Pesto Flower Loaf -Pretty and Delicious

Christmas is now well behind us, and our life has finally got back into its normal rhythm after a pretty gruesome start to the year.  Sadly we are of the age when our parents’ generation is passing on and our contemporaries are succumbing to the scourge of cancer and other middle aged diseases. 3 funerals…

Monte Bianco – the perfect Christmas Treat

Finding a replacement for Christmas Pudding that is light on the stomach after such a heavy meal, and can be prepared in advance and has a little touch of luxury and celebration is never easy.  Over time we have done roulades, light steamed puddings, a crocquant-bouche, even just ice cream albeit made from Vin Santo…

The Pangs and Pains of Panettone

Panetonne, that wonderful delicious light fluffy and fragrant Italian Christmas Bread that melts in your mouth ………and is an absolute nightmare to make in the traditional way.  I have now tried 3 times and every single occasion has failed and failed badly. So what does “make it the traditional way” mean?  Well first you use…

Raised Christmas Dinner Pie

There are many recipes on the internet with what to do with all those Christmas leftovers but this is my favourite as it has the potential to use up nearly everything from Christmas dinner – the meat, stuffing, parsnips, cranberry sauce and anything else that takes your fancy that would otherwise sit in the fridge…

Stollen – A Christmas Delight from Dresden

So many of our Christmas traditions are in fact imports from Germany.  The most notable import is the Christmas Tree which Prince Albert (Queen Victoria’s husband for those whose history is a little rusty) introduced in the mid 19th Century.  The Stollen is another more recent addition.  I have been asking around and I think…

Lebkuchen 2 Ways – The Joy of German Gingerbread

Nothing more quintessentially tastes of a German  Christmas than Lebkuchen – gorgeous chewy spicy biscuits covered in water icing or chocolate. The rise of Aldi and Lidl in the UK has made them popular here, but I have loved them since I lived in Germany as a child.  Normally I buy a bag or 2,…

Christmas Eve and Not a Baked Good in Sight?

A baking blog with nothing at Christmas?  What sort of blog is that?  Well unfortunately one of someone rather harassed with work again.  Christmas has rushed upon me this year and I am more unprepared than ever.  That project I mentioned a while back finally went live a month ago, but as is the way…

100% Rye Sourdough – Delicious and Easy

Bread has been somewhat neglected on the blog because it is such an everyday thing for us, but I seem to be making up for lost time.  Most weekends my sourdough starter is brought out from the fridge to be brought back to life and a loaf of something is run up.  I long stopped…

Sourdough Bagels for Brunch

I love Salmon and Cream Cheese on a bagel and for years I merrily bought Bagels from the supermarket and at the time thoroughly enjoyed them, especially when toasted.  It is only when you make your own bagels that you realise what a travesty the commercial ones are.  Bread rolls with a hole in them…

German Buttercream

German Buttercream (in Germany this is just Buttercream) is a variant of Creme Mousselline, but with a much higher butter content (about 50% more). It is an ideal cake filling and for me far preferable to Standard Buttercream which I find too cloying and sweet. As with creme Mouselline you make a basic Creme Pat…

Vive Les Cremes Patissieres – in all their forms

When I started this blog I had never made Creme Patissiere (often shortened to “Creme Pat” by us Brits, and called “Pastry Cream” by our American cousins).  Quite how I managed this I am not sure.  There was one failed attempt many years ago and I think I never tried again afterwards.  10 months after starting…

Creme Anglaise – or Custard to you and me

Custard! What Englishman doesn’t love custard? Not that horror that we had at school with a nasty thick skin on it, but the gorgeous yellow vanilla rich sauce that has to accompany a Crumble or Sticky Toffee Pudding .  It is so English that the French even acknowledge the fact by naming it after us  – a…