This raspberry cream sponge cake is a taste of summer and a highlight of any garden party. It’s a classic victoria sponge, but baked with scented leaves to impart an air of added sophistication and delight. Two sponges are sandwiched together with crushed raspberries and rose flavoured cream. It’s very hard to resist.
Sausage salad is one of the best meals to prepare for a sizzling summer. It’s my summertime take on a comfort food classic – sausage and mash. There are plenty of flavours and textures to keep everyone interested and the zesty lime & herb dressing makes this salad sing. It’s quick and easy to put together, makes a tasty family meal but is also impressive enough for entertaining.
Back off Bugs, carrot tops aren’t just for bunnies. This naturally vegan recipe for carrot top pistou produces a vibrant, fresh and zingy condiment that livens up all sorts of dishes. It’s super quick to make and can be on the table in five minutes.
What do you do with leftover egg whites? I make chocolate macaroons. I adore macaroons and find it very hard to stop at only one. One leftover egg white is the perfect quantity to make a few, but not too many. This chocolate macaroon recipe substitutes chufa flour for ground almonds, but you can easily swap them back again if you find ground chufas difficult to get hold of.
Every year I mean to mark Twelfth Night by making a special cake and every year I manage not to do it – until now. When it comes to cake, I associate Twelfth Night with marzipan, so although I didn’t intend to make a traditional King Cake or similar this year, I did want to include almond paste. And as I still had plenty of lemons left from my 3pFruits box, lemon marzipan cakes it was to be.
I was lucky enough to grow up with an Aga in the house. This meant plenty of slow cooked meals. There’s something about slow cooking that really brings out the flavours of ingredients and melds them into something richer and more flavoursome than the sum of their parts. These days, I only have an ordinary electric cooker, so I don’t tend to do much of that sort of cooking. At least I didn’t until I was sent a Von Shef slow cooker to try out. Those delicious childhood stews called to me and I knew I was very soon going to make a slow cooker vegetable stew.
A delicious summer green soup using seasonal vegetables and enhanced with parsley and almond pesto. It’s a good one for using up any garden gluts or produce that’s been lurking in the fridge for a bit too long. There’s plenty going on flavour wise and it’s substantial enough to be the main meal of the day.
Cranks and I go back a long way. The Dartington Cider Press branch, now Cranks Kitchen, opened many years ago, when I was at school. It was a very exciting prospect for an ever hungry bunch of teenagers and it was only a couple of hundred yards down the hill. We couldn’t afford much, but I do remember wolfing down a fair number of cheese baps and date slices. I have been a frequent visitor ever since. When I was invited to attend a new product launch event there a few week ago, I was not going to say no.
The concept of a leftover Easter egg is something I find hard to get to grips with. In our house, uneaten Easter eggs must have something seriously wrong with them, or have fallen down the back of the sofa. The whole point of self-denial during Lent is to celebrate your resolve with a massive blow-out at the end, which is where the Easter eggs fit in. Fit into your stomach, I mean.