There are probably more sensible ways of adding stripes to a cat-shaped biscuit, but this worked for me. At the unbaked stage my husband said the chocolatey bits looked like mitochondria, but please don’t let that put you off. Continue reading
I never need a reason to make a lemon cake but if you have any home-made lemon curd (of course you do!) with its eat-by date approaching, this is a good way of using it up. A good-quality bought curd will work just as well. Continue reading
Chin-chin, it’s World Gin Day on Saturday. The Portly household never needs an excuse to down a G&T but for anyone less steeped in alcohol, this is a safe way to sup the spirit that kept the Empire afloat. Continue reading
I’m a pushover for any cake that contains ground almonds and if fruit is involved too, I’m a goner. Friands are best eaten on the day they’re made but I think you’ll find that isn’t a problem. They vanish faster than you can say rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb. (Yes, yes, I know rhubarb isn’t technically a fruit.)
I made these for a dessert but they’re equally good for elevenses, or threeses or fourses if you’re having an afternoon cuppa. Continue reading
This is English jelly, the wibbly sort, not American jam/jelly. I was at a lunch recently where an apple jelly was part of the dessert and it was delicious, tart like a Granny Smith and with just the right amount of tremulous wobbliness.
It occurred to me that if you made it with rhubarb instead, you’d get a double return because after straining off the juice for the jelly, you could use the rhubarb to make a fool. If you’re feeling particularly profligate you could even serve the two together. Continue reading
It’s a lucky cook who has willing guinea pigs to experiment on. Usually it’s Him Outdoors but at the moment I have three extra: our builders James and Mick and Andy the roofer, who’ve worked through rain, hail and snow this week and have earned a bit of TLC.
A shout of “tea’s up” will usually bring them scrambling down the scaffolding and they’re always game to sample whatever I’m cooking that day. This time though I blackmailed them into having their photos taken: no picture, no banana muffins. Continue reading
I’ve never been very good at sums. When I was doing my GCSEs (or O-levels as we called them in those days) I got such a bad grade in maths my father made me re-sit the exam. Knowing how idle I was he supervised my revision, a practise to which I attribute my abiding dislike of having people standing over my shoulder watching me work. To my dad’s disappointment I got a lower grade the second time around. Go figure, as our north American friends would say.
The reason I’m telling you this is that I based this recipe largely on one from Debora Robertson, whose original measures were for a full-sized bundt cake. I was making six baby bundts but as I’m not clever enough to work out the ratios, I ended up with enough mix to fill that tin and another of bite-sized cakes. Continue reading
This is an easy way of making a dessert generous enough to serve six to eight people and it can be made a few hours ahead. Continue reading
This is a lovely recipe for an Italian Easter bread given to me by my sister-in-law Sarah many years ago. It’s a sweet, citrusy yeasted bread or cake, similar to panettone and not a million miles from a hot cross bun. Normally you divide the risen and knocked-back dough into four balls and put them side by side in a cake tin for their second rise.
But because I like to make a rod for my own back – and because I thought they’d look pretty – I decided to make them in old clay flower pots instead (I did dishwasher them, honest, guv). You can go down either route. Continue reading