Recipe: The best ever Christmas cake {part 1!}

Tomorrow is Stir-Up Sunday! For me, this is the real start of the festive season. I know it’s traditional to make a Christmas pudding this weekend, but I usually make a Christmas cake; I love the decoration element, and how easily it can be shared around family and friends to spread a little festive joy. Over the years I’ve tried out various different recipes for Christmas cake, but this is the best one I’ve found. It doesn’t involve soaking fruit overnight, and the final result is gorgeously fruity, moreish and (sorry, Mum!) …moist. I’ve made many a cake which turned out to be slightly bitter or dry – such a disappointment after all the time and effort you put in – but this recipe is spot on.
Continue reading “Recipe: The best ever Christmas cake {part 1!}”

Recipe: Sweet potato and chipotle soup

This is such a cracking soup recipe for autumn. It’s suddenly become very chilly here in London – proper hat and gloves weather! – and while real life might get in the way of an urge to hibernate completely, a good bowl of soup can really warm up body and soul. It’s gorgeously silky and smooth, and I absolutely love the rich smoky flavour given by the chipotle. The hint of spice is super warming and really complements the creaminess of the sweet potato.
Continue reading “Recipe: Sweet potato and chipotle soup”

Recipe: Pear and cinnamon galette

Who doesn’t love an autumnal Sunday? I’ve spent mine pottering in the kitchen, cooking up a feast for some of my favourite people, which was topped off with this gorgeous pear galette. I generally steer away from pastry (too much of a faff, and I lack the patience!), especially if I’m also juggling lots of different components for the first course – which I was today, with a roast chicken and all the trimmings to think about – but this was so simple it almost felt like cheating. No blind baking, no messing around with a fancy fluted tin – just a method so easy, even a pastry novice like me could nail it!
Continue reading “Recipe: Pear and cinnamon galette”

Recipe: Apple and blackberry crumble cake {an award-winner!}

This is one of my absolute favourite cakes. I’ve made it so many times – including for a Women’s Institute’s cake stall at a street festival, for various afternoon teas, and more recently for the cake table at my lovely friend Jennie’s wedding – when it actually won a prize! I’d never won a prize for my baking before, so to say I was surprised is an understatement. Thrilling!
Continue reading “Recipe: Apple and blackberry crumble cake {an award-winner!}”

Travel: a Norway road trip

Hello there, and apologies for the lack of posts recently! This summer has been busy with lots of lovely distractions – weddings in abundance, hen weekends, and trips away – which has all been huge fun, although left little time for cooking and blogging.

I’m back at home for a bit now, and reflecting on a wonderful trip to Norway that James (my partner) and I took earlier this month. We flew into Oslo, hired a car, and our route took us to Kristiansand, Stavanger, Bergen, Myrkdalen, Norangsfjorden, Lillehammer, and finally back to Oslo after eleven days soaking up the stunning scenery – and, true to form, enjoying some delicious Norwegian food.
Continue reading “Travel: a Norway road trip”

Recipe: Lime and coconut cake

Ah, lime and coconut. It’s one of those flavour combinations made in heaven. I’ve wanted to attempt a cake like this one ever since I tried a deliciously damp and sticky slice at a tea room in Lincoln, and was determined to recreate it. The rich coconut works perfectly with the fresh sharpness of the lime. I love the slight chewy texture given by the desiccated coconut.
Continue reading “Recipe: Lime and coconut cake”

Travel: a long weekend in Copenhagen

Welcome to a new area of The Secret Spatula: travel! If you’re anything like me, your holidays will revolve around seeking out the best local food offerings. A recent trip to the beautiful city of Copenhagen was no exception. My partner, James, and I spent the early May bank holiday weekend walking for miles around Copenhagen, taking in the sights and sampling some fantastic food.
Continue reading “Travel: a long weekend in Copenhagen”

Recipe: Crispy ‘seaweed’ kale with sesame seeds

Here it is: the final part in my trilogy of fabulous, fresh vegetable dishes. Kale has gained a reputation in recent years for being a bit ‘worthy’ – but there’s nothing of the #eatclean movement about this recipe. It’s a crunchy, salty, garlicky pile of joy which evokes those foil tubs of crispy ‘seaweed’ you get from the Chinese takeaway.
Continue reading “Recipe: Crispy ‘seaweed’ kale with sesame seeds”