P is for Pancakes

It’s pancake day here in the UK, so naturally I had to make my humble contribution to the many recipes currently flying around on social media.

Not being able to decide on just one, youre in for a treat as I’ve got two yummy recipes for you to try  – one making the most out of the classic crepe and the other paying homage to the thicker fluffy American counterpart.

Crepes are normally my go to pancakes for pancake day and whilst I’m a big fan of keeping it simple with lemon and sugar, this year I’ve pushed the boat out with this stack of caramel and apple crepes. Layered up with some whipped cream, this takes pancake day to another level! I’ve included the recipe for the caramel below but you could always use a shop bought caramel sauce to save time or even throw in some sea salt for a salted caramel twist.

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These cloud like chocolate and banana pancakes are among some of my favourites. The thick buttermilk pancakes have been packed with mashed banana and chocolate chips before being assembled with lashings of chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Probably not something I’d go for first thing in the morning, but it’ll certainly make a wonderful addition to any brunch menu or evening treat.

R E C I P E 

Chocolate & Banana Buttermilk Pancakes


250g Plain Flour
2 tbsp Caster Sugar
40g Butter, melted
1 Egg
300ml Buttermilk
100ml Whole Milk
½ tsp Vanilla Extract
2 ½ tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1 Ripe Banana, Mashed
70g Chocolate Chips

Chocolate Drip:
75g Dark Chocolate
50g Butter, softened


In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar and baking powder. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, milk, and vanilla. Pour in the melted butter and mashed banana and mix until combined.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir gently until there are no streaks of flour visible. Fold in the chocolate chips and leave the batter to stand for 5 minutes.

Heat a large frying over medium heat and brush with a little butter. Spoon two heaped tablespoons of batter into the pan and fry for 2-3 minutes before flipping over. And frying for another minute. Repeat until all the batter is finished.

Keep an eye on the heat to make sure the pan doesn’t get too hot.

Chocolate Drip

Melt the chocolate gently in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, ensuring the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water. Remove from the heat

Stir in cubes of butter a little at a time ensuring the butter has melted before adding the next piece. Allow to cool completely before using.

Stack up the pancakes and decorate with slices of banana, chocolate chips, whipped cream and drizzle over the chocolate.

Caramel Apple Crepes


180g Plain Flour
1 tbsp Caster Sugar
350ml Milk
1 Large Egg
30g Butter, melted

2 Medium Apples, peeled and chopped
½ tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tbsp Butter

100g Caster Sugar
20g Butter
80ml Double Cream, room temperature

Whipped Cream, to serve


To make the pancakes, mix together the sugar and flour and set aside

In a jug, whisk the egg, milk and vanilla until combined. Make a well in the flour an pour in the wet ingredients, whisking until there are no lumps. The batter should be quite thin.

Heat the pan over a moderate heat and brush the pan with a little butter. Ladle some batter into the centre of the pan and swirl it around to create an even layer. Let the pancake for about 30 seconds before flipping over and cooking for a further 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate whilst you make the rest.

Once all the pancakes are made, place them in a preheated oven to keep warm whilst you prepare the apples and caramel.

Melt the butter for the apples in a pan over a medium heat. Toss in the apples, cinnamon and vanilla and allow the apples to cook and brown for  2-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Set aside until ready to assemble

To make the caramel, heat the caster sugar in a stainless steel saucepan over medium heat, stirring continuously. Clumps will form, but continue stirring and it will eventually melt into a brown liquid. Immediately add in the butter  – be careful as the sugar will splutter and bubble rapidly.

Whisk continually until the butter is fully melted and incorporated into the melted sugar.

Slowly drizzle in the cream whilst continuing to whisk. Let the caramel boil for a minute before removing from the heat.

Assemble the crepes by stacking them up with some whipped cream between some of the layers if you like. Drizzle over the caramel and add the apples and some more cream.







Brunch Time – Tahini Granola

Up next with my brunch posts is a classic: homemade granola. I do love a good bowl of crunchy, nutty granola, but I feel it’s often the underrated item on most brunch menus, with the bacon, pancakes and egg options getting first pick. For me, granola is a great alternative for when I want something a bit lighter or more fresh but still want to join in with the brunch time fun.

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I’ve given this my own little twist by using a couple of dollops of tahini. If the only time you’ve used tahini is in your hummus then you’re seriously missing out! The thick paste made from ground sesame seeds is a staple in middle eastern cuisines and mostly associated with savoury dishes. It hasn’t got a natural sweetness to it like other nut butters but I think that’s partly why I love it in my granola and other sweet bakes. A couple of tablespoons whirled in and you’re rewarded with a much more toasty, nutty and complex flavour. I’ve played around with tahini in bakes containing chocolate or honey and it’s a match made in heaven!

The recipe I’ve added below makes a large batch and it’ll keep in an airtight container for about 2 weeks. If like me, you like your granola with lots of chunky clusters, don’t stir it too much whilst baking. Once it’s cooked, let it cool completely before mixing in your dried fruit. Then whack it in a bowl with some yoghurt, honey and whatever fresh fruit you’ve got! (I’ve been known to toss in some chopped dark chocolate for an extra treat)

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300g Rolled Oats
130ml Honey
60ml Sunflower or Coconut Oil
2 tbsp Tahini
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp Salt
60g Sunflower Seeds
70g Blanched Almonds, roughly chopped
70g Hazelnuts
30g Pistachios,  chopped
60g Dried Cranberries or any other dried fruit


Preheat oven to Gas Mark 3/170C/150 Fan
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, cinnamon, salt, almonds, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds. Set aside
Add the honey, oil, tahini and vanilla to a small saucepan and heat until it’s all combined
Pour the honey mixture into the oats and stir until everything is coated
Pour the mix onto a lined baking tray and bake for 40-45 minutes stirring halfway until the granola has browned
Leave to cool completely before mixing in the dried fruit and pistachios and then transfer to a jar or Tupperware

Brunch O’Clock

As a millennial, I’m naturally a big fan of brunch. I love it. It combines the best bits of breakfast and lunch and is a perfectly acceptable time to mix sweet and savoury – french toast, maple syrup and a side of thick cut bacon? Yes please.
Brunch has also become one of those nouns that’s now used as a verb – an indication of just how trendy it is; brunching really is an art form. Out of all the meals of the day, brunch comes out on top and like most other millennials, I’m always up for a lazy weekend catch up over a flat white and some creamy scrambled eggs, complete with the obligatory Instagram post #brunchingwiththegals

If I could brunch every day, trust me, I would. But these regular weekend trips add up and we really should be saving those pennies for something grown up – like, you know, a deposit for a house. So, I’m here to help you out a bit and will be running a little series of brunch posts over the next week or so, sharing some of my favourite brunch recipes for you to make at home as well as a couple of shout outs for my top brunch spots in London. All the recipes will be relatively unfussy and easy to scale up making it pretty handy if you’ve got a few friends round. So let’s go!

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I absolutely adore eggs and will take them however which way they come, whether that’s fried, scrambled, poached or baked. And so it’s only natural that the first recipe I’m sharing are super yummy eggs. But not just any old eggs – in true brunch style these bad boys are baked up in the cutest little cast iron skillet, loaded with onions, tomato, peppers and smoky chorizo before being served with chunks of sourdough.

This is definitely a dish that feels indulgent but requires minimal effort and just tastes great. You could do this in any large oven safe frying pan if making for a group .Just stick it in the middle of the table and let everyone dig in.

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serves 2


2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Small Onion
Half a green and red pepper
1 Clove Garlic
1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
Sea Salt and Black Pepper
50g Chorizo, roughly chopped
Handful Cherry tomatoes, halved
2 Medium Eggs
Chopped Parsely


Preheat oven to Gas Mark 6/200C
In a cast iron skillet or oven safe frying pan, fry your onions and peppers until softened Add in the garlic and chopped chorizo
Fry for a few minutes before seasoning with salt, pepper and smoked paprika
Add in the tomatoes, remove from the heat and make two wells in the pan
Crack the eggs into the wells and bake in the oven for 6-10 minutes until the whites are set and the yolks are slightly runny
Serve with some chunky bread

No Bake Fridge Cake

Happy New Year to all my readers both old and new! It’s my first post of the new year and among all the usual bombarding of ‘healthy’ January recipes, I’m bringing you the exact opposite with a sweet,buttery, no bake treat.

I love a good fridge cake every now and again. Whether it’s a rocky road or a chocolate tiffin, fridge cakes save the day for those times when you’re craving something sweet but don’t actually want to bake.  It’s so simple to put together and anything you’ve already got sitting in the cupboard is fair game to get thrown in. Kids love getting involved with bakes like these and you’ll have it ready in record time without any faffing about with the oven.

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I was left with a quite a lot of post Christmas dried cranberries and so I’ve used them all up here along with some white chocolate. This really is one of the reasons I love fridge cakes; there’s so much room to be creative and make it your own.  Play around with the dried fruit by experimenting with apricots, raisins or even dried blueberries which are particularly  yummy here. Nuts also add a welcome texture – I went with pistachios mainly due to their beautiful colour against the white chocolate. But honestly, use anything you have or love – pecans, toasted hazelnuts, flaked almonds or all of the above! Have a go at marbling some dark and white chocolate on the top, sprinkle on a bit of sea salt or just go crazy with some colorful sprinkles and edible glitter. This recipe is simply a guide – the rest is up to you.

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R E C I P E 


250g Digestive Biscuits
140g Butter
2 tbsp Golden Syrup
1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste/Extract
Pinch of Salt
2 handfuls Rice Krispies
80g Dried Cranberries (Or any dried fruit)
400g White Chocolate
Handful of Pistachios or any nuts, roughly chopped
Handful Marshmallows
1 Tablespoon Freeze Dried Raspberries


Put the biscuits into a freezer bag and bash them with a rolling pin into small pieces.
In a saucepan, melt the butter with the golden syrup, vanilla and salt.
Once melted, take the pan off the heat and add in the crushed biscuits and Rice Krispies. Stir until everything is fully coated. Mix in the half of the dried fruit.
Line a square or rectangular baking tin with greaseproof paper and firmly press in the biscuit mixture making sure it’s evenly leveled.
Pop it in the fridge for at least half an hour to firm up.
Whilst the biscuit layer is chilling, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.
Pour the chocolate evenly over the biscuit layer and sprinkle over the remaining dried fruit, nuts, marshmallows, freeze dried raspberries and any other extras you’re using.
Leave to set completely before cutting into squares.

Pork and Cranberry Sausage Rolls

Got some more cranberries coming at you with another festive bake! This time I’ve opted for something savoury with my pork and cranberry sausage rolls.

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Everyone loves a good sausage roll. Buttery, flaky pastry wrapped around a hot salty nugget of meat. Very much a British classic, it could easily be the ultimate party finger food – because really, what’s a party without a few sausage rolls?

Now, I know it’s probably much quicker to pick up a pack of pre prepared sausage rolls from the supermarket but making them from scratch is just so much more satisfying! You get far more control with exactly what goes in them and it gives you the flexibility to be creative with flavours. To make these even easier to put together, you could use shop bought puff pastry and squeeze out the meat from your favourite sausages.

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For those of you feeling a bit more adventurous, I’ve included the recipe for a rough puff pastry that’s been seasoned with some fresh sage and black pepper. Making your own pastry can seem a bit daunting at first but just remember to keep everything nice and cold! If the pastry feels as if it’s getting a bit sticky or warm, stick it in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up before continuing.

So, back to the cranberries. They really do add such a pleasant sweetness to these sausage rolls which beautifully balances the saltiness of the pork. I took a pack of fresh, bright red cranberries and cooked them down with into a sticky sauce spiced with cinnamon and ginger – the perfect finger food for Christmas or New Years parties. Believe me when I say, you’ll be very tempted to finish the lot as soon as they’re out of the oven but try to resist! They’re equally as wonderful once they’ve cooled down.

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makes 12-16 

Rough Puff
250g Plain Flour
250g Butter, cold and chopped into small cubes
½ tsp Salt
2 tsp Fresh Sage, finely chopped
1 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
80ml Ice Cold water

Cranberry Sauce
100g Fresh Cranberries
70g Sugar
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 tsp Ground Ginger
Pinch Salt
Squeeze of lemon
70ml Water

400g Sausagemeat
50g Fresh Breadcrumbs
Salt and Pepper
¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
½ tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Sage
1 egg, beaten, to glaze


Rough Puff:
To make the rough puff, sift together the flour, salt, sage and black pepper. Work in the butter quickly with your fingertips. You should still be able to see some pieces of butter.

Add in the water and mix together to form a rough dough. Gently knead the dough briefly to bring it together and then wrap it in cling film. Leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Once rested, lightly flour a work surface and roll the dough out into a rectangle approximately 40x20cm with the shortest side facing you. Fold the dough into three like you would a letter. Turn the dough 90 degrees so that the seam runs away from you. This is the first turn.
Roll the pastry out again into a rectangle and repeat the folding and turning process. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for another 30 mins to let it firm up.
Give the pastry two more turns – rolling out and folding as above. Wrap it up in cling film and store in the fridge until ready to use.
Preheat Oven to Gas Mark 6/200C

Cranberry Sauce:

For the cranberry sauce, place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring the mixture to the boil. Turn down the heat and allow the cranberries to simmer for 8-10 minutes until softened  Transfer to a small bowl and chill until ready to use.

Season the sausagemeat in a large bowl and mix together with the breadcrumbs until fully combined.
Dust a clean surface lightly with flour and roll out the pastry into a long rectangle approx 15cm by 80 cm and the thickness of a pound coin.
Lay three quarters of the sausagemeat along the pastry a few centimetres form the edge. Use your finger to make a groove running along the centre of the sausagemeat.

Spoon the cranberries into groove gently pressing them into the meat. Cover the cranberries with the remaining quarter of the sausagemeat.
Fold the pastry over the sausage and use the beaten egg to seal. Trim off any extra excess pastry and slice the long roll into 12 -16 smaller rolls or 8-10 bigger ones.

Brush the top of each one with some more egg wash, sprinkle with sage and black pepper and place on a baking tray.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden and the meat has cooked through. Let the rolls cool slightly on a wire rack before serving.