Friday, 2 March 2018


I'm so cold at the moment, February has been the coldest on record so perhaps this is why I'm craving warming comfort food, not just comfort food in fact but stodgy comformt food, the kind that comes with gravy or custard if you're going down the sweet route.

So, this was my train of thought -  I fancy a pie. Then I thought of suet pastry with it's soft breadiness just perfect for soaking up gravy and crisp outside, Oh my goodness, this has to be a quick make because I want it now. Right, what have I got in the fridge that can go in a pie, not much. But then inspiration struck and my savoury roly poly was born.

You can keep this veggie and add some muchrooms to the mix instead of bacon,  always used vegetable suet anyway, it doesn't seem to make any difference.

300G Self Raising Flour
150g Suet
Small Bunch of Flat Leaf Parsley finely chopped
150ml Water

1 tbsp Oil
150g Streaky Bacon, chopped
1 Leek
1/2 Red Onion, diced
1 Garlic Clove, minced
Salt & Pepper
1 Egg, beaten

Start by making the pastry. Add the suet to the flour then stir through half of the parsley, now slowly add the water combining the mix to form a dough. I do this in a free standing mixer but by hand is good, start mixing with a knife till it comes together.  Once you have a dough, knead it a little on a floured surface then wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge till ready to use.

Now heat the oil in a pan and add the bacon.  While the bacon cooks, slice the leek down the middle then slice into half moons, add this to the bacon along with the onions and garlic and cook till soft but not coloured. Stir through the remaining parsley and season to taste, I like lots of pepper but be careful with salt as the bacon will add this too.

Once cooked, leave to cool a little while you roll out the pastry.  It's quite a sticky pastry so I find it easier to roll it out on parchment.  Roll it into a rectangle roughly 30 x 40 cm.  it should be about the thickness of a pound coin. Brush the edges with egg then spread your filling evenly over the top leaving your egg washed border clear. Now, you know the deal, roll up your pastry along the longest edge till you have a lovely plump pastry sausage. Slide it into the middle of your parchment and use the parchment to lift the whole thing onto a baking sheet.  To finish, brush with egg and bake for 30-40 minutes till golden and gorgeous.

In the end, I didn't have gravy, Baked beans made it even more comforting Xx

Thursday, 1 March 2018


Right, I put my hands up, my name is Yasmin and I like Marmite.  I like it in a sandwich with lettuce (thank you mother),  I like it roasted on potatoes, I like it stirred into pasta (thank you Nigella) and I like it on toast. But now I like it in toast. Why have I never thought of this before? Adding cheese just escalates its deliciousness. It is the most perfect toasting loaf and the best for making cheese on toast. Now, don't be put off if you are not a Marmite lover, my taste for Marmite has not been passed on to my children but they devoured this whole loaf in one sitting. These photos are a second one I had to make so I could share it with you. Suffice to say it went as quickly as the first made into ham sandwiches.

500g Strong White Bread Flour, 10g Yeast, 50g Oil, 30g Marmite, 100g Grated Cheddar, 300g Hand Warm Water

I made this in my freestanding mixer to get the dough started but you can do the whole thing by hand. Put everything in the bowl and get mixing.  Once the dough starts to slap against the side of the bowl, turn off the mixer and tip it onto your surface. You must knead the dough till it's smooth and elastic, I usually give this about 8 minutes. If it's sticking pour a little oil on to the surface rather than adding flour.  

When you are done with kneading, dust your bowl with flour and return the dough to it. Cover with cling film or a shower cap and leave to rise and double in size for 1 hour. Next shape your loaf. Make it free form or use a loaf tin. I plaited mine then put it in a 2lb loaf tin. Leave to rise again covered with a clean tea towel for 30 minutes then bake at 200C for 25-30 minutes

Do try it made into cheese on toast, you won't believe the difference the Marmite makes. Xx

Monday, 29 January 2018


Hello, it's been a while.  I've had a break from blogging but now I'm back and kicking off with this delicately spiced drizzle loaf.  I have to admit that the inspiration came from a slice of cake that I had in the John Lewis Cafe, I loved it and savoured every mouthful trying to distinguish each individual flavour.  It was like the palate test on Master Chef. Anyhow, after a couple of not quite rights I got it and now I'm sharing it with you.  The drizzle makes the sponge extremely moist and the almonds add texture whilst the orange flower water gives it a fragrant turkish delight quality.

The cake in the picture was mostly eaten when it was still warm with a bonus glug of cream and was like a sponge pudding but it was just as exquisite finished off a few hours later cold.  Let me know if yours lasted long enough to taste cold.

You can leave the cake with just the drizzle but I've added chopped pistachios, freeze dried raspberries - available in most supermarkets and dried marigold petals - bought on line and usually used in herbal teas.  I think they really add to its spice trail taste.

170g Butter/Margarine
170g Sugar
150g Self Raising Flour
50g Ground Almonds
1tsp Baking Powder
Zest of 1 Orange
1tsp Ground Cardamom
1tbsp Orange Flower Water
1tbsp Milk
3 Eggs

Juice of 1 Orange
30g Sugar
1 tbsp Orange Flower Water

It's as you'd expect and pretty straight forward.  Cream together the butter and sugar till it's light and fluffy.  Now add the remaining ingredients and mix well to combine.  Pour the mix into a lined 2lb loaf tin and level out the surface.  Bake in a preheated oven at 160C fan for 40-50 minutes till cooked, firm to touch and a skewer comes out clean.

While it's baking make the drizzle. Stir the sugar into the orange juice with the orange flower water.  Once the cake is cooked, spoon the drizzle over the loaf while it is still hot, this helps it soak in better then add any decoration you decide on.