The ultimate brownie - the best you've ever eaten, with milk and white chocolate chunks, just to be extra indulgent. I do understand chocoholics and this is specially for them. Good old fashioned brownie. Hits the right spot without fail.
Yule log, or buche de Noel made with chocolate sponge and chocolate whipped cream filling. This is DEFINITELY the best dessert on Christmas day. It rides onto the table when everyone is in deep gluttonous stupor after third helpings of turkey and just one more last spoonful of stuffing, and suddenly they perk up mumbling ‘this is a bit of all right’ and ‘I might have room for the thinnest slice more’.
Austrian Buchteln, baked jam-filled doughnuts, pull-apart breakfast treats. Some special Sundays my Austrian grandmother would fluff up the dough, butter a tin, find a jar of plum preserve in the larder and magic them out of the oven an hour or so later.
Striped pattern berry cake with buckwheat and almond flour. This is lovely, the sooner served after leaving the oven, the better, as with time the berries start to leach juice a bit and the thing looks much messier.
Go-to burger bun recipe: rich and fluffy but not too sweet. Plain, comforting baps will do well for burgers but if you want to go a bit fancy, this is a good option.
Burnt white chocolate blondie with cherries and pistachios, fudgy squares of bliss. I simply pity everyone who will never try one of these.
Butter Stollen, German Christmas bread, at its most indulgent. Two kinds of Stollen in one recipe: packed with fruit and almonds, and swirled with smooth nut filling.
Traditional Canadian butter tarts with raisins and maple syrup filling. Of all the contradictory recipes out there, butter tarts, the traditional Canadian treat, are the most confusing. You’d think there’s nothing to it: little pastry cases filled with butter and sugar mixture.
Light and moist scones with buttermilk and raisin, cut into triangles. You can replace buttermilk with yoghurt – but I’d strongly encourage giving a go as it makes for a nice crust and very moist crumb. These are a bit more cakey than the ordinary scones.
Camembert en croute: baked Camembert wrapped in homemade shortcrust pastry. A divine cheese parcel in cornmeal shortcrust with Cheddar and thyme. Who doesn't love baked cheese?
Caraway and parmesan pain de mie - soft crusted sandwich loaf with fantastic flavour. Pain de mie means a soft crust loaf, ideal for sandwiches, and it’s traditionally baked in a loaf tin closed with a lid.
Carrot cake, simple and easy but unconventionally filled with apricot jam and decorated with chocolate ganache. Classic carrot cake with a zing!
Carrot cupcakes with orange buttercream frosting. Best cupcakes ever – adopted for Halloween because carrot cake mix is a/ comforting, b/ easy to make with kids...
Carrot and ginger cake, two of the best cake flavours together, with cream cheese frosting on top. Easy to make like all carrot cakes but the end result is stunning.
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.
Vegetarian Wellington, with mushroom and spinach layer around baked celeriac centre. Easy to make ahead, even easier to make it vegan: just use vegan pastry and skip the butter.
Challah - rich with eggs, glazed with egg wash plaited festive bread. It is traditionally baked for the Sabbath and Jewish holidays, commemorating the manna from heaven to the children of Israel during the Exodus from Egypt.
Cheats sourdough or how to get close to sourdough taste in 24 hours. Crusty on the outside, chewy crumb, you might be easily fooled into thinking it’s the real thing.
Cheddar cheese and chive scones, delightful warm from the oven, are made with wholemeal flour and diced Cheddar. The go-to savoury scone option.
Best beer and Cheddar bread rolls, and this recipe is truly easy. Turning water into wine? Naah, beer into bread! That bottle of ale no one is keen on can be put to good use.
Cheddar and spring onion torpedo rolls. So we’re talking here about a cheese sandwich ready baked – cheesy bread. I dare you not to devour one of those torpedoes straight from the oven. I dare you to keep them in the house longer than a couple of days.
Crunchy cheese and black pepper biscuits shaped like buttons. Crisp, peppery, with a hint of garlic. Only the button element arguably redundant, especially that it’s damn difficult to make these biscuits perfectly round and stay round whilst baking. I found the recipe in Short and Sweet by Dan Lepard.
Cheese biscuits or cheese straws made from Rugelach pastry rolled up with copious quantity of grated cheese. Lethal. Devastating. Deadly little things if you’re watching your weight. You can’t have just one.
Cheese bites made with rugelach pastry, with grated cheddar. Rugelach is the pastry base and it’s the easiest and nicest pastry in the world – just three ingredients, kneaded together by hand or in a mixer in no time at all and can be used in all kinds of products.
Sweetcorn tart with cheese topping on a crusty, cheesy base of pizza dough. Vegetarian and gorgeous, for lunch or dinner. Shop bough dough is OKAY.
Cherry and marzipan cake: a simple buttermilk cake batter with glace cherries and a layer of homemade marzipan. Result: stunning. Just try. And don’t you DARE use shop bought marzipan!
Sweet triple cherry buns - with jam, dried and glace cherries. The dough is gorgeous. My grandmother used to make this type of dough, stretch it, focaccia style, into the bottom of a large baking tray, then put fresh soft fruit on top and cover the lot in crumble.
Cherry chocolate bread, sourdough brioche with a mix of white chocolate chips, glace cherries and almond flakes. Bread making is funny like that – complete black magic and hocus pocus when uninitiated.
Buttery cornmeal muffins with glace cherries, gluten free but wholly satisfying. Crunchy around the edges, and the jewelled glace cherries intersperse the rich yellow cornmeal crumb.
Cherry cream dacquoise is an exquisite cake which is far easier to make than you’d think. Almond meringue dacquoise layers filled with fresh cream and homemade candied cherries – and you can make ahead and freeze the dacquoise.
Chocolate and glace cherry cake; my deconstructed black forest gateau. Cherries mixed into the batter, cream served on the side, it’s a mere hint of the black forest cake…
Braided chocolate brioche, not too sweet and perfect for breakfast. The braided bread is quite a challenge for me, the messy baker. I’m absolutely no good at tidy shaping. My challahs invariably have one end thicker than the other. Spacing of cookies suffers in giant quadruples melded together. And I am a lousy cake decorator
The best chocolate cake with tart apricot jam filling and chocolate ganache layers. Rich and fudgy gateau, not very difficult to make. Your next birthday cake?
Biscuits with milk and white chocolate chip chunks. These are very nice biscuits – Dan Lepard’s recipe from Baking with Passion – but cookies they ain’t. A bit too austere, not quite the whacking amount of sugars as in the classic cookies, a bit too much flour and they don’t spread.
Traditional recipe for chocolate covered lebkuchen or gingerbreads. Chocolate coated and with jam filling, they are soft and indulgent. And the fun of dipping cookies in melted chocolate is the spirit of Christmas!
Crack or crinkle cookies, deliciously soft and chocolatey, wrapped in cracked icing sugar coating. These biscuits are fairly easy to make and are best baked after the dough chills overnight.
Chocolate genoise cake with layer of raspberry buttercream and whipped chocolate ganache frosting. I can wholeheartedly recommend that combination for a birthday or a non-birthday cake. It can be prepared in stages.
Double chocolate hot cross buns with sticky glaze and white chocolate crosses are messy to eat, difficult to toast and absolutely irresistible this Easter!
Double chocolate muffins, wonderfully gooey in the centre and a doddle to make. These little things will surely be firm favourites with whoever you make them for, builders or not. Incredibly easy to make it must be said - you needn’t even take care not to overmix like usually with muffins.
Chocolate cake with passion fruit buttercream is more than just a cake; it's the perfect celebration gateau. For when you want to eat the cake, not just look at it.
Chocolate loaf cake with crunchy streusel; not too sweet, not too sickly, just right. With a large mug of milky coffee it will go down a treat even at half past seven in the morning.
Chocolate whoopie pies with marshmallow frosting. The classic is chocolate but they come in other flavours: vanilla, raspberry, red velvet or pumpkin. The filling should be marshmallow (made with Marshmallow Fluff if you’re in New England), but cream cheese, buttercream or chocolate all acceptable too.
Easy chocolate cake with yoghurt, honey and shaved chocolate. The batter is ready in about three minutes and the cake is almost healthy – not much fat and not much sugar.
A different take on a Christmas pudding, with carrots and dates, baked instead of steamed. A cross between a carrot and date cake, a lighter sticky toffee pudding, baked not steamed, sauce still served – this is the one to try.
Christmas Stollen with homemade marzipan. Stollen tastes absolutely divine when still warm from the oven but it keeps very well. The German Christmas bread symbolised baby Jesus swaddled in clothing
Ciabatta bread - a terror to make but delicious. The end product tasted great though, definitely authentic, even though it looked like nothing at all. Excellent toasted. Delishhh hot-pressed into a panino. It is a ‘panino’, mind – you only ever order a single one, don’t you? Well, it’s a ‘panino’ in singular, ‘panini’ what the place has on offer, plural.
Wholemeal cider bread with chunks of apples. They allegedly came up with this bread in Normandy but I think anyone could do it: just have a drop of cider (or calvados) and decide you’ll chuck all those apples into the bread do, for a prank.
Cinnamon and raisin buns rolled up from challah dough are not too sweet and perfect for breakfast. Assemble, freeze and get in the oven the night before for a breakfast treat!
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