I heard that nobody can actually multitask. I’ve always said though, that what I do is really optimisation for task allocation. So I never wait for the kettle to boil; I always try to put on a load of washing while waiting. I’ve just put my porridge in the microwave; I’ve got time to paint my nails. While the bath is running, I could just start writing a novel etc. Of course, I often misjudge the time for each task and the kettle is boiled and reboiled, while the bath over runs and the novel doesn’t get written. Softening butter in the microwave is a task which really does require your full attention. If you come to a recipe that needs softened butter and you need to make it now because, well, you’re hungry, never fear. Weigh out the cold butter into the bowl in small pieces and then microwave for 5 seconds at a time (NO MORE!), checking each time, until it’s soft enough to use.
Continue reading “Peanut butter cookies”
I really need a new kitchen. The cupboard doors are falling off, the worktops slope down so that water runs into the corner and pools there behind the tea and coffee canisters. The tiles are so retro, they’re almost fashionable again. But mostly, I need a new kitchen so that I can take instaworthy pictures of my baking. For now, you’ll have to do with pictures taken in the fridge/on top of a biscuit tin/disguised with tea towels. But trust me, this fridge cake tastes better than the photos can do justice!
Continue reading “Gooey chocolate fridge cake”
Some things in miniature can be very cute – children, dungarees, canapes. Others can be extremely frustrating – children, cakes, onions. Yes, mini onions, or shallots as they’re often known, are one of my pet hates to prepare. If you need to keep them whole, and you want, say, 12 like I did for this recipe, you’ll need to add an extra 15 minutes to your prep time. But this tip might just save some time. I did a very scientific, controlled experiment with a sample size of 1, and I’m pleased to say it more or less works!
Continue reading “Coq au vin”
There are many reasons to buy a real zester (instead of just using that side of a grater). For example, that knobbly side of a grater cuts your fingers, is hard work, and doesn’t produce as much zest as it produces washing up. However, the main reason is so that you can produce corduroy oranges like this:
It’s not just cooking; it’s sensory play! Continue reading “Corduroy Oranges and Cranberry sauce”
There’s something so delightfully British about a Sunday high tea. Imagine the scene: you’ve had a huge dinner at Grandma’s house, with roast lamb and overcooked vegetables. Then you’ve had a bit of a snooze, followed by a lazy game of cricket in the garden. Before you know it, half-past 4 has rolled around, and it’s time to tuck into the spread of sweet food laid out for Sunday Tea. Scones, bread and butter, teacakes, crumpets, muffins, and a slice of light fruit cake! Nobody does excess better!
Continue reading “Afternoon tea cake”
Chocolate orange sponge with chocolate orange ganache
This recipe is based on this one from the bbc, with a few small changes. Continue reading “Chocolate orange 12 inch wedding cake tier”
I would get on my high horse, but I’m too short. And that’s what I wanted to talk about. At the majestic height of 5 foot 1, I am pretty small, although by no means least among the people of the UK (Christmas reference there for the wide awake). There are numerous problems for us little people, but the one that’s bugging me right now is the lack of petite clothing.
Continue reading “In which I get on my low horse, and start some Christmas preparations”
Christmas is coming! That means all baking should be accompanied by non-stop Christmas tunes. If traditional carols are your thing, then try http://www.christmascarolsradio.org/ or for cheesy Christmas pop, it’s got to be http://www.christmasfm.com/
Continue reading “Of pastry, pies, and pumpkin”
This dish is inspired by Lorraine Pascale in every way except one: the recipe.
Continue reading “Churros”
Cakes which look more exciting on the inside than the outside are very fashionable at the moment. And Lorraine has a version of the zebra cake in her recipe book.
Continue reading “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Zebra Cake”