Sylvia’s Plum Bruschetta with Crème Fraiche

Sylvia's Plum Bruschetta Crème Fraiche
Looking for new and easy ways to use ripe stone fruits from the orchard?This recipe for a mouth-wateringly simple dessert (that I have finally written) takes me back to my childhood days cooking with my late grandmother. This is an easy summer dessert when stone fruits are plentiful and the harvest basket is overflowing with [...]

Sylvia’s Seven Top Tips for Christmas Entertaining

1. Keep It SimpleI know I keep going on about this, but it really is true. We all get caught up in the spiral of Christmas and then when the day is over, we just fall into a heap. Don’t! Try to keep a simple perspective on it all. Remember your “mise en place”, that [...]

Sylvia’s Lemon Posset with Berries

Sylvia's Lemon Posset with Berries
When I was Chef at The Peacock Inn Chelsworth in countryside Suffolk England we served delicious desserts. Patrons could choose from freshly baked frangipane fruit tarts, ice creams, crème brûlée in different flavours, sticky date toffee pudding, selection of English and European artisan farmhouse cheeses and more. But one dessert stands out as being the [...]

Sylvia’s Chocolate Draped Pears

Sylvia's Chocolate Draped Pears
Pears and apples belong to the rose family and have their origins in the Caucasus. Both were introduced into Europe and northern India by the Aryan tribes from the original region. The wild pear has now been developed into nearly 1,000 varieties after interbreeding with native wild pears of Europe and Asia. Talk about going [...]

Sylvia’s Fried Zucchini Flowers

Sylvia's Fried Zucchini Flowers
One of my favourite summer and autumn cooking past-times is... you guessed it, picking baby zucchini and their flowers fresh from the garden. Taking them straight to the kitchen, making the simplest batter of them all, in Italian we call it la pastella, then dipping and frying these delectable morsels in hot oil to then [...]

Zucchini Gratin (French-style)

Zucchini Gratin (French-style)
This is another very easy recipe but with a French influence this time! If you still have an abundance of zucchinis in the garden, this might be the perfect way to cook them. This zucchini or courgette gratin makes for a simple yet satisfying main course, vegetarian dish or side dish to roast lamb, beef [...]

Sylvia’s Chocolate Madeleines

Sylvia's Chocolate Madeleines
I have tested many Madeleine recipes over the years and none have given me the  results I wanted. So, I went back to my own recipe drawing board and developed this one. Tirelessly I slaved away in the kitchen, testing one batch after the other. Not so tiresome for me as the kitchen is my [...]

Japanese Simmered Beef with Potatoes and Peas

Japanese Simmered Beef Potatoes Peas
This is a very easy recipe! Do not be intimidated by the fact that it is Japanese. Contrary to popular belief Japanese Home Cooking is simple to prepare with inexpensive seasonal ingredients, is natural and wholesome, delicious and nutritious. This dish in particular is quite comforting, which is something we all need in these challenging [...]

Sylvia’s Green Beans with Sesame Dressing

Sylvia's Green Beans with Sesame Dressing
Another very easy recipe inspired by Japanese Home Cooking to accompany my Japanese Simmered Beef with Potatoes and Peas. Seasonal vegetables served simply are appetising additions to any meal. This dish dressed with ground sesame seeds has its roots in classic Buddhist vegan cooking also known as Shojin Ryori Japanese monastic cuisine. Green beans, spinach [...]

Miso Soup with Silken Tofu

Miso Soup with Silken Tofu
This Miso Soup with Silken Tofu is a wholesome, natural addition to my Japanese Simmered Beef with Potatoes and Peas and accompanying vegetable dish Green Beans with Sesame Dressing. A hearty and nutritious meal full of natural flavours and umami. I encourage you to try these simple dishes as a combined meal and enjoy their [...]