June 14, 2011

Bake these scones for afternoon tea as a delightful treat…serve with raspberry jam, whipped cream and a steaming cup of tea!

Makes 12-15 scones (depending on thickness of dough when cut)


150ml-175ml milk
150ml cream
1 egg
3 cups self-raising flour
2 tbs caster sugar

Cream & jam, to serve

Preheat oven 200°C fan forced. Line large flat oven tray with baking paper.

Whisk 150ml milk, cream and egg together until well combined. Combine flour and sugar in a large bowl. Add milk mixture and stir gently to a soft dough, adding remaining milk if necessary. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until dough comes together.

Press dough out to 2cm-thick. Cut scones from dough and place onto tray lined with baking paper, flat-side up. Press dough together gently and repeat using the remaining dough. Brush the tops with milk.

Bake 12-15 minutes until golden and well risen. Serve hot with jam and cream.


Another Masterchef magazine recipe – a richer version of the classic self-saucing pud. I bake these in tea cups that are ovenproof…serve with lashings of thick cream!

Makes 6 – you will need 6 x 310ml (1 1/4 cup) ovenproof dishes.


40g unsalted butter, plus extra, softened, to grease
2 Beurre Bosc pears, peeled, cored, cut into 1cm pieces
150g (1 cup) self-raising flour
165g (3/4 cup firmly packed) brown sugar
30g (1/4 cup) ground almonds
45g (1/ cup) slivered almonds, roasted
180ml (3/4 cup) milk
100g dar chocolate (70% cocoa solids, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
Dutch cocoa and double cream or vanilla ice cream, to serve


Preheat oven to 180C. Grease dishes with softened butter, then divide pears among dishes and set aside.

Sift flour, sugar and ground almonds into a bowl, then stir in slivered almonds.

Place milk, chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat and stir until smooth. Cool for 2 minutes, then whisk in egg until just combined.  Pour over the flour mixture and stir until just combined.  Spoon among dishes.

To make chocolate sauce, place butter, sugar cocoa and 300ml water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat, whisking to dissolve. Pour sauce among dishes.

Bake puddings for 25 minutes or until puffed and tops are firm to the touch. Stand for 5 minutes.

Dust the pudding with Dutch cocoa and serve immediately with double cream or vanilla ice-cream.

Upside-down pear cake

June 7, 2011

Brrrr!! This pudding will warm you up on a winter evening. You could use apples as well as or instead of pears. Serve with cream!


50g butter
250g brown sugar
3 pears, peeled and sliced into 1/8
200g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground ginger
2 eggs
200ml buttermilk (or milk)
75ml vegetable oil
1 tsp ground ginger
cream to serve

Preheat oven to 180.

Melt the butter in an OVENPROOF frying pan (approx 24-46cm).

Stir in 12g sugar and cook on a gentle heat for about 5 minutes. Add the pears, saute for a few minutes and then set aside.

Sieve the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Add the ginger.

In a measuring jug mix the eggs, then add the remaining brown sugar, buttermilk, and oil. Mix well.

Whisk in the dry ingredients until it forms a smooth batter.

Pour the batter over the pears.

Cook in the oven for 30 minutes or until the cake feels firm in the centre.

Cool for five minutes before turning onto a serving plate. (Make sure you don’t pick up the frypan without a cloth holding the handle!)





A Maggie Beer Masterchef masterclass, this is a rich dessert that takes time to prepare but is worth the effort. I use a loose base tart pan which makes it easy to serve. Serve with double cream.

Serves 12


Pot Roasted Quinces

750g Quinces, peeled, cored and cut into large wedges
Squeeze of lemon juice
300ml water
200ml verjuice
165g castor sugar

Chocolate and almond cream

120g unsalted butter, softened
150g fine castor sugar
200g ground almond meal
2 free range eggs
1 free range egg yolk
80ml vino cotto
50g dark chocolate cocoa

Sour Cream Pastry

200g Chilled unsalted butter
250g Plain flour
125ml Sour Cream

Pre-heat fan forced oven to 170c.

Once you have peeled and cored the quince place in pot of water with a squeeze of lemon and set aside, to help stop oxidising.

To pot roast the quinces, place the quinces, water, verjuice and sugar into a medium sized pot, place this over a high heat, bring to the boil, cover with a lid and place into the oven.

Cook for 1 hour, then give the quinces a very light toss making sure not to break up the wedges. Place back into the oven.

Check the quinces every 15 to 20 minutes to make sure that the liquid has not all evaporated, if it starts to and looking like that they will catch on the bottom and an extra 100mls of verjuice. They will take between 2 and 2 ½ hours to cook.

Once the quinces are cooked they should be a beautiful ruby red colour and a small amount of syrup left in the base of the pot. They should not be dry or the caught on the base of the pot. Remove the quinces from the pot and place onto a plate or tray and set aside to cool.

Increase the temperature oven to 200c

for the filling –

To make the almond cream, place the butter and castor sugar in to a food mixer, beat until light and creamy (approx 6 minutes).

Add the eggs and yolk (1 at a time) then cocoa, vino cotto and mix for further 1 minute.

Add the almond meal, mix until well combined. Set aside until ready to use.

for the pastry –

To make the sour cream pastry, pulse butter and flour in a food processor until it looks like breadcrumbs.

Add ¾ the sour cream, pulse a couple of times then add the remaining sour cream and continue to pulse until the dough just starts to come together.

Tip the pastry out onto the bench, bring it together and form it in to a rectangle (approx 2cm thick) with your hands. Wrap in plastic film and refrigerate for 10 to 20 minutes to rest.

Roll out the sour cream pastry to 3mm thick.

Grease a flan tin (23cm x 2.5cm) and line with the pastry, cut off the excess pastry around the edge but allow the pastry to come above the fin tin by 5mm, this is due to the pastry shrinking during blind baking. Place in the fridge for 15 mins to chill.

Remove from the tart shell from the fridge, spike the bottom with a fork, line the top with bake well paper and place blind baking beans on the top.

Blind bake for 15 mins, then remove the beans and bake well paper, cook for a further 5 minutes then remove.

Reduce the oven temperature to 175c

Place one third of the chocolate and almond cream mix on the base of the tart shell. Top with cooked quince wedges and dot the remaining amount of chocolate almond cream on top of the quinces.

Return the tart to the oven and bake for 50 minutes to 1hr, this time will depend on the oven, but need to make sure that the almond cream is cooked in the centre.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Incredibly easy these Masterchef cupcakes are light and fluffy. The orange flavour is subtle and delicate so even the children will like them!

Makes 12 cupcakes


1 1/2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
1 cup caster sugar
125g unsalted butter, softened and chopped
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 orange, zested
2 eggs
2 tbsp milk
Silver balls and Smarties (optional), to decorate

for the cream cheese icing –

125g unsalted butter, softened and chopped
250g cream cheese, softened and chopped
1 orange, zested
2 cups icing sugar, sifted


Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with 12 paper cases.

Using an electric mixer, beat flour, sugar, butter, vanilla, orange zest, eggs and milk on low speed until combined.

Increase speed to medium-high and beat for a further 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.

Divide batter among paper cases and bake for 20 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make cream cheese icing –

Using an electric mixer, beat butter, cheese and orange zest until pale and doubled in volume, then, while beating, gradually add sugar.

If icing is a little soft, refrigerate for 15 minutes to firm. Spread on icing; decorate with balls and Smarties.

A cross between a tart and a pie, another Susie Theodorou recipe. The lemon curd filling can be made the 2-3 days before and stored in the fridge until ready to use.

Serves 8


for the filling –

finely grated rind and juice of 4 lemons
9 medium eggs
350g (1 1/2 cups) caster sugar
250ml (1 cup) double (thick) cream

for the pastry –

300g (2 3/4 cups) plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
100g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
115g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
25g (2 tablspoons) vanilla sugar
2 small eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons water

to finish –

1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons pine nuts
icing sugar to dust


Preheat the oven to 180C.

Start by making the filling. Put all the ingredients in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Cook for 1 hour, stirring frequently until thick. Remove the bowl from the pan and allow to cool. (Nb. you can strain the curd if a little lumpy or stringy)

For the pastry, sift the flour, and baking powder into a bowl. Rub in the butter (or use a food processor) until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the caster sugar and vanilla sugar.  Mix the eggs with the water, then combine them with the dry ingredients until large clumps form. Bring the mixture together with your hand, to form a dough. Knead gently for 1-2 minutes on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Press to a thick disc, cover with cling film, and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll out two-thirds of the pastry and use to line a lightly greased 23cm fluted, loose-based tart tin 3.5cm deep. Spoon in and spread the filling. Roll out the remaining pastry and use to cover the filling, pressing the edges to seal.

Beat the egg yolk with the milk and brush over the pastry top. Sprinkle over the pine nuts. Bake for 40 minutes until well risen and golden brown. Dust with icing sugar and leave to cool completely for the filling to set.

A Susie Theodorou recipe, these muffins are perfect for brunch or lunch with a green salad. Or mini muffins topped with marinated goats cheese make yummy nibbles for a party.

Makes 10 muffins (or about 30 mini muffins)


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon black and white (yellow) mustard seeds
3 large Spanish onions, peeled and sliced into fine wedges
knob of butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
250g (2 1/4 cups) plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
a pinch of salt
2 tablespoons clear honey
1 large egg, lightly beaten
200ml (3/4 cup) buttermilk


Preheat the oven to 180C.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, then add the mustard seeds and cook for 30 seconds until the seeds start to pop.

Quickly stir in the onions, then reduce the heat and allow the onions to cook gently for about 25-30 minutes, stirring every now and again until caramelised.  Away from the heat, stir in the butter and season to taste. Set aside the onions to cool.

Put paper muffin cases in 10 holes of a standard-sized muffin tray.

Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and pinch of salt into a large bowl. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the onions. Stir the remaining onions and honey into the flour mixture, followed by the egg and buttermilk – the batter should still be quite lumpy.

Spoon into the prepared cases (only about two-thirds of the way up). Top with the reserved caramelised onions.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until the muffins are well risen and golden. Cool slightly before serving.