Spiced Up Valentine’s Cookies

These were originally called Christmas biscuits, but I didn’t have a chance to make them in December (too many recipes, not enough days) so, on the basis that I believe the spirit of Christmas should last the whole year through, I used the same recipe but swapped the star-shaped cookie cutter for heart-shaped ones and made these little cookies to spice up your Valentine’s Day! They’re light, have a delightful crunch and the warming ‘festive’ spice is quite lovely.

What you need…

1-2 baking trays, buttered or lined with Bake O Glide

250g unsalted butter, softened and chunked

140g caster sugar

1 egg yolk

300g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

1 teaspoon all-spice

1 teaspoon ground ginger

for the icing

100g icing sugar

1 tablespoon warm water

Food colouring (optional)

What to do…

Tip the butter and sugar into your food processor whizz until pale and creamy. Add the egg yolk and whizz to evenly incorporate. Tip in the flour and spices and whizz to form a dough ball. Wrap up in cling film and pop in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 5mm thick. Use cookie cutters of your choice (stars for Christmas, hearts for Valentine’s, etc) and cut out as many as you can, re-rolling the trimmings as needed.

Place on your baking trays and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 180°c / 350f / gas 4.

Pop the cookies into the oven and bake for 12 minutes.

Let them firm up a bit on the baking trays before carefully transferring them to wire racks to cool.

Meanwhile, make the icing. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and then add the warm water gradually, mixing it in until the icing coats the back of a spoon. Add a few drops of food colouring , if using. Spoon into an icing bag fitted with a small writing tube/nozzle (mine was size 1.5). Decorate as you like (I’m not very good at this bit so my decoration was quite basic). Share them around immediately – they only keep for 1 – 2 days but…that shouldn’t be a problem! Enjoy!

Inspired by…

Lisa Faulkner

How easy…

Very easy. My only issue was not reading the bit about resting the dough in the fridge for 2 hours (it ended up going in overnight but the cookies were absolutely fine!)

Instant Chocolate Orange Mousse

This mousse recipe is absolutely sinful! Take time dipping your spoon through the light, cloud-like cream topping into the smooth, velvety chocolate before delighting your tastebuds with this luxuriantly sensuous mousse that is both rich and silky but still light…with a gentle, naughty little kick of Cointreau. Simply divine and no effort to make!

Serves 6

What you need…

150g dark chocolate (70%+ cocoa solids) chunked

175g condensed milk

500ml double cream

Pinch of salt

30ml Cointreau orange liqueur

30ml freshly squeezed orange juice

Finely grated orange zest or chocolate sprinkles to decorate

What to do…

Gently melt the chocolate in a steamer over a pan of simmering water, stirring and scraping down the sides into the middle towards the end. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, pour in the condensed milk and half the double cream. Add the salt and used a handheld electric whisk to beat together until thickened – but only just – when you lift the whisks, they should leave a trail of ribbons.

Stir about one third of the whisked cream into the slightly cooled melted chocolate and use a balloon whisk to gently fold it in. Then, in either 2 or 3 batches, fold the chocolate mixture back into the large bowl of cream and condensed milk, again using the balloon whisk. Then, gently stir in the Cointreau and lastly, the orange juice.

Divide the mousse between 6 pretty glasses or tea cups, leaving a gap of about 1cm from the top. Pop in the fridge for 1 hour…..or 24 – they keep well providing you can keep others in your household from helping themselves.

Just before you want to serve them, use your handheld electric whisk to beat up the remaining cream until thickened but still floppy and then plop a large spoonful on top of each chocolate mousse. Decorate with orange zest or chocolate sprinkles. Serve to a raptuous table of diners

Inspired by…

Nigella Lawson

How easy…

Done in a flash, next to no effort and absolutely gorgeous!

 

 

 

Venison with Red Wine & Chocolate Sauce (oh yeah!) with Celeriac & Apple Purée

O M G! This is so very, very special! Delectable, delicious, de-lovely – absolutely incredible! OK, enough adjectives! This is a dish worth celebrating – venison can be dear (or deer – see what I did there!!). I paid £17 for 600g which serves 4 so that’s £4.25 each which I didn’t think was too bad given the ‘off-the-scale’ enjoyment that was registered: the meat is so succulent and very flavoursome without being ‘gamey’. Paired with the rich red wine and chocolate sauce and complemented by the sweet, crisp celeriac and apple purée: a better trio I cannot imagine! An ideal dinner party dish, this is so good and not at all difficult (especially if you prepare the sauce and purée in advance); you simply must give it a go!!!! (Don’t let the long ingredients list put you off – it’s sooooo worth it!)

Serves 4

What you need…

600g venison loin

Rapeseed oil

1 tablespoon juniper berries, crushed

2 thyme sprigs

2 garlic cloves, chopped

50g unsalted butter

Sea salt and black pepper

for the sauce

Rapeseed oil

2 shallots, peeled and chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 thyme sprigs

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon juniper berries, crushed

1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed/grinded

300ml robust red wine

200ml water from the kettle

1 chicken stockpot (I use Knorr)

50g dark chocolate, grated

25g cold unsalted butter, chunked

Pinch of salt

for the purée

1 celeriac head, peeled and chunked

500ml semi skimmed milk

500ml water

2 Bramley apples, peeled, cored and diced

1 tablespoon caster sugar

25g unsalted butter

Pepper (white’s better as it blends in but I only had black, which works equally as well)

What to do…

So, we’re going to turn the ingredients list all around: first making the chocolate sauce and then the purée, both of which can then be popped in the fridge for use later in the day or even the following day.

To the sauce: heat a splash of oil in a saucepan over a moderate heat. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, until they start to caramelise.

Add the herbs, juniper berries and peppercorns and sauté for a further 2 minutes. Pour in the wine, bring to the boil and simmer until reduced by two-thirds. Meanwhile, make a strong chicken stock by using a balloon whisk to dilute your chicken stockpot into the hot water. Add the stock to the pan, bring back to the boil and then simmer until reduced by half.

Into a jug, tip the grated chocolate. Strain the sauce into the jug and then plop in chunks of butter. Use your balloon whisk again dissolve both the chocolate and butter into the sauce. Season with a pinch of salt. Taste, say ‘wow’ and vow to leave the sauce alone until it’s on your plate with the venison! Cover with cling film and set aside until needed.

Next the purée: pop the celeriac into a large saucepan with the milk and water. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently until the celeriac is soft. Into your blender pour a couple of ladles of the cooking liquid and then, using a slotted spoon, add the celeriac chunks. Set aside. Pour the remaining cooking liquid into a jug and set aside.

Wipe out your pan and pop it back onto the heat with a splash of water, the apple and sugar. Simmer gently until the apple is soft and beginning to break apart. Use a spatula to scrape the lot into the blender with the celeriac. Whizz until smooth, adding more cooking liquid if needed. Add the butter, season, whizz, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Set aside until needed.

That’s most of the ‘work’ and mess done. At this stage you could cool both the sauce and purée and pop them in the fridge until tomorrow if you were preparing in advance for a dinner party. I made mine in the morning and then just left them on the worktop side until I was ready to cook dinner in the evening.

To the main event: preheat your oven to 180°c / 350°f / gas 4.

Rub the venison loin with oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Also, rub in the juniper berries all over the meat. Heat a large ovenproof frying pan over a high heat, add the venison and sear on all sides for 5 minutes, until golden brown. Add the thyme, garlic and butter to the pan and baste the venison for 2 minutes. Cover the meat with foil and then transfer the pan to the oven for 8 minutes. Remove from the pan and rest, still covered by the foil, on a warmed plate for 10 minutes.

Whilst all that is going on, have your sauce and purée and sauce in separate saucepans over a low heat just to warm through.

Carve the venison into thick slices; try not to dribble in anticipation. Onto each diner’s plate, plop or swirl some purée, arrange a few venison slices on the top and then drizzle with the sauce. Enjoy with a simple green vegetable and a lovely glass or two of red wine. Consider for a moment how wonderful life can be! Enjoy!

Tip…

I found the size of the venison too ungainly to deal with as one piece so chopped it in half….worked for me!

Inspired by…

Lisa Faulkner

How easy…

Really easy. And if you prep the sauce and purée in advance, the actual cooking of the venison takes no time at all and is a sinch!

Red Mullet with Saffron, Orange Oil and Spring Onion Barley

I first tried this last week when I was in Penzance with my brother, Martin; this dish is ridiculously easy to make and absolutely delicious! We picked up the freshly caught fish at lunchtime and cooked this up on a whim in the evening. The freshness of the fish evokes a quite wonderful essence of the sea: a beautiful flavour that is enhanced by the lovely and light pearl barley ‘risotto’ – the perfect base for these delightful little fish – just yummy!

Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main course

What you need…

for the orange oil

Zest of 1 orange, grated finely

75ml rapeseed oil

25ml olive oil

for the main dish

1 x medium baking tin

400ml hot water from the kettle

1 vegetable stockpot (I use Knorr)

8 spring onions

8 red mullet fillets (your fishmonger will do this for you)

Rapeseed oil

50g unsalted butter

2 garlic cloves, chopped

100g pearl barley

1 teaspoon saffron strands

200g spinach, washed and trimmed

2 teaspoons dill, chopped, plus extra fronds to garnish

50g Parmesan, grated finely

Sea salt and black pepper

What to do…

Ideally, the day before you want to enjoy this dish, make up the orange oil by putting all the ingredients into a blender and whizzing for 1 minute. Pour the mixture into a jug, cover, pop into the fridge and leave to infuse for 24 hours. Strain into a screw-topped jar and keep in the fridge until needed (it will actually keep for up to 1 month).

Time to prepare this lovely meal! First, a bit of prep: make some stock by using a balloon whisk to dilute the stockpot into the hot water. Set aside. Trim the spring onions and slice finely, keeping the white parts separate from the green. Set aside. That’s it – prep done.

Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat and add a splash of rapeseed oil and the butter. When hot, add the white spring onion slices and the garlic. Stir for 1 minute and then add the pearl barley, stirring for a further minute.

Pour in 200ml of the vegetable stock and add the saffron. Bring to the boil and then simmer on a moderate heat for 20 minutes, checking on it occasionally – if it looks like the stock is being absorbed too soon, add a little more until the 20 minutes is up and the cooking liquid is now almost completely absorbed. Discard any remaining stock.

Add the green spring onion slices, spinach and dill and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the Parmesan, season, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

For the fish, allow 4 minutes before the end of the pearl barley cooking time. Heat your grill to medium. Splash a little rapeseed oil into your baking tin, spread all around and season. Pop the fish in, skin side up and slide the tin under the grill, cooking for 4 minutes or until just cooked through.

Spoon the barley onto warmed plates and arrange the red mullet on the top. Drizzle orange oil over and around the fish and then garnish with dill fronds. Dead easy and absolutely delicious!

Inspired by…

My bro and before him, Nathan Outlaw.

How easy…

Very easy. The freshness and essential flavours of the fish obviate the need for any fancy cooking – it’s all there for you already!

 

 

 

Orange and Strawberry Cupcakes with Toasted Meringue Cloud Topping

OK, so I should tell you from the outset that in the original recipe, the ingredients included zest of lemon and lemon curd; however in my cupboard there was only orange curd so the recipe was adjusted to accommodate. And I must say, these little darlings are absolutely delightful – light fluffy sponges topped with the zesty orange curd and a cloud of sweet meringue – heavenly!

Makes 12

What you need…

1 x 12-hole muffin tin, lined with paper cases

1 x icing bag and large nozzle(optional)

1 x chef’s blow torch (optional)

100g butter, chunked

150g self-raising flour

150g caster sugar

3 tablespoons milk

2 happy eggs

Zest of 1 orange, finely grated

7g freeze-dried strawberries (available from all major supermarkets)

for the meringue topping

100g-ish orange curd (roughly half a standard jar)

2 happy egg whites

100g caster sugar

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 180°c / 350°f / gas 4.

To the sponges: tip all the ingredients except the freeze-dried strawberries into your food processor and whizz until light and fluffy. Fold in three-quarters of the strawberries and then divide the mixture evenly between the 12 cupcake cases. Pop them into the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until risen, springy and golden.

Remove from the oven and decant from the muffin tin onto a wire rack to cool.

When cold, using a sharp little knife to cut out a circle off the top, roughly the size of a £2 coin from each cake, scooping out a walnut-size piece of sponge to leave a hole. Use a teaspoon to fill each hole with the orange curd – right to the top of the cake.

Use a handheld electric whisk to beat the egg whites until they are stiff, then gradually add the sugar, whisking the whole time, to create a lovely stiff, glossy meringue.

Either use a spoon to plop the meringue on the top of each cake or gently spoon the mixture into an icing bag and pipe the meringue on the top in as creative and majestic a structure as you fancy. Again, a choice: either take a chef’s blow torch to them, toasting the meringue so that it has lovely golden crispy edges or pop them under the grill to achieve the same affect – don’t walk off – they only take a minute! Sprinkle with the remaining freeze-dried strawberry morsels and serve – a heavenly delight!

Tips…

If you want to try the original recipe, swap the zest of 1 orange for the zest of 1 lemon and replace orange curd with lemon curd.

Haven’t tried it yet, but I did wonder about adding chocolate chip cookies to the sponge rather than the fruit zest and replacing the orange curd with chocolate spread and tipping chocolate sprinkles over the meringue – will do this the next time the grandkids are up and let you know!

Inspired by…

Mary Berry

How easy…

Really very easy and I love that you can make the sponges in advance, finishing them off with their glorious meringue topping just before you want to eat them.

 

 

White Chocolate Mousse with Black Pepper and Fresh Mint

I’m not normally a fan of white chocolate but this recipe intrigued me – a dessert with black pepper? What a fabulous surprise it was! It’s spectacularly simple and fast to make: within 20 minutes, you have a truly fantastic dessert: the rich creaminess of the white chocolate is perfectly contrasted by the black pepper and the fresh mint – honestly I just had to keep digging in to marvel at the simplicity and deliciousness of this great and rather elegant dessert! Don’t hesitate – give it a go!

Serves 6

What you need…

280g good quality white chocolate, chunked

300ml double cream

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

12 fresh mint leaves (6 finely sliced and 6 reserved for decoration)

What to do…

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl in a steamer over a pan of simmering water to melt (for some reason it takes waaaay longer than milk or dark chocolate but it WILL melt). Once melted, stand the bowl on a cold surface to cool down slightly (I stuck mine in the metal sink).

Using a handheld electric whisk, beat the cream until it forms soft peaks.

Put 2 tablespoons of the cream into the melted chocolate and use the whisk to gently beat them together. Use a spatula to scrape every last bit of the melted chocolate/cream mixture into the remaining double cream together with the pepper and mint and then, using a balloon whisk, very gently fold in the ingredients so they are thoroughly mixed together.

Spoon the mixture into 6 pretty glasses (tall Champagne flutes are particularly elegant but you need long handled spoons to go with them!).

Pop in the fridge for just 20 minutes or overnight if you’re preparing ahead. Just before serving, decorate with the remaining mint leaves. Serve to a dubious group whose faces will light up with joy! Gorgeous!

Inspired by…

Gino D’Acampo

How easy…

Couldn’t be any easier and you can prepare ahead!

Chicken and Mushroom Pie with Sage and Onion Stuffing Pastry

This is a lovely, filling chicken pie – an ideal weekday family supper that uses up the leftover chicken from Sunday lunch. You could make your own pastry and you could also make your own stuffing but leaving the recipe this way, means it’s quite effortless and really scrummy: perfect comfort food for a chilly winter’s evening.

Question: what else can I stuff into pastry toppings……? Time will tell, I’m sure!!!

Serves 4 – 6

 

What you need…

1 x 1 litre pie dish, buttered

for the stuffing

1 x 110g pack sage and onion stuffing mix

Knob of butter

Small handful fresh sage leaves, chopped

8 walnut halves, chopped

for the filling

200ml hot water from the kettle

1 chicken stockpot (I use Knorr)

100g butter

1 onion, sliced thinly

50g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

125ml single cream

500-600g cooked chicken (about 4 chicken breasts) chunked into bite-sized pieces

200g mushrooms, washed and sliced

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

320g ready-rolled puff pastry

1 egg, beaten

Sea salt and black pepper

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 190°c / 375°f / gas 5.

Make the stuffing as per the instructions and then stir in the butter, sage leaves and walnut halves until they’re evenly incorporated. Set aside to cool.

Make up chicken stock by using a balloon whisk to help dissolve the stockpot into the hot water. Set aside.

Now to the filling: melt the butter in a large saucepan over a moderate heat, add the onion and cook for 10 minutes until soft.

Mix in the flour and then add the stock and cream. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the chicken chunks, mushrooms and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to your pie dish and set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry so that it is double the size of your pie dish. Spread the cooled stuffing over half of the pastry, folding the other half over the top of it so that you have a layer of stuffing in the middle. Roll out again so that it’s just a little bigger than your pie dish.

Brush the rim of your pie dish with beaten egg and then place the pastry over the pie. Fork the edges and make a hole in the middle to allow the cooking steam to escape. Trim off any excess pastry from around the sides. Brush the pastry with beaten egg and pop in the oven for 35 minutes and until the pastry is a rich, golden brown.

Serve your wonderful pie just by itself, with gravy or naughty potatoes. I don’t think any healthy greenery should be added to the plate – this is comfort food after all!

Inspired by…

Lisa Faulkner

How easy…

Very easy and relaxing to make.

Chicken with Mushrooms and Sherry Sauce

I saw Raymond Blanc do this on the telly and thought it looked absolutely yummy – it is, despite the fact that I didn’t use the specified ‘Morel’ mushrooms (which are hideously expensive). So I suspect that the flavours would have been even more fabulous than they were in my version. Really, really gorgeous and so simple to do – give it a go whether it’s a simple family meal or supper with friends – you won’t be disappointed. Oh, and the leeks: what Monsieur Blanc did with them is simply one of the best ways to serve them!

Serves 4

What you need…

1 teaspoon stock from a chicken stockpot (I use Knorr)

50 ml hot water from the kettle

4 plump chicken breasts

Sea salt and black pepper

1 tablespoon butter

200g wild or interesting mushrooms, washed and roughly torn

120g button mushrooms, washed and quartered

100ml dry sherry, boiled for 30 seconds to cook off the alcohol

200ml double cream

for the leeks

200ml water

Pinch sea salt

1 tablespoon butter

4 leeks, outer leaves removed, washed and sliced

What to do…

First, make a little chicken stock by using a balloon whisk to dissolve the stock from the stockpot into the hot water. Set aside.

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In a saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat until it is foaming. Add the chicken breasts and colour lightly for 3 minutes on each side. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken from a pan and set aside.

In the butter remaining in the pan, chuck in the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and add the boiled sherry, chicken stock and double cream. Bring to the boil and slip in the chicken breasts – which should be covered by the sauce. Lower the heat to a very gentle simmer and cook for 7 – 10 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts.

Again using your slotted spoon, remove the chicken from the sauce and set aside. Turn the heat up to boil the sauce and cook until reduced by half (15 – 20 minutes on my hob) and thickened. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Actually, keep tasting because it’s bloody lovely!

Whilst the chicken breasts are cooking, turn your attention to the leeks. Into a saucepan, tip the water, salt and butter and bring to the boil. Tip in the leeks, pop on the lid and boil like mad for 3 minutes. That’s it!

To serve, place the chicken breasts back into the sauce to warm up for 2 minutes and then divide the chicken breasts and sauce between 4 plates, drain the leeks and serve them as well. We also had chunked up red potatoes that had been roasted in the oven with olive oil, salt, dried rosemary and chopped garlic. The whole supper is absolutely delicious – gotta love food blogging!

Inspired by…

Raymond Blanc

How easy…

Easy, relaxed and really quite joyful! Glass of wine in hand, obviously!

 

 

 

 

Burns Night Supper: Haggis with Wonderful Whisky Sauce

I know haggis is not for everyone but we love it. I am devoted to the Simon Howie brand that is so tasty, perfectly balanced with a little spicy edge to it. Served with this simply sumptuous sauce and the haggis is worth celebrating all by itself! Then you get the Neep & Tattie Mash with Parsley and Walnuts, adding an unexpectedly delicious dimension to the meal. Serve with a wee dram – an aged single malt if you can run to it. What a lovely supper – I don’t think we are going to wait for Mr. Burns birthday before we have this again though!!!!

Serves 4 – 6

What you need…

2 x 454g Haggis, (we love the Simon Howie Scottish butcher brand)

30g butter

2 large shallots, finely chopped

250ml whisky (not expensive)

1 litre hot water from the kettle

2 x beef stockpots (I use Knorr)

4 teaspoons Dijon mustard

200ml double cream

for the mash

700g swede, peeled and chunked

650g potatoes, peeled and chunked

125g turnips, peeled and chunked

1 tablespoon butter

Sea salt and black pepper

25g fresh parsley

50g walnut pieces

Grated zest of 1 lemon

100ml olive oil

What to do…

Cook both of the haggis according to the packet instructions – mine were to wrap in foil and pop in boiling water, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and add the swede. Cook for 5 minutes then add the potatoes and turnips. Bring back to the boil and cook for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Drain. Return the vegetables to the saucepan, add the butter, season and either mash or whisk. Pop the lid back on and keep warm.

In a mini chopper, chop the walnuts finely, add the parsley and chop again. Tip in the lemon, pour in the oil and whizz the lot together. Set aside.

Whilst the veg is bubbling along, you can make the fan-dabby-dozi sauce. Melt the butter in medium pan over a moderate heat. Add the shallots and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until soft and golden. Increase the heat and add the whisky. Simmer for 5 – 10 minutes until reduced by three-quarters.

Dilute the beef stockpots into the hot water with the aid of a balloon whisk to create your beef stock. Pour the stock into the shallots and whisky, add the Dijon mustard and simmer for 10 minutes or until reduced by three-quarters again. Add the cream, bring to a simmer and remove from the heat. Season, taste, adjust seasoning if needed. Set aside and keep warm.

Once your haggis’ are cooked, remove from the pan, discard the foil and peel back the plastic pouch. Cut the haggis into lovely chunky slices and serve onto warmed plates. Swirl the parsley and walnut oil into the mash or serve the mash and drizzle it over the top. Try not to be greedy and share the sauce between you all nicely.

Taste, enjoy, take a sip of your chosen wee dram. Repeat until plate and glass are both empty – shame!

Inspired by…

The birth of Robert Burns and then the Waitrose Weekend magazine!

How easy…

The haggis cooks itself, the sauce is a total joy to prepare and the mash is, well mash – not hard is it?

Drunken Hot Toddy Sponge Pudding

These lovely, easy little puddings are elevated to new heights with the introduction of the whisky-based drunken sauce. Perfect for a cold winter’s evening or to conclude a Burns Night Supper.

Serves 4

What you need…

4 x 180ml pudding moulds, liberally buttered

for the sauce

150 golden caster sugar

150ml double cream

150ml whisky

for the sponge puddings

115g salted butter, softened

75g golden caster sugar

40g runny honey

Zest of 1 large lemon

2 eggs, beaten

115g self-raising flour

What to do…

First to the sauce: place the sugar in a large saucepan (copper if you have it) over a high heat. Melt the sugar, swirling the pan rather than stirring the sugar to ensure the sugar caramelises evenly. Once the sugar has turned into a wonderful golden syrup, pour in the cream slowly, stirring it in as you go: the mixture will become volcanic – spitting in a frenzied fashion – don’t be alarmed: just lean back and keep stirring. Then add the whisky and stir until the sauce starts to bubble – simmer for a couple of minutes to cook off the alcohol (otherwise your sauce will blow your head off and be quite bitter if you’ve used cheap whisky!) Set aside.

Preheat your oven to 180°c / 350°f /gas 4.

Into your food processor tip the butter and sugar and whizz until pale and fluffy. Add the honey and lemon zest and whizz again until evenly mixed. Whilst still whizzing gradually pour in the eggs, incorporating each bit before adding any more. Tip in the flour and whizz to mix.

Into each pudding mould pour 2 tablespoons of the whisky sauce. Then divide the pudding batter evenly between the four moulds. Pop onto a baking tray and bake for 25 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out dry.

Invert the little lovelies out into bowls or largish plates so that much sauce can be indulged in! If you fancy being totally indulgent, serve with double cream as well as the whisky sauce. It’s certainly the best hot toddy I’ve ever had!!!

Inspired by…

John Whaite

How Easy…

The sauce requires steady nerves whilst you’re judging when it is sufficiently converted from sugar to syrup and then again when it performs its volcanic eruptions, but actually it’s all quite straight forward.