Pannetone Bread Pudding – Magnifico!


A great way to use up those left over pannetones that are lingering in the cupboard post Christmas!

Experiment with the different flavoured ones!!

A favourite of my daughter’s! Scrumptious!



50g butter
250g panettone (about 5 medium slices)
2 eggs
14oml  double cream
225ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp caster sugar
Icing sugar, for sprinkling -optional

You could serve with cream but it is really creamy enough!!


Preheat the oven to 160C / fan 140C and grease a 850ml/1½ pint shallow baking dish with a little butter.

Cut the panettone into wedges, leaving the crusts on. Butter the slices lightly with the rest of the butter. Cut the slices in half and arrange them in the dish, buttered side up.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, milk, vanilla extract and sugar and pour evenly over the panettone.

Put the dish in a roasting tin and pour hot water around it to a depth of about 2.5cm/1in. Bake for 35 minutes until the pudding is just set – it should be yellow inside and nicely browned on top. Dust with icing sugar.

And enjoy!



Easy Portuguese Tarts


A real favourite of mine at anytime…and especially with a cup of coffee!


I was proud of these as I confess to being no baker…I leave that to my daughter, Hannah, who has the touch with pastry. I am more usually of a starter and mains man….but I eat these a lot when I visit my favourite coffee shop in Stockbridge, who make very gentile smaller versions. These are not as delicate but boy are they delicious! The recipe i pinched from Jamie Oliver and it was a fun recipe to follow. The ingredients make enough for 6 tarts. And they last up to two days in the fridge…though none of mine made it beyond day one!


Plain flour

375 gm of pre rolled puff pastry

Ground cinnamon

125 gm crème fraîche

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla essence

5 tbsps caster sugar

1 orange


Preheat oven to 200c. Dust a clean surface or chopping board with some plain flour. Unroll the sheet of puff pastry – cut in half. You should end up with 2 2o x 20 cm squares of pastry. You only need one – pop the other away in the fridge for your next batch!

Sprinkle over a dusting of cinnamon and then roll into a swiss roll shape. Cut into 6 rounds. 

Put these into 6 of the holes of a muffin tin and using your thumbs stretch out and mould the pastry into the holes so the bottom is flat and the pastry comes to the top.Put in the oven and cook for 8 minutes until lightly golden.

Now spoon the crème fraîche into a small bowl. Add the egg, vanilla and 1 tbsp of the sugar plus the zest of the orange. Stir well.

After 8 minutes take the tarts out of the oven and use the back of a spoon to press the puff pastry back to the sides and make room for the filling. Spoon in the filling equally into each one and pop back in the oven on the top shelf for another 8 minutes.

Put a small pan on a high heat and add the juice of the orange and 4 tbsp of the sugar. Stir all the time until you get a nice sticky caramel.

Take the tarts out of the oven after 8 minutes and pour a drizzle of the caramel over each one. Put aside to cool.

These are sooooo tasty! Give them a go…I beg you!

Turkish Yoghurt Cake with citrus syrup



This is an old recipe from the inimitable Gordon Ramsay. I made it for the first time yesterday and loved every mouthful. A great summer dessert and a great Easter sweet treat! You do not necessarily need the syrup – but it adds another dimension if you are after one! The cake is reminiscent of a cheese cake but somehow moister and more interesting.



6 large eggs separated

Butter for greasing the cake tin

150 gm caster sugar

75 gm self-raising flour

600 gm natural Greek yoghurt 

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

Pinch of sea salt

23-25 cm cake tin

For the syrup

125 gm caster sugar

125 ml water

zest and juice of 1 lemon

zest and juice of 1 orange


Preheat oven to 180c. Fan 160c. Butter base and sides of cake tin – it needs to be one with a removable base. Line the bottom with grease proof paper.

Beat the egg yolks and sugar together with an electric whisk til pale and creamy. Sift the flour into this folding gently with a wooden spoon. Add the yoghurt, lemon zest and juice. Stir in.

In a second bowl, whisk the egg whites with the pinch of salt until you get firm peaks. Carefully fold this into the cake mixture with  a large metal spoon.

Pour the mixture into the cake tin. Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes. It will be golden brown on top and you should be able to pop a skewer into the centre and it should come out clean _ bingo – it’s ready!

Leave to cool completely in the tin – it will sink a little but this is as it should be!

For the syrup – put all the ingredients into a pan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 7-10 minutes until it has reduced by about a third. Leave to cool. Then pour into a serving jug.

Turn the cake out onto a large enough board or plate. Serve slices and spoon over the syrup as folk wish. You can also serve with cream, crème fraîche or yoghurt.

Happy Easter and Happy Eating!

Poached Plums in Red Wine with Walnut Mascarpone


IMG_5091 I post this more because I like the photo as much as anything for I know so many of you make dishes like this all the time -it is such a delicious way to eat plums! Anyway, I poached 2 plums per person, halved and stoned, placed in a casserole dish face down. I added enough good red wine until it came up to just over half way up the plums. I added several shavings of orange peel and a good tablespoon of muscovado sugar. Bring gently to the boil, pop a lid on and simmer for 20 minutes. I crushed a handful of walnuts and mixed them into the mascarpone, served it with the red wine sauce and a whole walnut to top off the mascarpone. Fabulous!

The Legend that is…. the Lemon…


The Legend that is.... the Lemon...

Bonnie Lalley has sent me this wonderful painting inspired by my lemon pudding recipe which follows. I haven’t made it for a while so now that the lemons in the market are looking so attractive, this will be on the menu again this week! It is perhaps my favourite pudding recipe and shows off this fabulous fruit to perfection. Thank you, Bonnie, for reminding me!

The lemon is to my mind one of the sexiest fruits there is – it just looks so perfect – and it is, almost unquestionably,  the most important fruit in European cookery. As in Bonnie’s painting they cheer up any room even when doing nothing more than simply lounging in a bowl; their fragrance entices and they inspire so many ideas for dishes. The lemon partners so perfectly such foods as chicken and fish as well as making its mark in tempting drinks (citron pressé..oh my!) vinegars, desserts, jams and a host of sauces (in particular the fabulous avgolémeno sauce from Greece…and of course..mayonnaise.)

It is thought that the lemon originated in deepest Northern India and brought to the mediterranean lands by the roving Romans of the 1st century A.D. Oddly, the Romans had no word in Latin for this humble fruit. They apparently used it more as a decoration than an ingredient. The mighty Moors seem to have been largely responsible for the Med spread of the lemon. By the 4th century A.D. the lemon was well settled in such places as Sicily and Spain thanks to the Arabs. Arabic traders also took it to China. These guys worshipped this fruit – a writer called Ibn Jamiya wrote a tome called ‘The Treatise of the Lemon‘, and includes recipes for lemon syrup and preserves. By the late 1500s the Italians were in on the act big time and the use of lemon slices to garnish fish dishes was widespread. The lemon made its way to the New World – sounds so quaint that term nowadays! – via Mr. Columbus in 1493 who planted lots of lemon trees in Haiti. By the mid 1500s the Portuguese had taken the lemon to Brazil and in 1788 the first colonists to arrive in Australia were armed with stacks of lemon tree saplings!

One of the historical ironies of the transpiration of lemons by ship around the world is that the sailors often contracted scurvy on their travels – not realising that the very cargo they carried was to eventually prove an effective cure for the disease. By the early 1800s the British Royal Navy got round finally to issuing its sailors with lemon juice which cut cases of scurvy to almost zero.

The lemon is so beguiling as befits such a well travelled fruit. When I moved to New Zealand in the late 90s our first house had a stunning view from the garden – but what was even more captivating for me were the several lemon trees growing just yards from my back door. Oh for those trees now in damp Hampshire!

Look, anyway, back to the recipe – this first appeared on this blog in March last year and I make no apologies for repeating it here now – especially as it is accompanied today by Bonnie’s mouth-watering painting.

Double Lemon Pud

INGREDIENTS – 150 gm unsalted butter / 265 gm caster sugar /grated zest of 2 lemons / tsp vanilla essence / 6 eggs separated / 75 gm plain flour / 190 ml milk/ juice of 3 big lemons – / cream to serve.

And for my U.S. friends – 190 ml milk = 0.8 cup of milk or 6.5 fluid ounces      150 gm = 5 oz       265 gm = just over 9oz

75 gm = just under 3 oz.

Turn the oven up to 180c. Grease a 3 litre ovenproof dish. Cream together butter, sugar lemon zest and vanilla. Then, beat in the egg yolks….. slowly.

Fold in the flour…. then the milk…..then the lemon juice. Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until they form soft peaks. Gently fold this in too.

Pour the mix into the greased dish. Place in a roasting tray. Add boiling water a third of a way up the roasting tray – in effect creating a bain marie…transfer..easy does the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown on top. Leave it to cool.

I love it cold but it is also wonderful warm. Serve with cream. I cannot tell you how good this is…………. just make it….!

Oh it’s such a pearfect day….I’m glad I ate this with you!


Oh it's such a pearfect day....I'm glad I ate this with you!

Supper last eve was rounded off with the simplest of dishes – glimmering green conference pears halved, seeds scooped out gently and then placed carefully, flesh side down, into a frying pan in which around 80 gm unsalted butter and 2 or 3 tablespoons of brown sugar were nicely melted and unctuous.

I left them for around ten minutes on a low heat, then added a splash of brandy. Several minutes later I turned the pears and
popped a lid on the pan for ten minutes.

The result was the softest and most succulent of pears encrusted with a caramelised coating.

On to a plate – a drizzle of cream, and more of the buttery sugary brandy mix spooned over.

There can be fewer tastier simpler desserts.


Tarte aux pommes de Maman…


Tarte aux pommes de Maman...

This was a rare voyage for me into the world of desserts – we had folk round last night for supper who I felt looked like they needed a pud. This is from a highly recommended tome called French Brasserie Cookbook by Daniel Galmiche – if you have not got it – buy it today. It is brilliant and simple to follow.

The resulting tart was fabulous – if not quite as artistically laid out as I would have wished!

Heat oven to 180c.


I used puff pastry ready made – cheating I know – but very good.
1 large egg
100 ml double cream
3 tbsp caster sugar
30 gm of ground almonds or crushed pecans
3 large apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges – I used bakers from my tree but Mr Gamiche recommends Cox or Braeburn.

Butter an oblong baking tray. Place pastry sheet on and pinch the edges. Sprinkle your choice of nuts over the base.
Then arrange the apple pieces as regularly as possible, overlapping each other. Crack the egg into a jug, add the sugar and cream and whisk with a hand blender until nice and frothy. Pour gently all over the apples ensuring you get into every nook and cranny and that you bless each apple slice with the mixture.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes until just golden. Leave the tray to cool on a rack. No need for any extra cream. Perfect served just warm.


Double Lemon Pudding…


This was one of the first recipes I blogged and i just wanted to bring it to your attention again – it is a cracker.

From Alfredo's With Love


INGREDIENTS – 150 gm unsalted butter / 265 caster sugar /grated zest of 2 lemons / tsp vanilla essence / 6 eggs separated / 75 gm plain flour / 190 ml milk/  juice of 3 big lemons – / cream to serve.

So…whack the oven on 180c. Grease a 3 litre ovenproof dish. Cream together butter, sugar lemon zest and vanilla. Then, beat in the egg yolks slowly. Fold in the flour, then the milk, then the lemon juice. Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until they form soft peaks. Gently fold this in too.

Pour the mix into the greased dish. Place in a roasting tray. Add boiling water a third of a way up the roasting tray – in effect creating a bain marie…transfer..easy does the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown on top. Leave it to cool. For me – it is…

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Red Rice Rhubarb & Strawberry Pots…


Red Rice Strawberry Rhubarb Pots.....

A simple, simple early summer (looks out at rain soaked garden wondering if I’ve been transported back to November overnight !) pud to cleanse the palate at the end of any supper.

I simmered some home grown rhubarb with a little caster sugar until just cooked….I let it cool…then added a glug of Wild Strawberry liqueur (from The Wiltshire Liqueur Company – see link at the side bar) – covered the dish with cling film and popped it in the fridge for about a couple of hours to let the rhubarb soak up the spirit. I crumbled a ginger biscuit into each pot (I actually bashed it in a plastic bag with a rolling pin-very therapeutic actually!) added a beautiful blob of creme fraiche then topped with a spoonful of the rhubarb benevolence!

The trinity of flavours was satisfying and sumptuous and light.


Kiwi and lime tart


Kiwi and lime tart...wo!

This is a stunner…and made by my daughter yesterday – recipe from Mitts and Measures – check out Julie’s fab blog. Thank you!!

I cannot explain just how good this is – the lime and kiwi is just so very alluring and sexy and every taste bud in your mouth will just swoon when you taste it!

I think this could become one of my favourite desserts of all time! The pastry is just so crisp and light and packed with macademia nuts.

A marvellous recipe for a Sunday!

Kiwi-Lime Tart

(Adapted from Epicurious)

For crust: (Note – 1 cup = 8oz or half a pint)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Ice water

3/4 cup dry-roasted and lightly salted macadamia nuts, chopped

For filling:

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon grated lime zest

2/3 cup cold heavy cream

5 ripe kiwis, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds

To prepare crust: Lightly butter the bottom of a 9-inch-diameter tart pan with a removable bottom. Combine flour, sugar and salt in a food processor; pulse to mix. Add butter. Pulse the processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 1 tablespoon ice water; process until moist clumps form. Add more ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if dough is dry. Transfer dough to a floured surface. Gently knead nuts into dough. Press dough onto the bottom and up the sides of a the tart pan.

Freeze crust 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 190c

Line crust with foil; fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake crust until sides begin to set, about 15 minutes. Remove foil and beans. Bake crust until cooked through and pale golden, about 10 minutes longer, piercing with a fork if crust bubbles. Let cool completely.

To prepare filling: Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, lime juice and lime zest in a large bowl until smooth and fluffy. Beat heavy cream in a medium bowl until firm peaks form. Fold into cream-cheese mixture. Spoon into crust; smooth top with a knife. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours. Arrange kiwis in concentric circles atop filling, overlapping slightly. (Can be prepared up to 4 hours ahead. Cover with plastic and refrigerate.) Cut tart into wedges and serve.

This is just mmmmmm.......!

This is just mmmmmm…….!