Peach Crumble

Sometimes home is the only place you want to be especially in Autumn when it’s all cosy inside. I don’t make desserts every night but I always do on a Sunday. Sunday is my favourite day and my favourite thing to do is just to be at home cooking, not having to be in any particular place for a change.

Crumbles are definitely Sunday food. I make so many variations depending on what’s in season but this peach one is absolutely delightful and so quick and simple. I usually serve crumbles with custard in the colder months but it’s dull to be predictable so this one is lovely served with the best vanilla ice cream I can find.

Ingredients

2 tins of peaches

225 plain flour

1 tablespoon light brown soft sugar

Topping

225g plain flour

75g butter – diced

100g light brown soft sugar

1/2 cup oats

Method

Pre heat oven to 190C / 170C fan

Drain the peaches and pour into your oven proof dish.

Spread in your baking dish and sprinkle over 1 tablespoons of brown sugar. Set aside and make your crumble topping.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together your diced butter, sugar and flour. Rub together to form the crumbly topping. Sprinkle all over the peaches and lastly scatter over the oats.

Bake in the middle shelf of the oven for approximately 20 minutes. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes until the fruit stops bubbling and serve in your desired way.


Duck in Orange Sauce

If you are a fan of duck you are going to love this recipe. Effortlessly quick and simple as with most of my recipes. I add a bit of star anise to the sauce to give it a subtle twist on a classic. I hope you like it.

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 duck breasts – skin on

2 tablespoons olive oil

For the sauce

Zest and juice of 1 large orange

100ml apple juice

1 teaspoon cornflour, teaspoon or so of water to make a paste

1 teaspoon light brown sugar

1 star anise

Method

Pre heat oven to 200c / 180c fan

Start by patting your duck breasts dry and scoring them in a criss cross pattern.

Season them with salt and pepper

Pour your olive oil in a pan and add the duck breasts skin side down. Cook for 5 minutes over a moderate heat. Turn for 1 minute to seal.

Place duck breasts into an oven proof dish and cook skin side up on the middle shelf for 15 mins.

Remove from oven and rest for 10 – 15 mins.

Meanwhile, make the sauce.

Start by adding your apple juice, orange zest, brown sugar and star anise to a small saucepan and bringing to the boil to reduce. Add a teaspoon of water to your cornflour to make a paste and tip it into the pan. Simmer for 5 minutes stirring all the while.

Add the duck to a plate and pour over the sauce. Serve immediately with asparagus and green beans.


Peanut Butter Brownies

Peanut butter met chocolate and the rest is history! These are truly dangerous especially if you are a peanut butter fan like me who could have it on toast for dinner and still be equally as happy as if I were having something from Masterchef.

Drizzle over raspberry coulis and have them with ice cream to elevate yourself to a new level. You know what I’m saying!

Ingredients

200g dark chocolate

280g caster sugar

3 eggs

100g plain flour

225g crunchy peanut butter

Method

Pre heat oven to 180c / 160c fan

Line a baking tin. I used a 20×20 tin

Begin by setting aside 25g of your chocolate and 25g of your peanut butter

Snap up your chocolate into squares. Melt your peanut butter, chocolate and sugar in a pan over a medium heat.

Turn off the heat and beat in your eggs one at a time and then the flour.

Transfer the mixture to your lined tin.

Melt the 50g of chocolate and peanut butter you have set aside and drizzle over.

Bake in the centre of the oven for approx 20-25 mins

Remove and cut into whatever size pieces you desire.


Apple Yoghurt Granola Bowl

This breakfast is effortless and hassle free but looks so pretty. Who knew yoghurt could be so photogenic.

Ingredients

1 cup Greek yoghurt

Slice of apple – whole

Sprinkle of granola

Drizzle of honey

1 tablespoon desiccated coconut

4 slices of kiwi


Madison, London

We recently visited Madison rooftop restaurant in London for brunch to celebrate my life long friends special birthday. I won’t tag her in or mention her age or the friendship might come to an abrupt end. It’s was such a cool vibe here with a DJ playing Ibiza tunes and the drinks were flowing. We’ve been here before for dinner on a Sunday and it was equally as good. There’s always a band or entertainment which I love. It makes me want to resume my days as a singer. Did I mention I was a singer before I had my girls?!

There’s a great atmosphere, the food is on point and the views are spectacular. It overlooks St Paul’s cathedral so its great for a photo opportunity. If you go in summer don’t wear too many clothes, it gets hot up there.


Frosted Banana Cake

I thought everyone would be missing banana cake. Some might feel like if they ever saw one again it might be too soon.

If nothing else it makes us remember lockdown and feel grateful we have all got our freedom back to go on holiday and travel around again.

This is one I make on repeat. The riper the bananas the more intense the flavour will be. If you want a major sugar rush you can warm it up a little and smother it in custard.

Ingredients

250g butter

2 medium bananas – as ripe as possible

250g caster sugar

250g self raising flour

3 eggs

1 tablespoon milk

2 teaspoons baking powder

Frosting

50g cream cheese

100g butter (room temperature)

200g icing sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

Preheat oven to 190C / 170C fan

Line and grease a standard tray bake tin. I used a 28x19cm tin

Beat together your butter and sugar until creamy. Add the eggs and milk, then beat some more until combined. Now slowly fold in the mashed bananas and then the flour and baking powder.

Pour into your loaf tin and bake in the centre of your oven for approx 30 – 35 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin.

While the cake is cooling mix up your frosting.

Once the cake is cool spread over your frosting thickly and slice into equal squares.

Decorate with edible flowers or sugar paste ones for prettiness.


Raspberry and Coconut Tray Bake

I make these for my beautiful mum who is the queen of self discipline when it comes to eating healthy and even she cannot resist them. Raspberry, coconut bites of heaven in a delicate almond sponge. Sometimes you’ve just got to give in and just embrace the deliciousness.

Ingredients

225g butter

300g caster sugar

150g plain flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3 eggs

175g raspberries

1 teaspoon almond essence

Cup of dessicated coconut to sprinkle over

Table spoon or two of icing sugar to dust.

Method

Pre heat oven to 200c / 180c fan

Line and grease your cake tin. Leave a little of the greaseproof paper hanging over so you can lift the cake out easy once it is cooked. I used a 28x19cm oblong shallow tin.

Just place all your ingredients for the cake except your raspberries, coconut and icing sugar into a large mixing bowl and whisk with an electric whisk or however you wish until smooth and creamy.

Now add your raspberries and fold them into the mixture evenly. Smooth over so it’s nice and even with a palette knife and sprinkle over your coconut.

Pour into your cake tin and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 minutes.

You will see it rising and when it’s ready to take out it will be lightly golden and springy to the touch in the centre.

Remove from oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes or so. Once the cake has cooled down remove by lifting out by the greaseproof paper and place on a wire rack to cool. Slice into squares and scatter over a little dusting of icing sugar to make it pretty.


The Bell, Ticehurst

We had the best weekend celebrating Neil’s birthday at the Bell in Ticehurst. A cosy 16th century hotel with quirky boutique style bedrooms individually decorated.

Beautiful food, wine and cocktails. Everyone was so friendly and brought their dogs along which is great if like me you are deprived of having a dog. Just saying!

Oh yeah and don’t wear 7 inch heels when you go either.


Sirloin Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

I’ve been meaning to make chimichurri sauce for ages and I’m glad I did, everyone loved it. Parsley, garlic, chilli, the list goes on…..

If you’re going on a first date the next day, don’t bother though as they will pass out and you will take their eyelashes off if you breathe on them. Just hang around by yourself for a day or so.

I serve it with rice instead of chips as I’m weird and prefer that along with a rocket and parmesan salad.

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 sirloin steak each

Chimichurri

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/4 cup parsley – finely chopped

1 hot red chilli – chopped small

3 cloves garlic – minced

2 teaspoons oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Method

Simply add all your ingredients to a small bowl and mix. Rub your steaks with olive oil, salt and pepper and cook over a high heat to your liking. Spoon over your chimichurri and serve immediately.


Banana Split

This old school dessert is so quick and easy to make for the kids while they are off school. Even better get them making it themselves if you can stand the mess. I used Bounty chocolate sauce to drizzle over and it was divine. Sprinkles optional.

Serves 1

Ingredients

1 banana sliced length ways down the middle

2 scoops of ice cream

3 dollops of squirty cream

3 strawberries – cut in half

Teaspoon sprinkles

Drizzle of chocolate sauce

Method

Start by cutting your banana lengthways down the middle and place face up on the plate.

Scoop out 2 balls of ice cream or 3 if you are being traditional and place on top of the banana.

Now squirt on 3 dollops of squirty cream.

Sprinkle over your sprinkles and strategically dot on your strawberries.

Drizzle over your chocolate sauce and devour!