Andrea’s Steamed Ginger Pudding


My very clever but very modest best friend made this for us last night.  It’s totally delicious.

175g soft butter

175g self-raising flour

175g caster sugar

3 large eggs

3-4 tablespoons milk

stem ginger in syrup

150g golden syrup

Put the kettle on to boil and butter a pudding bowl.  A bowl which is purpose built with its own lid is handy here.

Put the first five ingredients plus four balls of stem ginger into the food processor and whoosh up until smooth.  Add a little more milk if necessary to make it a pourable mixture.

Put the boiling water into a large, lidded saucepan and turn on the heat.

Put about 50g stem ginger syrup plus 150g golden syrup into the bottom of the pudding bowl.  Pour the sponge mixture over the syrups.  Put the buttered lid on top, then pop it into the pan of hot water.  Keep it boiling, but not ferociously and keep the pan lid on.  Keep topping up the hot water; it should more than half fill the pan.

Let it cook for at least two hours.  Serve with cream or custard.



Olives Et Al, Poundbury


You know you’re on holiday when you go to lovely, lovely coffee shops with homemade pies and beautiful cakes, and – and this is the best bit – when you order a cream tea, the scone arrives with a huge jar of delicious strawberry jam.  And so it was today at Olives Et Al near Dorchester.


The Only Chocolate Brownie Recipe In Our House

DSC_0141[1] I’m so sorry to be predictable, but it’s Nigella Time again, the recipe downsized and slightly adapted from  ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’.  A while ago, I read an article in the Guardian which compared several types of brownie recipe (, but nothing could induce me to deviate from the standard.  Here it is: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line an 8″/20cm square brownie tin.

a.  190g butter, 190g best quality dark chocolate: Melt these together in the microwave.  Don’t overdo it.
b.  3 large eggs, 250g golden caster sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract: Whisk these together in a separate bowl.
c.  Combine both bowls, then add 115g plain flour and 200g good quality white or milk chocolate, broken into pieces.  Stir well.
d.  Put into the oven for 17-25 minutes.  It should be a little cracked at the sides and paler in the middle, but be careful not to overcook it.

Leave in the tin to cool totally.  In fact, until you’re ready to serve them, it’s better to leave them uncut.  Freshly cut brownies…Hmmmmm.  They may be too squishy for you for the first hour or so, but they firm up quickly.

Five-Spice Salmon with Sweet Potato and Broccoli


To serve 2:  Prick a few holes into your 4 sweet potatoes and bake whole in a medium oven (170 degrees) for about an hour.

Slice the broccoli stalks and break off the florets.  Fry gently in a lidded frying pan with a sliced red chilli, a few slices of ginger and some olive oil for 2-3 minutes.  Add a tablespoon of dry sherry, a tablespoon of soy sauce and a little water.  Pop the lid on and steam on a low heat for about 10 minutes.

When the sweet potato is ready, slice off the pointy end, then squeeze out the sweet potato into a bowl (it’ll be hot, so gloves recommended), then mash with a little butter.  Cover the bowl with a plate and keep warm.

Sprinkle the salmon with five-spice, then fry in a hot-medium pan for 3 minutes each side.  Turn down the heat, pour over a tiny bit of sesame oil, a little soy sauce and a little honey.  Wait until it starts to stick, then it’s ready.

There you go.



I must admit, that when Annie bought Drew this waffle maker for his birthday, I didn’t have high hopes.  It was half the price of all the others.  But so far, so good – it really works!

I adapted the recipe on the box, and the waffles were awful, so the next time, I searched for Jamie’s waffles on his forum, and these ones were just lovely.

Put 2 eggs in a bowl, add 300ml milk and whisk together.

Add 225g self-raising flour and 2 TABLESPOONS of baking powder and whisk in.  Add 100g melted butter and whisk up to a very thick batter.  Leave it to rest for 30 minutes.

When you’re ready, brush melted butter onto your waffle maker, then dollop on a few decent spoonfuls and spread right across the bottom of the waffle pan until it’s filled.  Close the lid, then cook for 3-6 minutes.  When they’ve stopped steaming, they are almost ready.

Serve with cinnamon and icing sugar, or bacon and maple syrup, or golden syrup, or just icing sugar, or whipped cream and bananas….

Thanks to JoyYamDaisy for the recipe on:


Rib eye Steak with Quick Marsala Sauce


Sprinkle your steaks with a chopped clove of garlic, salt, pepper and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.

Fry in a hot pan with a foaming knob of butter for 2-3 minutes each side, then put onto a plate to rest.

Pour a glass of Marsala into the still-hot pan, and stir the bottom of the pan to deglaze.  After a few seconds, pour in 2-4 tablespoons of double cream and sprinkle in some salt.  Let it bubble for half a minute more, then pour in the steak juices from the resting plate, bubble again, then serve.

Crème Brûlée

Cultivating a taste for the small pleasures!


500ml cream

6 egg yolks

50g golden caster sugar

1 vanilla pod

extra caster sugar for sprinkling


Preheat the oven to 140 degrees.

Put the cream and a split vanilla pod into a non-stick pan and heat gently to simmering point.

Beat the egg yolks and vanilla sugar in a large bowl until well mixed.  Pour the hot cream onto the egg mixture, gently whisking it in. Pour through a fine sieve into a large jug, then fill 4-5 small ramekins with the custard and place in a baking tin of boiling water. Place in the oven for about 15-25 minutes until the centres shiver just slightly when wobbled.

Remove the ramekins from the baking tin after 5 minutes’ standing time, and allow to cool.

About 1 hour before serving, sprinkle each one with a teaspoon of caster sugar and toast it with a blowtorch until you have  a nicely melted caramelised top.


Based on the recipe in ‘Classic Conran’ by Terence and Vicki Conran