Friday, November 1, 2013


I had some extra zucchini (courgette) that needed to be used up and I love this quick bread so I decided take some snaps of me making it and share this lovely recipe here.

(makes one 9" loaf)
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 medium sized zucchinis, grated
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup oil (I used sunflower)
Bake at 350F for 1 hour (or until golden and a knife comes out clean).

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


When life gives you autumn, put pumpkin in everything.

- Recipe adapted from here.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


This cake is not too sweet, perfectly lemony, moist and super easy to make, what more could you ask for? Olive oil cakes are getting more and more popular, I always thought it sounded very savory and tasteless but it surprised me. Olive oil cake is nice as it is, but I opted to add lemon and a bit of a glaze. I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I did!

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2⁄3 cup milk
  • 3 cups + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the glaze:
  • Juice of 1/2 a large lemon
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

  • Preheat oven to 325F.
  • Grease a large loaf pan with oil and dust with flour. (You could also use a bundt pan.)
  • Beat the eggs and sugar together on high speed for 1 min.
  • Add the lemon juice and zest, vanilla, olive oil, milk, flour, baking powder and salt. combine well.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
  • Bake at 325F for 45-50 mins (or until golden brown).
  • Mix the lemon and powdered sugar together to make the glaze and brush
    over the top of the cake while it is still warm.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Who doesn't love a good scone right? I'm a Brit, so of course, I love my scones: the traditional round "biscuit" like classic scones containing currants served with clotted cream, jam and a pot of tea. Some of the best non-traditional scones I've tasted are from Alice's Tea Cup here in New York. Their Book is quite worth it if you're a fan of theirs, most of their well-known bakes are included.

These scones are adapted from the Alice's Tea Cup book. The recipe is actually called Banana Butterscotch Scones with butterscotch chips, but I opted for white chocolate chips instead. I preferred it this way.

Also, check out my Lavender Earl Grey Scones, another scone recipe I liked from the book.

Friday, September 21, 2012


Although I love the cool crisp weather that we are starting to feel in the air, there are many things I will miss about summer...

Ice cream dates
Watching fireflies in Union Square
Sleeping with the windows open
Walks on the High Line
Iced coffees at Blue Marble
Heirloom tomato salads
Escaping to Fire Island
Patio dining
Rooftop cocktails
Coral-pink sunsets

This key lime tart will bring a taste of summer to the table no matter the time of year. After I tried it for the first time one summer in Key West, I haven't let a summer pass without making it since.

What's on your 2012 summer list?
  • 1 1/4 cups crushed graham crackers (or digestive biscuits)
  • Pinch of ginger powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon key lime zest
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter (room temperature)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14oz)
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed key lime juice (approx 15 key limes)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • Key lime zest for sprinkling at the end
  • Preheat the oven to 350F (175C)
  • Pulse the graham crackers in a food processor or bash them in the plastic bag until they resemble bread crumbs. Mix the crushed crackers with the room temperature butter, sugar, ginger and key lime zest.
  • Add the mixture to a 9 inch tart pan and press the crumbs into the pan evenly and well. Bake in the oven at 350F for 7-10 mins until lightly golden brown.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and key lime juice, condensed milk and vanilla until very smooth. Pour this mixture into golden tart crust. Bake for 15 mins in the oven at 350F
  • After baking sprinkle the top of the pie with some key lime zest. Allow the pie to cool for 15 mins and then refrigerate for 2 hours.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I love the birthday cake trend right now with sprinkles in the batter; they add color and fun to a simple sponge. I also love how “birthday cake” has now become a prominent flavor in ice cream and other desserts. Who can resist that vanilla cake batter flavor with sprinkles?

Some more of my summer recipes: Cherry Clafoutis, Lemon-Syrup Tea CakePeach & Blueberry Pie, Lemon Tarts, Plum Cake, Strawberries & Cream Fairy Cakes.

Victoria Sponge Birthday Cake 
(makes 1 cake)
  • 1 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (well sifted)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup of colorful sprinkles (plus extra for decoration)
  • 1.5 cups heavy whipping cream (double cream)
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners sugar (plus extra for dusting on top)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam (or strawberry)
  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with oil and then dust lightly with flour.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest. Sift in the flour and baking powder, whisk until smooth. Mix in the sprinkles.
  • Add the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool on a rack.
  • For the filling, whisk together the heavy cream, confectioners sugar and vanilla extract until the cream is whipped to soft peaks.
  • Cut the cake in half horizontally and spread each inner side with raspberry jam. Then dollop the whipped cream onto the lower half of the cake and spread out evenly.  Add the top half of the cake on top of the cream, jam side down.
  • Dust the top of the cake with confectioners sugar and more sprinkles.

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Friday, December 9, 2011


This week I've been thinking about some of the things that I love most about this time of the year. As stressful as it can be sometimes, its really nice to think that we spend a whole month (or perhaps more) searching for gifts for the ones we love, writing cards to wish them a joyful season and making plans to spend quality time with them. The world around you becomes a festive, warming and happy place even in the midst of a dreary winter. It's a time that allows us to stop for a moment and show how much we appreciate those around us.

Other than my amazing husband, family and friends, here are some things I've been loving this season:

Things I love this Winter...

Lavender Banana Bread: 
(makes 1 loaf)
  • * 3/4 cup Lavender Sugar (plus extra for sprinkling)
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 bananas mashed
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup milk

* For the Lavender Sugar, mix white granulated sugar and dried lavender buds in a jar. For every cup of sugar add a 1/4 cup of lavender.

Seal and store for 1-2 weeks, shaking now and again. (If you don't want extras then just make enough lavender sugar for this recipe).

Preheat the oven to 350F

In a large bowl cream together the butter and lavender sugar (I didn't sieve the lavender buds out).

Add the eggs, vanilla extract and nutmeg, beat well.

Add the mashed bananas, mix well.

Fold in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix just enough until well combined.

Line a loaf tin with parchment paper and add the mixture to it.

Bake at 350F for 1 hour (or until golden and a skewer comes out clean.)

When removed from the oven, sprinkle the top of the bread with more lavender sugar.

Allow to cool on a rack. Enjoy with a cup of tea :)

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Friday, November 18, 2011


Beautiful blue Ameraucan eggs.

Ricotta Pancakes: Adapted from Nigella Lawson's Ricotta Hotcakes in How to be a Domestic Goddess

  • 9 ounces ricotta cheese (1 cup + 2 tbsp)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 whole eggs (separated)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and extra for sprinkling (my addition- If you're having these with maple syrup then omit this)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (my addition)
  • Strawberries (optional)
In a bowl, combine the ricotta, egg yolks, milk, vanilla and powdered sugar (vanilla and sugar are optional).

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the ricotta mix and stir to combine.

Beat the egg whites till it forms peaks and then fold into the ricotta mix.

Heat a non-stick griddle and drop heaped tablespoons (or whatever size you wish) to the pan and cook on each side for approx 1 minute.

Sprinkle the pancakes with powdered sugar and serve with strawberries.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011


"Let's see now. We have a dozen peach, a dozen berry, a dozen pumpkin, and a dozen cherry. Now when we finish the apple, we can quit for the night." -
Mildred Pierce

If you watched the miniseries of Mildred Pierce last month then it's more than likely that it left you aching for pie, or chicken and waffles for that matter.

I thoroughly enjoyed this miniseries, although it does leave you quite disturbed at times. It taps into the terribly gloomy depression era with its darkly stunning cinematography, 1930's style, and powerful acting, particularly from Kate Winslet, who plays Mildred Pierce and Evan Rachel Wood, who plays Mildred's pretentious daughter Veda. I heard that this was a much better adaptation of the book than the Joan Crawford movie. Has anyone seen that movie or read the book?

I'm not certain if this peach and blueberry pie is very true to the Great Depression, but Mildred sold really good pies and this is certainly a really good pie. I love the almost neon purple that comes out of the blueberries; it's very striking against the orangey peach and golden crust. This pie is not sickly at all and has a lovely sweet and mellow flavor. The pairing of peach and blueberry together is so perfect and summery.

This peach and blueberry pie is wonderful on its own, served warm or cold, or with a little custard. Please let me know if you do make this and manage to not eat the whole thing in one day...I would love to know how you did it.

Happy Royal Wedding weekend! I will most likely be one of those Brits that feels left out and gets up at 4am to watch it all... :)

Peach & Blueberry Pie: (makes one 9" pie)
For the pie filling:
  • Approx 6 ripe skinned Peaches (or 2 cans of non-syrup, sliced peaches)
  • 4.4 oz blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest
For the topping:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (extra for sprinkling)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp rolled oats
  • 1/8th tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8th tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp orange zest
  • 1/4 cup butter
Prepare the pie base in a 9" pie dish and then par-bake in the oven at 375F for 6 mins. Set aside. (Keep the oven on.)

In a bowl mix together the sliced peaches and all the rest of the pie filling ingredients. Set aside.

In another bowl add all the pie topping ingredients and rub the butter into it all with your fingers until the mixture resembled fine breadcrumbs.

Add the pie filling carefully into the pie crust, distributing everything evenly.

Then add the crumb topping mixture covering all the fruit.

Sprinkle another teaspoon or so of brown sugar on top.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375F for 35-40 mins or until the pie is golden brown.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011


One ha' penny, two ha' penny – hot cross buns!

Easter is late this year and it certainly feels like it. Normally my birthday is right around Easter and it has always been more of joint celebration with birthday cake, Easter eggs and eating my body weight in chocolate.

This is the first year I decided to make hot cross buns instead of buying them. It's hard to find the real deal here in the States, all the hot cross buns seem to be more like sticky buns with icing rather than tea cakes. In the UK, they are sold everywhere as "tea cakes" until Easter approaches, when a cross is stamped on them and they become hot cross buns. I love them for breakfast, cut in half, toasted and smothered in butter with a cup of Miller Harris Thé Pétales.

I found this hot cross bun recipe in a book I have from Betty's Cafe & Tea Rooms in Yorkshire, UK. It's a lovely book full of seasonal recipes and desserts from their cafe's. I'm sure there's plenty of posts to come from this book.

Some of my beautiful birthday presents from this year. Some Miller Harris goodies, Fortnum & Mason delights, one of my favorite Jo Malone Scents, Liberty of London, Macarons and Books.

Bettys Tea Rooms Hot Cross Buns:
(A Year of Family Recipes by Lesley Wild, Bettys Cookery School)

(makes 12)

For the crossing paste:

  • 180g (3/4 cup) strong white flour/bread flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of baking powder
  • 50ml (3 tbsp) vegetable oil
  • 200ml (3/4 cup + 2 tbsp) water
For the buns:
  • 400g (1 1/2 cups + 3 tbsp) strong white flour/bread flour
  • 1 level tsp salt
  • 60g (1/4 cup) fine white sugar
  • 2 heaped teaspoons mixed spice (I used pumpkin pie spice)
  • 45g (3 tbsp) butter (cut into small cubes)
  • 50g (1/4 cup) fresh yeast OR 25g (2 tbsp) dried yeast
  • 130ml (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp) tepid water
  • 70ml (1/4 cup + 1 tbsp) milk
  • 100g (1/4 cup +2 tbsp) currants
  • 115g (1/2 cup) sultanas
  • 50g (2 tbsp) chopped mixed peel
For the sugar-syrup glaze:
  • 200g (3/4 cup + 1 tbsp) fine white sugar
  • 200ml (3/4 cup + 2 tbsp) water
You will need to make the crossing paste a couple of hours before it is required to allow it to relax before piping.

Sieve the flour, salt and baking powder together in a bowl.

Then add the vegetable oil. Mix together until a crumb-like texture has formed.

Add the water slowly while beating until a smooth paste has formed. Once you've added all of the water, beat the paste for a couple of minutes.

Cover the bowl with cling wrap and place in the fridge (make sure it's quite thick, mine was far too thin).

In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, salt, sugar and mixed spice.

Add the butter and rub the flour and butter together with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

In a small bowl dissolve the yeast with the tepid water.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the dissolved yeast and the milk.

Begin to mix it all together and then begin to knead the dough for 10-12 minutes (or use your kitchen aid on speed level 2).

After kneading, spread the the dough on a floured work surface and pile all the dried fruit in the center.

Fold the outside edges around the fruit and continue to knead gently until the fruit is evenly distributed (be patient).

Allow the dough to rest on the work surface for 5 minutes covered with a tea towel.

Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and shape into round balls.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Carefully place the buns on the baking sheets with plenty of space in between.

Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours, until the buns have doubled in size.

When the buns have risen, preheat the oven to 200C/390F.

Prepare the sugar syrup by heating the sugar and water together until the mixture becomes syrupy. Allow to cool.

Pipe the crossing paste over the buns. Bake the buns in the oven for 10-12 minutes until they are rich and golden brown.

Remove from the oven and immediately brush the tops of the buns with the sugar-syrup glaze.

Allow the buns to cool on a rack. Serve warm or toasted with butter and tea.


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