Episode 18: Three Cheers for Tres Leches! Spice-How-You-Like #Tintastic

I really like to spiced this with cardamom (an idea I got from the fab Benjamina Ebuehi), but it goes equally well with cinnamon and nutmeg. Heed my advice, here: do not bake this cake in a rush. Make it the day before, leave it to soak overnight and add the topping just before serving. I’ve tried to rush it and it wasn’t nearly as good. Also… there’s no getting away from the fact that this cake is an absolutely filthy, calorific monster, but it’s INCREDIBLY good. Don’t skimp on getting proper double cream. The one I used was 48% fat and all the better for it!

Tres Leches Cake, barely adapted from Cassie Best

For the cake:

  • 4 UK large eggs (whole weight c. 240g), separated
  • A pinch of cream of tartar
  • 200g caster/ superfine sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100g milk, preferably whole or semi-skimmed (2%)
  • 200g plain/ all purpose flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 tsp cardamom OR 1.5 tsp cinnamon or a scant tsp freshly grated nutmeg

For the soak:

  • Half a 397g tin of (sweetened) condensed milk (see below!)
  • 170g tin evaporated milk
  • Around 3 tbsp (45ml) of fresh cream or whole milk

For the topping:

  • The other half of the 397g tin of condensed milk
  • 250ml -ish of double cream/ whipping cream (C. 38-50% fat content. The higher the fat content the better, otherwise you may need to add butter to make it whip up properly with the liquid condensed milk.)
  • Optional: A dusting of cocoa OR cinnamon OR a little nutmeg, as appropriate for the spicing inside the cake. You could also serve with berries, if they are good/ in season, or grated dark chocolate. (There’s so much sugar you don’t want to use milk chocolate here, and definitely not white!)


  1. Preheat oven to 180C / 160 fan / 350F. (If your oven cooks from the bottom like mine, consider lowering this by 5 or 10 degrees C and extending the baking time as needed.) Butter and line the bottom of a 20cm/8″ square, loose-bottomed, high-sided, non-stick cake tin. Leave the sides so the mixture can cling onto the sides (like it would in an angel food cake).
  2. In a scrupulously clean, grease-free bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until frothy, then gradually add 100g of the sugar and whisk to the edge of stiff peaks but not too far. You will need to use an electric whisk or stand mixer, unless you are seriously hench.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks and remaining sugar until pale, thickened and frothy. Fold in the flour, spices salt, baking powder and milk.
  4. Fold into the egg whites (or fold the egg whites into this) in thirds, taking care to retain as much air as possible, while also not leaving any streaks of egg white. I use a large metal spoon in a “backwards six” motion (I’m right-handed), turning the bowl around as I go.
  5. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, checking a bit earlier, until cooked all the way through- a skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to an appropriately sized dish. Meanwhile, mix together the soak ingredients in a jug.
  6. Skewer or fork all over. Pour over the soak very gradually, coming back to it every so often minutes to add a little more. Meanwhile, refrigerate for a few hours at least, or even better overnight.
  7. Just before serving, make the topping. Whip the cream and condensed milk together until thickened. Spread with an offset spatula or pipe on to the top. BE HAPPY!

Episode 17: Feeling Fruity? Fruit Cocktail Cake with Crunchy Coconut Topping #Tintastic

This week, Kate was talking about Scandinavian semlor, crumpets and this delightful cake.

A tin of fruit cocktail may not sound that appetising, but it really works in this light, brown-sugar-flavoured cake. Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee and a drizzle of cream over.

Cake ingredients:

  • 420g can of fruit cocktail
  • 180g light brown soft sugar
  • 180g salted butter (or use unsalted and a pinch of salt)
  • 1 tsp Scandinavian vanilla sugar or extract
  • 180g plain flour plus 1 tbsp
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 UK large eggs (180g)

Coconut crispy crunchies ingredients: 50g dessicated coconut, 30g light brown sugar, 50g butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / 160 C fan / 350F. Grease and line the bottom of a 23cm cake tin, preferably springform and non-stick. Drain the fruit. (You may want to reserve the juice to drink or put in cocktails.)
  2. Make the crispy crunchies first: Melt the butter, stir the sugar and coconut in and set aside.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar with the vanilla for a few minutes until really light and fluffy. Add one egg, then beat in until smooth. Add the second and repeat. Add the third and repeat. Sift in the flour and baking powder and stir until well combined. Finally, toss the fruit with the 1 tbsp flour. Gently stir in the fruit.
  4. Transfer to the cake pan. Sprinkle the coconut topping over. Bake for about an hour until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  5. Leave to cool in the tin for a long time before turning out. This helps the crumb fully set, and to stay fluffy, rather than becoming compressed. Serve with a little cream.

Episode 16: Feeling Peachy? Juicy Peach and Dark Chocolate Muffins (Vegan, too!) #Tintastic

The inside of a muffin, loaded with flecks of dark chocolate and unctuous peach

Tinned peaches are delicious and unctuous but really sweet, which is why I’ve used dark chocolate here. By all means, use this recipe as a base and experiment by adding different ingredients from the peach, chocolate and vanilla. Ginger could be interesting, as could cinnamon. You could press a fresh raspberry or blackberry into the centre of each, for example, instead of the peaches; or toss blueberries in flour instead of the chocolate and add to the batter; or change up the chocolate.

This recipe was heavily adapted from one on Domestic Gothess.


  • 250g plain flour plus 1 tbsp
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 250g oat milk
  • 75g vegetable oil
  • 150g caster sugar (I reckon granulated would be fine)
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 1 420g tin sliced peaches
  • 150g dark chocolate
  • a couple of tablespoons demerara/ turbinado/ pearl sugar, to top (optional).


1. Preheat oven to 190 C / 170 fan / 375 F/ gas 5. Line a muffin tin with 12 cases. Drain the peaches. (I reserve the syrup for mixing into drinks.)

2. Mix together the oil, milk, sugar and vanilla. A whisk works best but you don’t need to add lots of air. (I used an electric whisk but a balloon whisk and a little effort would work absolutely fine).

3. Sift in the flour and baking powder and add the salt. Set the batter aside. (Resting it will actually mean it bakes more evenly due to the flour absorbing more moisture. I just rested it for a few minutes but you could rest for half an hour or even a bit longer. Of course, you’ll not want to leave your oven on that entire time so preheat a bit later on.)

4. Chop the dark chocolate into small pieces. Mix with with the tablespoon flour so the chocolate gets a thin coat of flour. This helps the chocolate cling to the bottom and not just sink to the bottom. Stir the chocolate into the batter.

5. Distribute the batter evenly between the cases. I found an ice cream scoop and a spatula useful here. Press a peach slice into each. Then chop the remaining peach slices into halves or thirds and distribute evenly between the cases. Sprinke over the coarse sugar, if using.

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the muffins are springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean of batter (a bit of melted chocolate or soft peach is fine!).

Episode 15: Ooh, what a lovely pear! Pear, Ginger and Almond Cake #Tintastic

In this episode I gave a run down of lots of things that go well with pears in baking, before talking about this simply delicious (and easy to make) pear, ginger and almond cake. It’s very easy, and has lots of textures and gorgeous flavours that go well together, including the correct level of ginger.

Pear, Ginger and Almond Cake adapted from Rukmini Iyer


  • 60g salted butter (or just use unsalted with a pinch of salt)
  • 125g light or dark brown sugar (plus a few pinches)
  • 115g plain flour with 2/3 tsp baking powder (or use self-raising flour)
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste (optional)
  • 100ml/g milk (whole or semi-skimmed by preference)
  • 1 UK large egg (US extra large – c. 60g in weight)
  • 1 415g (drained weight 230g) tin of pear halves, cut in half again (a tin of pear quarters would work well, too)
  • a couple of handfuls of flaked almonds


1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / 160 fan / 350 F. Grease and flour, or grease and line, an appropriate sized dish for a small cake. Mine was 20cm across and round.

2. Cream the butter and sugar for a few minutes. Add a tablespoon of flour, then the egg and mix well. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix well (no need to over-do it, though). Mix in the milk.

3. Transfer the cake batter to the tin. Push in the pear quarters in a nice, evenly distributed pattern. Sprinkle over the pinches of brown sugar, followed by the flaked almonds.

4. Bake for about 20 minutes, covering the top with foil if the almonds look too brown (or just add toasted ones at the end). Leave to cool slightly before serving warm, or to cool completely if serving as a cake rather than a pudding. (This is because the crumb will get compressed if you slice it when warm.)

Episode 14: Choux can do it: Are éclairs easier than you think?

A plated chocolate and cream eclair

This week I made éclairs according to Ruby Tandoh’s recipe, available via the Guardian or the Elle website (not Vogue as Kate said in the podcast!).

I forgot to add the water and therefore found I needed to add more egg to get the right consistency, but it actually worked out fine! The consistency needs to be smooth, glossy and forming a traingular/V shape before dropping off the spatula/spoon.

For me this recipe made 8 eclairs rather than 10-12. The amount of ganache is generous but I wanted a little more cream. When I was ready to assemble; I spread the (tart, in my case bilberry) jam on the bottom, added the cream, dipped the top in the ganache and sandwiched together. Absolutely delicious!

I can’t wait to experiment more with choux! Next week: pear, ginger and almond cake and more uses for tinned pears!

Episode 13: A Tale of Two Birthday Cakes… Saffron Almond Log

Saffron and almond log cake with bilberry jam

This week I was the driver of the Struggle Bus, attempting to make the Saffron Almond Log from Bronte Aurell over at Scandikitchen. You’ll have to listen to the episode to see how it turned out and what I would’ve done differently. These are the best two recipes I have settled on (for now) but I am still considering changing the form of the cake or the type of sponge!

Saffron Genoise Sponge – adapted from Ravneet Gill and Bronte Aurell

150g caster sugar, 130g plain flour, a pinch of salt, 5 UK large eggs, 30g butter, 1/2 tsp saffron threads. Icing sugar, for dusting.

1. Preheat the oven to 200C / 180C fan / 390F. Grind the saffron threads, melt the butter and allow the saffron to infuse the butter. Grease and line a c. 23cm × 33cm (9×13 in) swiss roll tin / baking tray.

2. Whip the eggs on their own for 2 minutes on medium in a stand mixer. Add the sugar and whip on high for 10-15 minutes until 4x the size.

3. Sift in 1/3 of the flour and fold in carefully. Add another 1/3 of the flour and repeat. Add half the infused butter and fold in carefully. Add the remaining flour and fold in carefully. Finally, add the remaining butter and repeat. Don’t rush this process: you’ll want to avoid lumps of unmixed flour and a dense sponge.

4. Bake for 8-10 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean. If rolling, leave for 2 minutes before turning out onto a sheet of icing sugar-dusted baking paper and rolling so the baking paper is on the inside. You may also want to have a tea towel under the baking paper just to help you steady the sponge. Leave until completely room temperature before rolling.

Almond Cream Filling – adapted from Bronte Aurell

67g icing sugar, 200ml double cream, 100g ground almonds, 1/4 tsp almond extract

Whip the cream, almond extract and sugar together to soft peaks. Fold in the ground almonds.


Cooled cake, almond filling, a few spoons of bilberry jam or another sharp jam (optional), two small handfuls flaked almonds, icing sugar

If not pre-toasted, toast the flaked almonds in a low oven for 5 minutes and leave to cool. Spread the cream inside the cake, leaving a bit for top. Dot the jam on top and spread so each slice will get a bit of jam. Roll up. Put the join of the cake at the bottom. Spread with the remaining cream mixture on top. Place the flaked almonds on top and dust with icing sugar.

Episode 12: Nutty But Nice: Really Simple Nut Biscuits (Cookies)

This week, I wanted to keep things simple in advance of baking a lavish lockdown birthday cake next week. Please excuse my British brain; to me a biscuit is a more catch-all term whereas a cookie is a specific type of biscuit, usually chewy or gooey, and involving a high fat content, flour and chocolate. Both of these could suit gluten-free huns, if you use gluten free oats for the vegan ones.

Hazelnut (or another nut) Meringue Biscuit adapted from Molly Baz.

A pile of hazelnut meringue biscuits

Makes 12.

To start with, a nutty meringue biscuit. As I found out (through getting it wrong) getting the proportions right is important. Pre-roasted nuts are also key to the flavour. I went with hazelnuts, but pecans would be fabulous. Pistachios and walnuts would probably work, too, with the latter giving the biscuits a woody, savoury note. As the original recipe notes, you could also fold in chopped chocolate.


  • The whites of 2 UK large/ US extra large eggs (you could probably go down to UK medium/ US large, but this is what I had in stock)
  • 200g skinned, roasted nuts (listen to the podcast for advice if you can’t find these)
  • 140g caster or granulated sugar
  • a couple of pinches of cream of tartar if you have it
  • a large pinch of salt

Method: Preheat oven to 150C / 300 Fahrenheit. Pulse the nuts with the salt and 100g of the sugar until they resemble damp sand. In a large-ish, very clean bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar (if using) to soft peaks, sprinkle over the remaining 40g sugar and whisk further until glossy and very thick. Fold the nuts into the egg whites in thirds. Dollop heaped dessert spoonfuls onto lined baking trays. They will spread a little but not loads. Bake for about 16 minutes.

Vegan Peanut Butter Biscuitsadapted from The Conscious Plant Kitchen.

Makes 8

Peanut butter biscuits with a chocolate centre

And, if you’re vegan/don’t eat eggs or dairy – and like peanut butter – this one is for you! You can adapt this really easily to using virtually any type of flour or any type of syrup; you just want to get the right damp-not-wet, rollable consistency. These have a savoury-sweet edge so if you want them sweeter add a bit more of something sugary – if it’s too wet add more flour! I prefer the childish peanut butter here and think the all-natural health food/ west African kind is probably a bit too oily. Other creamy nut butters would also work!

Ingredients: 240g peanut butter (I like creamy and crunchy); 100g oat flour (I just pulsed rolled oats in a food processor. Gluten free oats would work perfectly well here, if needed); 100g maple syrup; optional c. 50g chocolate of your choice (I like 70% dark chocolate here), in small squares or button form; a pinch of salt (perhaps more if using unsalted peanut butter); a few tablespoons coarse sugar e.g. demerara/turbinado/ granulated for rolling

Method: Preheat oven to 180C/ 350F/ gas 4. Combine the peanut butter, salt, oat flour and maple syrup in a bowl with a wooden spoon. Roll into eight 55g balls. Flatten these with your hands and press the chocolate into the middle. Fold the edges up to enclose the chocolate and shape into a ball. Roll in the coarse sugar. Press down with your fingers or a fork. These will not spread much so you can fit all 8 on a large baking tray. Bake for about 12-15 minutes until sort of golden brown.

Episode 11: Craving Cardamom Buns!

A tray of gorgeous cardamom buns

In this episode I was talking about some of the things I have been baking, including sourdough. One of my favourite books of 2020, and I am continuing to use it in 2021, is James Morton’s book Super Sourdough.

I’m still excited about all things pie and pastry, I’m binge-watching Erin Jeanne McDowell’s videos on the Food52 YouTube channel and contemplating buying The Book on Pie for a self-given birthday present.

I made a pear, walnut and blue cheese tart, from page 28 of BBC Good Food’s Vegetarian Christmas 2020, which was a bit time consuming but absolutely delicious. The pastry was made from 100g wholemeal flour, 100g plain flour, 50g walnut, 100g cold butter, 1 egg and 50g blue cheese. This pastry will be made again and again and customised! YUM!

I also made a rhubarb crumble recipe using seasonal forced Yorkshire rhubarb. I roasted 400g rhubarb (in thumb sized pieces) in 80g caster sugar and 1 tsp ground ginger in a moderate oven (180C / 160 fan/ gas 4/ 350 F) for ten minutes. Meanwhile, I made a crumble using 200g plain flour, 110g salted butter, 1 tsp ground ginger, 55g dark brown sugar and 55g golden granulated sugar. I rubbed the butter into the flour then stirred in the rest. I crumbled this mixture over the fruit and baked in the oven at the same temperature for around 40 minutes until the top is golden brown and crunchy.

Beautiful forced Yorkshire rhubarb

On to the main event: cardamom buns!

Kate’s Brioche Dough

Loosely based on the Sally Lunn buns in Regula Ysewijn’s book Oats in the North, Wheat from the South (yes, I’m obsessed…). Can be adapted to make cinnamon buns too. Or try making brioche rolls with 1/2 tsp nutmeg and maybe some nutmeg butter on top, trust me it’s good!


  • 500g strong white flour (plain will also work but may need a bit more kneading)
  • 8g (or a 7g sachet) of instant/ fast-action yeast [the kind you can bung in with the flour]
  • 300ml single cream (about 20% fat) OR 150ml double cream (about 40% fat) and 150ml whole milk
  • 50g butter
  • 60g caster/superfine sugar (granulated would also be okay)
  • 2 UK medium/ US large eggs (c. 50g each)
  • 5g salt (a bit less if using salted butter)
  • Egg yolk and 1 or 2 tsp milk for egg-washing buns
  • If making cardamom buns: 10 cardamom pods for steeping with cream and 1/2 tsp cinnamon


  1. Melt the butter and leave it to cool, or just bring it up to room temperature.
  2. Measure the flour in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Fork through the salt, sugar (and cinnamon, if using). When that’s well mixed, mix through the yeast.
  3. If making cardamom buns, warm the cream to steaming with 10 cracked cardamom pods, then leave to cool until it is warm but not hot. Strain to remove the cardamom. Otherwise, warm the cream (or cream and milk) so it is ‘hand hot’ (feel warm but not hot).
  4. Mix the cream into the dough with a fork or dough whisk until it’s a shaggy mess (you could hold a bit of liquid back if necessary). Knead in the eggs and butter. If it’s looking too wet to work with, feel free to leave it to ‘autolyse’ for 20-30 minutes so the flour is able to absorb more moisture. Then proceed to knead until smooth and pulling away from the sides. It will just about be at a window-pane consistency or maybe just before that. It is hard to achieve this with this high a fat content!
  5. Leave to rise until doubled in size. This will vary from 40 minutes to 90 minutes depending on the temperature! It is now ready to be rolled out or shaped into a brioche.

Cardamom Fillingadapted from Cassie Best


  • 25 cardamom pods
  • 150g caster/superfine sugar (granulated would also work, especially if you grind it with the cardamom)
  • 100g butter, softened
  • Optional: a further 5-10 cardamom pods for the topping


Crack the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar. Discard the shells and grind fairly finely. Combine with the sugar. Mix with the butter.

Now to combine the bread and filling!

1. On a floured work surface, with a floured rolling pin, roll out to a large rectangle. Spread over the cardamom sugar butter mixture, as comprehensively as you can. Fold over in thirds, or fold in half, reserving some butter, then spread more butter, then fold in half again. (The latter will get you even more twisty bits on your finished buns!) If you have time, rest this for 10 or 20 minutes on the work surface (or on baking paper) just to relax the gluten again. Meanwhile, butter then flour a 12-hole muffin tin.

2. Cut into 12 strips. Then take each strip and cut it almost entirely in half leaving a little bit still joined at the top. Twist the two strands around each other, then fold it under then over in a circle. Place these into the prepared muffin tin. Leave to rise again until puffy (it may not be fully doubled in size but don’t worry, it will puff up well in the oven!)

3. Use a pastry brush to egg wash the buns with the yolk and a teaspoon or so of milk. This makes them shiny and even more beautiful, but it isn’t absolutely necessary.

4. If wanted (for real cardamom heads and for Swedish authenticity), crack open the extra cardamom pods and use these to sprinkle on the top of the buns.

5. Bake your chubby babies in a preheated oven at around 190C / 170 fan / 375 F for 20-25 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin a bit but take them out while they’re still warm as it’s easier to do so. ENJOY!!!!

A cardamom bun “chubby baby”, plated

Alternative chocolate-pistachio filling

Roast 100g pistachios in a medium or low oven for about 10 minutes. Melt 75g dark chocolate and 75g salted butter together and stir them with 2tsp icing sugar. Leave to cool but still liquid- you don’t want it too hot as it will kill the yeast. Roughly chop the pistachios. Roll out the dough on a floured surface, spread over the chocolate then scatter over most of the pistachios. Make into large rolls (like a traditional cinnamon roll). Wash with egg yolk before scattering the remaining pistachios.

To make Swedish cinnamon rolls instead – adapted from the cinnamon bun recipe in Scandikitchen: Fika and Hygge by Bronte Aurell

Add 2 tsp ground cardamom to the dough. Make a filling using 75g butter, 75g light brown soft sugar (I prefer it but feel free to just use caster), 1 tsp vanilla and 1.5 tablespoons ground cinnamon.

Golden brown cinnamon buns on a cooling rack

Chocolate and tahini filling variation – adapted from Edd Kimber. Melt 100g dark chocolate and 50g butter. Stir in 100g tahini, 55g brown sugar and 2-3 tbsp plain/strong white flour to achieve a spreadable consistency. Sprinkle with sesame seeds before or after baking.

Chocolate and tahini buns!

Episode 10: Galette des Rois – Almondy, buttery deliciousness

Galette des rois just after baking

In this episode Kate was talking about a sweet pastry eaten around epiphany in northern France called galette des rois. It is a sweetened almond filling enclosed in puff pastry. She found it surprisingly straightforward to make puff pastry and the pie was delicious!

Galette des rois served with whipped cream and squished raspberries
Galette des rois leftovers: the pie was eaten the next day at room temperature with cold cream and very much enjoyed!

To make the pastry (up to 3 days before!):


  • 250g butter
  • 250g flour (either all plain/AP or a mix of plain and bread flour)
  • 125g chilled/ iced water,
  • a pinch of salt if using unsalted butter
  • a little extra flour for rolling.

Equipment: a rolling pin, greaseproof/ baking paper, clingwrap/clingfilm


1. Measure out 167g butter (2/3 of the total butter). Place between two sheets of greaseproof paper and roll out with a rolling pin to a rectangle about 1/2 cm or 1/4 inch thick. Use the warmth of your hands to make the butter more pliable as necessary. Chill.

2. Measure out 250g flour (I used half bread flour and half plain flour). To this, add 83g cold cubed butter (1/3 of the total butter) and rub in. Add the 125g chilled water, leaving a little back or adding a little more depending on the consistency of the dough. It needs to be just enough to bring it all together into a ball with your hands, but no more. Wrap then refrigerate this ball of dough for 1 hour or thereabouts, so the pastry is cold but pliable.

3. You need your pastry and butter to both be cold but pliable. If it’s been a bit too long for one or both of them, leave them out of the fridge for a few minutes before using. But they still need to be cold!!!

4. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface (use no more flour than is absolutely necessary) until more than twice the size of the butter. Fold over the butter and press the edges together to make a parcel. You may want to fold these under and press again to make sure it’s a nicely sealed little package. Chill for 15 minutes.

5. Remove the pastry out of the fridge and do a “book fold”: fold two sides in and then these over each other. Chill for 15 minutes.

6. Taking care to remember where the last layers were, roll the pastry out again and do a thirds fold in the opposite (ie. at a right angle) direction to your last fold. This is simply folding one third in then another third on top of that. Chill for 15 minutes.

7. Repeat the last two steps: so another roll, book fold and chill, then another roll, third fold and chill, making sure you change direction in your folds each time. Refrigerate until ready to use for up to three days.

To make the almond filling:


  • 100g butter
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract (reduce or leave out for a less almondy flavour)
  • 2 UK medium/ US large eggs (ie 100g eggs)
  • 100g caster/superfine sugar
  • Optional: 1-2 tsp cornflour for a less gooey filling.

Equipment: wooden spoon, whisk or paddle attachment, for beating; bowl

Method: Beat the butter and sugar together (this is to help the sugar to dissolve rather than to whip in air). Add the other ingredients to simply combine. Chill until needed.

To assemble:

Ingredients: 1 500g block of puff pastry, 1 egg yolk and 1 tsp milk for the egg wash, 1 almond filling bowl. A small amount of flour for rolling. A dried bean/ whole almond so you can crown the king/ queen

Equipment: Rolling pin, baking sheet or metal pie tin, pastry brush and small cup, offset spatula (or use the back of a spoon), fork or something else for crimping, knife, cake base or circular thing to use as a guide when cutting out pastry, paring knife


1. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch or 1/2 cm thickness. Cut out two large circles, perhaps using a cake base as a guide, one needs to be a bit larger than the other. Use the smaller circle as the base, then spread over the almond filling, leaving about 1.5cm or 1 inch around the sides. Hide a bean/almond in the filling to follow tradition! Use a wet finger to seal the other circle of pastry on top. Crimp with a fork or using your preferred method! Lightly score the pastry with a paring knife, if wanted. Make a few very small holes with the end of the knife to allow air to escape during baking. Chill the pie well before baking! (Note: Don’t throw pastry offcuts away! You could make them into cheese twists or jam turnovers.)

2. Preheat the oven to 200 C / 180 fan / 390F / gas 6 or thereabouts, depending on your oven. Remember – you need cold pastry going into a hot oven to get layers and prevent butter from leaking!

3. Brush egg yolk thinned with a tiny bit of milk over the top of the pie so it gets lovely and golden in the oven. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden and puffy. Leave for a few minutes before attempting to cut up. This pie is also lovely eaten at room temperature.

Useful Links!

Kate Moore’s simple puff pastry recipe, via the Tesco Real Food YouTube channel… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dcqk74DP-sw

Erin McDowell’s extremely helpful video about puff pastry, part of the series Bake It Up a Notch on the Food 52 YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvEQyPj968A&t=1s

David Lebovitz’s galette des rois recipe and helpful tips: https://www.davidlebovitz.com/galette-des-rois-kings-cake-recipe/

Episode 9: Holiday Baking Special – Christmas Crackers and Festive Fails!

In this episode Kate talked about various things she’s been baking, including…

Nigel Slater’s cheese biscuits: https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/dec/27/nigel-slater-cheese-recipes

Nigella Lawson’s forgotten cookies:


Nigel Slater’s mincemeat hotcakes: https://youtu.be/dmyVyJK5i_8

Overnight, no-knead muffins from Gemma at Bigger, Bolder Baking: https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/homemade-english-muffins/

Diane Henry’s Chocolate Marmalade Pudding (listen to the episode for extra tips not found in the recipe!) https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/chocolate-marmalade-steamed-pudding-marmalade-cream

Finally, here is what, in Kate’s recipe for (what she believes to be) Perfect Madeleines.

Kate’s Perfect Madeleines (adapted from a Michel Roux Jr recipe)

To make 24 (I used 1 tin and did 2 batches!):

Melt then let cool 120g salted butter. Zest a large orange or lemon.

Whisk 120g egg (2 UK large) with 120g caster sugar until ribbon stage (light and bubbly).

Fold in zest, 120g plain/AP flour, a scant tsp baking powder, the butter and 2 tbsp orange or 1 tbsp lemon juice.

Leave to rest for 20-30 minutes to ensure a more even, perfected bake. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200 C/ 180 C fan/ gas 6/ 390 Fahrenheit. Liberally butter a madeleine tin, flour then tap out the excess flour.

Put exactly 1 level tbsp mixture in each hole. Bake for 8 minutes.

Cool the madeleines, in the tin for a couple of minutes, then on a cooling rack. If wanted, dip the ends in melted chocolate. Or you could roll them in cinnamon sugar!