The Lazy Cook’s Dessert: Frangipane Tart

This recipe is all about minimum effort expended for maximum effect. Complicated instructions are all well and good when you have the time or the inclination to use every utensil in the kitchen, but why bother when you can impress with something that is actually dead easy? As a supremely lazy cook (I prefer the term ‘efficient’), frangipane in all its guises has become my fail safe pudding. Anyone I’ve ever cooked for is likely bored to death of these tarts, but they’re so goddamn easy and delicious I can’t stop making them. Here’s how. Continue reading

On Winter and Chestnuts

Just in case you hadn’t noticed, the clocks changed a couple of weeks ago. This was great in the immediate short term, because it meant an extra hour of sleep, but upsetting when it began to get dark at around 5pm and I realised that we’re now, inescapably, in winter proper. From here on in, it’s only going to get colder, wetter and darker as we head towards the shortest day of the year on 21 December. Every year I forget just how cold and miserable this country gets in winter. It’s understandable that we have made such a hoohaa out of Christmas. It breaks up the six month slog of sleet, icy gales and grey puddles reflecting grey skies with something twinkly and cheerful.

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The Clover Club: A Gin Cocktail Recipe

Although some say that 99% of the world’s problems could be solved by a nice cuppa tea, we all know they really mean gin. Ahh gin, mother’s ruin, queen of all spirits. Perfect for an apéritif, a digestif and a whole lot of carousing in between. I’m partial to a gin and tonic, a gin martini and even a fancy Negroni now and again. However, I think I may just have found my favourite gin cocktail of all time. I know, big claim.

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How Do You Like Them Apples?

The nights are fair drawing in, Bake Off is on our screens and the jumpers are on. Although it seemed as though summer ended when hurricane Bertha came barging her way through it, apparently it’s now officially autumn, announced by the equinox on 23 September.

The changing season, although the beginning of an extended period of cold the likes of which we have forgotten could exist, does bring some beauty. Not only the beauty of black suede boots and faux fur wintry accessories, but also the beauty of nature. Even if we aren’t quite at the mists stage yet- long may this unseasonal sunshine continue- Keats was right about the mellow fruitfulness. The trees in the garden are bent heavy with fruit and the recent glut of cooking and eating apples means I have made more apple based desserts than I can count in the past few weeks.

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