Ricotta Pancakes with Peaches and Honey Butter

This is a little celebratory breakfast dish for the long weekend as Treacle turns 1! There are a few more steps to this one but I promise it will be worth it. The pancakes are light and fluffy and peaches are one of my favourite fruits if they are ripe (if they are mediocre you can sub them for another fruit or pan fry them briefly) The browned honey butter is fully credited to Deb Perelman and if you haven’t tasted it, well you have been missing out in the most major of ways!

Makes around 12


250g ricotta
4 eggs separated
180ml milk
2 tblsp melted butter
200g flour
1tsp baking powder
25g sugar
1 peach sliced into wedges

Honey butter:

113 g butter

2tblsp honey

flaky sea salt

First make the honey butter. Melt half the butter in a small saucepan, letting it melt, then go nut brown and allowing it to smell nutty and delicious but not burn. It may not win any beauty contests but it will be amazing. Let it cool, not to solid state but it needs to be cool as you’re going to add it back in to the other half.  Now take the other half of the butter at room temperature and whip it until it’s pale and creamy and then gradually add in the brown butter beating all the time and then add in the honey. Scoop into a small container and top with a little salt and leave in the fridge to chill.

Now the pancakes!

Beat the ricotta, egg yolks, sugar, milk and melted butter in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix the flour and baking powder.


Add the dry ingredients into the ricotta mixture and mix well to combine. Now in a bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold them into the batter.

Heat a large non stick pan and use a very small bit of oil. I don’t cook these over a really high heat – medium/low works better so they don’t burn. Spoon the batter into the preheated pan and cook for one to two minutes until firm and fluffy then flip over and cook the other side. Repeat for the rest while you keep the batch warm in the oven.

Pan fry your sliced peaches in smidge of butter if they are not amazing. If they are fab just leave them be.☺

Serve a stack of pancakes with fruit and a pat of honey butter on top and resist the urge not to share with your family! Have a lovely bank holiday weekend!




Mini Strawberry Bakewells

These little beauties are a sort-of version of something I remember baking with my Nana when I was really tiny. She called them chelsea buns but I don’t think they were. We would bake treacle bread, buns, soda bread and cakes in her red formica kitchen and I can remember so clearly her hands deftly forming the pastry and making it look like the easiest thing in the world.

I have taken a short cut here by using a roll of ready made pastry – this means you can have these babies in the oven in about six or seven minutes flat! It’s also a handy solution to the request to bake something from the kids as they can throw it together before they lose interest in the process!

I packet of shortcrust pastry – 320g sheet works well here (there will be a bit leftover)

100g ground almonds

100g butter, softened

1 large egg

100g caster sugar

1.5 tblsp plain flour (and some extra to roll out the pastry)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

A small handful of berries (vague but look at the pictures, you need less than 100g of berries to fill these bun tins!)

1 tblsp flaked almonds

I roll out the sheet, sprinkling a little flour to prevent sticking and stamp out 12 discs using a 9cm cutter, placing them in a good old fashioned bun tray. A handy tip – roll out the sheet using the paper underneath and a touch of flour on top, then when you cut out the discs place them upside down in the tray (flour side down) so there will be no sticking. This will make them easy to take out.

Now beat the egg, caster sugar, flour, vanilla and ground almonds together until smooth and spoon into each of the cases – don’t worry too much about smoothing it out, it will all be grand.

Add your chopped fruit of choice – I have used chopped strawberries here, but blackberries, raspberries, blueberries (no real need to shop these) or a mix of berries are all fantastic. You really don’t need that many and it’s a great use of a few lonely ones in your fridge.

Sprinkle with a few flaked almonds and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Cool for a moment in the tray before removing carefully to a rack. They are pretty fantastic warm too. They freeze well and so can be made in advance and thawed and reheated for a few minutes in the oven to revive.

Almond Crêpes


This was a lovely breakfast idea I spied in Goodfood Magazine a while back – and so easy! It can be made per person or per crêpe and so it is even doable on a midweek morning. It’s lovely and filling and can be used as a vehicle for healthy or not-so-healthy toppings. The crêpes tend to stick a little and don’t behave quite like the tradtional ones, but I was prepared to accept that once I tasted them! With a little greek yoghurt and fruit, it does feel like a treat.

Per crêpe:

1 large egg

1.5tblsp ground almonds

1 tblsp water

I decided to be novel and gave the kids a jar to each shake their own (I know!) but feel free to beat the ingredients in a bowl, unless of course you’d like to do that too!

Heat a medium pan with a spoon of oil and when the pan is medium hot, pour the beaten egg mix in and swirl it around to coat the pan. Don’t let the pan get too hot. Now leave it set for a minute or two, then it is done (no flipping this one!) Turn carefully out onto a plate and eat with your favourite accompaniments.

We have tried berries and coconut yoghurt (Glenisk is yum), diced apple and raspberries or cherries with a dash of maple syrup, and blueberries with greek yoghurt swirled with a spoon of lemon curd. All delish!


This is a nod to my old pal and workmate N. If there was a birthday or a reason to celebrate, this wonder appeared. She also made all things better in our office by appearing with this at other times too. It is just delish. I love to use golden caster sugar as it makes the meringues creamy and golden looking.

A couple of pointers when making pavlova: Make sure your bowl and tools are completely clean and grease free. It may seem an obvious point but any leftover butter will spoil your meringue. Let your meringue cool in the oven too, so if you have other items on your menu, plan accordingly!  Finally, fill at the last minute if at all possible. Eat immediately – this is never usually a problem.


4 egg whites, at room temperature

225g caster sugar

1 tsp cornflour

1tsp white vinegar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Begin by drawing a 20cm circle on a piece of baking parchment and place on a cookie sheet. This will be your outline for your pavlova. Preheat your oven to 120c

If you would like to make individual nests that serve one generously, draw 4 inch circles on parchment paper – I can usually get around six out of this quantity.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff in a stand mixer (or with a handheld electric whisk) then beat in the caster sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Follow with the vanilla extract, vinegar and cornflour.

Spoon the mix onto the circle of parchment and make a slight indentation in the middle. Bake for 1 hour until firm. If you are making the individual mini(ish) versions, they will bake at 120c for 30 minutes before you turn off the oven and let them cool. Either way, after the time, turn off the oven and let the meringue cool in the oven with the door closed  this prevents too much cracking

Here are a few ideas for fillings:

A selection of berries marinated in 2 tblsp of balsamic vinegar, 2 tsp of brown sugar and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract. I used raspberries, cherries, blueberries and strawberries. I filled the nests with half whipped cream and half greek yoghurt and topped with the berries

Sliced mango and strawberries with basil and a teeny squeeze of lime. Again, I used equal parts greek yoghurt and whipped cream.

And my current favourite: roast apple with hazelnut and maple syrup. Inspired by a Diana Henry recipe, I roasted peeled cored apple halves sprinkled with brown sugar at 190c for 20 minutes, removing them from the oven and drizzling them with a little maple syrup and letting them cool. When cool, dice them any way you want, they don’t need to be uniform. Again fill the nests with a mix of whipped cream and greek yoghurt and a touch of maple syrup. Top with the diced apple and a little of the maple/apple juices and sprinkle with some toasted hazelnuts. Heavenly.



Cherry Buttermilk Cake


I saw this lovely crate of cherries in the supermarket today and had to have them. They are my daughter’s favourite fruit although my two kids will easily clear a large bowl each in a single sitting – their hands look like a bloodbath afterwards. I had other plans for these little bursts of sunshine though.

It was fate as I scrolled through and saw the Smitten Kitchen recipe for Raspberry Buttermilk Cake appearing and I thought I would try it with the cherries and it was yummy – done in no time at all and just the perfect everyday or rainy Thursday kinda cake. Feel free to use the raspberries though, as in the original. Deb Perelman is one of my food heroes and she can do no wrong as far as I am concerned!

Ingredients to make one 8.5 to 9inch cake

1 cup (130g) of plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

56g butter (Deb used unsalted and added salt; I just used salted)

2/3 cup golden caster sugar (146g) plus 1.5 tblsp (22g), divided

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp lemon zest (Deb notes it’s optional – I used it and it was lovely)

1 large egg

1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk

1 cup cherries, pitted and halved.


Preheat oven to 200c and prep a 9inch (mine was 8.5!) round loose bottomed tin. Beat the 2/3 cup sugar and the butter in a stand mixer until it is nice and fluffy. Add the vanilla, zest, egg and beat well making sure to scrape the sides down so that the batter is well mixed.

Mix the flour and baking powder and baking soda together and add to the mixer bowl in three lots, alternating with the buttermilk and ending with the flour. Mix until just combined. Spoon the batter carefully into the cake pan and smooth the top. Scatter the cherries or dot them over the top of the batter – I put them gently into the top of the batter and the baking sank them ever so slightly into the cake.

Sprinkle with the remaining sugar and bake for 20-25 minutes until a cake tester pierced in the centre comes out batter free. Mine was done after 22 minutes.

Cool for 10 minutes in the tin on a cooling rack and them turn on to a plate – serve with warm with whipped or pouring cream.

Breakfast Pancakes

Pancakes are a favourite weekend breakfast here (and sometimes midweek if I am feeling motivated!) They are very easy to make and you can incorporate all kinds of fillings and toppings to please everyone! The recipe below would be a nice hit this Sunday (hint hint!) These are US style puffy pancakes as opposed to the crepe style ones and are especially yummy with maple syrup and your favourite fruits, or even bacon if you are going to come over all Canadian! Best place for purchasing maple syrup is Aldi or Lidl – it’s the best value and pure 100% with none of that maple flavour golden syrup rubbish, which I am sure is a crime somewhere.


Pancakes (makes roughly 12- 16 depending on size, which serves about 2 adults and 2 kids who aren’t totally ravenous!)

1 and 1/2 cups plain flour (I sometimes use half plain and half fine wholewheat, no-one notices and I feel virtuous)

1 tblsp sugar

pinch salt

scant 3 tsp baking powder (i.e. use just under the third teaspoon)

1 large egg beaten

1 and 1/4 cups milk

2 tblsp melted butter, plus extra for the frying pan

Ideas to add to the pancakes: A mashed banana added into the batter after it rests, before cooking (maybe a few choc chips!) … some blueberries … my fav – very thinly sliced apple with a little sprinkle of cinnamon placed on top of the uncooked batter in the pan just before you flip it over … toasted nuts … I could go on but you get the picture!


Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk the milk and egg together and gradually add into the dry ingredients and mix well. Don’t worry too much about the lumps, but do make sure there’s no flour lurking in there.

Leave this mix to sit for 10 minutes – use this time to prep the fruit you’ll serve.

Now whisk in your two spoons of melted butter (and mashed banana if using). Heat a little butter (with a touch of oil to stop it burning) in a large pan to medium/high and pour about 2-3 spoons of batter in per pancake.  (When they have set a little, then is the time to carefully place your really thin apple slices on top if using) They will be done on one side when little bubbles rise to the surface of the batter, so flip over and cook through for a minute or two more.

Keep the first batch warm (or feed everyone while you make more!)

Serve warm with maple syrup and any fruit of your choice. Also serve with lots of coffee if it is Father’s day and you are up making this breakfast very very early!

A Spin on the Bakewell.


Blueberry Coconut cake

A spin on the bakewell.

There’s nothing like a slice of cake with a cuppa is there? This one I came up with, adapting a recipe that I have almost worn out from baking (if that’s possible!) from BBC Good Food. It’s a cake version which takes the pressure off performing any kind of pastry miracle. This is almost always a good thing! It never fails. I chose to change it around a little, swapping the raspberries for blueberries and adding a little coconut for a change. I’ve also used strawberries and mixed berries in the original, which is a winner.



100g ground almonds

150g butter, softened to room temperature

140g caster sugar

140g self-raising flour

50g dessicated coconut

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

250g blueberries (fresh or frozen are fine)

2 tblsp flaked almonds


Preheat your oven to 180C or fan 160C. Butter and line the base of a 26cm loose bottom tin with baking parchment. Place the butter, ground almonds, sugar, flour, coconut, eggs, and vanilla into a food processor and blitz until smooth and well mixed. Smooth half the mix into the base of the tin. Place the berries on top of the mix, scattering fairly evenly. Smooth the rest of the mix over the berries and sprinkle the flaked almonds on top. Bake for 50 minutes until golden. Cool in the tin then remove carefully to plate. Dust with icing sugar and serve with a dollop of cream.