A shop-bought Jaffa cake is one of those goodies somehow so much greater than the sum of its parts. The cake-y base is drier than you average sponge, the jelly too sticky to wobble and the outer coating too thin for a proper chocolate fix. Yet somehow, combined, these elements make a uniquely satisfying and more-ish mouthful. Better still, have you ever tried making your own Jaffa cakes at home? Now that’s where the magic really begins to happen . . .
Just as it feels like winter has been dragging on too long, fluorescent sticks of shocking pink rhubarb begin to appear in the greengrocer. Their arrival always feels like a turning point, some brightness in amongst the still short days and a promise of spring to come. That said, spring is still a fair way off so today we’re roasting that rhubarb – plus a handful of frozen blueberries – beneath a crunchy, buttery crumble for the ultimate in winter comfort puddings.
When I was a little girl, before the house move I mentioned last week and over twenty years ago, I begged my Mum to paint my bedroom pink.
I can’t remember my exact age at the time (I’m sure I’ll get a fact-confirming phone call or email from my Mum as soon as this post goes live) but I do remember pink being the talk of the playground, my absolute favourite and the go-to colour of choice for everything from pencil cases to t-shirts to bedrooms (and everything in between). Continue reading
One of the books I’ll turn to time and again when in need of some recipe inspiration is A Year in My Kitchen by Skye Gingell. Inspired by the seasons and full of interesting yet accessible flavour combinations, it manages to be both sumptuous and simple at the same time, and with dozens of beautiful recipes based on a ‘tool box’ of core basics – stocks, spice mixes, flavoured oils, custards etc – it’s something I can’t imagine ever getting bored of. Skye’s enthusiasm for food and avoidance of any overtly cheffy pretension are what really make this book, and my regular use of it is evident in the well-thumbed, slightly spattered pages and rapidly weakening spine.
Surprising, then, that until last weekend I’d not made a single dessert from this book. Looking at my blog you’d likely assume that something sweet would be the first thing I’d want to road test, and while this is often the case – my natural inclination is to scour the index of a new book for sections on sweets and baking – with A Year in My Kitchen I just haven’t felt the inclination. Perhaps it’s the fruity nature of the desserts on offer – I have a somewhat unhealthy in-built radar for anything of a chocolate, caramel or sticky-sweet persuasion – but it could well be that the other recipes have been simply too distractingly good to allow me time to pause and consider pudding. Continue reading