Banbury Cookery School Blog

Delicious & Easy Chocolate Truffles December 10, 2013 09:59

A really quick way to make delicious chocolate truffles.

Makes about 20


  • 150ml double cream
  • 350g plain chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 100g icing sugar, sifted
  • 60ml whisky, warmed (optional)
  • 100g cocoa powder, for dusting


  • Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  • Bring the cream to the boil in a saucepan, then remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate pieces.
  • Whisk until smooth, then whisk in the icing sugar.
  • Pour in the warm whisky and whisk again until smooth.
  • Pour into the lined baking tray and cover with cling film, chill for about 6 hours until set.
  • When the mixture is set, dust a plate and your hands with cocoa powder.
  • Divide the chocolate mixture into about 20 equal portions – about the size of a walnut – and roll into balls in the palm of your hand.
  • Roll the balls in the cocoa powder and leave to firm up in the fridge.
  • Before serving, place the truffles in petit four cases.

Gluten & Sugar Free Almond Cake October 28, 2013 15:21

A really easy to make Gluten & Sugar free cake.


  • 200g ground almonds
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 50g Xylitol
  • 30g Sweet Freedom/honey/Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
  • 5 egg whites


  • Pre heat oven 160 degrees C.
  • Mix the butter with xylitol and syrup/honey until creamed.
  • Add the vanilla, ground almonds and mix well.
  • Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks and first spoon 1 spoonful into the almond mixture and mix, then add the remaining egg whites and fold them in carefully.
  • Line an 8” cake tin with greaseproof paper.
  • Gently pour the mixture into the tin and place into the oven, middle shelf (no higher).
  • Bake for 25-35 minutes or until the cake is golden on top. If unsure prick with a knife and make sure it comes out clean, then it’s done.
  • Leave the cake to cool and then slice in half so that the middle of the cake can be filled.
  • Fill the cake with a natural sugar free jam (not with artificial sweeteners), I use St. Dalfour, and some cream. I use mascapone mixed with a little coconut nectar.

Christmas Pudding (Grain Free) November 21, 2012 13:30

A delicious grain free Christmas Pudding. Serves 8-10 (1 litre basin)


  • 100g sultanas
  • 100g raisins
  • 100g currants
  • 70ml cider
  • 70ml alcoholic ginger beer
  • 2 tbsp rum
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g desiccated coconut
  • 100g coconut butter
  • 200g coconut nectar
  • 75g cooking apples, peeled and chopped
  • ½ zest of orange
  • ½ zest of lemon
  • 2 eggs


  • Place all the dried fruit and candied peel in a mixing bowl; soak overnight with the alcohol.
  • Mix the ground almonds with the mixed spice, nutmeg, cinnamon & bicarb of soda.
  • Add the desiccated coconut, coconut butter and nectar to the ground almonds.
  • Drain the fruit from the alcohol. Add to the dried mixture along with the apple & grated zest.
  • In a separate basin, beat the eggs with the alcohol.
  • Add the liquid to the fruit and mix thoroughly.
  • Pack into a lightly greased basin (1litre). Cover with a sheet of greaseproof and aluminium foil and secure well.
  • Steam for 8 hours over a pan with simmering water, keep checking the water levels to prevent the pan going dry.
  • Remove from the steamer and allow cooling. Remove the greaseproof and foil and replace with new. Secure well.
  • Allow to mature for at least 2 months. Reheat by steaming for a further 2 hours.
  • Serve with rum and brandy sauce.

Dutch Apple Cake February 20, 2012 20:23

A delicious recipe taught to me by my Dutch grandmother. This recipe is also available to watch in Video form here. Ingredients 300g flour 220g butter (cold & chopped into small pieces) 150g soft brown sugar ½ small egg + the other half for brushing 2g salt 400g apples 60g raisins (optional, washed) Sugar and cinnamon Method • Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees C. • Add the flour, sugar, butter and the salt into a bowl and roughly mix together. • Add the egg and knead it all together with a cold hand until it forms a dough. • Roll 2/3 of the dough on a floured surface into a circle and then lay on a pre-buttered round cake tin with a removable base. • Peel the apples and cut them in slices or cubes and add the washed raisins and sprinkle with some sugar and cinnamon. • Add the apples onto the pastry. • Roll the remaining 1/3 of the pastry and cut into strips and place into a weave on top of the apples and brush with the remaining egg. • Place the cake on the bottom shelf in the oven, bake for about 45 minutes or until light brown. Leave to cool completely before trying to remove from the cake tin, otherwise it’ll fall to pieces. This cake also tastes better as the days go on.

Mince Pies Video Recipe November 21, 2011 10:46

We have just posted our latest video recipe, Mince Pies! Watch the video here. Or you can follow the recipe below: Makes about 8-12 pies 25g suet 25g mixed peel, chopped 25g currants 25g sultanas 25g raisins 25g apples, chopped 25g soft brown sugar ½ tsp mixed spice ½ lemon, grated zest and juice ½ orange, grated zest and juice 15ml rum 15ml brandy 350g sweet short crust pastry Method •    Roll the pastry out and using a cookie cutter cut out some rounds and carefully put them in a Yorkshire pudding tin. •    Also cut out some smaller rounds or shapes such as stars to go on top. •    Mix all the other ingredients together and fill the pastry about half full. •    Put the top on, brush with a little egg wash. •    Place in a pre heated oven of 200 degrees C for about 15 minutes or until golden.

Christmas Pudding Video Recipe November 3, 2011 14:32

You still have time to make your Christmas Pudding .... just. Check out our latest video recipe and enjoy your pudding in time for Christmas. Pudding Pie Cookery School, cooking up some treats for Christmas!

Apple & Ginger Jam September 20, 2011 10:48

A really quick and easy to make delicious jam. We hope you enjoy trying it, we love it! Ingredients 1kg peeled, cored, and chopped apples 250ml water 2 lemons chopped in half 1.75kg caster sugar 10cm of fresh ginger, chopped finely 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg 100g dark brown soft sugar Method •    In a large saucepan, combine apples, water and the lemons, pips and all. Cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the caster sugar, and continue boiling and stirring uncovered for 1 minute, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and stir in brown sugar, ginger and cinnamon and nutmeg. •    Whilst the jam is cooking, prepare your jars by running through a short hot wash in your dishwasher. Or wash thoroughly by hand, then put in a hot oven to sterilise for 10-15 mins. •    Remove lemons and any pips and quickly fill jars to within 1cm of the top. Wipe rims clean, and top with lids. Process jars in boiling water for 10 minutes to seal. This recipe is also fantastic using rhubarb, gooseberries or plums, just leave the cinnamon out and use a vanilla pod instead.

Ilja's Apple Crumble August 10, 2011 10:10

A delicious Apple Crumble, easy to make and easy to eat! Ingredients 1kg Bramley apples, peeled and chopped 200g brown sugar zest and juice of 1 orange 100g flour 200g cup cold butter 200g cups rolled oats 2tsp ground ginger 2 tsp ground cinnamon 250g mascarpone


•    Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C. •     Put the apple, the cinnamon and half the sugar into a pan. Add the orange juice and zest, put a lid on top, bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for around 5 more minutes, until the apple has softened slightly. •    Take off the heat and add the Mascarpone. •     Spoon into an ovenproof baking dish or individual dishes and spread out evenly across the bottom. •    To make your crumble topping, use your fingers to lightly rub together the flour and butter until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Stir in the oats, the rest of the sugar and the ginger. (If you like, you can make the crumble topping in a food processor. Just whack in the flour, butter, sugar and ginger and whiz up. Add the oats for the last 10 seconds.) •    Sprinkle the crumble over the apple and bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until the crumble is golden.

Polenta & Apple Cake Recipe June 14, 2011 13:34

A great easy to make cake, we hope you enjoy it.


Butter for greasing 50gr polenta 100gr plain flour sifted 50gr stale breadcrumbs 50gr caster sugar 250ml full fat milk 2 medium sized eggs beaten 50gr runny honey 25ml olive oil 50gr dried figs 50gr raisins 250gr firm eating apples, peeled, cored and roughly diced ¼ tsp ground cinnamon Zest of 1 orange Zest of 1 lemon ½ tsp salt


Preheat oven 180 oC/350 oF /gas 4 Butter a shallow 9”, loose –bottomed cake tin. Mix the polenta, flour, breadcrumbs and sugar in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, eggs, honey and olive oil. Roughly chop the figs and raisins. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, make sure you stir it well. Add the figs, raisins, apples, cinnamon, orange and lemon zest, salt and stir again. Pour the mix into the cake tin and bake for about 55 minutes. Check whilst baking, as you may need to cover with some foil to prevent the cake from browning too much at the edges. To check if it’s fully cooked, use a sharp clean knife and slide it into the centre and if it comes out clean it’s ready. Before serving sprinkle with some icing sugar and it’s delicious with a dollop of crème fraiche.

Cinnamon Swirls July 27, 2010 16:51

swirl Made with bread dough instead of pastry, absolutely delicious! Ingredients 500g strong white bread flour 10g yeast 5g salt 20g sugar 175g water (weighing is more accurate than in a jug) 175g milk 100g soft light brown sugar 200g unsalted butter (at room temperature) 1 tbsp ground cinnamon Method •    Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Celsius •    Add the yeast to the flour. •    Add the salt, sugar, milk and water. •    Hold the bowl with one hand and mix the ingredients around with the other for 2-3 minutes until the dough starts to form. •    Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it becomes silky to touch. •    Rest the dough for 1 hour. Make the cinnamon butter whilst you are waiting, for the cinnamon butter: •    Cream the butter and sugar together, and then add the cinnamon. •    Flour the work surface evenly and scrape the dough out of the bowl. •    Flatten the dough a little with your hands and then using a cutter divide the dough into 10-12 pieces and then roll them into long sausages. •    Flatten slightly, and then using ¾ of the butter spread it along the dough. •    Then roll it up into a swirl. •    Place them onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and prove for a further 45 minutes. Put the rolls into the oven. •    Mist the inside of the oven with a water spray just before closing the door. •    Bake for about 10-15 minutes until golden brown. •    Cool on a wire rack. •    When still slightly warm spread the remaining butter over the top of the swirls, this will make them glossy and taste delicious.

Buttercake June 30, 2010 09:44

Dutch Buttercake Delicious and very calorific, but a little goes a long way. Great served with a cup of English tea, also keeps a long time in an airtight container. Boterkoek - Butter Bake serves 6-8 175g plain flour 150g light brown soft sugar 150g butter, cubed Pinch of salt ½ egg to glaze (100g finely chopped ginger, optional) •    Add the flour, sugar, salt and butter in a bowl and knead all together with a cool hand until it forms a ball. •    Press the ball into a 22cm diameter shallow cake form. •    Glaze with the egg. •    Sprinkle over the ginger if required. •    Put the cake form in a preheated oven of 200 degrees C and bake until brown in about 20 minutes •    Leave to cool before removing from the cake form.

Delicious Tiramisu March 30, 2010 10:13

Chocolate TiramisuA lovely easy to make, delicious & popular dessert, enjoy! Serves 6-8


80g caster sugar 100ml water 60ml Madeira 200g plain chocolate, broken into pieces 200g milk chocolate, broken into pieces 6 free range eggs, separated 1kg mascarpone 400g Madeira cake, broken into pieces or cubed Cocoa powder for dusting


•    Put half of the sugar and water in a pan and bring to the boil, stir in the Madeira then leave to cool. •    Melt the plain and milk chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan with gently simmering water. •    Leave to cool slightly. •    Whisk the eggs yolks and remaining caster sugar together until light and fluffy. •    Beat in the mascarpone until combined. •    Carefully fold the mascarpone mixture into the chocolate. •    Place half the Madeira cake in the bottom of the serving dish or in glasses. •    Pour half the Madeira syrup over the cake. •    Cover the sponge with the mascarpone mixture. •    Repeat with another layer of cake, syrup and mascarpone. •    Chill, then dust with cocoa powder before serving.

Turkish Delight December 8, 2009 11:15

Pudding Pie Cookery SchoolWhy not make your own delicious Turkish Delight this year, it's really easy and tastes yummy! Ingredients (makes approx 60 pieces) 600 grams Granulated Sugar 200 grams Glucose 4 Lemon Zest and Juice 750ml Water Sherry or Rose Water (optional) 150 grams Corn Flour 50 grams Soaked Leaf Gelatine Method •    Boil together the sugar, glucose, lemon zest and juice with 500ml water in a suitable saucepan. •    Flavour with sherry or rose water (if required) •    Thicken with the corn flour diluted with 250ml water. •    Add the soaked Gelatine and stir well. •    Pour into shallow trays and allow to set, then cut into sections and roll in some corn flour.

Home-Made Scones August 25, 2009 12:27

Home-Made SconesDelicious Home-Made Scones, serve with jam and a dollop of Clotted Cream, enjoy with a cup of tea, lovely! Ingredients makes 12-15 150g salted butter 600g plain flour 150g caster sugar 40g baking powder 280g sultanas 190g double cream 190g milk 2 eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt for an egg wash Method •    Preheat oven to 220 degrees C. •    Rub butter into the flour in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar and baking powder. Add the sultanas and mix until they are evenly distributed. •    Add the cream and milk and mix until all the ingredients are bound together. Lightly dust your work surface with flour and turn the dough out onto it. Press down, then fold in half, then press down again, fold again the opposite way, then repeat, until you have a rough square. Flour the top and bottom of the dough, cover with a tea towel and rest in a cool place for 15 minutes. •    Lightly flour the work surface and then roll the dough out to a thickness of 2 ½ -3cm. Brush off any excess flour. Cut out the scones into squares with a sharp knife about 6cm square. •    Lay on a baking tray, making sure that the scones are not too close together. Roll out any scraps of dough and cut some more scones until you have used all the dough. •    Glaze the scones with the egg wash. Wait for 2 minutes, then glaze again. •    Turn down the heat in the preheated oven to 200 degrees C bake the scones for around 20 minutes until they are well risen and the top and underside is golden brown. Free delicious recipes from Pudding Pie Cookery School!

Chocolate Chip Cookies July 21, 2009 13:17

Pudding Pie Choc Chip CookiesThese Cookies are always a huge hit when we make them at Children's Birthday Parties. They are quick & easy for all ages to prepare and taste fantastic! Ingredients 85g light brown sugar 200g unsalted butter (softened) 250g self raising flour (sieved) 2 tbsp golden syrup 1 tsp vanilla extract 150g chopped chocolate of your choice Method •    Line and butter two large baking sheets •    Beat the sugar and butter together until light and creamy •    Stir in flour then the remaining ingredients •    Gently knead the dough together with your hands and then make walnut shaped pieces out of the dough and place spaced evenly apart on the baking sheets. •    If possible chill for 30 minutes. •    Bake the cookies at 200 degrees for about 12-15 minutes until lightly golden but still soft. •    Leave to cool until firm.

Apple Puffs July 1, 2009 15:58

Pudding Pie Apple PuffsA delicious and simple dish, this is also a good way to get the kids to eat some fruit, not the most healthy, but every little helps!! Serves 8 Ingredients 4  Bramley apples, peeled and core removed 1 pack of 250g puff pastry, preferably all butter 1 egg, beaten 2tsp ground cinnamon 2 tbsp caster sugar Method •    Roll out the pastry, into a large rectangle and cut out 8 squares measuring about 20/25cm square. •    Cut the apples in half so that there is still a hole in the centre of the apple. •    Mix the sugar and cinnamon together. •    Place the apple in the centre of the pastry and fill the hole with the sugar and cinnamon. •    Fold the corners to the top of the apple, a bit like an envelope. •    Brush with the egg. •    Place into a pre heated oven 200 degrees Celsius for about 15 minutes, or until golden.

Chocolate Pots June 3, 2009 12:41

chocolate-mexican-pot-de-creme-l This delicious recipe is a real winner with Children and Adults alike. Easy to Make and very luxurious, sure to be a hit after any meal! serves 4-6


225g plain or milk chocolate, broken into pieces 300ml double cream 100g icing sugar Cocoa powder for dusting To serve with clotted cream


•    Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan with gently simmering water •    Gently heat the cream and icing sugar, then stir into the melted chocolate. •    Pour into coffee cups and place in the fridge to set for about an hour and a half. •    Serve sprinkled with cocoa powder and a dollop of clotted cream.

No Cook Lemon Cheesecake May 15, 2009 12:09

Pudding Pie Lemon Tarts

These delicious, zesty little lemon Cheesecakes on a crumbly shortbread base make a simple but attractive no-cook dessert. They look almost too good to eat. Delicious! •    4 servings •    Ready in: 20 mins ( 20 mins Prep ) Ingredients •    8 good-quality round butter shortbread biscuits •    grated zest and juice of 1 small lemon •    3 tbsp lemon curd •    250g low-fat cream cheese, chilled •    4 tsp icing sugar •    8 strawberries, hulled and sliced Method 1.      Prepare the bases: Put the shortbread biscuits on a board. Brush the tops generously with some of the lemon juice, then spread them with about half the lemon curd, keeping it in the centre of the biscuits. 2.      Mix the cheese topping: Stir the remaining lemon juice and the zest into the cream cheese together with the icing sugar. Divide the cheese mixture among the biscuits, piling it on with a teaspoon. 3.      Add the topping: Spread the remaining lemon curd over the tops of the cheesecakes – there should be just enough to cover the centres thinly. You could also top each cheesecake with a sliced strawberry to make it really special.

Brandy Snaps May 6, 2009 10:15

1516319400_brandy-snaps-with-lemon-ricotta-cream-recipe2 Brandy Snaps (makes 10) An old favourite, delicious filled with Chantilly Cream, everyone will love them. 75 grams Butter 200 grams Caster sugar 200 grams Golden Syrup 100 grams Plain Flour 6 grams Ground Ginger
  • Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the golden syrup and mix well.
  • Gradually fold in the sieved flour and ground ginger.
  • Place mixture into a piping bag with a half centimetre plain tube.
  • Pipe onto a grease proof paper into 1cm diameter rounds.
  • Bake in a hot oven approx 220 degrees Celsius for approx 5 minutes until golden brown on the edges.
  • Allow to cool until slightly firm roll round a suitable wooden rod and allow to cool until crisp.
  • Remove from the rod.
Now enjoy !