Serves 4. Great with fresh cream or custard.
For the puddings
- 125g pitted dates
- 100ml boiling water
- 50g unsalted butter
- 80g light or dark muscovado sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 100g self raising flour
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 60ml whole or semi-skimmed milk
For the toffee sauce
- 40g unsalted butter
- 80g light or dark muscovado sugar
- 60ml single or double cream
- Preheat your oven to 180C/160C Fan
- Grease 4 ramekins
- Soak the dates in the boiled water for a few minutes, then drain and whizz into a paste.
- Beat the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until smooth and creamy.
- Add the egg a bit at a time, making sure to beat it in well.
- Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon in a bowl, then add a third to the mixture and fold it in.
- Add half of the milk and mix it well.
- Continue with the next third of the dry ingredients, then the other half of the milk and the final third of the dry.
- Mix in the date paste.
- Split the mixture between the four ramekins and bake for 20-25mins.
- The sauce only takes 10 minutes so you can start as the puddings are almost done or let the puddings cool and use them later on.
- Add the butter, sugar and 40ml of the cream to a pan and melt over a low heat.
- Stir consistently for 7-10mins until all of the sugar has dissolved and the sauce is a dark toffee colour.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 20ml of cream.
- Turn the puddings out onto a plate/bowl and spoon the toffee sauce on top.
Serves 4-6 people
Chef’s Tip: Try my custard recipe which goes perfectly with this crumble!
For the filling:
- 3-4 cooking apples
- 100-120g blackberries
- 30g unsalted butter
- 30g demerera sugar (or golden caster sugar)
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
For the crumble:
- 50g golden caster sugar
- 100g plain flour
- 80g butter
- Optional: 1tbsp soft brown sugar
- Optional: 2tbsp ground almonds
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6
- Peel and chop the apples into small cubes.
- Put the butter and sugar in a medium/large saucepan and melt together over a medium heat until it turns into a light caramel (around 3mins).
- Stir in the apples and cook for 3-5mins.
- Add the blackberries and cinnamon and cook for another 3mins.
- Cover with a lid and remove from the heat to sit for another few minutes while you make the topping.
- Add the sugar, flour and butter to a mixing bowl.
- At this point you can also add the optional ingredients which I highly recommend!
- Use your hands to combine the ingredients until they are crumbly.
- Sprinkle the topping over your filling and bake for 10mins or until golden and crunchy on top.
Chef’s Tip: delicious served with warm berries/honey/yoghurt
- 100g/3½oz porridge oats (not instant)
- 1/8 tsp sea salt flakes
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 100ml/3½fl oz oat milk, or any other sort you wish
- 1 free-range egg
- 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
- Put the oats and salt in a mini blender/food processor and whizz until they resemble a crumby heavy flour.
- Tip into a bowl and add the baking powder and cinnamon.
- Mix up the milk, egg and vanilla in a jug.
- Slowly add the liquid to the dry mixture, mixing as you go, until it’s all mixed in.
- Add a tiny drop (about half a teaspoon) of oil to a large non-stick pan and use a piece of kitchen towel to wipe it across the whole surface.
- Use a ladle to spoon the batter into small circles in your pan, no more than 4 at a time.
- When the surface starts to bubble, use a spatula to turn them over and let them cook for another 2-3mins.
Makes: 16 square brownies
- 185g unsalted butter
- 185g high quality dark chocolate (I use 85%)
- 85g plain flour
- 40g cocoa powder
- 100g white OR milk chocolate
- 3 large eggs
- 275g golden caster sugar
- Chop the butter and dark chocolate into chunks and add to a glass bowl.
- Fill a small saucepan about a quarter full with hot water, sit the bowl on top and melt over a medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the bowl once it’s all melted and mixed and set aside to cool.
- Get a shelf ready in the middle of your oven and preheat to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4
- Line and grease a shallow 20cm square tin
- Sieve the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl, ensuring any lumps are gone.
- Chop the white and milk chocolate into small pieces
- Break the eggs into a bowl and add the sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until they look thick and creamy like a milkshake.
You’ll know it’s ready when the mixture becomes really pale and about double its original volume. Another check is to turn off the mixer, lift out the beaters and wiggle them from side to side. If the mixture that runs off the beaters leaves a trail on the surface of the mixture in the bowl for a second or two, you’re there.
- Pour the cooled melted chocolate over the eggy mousse and gently fold with a spatula. The idea is to mix the two without losing the air so do this very gently and as slow as you like.
- Add the cocoa/flour mix and fold gently again until it’s all mixed in. Make sure you don’t over-mix it.
- Add the chocolate chunks and stir them through evenly.
- Pour the batter into your prepared tin and use a spatula to gently even out the top so it’s level.
- Put in the oven and set an alarm for 25 minutes. When the time is up, open the oven, pull the shelf out a bit and gently shake the tin. If the brownie wobbles in the middle, it’s not quite done, so slide it back in and bake for another 5 minutes until the top has a shiny, papery crust and the sides are just beginning to come away from the tin.
- Repeat as many times as necessary.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool completely in the tin before cutting it into squares.
This makes roughly 8-10 small pancakes
- 225g plain flour
- 1tbsp baking powder
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 eggs (beaten)
- 30g butter (melted and cooled slightly)
- 300ml milk
- Butter for frying
- Combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a bowl and make a well in the middle.
- Add the eggs, butter and milk into the well.
- Mix with a fork or a whisk until smooth
- Heat some butter in a frying pan
- Use a ladle to spoon small amounts into the pan one at a time
- All you need to do is wait for the top of the pancake to blister and bubble and then flip it for around 1-2mins on the other side.
Chef’s tip: Delicious with berries, honey and yoghurt. Or for a savoury approach, butter and smoked bacon.
Serves 8 with a small slice each
For the cake:
- 170g/6oz clear honey
- 140g/5oz butter
- 85g/3oz light muscovado sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 200g/7oz self raising flour
For the icing:
- 55g/2oz icing sugar
- 1tbsp clear honey
- Hot water
- Preheat your oven to 180C/350F/Gas 3, and butter/line an 18cm (7inch) cake tin.
- Measure the honey, butter and sugar into a large saucepan with a tablespoon of water. Heat gently until melted.
- Remove from the heat and mix in the eggs and flour.
- Pour into the cake tin and bake for 40-45mins (can be quicker than this depending on your oven).
- Cool for a few minutes on a rack.
- While the cake is still warm, make the icing by mixing the sugar and honey together with 2-3 teaspoons of hot water.
- Trickle the icing over the cake in whatever pattern you like 🙂
You will need two cake tins (approx 20cm)
Ingredients for the Cake
- 4 eggs
- 225g caster sugar
- 225g softened butter
- 225g self-raising flour
- 2tsp baking powder
Ingredients for buttercream filling (double the recipe if you want to cover the cake as well)
- 75g unsalted butter at room temperature – it should be soft
- 170g icing sugar
- 2 tbsp milk
- Drop of vanilla extract (optional)
- Strawberry jam
Ingredients for fresh strawberries and cream filling
- 300ml double cream
- 3 tsp caster sugar
- Fresh strawberries
- Heat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas Mark 5
- Grease the base and sides of your tins with butter and then line the base with baking paper.
- Crack the eggs into a large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and use an electric hand mixer to mix until smooth. You can also use a wooden spoon for this.
- Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for about 25mins or until the cakes are golden – check them after 20mins.
- First, beat the butter in a bowl for about 5 minutes until it’s really smooth and lighter in colour.
- Add half of the icing sugar and beat again, then add the rest and keep beating until it’s all mixed.
- Add the milk (and vanilla if using) and beat some more until it’s a smooth almost white paste.
- Pour the cream and sugar into a mixing bowl and use a whisk or electric mixer to beat them until it thickens into a paste.
- Slice the strawberries.
- Once the cakes have cooled down, use a bread knife or cake wire to level them out.
- Use a piping bag or icing gun to cover the top of one cake with buttercream or cream mixture. Top that with a layer of jam or make a nice pattern with the strawberries.
- Place the second cake on top and dust with icing sugar.