Toffee apple buns

October 20, 2022

Thank you Jamie Oliver for being there when I had some spare apples and needed a one-pan bun recipe. These are cinnamon buns with an added fruity freshness and sticky toffee goodness. I didn't have any dried apple so just used a bit more fresh apple.

Makes 12

7 g dried yeast

300 ml warm water (40C)

500 g white flour

1 tsp sea salt

4 apples

100 g dried apple slices, optional

1 Tbsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

100 g demerara sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

100 g soft butter

In a jug mix the yeast and water and leave for a few minutes until frothy.

Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture. Bring together to form a shaggy dough, then knead on a floured surface for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.

Shape into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel or cling film and leave to rise for at least an hour, until double in size.

Peel, core and finely slice the apples and chop the dried apple. Scrunch up in a bowl with the cinnamon, vanilla and sugar.

When the dough has proven, punch down and stretch it out on an oiled surface to 50 cm long and 30 cm high. Evenly spread over the soft butter followed by the apple mix and drizzle over any juices.

Roll up from the long end closest to you. Slice into 12 pieces.

Butter the inside of a 28 cm ovenproof pan and sprinkle the bottom with sugar. Arrange the rolls in the pan cut side up. I fit 9 around the outside and 3 in the middle. Cover and leave to prove again for an hour or so.

Preheat oven to 180C. Sprinkle a little more demerara sugar on top and bake at the bottom of the oven for 30 minutes, until golden on top.

Turn out onto a board to serve. The sticky juices on the bottom will turn into caramel on top and it's oh so good.


Rye loaf

October 18, 2022

I do love a rye every now and then. It's a sturdy loaf with lots of flavour and tastes great with all sorts of rich toppings - even leftover curry. I shaped a round loaf but oblong is equally good. This is a traditional recipe from Gino D'Acampo's grandfather (Italian Home Baking, Kyle Books, 2011).

250 g rye flour

200 g white flour

2 tsp salt

10 g dried yeast

150 ml warm water

130 ml milk

2 tsp honey

In a large bowl mix the flours, salt and yeast. Make a well in the centre and pour in the water, mil...

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Fig & walnut loaf

October 17, 2022

This is one of those loaves that you can knead in a food processor and bake in a casserole dish - minimum handling required. It's from Donna Hay's One Pan Perfect (Fourth Estate, 2021). Donna likes to eat slices with ricotta and honey. I think any kind of cheese will go well. We went to a fancy restaurant recently and had baked camembert served with fig & walnut bread. It was divine.

2 1/2 c warm water

1 Tbsp honey

1 tsp dry yeast

3 1/2 c (560 g) white spelt flour

3 1/2 c (420 g) wholemeal flour

2 ...

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Coconut meringue slice

October 13, 2022

This is a Louise cake by any other name, and very similar to this classic recipe except this one you bake the base and meringue on top at the same time - too easy.

125 g butter
1/2 c sugar (I used coconut, hence the darker coloured cake)
3 eggs, separated
1 c flour (I used gluten free for a change)
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1-2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c jam
1/2 sugar (use white to keep meringue white)
1 tsp cornflour
1 1/2 c desiccated coconut

Preheat oven to 160C. Line a 20 cm square or ...
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Double chocolate fudge cake

October 10, 2022

This one from A World in My Kitchen by Peter Gordon (Hodder Moa, 2003) is a real doozy of indulgence. It's his favourite chocolate cake. We are lucky to have an excess of eggs thanks to our chickens so I went for it.

300 g dark chocolate (I use Whittaker's)

150 g butter

6 eggs

100 g sugar (I used ground coconut sugar, as I tend to do with dark cakes)


220 g dark chocolate

180 ml cream, chilled (you can use cow cream but I used coconut)

Preheat oven to 180c. Line the base and sides of a 20 cm ...

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October 4, 2022

I've always wanted to give empanadas a go, the Spanish version of a Cornish pasty. Pastry is easier and less mucky made in a food processor. I chose the tried and true spinach, mushroom and cheese for my filling

Makes 8 large

1/2 tsp salt

170g cold butter, grated

1 egg

1/4 to 1/2 c cold water or milk

egg wash to glaze


1 onion, finely chopped

300 g mushrooms, chopped

300 g spinach, chopped

3/4 c parmesan, grated

salt and pepper

In a food processor mix the flour and salt. Add the butter and pulse u...

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Pumpkin seed oat shortbread

September 30, 2022

Peter Gordon suggests to serve these nutty biscuits with hard cheese, with stewed fruit and mascarpone or with his sticky melon jelly. I think any kind of jelly or jam would go well too. I just ate these with my cuppa; a delish crisp little bite.

Makes around 32

250 g butter, room temperature

180 g caster sugar

150 g cornflour

50 g fine oatmeal

70 g pumpkin seeds, toasted

In a food processor mix the butter and sugar for 20 seconds. Scrape down the bowl and blitz in the rest of the ingredients for 10...

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Poppyseed orange palmiers

September 28, 2022

These palmiers were devoured in a flash - best eaten the same day. Peter Gordon's flavours are top notch.

250 g puff pastry (get the 100% butter)

1 tbsp poppy seeds

1 tsp cinnamon

5 tbsp icing sugar

zest of 1 orange

1 tbsp milk

2 tsp caster sugar

Let the pastry defrost on their plastic undersheets. This recipe is enough for 2 large square sheets.

Grind the poppy seeds in a coffee grinder for 10 seconds then mix well in a bowl with the cinnamon, icing sugar and zest.

Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the...

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Fennel sesame biscuits

September 27, 2022

Another spicy bite from A World in My Kitchen by Peter Gordon (Hodder Moa, 2003). If you don't have fennel you could use caraway seeds,

200 g butter, room temperature

80 g icing sugar

1 tsp fine lemon zest

140 g flour (I used spelt)

80 g cornflour

40 g polenta

1/4 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground fennel seeds

3 tsp sesame seeds, toasted

50 g brown sugar

In a bowl cream the butter with the sugar and zest. Sift in flours, polenta, paprika and baking powder and add in fennel and sesame seeds. ...

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Chocolate ginger macadamia chilli cookies

September 25, 2022

I'm having a biscuit week in my house, inspired by A World in My Kitchen by Peter Gordon (Hodder Moa, 2003). He often has interesting flavour combinations with modern takes on classics. Elevate your average biscuit in style. This one's all done in a food processor so not much effort needed. The chocolate, ginger and chilli really complement each other, and the nut is ideal to offset the ginger sweetness and add texture.

Makes 24-30

125 g butter, room temperature

120 b demerara sugar

1 egg

1/2 fres...

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EST. 2010

Frances C loves to bake. She's also a freelance editor and DJ. She shares some of her adventures, culinary or otherwise, on Instagram.


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