“Honey Bundt Cake” from “Flavour”

Regular readers of this blog will know that I frequently test out the cake/tart/sweet treat recipes on my book club. They are willing guinea pigs and *usually* we end up with something delicious. (Aside from the one time I had to throw out an entire cake once it emerged from the oven because I could tell by looking at it that it was going to be disgusting. But we don’t talk about that.)

I wasn’t so sure about this once I had made the batter. Ruby tells you in the introduction that the quantity makes “a smaller, more manageable cake” but it looked like very little batter to me. But I persevered, and also used the bundt pan where it wouldn’t have mattered how much batter filled the pan– unlike this one.

I’m glad I did so. While it did make a much smaller bundt cake than the one I’m used to producing, it made a very reasonable sized cake and small slices too. This meant that nearly everyone went for a second slice, which we ate while we drank our coffee or tea. It’s the perfect cake for hot drinks.

This was a triumph. So much so that two of the book club members, who have endured tested many a cake for me said it was by far their most favourite book club cake ever.

High praise indeed.

If you’d like to impress your own book club, or indeed your own family, Google Books has indexed Flavour and you can find the recipe by clicking through this link.

“Honey Bundt Cake” from “Flavour”

“Honey Miso Salmon with Warm Green Salad” from “Madhouse Cookbook”.

Kirstin: Here’s a different version of our usual salmon recipe.

Ella: Ooo. What’s in the sauce?

Kirstin: Miso. I had to go to a Chinese supermarket to find it. Was it worth the trip?

Tom: Definitely! It really makes the sauce balanced.

Kirstin: Ella and Miles, you have both eaten all your fish! Well, I will definitely be making this one again then! I liked the green salad too.


“Honey Miso Salmon with Warm Green Salad” from “Madhouse Cookbook”.

“Asian Fish with Miso Noodles & Crunchy Veg” from “Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals”

Anna: God I’m stressed. This is not relaxed cooking.

Peter: There appears to be a lot of washing up. Again.

Anna: This just isn’t enjoyable and frankly is putting me off the food. It took me the best part of 10 minutes to get all the millions of ingredients together and get the bloody food processor out of the back of the cupboard.

Peter: It does actually taste nice, but I don’t think miso smells very good.

Anna: I forgot how annoying it is that there are no timing indications for how long the different components should cook. So the noodles, I’m afraid, are over-cooked. You’re right, they are nice, but I will never be cooking this again. I can’t cook with this many ingredients. My kitchen looks like a disaster area.

Peter: Well it took you 27 minutes.

Anna: Not exactly 15!

“Asian Fish with Miso Noodles & Crunchy Veg” from “Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals”

“Corn Muffins” from “The Primrose Bakery Book”

Nicholas (8–But not for long!): Yum! These are nice.

Maureen: What do you like about them?

Nicholas: I like the sweetness.

Maureen: Yes, I suppose you would, since we’re eating them with chilli. What do you think Andrew?

Andrew (12): They’re good.

Maureen: These are nice. I thought they’d be sweeter, since you add honey and sugar, but they’re not at all.

Continue reading ““Corn Muffins” from “The Primrose Bakery Book””

“Corn Muffins” from “The Primrose Bakery Book”

“Honey Ginger Cake” from “The River Cottage Family Cookbook”

Elsa: It was très bon!

Kate: Yes, it’s very yummy indeed!

Tom: Mmmmm, there’s stem ginger in this too, isn’t there?

Kirstin: Yes, that’s why it’s called honey ginger cake!

Tom: I was expecting it to be more gooey, like a ginger cake. But it’s very nice.

Elsa: It’s a bit like gingerbread, with nests of yumminess in it…

Kirstin: It will be good tomorrow, I imagine.

Elsa: With a hot cup of tea.

Kirstin: Yes, except I don’t drink tea!

Tom: Was it a fiddle to make?

Kirstin: It was less of a fiddle to make than the brownies yesterday, because I didn’t have a hangover. So I actually remembered all the ingredients. I would definitely make this again!

“Honey Ginger Cake” from “The River Cottage Family Cookbook”

“Chicken with Halloumi and Honey” from “Fast, Fresh, Simple”

Maureen: This is my second try with this dish, since it didn’t work at all the first time around, since again there was a problem with the cooking times for the chicken. What do you think?

Tim: It’s just OK.

Maureen: Why?

Tim: I’m not a huge fan of sweet dinners.

Maureen: Yes, it’s the honey the makes it so sweet.

Tim: Very much so. What do you think of it?

Maureen: It’s fine, but there’s nothing special about it. This is the problem with all the recipes in this book. There’s no care or attention paid to the ingredients. Just assemble them and bang them in the oven. It’s assembly, not cooking. Would you like me to make it again?

Tim: No. Would you like it again?

Maureen: Probably not.

Tim: This month hasn’t been very good, has it?

Maureen: Sadly, no. Donna’s been a big disappointment.

“Chicken with Halloumi and Honey” from “Fast, Fresh, Simple”

“Granny Smith’s Pork & Rice Salad” from “Jamie’s Great Britain”

Nicholas (8): Did you make this?

Maureen: Yes, of course I made it. This is from the new Jamie cookbook and we’re all on duty, so get ready to be articulate.

Nicholas: I don’t mean the rice, I mean the bread.

Andrew (Now 12! Happy Birthday!): Mom never makes bread for fear that Paul Hollywood will come knocking on the door and say, “Those bubbles in the bread are too big!”

Maureen (laughing): We’re off topic now, though I did love watching “The Great British Bake Off.” Even if it did mean I spent a lot of time yelling at the television. What does everyone think of this rice salad from Jamie?

Tim: I’m confused. How is this a British dish?

Maureen: I think it’s the combination of pork and apples with Caribbean flavours. Hang on. I don’t want to misquote Saint Jamie. Here’s what he said: “The great Caribbean classic, rice and peas, inspired me to create a really exciting rice salad of my own, because when done well, it’s a truly wonderful thing. The flavours in this one are like a roast pork dinner meets a rice salad… Tossing the pork with the rice helps lighten the dish up a little– so it’s perfect hot or cold for a more summery vibe.”

Tim: I’m not convinced.

Continue reading ““Granny Smith’s Pork & Rice Salad” from “Jamie’s Great Britain””

“Granny Smith’s Pork & Rice Salad” from “Jamie’s Great Britain”