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Posh restaurant-style muffins with blueberries and tender, moist crumb. This is a recipe out of Professional Chef. It’s good, it’s cheffy, the muffins stay fresh several days and they are not really muffins but more cakey things that you see in fancy restaurants for petit fours.
Ice cream cones made from sweetened, layered filo pastry. Deliciously easy, and can be also filled with cream, mascarpone or custard.
Financier cakes, French almond biscuits made with brown butter are deliciously moist, light and tender, quite similar to madeleines and really easy to make.
Mixed flavoured meringue kisses, mini meringues with lemon, raspberry, chocolate and pistachio flavour. The quickest, burnt sugar meringue recipe.
Flourless sponge cake with ground walnuts and a layer of apricot jam with grated dark chocolate topping: exquisite, elegant, delicious and gluten free.
Old fashioned molasses cake? Think again – this one has fresh grated ginger added for the zing, and you don’t even need an electric mixer to make it.
Fruity, nut free mince pies made from scratch: the best shortcrust pastry and delicious fruit filling. I never used to like mince pies until I made them at home. The fact is that all shop-bought pies, even the posh, fancy, Hestonised and overpriced numbers taste mainly of too much orange peel and too much booze. As much as I’m the last person to complain about too much booze, I like to keep it separate from cakes. And orange peel is usually nasty, unless you make it yourself (I don’t) or spend quite a bit more money than even Waitrose Cook’s Ingredients charge.
Scones are tricky. Scones are a thing of beauty if you get them right. I have had several goes at them before Dan Lepard came to rescue with his recipe from Short & Sweet – The Best of Home Baking.
Christmas fruit cake - lighter in colour and in taste but still rich and full of raisins, berries, apricots, figs and almonds. It keeps very well but needn’t be made weeks ahead of Christmas – tastes best when it had been standing for a couple of days.
Galette des rois, an elegant treat for the night of Epiphany, or any other time during the twelve days of Christmas. There are some lovely traditions associated with the galette: a ‘fève’ is hidden inside the cake - a tiny china figurine or an almond - and the lucky person to find it (and not choke on it) is crowned a king or queen for the carnival.
Gâteau Basque is a traditional pastry from the Basque region of France. A buttery tart, plain or filled with cherries or pastry cream, it is similar to gateau Breton and just as gorgeous.
Gateau Breton is French butter cake, Brittany's finest. It's an enormous shortbread, a gigantic jammy dodger, the impossibly buttery double tart.
This is a genoise sponge cake with mascarpone and blueberry filling. Before my last birthday (oh yes, I make my own birthday cake in this house, no respite for the wicked) I thought I’d make something restrained. Elegant.
Ginger cake with candied ginger pieces, jam filling and maple syrup icing. I always thought ‘gingerbread’ referred only to cookies until I saw the cranberry gingerbread cake in NYTimes Cooking.
Soft molasses and ginger cookies coated in coarse sugar are a cross between gingerbreads and ginger nut biscuits. And yes, you can substitute black treacle for molasses.
Thin and super-crunchy, spicy and melting, old fashioned ginger snaps are a snap to make! Grab that jar of stem ginger from the back of the cupboard and put the syrup to good use.
Gingerbread biscotti spiced with Christmas flavour, crunchy and dunkable, with mixed nuts and cinnamon sugar coating. Honey and spice and a festive spirit twice cooked!
St. Louis gooey butter cake made from scratch, with the best gooey buttery topping. The gooey butter is sold as breakfast pastry and there are two variants, fiercely defended by the respective factions. One: ready cake mix and a cream cheese topping sounds lovely and easy but the yeast base and buttery sugary goo on top appeals to me with the force of the original.
Gooey butter cake bars with raisins and almonds, chewy sticky topping on an Italian pasta frolla shortcrust base. Inspired by St Louis gooey butter cake!
Pink guava cake with pink buttercream frosting, made from concentrated guava juice. It looks like a six years old girl’s dream. It tastes like heaven.
Hamantaschen are Jewish pastries filled with utterly delightful poppy seed mixture. 'Haman's pockets' or oznei Haman are a traditional eaten treat for the celebration of Purim.
Hazelnut ricotta cake with apricot and chocolate glaze is smooth with a poppy crunch, like velvet dipped in glitter. It is rich but tastes light, so you‘re tempted to have another slice.
Honey and apricot brack, inspired by traditional Irish bread with raisins and currants aka barmbrack, this one is full of dried apricots, sultanas and walnut chunks.
Cinnamon honey buns glazed with butter and honey, made from sourdough. Sure enough, honey buns recipes galore out there. And the most interesting fact about them is that they seem to be much valued prison currency and I’m not using any slang here.
Honey cake with dates and apples from Nigella Lawson’s collection is not only suitable for Rosh Hashanah: it’s simply the perfect autumnal cake.
Frozen Greek yoghurt ice cream recipe with raisins and honey, low-calorie and sugar free. The best thing – you don’t need to churn it in the ice cream maker. Just scrape into a tub and enjoy it a few hours later.
Hot cross buns with raisins, dried apricots and citrus peel. Based on Dan Lepard's recipe, these are the nicest hot cross buns for Good Friday and Easter Sunday breakfast.
Jamaican hummingbird cake is a wonderful thing: easy and unpretentious, but gorgeous enough for a birthday or wedding. Try my version with crushed pineapple, pistachios and apple buttercream.
Hungarian flourless hazelnut cake with buttercream filling. This is a fantastically nice cake that incidentally happens to be flourless, just so, and anyone will completely love it, gluten-shy or not.
Ice cream sandwiches in choux pastry buns, with ice cream flavour of choice, homemade or your favourite brand. I first made choux pastry at the age of about 11, in my technology lesson at school.
Island buttermilk cake: no eggs, no butter, just fresh berries and the magic ingredient - buttermilk. The cake originates from Cranberry Island Bakery in Maine which sadly is no more. Huge shame as their defunct Facebook page also shows some divine whoopies.
Italian ricotta cookies, soft and tender lemon biscuits made with ricotta cheese and butter. Soft and pillowy, the icing is optional and the sprinkles even more so.
Italian yoghurt cake or torta allo yogurt, also known as torta 7 vasetti. Simple but genius: use the yoghurt pot to measure all the other ingredients.
Large supersized jam tart with easy shortcrust pastry bottom and lid, and no rolling out involved. Get that jar of your best raspberry jam into action!
Mokonuts-style jewelled cookies with chopped pistachios, dried apricots, cherries and dates. So tasty you’ll want to visit the Paris bakery instantly. Or make double the amount.
Julekake (pronounced yoo-le-kar-ka) is a traditional Norwegian Christmas bread, with Sukat (candied citrus peel) and raisins. Julekake is flavoured with cardamom and it’s best toasted, served with gjetost (brown cheese).
Koulourakia are Easter Greek butter cookies, rolled and snailed and coiled into twisty shapes. This recipe is with traditional ammonia as raising agent and exotic mahlep spice.
Festive Krantz cake with chocolate and walnut filling - quite unusual. No idea what its name means and no, it’s not the same as Kranz – creamy ‘crown’ cake. I found my recipe in ‘Baking with Passion’ by Dan Lepard and Richard Whittington.
Lebkuchen - soft, honeyed cookies, similar to gingerbreads. Lebkuchen are of German provenance, invented by Franciscan monks in the 13th century.
Lemon and almond teacakes from Ottolenghi are really mini ring cakes or individual doughnut cakes but so delicious you can call them anything you like, it won’t matter.
Lemon and blueberry flapjacks, easy to make and much healthier than off-the-shelf bars, naturally flavoured with lemon juice and zest, with freeze-dried blueberries.
Lemon drizzle cake with poppy seeds. The kind of cake that can make you hum when eating it. It’s the one-slice-is-never-enough cake. It’s the how-come-there’s-none-left? kind of cake. And it’s easy, easy-peasy, even my nephew could whip it up.
Lemon whoopie pies with vanilla buttercream – the classic whoopie pies invented in New England, remade in old England with a recipe from an Aussie. Those cookies travel, eh?
Lemon butter cake, soft and spongy, made with condensed milk and flavoured with lemon zest. I love this recipe: it calls for 125g condensed milk which is about two thirds of a tin. And what with the remaining milk, you don’t want to waste it, do you? And the cake is quite nice too.
Lemon cream cheese cookies, soft and chewy, delicate and sweet, with a touch of lemon icing. Cream cheese is a wonderful baking ingredient.
Pound cake with lemon syrup drizzle and light icing glaze. This was a super-disappearing cake – only a few crumbs were left by Sunday afternoon.
Lemon polenta cake, tender and not too sweet; wonderfully crunchy on the bite. It’s gluten free, easy to whip up and it looks like a round of delicious sunshine on the plate.
Lemon posset, the easiest and the loveliest dessert, served with crunchy biscuits. Posset in medieval times was a spiced, rich milky-wine concoction, served probably more often as a remedy than a dessert. They did mix their drinks in the olden days didn’t they?
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