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Lemon ricotta cake Italian style. This is a very good baked cheesecake, not overly cheesy and not too sweet. I’ll say whack in even more lemon – it doesn’t come through that much.
Condensed milk cake with vibrant lime flavour: easy, tender and buttery like a good pound cake. You can put that tin from the back of the cupboard to good use!
Lime marble cake with lime syrup drizzle. Limes both smell and taste gorgeous. The best bit in making this cake was grating the lime zest. Well – almost the best bit. Eating it isn’t bad either.
Lime yoghurt pistachio cake with lime and rosewater syrup drizzled all over it: I swear there isn't a better cake made with yoghurt. Or lime. Or pistachios.
Linzer torte, hazelnut shortcrust tart with raspberry filling. Linzer torte is the flagship Austrian tart/pie: my grandmother was brought up near Linz so it’s close to my heart. Hazelnuts are obligatory; toasting them isn’t, so if you can get hold of ready-ground nuts, I’ll forgive you.
Lumberjack date and apple cake with caramelised coconut topping. Try as I might, I can’t trace the origin of lumberjack cake or why it is called thus.
Mouchous, traditional macarons basques, easier to make than the Parisian variety but just as delicious though presented individually and quite rustic compared to Paris macarons.
Authentic French almond macarons with dark chocolate ganache and lemon curd filling – the most exquisite dessert you can possibly make.
Classic French madeleines, buttery and melting. The cookie is lovely – and don’t listen to the evil people who tell you it’s all right to make madeleines with whole eggs.
Smooth mango ice cream without eggs, churned in an ice cream maker. Make sure the fruit is as ripe as it can be; apart from the insufficient sweetness, unripe mango smells a bit off-putting.
Maple and pecan sticky buns, baked upside down, flavoured with cinnamon and cardamom. It's a rich and sticky, sweet and spicy bliss, best enjoyed warm!
Maple shortbread bars with almonds and pistachios. I like nuts but pecans and walnuts are probably my least favourites so I replaced them with what I like best: almonds and pistachios.
As homemade brownies go, they don’t come any better than my marshmallow brownies, with marshmallow made from scratch or, more sensibly, marshmallow fluff.
Marzipan buns flavoured with cinnamon and cardamom. Homemade marzipan fills these soft sweet buns baked in a muffin tin. These are perfect breakfast buns!
Marzipan and shortbread biscuit chocolate coated bars, made from scratch. Like Twix, only better; like Ritter Sport’s all best bars combined into one.
Marzipan loaf cake based on Nigella Lawson’s recipe, using homemade marzipan. That’s a simple plain cake with marzipan in the mix but there’s nothing plain about the way it tastes.
Marzipan truffles, chocolate covered balls of homemade marzipan, and the chocolate is also homemade! Vegan, easy and utterly delicious.
Mascarpone blueberry cake, rich and velvety with a tangy flavour from the blueberries. Adding mascarpone to the cake mix makes it rich, moist and tender and no, it doesn't taste like a cheesecake!
Mascarpone sorbet with lemon flavour inspired by a River Café recipe is smooth, creamy and unbelievably refreshing. This is a no-churn recipe.
Matcha (green tea) sponge cake with lemon and bay leaf scented whipped cream frosting. It’s a beautiful dessert, beautifully simple to make (but nobody will believe you how easy it is).
Matcha and white chocolate creamy eggless ice cream. More ice cream; this time it’s the creamiest, softest ice cream as claimed by Heston Blumenthal, published a good many years ago in one of the weekend supplements.
Mini meringue kisses with chocolate ganache filling. Pretty pink coloured meringue drops, filled with the nicest white and dark chocolate ganache.
Metre-long cake, Polish metrowiec, is a two-tone plain and chocolate cake puzzle: sliced and then put together again! With jam! And chocolate glaze! Even though it’s a bit shorter than one metre.
Samin Nosrat’s midnight cake is one of the easiest and the nicest chocolate cakes in the world. I finish it with a dried mixed fruit salad topping for a citrusy tang.
Milk chocolate digestive biscuits, just like McVities, only better. Can you make the ultimate dunking biscuits at home? Here’s how, and it’s easy.
My recipe for mince pies has the best shortcrust pastry and the nicest mincemeat filling - easy to make too. They go back to the times of crusades and the Middle Eastern approach to sweet and savoury, mixing meat with spices, fruit and nuts.
Mini gateaux bretons, individual breton butter cakes with jam filling. Breton butter cakes are the wonderfully buttery, shortbread-like cakes from Brittany.
Mini pavlovas, homemade meringue nests with whipped cream and fruit toppings: passion fruit, pomegranate and raspberry. Simple and gorgeous, individual meringues are easier to bake than a big pavlova.
Mohnstollen is a stollen log with poppy seeds, traditionally baked in Germany, Poland (makowiec) and Austria for Christmas. Brioche-like Stollen dough is filled with sweet and spiced poppy seeds and rolled into a log.
Mokonuts’ cranberry, chocolate and rye cookies are a revelation. If you thought you knew all there was to know about cookies – you were wrong.
The best, darkest, gooey-est chocolate cake ever – so I’ve called it Morticia’s cake. A bit of effort involved, separating eggs and folding the batter carefully but the end product is pure Addams Family.
Muffins with orange curd and chocolate ganache filling. Muffin mix is dead simple, I’ve made this mix with blueberries, raspberries, chocolate, orange zest and it works. Orange curd was organic and not too sweet – what could go wrong?
Norwegian apple cake, eplekake, is plenty of apple slices on sponge batter enriched with milk. This recipe is from NY Times but cross-referenced with Norway!
Oatmeal raisin cookies, buttery, chewy and delicious. I recently realised I’ve been obsessed with oats. Porridge and I go back to before anyone else was interested in cooking oats first thing in the morning.
Old fashioned apple cake with brown sugar frosting. We used to have two apple trees in the garden: one eating, one cooking, fruiting every other year each, in alternative years – a perfect arrangement.
Sour cream cake with orange flavour and raw cacao nib crunch is like a sophisticated pound cake with chocolate chips.
Orange and ginger flavoured flapjack, soft and chewy, buttery and slightly sticky. Make it plain as it is, or add a handful of dried fruit or coconut flakes.
Orange and lavender quatre-quarts cake - great combination of orange and a strong unusual flavour of lavender. One of the easiest cakes to bake. Four quarters: there are only four basic ingredients and they are mixed together in equal parts.
Orange flavoured ciambella with dark chocolate glaze is Italian ring-shaped breakfast cake. This one is made without butter but with olive oil; serve it for an indulgent breakfast or for dessert.
Orange dacquoise biscuits, chewy almond cookies made with egg whites, are like a meringue that changed its mind at the last minute and turned into sponge batter.
Orange macaroon cake with dessicated coconut and orange liqueur. This is a glorious cake. Just the right moisture (wet), orange flavour fantastic (no, can’t be less), and slightly chewy on account of the coconut.
Orange and spice muffins with candied citrus peel. These smell lovely while they’re baking – orange-and-spice, Christmas-just-around-the-corner aroma.
Tartlets with ricotta and almond filling, topped with candied orange slices. I can’t honestly say which filling is nicer – the bonus about the ricotta one I guess that you can stick the leftovers into a buttered and floured ramekin and bake for a mini cheesecake.
Dan Lepard’s orange and walnut loaf cake with cinnamon and fresh ginger, a wonderful combination of flavours. One saucepan, a loaf tin and zest from five oranges!
King Oskar II cake - almond macaron style cake filled with buttercream. Apparently they sell them in Ikea, frozen, and tasty to boot, alongside the meatballs and pickled herring. I adore Swedes and Swedish food but detest Ikea.
Pandoro, Italian festive 'golden bread', the sweet buttery panettone's rival. Come on, Italians - just have both. I’m having both this year, although my pandoro is baked in a panettone tin - and my recipe is a somewhat hacked version of an Italian one.
Panettone - classic Italian Christmas sweet bread. Yes – it’s doable. A word of warning though: it’s a fickle, capricious beast in the truly Italian style, la donna è mobile and so is panettone.
Classic creamy panna cotta, the simple and exquisite Italian dessert. Vanilla flavoured, with whole milk and cream and only enough gelatine to keep it in the cup, served with passion fruit puree.
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