May 8, 2015

Mary Berry – French Madeleines

Hello to all Zebra tenants and families.

This week’s recipe is perfect one for spring. Delicious, light and with a delicate hint of vanilla  and lemon, these madeleines are really irresistible.

It was only after the gift of a madeleine tin that I tried this recipe. Madeline tins are widely available online,  but I recommend Lakeland who provide good quality but very reasonably priced bake ware.

This recipe is really super easy, with each batch of 12 madeleines cooking in under 10 minutes. To ensure the madeleines come out easily use butter to grease the shapes and dust with flour shaking off the excess prior to filling.

As I final decoration you can dust the madeleines in icing sugar, melt chocolate and dip them in, or even spread with Nutella and sandwich them together!

To make chocolate madeleines I would recommend Rachel Allen’s recipe which you can find on line via the Good Food Channel UKTV. It’s a great easy recipe and very moreish.

Happy cooking


Guten Appetit



Mary Berry – French Madeleines  - ( makes approx. 24 -30 madeleines)



150g butter

3 large eggs

150g caster sugar

150g self-raising flour

½ level tsp baking powder

Zest of 1 lemon


12 hole madeleine tin is required

How to make

  1. 1.Pre heat the oven to 200c fan. Grease the tray with butter and dust with flour and shake off any excess, the cake will then very easily come out.
  2. 2.Melt the butter in a small pan and then allow to cool slightly. Measure the eggs and sugar into a large bowl and whisk until pale and thick.
  3. 3.Sift in half the flour along with the baking powder and the lemon zest and fold in gently. Pour in half the melted butter around the edge of the bowl and fold in. Repeat the process with the remaining flour and butter. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tray so that the mixture is just level in the moulds.
  4. 4.Bake for 8-10 minutes or until well risen, golden an springy to the touch. Ease out of the tray with a small paletteand cool on a wire rack. Wash, dry, then grease and flour the tray again and repeat until all the mixture has been used up.
  5. 5.Then dust with icing sugar, dip in melted chocolate or as they would do in France dip into tea to eat.
April 24, 2015

Roasted Asparagus and a Hollandaise Sauce Hack.

One sure sign of spring is seeing asparagus on the shelves!  If you’re like me, you start to get a bit bored of simply steaming it, even if you are dipping it into a soft-boiled egg (try it, it’s awesome!).  Roasting it is a different way to eat it.  This would make a lovely starter or snack, or accompaniment to fish or chicken. 


Amy’s notes on the sauce:  You don’t need a blender to make hollandaise sauce this way, you can do it by hand if you pour the butter in more slowly as you whisk.  While I have never had my sauce split when I have made it this way, if you add the butter too quickly it might.  If this happens, add a teaspoon of very cold water to the sauce and beat it back together before adding any more butter.  You may also add water to thin the sauce if it is too thick.  Using butter made from cream (such as Lurpak) will yield a thicker sauce, so consider making more of it.  You can substitute lemon juice for white wine vinegar, and the cayenne can be replaced with herbs if you wish (the original recipe using American measurements is here, but the seasoning remains the same).   The egg will not cook with this method and is not suitable for pregnant women.



500g Asparagus

1 Tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil.

¼ teaspoon of salt (For the asparagus).

Freshly ground black pepper.

Two large egg yolks.

120g butter (just under half a packet).

½ tablespoon of salt (For the sauce.  If using unsalted butter, if using salted, omit this).

1 ½ teaspoons of lemon juice.

A pinch of cayenne pepper.


Preheat oven to 230 C

Trim the ends from the asparagus, and spread the spears in a single layer in the bottom of a shallow roasting tin or on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and roll/shake the asparagus to coat it.  Roast until gently browned and tender, which should take about ten minutes, shaking the pan hallway through.  If you choose to make more than 500g of asparagus, ensure that the tips are in the centre of the sheet or pan with the stalky ends towards the outside, so that they cook evenly.

Gently melt the butter in the microwave (try a defrost setting) or in a saucepan (lowest heat possible), taking care to stop heating just as it is melted.  Whisk the egg yolks with the lemon juice, salt (if required) and cayenne, then very slowly pour in the melted butter while the egg mixture is being whisked.

Pour the sauce over the roasted asparagus and season generously with black pepper.

Happy Spring, everyone!


April 10, 2015

Spiced carrot, pistachio and almond cake with rosewater cream


I am not a natural baker, so I work hard to perfect foolproof, crowd-pleasing recipes that work with my style of cooking. This is our fail safe cake & we topped it with the cream, strawberries & blueberries & extra pistachios.

Serves 10
large free-range eggs 3 
caster sugar 200g 
vanilla extract 2 tsp 
ground almonds 200g 
desiccated coconut 100g 
ground cinnamon 2 heaped tsp 
unsalted butter 150g, melted 
large carrots 2, coarsely grated
shelled pistachio nuts 100g, roughly chopped 
icing sugar for dusting

For the rosewater cream
double cream 300ml 
rosewater 2-3 tbsp 
icing sugar 3-4 tbsp 
pistachio nuts a few, chopped

Preheat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas mark 3. Line a 23cm springform cake tin with enough nonstick baking paper to cover the base and sides. The oils from the nuts and butter in the batter prevent the cake from sticking. Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Add the ground almonds, coconut and cinnamon and stir, then add the butter and mix the ingredients thoroughly. Add the grated carrots and pistachios and mix again until the ingredients are evenly blended, then gently pour or spoon the batter into your prepared cake tin and bake for 1 hour, or until it feels firm to touch and a crust forms on top. Check at 40 minutes to ensure it is cooking evenly. Once cooked, allow to cool in the tin, overnight if possible: the cake is moister once cooled and tastes better as a result. To make the rosewater cream, whip the double cream with the rosewater and icing sugar, either by hand or with an electric hand whisk, until the cream is thick and unctuous. Dollop a generous spoonful on the side of a slice of the cake and dust the cake and cream lightly with icing sugar. Top with chopped pistachios.


I keep this cake on a plate covered with clingfilm and find it can be kept like this for up to a week.


March 27, 2015

Pablo’s Chicken


serves 4 people 


180g ground almonds, or use "Sun Flour" (ground sunflower seeds)
2 eggs
6 pieces of chicken (use a mix of drumsticks and thighs), skin on
1 tablespoon of ghee
Sea salt and black pepper


Spice Mix

3 teaspoons of hot smoked paprika or 2½ teaspoons of smoked sweet paprika with ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1½ teaspoon of ground cumin
1½ teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
¾ teaspoon of onion powder (optional)
¾ teaspoon of garlic powder (optional)



  1. Preheat the oven to fan 180°C/Gas mark 6 and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  2. Mix the ground almonds and ingredients for the spice mix in a bowl. In a second bowl, beat the eggs.
  3. Dip the chicken pieces, one at a time, in the egg, then coat in the mix of ground almonds and spices and lay on the baking tray.
  4. Gently heat the ghee and use a spoon to drizzle it over the pieces.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes until golden and sprinkle with some sea salt and pepper.