White chocolate and raspberry cheesecake

Serves 8-16


75g crushed digestives

75g crushed ginger nuts

75g melted butter

Combine in a bowl and press into a 23 cm spring form tin


600g white chocolate, in chunks

50g caster sugar

65g butter

Vanilla essence

500g cream cheese (Philadelphia or similar)

180ml whipping cream

1 punnet raspberries, reserving some to decorate the top

  1. Melt the chocolate chunks, butter and vanilla in a dish over simmering water and allow to cool slightly.
  2. In a separate bowl combine the cheese, sugar, and cream until smooth and firming up. Use a mixer if necessary.
  3. Stir in the cooled chocolate mix.
  4. Gently fold in the raspberries and spoon over the biscuit base.
  5. Cool in the fridge overnight.
  6. Decorate with fresh fruit before serving.


Autumn Casserole

Enough for 3-4 people depending on how much you actually put in. Quantities here for guidance only. The stock gives you the right amount for a casserole for 4.

200g pack chestnuts
small head of broccoli, chopped
2-3 carrots, sliced
1 onion, chopped roughly
Mushrooms, quartered
4-6 potatoes, sliced
1 pint veg stock
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp tomato puree
tarragon and thyme for seasoning
splash of soya sauce
oil for frying and drizzling
salt to sprinkle

1. Fry onion, carrots  and mushrooms for a couple of minutes in bottom of casserole dish with herbs and soya sauce

2. Add stock, mustard and puree

3. Add broccoli and chestnuts

4. Lay potato slices over the top, drizzle with oil and sprinkle a little salt over

5. Cover the casserole tightly and bake in moderate oven for 45-50 minutes until tender. Remove lid and brown potatoes under grill before serving.

You can use whatever mix of veg suits you, and could add a little red wine to the sauce if available.

Somerset Apple Cake

Now the Bramley tree is producing its annual crop, it's time to use apples! This recipe was from Aunty Sheila and formed an important part in offsetting the return to school.

1/2 lb SR flour
1/4 lb margerine
1/4 lb sultanas
1/4 lb caster sugar
2 medium eggs
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 lb Bramley apples (about 2 medium), cored, peeled and sliced

1. Rub fat into flour
2. Add in sultanas, cinnamon, sugar and apples
3. Mix in beaten eggs to form a stiff dough

Bake up to 1 hour at 200C (180 fan)

Roast squash, mushroom and goats cheese quiche

Actually simpler than it sounds. You can use pumpkin instead of squash.

Serves 8

800g-1kg butternut squash, peeled, deseeded, chunked

oil for roasting and butter for frying

200g mushrooms, chopped

1 onion, chopped

4 eggs

250ml tub double cream

200g goats cheese, sliced

nutmeg and black pepper to season

250g flour made into shortcrust pastry to line flan dish

Roast chunks of squash/pumpkin about 30 mins until tender

Fry mushroom and onion in the butter until soft

Beat eggs and mix in cream seasoned with a little nutmeg and pepper

Put onion and mushrooms in base of pastry case, then put squash on top

Pour egg mixture over then arrange sliced cheese on top

Bake in oven about 40 mins


Pumpkin, broccoli and blue cheese gratin

Yes, another gratin, but this time even simpler and faster

It came about as a result of a meal I tried recently which looked promising but was actually rather bland. That used spinach, but I didn't have any in, so substituted broccoli. I also added blue cheese instead of feta to give it more tang. The original was in a pie, but I prefer gratin. You could do this as a pie filling if you prefer. Experiment!

Serves 4

1 onion
about 8 broccoli florets
8-12 oz pumpkin
1 wedge blue cheese cut into bite size chunks
1 large pot double cream

Gratin topping:
4 slices bread in crumbs
50g chopped hazelnuts (or any nut you like)
oil remaining from frying onions
  • Fry onions in generous quantity of oil
  • Steam broccoli and pumpkin about 3-5 mins in microwave (depending on how long you plan to bake the gratin)
  • Put onion in base of casserole dish, reserving oil
  • Mix in veg and cheese with a little liquid form pumpkin
  • Pour cream over
  • Mix gratin ingredients in a separate bowl and spread over top of casserole ingredients
Bake in oven until gratin is browned (allow at least half an hour but can be longer on lower heat) on medium heat, say 180-200C - I used the middle shelf of the Aga

We served it with roast potatoes :-)

Veggie crumble

I admit I haven't eaten this - but I know people who have and they recommended it

Serves 4-6

175 ml stock
280 ml cider, pref sweet
1 tsp sugar
2 carrots chopped
2 parsnips, sliced
2 sticks celery, chopped
broccoli head chopped
1/2 cauli chopped
1 dstsp flour
1 onion chopped
4 tomatoes peeled and sliced
1 tin black eyed beans or beans of choice

75g butter
100g flour
50g oats
100g cheese, grated

Make topping: Rub fat into flour, mix in oats and cheese

Put stock, cider, sugar, carrots and parsnips into a large pan and cook 5-10 mins
Add cauli, celery, broccoli and cook until all veg are tender
Meanwhile fry onion until golden
Remove veg from sauce and place in greased casserole dish with onion and beans
Mix flour and a little water, then add to pan to thicken the sauce
Once thickened pour over veg in dish
Sprinkle topping over casserole, patting it down a little
Bake at 200C for about 30 minutes until golden

Nutty mushroom pie

So - large pie with shortcrust pastry made from 8oz flour/4 oz fat

350g chopped mushrooms
225g ground mixed nuts eg hazelnuts and walnuts
2 onions finely chopped
4 slices of bread in crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp marjoram
1 tbsp soy sauce
a little water or stock nmay also be needed

Fry the onions gently in oil until soft
Add the mushroomsand cook until juices start to run
Put all other indgtredients in a mixing bowl and add the onion and mushroom - if mixture is too sry add a little water or stock
Line pie dish, add filling then cover with pastry lid
Bake in oven at about 220C for about 30 minutes until pastry is golden

Quinoa stir fry

Serves 4

You can vary the veg to taste

200 g quinoa
1 pkt tofu (marinated of possible)
1 onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 carrot sliced thinly
1 red pepper chopped
2 leeks sliced thinly
1 stick celery chopped
2 pak choi chopped (or cabbage or spinach)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and ground cloves (or use Chinese 5 spice)
Mango chutney to serve if available

Cook the quinoa for about 10 muns in 600 ml water until all the water is absorbed and the quinoa is showing the white kernel
Fry the onion, garlic and all but greens for 5-10 mins on a medium heat
Add the greens, cooked quinoa and seasoning
Cover and continue to cook for another 10 minutes until all veg are tender
Serve, ideally with mango chutney

Curried eggs

To be honest, the curry sauce could go with's very good!

serves 6

8 onions, chopped quite fine
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tin tomatoes
4 tsp coriander
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp ginger
4 tsp cumin
2 tsp cayenne
salt to taste
12 eggs hard boiled

Fry onion and garlic until soft
Add tomatoes and spices
Simmer for about 20 minutes
Cut eggs in half and place on top of sauce
Continue to heat for about 5 minutes then serve