Panettone ice cream bomb recipe

Panettone ice cream bomb recipe

Some foodie friends came for dinner last month bearing white truffles, Pinot Noir and extra virgin olive oil (my kind of people). They run a swanky grocers in Chelsea and to be honest, I slightly dread having them over, because despite the fact we love them very much, they are such good hosts (and even better guests) that I worry my cooking is not going to be up to par. My tip with dinner parties is to do as much as you can in advance, to avoid a mid-course nervous breakdown. So I did a burrata for starter – unaware until I wrote it down that it rhymes – with olive-studded bread from a fabulous new Italian deli near my house, before serving Claire’s legendary pork ragu recipe which I made the day before, alongside some roasted broccoli and M&S mash potato. I know I should know better and make my own, but I find the stress of making lump-free mash under scrutiny too much, so decanted this into a terracotta dish for the homemade look. But the star of the show was this Panettone ice cream bomb. It was a trial run for Christmas – Claire is cooking this year – hurrah! – and as well as our mum’s Christmas pudding, we will be eating this for afters. It can be made well in advance and only takes 15m to throw together. You literally just hollow out a Panettone, whip up some double cream and condensed milk, stir in some sour cherries and pistachios, fill up the hollow and freeze for at least 24 hours. Just before serving, you...
Hot apple and rum cocktail recipe

Hot apple and rum cocktail recipe

Fingers crossed November is as mild and dry as October. This Autumn has been glorious and reinforced my love for Britain’s seasons. OK, I know we are obsessed with the weather here, but the magic of watching the seasons changed is one of our – unsung – national treasures. Autumn 2016 has been almost poetical in its beauty. Blue skies, crisp air and spectacularly coloured leaves. But the transition between seasons, is not just a change of weather and outfits but a change in what we eat. What I love most about this time of the year is that hunkering down with a bowl of apple and blackberry crumble and custard is not just one of life’s biggest pleasures, but a legitimate way to spend a Friday night.  So with that in mind this month over on YouTube (if you’ve not already subscribed to our channel, it only takes a second, is free and means you will find out what we’ve eating before anyone else) we have been cooking some of our favourite Autumn dishes.  All of them perfect for celebrating Bonfire Night this Saturday. There is our very easy sausage one pot, our ingenious lid potatoes (jacket potatoes with the top lopped off – made this way, they are very transportable and can be wrapped in foil and eaten easily outdoors) stuffed with bacon and cheese or even baked with an egg in the top. And a delicious apple, ginger, pear and rum cocktail (inspired by a recipe from the wonderful Anna Jones) that will warm the cockles of your heart, put some colour in your cheeks and a spring in your step. On...
Sprinkle saucers – best ever birthday party biscuits

Sprinkle saucers – best ever birthday party biscuits

I wrote about these sprinkle saucers back in 2012 and love them as much six years on (looking back in our archive, was a wake-up call as to how long we’ve been blogging for) as I do now. The recipe is adapted from the wonderful Outsider Tart cookbook (just as inventive as their beautiful Chiswick cake shop, which is far too close to my home for comfort. Their brownies are irresistible) and are so easy to make we decided to make a film about them here – although apologies in advance for the horrific clash of my floral top and Claire’s patterned tiles. Sartorial mayhem aside, baking them on film was really just an excuse to make them again and one of their many fine attributes – along with the shortness of the biscuit and the genius of smothering them in sprinkles before cooking – is that you can make the dough way in advance, store it in the fridge meaning you are never more than 20 or so minutes from a biscuit. Lethal....
Chocolate and raspberry birthday cake

Chocolate and raspberry birthday cake

  I’m a terrible parent. I have never made a novelty birthday cake. There have been no Thomas the Tank Engines, Caterpillars or Fairy Princess Castles. Not that I haven’t been begged. And occasionally I succumb. But not really. One year I created a Cyclops, but take a look at the picture below and see if you can guess my cunning secret!    Yes! I make the same cake each time, with some concession to my child’s request. This is perhaps my personal favourite, as I think the cake looks rather like a baby Cyclops wearing a bonnet.    The main thing about my cake is that it tastes delicious, and so it should with two whole bars of Green & Black’s melted into it. It is possibly the most chocolate-y cake ever, and I NEVER wrap it in a paper napkin and give it to the kids to trample into the car’s upholstery on the way home. No way. This cake is there to be eaten, on the spot. Devoured, by parents, children and me.  I have other cunning customisations. The 6yo is obsessed with pigs and has been for a couple of years. This year I made exactly the same cake with pink fondant pigs wallowing in the chocolate-y mud. The chocolate fingers looked like a pen. Tragically my photos don’t do my brilliance justice. For some reason the pigs look a bit washed out. Please believe me when I tell you this was an absolute triumph!  Chocolate Birthday Cake 100g dark chocolate 150ml milk 225gself raising flour 2 tbsp cocoa powder 2 tsp baking powder 225g butter, at...
Rice crispy cakes – but not as you know them

Rice crispy cakes – but not as you know them

So, what are these little mouthfuls of deliciousness, you may ask. And, admittedly it is not immediately obvious from our typically random photo (we try!). But these are marshmallow rice crispy cakes. That’s right. Rice crispies modified with all the gooeyness of marshmallow, and little else. Unless you count the drizzle of plain chocolate which is added specifically to increase the anti-oxidants consumed by your children at parties. Because, as we all know, kids parties are all about eating healthily (ha!). We Why do we need to change a recipe that has served us so well, ever since our own childhood, you may ask? (That’s the second question you’ve asked in this blogpost so far, pipe down!) And the answer is; just because we can. The advantages to this recipe over the normal Golden Syrup scenario is that the marshmallow holds the rice crispies together really well so you can cut them into different shapes (essential). It also turns the cakes a pinky colour, which is always good. Plus there are large amounts of offcuts (the edges which you have cut from) which Claire shows you what to do with in the film we made about it here.  Plus it’s really easy. What more do you need?  Pimped up rice crispy cake Makes: 6-8 cakes Start to finish: 20 mins prep, 30 mins in fridge 45g butter 220g marshmallows 150g rice crispies 30g chocolate Line a 20x30cm tray bake tin. Put butter into a medium sized saucepan over a low heat. After a few seconds add the marshmallows. Gently heat the mix until the marshmallows have lost their shape and you are left...
Children’s birthday party special…. piggy rolls

Children’s birthday party special…. piggy rolls

If hosting a children’s party brings you out in a nervous rash then let us be your Calamine lotion, because this month we have four party recipes guaranteed to bring a smile on the face of little people whilst not leaving you on the floor. The first is these sweet little piggy rolls. They are a fabulous centrepiece and easy enough for little people to make too.  Put a plate of these on your party table and there will be lots of ooohhing and ahhhing. Serve with plates of ham and cucumber and cheese and children can make their own rolls, leaving you to get surreptitiously stuck in to the hula hoops. If you want to take things up a notch then with the – clean! – palm of your hand squash those little meatballs (available in most supermarkets) in to the shape of burgers, fry and serve in the rolls with ketchup. If you were feeling really fancy you could do pulled pork to continue the piggy theme, but chances are if you have lots of little people coming over, you will want to keep it as simple as possible. So in our birthday party special, over the next few weeks, we have recipes and videos for sprinkle saucer biscuits, Claire’s failsafe chocolate birthday cake, pimped up rice crispy cakes and fruit kebabs, just so you can pretend to other parents that you care about their children’s vitamin C intake. If that is still not enough, then  here is a chapter on children’s parties in our cookbook – (available here!) – including my fabulous –even if I do say so...