Cake isn’t something I often bake. Usually, my preferred treat is a gooey flapjack or batch of crunchy biscuits. But sometimes an idea comes along that is so devastatingly tempting that it’s impossible to resist. Chocolate Treacle Cake is just such an idea. The thought of viscous black treacle in league with bitter chocolate, sweetened using an unrefined brown sugar proving too much to contain. If you’ve never baked with treacle, this autumn is the time to start.
My grocer, just down the road, has become inundated with squashes of all shapes and sizes, just waiting to be devoured. Orange, yellow and green, their vivid colours signify the season in which they are most fruitful (if you’ll pardon the pun). The large chunks of sliced fruit atop this Squash and Feta Puff Tart could scarcely be more reminiscent of autumn; their vibrancy almost atoning for shortened evenings and colder weather. Almost.
Is there anything more attractive than a fig perched in a nest of sweet pears and buttery crumble? Of course not. These individual Fig and Pear Crumbles are a great way to impress family members and dinner guests alike at this time of the year. But be quick; fig season is almost over and they’re nigh impossible to get your hands on at a reasonable price once winter hits.
What can one say about brussels sprouts that hasn’t been said a million times over? Much maligned, they have been dealt a dodgy hand in life, even by vegetable standards. This is simply unfair. Butchered decade after decade by unknowing hands, it seems that many just don’t know how to cook brussels sprouts. But the preparation of these mini-brassicas is simpler than most seem to think, as this recipe for Hazelnut and Pancetta Brussels Sprouts proves.
The time to buy figs is now. With the season in full flow – but nearing its end – a glut of both foreign and local fresh figs has gripped the nation. Get them now, while they’re still cheap and try your hand at my quick and easy recipe for Individual Fig and Goats Cheese Pizzas; one of my favourite recipes for fresh figs. With sweet and savoury aspects equally prevalent, these pizzas make for intriguing little starters that – provided you have dough to hand – won’t take at all long to make.