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Easy Jam Sponge

175g butter plus extra for the tin
175g golden caster sugar
175g self-raising flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g strawberry or raspberry jam
custard, cream or ice cream to serve

Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
Butter a 25cm square or 20 x 30cm rectangular cake tin or baking dish.

Beat the butter, sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla extract together until a smooth batter.
Spread the jam over the base of the tin. Dollop over the cake batter and spread over evenly. Bake for 20-25 mins until the sponge is light golden and risen.
Serve warm with custard, cream or ice cream.

Potato & Spring Onion Pancakes

140g floury potatoes (weighed after peeling), cut into large chunks
50g self-raising flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
large eggs
5 tbsp milk
spring onions, finely chopped
2 tsp sunflower oil, plus extra if needed
knob of butter
rashers streaky bacon (smoked or unsmoked)

Put the potatoes in a large pan of salted water and boil until tender. Drain well, tip back into the pan, shake for 1 min over a gentle heat to dry them off, then mash and leave to cool.

Put the cooled mash in a bowl with the flour and bicarb. Whisk 1 egg with the milk, season, tip into the bowl and whisk until smooth. Stir in the spring onions, reserving some to serve.

In a non-stick frying pan, heat half the oil and butter until sizzling, then spoon in half the pancake batter to make 3 pancakes. Cook for 1 min or so on each side until browned and set underneath, then flip and cook the other side. Keep warm in the oven while you make 3 more pancakes.

Wipe out the pan, add the bacon and sizzle until almost crisp. Push to one side and crack in the 2 remaining eggs – with a splash more oil if needed. Fry to your liking, then serve with the pancakes and bacon, sprinkled with the remaining spring onions.

Baked Creamy Chicken Thighs

1 tbsp olive oil

25g butter

8 chicken thighs

handful green herbs coarsely chopped, plus extra to garnish

thyme sprig

300ml double cream

600ml white wine

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.

Heat the oil and butter in a heavy ovenproof frying pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken thighs, skin-side down, and pan-fry for about 15 minutes, turning them once, until they are well browned all over.

Place the herbs on top of the chicken and then pour over the cream and wine. Season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven, uncovered, for 1 hour. Serve garnished with extra chopped green herbs.

Spring Greens with a Twist


50g butter

6 anchovy fillets

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

100g spring greens, washed and shredded

1 lemon, juiced

50g finely grated parmesan

30g hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped (optional)

Melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Once bubbling, add the anchovies and cook for 2 mins until they melt. Stir in the garlic, fry for 1 minute more, then toss in the greens and cook for 8 minutes until wilted. Add the lemon juice and parmesan and stir well to melt the cheese. Season to taste, transfer to a serving bowl and scatter over the hazelnuts if liked.


This dish can be used with most roast meat dishes, but is particularly good with roast shoulder of lamb.

Wild Garlic Butter


250g butter, softened

flaky sea salt, to taste

50g wild garlic leaves, finely chopped

Mash the butter in a bowl with some sea salt – tasting before adding more. Stir in the wild garlic leaves. Shape the butter into a log, then wrap in baking parchment. Chill until needed. 

This can be frozen if necessary for 5-6 weeks. Slices can be cut off as required.

Suffolk Rusks


8oz self raising flour

1 good pinch salt

3oz butter

1 egg

a little milk to mix

Courtesy of my Suffolk Cousin-in-Law

Sift the flour and salt together into a bowl, then rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the beaten egg and sufficient milk or water to make a smooth dough. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 1 inch in thickness then cut into 2 1/2 inch rounds.

Place on a greased baking sheet and bake at 450F for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and split in half. Reduce the oven temperature to 375F. Return the rusks to the baking sheet, cut side upwards, and cook for a further 10 to 15 minutes until crisp and golden-brown.

Cool on a wire rack. Serve with butter and jam or as a savoury with cheese. Suffolk Rusks store well in a tin.

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