August 24, 2016



With the bank holiday weekend coming up and hopefully some good weather I thought it was time that I posted about these lovely little pies.  I first saw the recipe in a blog called “Time to cook online” which comes from one of my favourite former Great British Bake Off contestants, a lady called Mary-Anne Boermans.  It’s a great blog and you can see the details of this recipe here.


These are simple little pies, made with a shortcrust bottom, a puff pastry lid and a filling of egg and bacon.


I have made them several times but I have to say that the first attempt was a complete disaster. 

Anne-Marie made hers in mini cake tins.  Having some very similar tins in my pantry and feeling confident I went ahead and made some pies to the recipe with the addition of a few cooked mushrooms in the filling.  They looked good but when I turned them out the bottoms were miserably undercooked and in fact they were actually raw.  The filling is pre-cooked but there is nothing at all pleasant about raw pastry.  Yuk.

Which just goes to show that, as we all knew, size does matter.  I think my tins were just that little bit deeper than the ones she used and therefore the bottoms were not cooked.

So undeterred and not to be defeated, I put my thinking cap on and remembered the brand new Yorkshire pudding tins that I bought to make mini pies and quiches last year.  Bingo!


The pies were lovely.  Nice crisp pastry, a tasty filling, just the right size for one each, can be served on a plate or munched on in the hand without risk of them falling apart.  Perfect for a picnic or a smart lunch with a side salad and a glass of something nicely chilled.


This is my adaptation but I urge you to refer to the original post and peruse the blog for other recipes.  You would not be disappointed.


1 pack of ready made, ready rolled puff pastry

1 pack of ready made, ready rolled shortcrust pastry

1 pack of lardons

4 large mushrooms, chopped

4 eggs

chopped fresh parsley


Preheat the oven to 200° C / 180° fan / gas mk 6.  Grease a four hole Yorkshire pudding tin.

Fry the lardons and mushrooms until nicely browned, especially the mushrooms which should not be too watery.

Using a suitable sized jam jar, cut circles of the shortcrust pastry to line the tin and slightly smaller ones from the puff pastry for the lids.  Use the shortcrust circles to line the tin.

Arrange the cooked bacon and mushrooms on the pastry, making a well in the centre to take the egg.

Break one egg into a small cup and pour out some of the white.  There is unlikely to be enough room for all of the white in these shallow tins and this avoids overflowing and a bit of a mess.  Drop the egg into the well.  Add chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Place a puff pastry circle on top and pinch the edges together to seal the lid to the bottom.  Brush with beaten egg.  Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

Serves 4.

August 12, 2016



I offered to make a cake for a friend’s birthday party and decided that it needed to be quite a large cake due to the number of people who might be coming to the do.  A Bundt cake was ideal.

It also needed to be a bloke’s cake, nothing too girly or frilly, and the idea of a peanut butter cake sprang to mind.  The absence of any topping that might melt or slide off in transit on a very warm summer’s afternoon in the Loire Valley was also a consideration, so a light dusting of icing sugar was perfect.


A quick look on Google led me to this cake on the DollyBakes blog – peanut butter and jelly cake.  It was, as I expected from Rachel’s recipes, a great success. 

I forgot to take pictures of the cake when it was cut which would show how the inside looked and how perfectly the jelly was distributed but, if you look at the original blog post, it turned out exactly like that!  The crunchy peanut butter gave just the right amount of crunch and flavour and the jelly was a nice little surprise in every slice.

I followed the recipe precisely, using blackberry jelly as the jam and taking care to keep it away from the edges of the cake as suggested.  I have experienced before the amazing effect that jam has in gluing the cake to the tin if it gets too close to the edge!

My Bundt tin was just the right shape and size for the cake to accommodate a mansize candle in the middle too.  So we all wished Simon a Happy Birthday and after he’d blown out the candle the cake was cut easily into a huge number of generous slices.

Definitely a good one for a crowd.  To see the recipe, click here.

Cuts into at least 15 slices.