Doughnuts with strawberry sauce

When I was a teenager I  had a disastrous first experience making doughnuts. The dough was gluey, the oil not hot enough,  and the result so hideous they were inedible. It was years before I had the courage to try deep frying again, and only recently that I started experimenting with doughnuts. This recipe is…

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Fig, raspberry and ginger cake

A great fig should look like it’s just about to burst its skin. When squeezed lightly it should give a little and not spring back. It must be almost unctuously sweet, soft and wet. Yotam Ottolenghi I was rewarded for a chilly early morning visit to the markets this weekend with a bounty of fresh…

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Oat, date and ginger slice

This slice is a little bit like a muesli bar for grown-ups. The sweetness of the dates and subtle heat of the ginger are a great combination. It made a delicious morning tea after an early morning visit to the markets to shop for fruit and vegetables for the week. There is a charming camaraderie…

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Hot cross buns: perfect is the enemy of good.

Miss 16 and I made hot cross buns on Easter Sunday, and they were deliciously light, spicy, soft and sticky – a triumph. They were also enormous, the result of inaccurate yeast measuring, or making them too big. We called them mutant hot cross buns, but wolfed them down anyway, fresh from the oven and…

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Almond and vanilla cake

There are many appalling things that were done with and to food in the 1970s – for a comprehensive overview I recommend following the 70s Dinner Party on Twitter, but for a sampling consider salad in aspic and grapefruit prawn cocktail as two examples that had plenty of traction in the era of tight, tight…

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Raspberry and hazelnut brownies

“Reader, I married him.”  Jane Eyre My husband and I are soon to mark 25 years of marriage and one of the things I appreciate most about him is his unfailing support of my dreams and goals. He photographs most of the recipes for this blog in his spare time, and helps bring to life…

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Lime cupcakes

I don’t drown my sorrows..I suffocate them with cupcakes. Anon. Everyone needs a no-fail, go-to, whip-it-up-in-a-flash cupcake recipe, and this is mine. It works every time and is soft and moist and delicious. The lime gives a refreshing tang to counter the sweetness of the cake and icing, and the almond meal has a nice…

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Blueberry and apple crumble

When my sister-in-law died just over three years ago we inherited a blueberry bush, which, in my part of Australia, is not a common thing. It has the most beautiful blossoms and the fruit changes from a pale watery green with a pinkish blush to deep blue when the fruit is ripe. Each year there…

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Vanilla and lavender biscuits

“The air was fragrant with a thousand trodden aromatic herbs, with fields of lavender, and with the brightest roses blushing in tufts all over the meadows. . . .” William Cullen Bryant I gathered a bunch of lavender late one afternoon a couple of weeks ago for my friend Claire. This spring our lavender plants…

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Sourdough, and the benefits of patience

Patience is a conquering virtue. Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales This is food at its most basic. Flour, water, salt, and time. The flour and water are mixed and then natural air-borne yeasts and good bacteria develop a culture, or starter, over several days. When combined with more flour and made into dough, this culture…

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