My husband was ecstatic when he saw the technical challenge at Great British Bake Off: Savarin. I was ecstatic when I saw the showstopper: Fondant Fancies. He loved syrupy desserts, I don’t like them at all. In Romanian cuisine, savarin (called savarine) is one of most common desserts, it is a dessert we both had as  children. I kept an open mind looking at the show and it seems the recipe they used didn’t have a lot of syrup. I agreed to make them, especially when my husband was hands-on in the kitchen and he loves them.
The French recipe asks for alcoholic syrup, but we made it without any alcohol. Instead I used syrup from canned fruits, they added the flavour and made the dessert really special.


Ingredients for 12 mini-savarins or a big one:
– 250g self-raising white flour
– 2 eggs
– 150ml warm milk
– 30ml oil
– 5g yeast
– 1 spoon of caster sugar
– 1 can of Guava in syrup
– 1 can of Mango in syrup
– 12 cherries from Opies Red Cocktail Cherries*
– 300ml whipping cream
– 25g icing sugar

Continue reading Savarin

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3 Autumn smoothies

I bought 4 pumpkins and now I’m making and baking lots of dishes with them. This can happen when we go to pick our own to get more than planned because they all look so cute and delicious. I blogged about our day at the farm on my other blog, so pop there if you want to have a look.
I’ve wash and cut a big pumpkin in cubes and I’ve roasted it in the oven at medium heat for 60 – 70 minutes. The roasted pumpkin will keep for a few days in the fridge. This allowed me to make my smoothies with roasted pumpkin these last three days.

I used bananas as the second fruit in all the smoothies because I like them. Just the Spiced Apple smoothie is vegan, but you can make vegan smoothies if you switch the milk with water and honey with a vegan sweetener.

To prepare the smoothies, put all the ingredients in a blender and whizz until is smooth. I would suggest tasting the smoothie and adding more sweetener or spices.

3 Autumn smoothies - Spiced Pumpkin smoothie

Ingredients for 2 Pumpkin smoothies:
– 1 banana
– 250g roasted pumpkin
– 1 spoon of honey
– 500ml milk
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1 tsp Chia seeds

3 Autumn smoothies - Spiced Apple smoothie

Ingredients for 2 Spiced Apple smoothies:
– 2 bananas
– 120g roasted pumpkin
– 500ml apple juice
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp nutmeg
– 1 tsp Chia seeds

3 Autumn Smoothies - Chai tea smoothie

Ingredients for 2 Chai tea smoothies:
– 2 bananas
– 120g roasted pumpkin
– 500ml Chai tea
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1 tsp cardamon
– 1 tsp Chia seeds

Make the tea a couple of hours before you want to make the smoothie, as it needs time to cool down. If you are in a hurry, just add a couple of ice cubes to cool it fast. Make the Chai tea with a few bags of tea, so the flavour is stronger and comes through the smoothie.

Do you like Autumn smoothies? Are there any flavours you are thinking of trying? I would love to hear more ideas and maybe try a few of them.

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Tudor Pie

Week 8 of the Great British Bake Off was Tudor week. I’m fascinated by old recipes and I was very excited about it. The signature was a pie, the technical was jumbles, very interesting looking biscuits and the showstopper was a marzipan centerpiece. It wasn’t hard to pick the Tudor pie, as it was made with hot-water pastry and it was the first time I’ve tried to make it. I have to say the hot-water pastry is fab, I will make it again and again, I like that is not as fatty as regular pastry and it’s a real pleasure to work with; the texture is lovely.

I wanted to make it in fleur de lis shape, but I didn’t have the materials to make the moulds. What I had was too soft for a mould, but I could make a stencil to cut a fleur de lis and use it as decor on top of my Tudor pie.


As a vegetarian, Tudor pie might sound hard to make, but I think I did a traditional pie, that might have been on the tables of poorer people. I wasn’t sure if it was something they would eat during lent. After looking online a saw that they didn’t eat butter.

As I didn’t have a recipe, I’ve did a little bit of research and decided which vegetables and spices I’m going to use. I went for onions, spinach and mushrooms in the pie and heritage carrots as a side. As for spices, I picked nutmeg, mace, parsley and thyme.


I served the pie with carrots side dish and cider, of course. We had a genuine Tudor meal.

Ingredients for the pie:
– 330g plain white flour
– 115g butter
– 150ml water
– 500g fresh spinach
– 350g mushrooms
– 1kg onion
– 2 spoons of oil
– salt
– nutmeg
– parsley
– thyme
– garlic powder
– 1 egg

Ingredients for the carrot side dish:
– 200g heritage carrots
– 1 heaped tsp of honey
– salt
– mace

Continue reading Tudor Pie

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Roulade with mango and chocolate

I’m a little late for Dessert Week at Great British Bake Off bake along. I was away in London and I didn’t have time to bake. I wanted to share this recipe yesterday, but I finished the roulade late and didn’t sliced it until this morning. On the other side, it’s a really nice way to start the day.
For dessert week the challenges were roulade for signature bake, the technical was Marjolaine and the showstopper was mousse cakes. I like all of them and it was hard to pick the one to bake. I love mousse, you might have seen my recipes of Chestnut mousse with apple or Mousse Au Chocolat. Marjolaine is very similar to a cake I got from Bettys in Harrogate and it’s something I will want to bake in the future. In the end I’ve decided to make a Roulade with mango and chocolate, with a nutty flavour. I’ve used hazelnut flavouring and flakes of almonds.


Ingredients for the sponge:
– 6 eggs
– 80g white plain flour
– 80g sugar
– 50g almond flakes

Ingredients for the filling:
– 300ml whipping cream
– 30g sugar
– a few drops of hazelnut flavour
– 2 ripe mangos

Ingredients for chocolate ganache and decor:
– 150ml double cream
– 150g plain chocolate
– dried mango pieces

Continue reading Roulade with mango and chocolate

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Jamie’s Italian Olive Oil Buyer’s Guide

I like reading about ingredients as much as I like experimenting with new ones. I was delighted to see the Olive Oil Buyer’s Guide*, it’s very interesting. The Infographic was created by Jamie’s Italian (link to one restaurant). I’ve been to the one in Liverpool and it was a lovely experience.

Going back to the Olive Oil, I have to admit I had no idea there is light olive oil. I like olive oil and I used it many times, usually I add it raw on salads, on soup before serving, lots and lots over a big dish of houmous or breads. I usually buy extra virgin olive oil. After reading this info-graphic I am thinking I should buy light olive oil too, for cooking.

I will also do a taste-test like it’s mentioned here. It sounds interesting and it’s something I never tried before. I might do that with all the oils I have in the cupboard and chose the right one for the dish. I am really excited to try this oil taste-test.


Do you cook with olive oil? Which type of oil do you use?

* Post in collaboration.

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Thai-inspired Banana Blossom Salad

As I didn’t find a traditional Thai salad, I used Thai flavours to make a Thai-inspired Banana Blossom Salad.

Thai-inspired Banana Blossom Salad

It all started with me going to the Chinese supermarket and coming back with lots of things I had no idea what they were (just that they were vegetarian). The same thing happened with the Banana Blossom. I took the can out of the cupboard to make something sweet and my husband told me it’s in brine. With a little help from Google I saw that these blossoms are bitter when raw (like the olives). The blossom in brine has a flavour and texture similar to artichoke. As a warm salad is amazing, I loved it.
I realized only when I’ve finished the dish that it’s vegan.

Thai-inspired Banana Blossom Salad

– 1 can of Banana Blossom in brine (260g drained)
– 1 spoon of coconut oil (if the oil is not set, use 2 spoons of oil)
– 2 tsp chilli oil
– 4 tsp of soy sauce
– 1 tsp of turmeric
– 1 tsp and a half of onion powder
– 1 tsp lime powder
– 2 tsp of coriander leaf
– 1/2 tsp black pepper
– 1/2 tsp mustard seeds

Continue reading Thai-inspired Banana Blossom Salad

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Matcha & Rose Cake

My last bake for GBBO week 6, Botanical Week. I toyed with the idea of making icing flowers, but my icing never has the right consistency. While Mary Berry would not agree with me, there are a few things I would rather buy ready-made and this is coloured icing. I also bought some tools and I made flowers. I can’t emphasize enough how happy I am with how the flowers look. The butterfly was made with a stamp-tool, but the rest is pretty much free-hand, using basic cutters. I made leaves before by cutting them with the pizza cutter and embossing them with a table knife. If you want to use matcha only for colour, use less.
This bake is in collaboration with Tesco.


– 230g Tesco self-raising flour
– 200ml milk
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 50ml oil
– 2 eggs
– Rose water
– 1 tsp and a half matcha powder
– 250g light soft-cheese
– 50g icing sugar
– Tesco Ready To Roll Coloured Icing Red
– Tesco Icing Orange
– Tesco Icing Green
– Tesco Purple Pearls

Continue reading Matcha & Rose Cake

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Fougasse is a French version of the ancient Roman panis focacius. It’s also the technical challenge in week 6 at GBBO. I love Botanical Week and I’ve made a Lemon meringue pie, as the signature challenge. It’s most likely I will make the Showstopper too, but let’s see if I have the time.


I’ve made this recipe in collaboration with Tesco. To make the Fougasse I used Tesco strong white flour, mixed with strong wholemeal flour I already had, organic, milled at a heritage mill belonging to the National Trust. I would have used Tesco wholemeal if I didn’t already have that one. I used Tesco flour before and I’m very happy with it. As for the oil, I used Tesco Organic Extra virgin olive oil, it’s great value for money. I grow herbs in my garden, so all the herbs were picked in the morning, fresh.

Ingredients for 2 breads:
– 350g Tesco strong white flour
– 150g strong wholemeal flour
– 350 ml luke-warm water
– 8g yeast
– 2 spoons of Tesco Organic Extra virgin olive oil
– 1 spoon of fresh, chopped thyme
– 1 spoon of fresh, chopped rosemary
– 1 spoon of fresh, chopped chives
– 1 tsp of dried oregano
– 1 spoon of semolina
– oil to brush the breads (the same one)

Continue reading Fougasse

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Lemon meringue pie

It’s botanical week at GBBO. This time I’ve made the signature: Lemon meringue pie, decorated with edible flowers and enjoyed with flower tea. I love Lemon meringue pie, it’s one of my favourites.


I love flower tea, it looks amazing and the flavour is quite subtle.

Ingredients for the pastry:
– 175g plain white flour
– 75g soft butter
– 15g sugar
– 1 egg

Ingredients for the lemon filling:
– 120g sugar
– 30g cornflour
– 300ml water
– 3 drops of lemon flavouring (optional)
– 3 lemons
– 3 egg yolks

Ingredients for meringue:
– 150g sugar
– 3 egg whites
– 2 spoons water

Continue reading Lemon meringue pie

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Breakingwell tart

I think Breaking Bad was my favourite series, I loved every episode and Walter White’s struggle and how he changed through the years. The idea of the series could easily go wrong: a teacher is cooking meth with one of his old students, but it’s amazing. If you didn’t watch it, do it.
Our theme for this year’s Halloween will be Breaking Bad so I’ve decided to pair this theme with the Pastry Week from Great British Bake Off, as the technical challenge was Bakewell Tart.


I was thinking of naming my tart: Baking Bad tart, but it would seem like a cooking disaster and not a reference to Breaking Bad. Another thing I love about this recipe is that I can share my legal-meth recipe, trust me, it will meth-in-the-mouth (I just had to make this pun).

My Bakewell tart… before Breaking Bad.


Ingredients for the Bakewell tart, pastry:
– 175g plain white flour
– 75g soft butter
– 15g sugar
– 1 egg

Ingredients for the filling:
– 75g soft butter
– 75g sugar
– 2 eggs
– 75g ground almonds or hazelnuts
– 100g raspberry jam with whiskey (or any other type of raspberry jam, I had that one in the fridge)
– 30g flaked almonds

Ingredients for icing:
– icing sugar
– water

Ingredients for meth: (this is something I never thought I would say on my blog)
– sugar
– blue food colouring
– flavouring

Continue reading Breakingwell tart

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