Serves 12

200g (7 oz) plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large bananas, mashed
150g (5 oz) caster sugar
1 egg
75g (2 1/2 oz) butter, melted

1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Place 12 paper baking cases in a muffin tin.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt; set aside.
3. Combine mashed bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter in a large bowl. Fold in flour mixture, and mix until smooth.
4. Spoon evenly into baking cases in muffin tin.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until muffins spring back when lightly tapped.


Makes 12 pieces

225g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
30g caster sugar
55g butter
55g raisins or sultanas (optional)
150ml milk

1. Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar in a bowl, then rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the raisins or sultanas, if using.
2. Bit by bit, add 150ml milk until you have a firm dough. Turn out onto a floured work surface. Pat the dough into a circle about 1 1/2 cm thick and cut out the scones.
3. Put onto a non-stick baking sheet and brush the tops with milk. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Serve with butter, or jam and cream.

Banana Bread

Makes one loaf


3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
2. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla.
3. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan.
4. Bake for 1 hour.
5. Cool on a rack.
6. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

Apple crumble with custard

For the apple crumble
150g/5½oz unsalted butter
½ tsp ground ginger
1 Bramley apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
2 tsp caster sugar
100g/3½oz plain flour
100g/3½oz brown sugar

For the custard
150ml/5fl oz whole milk
150ml/5fl oz double cream
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped out
2 large free-range egg yolks
2 tbsp caster sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2. To make the apple crumble, put 50g/2oz of the butter into a small saucepan together with the ginger, apple and caster sugar and cook gently for 5 minutes until the apple has softened and broken down slightly. Pour into a small ovenproof dish.
3. Put the remaining butter, the flour and brown sugar into a food processor and blitz until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the crumble mix onto the apple, place in the preheated oven and cook for 10 minutes.
4. Technique: Rubbing in
5. Rubbing inWatch technique0:46 mins
6. To make the custard, put the milk, double cream and vanilla pod and seeds into a non-stick saucepan and heat until just boiling. Remove the vanilla pod and set aside.
7. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and caster sugar with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy. Pour the warm milk and cream mixture over the beaten eggs and sugar and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture into a clean saucepan and heat and whisk for a further 2 minutes or until the custard has thickened slightly. Remove from the heat and pour into a small jug.
8. To serve, pour the custard over the apple crumble.

Victoria Sponge Cake

Makes 12 pieces


225g/8oz butter, softened at room temperature
225g/8oz caster sugar
4 medium eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
225g/8oz self raising flour
milk, to loosen

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2. Grease and line 2 x 18cm/7in cake tins with baking paper.
3. Cream the butter and the sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy.
4. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, and stir in the vanilla extract.
5. Fold in the flour using a large metal spoon, adding a little extra milk if necessary, to create a batter with a soft dropping consistency.
6. Divide the mixture between the cake tins and gently spread out with a spatula.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden-brown on top and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
8. Remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes, then remove from the tin and peel off the paper. Place onto a wire rack.
9. Sandwich the cakes together with jam, lemon curd or whipped cream and berries or just enjoy on its own.

Lemon Curd


3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

1. In the top of a double boiler, beat eggs and sugar. 
2. Stir in lemon juice, butter and lemon peel. 
3. Cook over simmering water for 15 minutes or until thickened. 

Cinnamon Oysters for a Real Lady

Makes 12

For dusting pans
1 T flour
1 T caster (superfine) sugar

For cakes
2 eggs
3 Tblspn caster (superfine) sugar (45g)
1 Dspn golden syrup
2 Large Tblspn flour (60g)
1 tspn cinnamon
1/4 tspn baking soda
1 tspn ground ginger

Fresh cream for whipping to fill. Icing sugar (Powdered sugar) to dust.

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease the pans and then dust with flour and caster sugar. Remove any excess.
2. Warm the mixing bowl and break in two eggs.
3. Beat the eggs until very light and fluffy.
4. Add in slightly warmed golden syrup and beat five more minutes until thick and ribbons form.
5. Sift dry ingredients and fold in very gently using a large metal spoon.
6. Place gently in the pans and bake 8-10 minutes. Remove from the pans while just slightly warm with a curved knife.
7. Split when cold and fill with cream - plain or laced with a small sprinkle of cinnamon. Dust with icing sugar.
8. Serve accompanied by tea in china cups and remember your best manners.

Fleur de sel toffee

typical english treat. brittle. sweet. salty. tasty.

Serves 10

100g butter
250g granulated sugar
200g sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup glucose syrup
3/4 tsp fleur de sel plus more for sprinkling
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Heat all ingredients except vanilla over medium heat, stirring constantly. Let boil until the mixture reaches a temperature of 116-118 degrees celcius. This process will take a while until the desired temperature is reached.
2. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
3. Pour into prepared pan (buttered or lined with baking paper).
4. When set slightly, sprinkle with more fleur du sel.
5. Let cool, cut into squares.

Dundee Marmelade

Makes 6-6 8-ounce jars

3 lbs of seville or bitter oranges (about 12 oranges)
4 cups water
2 lemons - 1 regular lemon and 1 Meyer lemon
4 to 5 cups white granulated sugar

1. Scrub the oranges clean. Discard any that are damaged or moldy.
2. Cut the oranges in half and juice them, one by one, until you have 2 cups of juice. Set aside the juice. As you juice the oranges, also save the seeds and the membranes - put them in a separate bowl and set them aside. The seeds and membranes will be used for making pectin.
3. Taking a clean juiced orange half rind, use a spoon to dig out as much of the white pith as you can. The pith is bitter, so the more you can get out the better. But don't worry if you can't get it all out. What is pictured is the end result of one of my scrapings. It's okay if there is still some pith. Use a sharp chef's knife to thinly julienne the peel. Once you julienne all of the oranges that you juiced to make 2 cups of juice, you should have about 4 cups of peel. Set these julienned peels aside.
4. Juice the regular lemon and add this juice to the orange juice. Save the seeds for making pectin. Cut the Meyer lemon in eigths, lengthwise. Remove the seeds and as much of the inner membranes as you can easily remove. Cut the lemon segments crosswise into triangular pieces. (See the steps in the Meyer lemon marmalade recipe for photo descriptions.) Add the Meyer lemon seeds and membranes to the Seville orange seeds and membranes.
5. Put all of the citrus seeds and membranes into 4 layers of cheesecloth, tied up tightly with string, or into a muslin jelly bag.
6. Place the orange and lemon juices into a large thick-bottomed pot, either 5 or 6-quart. Add the julienned orange peels and Meyer lemon pieces and the water.
7. Place the cheesecloth or muslin bag containing the citrus seeds and pulp into the pot and secure the string at the other end to the pot handle. As the mixture cooks, the pectin from the seeds and membranes will be extracted into the mixture.
8. Bring mixture to a boil. Let boil, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, or until the peels are soft and cooked through. Remove from heat.
9. Remove the pectin bag and place it in a bowl to let cool until it is comfortable to touch.
10. Measure the fruit and add sugar and pectin
11. Pour out the mixture from the pot into a large measuring cup. Measure how much of the mixture you have. Depending on how hard of a boil and how long the cooking time, you could have anywhere from 4 to 5 cups. Return the mixture back to the pan.
12. Add to the mixture 7/8 cup of sugar for every cup of mixture. So, if you measured 4 cups of mixture, add in 3 1/2 cups of sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved, taste the mixture. Add more sugar depending on how sweet you want your marmalade to be. Note that the jelly mixture will reduce further, intensifying both the flavor and the sweetness of the jelly. I typically use 4 cups of sugar for every 4 cups of fruit mixture.
13. Once your pectin bag has cooled to the point you can handle it, squeeze it like play-doh to extract extra pectin. Grasp a tangerine size portion of the bag and squeeze, pulling the bag away from you with one hand as you hold firmly with the other hand. Work your way around the bag. "Milk" the pectin until you have released anywhere from 2 Tbsp to 4 Tbsp of pectin. It should take a few minutes. The pectin has the consistency of sour cream. Add it to the orange mixture.
14. Heat the jelly mixture on medium high and bring it to a rapid boil, stirring occasionally, making sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan. Secure a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. The marmalade may take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes or so to set. After about 10 minutes, start checking it frequently.
There are two ways to test that the marmalade is ready to pour out into jars. One way is to check the thermometer for when the mixture reaches a temperature of 220-222°F (8-10°F above the boiling point at your altitude). Another way is to put a bit of it on a chilled plate and look for signs of it "wrinkling up" when you push it with your finger tip. Depending on how accurate your thermometer is, you might find the wrinkle test more reliable. Put several small plates into the freezer. As the jelly temperature exceeds 218°F, start testing it by placing a small amount of the hot jelly on a chilled plate. If the jelly spreads out and thins immediately, it isn't ready. If it holds its shape a bit, that's a good sign. Push up against it with your finger tip. If the jelly sample wrinkles at all, it is time to take the jelly off the heat and pour it out into jars.

When you use a candy thermometer to test the temperature of your mixture, make sure the probe is NOT touching the bottom of the pan. Make sure the indentation on the probe (with modern candy thermometers this is about an inch and a half from the bottom of the probe) is actually surrounded by the mixture. You may have to tilt the pan to one side, to cover the probe sufficiently to get a good reading.
15. Allow the jars to sit overnight.