful and happy – including me. When making the Seville batch, I wafted about on a orange-scented cloud for days. And then there’s the slow, meditative process of boiling, and stirring. It’s just the perfect activity for when it’s freezing cold, with flurries of …

Clementine Drizzle Mini Loaf Cakes

clementine drizzle mini loaf cakes

I‘ve been making some variation on this recipe since I was a kid; my family are now connoiseurs of this particular baked treat. Fairy cakes were one of the first things I ever learned how to cook and this recipe has evolved out of those first messy, gloopy attempts. Aged seven or eight, I remember baking them at a friend’s house and scrawling down the recipe we used on pink notepaper to take home with me. There’s something magic about the alchemy of baking and I am firmly of the opinion that if you bake with love (or – at a pinch – in fits of giggles), you can taste it. Like something fresh and sparkly behind the buttery goodness. I kept that little pink recipe for years, eventually absorbing the recipe and merging it with one from Nigella Lawson, I think. It’s one of those recipes that I’ve now been making for so long that I kind of do it without thinking. As I got older, baking became my stress relief and this recipe …

getting-life-back-under-control courgette gratin

That’s right – this is a gratin that signifies and celebrates life is on the upswing. More or less, anyway. After all, how can anything with dill and cinnamon in it be anything other than spectacular? A new flavour combination for some, to be sure, but trust me on its magnificence. Especially when served with sausages, or perhaps – as we’re going to have it – with prosciutto wrapped chicken breast. As I said, things are on the up. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been able to form coherent thoughts about what’s going on. Turns out quitting one’s job, moving to a new city, and creating a new life has its challenges. Whoda thunk? So our move-out date rolled around and everything we owned went to Scotland… without me! It’s all currently stuffed in a storage locker, awaiting liberation. But – happy days – after a substantial dose of stress, hard work and several pages on the calendar rolling past, not only do we now have a flat (almost), but we have a …

bagels: 4 ways

So, this week I had a hankering for bagels. This is not unusual – especially as blueberry bagels can be found in the UK again. Praise be the bagel gods! Personally, I believe that there’s no such thing as a bad bagel topping; these beauties will work with whatever you throw at them. But there are a few combinations that I LOVE. I’m going to limit myself to four of my favourites today, otherwise I could ramble on forever. And, word to the wise, I go for toasted bagels every time. Anyhoo, without further ado, here are four of my beloved bagels: sweet, savoury, hangover-alleviating, and Monday-morning-easing bagels of brilliance! Hangover Alleviating Bagel: Wholemeal bagel with cream cheese and sun dried tomatoes. This is an epic hangover breakfast; trust me, I’ve done the legwork on this one. It’s also best served with a strong cup of coffee made with one’s trusty Bialetti. I’d give you the rundown on how to make it, but it’s literally a healthy shmear of cream cheese, topped with whole sundried …

Maya Angelou’s lemon meringue pie

I found myself awake and at my kitchen table at 6am this morning – and a Sunday morning, no less. After making coffee and toast, I sat at the kitchen table to read Hallelujah: The Welcome Table, Maya Angelou’s book of recipes and memories. And I read the whole thing – barring, of course, the hour and a half that I’d driven around London (driving lessons in the city, I find, are better when no one else in their right mind is awake and on the roads). So before most of the city was even awake, I’d concocted a plan to make Maya Angelou’s Lemon Meringue Pie. Having not really made pie many times before, let alone one that involved not only pastry, but lemon curd AND meringue, this was a bold decision to make before 9am on a Sunday. But I loved the story that went with it and I had a desperate desire to know what it tasted like. And that’s good enough for me. Maya Angelou’s Lemon Meringue Pie Ingredients Pie 200g …