Ryland Peters And Small publishing company logo


Sign up to receive exciting news about our food and drink, craft, interiors, kids' and gift books


First name

or dismiss
Tag Archives: baking
  • Posted on April 19, 2018

    National Tea Day

    Happy National Tea Day! We couldn’t get through a day in the office without a good cup of tea, so we’ve turned to Mat Follas to find out how to brew the perfect cuppa. Then, why not pair it with a delicious Anzac biscuit – because you can’t have tea without a good biscuit!

    How to make the perfect cup of afternoon tea

    How to make the perfect cup of tea, for all varieties of tea, is not something I can realistically cover in a few words here. Whole books are dedicated to tea making. What I can talk about is my view of how to make the perfect cup of afternoon tea.

    A pot of afternoon tea should always be a blend of Assam Indian tea leaves; one teaspoon per person and one for the teapot is a good rule of thumb. You might like it a little stronger, if so, add another teaspoon.

    The tea is made with just-boiled water and left for about 3 minutes before serving. Tradition demands that, for luck, the teapot is turned around three times in a clockwise direction during this time, I remember my Grandmother always doing this. Assam tea is served with a dash of milk in the teacup before the tea is poured. Sugar is optional but really should be used only in the morning, as afternoon tea should always be served with sweet treats.

    A pot of Earl Grey tea is also ideal for drinking with afternoon tea; the bergamot zest in the tea leaves gives the tea a lovely zesty and floral flavour. It should be served with similar amounts of tea per teapot to the Assam tea, but with a tiny slice of lemon in the teacup, not milk.

    All of the above said, do make your tea how you like it. Add milk to your Earl Grey, pour the milk after the tea or add sugar… it’s your cup of tea after all.


    Anzac biscuits

    In New Zealand and Australia, Anzac biscuits/cookies are traditionally used as a fundraiser for returned servicemen, so they hold a special place in the hearts of everyone from either country. They are long-lasting, so they were made by wives and mothers during the Second World War and posted to servicemen. Today, no Australasian cafe would be without them, because they are absolutely delicious with a cup of tea (dunking required to soften them!).


    100 g/3⁄4 cup plain/all-purpose flour

    200 g/1 cup caster/granulated sugar

    75 g/1 cup desiccated/dried unsweetened shredded coconut

    75 g/generous 3⁄4 cup rolled/ old-fashioned oats

    150 g/1 1⁄4 sticks butter

    50 g/2 1⁄2 tablespoons golden/ light corn syrup

    1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda/ baking soda splash of boiling water

    2 baking sheets lined with baking parchment




    Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F) Gas 3.

    Mix the flour, sugar, coconut and oats together in a large mixing bowl. Place the butter and golden/light corn syrup in a small saucepan and heat on a low heat until melted and combined.

    In a bowl, combine the bicarbonate of soda/baking soda and a splash of boiling water to  dissolve it. Stir, then pour into the saucepan with the butter and syrup. Add the liquid ingredients to the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients and stir to mix thoroughly.

    Using a dessertspoon, form balls of the mixture and place on the lined baking sheets with a 2.5-cm/1-inch gap between each one.

    Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool and harden before removing them from the baking sheets.


    For more delicious recipes from Mat Follas, check out Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe. Photography by Steve Painter © Ryland Peters & Small


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with baking, tea, recipe for the weekend, sweet, national tea day, biscuits

  • Posted on February 7, 2018

    Raspberry Meringue Kisses recipe

    Who will be getting a kiss from you this Valentines Day? A raspberry meringue one that is from Mat Follas' brand new book Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe.





    200 g/1 1⁄2 cups raspberries

    freshly squeezed juice of 1⁄2 lemon

    or 40 g/11⁄2 oz. dehydrated raspberry powder


    200 g/1 cup caster/superfine sugar

    100 g/1⁄2 cup egg whites (approx. 3 large/US extra-large eggs)


    50 g/31⁄2 tablespoons butter, softened

    100 g/3⁄4 cup icing/confectioners’ sugar

    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    piping/pastry bag

    2 baking sheets lined with baking parchment

    MAKES 12


    For the raspberries (if using fresh raspberries), preheat the oven to 90°C (195°F). Place a sheet of baking parchment over a wire rack.

    Spread the raspberries over the baking parchment and sprinkle with the lemon juice. Place in the preheated oven and leave in the oven overnight, or for at least 8 hours. Once dried, blitz the raspberries in a food processor until they form a fi ne powder, then pass them through a sieve/strainer.

    For the meringues, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6. Ensure the bowl you use is perfectly clean. Sprinkle the sugar over a non-stick baking sheet and place into the preheated oven. At the same time, place the egg whites into a stand mixer fitted with a balloon whisk (or use a mixing bowl and a hand-held electric whisk) and start mixing until stiff peaks form; this will take 5–8 minutes. Remove the, now hot, sugar from the oven and turn the oven down to 100°C (210°F).

    Add about one-quarter of the sugar to the egg white mix. Whisk for a couple of minutes, then repeat until all of the sugar has been combined.

    Whisk for another 5 minutes, checking that the mixture is fully combined and that no graininess remains. Finally, add about three-quarters of the raspberry powder and fold together, but leave some patterns in the mixture.

    Spoon the meringue mixture into the piping/pastry bag and snip off the tip. Pipe the meringue mixture onto the lined baking sheets, making about 24–26 5-cm/2-inch kisses. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Check the outer layer of meringue has fully cooked and is crispy; continue cooking in 10-minute intervals if not. Switch the oven off and leave the meringues to cool in the oven for at least 30 minutes. Store the meringues in an airtight container until you are ready to serve.

    For the buttercream, in a mixing bowl, whisk the butter and icing/ confectioners’ sugar together to form a smooth cream. Add the vanilla and a couple of dessertspoons of water. Whisk until a smooth, light buttercream is made. To serve, place a teaspoon of the buttercream onto the flat side of one meringue and stick it to the flat side of another. Sprinkle a little remaining raspberry powder over the top to decorate.


    For more delicious recipes from Mat Follas, check out Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe

    Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe

    Photography by Steve Painter © Ryland Peters & Small

    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with Valentines Day, baking, valentines, recipe for the weekend, sweet

  • Posted on January 31, 2018

    Tempting Weekend Bakes

    Weekends are for baking, and so as a very special treat we have two brand new and quite frankly totally delicious recipes to share with you from two books coming out this Spring.

    First up we have a banana and rye bread perfect for a lazy breakfast from our lovely author Bronte Aurell and her new book Scandikitchen Summer, then an indulgent chocolate tiffin from Masterchef winner Mat Follas and his new book Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe.

    We couldn't wait to share these books with you guys, so here is a sneak peek of some of the tempting recipes you can expect to find...


    Rye & Banana Bread

    At our café, people used to ask for banana bread a lot. As it’s not really a traditional Scandinavian thing, we wanted to make it our own with a Scandi twist. So, we created this version with rye flour to make it more wholesome. We like to serve it with a delicious cinnamon butter, that just melts on toasted slices of this loaf.

    banana and rye bread

    4 very ripe bananas

    100 g/scant 1⁄2 cup Greek/plain Greek-style yogurt

    1 tablespoon lemon juice

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla sugar

    125 g/1 cup minus 1 tablespoon plain/all-purpose flour

    125 g/1 generous cup wholemeal/ wholewheat rye flour

    1⁄2 teaspoon salt

    1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda/ baking soda

    125 g/11⁄8 sticks butter, softened

    150 g/3⁄4 cup dark brown soft sugar

    2 UK large/US extra-large eggs

    cinnamon butter, to serve (optional)

    500 g/1 lb. loaf pan, lined with non-stick baking parchment

    Makes 1 loaf


    Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) Gas 4.

    Mash the bananas and mix with the yogurt, lemon juice and vanilla and set aside.

    Mix the flours with the salt and bicarbonate of soda/baking soda and set aside.

    Cream together the butter and dark brown soft sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a hand-held electric whisk. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition to ensure they are fully incorporated.

    Add the mashed banana mixture and mix until incorporated, then add the flours and mix briefly until smooth. Do not over-mix.

    Spoon the mixture into the lined loaf pan. Bake in the middle of the preheated oven for around 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out just clean. Leave to cool a little before turning out of the pan. Cut into slices and serve toasted, with plenty of cinnamon butter (see below).

    Cinnamon butter

    Mix three tablespoons of strong cinnamon sugar (ratio 1:3) with half a packet of soft unsalted butter – re-chill and use as needed.


    You can pre order your copy of Scandikitchen Summer here for UK and here for US.

    Plus you sample more of Bronte's recipes from the book in a FREE sample of the book, downloadable from here.

    Scandikitchen Summer


    White chocolate & strawberry tiffin

    Delicious with coffee, these tiffins are fun to make with children. Be inventive with swirly toppings and fillings.


    strawverry and chocolate tiffin

    250 g/21⁄4 sticks butter

    120 g/generous 1⁄2 cup caster/ granulated sugar

    120 g/6 tablespoons golden/ light corn syrup

    200 g/7 oz. milk chocolate

    100 g/3⁄4 cup mixed dried fruit and nuts (almonds, sultanas/golden raisins, cherries)

    100 g/1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped

    450 g/1 lb. digestive biscuits/ graham crackers, crushed

    450 g/1 lb. white chocolate

    non-stick 30 x 20-cm/12 x 8-inch brownie pan, lightly oiled and lined with baking parchment

    MAKES 18


    In a saucepan, place the butter, sugar and golden/light corn syrup. Warm on a low heat until melted and stir to mix together.

    In a mixing bowl, grate 100 g/31⁄2 oz. of the milk chocolate, then add the dried fruit and nuts, strawberries and crushed digestive biscuits/ graham crackers. Pour in the melted butter, sugar and syrup mixture. Fold together until thoroughly mixed, then spoon into the lined brownie pan. Smooth the tiffin base to make it level, then place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

    Melt the white chocolate by breaking it up and heating three-quarters of it in a microwave on high in a microwaveable bowl. Use the microwave in 10-second bursts, stirring the chocolate in-between until it is all melted.

    Now, add the remaining one-quarter and mix together to form a smooth, just-melted chocolate.

    Remove the tiffin base from the refrigerator and pour the white chocolate over the top. Tilt the pan until the topping covers the tiffin base and is smooth and even.

    Now melt the remaining milk chocolate in the same way (melting three-quarters of it, then adding the final one-quarter at the end). Pour the milk chocolate over the white chocolate in thin lines. Use a cocktail stick/toothpick to drag the milk chocolate over the surface to form patterns.

    Return to the refrigerator for at least an hour, before removing and portioning with a hot knife.


    Pre order your copy of Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe by Mat Follas here for UK and here for US orders.

    Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe

    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with baking, chocolate, recipe for the weekend, sweet

  • Posted on January 18, 2018

    Vegan Coffee Toffee Cookies recipe

    Even in Veganuary, sometimes it’s just one of those afternoons and a biscuit is in order! Well with this delicious recipe you don’t have to miss out on the office tea round – sit back wth your cuppa and cookie and enjoy!

     vegan Coffee Toffee Biscuits


    30 g raw cocoa beans (or nibs) or 30 g cocoa powder

    100 g coconut oil

    100 g Demerara sugar

    60 ml plain soy milk

    2 teaspoons coffee extract

    1⁄4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

    200 g unbleached spelt flour

    1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder

    1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds

    1⁄4 teaspoon bourbon vanilla powder

    2 tablespoons ground almonds

    1⁄4 teaspoon salt

    1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    chopped nuts, for sprinkling

    For the icing

    65 g Demerara sugar

    1 tablespoon cornflour

    2 tablespoons plain soy milk

    1 teaspoon coffee extract 

    baking sheets, lined with parchment paper

    Makes 25


    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

    If using cocoa beans, grind them in a coffee or spice grinder to a fine powder.

    If the coconut oil has solidified, put the jar in a bowl of hot water until the oil has softened. Whisk together the oil, sugar, milk, coffee extract and vinegar.

    In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder, then stir in the flaxseeds, vanilla powder, ground almonds, salt and cinnamon. Tip into the bowl of wet ingredients and mix into a smooth dough with a spatula.

    Divide the dough into 25 and roll into balls. Arrange them on the prepared baking sheets about 2 cm apart. Gently flatten each ball with the back of a spoon, trying to avoid making cracks. Bake in the preheated oven for 9–10 minutes. Do not overbake them – they should still be a little soft. Allow to cool completely on the baking sheets.

    For the icing, it's better to finely grind the sugar in a coffee or spice grinder, but you can also try without grinding it. Mix the cornflour into the milk in a heatproof bowl. Add the coffee extract and sugar and mix. Set over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the base of the bowl touch the water) and whisk well for a couple of minutes to allow the starch to thicken slightly over the steam. Remove from the heat, then allow to cool for 10 minutes.

    Spoon some icing over each cold cookie and sprinkle chopped nuts over the top. Allow to set for at least 1 hour after which the icing shouldn't be sticky, but smooth and firm to the touch.

    Store in an airtight container at room temperature, or, in the summer months, in the fridge. They will keep for up to 2 weeks.


    This recipe is from The Vegan Baker by Dunja Gulin, Photography by Clare Winfield © Ryland Peters & Small

    The Vegan Baker

    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with vegan, baking, recipe for the weekend, sweet

  • Posted on December 20, 2017

    Chocolate Christmas Cake recipe

    If you've had no time to make a traditional Christmas cake this year, then we think this double chocolate Christmas cake from Angela Romeo's Fantasy Cakes is a pretty great alternative (if not even better!)

    chocolate christmas cake

    1 quantity of Double Chocolate Sponge mixture (see below) baked in three greased and lined 18-cm/7-inch cake pans for 40 minutes until an inserted cocktail stick/ toothpick comes out clean, then cooled

    1 quantity of Classic Buttercream (see below)

    40 g/generous 1/2 cup desiccated/dry unsweetened shredded coconut

    For the wild birch bark

    50 g/2 oz. dark/bittersweet chocolate, chopped

    300 g/101/2 oz. white chocolate

    2 baking sheets lined with baking parchment

    thin paintbrush

    retro Christmas cake decorations

    SERVES 22


    For the wild birch bark, melt the dark/bittersweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or microwave on high in 30-second bursts, stirring in between). Place the lined baking sheets so they are in a ‘landscape’ position in front of you. Using the paintbrush dipped in the dark/ bittersweet chocolate, brush small horizontal lines and 'knots' on the baking sheet (see chocolatey tip). Place the sheets in the fridge for 5 minutes to set.

    Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate in a separate heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or microwave on high in 30-second bursts, stirring in between). Remove the baking sheets from the fridge. Working on one sheet at a time, spoon over the white chocolate and spread out to a thin layer using a palette knife/metal spatula. Return to the fridge for 15 minutes.

    With the shortest side of the baking sheet facing you, gently roll up the baking parchment, allowing the bark to snap into thin-rectangular pieces. It doesn’t matter if you have a few irregular shards, these will still look really effective. Chill until needed.

    If necessary, trim the tops of the cakes to make level. Sandwich together using 350 g/12 oz. of the buttercream – the bottom side of the top cake should be facing up. Place the cake on a serving plate or cake board. Crumb-coat the cake using 450 g/1 lb. of the buttercream.

    Place in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes, then use the remaining buttercream to coat the cake in a second layer. Smooth and remove the excess buttercream with a palette knife/metal spatula – you don’t need to be too neat here as the whole cake will be covered in decoration.

    Gently press the bark into the sides of the cake, working around, until the sides are covered. Sprinkle over the desiccated/dried unsweetened shredded coconut, then position the Christmas cake decorations in place.

    Chocolatey tip: Have a small bowl of warm water nearby. If the chocolate starts to set on the paintbrush, clean the brush off in the warm water. Wipe with a paper towel and continue.


    Double chocolate sponge

    450 g/31/2 scant cups selfraising/ self-rising flour plus

    2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda, sifted (omit soda if baking with US flours)

    3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, mixed with 4 tablespoons just-boiled water

    500 g/21/2 cups caster/ superfine sugar

    240 g/21/4 sticks butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for greasing

    300 ml/11/4 cups buttermilk

    4 eggs

    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    150 g/51/2 oz. dark/bittersweet chocolate, melted



    Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) Gas 4. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and beat with an electric hand whisk until combined and smooth. Transfer to greased and lined pans specified in each recipe (if using 18-cm/7-inch cake pans, ensure they are at least 4.5 cm/13/4 inches deep and lined with a 1.5-cm/2/3-inch collar). Bake for the time specified in each recipe.


    Classic buttercream

    300 g/23/4 sticks butter, softened and cubed

    200 g/7 oz. vegetable fat such as Trex or Cookeen, at room temperature

    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

    1 kg/7 cups icing/ confectioners’ sugar, sifted

    MAKES 1.5 KG/3 LB. 5 OZ.


    Using an electric hand whisk, beat the butter until light and creamy. Add the vegetable fat, vanilla and 2 tablespoons water. Gradually whisk in the icing/confectioners’ sugar in batches, until smooth and spreadable. Add another 1 tablespoon water, if needed.


    This recipe is from Fantasy Cakes by Angela Romeo, photography by Adrian Lawrence © Ryland Peters & Small

    Fantasy Cakes

    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with christmas, baking, chocolate, recipe for the weekend, sweet

  • Posted on December 13, 2017

    A Free-From Christmas Dinner

    Tired of turkey and needing some delicious free-from alternatives for your Christmas dinner? We've put together a free-from Christmas menu with veggie, gluten free and vegan options that we guarantee everyone will enjoy!



    Vegan Spiced carot and lentil soup with cashew cream

    Full of winter spices, this vegan soup makes a perfect starter for your Christmas dinner. You can find the full recipe over on MindfulnessETC.com


    The Main Event

    Even if you love the traditional turkey, try these vegan side dishes alongside your roast spuds and veg so that everyone can enjoy something special this Christmas dinner.


    Vegan Jerusalem Artichokes with garlic cream and hazelnut crust

    vegan artichoke gratan

    1 kg/2 lb. 4 oz. Jerusalem artichokes

    4 shallots

    6 garlic cloves, left whole

    ½ cauliflower, cut into florets

    1–2 tablespoons olive oil

    1 teaspoon white pepper

    425 ml/1¾ cups almond milk or other vegan milk, plus extra if needed

    2 tablespoons lemon juice

    ½ teaspoon mustard powder

    1 teaspoon onion powder

    1 teaspoon salt

    1 slice brown or rye bread, blitzed to rough breadcrumbs

    3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs

    1 tablespoon freshly chopped marjoram or parsley (or ½ teaspoon dried)

    2 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped

    SERVES 4–6


    Peel the Jerusalem artichokes and slice into 5 mm/¼ inch thick discs. Set aside in salted water to prevent them discolouring. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F) Gas 7.

    Lay the shallots, garlic and cauliflower florets on a baking sheet and drizzle with half the olive oil. Season with half the pepper and toss slightly. Lay the Jerusalem artichokes on another baking sheet, drizzle with the rest of the olive oil and season with the remaining pepper. Place both baking sheets in the hot oven and roast for about 30 minutes until the cauliflower and artichokes are tender.

    Transfer all the roasted vegetables to a food processor or blender, add the almond milk, lemon juice, mustard powder, onion powder and salt. Blitz until very smooth. Add more milk if necessary, to make a smooth, pourable sauce. Adjust the seasoning to taste if needed.

    Layer the Jerusalem artichokes in a deep baking dish and then pour over the sauce. Sprinkle both type of breadcrumbs, the herbs and chopped hazelnuts over the top. Place in the hot oven for about 20–30 minutes until golden on top and bubbling. Serve immediately.


    Vegan Winter Veg Bowl

    Liven up your veg with this delicious vegan recipe. You can get the full recipe over on MindfulnessETC.com


    Veggie Slow Cooked Onions with Nut Stuffing

    A veggie Christmas dinner? No problem! We love this twist on a regular nut roast. Plus, if you make sure to choose vegan bread, it is a perfect vegan main too!

    nut stuffed onions

    8 medium-sized onions, peeled

    1 tablespoon olive oil

    2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

    2 teaspoons dried thyme

    2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

    2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

    70 g/11⁄3 cups day-old spelt breadcrumbs

    70 g/21⁄2 oz. sun-dried tomatoes in oil, finely chopped, plus 2 teaspoons oil for brushing

    finely grated zest of 1 lemon

    sea salt and cracked black pepper

    chopped parsley, to serve

    Low 5–6 hours / High 4–5 hours

    Serves 6


    Trim the root end of each onion to make a flat base. Using a small sharp knife, slice the top off each onion then cut out a deep hollow, leaving a 1.5 cm/3 ⁄4  in. thick onion shell. Reserve half of the scooped-out onion (save the rest for another recipe) and finely chop.

    Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan/skillet, add the chopped onion and fry for 8 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, thyme, pumpkin seeds and chopped walnuts and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the breadcrumbs, sun-dried tomatoes and lemon zest until combined. Season the stuffing mixture with salt and pepper.

    Brush the outside of each onion with the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes. Generously fill each onion with the stuffing, pressing it down as you go and mounding the top.

    Arrange the stuffed onions in the slow cooker pot – they should fit snugly. Cover and cook on low for 5–6 hours, or high for 4–5 hours. The onions should be beautifully tender but still keep their shape. Serve sprinkled with parsley.



    And to finish, something sweet!


    Gluten Free Mince Pies

    From start to serve: 1 hour l Prep: 30 minutes l Bake 15–20 minutes

    1 batch Shortcrust Pastry at room temperature

    350 g/12 oz. gluten-free mincemeat

    2 tablespoons brandy (optional)

    1 beaten egg, to glaze

    icing/confectioners’ sugar, to dust

    a 10-cm/4-inch round cookie cutter

    a star or round 7.5-cm/ 3-inch cookie cutter

    a 12-hole muffin pan, greased

    MAKES 12


    Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) Gas 5.

    Lightly knead the room-temperature pastry on a clean, cool work surface and then divide into two pieces, one that is roughly double the size of the other. Lay a large piece of clingfilm/plastic wrap onto the work surface and lightly dust with plain/all-purpose gluten-free flour. Place the larger pastry ball in the middle and gently press it into a disc shape with your hands.

    Lay a second piece of clingfilm/plastic wrap over the top and, with a rolling pin, roll out the pastry quite thinly.

    Remove the top layer of clingfilm/plastic wrap. Stamp out discs using the cookie cutter, gently lifting and press each disc into a hole of the prepared pan, easing it into the corners. Re-roll the trimmings until all the pastry is used up and all of the pan is lined. If there are any cracks in the pastry, use the trimmings to patch them back together – as ever, don’t panic!

    In a bowl mix together the mincemeat and brandy (if using), then spoon a heaped teaspoon of the mixture into each pastry case.

    Repeat the rolling-out process for the remaining piece of pastry and then use a star or smaller cutter to cut out festive lids for the pies and place on top. Brush the tops with the beaten egg and bake in the preheated oven for 15–20 minutes until golden brown.

    Put the pan onto a wire rack and allow the mince pies to cool before serving. If you try to take them from the pan too soon the risk of the mince pies breaking is much higher. Once they are cooled, be delicate when removing these from the pan, and loosen the edges with a table or small palette knife if required.

    Dust with icing/confectioners’ sugar before serving. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

    Note If you haven’t taken the pastry from the fridge in advance, give it a 15–20 second blast in the microwave before kneading.


    Shortcrust pastry

    Prep: 10 minutes l Chill: 2 hours

    460 g/3 cups plain/

    all-purpose gluten-free flour

    1 teaspoon xanthan gum

    1 teaspoon salt

    225 g/15 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

    1 egg


    Using either the basic or chocolate quantities of ingredients, put the dry ingredients and cubed butter into a food processor and pulse until they reach a fine crumb consistency.

    Pour in the egg and 1–2 teaspoons of water and mix until completely combined. The mixture will start to come together.

    Use your hands, being sure to avoid the blade, to bring together the dough, then lightly knead on a lightly floured worksurface.

    Put the pastry ball onto a piece of clingfilm/plastic wrap, press into a disc shape and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours, until firm.

    Notes: To make the pastry by hand, put the dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix. Add the butter and rub in using your fingertips to fine crumbs. Make a well in the centre and add the egg and water and then mix well with a table knife, until the mixture starts to clump together. Bring together and knead, wrap and chill as above.

    When rolling out, don’t use too much flour, as this will dry it out – I advise instead rolling between two sheets of clingfilm/plastic wrap to prevent it sticking without the need for excess flouring.


    Vegan Chocolate Ganche Tart

    1⁄2 quantity Sweet Pie Dough

    For the ganache

    620 g/1 lb. 6 oz. plain, soft tofu

    390 g/3 cups finely chopped vegan dark/bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa)

    grated zest of 21⁄2 lemons

    brown rice syrup or other sweetener, to taste

    non-dairy milk or cream, if needed

    For the mousse

    450 ml/2 cups chocolate soy or oat milk

    160 g/11⁄4 cups finely chopped vegan dark/bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa)

    85 g/1⁄3 cup brown rice syrup

    90 g/7 tablespoons cornflour/ cornstarch

    28-cm/11-in. springform cake pan or loose-based tart pan

    Serves 6–8


    Make and refrigerate the Sweet Pie Dough.

    For the ganache, blanch the tofu in boiling water for 2 minutes.

    Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Do not let the base of the bowl touch the water. Put the blanched tofu, melted chocolate and lemon zest in food processor.

    Blend until smooth. Taste and if it’s not sweet enough, blend in syrup to taste; if too thick, add a little milk or cream while blending.

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

    Take the dough out of the fridge. Place it between 2 sheets of parchment paper and use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to a circle about 31 cm/ 13 inches in diameter. Loosely roll the dough circle around the rolling pin and unroll it over the tart pan. Neatly line the pan with the dough and trim off any excess from the edges with a pastry wheel or your fingers. Patch up any holes with dough off-cuts. Prick the base all over with a fork and bake in the preheated oven for 8–10 minutes. Leave the oven on.

    Remove the pan from the oven and pour the ganache into the tart crust.

    Spread level with a spatula. Put back in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the edges turn lightly golden. Allow to cool completely in the pan.

    For the mousse, heat the chocolate milk in a saucepan, then add the chocolate and syrup and whisk until the chocolate has melted. Mix the cornflour/cornstarch into 5–6 tablespoons water. Slowly add this to the saucepan over low heat, whisking vigorously. Keep whisking and it will start to thicken once it reaches the right temperature. Allow to cool slightly.

    Spread the mousse over the cold ganache in the tart case with the spatula. Refrigerate but allow to come to room temperature for 20 minutes before serving. Cut into slices with a sharp knife dipped in hot water.


    Sweet pie dough

    400 g/3 cups unbleached plain/all-purpose flour

    150 g/1 cup fine cornmeal

    3 teaspoons baking powder

    1⁄2 teaspoon salt

    240 g/2 cups nonhydrogenated margarine, chilled

    130 g/1⁄2 cup brown rice or agave syrup

    grated zest of 1 lemon

    70–110 ml/1⁄3–1⁄2 cup ice-cold water

    40 x 28-cm/16 x 11-in. baking pan (for a thinner crust) or 23 x 30 cm/9 x 12-in. baking pan (for a thicker crust)


    Put the flour, cornmeal, salt and baking powder in a food processor and pulse to mix. Add the margarine and pulse 6–8 times until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

    Add the syrup and lemon zest and pulse again a couple of times.

    Add ice-cold water one tablespoon at a time, pulsing until the mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it's ready.

    If it doesn't, add a little more water and pulse again. Do not add too much water otherwise it will make the dough tough.

    Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Knead it just enough to form a ball but do not over-knead it. Shape it into a disc, wrap it in clingfilm/plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days. If you’re in a hurry you can chill the dough in the freezer for 15 minutes. If refrigerated, allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 5–10 minutes before rolling it out.

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4 and continue with the relevant recipe.


    These recipes have been taken from (in order listed):

    Superfood Slow Cooker by Nicola Graimes

    My Vegan Travels by Jackie Kearney

    The New Nourishing by Leah Vanderveldt

    Superfood Slow Cooker by Nicola Graimes

    This is Gluten Free by Victoria Hall

    The Vegan Baker by Dunja Gulin

    All photography is © Ryland Peters & Small

    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with christmas, vegan, baking, savoury, vegetarian, Gluten-free, sweet

  • Posted on December 7, 2017

    Meringue snowmen cookies recipe

    We're starting to get that festive feeling! These cookies are topped with 3D snowmen made with meringue resting on a white chocolate snow scene. The cookies are bursting with white chocolate chips and are flavoured with Lotus Biscoff crunchy spread which gives a delicious caramel flavour. If you do not have cookie spread then you can replace with smooth peanut butter instead.

    Snowmen Cookies


    1 egg white

    60 g/5 tablespoons caster/ granulated sugar


    115 g/1 stick butter, softened

    130 g/2/3 cup caster/ granulated sugar

    60 g/scant 1/4 cup cream cheese

    60 g/2 oz. Lotus Biscoff spread or peanut butter

    170 g/11/4 cups self-raising/ self-rising flour

    100 g/31/2 oz. white chocolate chips


    140 g/5 oz. white chocolate, melted

    3 tablespoons icing/ confectioners' sugar, sifted

    orange and black food colouring gel

    piping/pastry bag, fitted with a large round nozzle/tip

    2 large baking sheets, lined with silicon mats or baking parchment

    cocktail sticks/toothpicks

    Makes 14


    Preheat the oven to the lowest possible setting, about 130°C (260°F) Gas ½.

    Begin by making the snowmen. Whisk the egg white to stiff peaks. Add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, whisking constantly until the meringue is smooth and glossy. Spoon the meringue into the piping/pastry bag fitted with the large round nozzle/tip. Pipe 14 circles of meringue about 3 cm/1 inch in diameter on one of the baking sheets. On top of each of these, pipe a smaller ball for the snowman’s body and then a third slightly smaller one on top for the head. Bake for 45–60 minutes until the meringue is crisp.

    Leave to cool on the baking sheet.

    Increase the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

    Whisk together the butter, sugar and cream cheese until light and creamy. Add the biscuit spread and whisk in. Sift in the flour and whisk in, along with the white chocolate chips. Place 14 spoonfuls of the dough on the second baking sheet a small distance apart. Bake for 10–15 minutes until the cookies are lightly golden brown. Leave to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

    Spoon a little of the melted white chocolate over each of the cookies and place a meringue snowman in the centre of each.

    In a mixing bowl, mix the icing/confectioners' sugar with a little water and colour with a few drops of orange food colouring. Use a cocktail stick/toothpick to draw small orange noses on each of the snowmen. Add a few drops of black food colouring to the orange icing and then use a second cocktail stick/toothpick to add small black eyes, mouths, buttons and arms. Leave for the icing and white chocolate to set.

    These cookies will keep for up to 3 days, but are best eaten on the day they are made.


    For more festive bakes, check out Cute Christmas Cookies by Hannah Miles.

    Cute Christmas Cookies

    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with christmas, baking, recipe for the weekend, sweet, cookies, festive

  • Posted on November 23, 2017

    Vegan Salted Caramel Cake recipe

    Epic vegan cake anyone? This sweet, salty, caramel number hits all the right flavour notes.

    vegan Salted Caramel Cake


    1 quantity of Vegan Chocolate Sponge mixture (see below) baked in three greased and lined 18-cm/7-inch cake pans for 30–35 minutes until an inserted cocktail stick/toothpick comes out clean, then cooled

    1/2 quantity of Brilliant White Buttercream (see page 21, but replace the water with 2 tablespoons of the vegan salted caramel sauce)

    2 teaspoons mixed gold, silver and bronze cake sprinkles (optional, see vegan tip)

    2 teaspoons rock sea salt

    200 g/1 cup caster/superfine sugar

    5–6 blackberries

    few sprigs of lemon thyme

    edible gold spray (optional, see vegan tip)


    For the vegan salted caramel sauce

    250 g/11/4 cups caster/superfine sugar

    150 ml/2/3 cup coconut milk

    2 tablespoons cornflour/cornstarch

    rock sea salt, to taste

    baking sheet, greased with sunflower oil

    SERVES 20


    For the vegan salted caramel sauce, place the sugar in a saucepan with 4 tablespoons of water, place over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir through the coconut milk (be careful as it will bubble). Return to the heat; mix the cornflour/cornstarch with 4 tablespoons of water and stir in to the pan, simmer for a further 5–7 minutes until thickened. It will thicken further on cooling. Add salt to taste. Set aside to cool completely (see cook’s tip).

    If necessary, trim the tops of the cakes to make level. Sandwich together using 350 g/12 oz. of the buttercream – the bottom side of the top cake should be facing up. Place the cake on a serving plate. Crumb-coat (see page 11) the cake using the remaining buttercream. Smooth and remove the excess buttercream with a palette knife/metal spatula.

    Mix the cake sprinkles (if using) with the 2 teaspoons sea salt. Set aside.

    For the caramel shapes and shards, gently heat the sugar in a pan until melted and golden. Shake the pan towards the end to allow any unmelted sugar to melt. Spoon half the caramel onto the greased baking sheet, then drag it outwards with the back of the spoon to create a rough square shape with one thinner, uneven side. Sprinkle the cake sprinkle mixture over part of the rectangle. Use the spoon to drizzle the remaining caramel into spiral shapes and zig-zag patterns. Leave to harden. Break the square shape into shards.

    When ready to serve, push the caramel shapes into the top of the cake, drizzle with the caramel sauce and decorate with the blackberries and lemon thyme sprigs. Spray with the edible gold spray (if using).

    Cook’s tip: You’ll have some caramel sauce left over; it’s great served with the cake for those wanting an extra drizzle! It’s so delicious you’ll want to pour it over every cake and dessert – keep any remaining sauce in the fridge, covered, for up to 1 week or allow to cool for 5 minutes, reserve what you need for the cake and ladle the remaining sauce into a sterilized jar. Seal and allow to cool. It will keep for up to 3 months.

    Vegan tip: Always check ingredients on individual products to ensure they are suitable for a vegan diet. Different brands may vary.


    Vegan chocolate sponge

    1 large ripe banana, 115 g/ 4 oz. peeled weight

    250 ml/1 cup soya milk

    75 ml/5 tablespoons vegetable oil

    425 g/generous 2 cups

    caster/superfine sugar

    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

    2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

    115 ml/scant 1/2 cup maple syrup

    575 g/generous 41/4 cups self-raising/self-rising flour, sifted

    75 g/3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

    1 tablespoon baking powder


    Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) Gas 4. Place the banana in a large bowl and mash until creamy. Add the soya milk, vegetable oil, sugar, vanilla extract, white wine vinegar and maple syrup. Beat with an electric hand whisk until combined. Sift over the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and fold through until combined. Transfer to greased and lined pans specified in each recipe (if using 18-cm/ 7-inch cake pans, ensure they are at least 4.5 cm/13/4 inches deep and lined with a 1.5-cm/2/3-inch collar). Bake for the time specified in each recipe.


    Brilliant white buttercream (vegan)

    500 g/1 lb. 2 oz. vegetable fat such as Trex or Cookeen, at room temperature

    1 kg/7 cups icing/confectioners’ sugar, sifted

    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

    MAKES 1.5 KG/3 LB. 5 OZ.

    Place the vegetable fat in a bowl with the vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons water and a few large spoonfuls of the icing/ confectioners' sugar. Whisk with an electric hand whisk until combined, then whisk in the remaining icing/confectioners’ sugar in manageable batches, until smooth and spreadable. Add another 1 tablespoon of water, if necessary.


    For more fabulous cake recipes and decoration ideas, check out Fantasy Cakes by Angela Romeo.

    fantasy cakes

    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with vegan, baking, chocolate, recipe for the weekend, sweet

  • Posted on November 14, 2017

    Fantasy Cakes - from sketch to cake

    We are so excited that Angela Romeo's brand new baking book, Fantasy Cakes, is out this week! If you like baking we think you're going to love the fun, colourful and pretty spectacular designs for every occasion!

    We wanted to know more about how Angela makes these amazing cakes, from the first initial sketch to the delicious finished product and her tips for how to make them yourself. So, over to you Angela...


    Fantasy Cakes

    1. When/how did you get into baking these fantastic cakes?

    I’ve got to say my mum always baked great cakes and I was never very far away when she was! I would be simply hanging onto her apron (literally!), helping fold in flour, weighing ingredients or helping with the most important of all jobs ‘licking the bowl!’ Me and my brother always had fab homemade birthday cakes as kids. From mini football pitches, to 3 little ducklings, to a baby in a crib (!), to Hansel and Gretal-style houses, there was never a shortage of fanciful cakes in our house. I can’t forget to credit my dad as I only recently found out, whilst developing the recipes for this book, that it was my mum who did the baking of those cakes and my dad who did the decorating! My mum will freely admit he’s the more creative-arty one so that does makes perfect sense!

    In my working career I’ve also had some great baking briefs particularly at Seven publishing whilst working as the Senior Food Editor for Creative Services for Sainsbury’s. From designing and developing cakes for social media video such as an Easter cake with the ultimate ‘Wow!’ factor to a Halloween pumpkin-shaped cake. When a brief like that came in I would immediately pick up my pen and start scribbling designs with crazy-style enthusiasm!

    As a food team we went on to write the Sainsbury’s Cake cookbook which I loved designing and making a proportion of the cakes for from a Dragon cake to a Fairy Tale Castle cake to a Chocolate box cake. It enhanced my love for making imaginative, creative cakes using readily available products and that were also achievable.


    2. Where do you get your inspiration from for your designs?

    I get inspiration from everywhere, from friends or families favourite hobbies and passions to certain trends that keep popping up, for example ‘flamingos’ - I subconsciously start thinking how would I make a flamingo cake? (as you do!) I normally start to think of it in the literal sense - an actual flamingo-shaped cake, then the practical side of my brain steps in and says, ‘Whoa! Those skinny legs holding up a cake? That’s a bake-off style nightmare! I’d need the hubby to construct an iron leg-shaped stand for me!!’ So it may sit at the back of my mind for a while - then I could be using a leaf nozzle for another project and suddenly think - ‘OOOooh what if I used two tones of pink buttercream in this piping bag? That would make a great surreal nod to flamingo feathers especially if you piped them round the bottom of a cake! Oh! And that ‘water’ on that swimming pool cake I saw on Pintrest the other day that would make a great flamingo pond!’


    3. How many times do you have to practice the cakes before they are perfect?!

    I nearly always make a sketch of how I imagine the finished piece to look. For most cakes, I would practice the various techniques that are included in the design until I’ve mastered them. I don’t know if it’s because I studied fine art but I approach it a bit like an art project - researching and developing the different elements and then bringing it all together as a one-off. Obviously if you’re writing a recipe for it you may need to make the whole finished piece a few times to ensure the details are correct, which of-course also gives you a great opportunity make little improvements. But I also think it’s also very important with cake decorating to know when to stop.

    Fantasy Cakes

    film lover cake


    4. What is your favourite kind of cake to make/do you have a favourite in the book?

    As you’ll see from the book I love 3 layer cakes - I love a tall cake not only because it gives great impact but also because it gives you another surface as well as the top to work on. The deep sides are great for setting-a-scene or theme or for showing-off drips and drizzles. They also provide ample space for adding piped textures and of course it’s extra space and a great excuse to add more sprinkles(!)


    5. Do you have any tips for all the bakers out there

    1) Always read a recipe through from beginning to end before starting so you don’t have any surprises along the way.

    2) For fan ovens always remember to reduce the temperature by 20ºC or refer to the manufacturers instructions.

    3) Use an oven thermometer to check the temperature of your oven. Some ovens can run hotter or cooler than the dial/ digits reflect.

    4) Remember that most ovens will have hotspots and cooler areas. The most even temperature is in the centre of the oven. The top, bottom and rear corners can be a little unpredictable.

    5) Always ensure you use a kitchen timer – it’s easy to get distracted.

    6) A tip close to my heart is when you start tinkering with a cake at the very end of decorating it, trying to get that very last bit absolutely perfect. It probably is perfect to everybody else. I would advise to ‘step away from the cake’ (if that phrase enters your head then do exactly that!).

    7) Always allow yourself plenty of time, there’s nothing worse than baking and decorating in a hurry or a bout of ‘midnight-baking’ is never a good place to be!

    8) As generally most cakes need to cool completely before decorating, I would always try to bake the cakes the day before decorating. And if a design allows it (such a drip cake that doesn’t have anything pressed into a buttercream base) you could also, once the cakes have cooled, layer the cake and buttercream the sides so it’s well prepped for the next stage. This will also make it airtight so the cake will happily sit on the side in a cake box (providing you use a buttercream that doesn’t contain milk), until you are ready to complete it with your drips, drizzles and toppings!


    You can buy Angela's book Fantasy Cakes here!

    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with baking, cake decorating, author interview

  • Posted on October 17, 2017

    Behind the Scenes - Fantasy Cakes

    As a special mid-week treat, we're letting you in on what goes on behind the scenes in our photoshoots, with these sneak peak pics from our brand new baking book coming out next month! These photoshoots are hard, serious work and never involve any taste testing ... Ok, we wouldn't believe us either! This particular photoshoot involved lots and lots of cake!


    All the prep is done so the photoshoot can run smoothly...

    Behind the scenes fantasy cakes

    On your marks, get set...BAKE!

    Behind the scenes fantasy cakes

    Some have to be taste tested...of course!

    Behind the scenes fantasy cakes

    Now it's time to get messy!

    Behind the scenes fantasy cakes

    Sneak peek of the finished product before it's photographed for the book...

    Behind the scenes fantasy cakes

    Everything coming together after a busy day...

    Behind the scenes fantasy cakes

    Thanks to all the team!

    Behind the scenes fantasy cakes

    Keep an eye out next month for Fantasy Cakes by Angela Romeo.







    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with baking, sweet, cake, sneak peek, fantasy cakes, photoshoot

Items 1 to 10 of 77 total

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. ...
  7. 8