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Apple + cinnamon cake – a LardButty homemade recipe

I made this gorgeously moist and spicy apple and cinnamon cake for K’s birthday recently. It’s way more interesting than your average sandwich-cake-and-vanilla-icing kind of birthday cake.

Apple and cinnamon cake – moist and spicy

• 50g butter, softened
• 134g self-raising flour
• 66g light muscovado sugar
• 2 tsp ground cinnamon (1 for mixture, 1 to decorate)
• 2 dessert apples
• 2 free-range eggs, beaten
• 2 tbsp apricot jam (warmed in microwave)

Mix                                   Bake                               Decorate                        Slice + eat

1. Mix the butter with the flour in a food processor (or by hand) until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, then add the sugar and a teaspoon of ground cinnamon.

2. Stir the beaten eggs into the mixture.

3. Peel, core and slice the apples and stir most of them into the mixture then pour into a cake tin and decorate with remaining apple slices.

4. Bake for 35-45 minutes at 160°C fan/gas mark 4 until golden-brown, then brush the top with warm apricot jam and a sprinkling of ground cinnamon, and leave to cool.

• Adapted from Mary Berry’s loaf cake recipe here
• A dry ounce is equivalent to 2 tablespoons or to 28.3 grams


Duck with whisky + passion fruit sauce

Yuletide duck recipe

When Ashburton-trained Chef H had the splendid idea of coming over to cook and spend a leisurely day eating together, K and I naturally jumped at the chance.

Initially, we were a bit dubious about the suggested dish though: duck with a whisky, black treacle and passion fruit sauce (duck can be fatty when it’s not crispy-Peking-duck-pancakes, can’t it? Doesn’t that sound like a waste of whisky? etc).

If that’s what you’re thinking too, keep an open mind and prepare to be converted…

OK so this iphone snap doesn’t do the dish justice:
IMG_1210c_sliced duck fillet

Download duck + whisky and passion fruit recipe here


• 4 duck breasts
• 4 passion fruits
• 2 star anise
• 70ml of whisky (we used Glenlivet)
• 100ml of maple syrup
• 10g of black treacle
• Vegetables of choice – such as new potatoes with chives, green beans

Whisky + passion fruit sauce in 3 steps

Passion fruit sauce_002
1. Heat four passion fruits with two star anise + whisky; 2. Stir in maple syrup + black treacle; 3. Reheat later when ready to serve with duck


1. Heat the pulp, seeds + flesh of four passion fruits with the star anise + whisky
2. Stir in maple syrup + black treacle + bring to the boil, then remove from heat + allow flavours to infuse
3. Score the skin on the duck breasts (diagonal criss-crosses) and generously season with salt + black pepper
4. Heat a wok or pan until very hot, then place the duck breasts skin side down (no oil required, duck meat is oily enough)
5. Reduce the heat + fry for five minutes until golden brown (drain the fat from the pan and place duck breasts on kitchen towel to remove excess fat) then cook for a further five minutes (until the skin is golden brown, and the duck meat medium rare/pink inside) – slice the breasts when ready to serve
6. Serve with vegetables of your choice such as new potatoes with butter + chives + green beans
7. Reheat the whisky and passion fruit sauce before serving with sliced duck breast

Duck breasts in 3 steps

Duck fillets 002
1. Score + season the duck fillets; 2. Fry duck fillets (drain off fat); 3. Rest the breasts before slicing + serving

Sliced duck with passion fruit sauce, new potatoes + green beans

An excellent recipe choice, this dish was stunning. The passion fruit, black treacle, maple syrup and whisky flavours in the sauce perfectly complement this dark, strong meat. And it makes for an interesting alternative to other Christmas birds and game.

Download duck + whisky and passion fruit recipe here

~ Great British Chefs website: Marcello Tully’s original recipe
~ Photos on flickr whisky duck

LardButty homemade:
~ Boterkoek and fruit buckle recipes
~ Cheesy jalapeno melts
~ Onion bhajis recipe
~ Peanut butter + honey bars recipe
~ Scones recipe
~ Squid curry recipe
~ Tod mun pla (Thai fishcakes) recipe
~ Turkish delight cheesecake recipe

Beef rendang recipe – LardButty Homemade

Ideal for slow cooking on a winter’s day

Download spicy beef rendang recipe here

IMG_0973b_beef rendang_slow cooker
Beef rendang ingredients go into the slow cooker

INGREDIENTS – for the paste
(makes enough for 3 batches of paste: use 1 now; put 2 in the freezer)
• 16 dried chillies, soaked in hot water (or 3 fresh birds eye + a few dried)
• 6 cm galangal
• 4 cm ginger
• 4 stalks lemongrass
• 8 cm fresh turmeric root (or powder)
• 20 shallots, peeled
• 4 cloves garlic, peeled

INGREDIENTS – for the curry
• 500g rump steaks
• 3 tbsp vegetable oil, for frying
• 2 stalks lemongrass, bruised
• Dark brown sugar, to taste
• Salt
• Cream coconut (200g or a 400ml can)
• Cardomon to taste
• Vegetables of your choice
• Toasted almond flakes to sprinkle on top
• Tamarind sauce to drizzle on top


1. Curry paste: Blend all the ingredients (chillies, galangal, ginger, lemongrass, turmeric, shallots/onions and garlic) into a smooth paste and divide into batches (one to use now + put two batches of paste in the freezer).

2. Curry: Cut the beef into chunks. Put in a bowl and stir in one portion of paste. Leave in fridge overnight to marinade.

3. Slow cooker method: Next morning, lightly fry off the beef and paste in a pan, until the beef chunks turn brown and are sealed. Take off the heat and stir in cream coconut.

4. Place chopped potatoes, carrots, leeks (veg of your choice) chunks in bottom of slow cooker, then pour the beef and mixed paste and cream coconut over the top. Leave to slow cook for up to 10 hours.

5. Optional: transfer the entire cooked dish from slow cooker into a wok and leave simmering, to reduce, for half an hour or so. Serve with rice, add a splash of tamarind sauce + sprinkle with toasted almond flakes.

IMG_0985b_beef rendang
Winter warming slow cooked beef rendang

Download spicy beef rendang recipe here

~ Photos on flickr Beef rendang pics

LardButty homemade:
~ Boterkoek and fruit buckle recipes
~ Cheesey jalapeno melts
~ Onion bhajis recipe
~ Peanut butter + honey bars recipe
~ Scones recipe
~ Squid curry recipe
~ Tod mun pla (Thai fishcakes) recipe
~ Turkish delight cheesecake recipe



Lardbutty homemade – Nan Khatai almond biscuits

These crumbly, melt in your mouth almond biscuits originate from Pakistan

The girl I sit next to at work brought some of these biscuits back from a trip to Lahore recently. They were gorgeous. And she’s not going back any time soon. So I just had to make some…

Download Nan Khatai recipe here

Nan Khatai almond biscuits in 3 steps Nan khatai in 3 steps – 1. Put ingredients in food processor, 2. Mix til doughy, 3. roll into balls + bake

~ 12 tablespoons plain flour
~ 4 tablespoons semolina flour
~ 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
~ 7 tablespoons ground almonds (5 for the main mix, 2 for garnish)
~ 140g (10 tablespoons or 5oz) butter
~ 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
~ flaked almonds for garnish (optional)
~ 1 egg, beaten (half for egg wash, half can be added to the biscuit mix, optional)
~ Optional: pistachios, ground cardamom seeds

METHODHeat oven to 190°C
1. Put the two types of flour, sugar, butter, vanilla essence and five tablespoons of ground almonds into a food processor and gently blend until a soft dough ball forms (nb. you can add half of the beaten egg to the mix if desired to help it bind)
2. Roll into small balls with your hands and press down as you lay the balls out on a pre-heated baking tray
3. Garnish with flaked almonds and sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of ground almonds over the top before brushing with beaten egg to glaze
4. Put in pre-heated oven at 190°C for 15-20 minutes

IMG_9945b_Nan khatai
Nan Khatai fresh from the oven

Download Nan Khatai recipe here


LardButty homemade:
~ Boterkoek and fruit buckle recipes
~ Cheesey jalapeno melts
~ Onion bhajis recipe
~ Peanut butter + honey bars recipe
~ Scones recipe
~ Squid curry recipe
~ Tod mun pla (Thai fishcakes) recipe
~ Turkish delight cheesecake recipe

Parkin – spicy black treacle cake for bonfire night

Mrs. Strong’s Yorkshire parkin recipe

Parkin – spicy cake with a slightly crunchy top

With Guy Fawkes night (or bonfire night) approaching (5th November), it’s that time of year to make Mrs. Strong’s parkin.

Now, parkin is a Yorkshire speciality, and Mrs. Strong was our much-loved, jolly, elderly next door neighbour when I was little (she was in her 80s when I was five) growing up in a North Yorkshire village. She had a lively sense of humour and would keep me entertained for hours, telling me stories (about her childhood pranks in Scotland), feeding me with her lovely homemade cakes, and playing board games.

Mrs. Strong’s parkin recipe is simply the best. The main point to note is to use black treacle, not golden syrup. And I’ve adapted it by putting in more spice (surprise surprise).

Download parkin recipe here

3 easy steps – Melt butter, treacle + sugar. Mix dry ingredients. Mix together + beat.

Makes about 20 squares

~ 6oz (12 tablespoons) self raising flour
~ ½ teaspoon salt
~ ½ teaspoon bicarb of soda
~ 1 – 2 teaspoons mixed spice (add whatever you like from cinnamon, coriander, clove, nutmeg, caraway – I like to add the first four plus a couple of cardomom pod seeds)
~ 1 teaspoon ground ginger

~ 2oz (50g) butter/marg
~ 2oz (4 tablespoons) brown sugar
~ 250g black treacle (½ of a 454g tin)

~ 1½ tablespoons milk
~ 2 eggs, beaten
~ 1/8 pint boiling water

Heat oven to 140°C/fan 150°C

1. Sieve all the dry ingredients except the sugar in a bowl

2. Melt the butter, sugar and treacle in a pan

3. Pour the melted pan mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients (a well in middle), then add the beaten eggs + milk. Add the boiling water and beat until it bubbles

4. Pour into a greased baking tray + bake in a pre-heated oven at 150°C for an hour

5. Leave to cool then cut into squares

This cake keeps really well in an air-tight tin and in fact – it tastes even better after a few days (the spices develop somehow over time). And if you freeze some, you’ll have a ready supply of dessert (the spices in the cake taste amazing served with vanilla ice-cream).

Bonfire night’s coming. Bring out the sparklers.


Download parkin recipe here


LardButty homemade:
~ Boterkoek and fruit buckle recipes
~ Cheesey jalapeno melts
~ Onion bhajis recipe
~ Peanut butter + honey bars recipe
~ Scones recipe
~ Squid curry recipe
~ Tod mun pla (Thai fishcakes) recipe
~ Turkish delight cheesecake recipe



LardButty homemade – savoury scones

These scones take about 10 minutes to prepare and about 12 minutes to bake, it couldn’t be easier.

They taste amazing served hot, straight from the oven, with plenty of butter.

Rubbed to a fine crumb; laid out on tray brushed with milk; baked

Download savoury cheese scones recipe here

Makes about 12-14 scones (or 10 large ones)

~ 350g (28 level tablespoons) self-raising flour, plus more for dusting
~ ¼ tsp salt
~ 1 tsp baking powder
~ 85g butter, cut into cubes
~ 2 tbsp caster sugar
~ 175ml milk + squeeze of lemon juice (to add to milk to slightly sour it – ie. a butter-milk substitute)
~ 1 tsp vanilla extract
~ 30g mature Cheddar cheese grated (more if you’d like them to be really cheesey)
~ ½ teaspoon fresh sliced chilli (optional)
~ milk to glaze

Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7

1. Mix flour with salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Add the butter, then rub in with your fingers until it looks like fine crumbs. Stir in the sugar.

2. Stir in cheese (and optional sliced chilli pepper, half a teaspoon).

3. Put the milk into a jug and heat in the microwave for about 30 secs until warm but not hot; add vanilla + lemon juice (the lemon juice makes it go slightly sour – this is a good substitute for butter-milk which you may not have in stock at home), then set aside for a moment. Put a baking tray in the oven to heat through.

4. Make a well in the dry mix, then add the liquid and combine it quickly with a cutlery knife – it will seem pretty wet at first. Scatter some flour onto the work surface and tip the dough out. Dredge the dough and your hands with a little more flour, then fold the dough over 2-3 times until it’s a little smoother and pat into a round about 4cm deep

5. Taking a handful of the mix at a time, shape into about 12 balls with your hands (about 5cm wide, or you could use a cutter) and lay them out on the hot baking tray.

6. Bake for 10 mins until risen and golden on the top. Eat on day of baking – either warm or cold – with lots of butter (for maximum pleasure, eat straight from the oven while freshly hot!).

Download savoury cheese scones recipe here

Bakes scones…Oopse one slipped

~ BBC Good Food (original recipe) Classic scones – original recipe

LardButty homemade:
~ Boterkoek and fruit buckle recipes
~ Cheesey jalapeno melts
~ Onion bhajis recipe
~ Peanut butter + honey bars recipe
~ Scones recipe
~ Squid curry recipe
~ Tod mun pla (Thai fishcakes) recipe
~ Turkish delight cheesecake recipe



LardButty homemade – peanut butter + honey bars

Peanut butter + honey booster bars

Feeling unlucky, fearful or downright scared that it’s Friday 13th? Don’t let paraskevidekatriaphobia get you down.

Rest assured, with these energy-boosting peanut butter and honey bars, there’s nothing to fear; they’ll put an intrepid zing in your step.

Oat bars, granola bars (call them what you will) this is a super easy, much tried and *tasted* recipe. Add your favourite dried fruits / seeds / nuts / spices and they’ll taste delicious.

Download Peanut butter + honey booster bars recipe here

Melt, mix, spread


• 125g butter
• 8 tablespoons muscovado sugar
• 125g crunchy peanut butter
• 80g honey, plus a little more to finish
• Finely grated zest + juice of 1 orange
• Finely grated zest of 1 lemon (optional)
• 14-16 tablespoons porridge oats, not jumbo
• 150g dried fruit + seeds (a mix of raisins, sultanas, chopped apricots, and pumpkin, sunflower, poppy + sesame seeds, etc as desired)
• Cinnamon, nutmeg (optional pinch of each to sprinkle on top)


1. After greasing a baking tin (about 20cm square) put the butter, sugar, peanut butter, honey and grated citrus juice and zests in a deep saucepan over a very low heat; melt and stir.

2. Stir in the oats, dried fruit and most of the seeds; thoroughly mix.

3. Spread the mixture out evenly in the greased baking tin, coat with a little more honey + scatter remaining seeds (eg. sesame and pumpkin, and perhaps a sprinkle of cinnamon), then place in an oven preheated to 170°C/Gas Mark 3 and bake for about 30 minutes, until golden in the centre and golden brown at the edges.

4. Leave to cool completely in the tin (be patient – it cuts much better when cold), then turn out and cut into squares with a sharp knife. These bars will keep for 5-7 days in an airtight tin

Cuppa tea time

Download Peanut butter + honey booster bars recipe here

~ Channel 4 food: original recipe
~ Photos on flickr: Booster bars

LardButty homemade:
~ Boterkoek and fruit buckle recipes
~ Cheesy jalapeno melts
~ Onion bhajis recipe
~ Squid curry recipe
~ Tod mun pla (Thai fishcakes) recipe
~ Turkish delight cheesecake recipe