Monthly Archives: November 2009

Homemade Crumpets

Here comes another “rare” breakfast recipe and up this time is another old favourite. Crumpets always remind me of my Grandparents as they were always given to me and my brother when we stayed with them as kids so eating them always makes me nostalgic . When you buy them ready made yes they are tasty, but I find them too stodgy and well thats just no good is it. I hoped they wouldnt be too difficult to make and when I first tried them they were a disaster the batter was too thick and didnt get as bubbly as they should have, and they just would not set on top when cooked. I gave up, frustrated and annoyed. A couple of weeks later, after finding myself unexpectedly at home, I decided to have a relaxed morning and try again and was rewarded with great little crumpets, perfect for a late weekend breakfast when the weather is rubbish and you just want a tasty breakfast. Continue reading


English Muffins

A couple of posts ago I mentioned that im not really a morning person but recently I sure have been making and baking a fair bit of breakfast food. Bread is something I tackle only rarely but when I do, and im actually successful, I find it very satisfying. There is something magical about seeing the change from soft sticky dough to warm risen bread, mixed with the fact I have had a couple of failures, making it seem all the more special when Im actually able to enjoy the fruits of my labour. I didn’t fancy making a loaf or bagels or buns, I really wanted to try my hands at English Muffins. I cant think of anything better, for a lazy morning breakfast, than a runny poached egg oozing its yolk all over the crackly surface of the muffin generously spread with butter topped with a little sea salt and fresh pepper, heaven! Even better these were very easy and they freeze very well. Continue reading

Frivolité – Salted Caramel and Apple Macarons

For the third and final instalment of this weeks Macaron posts I am sharing my most successful and current favourite – Pierre Herme’s “Frivolté” which is his name for Salted Caramel and Apple, think tarte tatin or candy apples and you know this combination is a sure fire winner.  I think making these batches quite close together really helped with my technique, these were definitely the most successful batch I have made so far. For the first time I have also frozen half of the unfilled shells and come this weekend they will be defrosted and served as part of my Dad’s 60th birthday celebrations, which is just the icing on the cake. I think I may have overcommitted myself just a little because I have agreed to make a tripe-layer Dulce de Leche cake, a Lemon Tart, Chocolate Vanilla Cupcakes, on top of the Macarons.  I promise that after this current spate of Macaron posts I will refrain for posting anymore of these for a considerable time, I wouldn’t want to overwhelm or bore anyone! Continue reading

Lemon Macarons

As promised here is the first recipe from Pierre Herme’s “Macaron” book this time its for Lemon Macarons which were wonderful, the filling being both sweet and tart. Anyone who has cooked from Dorie Greenspans books might recognise the filling, as it’s basically the same as her Lemon Cream Tart filling (itself coming from Pierre Herme). It’s almost the same as a curd but made slightly differently resulting in a different and, in my opinion, more pleasing texture and taste. These were a good attempt but were not perfect. I didn’t take the folding far enough so my macarons didn’t have smooth tops but the great thing with these is that even if your not perfect they still taste great. I didn’t fancy using any more almonds so skipped the addition of then to the filling but they were still really tasty without them. I have tried to be as in-depth as possible in the description to be as useful as possible. If there is anything that I haven’t been clear about in this or the previous post leave me a comment and ill try to expand a bit.  Continue reading

Pierre Herme’s “Macaron”

Anyone who knows me well or reads this site knows that I love Macarons and Pierre Herme. Unfortunately he has no shops in this country (which is apparently shortly going to change) so when I heard rumours that Monsieur Herme’s “Macaron” book was coming back into print I knew I had to get it. When it was first published I left it too late and when I finally went to place my order it was out of print. Yes the book isn’t the cheapest and yes its completely in French but to be fair its absolutely gorgeous and has every macaron recipe you could ever wish for, including all his signature flavours. If you have ever wanted to try the foie gras or the ketchup macarons then this is the book for you, as alongside the more regular flavours the book is full of interesting and experimental combinations. Continue reading

Heaven and Hell

As with many of my experiments this is a tale of two extremes. The Heaven came in the form of David Lebovitz’s Salted Butter Caramel Sauce which was the most divine, eat it straight from the pan, sauce. The Hell came in the form of my use for it. I had wanted to try my hand at chocolate making and specifically wanted to recreate my favourite sweet treat – Liquid Salted Caramels, my inspiration coming from the ones I recently tried from Paul A Young in London. I bought some moulds and a large amount of chocolate and after reading through the advice and instruction from Youngs new book I set out to temper my chocolate and make my chocolates. Continue reading

Banana Crumb Muffins

I seem to have gained something of a reputation as the resident baker at my office. We recently got a new manager and we had to do one of those awkward, cringe inducing, introductions and after I had said my bit one of my colleagues shouted “he bakes too”. Another colleague also recently brought me bakeware they had no use for. She had been convinced to buy a muffin pan from “Pampered Chef” a buy-at-home company I had never heard of. It was stoneware and had never been used but was only given to me on the promise of muffins in return. I settled on this and even though I dont use the recipe websites like Allrecipes very often, sometimes you just cant deny the agreement of 4500 reviews over the quality of a recipe. These were really moist and flavourful and I loved the crunchy topping, although it was a little too sweet and next time I would reduce the sugar a bit. Continue reading