Recipes, food and family views from Beverley

  • Flower Pot Bread

    These are great as a cooking project to do with children and equally impressive to serve for friends as a dinner party.  You could alter the filling according to your menu, try pesto, goats cheese, gorgonzola or just leave the bread plain and use different grains.

    Ingredients: for 4-6 flowerpot breads
    1 batch of Beverley's Bread dough,

    1 small jar pizza topping or tomato passata
    Mozzarella cheese
    ­1 egg beaten with a little water
    4-6 small terracotta plant pots - seasoned

    To season your terracotta plant pots, wash them thoroughly with hot water and detergent and leave them to dry.  Once dry, grease the inside with plenty of butter and bake them in the oven on 200c/gas 6 for an hour, remove from the oven and leave to cool.  Your pots are now seasoned and should be non stick.

    Make us Beverley's Bread Dough to the end of point number 5.

    1. Split the dough into 4 or 6 pieces, depending on how big your pots are, flatten each into a long sausage shape, spread the pizza topping or tomato passata on the dough, sprinkle the  cheese equally between them.  Roll them back into a ball incorporating the cheese.
    2. Grease the pots, stick a ball of tinfoil in the bottom of the pot if there is a hole and line the pot with baking parchment. Place each rolled ball of dough into a pot and transfer the pot to a baking tray. Make sure the pot is only half full, the terracotta will help the dough rise even more, if you have extra dough then turn it into bread rolls and put these straight onto the baking tray to cook. Brush with a little egg and water to glaze. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove for 30-40 minutes
    3. Preheat the oven on to 220c/gas 7, bake the bread in the pots for 10-15 minutes.  Be careful as the pots will be very hot when they come out of the oven and will take 1-2 hours to cool down.
  • Tomato, Feta and Spinach Filo Tartlets

    These are slightly lower fat than standard tartlets as they use filo pastry instead of shortcrust pastry but you make up for that by brushing the filo with melted butter.  Super easy to make and they taste delicious

    You could vary the filling by using sundried tomatoes, baby mozzarella balls, goat's cheese, pesto, salami or parma ham, raid your fridge and create your own filling.

    Ingredients: for 12 tartlets

    400g fresh spinach
    Pack of filo pastry
    75g melted butter
    200g feta cheese
    12 cherry tomatoes
    2 tablespoons pine nuts
    Juice of 1-2 lemons
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    How to make tomato, feta and spinach tartlets….. WASH YOUR HANDS

    1. Preheat the oven on 180oc/gas 4.
    2. Cook the spinach for 3 minutes until wilted, drain, refresh in cold water and set to one side.
    3. Lay out the filo pastry flat and brush each sheet with melted butter, use scissors to cut each sheet into 8 or 10 squares and layer 3 squares on top of each other.  Grease the muffin tray. Gently press into the holes of a muffin tray.
    4. Squeeze the excess water from the spinach, place into a bowl, crumble the feta cheese in with the spinach and mix.  Place spoonfuls of the spinach mixture into the filo pastry cup in the muffin trays, sharing the mixture equally between all 12 cases, finally add one cherry tomato to each one, sprinkle with pine nuts, squeeze over a little lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
    5. Curl over the edges of the filo pastry to scrunch around the top of the tartlet to give it a lovely crusty edge.
    6. Bake for around 15-20 minutes until golden brown.  (AGA roasting oven muffin tin on oven floor.  Serve hot.
  • Bunny Buns or Carrot Cakes

    These Cakes are really yummy and ever so slightly healthy, thanks to the addition of the carrot, the cream cheese icing is delicious too, They are really easy and quick to make too.

    Ingredients for 12 Cakes

    225g self raising flour
    100g soft brown sugar
    Half a teaspoon baking powder<
    Pinch of salt
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    150ml sunflower oil
    2 eggs
    120g grated carrots

    How to make carrot cakes... WASH YOUR HANDS

    1. Preheat the oven to 200c/Gas 6 and put a shelf onto the centre runner.  (AGA Roasting oven - shelf on oven floor)
    2. Mix together the flour, sugar and baking powder
    3. Measure the oil into a measuring jug.  Break the eggs into a small bowl (to make sure that you can scoop out any eggshell if you need to) and then pour the eggs into the measuring jug, mix well.
    4. Peel and grate the carrots.
    5. Add the carrots to the mixing bowl then tip in the oil and eggs.  Mix everything together well with a wooden spoon.
    6. Divide the mixture evenly between 12 cake cases.
    7. Bake for 15-20 minutes until they are pale golden brown.
    8. Remove the buns and lift them onto the wire rack to cool.  Top with the Cream Cheese Icing below, they will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container.

    Cream Cheese Icing
    This works really well with the carrot cakes, just make sure they are cold before you ice them

    Ingredients: for 12 Cakes
    50g soft butter
    75g low fat cream cheese
    350g icing sugar
    Grated zest of an orange

    How to make cream cheese icing... WASH YOUR HANDS

    1. Mix the butter and cream cheese together.
    2. Sift the icing sugar into the bowl with the butter/cream cheese mixture.  Mix everything together with the wooden spoon. Be careful as the icing sugar will try and fly out of the bowl so do the mixing gently.
    3. Add the grated zest of the orange and around a teaspoon of the juice and mix, if the icing is stiff then add a little more juice until the icing is smooth and easy to mix, but not too runny.
    4. Place a dollop of icing on the top of each carrot cake. 

    To make these even more yummy; squeeze the rest of the orange juice into a pan with a tablespoon of caster sugar,  heat it gently, and then stab the tops of the cakes with a fork and spoon the juice over the tops of the cakes, leave to cool and then top with the cream cheese icing.

  • Easter Nest Cakes

    Ingredients: for the cakes
    150g soft butter or margarine<
    150g caster sugar
    3 eggs
    150g self raising flour
    1 heaped tablespoon cocoa powder
    grated zest of an orange

    Ingredients: for the icing and nests
    160g icing sugar
    50g soft butter
    1 tablespoon cocoa powder
    1-2 tablespoons orange juice – from the orange you have just used
    100g dark chocolate chips
    1 tablespoon golden syrup
    5-6 shredded wheat biscuits
    mini eggs

    How to make Easter nest cakes….WASH YOUR HANDS.

    1. Ask an adult to preheat oven to 170oc/Gas  4 and put a shelf onto the centre runner.  (AGA Roasting oven - shelf on oven floor).
    2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, beat in the eggs then fold in the flour, cocoa powder and grated orange zest.  Beat well to mix.
    3. Spoon the mixture into 12 muffin cases in a muffin tray, ask an adult to put the muffin tray into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until springy, to check insert a skewer if it comes out clean the cakes are cooked. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
    4. While the cakes are cooking make the icing; cream the icing sugar, butter and cocoa powder together, adding the orange juice until you have stiff icing.
    5. Ask an adult to melt the chocolate chips and golden syrup in a heatproof bowl over a pan if barely simmering water.  Use your fingers to crumble up the shredded wheat and add to the melted chocolate mix, stir to mix.
    6. Once your cakes have cooled spread the chocolate buttercream icing on top then arrange the chocolate shredded wheat mixture to look like nests and finish with 2 or 3 chocolate eggs.

    If you prefer you can substitute the shredded wheat mixture for chocolate flakes, break them up and arrange them on the icing, top with chocolate eggs as before.

  • Hot Cross Scones

    These are a scone version of Hot Cross Buns, very quick to make without needing to prove the dough, serve warm with butter

    Ingredients: for 12 small scones
    300g self raising flour plus extra for dusting
    75g butter
    pinch of salt
    50g light muscovado sugar
    75g mixed currants, sultanas and raisins
    35g mixed peel
    ½ tsp ground mixed spice
    2 large eggs
    3 tbsp buttermilk plus a little milk for glazing

    Ingredients: for the crosses:
    50g plain flour
    a little water
    caster sugar for dusting

    How to make Hot Cross Scones…WASH YOUR HANDS

    1. Preheat the oven to 220oC/gas 7/AGA roasting oven.
    2. Sift the flour into a bowl, add the butter and salt and using your fingertips, break up the butter into small pieces then rub the butter into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs
    3. Stir in the muscovado sugar, mixed fruit, peel and mixed spice.  Crack the egg into a jug and add 2 tablespoons of the buttermilk, beat with a fork and add to the breadcrumb mix.  Stir it into a soft dough with a table knife.  Bring the dough together so it forms a ball adding the extra tablespoon of buttermilk if if’s too dry as the dough should be soft and slightly sticky.
    4. Sprinkle a little flour onto your hands and split the dough into 12 equal sized pieces.  Gently roll each piece into a ball, flatten the top and bottom, making sure they are around 3cm thick and place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
    5. To make the crosses mix the flour with 1-2 tablespoons of water and stir until it becomes a thick paste, roll it out and cut into strips or make a it little thinner and pipe it onto the top of the scones in a ‘cross’ shape.  Brush the tops of the scones with a little milk.
    6. Bake for 10-15 minutes. (AGA: roasting oven, shelf on middle set of runners and cook for 8-10 minutes).  The scones should have risen and be a light golden colour. When they are cooked, remove the baking tray from the oven and using a palette knife transfer the scones onto a cooling rack.
    7. Serve warm with butter.

  • French Onion Soup

    A delicious taste of France in early spring and a great way to use up onions, this soup will keep well in the fridge for up to 2 days and is great for weekend lunch or to take to work and reheat.

    Ingredients: for 4 portions
    1kg brown onions, finely sliced
    50g butter
    3 tbsp dry sherry
    1.2 litres beef stock
    1 baguette, sliced
    1 garlic clove
    extra virgin olive oil
    100g mature cheddar or gruyere cheese, grated

    How to make French onion soup... WASH YOUR HANDS

    1. Finely slice the onions, or use a food processor if you have one.
    2.  Melt the butter in a large saucepan, over a low heat, once the butter has melted, add the onions, stir to coat the onions with the butter and set over a low heat to cook very gently until they are soft, not browned.  This should take 15-20 minutes.
    3. Turn up the heat slightly and cook the onion until it becomes dark, sticky and caramelized, stir it occasionally to prevent it sticking.
    4. Add the sherry and simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring to loosen all the lovely sticky brown caramelisation on the bottom of the pan.  Add the stock, bring to the boil, season and simmer for 10 minutes. Tasting to make sure that the seasoning is correct, if not add more salt or black pepper.
    5. While the soup is cooking slice the baguette, toast the slices then rub each slice with the garlic clove, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with grated cheese.  Place under the grill and toast until golden and bubbling.  Serve on top of the soup
  • Gorgonzola Sauce for Gnocchi or Pasta

    Super easy, super delicious recipe, serve with gnocchi or pasta as a sauce or as dip with crusty bread, crudités or breadsticks or even scoop out half the centre of a baked potato, mash with the sauce, replace and eat with a salad, yum.

    Ingredients for 4 people
    100g gorgonzola cheese
    60ml double cream
    25g parmesan, grated
    Rocket to serve<

    How to make it

    Place the gorgonzola and cream in a small saucepan over a low heat and stir until the cheese melts, season with a little pepper and pour over the cooked gnocci, serve on a bed of rocket.

  • Beetroot Felafel with Tahini Sauce

    Beetroot is packed with antioxidants and vitamins and is lovely grated raw with apples and carrots and sprinkled with lemon juice, this recipe makes the falafel purple, which gives them a real ‘wow’ factor.  I have used tinned chickpeas as they are easy, you can use dried but make sure you cook them thoroughly.

    Ingredients: for 10-12 felafel

    1 teaspoon coriander seeds
    1 teaspoon cumin seeds
    Good pinch of sea salt
    400g can chickpeas
    1 beetroot, uncooked and grated
    Juice of 1 lemon
    1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
    1 garlic clove, chopped
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
    2-3 tablespoons breadcrumbs - optional
    Live yoghurt to drizzle
    1 tablespoon tahini paste
    Juice of 2 lemons
    Chopped lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber to serve
    4 wholemeal pitta

    How to make beetroot falafel.... WASH YOUR HANDS

    1. Heat up a frying pan, add the coriander and cumin seeds and dry fry for 1-2 minutes until fragrant but not browned. Place the coriander and cumin seeds in a pestle and mortar and roughly grind, transfer to a food processor.
    2. Add  the salt, chickpeas, beetroot, lemon juice, red chili, garlic and coriander and process until ground but not pureed.
    3. Add 2-3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs if it seems a little crumbly
    4. Form into walnut sized balls, place in the fridge to firm up for 1 hour.
    5. Preheat the oven to 190c/gas 5/AGA roasting oven shelf on second set of runners and bake the falafel on a greased baking tray for 8-12 minutes until golden brown.
    6. Mix the tahini paste with the juice of 2 lemons and a little water to form a thick sauce.
    7. Warm the pittas, slice the pittas open, share the falafel between them stuff with salad and drizzle with yoghurt and tahini sauce and eat warm.


  • Minecraft Creeper Cake

    My son is mad on Minecraft and asked for a 'Creeper' cake for his birthday, here's the recipe, the instructions are on YouTube.  This took me 2 full days to make, it's not difficult, just labour intensive as making and sticking on all the 'pixellations' takes a long time.

    You will need 3 x 8"/20cm square cakes made using the following recipe (the recipe is for 1 cake, yes there are a lot of eggs and yes it's a huge cake when it's finished)

    For each cake:
    600g soft butter or margarine
    600g caster sugar
    12 medium eggs
    600g self raising flour
    Grated zest of 3 lemons (for lemon flavoured cake, omit if you wish)
    Green food colouring (I used Sugarflair Party Green)

    For the frosting (this will be sufficient for all 3 cakes)
    200g white vegetable fat such as Trex
    800g sieved icing sugar
    juice of 3 lemons
    green food colouring (I used Sugarflair Party Green)

    Green, brown, white and black sugarpaste (approximately 2kg green, 500g brown and a little white and black
    A little royal icing
    1 x 16"/40cm cake board and some matching green ribbon for the edge
    Dowelling rods and thin cake bases for support

    How to make a Minecraft Creeper Cake.......WASH YOUR HANDS

    1. Preheat the oven to 180oc/gas 4/AGA roasting oven with grid on oven floor or baking oven grid on the bottom set of runners.  Grease and line an 8"/20cm square cake tin
    2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, beat the eggs and add these along with the flour, lemon zest and food colouring to the mixture, mix well.
    3. Transfer to the cake tin and bake for 30-40 minutes until springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean (AGA roasting oven place a plain cold shelf on the second set of runners and change over after 20 minutes).
    4. Transfer to a wire rack to cook and repeat twice more with the same recipe until you have 3 square cakes the same size.
    5. To make the feet and body: Cut one cake into quarters, trim the edges, top and bottom and make sure they are all the same size and thickness, cover with clingfilm and set to one side.  Repeat with the second cake for the body.
    6. To make the frosting: beat the vegetable fat (Trex) in an electric mixer on high for 30 seconds to soften it up, add the icing sugar and lemon juice and start on a low speed to mix the icing sugar, once it's all amalgamated turn the mixer up to high and beat for 2 minutes until the mixture doubles in volume and becomes very white.  It should be soft and easy to mix, if it isn't add more lemon juice or a little water, beat again.  Add food colouring to achieve a pale to mid green colour.
    7. To make the pixellated tiles: Roll out 250g of the green sugarpaste and use either a clean ruler or marzipan spacers as a guide and cut squares approximately 3/4" /2cm square, repeat with 250g brown sugarpaste.  Mix a darker and light green by kneading different quantities of green, white and brown sugarpaste together, roll out and cut squares.
    8. To cover the feet: unwrap the feet from the clingfilm and cover each top and side of the foot with a thin layer of frosting, cut a stripe of black sugarpaste and place on the front bottom of each foot, use the coloured squares to cover the top and sides, leave to dry.
    9. To cover the cake base; roll out approximately 500g green sugarpaste to slightly larger than the cake base, paint the cake base with a little cool, boiled water to help the sugarpaste stick and cover, gently squeezing out any air bubbles and smoothing out with your hands, trim the edges.
    10. Stick the feet to the cake base with a little royal icing, you will need something in between the feet to support the body.  You could use a piece of polystyrene or wood cut to size then covered with sugarpaste and squares - just remember not to eat it (!), or you could cut squares out of the feet and slot the body in between the cuts which would make it more stable (if I'd have thought of this at the time I would have done it this way)
    11. To cover the body: stack the four quarters on top of each other with a thin layer of frosting in between each quarter to stick them together, trim the cake stack so it's wider at the bottom then cover the whole cake in a thin layer of frosting.  Roll out 500g green sugarpaste and roll around the body, don't worry about it being perfect this will be covered with sugarpaste icing squares.
    12. Cut a piece of thin cake card to fit the base and stick with a little royal icing.
    13. Cover the green sugarpaste with a thin layer of frosting and then cover with icing squares, leave to dry.
    14. To cover the head: re roll some of the leftover green sugarpaste to cover the head, again don't worry about it being perfect as it will be covered with icing squares too.  Cut 17 black squares and make these into the eyes and mouth, use the green and brown shades to fill in the rest of the head and the sides.
    15. Assembling the Creeper: Do this on site, do not try to transport this cake made up as it is very heavy.  Place 3 dowelling rods through the body on which to attach the head.  Gently place the head over the rods to secure into place - DO NOT TRY TO MOVE THE CREEPER WITH HIS HEAD ON, IT WILL  NOT BE STABLE

    My son's friends thought this was AWESOME at his party and I have mega 'cool Mum' status with his mates because of this.

  • Ginger Snaps

    A classic English biscuit, different to gingerbread as these have a 'crackle' effect when baked and are essential to dunk into a cup of tea
    Ingredients: for around 15 biscuits
    50g butter
    50g light muscovado sugar
    50g golden syrup
    110g plain flour
    1 tsp ground ginger
    ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

    How to make gingersnaps... WASH YOUR HANDS

    1. Preheat the oven to 180c/gas 4/AGA roasting oven shelf on oven floor or baking oven. Grease the baking trays using a little butter and line the trays with baking parchment.
    2. Put the butter, sugar and syrup into a saucepan and set over a low heat, stirring occasionally until the butter has melted.
    3. Sift in the flour, ginger and bicarbonate of soda and stir until it forms a soft dough
    4. Take a teaspoonful at a time and roll the dough into a ball, place on the baking tray leaving room in between each ball for them to spread out.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until they are beginning to crack and are brown. (AGA roasting oven 6-8 minutes, baking oven 10-15 minutes)
    5. Leave on the baking tray for 5-10 minutes to fully set then transfer to a wire wrack to cool.

Items 1 to 10 of 589 total

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. ...
  7. 59