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 – 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



LardButty homemade – Turkish delight cheesecake

What are you doing this weekend? Are you up for eating (and making) Turkish delight cheesecake?

Well come over here and join me. This cheesecake recipe is truly ‘tried and tested’ and it just tastes better and better each time.

It’s a simplified version of Marcus Wareing’s original recipe (his uses gelatine which I don’t; I find the cheesecake sets just fine without gelatine, and it saves time and faffing about).

And I’ve rounded up the quantities of ingredients to make it worth your while getting your hands and spatula dirty.

Download Turkish delight cheesecake recipe here

Turkish delight cheesecake


~ 250g crushed digestive biscuits
~ 4 tablespoons Whittards chilli hot chocolate powder (or cocoa powder)
~ 100g unsalted butter
~ 2.5 tablespoons clear honey

~ 25g (2 tablespoons) caster sugar
~ 300g / 300ml soured cream
~ 300g cream cheese
~ 3 x 50g Fry’s (Cadbury) Turkish delight chocolate bars
~ Rosewater to taste (about 5-7 teaspoons)


1. Crush the biscuits in a freezer bag with a rolling pin then add the chilli hot chocolate powder and mix

2. Melt the butter, add honey, and thoroughly stir into the biscuit crumbs, in a bowl

3. Press into silicon cake tray (20cm in diameter, 8cm deep) and refrigerate (there should be enough for a second small cheesecake too – a gift for the freezer or a friend)


4. Beat the cream cheese until soft, add sugar and soured cream and beat well

5. Chop up the three Turkish delight bars and add to the cream cheese mixture and mix well



6. Add rosewater to taste (about 5 teaspoons) and pulse in blender/food processor

7. Spread the cheese mix on the chilled biscuit base; decorate the top with grated chocolate (optional) and leave to set in the fridge for two hours until firm.


8. Slice and eat. Divine.


Download Turkish delight cheesecake recipe here

~ Great British Chefs website: Marcus Wareing’s original cheesecake recipe
~ Photos on flickr Turkish delight cheesecake

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



LardButty homemade – cheesy jalapeno melts

Saturday mornings are made for watching Saturday Kitchen and other food programmes.

A few months ago – the Saturday morning of 9 Feb 2013 to be exact – Simon Hopkinson was making parmesan, cheddar and jalapeno melts on The Good Cook.

K and I could practically smell the cheese coming through the TV screen, they looked so mouth-watering. We were left drooling over a sight we could not reach.

By 5pm that afternoon, we were tucking into some freshly baked cheesy melts of our own (I didn’t need much persuasion from K to go and get the ingredients *immediately*).

Now that it’s a ‘tried and tested’ recipe (several times, and thoroughly approved), it’s definitely one to share.

Download cheesy jalapeno melts recipe here

Cheese + jalapeno melts – beauty comes in all shapes + sizes

Makes about 30 biscuits

~ 100g/3½ oz cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
~ 100g/3½ oz/8 tablespoons plain flour
~ pinch salt
~ pinch cayenne pepper or paprika
~ 1 heaped tsp mustard powder – a prepared English mustard works just as well
~ 50g/1¾ oz finely grated mature cheddar
~ 50g/1¾ oz finely grated parmesan, or similar vegetarian hard cheese
~ 1 egg, beaten
~ jar of sliced jalapenos, part of

Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4

1. Place butter + flour into food processor bowl along with the salt, cayenne, mustard powder and cheeses. Process together to begin with, and then finely pulse the mixture in short spurts as you notice the mixture coming together (it binds without the need for egg or water). Wrap in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

2. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to the thickness of about two pound coins. Cut out the biscuits to the size + shape you wish between 3cm/1¼in + 5cm/2in (I find that an up-ended tequila shot glass cuts to a good size circle); lay out on greased baking tray(s) about 2cm/¾in apart (they spread during cooking).

3. Brush the surface of each biscuit with egg to get a nice glaze; top with a jalapeno slice; sprinkle with finely grated cheddar + bake for about 12 minutes.

4. Remove the biscuits using a palette knife and place on a rack to cool. They’ll keep in a sealed container for a few days (apparently…if they don’t get eaten straight away!)

Download cheesy jalapeno melts recipe here

~ The Good Cook (BBC) Simon Hopkinson’s original recipe

LardButty homemade:
~ Boterkoek and fruit buckle recipes
~ Onion bhajis recipe
~ Squid curry recipe
~ Tod mun pla (Thai fishcakes) recipe