Recipe for Rhubarb Crumble

Rhubarb Crumble is a great early-year British pudding. Quick and easy to make, this foolproof recipe makes use of a fantastic vegetable when there is very little fruit to be had. As a result, though the topping is much the same as it always is, the filling is ever so slightly bitter – a marginally different beast from the crumbles of summer and autumn.

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How to Cook Cauliflower Cheese

Traditionally, cauliflower cheese is boiled cauliflower served with a relatively light and basic cheese sauce. That is how cauliflower cheese has always been served by my mother. I prefer to use a few well-placed additions to “tart” things up a little. Serving this British classic with an oven-cooked topping of breadcrumbs, parmesan and thyme elevates it from a simple side dish. This is one recipe for cauliflower cheese that deserves to be eaten as a main with sides of its own.

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Scottish Oatcakes Recipe (2)

It’s with some trepidation that I dub this a recipe for ‘Scottish Oatcakes’. You see, it isn’t entirely clear what fat should be used to bind a traditional Scottish oatcake, but it almost certainly isn’t olive oil. Everyone appears to hold differing opinions and methods, but the flavour of olive oil and the crispness it brings really does it for me. Honestly, these are so far above what you find in the supermarket you’ll never revert.

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Ploughman's Toastie Recipe (2)

Sometimes it’s difficult to describe some dishes as having a particular recipe. As with the Ploughman’s Lunch, a firm British favourite, these toasties are more of an assembly job. Still, I’ve never felt that there’s anything wrong with writing about interesting combinations and slightly more gastro versions of classics. Food is as much about ideas as it is about skill and complexity. So, for simplicity I’ll go on describing this ‘assemblage’ as a ‘recipe’. These Ploughman’s Toasties do, after all, make for a rather wonderful lunch, particularly if you’re in a bit of a pickle.

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Syrup Sponge Cake

Syrups (honey included) are a great way of sweetening and flavouring cake. Their viscous nature and generally rich flavour enhances almost any sponge far more than most sugars. Their use is a fool-proof way to ensure a moist, dense and well-textured crumb, as well as a deep, almost burnished flavour, which is likely to satisfy even the most ardent sponge sniffers in your neighbourhood. Syrup, in my opinion, also does away with the need for overly sweetened layers of icing, which usually have the effect of drowning the natural flavour of your sponge in a little too much decadence. Any syrup you can think of will work well here (except perhaps corn syrup), particularly golden syrup or maple syrup.

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