Monday, January 30, 2012


The boys at the 10 cases are very generously letting me put up a few paintings next Monday (6th Feb).

It'll be a casual affair so please pop your head in, buy a glass of their very good wine and take a glance at some of my scribbles downstairs.

All work will be for sale - it'll be a silent auction, so if you like a particular painting, put your name, number and price in the box and the highest bidder will have something to put on their wall.

Hope you can make it.

Meanwhile, here's my recipe for Bread and Butter Pudding. Two puds in a month, I know, but you can't cut out everything in January.

Serves a greedy 4

1 loaf sliced brioche, with approx. 12 slices
150g butter
100g sultanas
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
200ml whole milk
150ml double cream
50g caster sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
dash of golden rum (optional)
extra sugar for sprinkling on top

Set the oven to 180 degrees C.

Lightly grease up a deep dish, large enough to tower the brioche slices. Butter the bread on both sides and lay, side by side, in the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with sultanas. Repeat this until you reach the top of the dish.

In a large measuring jug, whisk the eggs and egg yolks. Mix in the milk and cream. Then add the sugar, spices and rum, if using. When mixed through, gently pour over the bread.

Set the dish aside for at least 45 minutes so that the bread soaks up the cream mix. Sprinkle with any remaining raisins and sugar. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until the top bread layer is golden and crisp.

Best served with a wobble and a generous drizzle of single cream. Pretty good cold too.

Monday, January 16, 2012


I like to call these ragamuffins: mini mountains of sponge, scantily constructed with the remnants of near-empty packets (well - I used the last of the butter which just happened to weigh a perfect 50g), rough on the outside but wonderfully soft and moist in the centre.

They are muffins in a ra - ga - mekin.


serves 2

2 halves of tinned pear, sliced

1 ball stem ginger, thinly sliced

2 tsp dark brown sugar/molasses

50g butter

50g golden caster sugar

1 medium egg

50g self-raising flour

1 tbsp ground ginger

1 tbsp icing sugar

2 tbsps pear juice from tin

2 tbsps juice from stem ginger jar

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Butter two standard-sized ramekins and lay the sliced pear and stem ginger in the bottoms of each. Sprinkle over the dark brown sugar.

Beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the egg and stir through - the mixture will look scarily wet so don't freak. Sift in the flour with the ginger and fold.

Divide the batter between each ramekin and place in the oven for 20 minutes. By this time they should be risen and golden.

Leave the muffins to cool slightly whilst you make the drizzle: simply dissolve the icing sugar, stirring it into the pear and ginger juices.

With a skewer, poke about 8 holes into each muffin. Pour over the sweet, syrupy juices and serve with the last spoonful from the yoghurt

There you have it, you ragamuffins, you.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


The truth is, I've always been terrible at omelettes. Scrambled before they have a chance to set and flipped onto the plate into a sloppy mound, rather than elegantly slipped from the pan in a perfect fold. I don't admit my failure much.

A good omelette, or so I learnt last night, takes a little patience and a bit of skill, good eggs and a non-stick pan. A silicon spatula works a dream to loosen the edges. It turns out they are pretty simple to do. Who knew?

This recipe makes a non-omeletteer seem pro. All it takes is a few scrumptious ingredients, a whisk, a confident smile, and you've got yourself a gourmet supper in seconds.



drop olive oil/ small knob butter
3 eggs
salt and pepper
tbsp chives, finely chopped
tbsp dill, finely chopped
tbsp brown crab meat
2 tbsps white crab meat

Whisk the eggs, seasoning, herbs and brown crab meat in a small bowl.

Then melt a small amount of butter or wipe a little olive oil around a large, flat, non-stick pan. Place over a medium-hot heat.

When the pan is hot, pour in the egg mixture and swill around the pan. Using the spatula, quickly scramble the eggs, so that the cooked egg comes to the top. Swill again so you have a large, even, circle shape, filling the gaps in the pan with the uncooked egg. Loosen the edges of the omelette with the spatula. Scatter the crab along the vertical diameter and, when the egg is almost cooked and the underside is browning, start to roll the omelette from right to left.

Slip onto a warm plate and scatter with any remaining herbs. Serve with a fresh green salad.

This is suitable for those crazy fools on the Dukan diet - just use very little oil to wipe the pan and don't have the salad.