Chicken with Honey, Cardamom and Rosewater

8 chicken thigh fillets
1 t cardamom
Salt to taste
2 tspn honey
1 Tbspn rosewater

Place 8 chicken thigh fillets into a baking dish.
Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon cardamom and salt to taste
Drizzle with 2 teaspoons honey.
Cover and cook at 150 for 30 mins.
Drain stock from chicken into a saucepan. Boil it until it becomes syrupy.
Add 1 tablespoon rosewater
1 tablespoon butter.
Swirl together until the butter is melted, and pour over the chicken thighs. 

Salad Dressing - adapted from Neil Perry

This recipe is delicious and is worth doubling or even quadrupling!

2 coriander roots, washed and scraped
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons palm sugar
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
120ml grapeseed oil (Neil Perry uses best-quality extra virgin olive oil)

Crush the coriander roots, garlic and salt to a fine paste with a mortar and pestle.
Place the palm sugar with a splash of water in a small saucepan over low heat and cook for 5 minutes or until it becomes syrupy.
Add the sherry vinegar, and cook for 2 minutes, allow to cool.
Add the red wine vinegar, coriander paste and whisk in the oil.
Taste and maybe add a little more salt.

Homemade Baileys Irish Cream

1 teaspoon instant coffee
2 teaspoons cocoa powder or 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
3/4 cup cream
3/4 cup milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon honey
400 mls whiskey 
2 teaspoons vanilla essence

Using a stab blender, blend all ingredients.(Alternatively, combine coffee, cocoa and a little milk in a small bowl and whisk with a fork until thoroughly combined. Then whisk in other ingredients.)
Chill. It's best to leave this overnight to allow the flavours to meld, but if you can't wait, go ahead.

Whole Cauliflower

For me this dish ticks all the boxes. It's delicious, cheap, has stunning presentation and is healthy.


Microwave a whole cauliflower covered on high for about 5 minutes. Stand for a further 2 or 3 minutes.
Place in a heated serving dish and cover with pesto, either bottled or homemade.

Homemade Pesto

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted in a dry frypan for 4 to 5 minutes
  • 4 medium cloves of garlic, toasted in their skin for 7 minutes in the same frypan as the pinenuts 
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup of flat leaf parsley
  • 100mls extra virgin olive oil, salt (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 tspn salt
  • Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.

Pound Cake Adapted from Cook's Illustrated - Metric

I love Cook's Illustrated but can't understand why they don't publish metric measurements alongside imperial. Also, I prefer to weigh ingredients because it's so much easier.


500g butter
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
200g self raising flour (CI use plain flour)
½ teaspoon table salt
250g sugar (1¼ cups)


 1.      Cut butter into 1-tablespoon pieces and place in bowl of standing mixer; let stand at room temperature 20 to 30 minutes to soften slightly (butter should reach no more than 15 degrees celcius).
2.      Using a fork, beat eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla in liquid measuring cup until combined. Let egg mixture stand at room temperature until ready to use.
3.      Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 160 degrees celcius.
4.      Generously butter 9 by 5-inch loaf pan; dust pan liberally with flour and knock out excess.
5.      In standing mixer fitted with flat beater, beat butter and salt at medium-high speed until shiny, smooth, and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping bottom and sides of bowl once with rubber spatula. 
6.      Reduce speed to medium; with mixer running, gradually pour in sugar (this should take about 60 seconds).
7.      Once all sugar is added, increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture is fluffy and almost white in color, 5 to 8 minutes, scraping bottom and sides of bowl once.
8.      With mixer running at medium speed, gradually add egg mixture in slow, steady stream; this should take 60 to 90 seconds.
9.      Scrape bottom and sides of bowl; beat mixture at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes (mixture may look slightly broken). Remove bowl from mixer; scrape bottom and sides.
10.   In 3 additions, sift flour over butter/egg mixture; after each addition, fold gently with rubber spatula until combined. Scrape along bottom of bowl to ensure that batter is homogenous.
11.   Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan and smooth surface with rubber spatula.
12.   Bake until golden brown and wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 70 to 80 minutes.
13.   Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes; invert cake onto wire rack, then turn cake right side up.
14.   Cool cake on rack to room temperature, about 2 hours. Slice and serve.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffeecake

Thanks Naomi for this recipe. So delicious.

Butter Cake & Crumb Topping
2 cups all purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
125g butter, cold and cut into chunks
½ tsp bicarb soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup sour cream (full fat)
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Filling
250g cream cheese, room temperature
¼ cup sugar
1 large egg

Strawberry Filling
1 ½ cup fresh strawberries, cut into pieces
3 tbsp sugar
3 tsp water
1.5 tsp cornflour

Preheat the oven to 175C. Line an 20cm round pan with removable bottom with non-stick baking paper.
Prepare the strawberry jam.
Combine the cornstarch and water to make a slurry in a bowl. Mix the strawberries and sugar in a pan. Cook over low heat until the strawberries release their juices about 5 minutes, then add the cornstarch mix and stir until well combined. Stir for another minute or two until it has thickened. Remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature while you prepare the rest of the cake.
Prepare the cream cheese filling.
Beat the cream cheese on medium speed for about 30 seconds until smooth. Add in the sugar and egg and beat until well combined.  Set aside.
Prepare the cake.
Combine the flour and sugar together in a bowl. Using a pastry cutter or just 2 forks, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Measure ¾ cup of the mixture and set aside. Add the baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix well.
In another bowl, beat the sour cream, egg and vanilla extract until well blended. Using a hand whisk or a spoon, stir gently into the flour mixture until just incorporated. Batter may be a bit lumpy. Set aside.
Spread the batter in the pan, with about ½ inch up the sides, also leaving a ½ inch border around the edges bare (like making a well). Pour the cream cheese mixture over the batter, being careful not to go beyond the border. Spread the strawberry jam on top of the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle the remaining ¾ cup crumbs over the strawberry filling. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes before removing the cake.

Savory Breakfast Scones

Basic Mixture
3 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon salt
3/4 cup lemonade
3/4 cup Greek yogurt 

1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 onion, fried
250g bacon, chopped and fried

Preheat oven to 200.
Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl.
Combine lemonade and yogurt in a large bowl.
Add cheese, onion and bacon to the wet ingredients.
Stir dry ingredients into wet, and mix lightly until it only just comes together. Don't overmix or the scones will be tough.
Shape into a circle about 2-3 cm high, like a thick pizza.
Bake at 200 for 30 mins, or until golden brown on top.
Cut into wedges like a pizza and serve. 

Instead of these flavourings you could try a combination using chorizo, ham, haloumi, fried mushrooms, cooked asparagus, wilted baby spinach, 1/2 can creamed corn, or herbs like basil or parsley.
Use soda water for a less sweet scone. Or another flavoured drink eg ginger beer or fanta.
Or you could make them sweet using dried, stewed or tinned fruit, nuts and spices.
Caution - don't use wet ingredients like tomatoes, or the juice from the tinned fruit.