Bakewell tart with a smudge of raspberry jam, soft and chewy frangipane filling, almondy crust and a cherry on top. Gorgeous textures and flavours in a classic English cake.
Tom Kerridge’s carrot cake energy balls are no-bake, no sugar, no nonsense bites made from goodness itself. Sweet with no added sugar, satisfyingly filling and easier to make than mud cakes.
Carrot cake with a fancy twist - with oranges and pistachios, flavoured with tahini and pomegranate molasses, with cream cheese frosting. Posh carrot cake. Fancy carrot cake. Use your regular recipe 364 days a year but make THIS once for a special occasion.
Recipe for croquants aux amandes, French almond cookies. ‘Croquant’ means ‘crunchy’ and these biscuits are wonderfully brittle, softening a little though as they keep. Hazelnut croquants are just as lovely.
Date and nut squares, with chunks of Medjool dates and a mix of almonds, pecans and pistachio in rich, chewy batter. There’s a reason why these are called ‘food for gods’.
Feta cheese, roasted grapes and crunchy walnuts is a perfect combination of juicy, sweet, crunchy and salty. I roast grapes like I like to roast summer berries when so plentiful they get a little tired: sprinkled with very little sugar and blasted with big brief heat.
Financier cakes, French almond biscuits made with brown butter are deliciously moist, light and tender, quite similar to madeleines and really easy to make.
Flourless sponge cake with ground walnuts and a layer of apricot jam with grated dark chocolate topping: exquisite, elegant, delicious and gluten free.
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.
Homemade muesli with oat, wheat and barley flakes, nuts, seeds and fruit and a good pinch of cinnamon. That’s the way to start a day!
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.
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.
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.
Maple and spice roasted nuts made with raw or blanched nut selection. Better than any you buy, and you can make them differently flavoured every time.
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.
Marzipan truffles, chocolate covered balls of homemade marzipan, and the chocolate is also homemade! Vegan, easy and utterly delicious.
Muhammara, roasted red pepper and walnut dip, flavoured with pomegranate molasses and Aleppo pepper flakes. This should be a firm fixture in your next meze!
Healthy homemade cereal bars made with oats and plenty of dried fruit and seeds. Cereal bars or granola bars? Either way they are much better than shop-bought bars.
Panpepato, Italian classic Christmas dessert from the province of Siena, is the ancient version of panforte di Siena, Italian biscuits packed with fruit and nuts. Panpepato is spicy, peppery and very chocolatey.
Classic pesto is made from basil, toasted pine nuts, Parmesan and extra virgin olive oil. Easy to make at home and more versatile than you'd think.
Pistachio and chocolate chip cookies - chewy inside and crunchy around the edges. No brainer how to make them, is it? Mix the brown with the white sugar, add enough butter and just a little flour and you’re in business.
Pistachio and lime loaf cake, with apricot and honey topping. So there we have it – health in a loaf tin. Well okay – there is a bit of sugar and flour added, plus a generous amount of butter...
Pistachio lemon shortbread bars. NY Times recipe for nutty shortcrust base and tangy lemon curd topping filled with more pistachios.
Pistachio and cherry tart based on Ottolenghi’s recipe, with pistachio paste frangipane filling studded with glace cherries. It’s bliss. It’s the queen of tarts.
Raspberry and almond slice, a gorgeous buttery traybake with flaked almonds, sugar and butter topping: it’s easier to make and tastier than Bakewell!
Ricciarelli, almond shaped and almond flavoured biscuits from Siena, traditionally made and gifted for Christmas. An authentic recipe for these delightful marzipan sweets.
Takeaway-style sesame noodles with spring onions and beans, served with chopped peanuts and cucumbers. These are plain, vegetarian, sesame flavoured, takeaway-style noodles with peanuts, cucumber and beans.
Sicilian pistachio cookies are delicious, meltaway biscuits easily made gluten free. They are about the second best thing you can do with only egg whites, nuts and sugar. Up there with madeleines, financières, said macarons, tuiles and croquants.
Spongata di natale, Italian honey and nut Christmas cake is like an oversized mince pie, with shortcrust pastry case and filling of dried or candied fruit, and mixed nuts.
Swedish almond caramel cake, Toscakaka, is a lovely and easy cake to make ahead. Bake the base in advance, then add caramel topping and blast it under the grill just before serving.
Tarta de Santiago, traditional Spanish almond cake. Three basic ingredients and no electric appliances required: that’s St James’ cake, or tarta de Santiago. It’s a Galician specialty going back to Middle Ages;
Tartine sourdough loaf with toasted walnut chunks. Squirrels have dug holes in my lawn, the sure sign of autumn. I don’t blame them much – they manage just about to scuff the grass and topsoil, puny diggers they are.
Zimtsterne are German cinnamon and almond star-shaped cookies baked and gifted during Advent and Christmas. Tiny, dainty and naturally gluten-free, they are like an edible sweet snowflake!
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