Friday, 28 March 2014


I’ve mentioned it on here before that I’m doing my MA English dissertation on a (really good) food writer called Michael Bateman, whose archive of work is in my uni’s special collections. I keep coming across gems that I want to update, and this recipe was part of an official letter from the Sharrow Bay Hotel to Bateman, along with a recipe for shortbread. First off I liked the title of the recipe, and then the simplicity. I’ve tweaked it a bit, using grapefruit instead of orange just to give it an extra tang. I’d like to end the intro with a little quote about syllabub I also found in the collection, one from Elizabeth David. She said ‘We find that the syllabub can replace the synthetic ice cream which replaced the trifle which replaced the syllabub in the first place’. It’s time to reclaim the syllabub again.

The zest and juice of 1 grapefruit and 1 lemon
300ml double cream
80g icing sugar
A good slosh of dry sherry

Using a fine grater, zest the grapefruit and lemon into a small bowl then squeeze in the juice. Pour the cream into a large bowl and begin to whisk (I’d recommend an electric one, on slow) and, when just starting to thicken, add the icing sugar. Whilst whisking, slowly pour in the zests and juices and keep the whisk running until you start to get ripples in the cream. Add the sherry, and then do one last good whisk until the cream has stiffened and the ripples sit neatly. Don’t go too far though or the cream may separate.

I served the syllabub piped into 8 mini teacups, but you can choose whatever you like to serve them. They’d go well with shortbread. 

Thursday, 20 March 2014


First thing first, lemon cheese is not a block of cheddar flavoured with lemon or anything like that, it is basically good quality curd. My mam and dad brought me some home when they went to the Wensleydale creamery and I’ve been wanting the delicious pot up. Imagine a jammy dodger but fresher, with lemon. That’s what these biscuits are. I’m really not ashamed that the little bit of sun we had last week has produced 3 citrus recipes in the last month. Bring on summer and more citrus!

150g flour
75g corn flour
¼ tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
50g sugar
2 tbsp butter
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 egg
Lemon cheese or curd for filling (you need about ½ a tsp for each dodger)

Makes 18-20 dodgers.
Heat the oven to fan160/180c/4. Line two trays with baking paper or parchment. Have a small biscuit cutter, and another less than half the size of this one ready for when cutting the biscuits.

Mix together all of the dry ingredients then rub in the butter until the mixture resembles very fine breadcrumbs. Zest in the lemon then add the juice and the egg and stirs around until the mixure forms a dough. If it looks too dry add a few splashes of water, but go steady because you don’t want the mixture to be sticky.

Form the mixture into a ball and roll out, to about the thickness of a £1 coin on a lightly floured surface. Begin to cut out little circles of the mixture and transferring them onto the baking trays, constantly re-rolling the left over mixture to get more biscuits. When you have them all lined up, take a smaller cutter and remove the centre of half of the circles. If you want to roll out the little circles to get a few more biscuits, go ahead. Why waste?

Once all the mixture is used, bake the biscuits for around 10 minutes until hard and lightly coloured. Transfer onto a wire rack and leave to cool. When all the biscuits are cool you can begin to fill. Spoon about ½ tsp of lemon curd onto each whole biscuit and top with the holey biscuits to form a little dodger. Enjoy with a cup of tea. 

Thursday, 13 March 2014


I’ve been meaning to upload the actual recipe for this for ages and since I’m currently snowed under with MA work and waiter work I thought I’d unleash it. It suits the current hot weather. I believe this is my best ever recipe and it’s the one I managed to get published in olive magazine. Read about that here and see my grinning face and more about the cake. Without further ado, I give you lager and lime cake.

For the Sponge
100 butter
200g sugar
2 eggs
225g self raising flour
200ml lager of choice
1 lime

For the Lager Butter Cream
50g butter
100g icing sugar
4 tsp lager

For the Lime Icing
150g icing sugar
4tbsp lime juice

Heat oven to 180c/160fan/gas 4. Grease the base and sides of 2 20cm shallow cake tins and line with baking parchment. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl then beat in the eggs. Alternate mixing in the flour and lager until a cake batter forms. Add the zest of the whole lime, but the juice of half.

Pour the mixture equally into the tins and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow each to cool for 5 minutes in the tin before turning both out onto a wire rack, peeling of the lining paper and leaving to cool completely.

For the butter cream beat the butter until pale and soft then gradually beat in the icing sugar followed by the lager. Spread the butter cream over one of the cakes then top with the other. Mix the icing sugar and lime juice to make the icing, using the remaining half of lime if you can, and spread over the cake, allowing a little to run over the side. 

Olive's photo was 1000x better than mine, one day I will take pictures of their quality. Go look at it in all its styled glory!

Thursday, 6 March 2014


You’ve heard me bang on about how much I love ginger, but now it’s time for my second favourite thing; rhubarb. I’m a Yorkshire lad and round here we get the good stuff, so when I went to my local farm shop and saw the brightest, thickest sticks for sale, I swooped them up straight away. These little dessert glasses can be served warm or chilled and contain all the best things rhubarb goes best with; custard and a tiny bit of crumble topping.

While I was at the farm shop I found myself on sale in a book called ‘All the Best from Yorkshire’ made by The Sweetest Thoughts charity. If you see it in shops anywhere, buy it, it’s for a good cause and contains my Yorkshire Sly Cakes recipe.

3 sticks of rhubarb (I always choose the pinkest)
3 tbsp sugar

For the Crumble Topping
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp unrefined sugar
Knob of butter

For the Custard
280ml milk
2 tbsp single cream
Tiny splash of vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp corn flour

Makes- I made 3 medium sized glasses, but could easily make 4 small ones

Preheat oven to fan180/200c/6.
Wash and then chop the ends off of the sticks of rhubarb and discard. Roughly chop each stick into 1-2cm chunks and arrange on a baking tray. Sprinkle with the sugar and bake for about 20-25 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the chunks are just still holding their shape, but give when pressed.

Rub together the flour, sugar and butter until you get a bread crumb consistency. Scatter onto a small baking tray and bake, whilst the rhubarb is in the oven, for 10 minutes, flipping the crumbs over half way through, until golden brown.

Before you make the custard, have a jug waiting, immersed in some cold water, ready to pour the custard into to stop the eggs cooking and thus scrambling. Gently heat the milk, cream and vanilla in a small sauce pan. Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and corn flour in a bowl and when the milk and cream is just simmering, take off the heat and slowly pour on top of the egg yolks, whisking continuously whilst doing so. Return this thin mixture back into the pan and heat gently on a small flame, stirring with a wooden spoon until thickened. Pour into the cooled jug, and leave to cool further before assembling.

I served the rhubarb and custard chilled, but if you want them hot just assemble at this stage and eat straight away. If not though, allow for everything to cool before assembling. For each glass, take a couple of spoons of rhubarb to fill the bottom, pour over some custard, and then top with some more rhubarb and a handful of the crumble to finish. You can assemble anyway you like really, it will be delicious in any style of presentation. Chill for at least an hour before serving.