Better Than a Takeaway Lamb Curry

Photography by  Tara Fisher

1.5 tbsp oil
12 cardamom pods
12 cloves
A cinnamon stick
3 tsp cumin seeds
3 onions, chopped
12 garlic cloves, crushed
5cm piece ginger, chopped
2 tins tomatoes
3 green chillies or 2 red (or some dried crushed chilli flakes
1/2 tsp hot chilli powder
1 tsp flaked sea salt
1.5kg stewing lamb, such as diced shoulder

1. Put the first five ingredients into a large saucepan or casserole pot and fry till sizzling and smelling lovely
2. Add the onion and fry gently for 10-15 minutes, stirring once in a while.
3. Add the garlic and ginger and stir for a minute then add the tomatoes, fresh and dried chilli and salt and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Stir in the lamb and 250ml water, bring to the boil then cover and simmer very gently for 1.5-2 hours, adding a little more water if needed.
5. Taste for seasoning and serve with buttery naans and or rice.

This recipe can be found in The Foolproof Freezer Cookbook.

Pooh’s Chocolate Cake

Photography by  Tara Fisher

The secret to a really chocolatey cake is to dissolve the cocoa in boiling water first.

200g soft butter
200g caster sugar
4 eggs
200g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
100g choc chips
25g cocoa dissolved in 3-4 tbsp boiling water

For the icing:
75g soft butter
200g icing sugar
1 tbsp cocoa dissolved in 2 tbsp boiling water

1. Preheat the oven to 180c/160 fan.
2. Grease and line a 28x18x5cm traybake tin
3. Put the butter, caster sugar, eggs and 25g dissolved cocoa into a bowl.
4. Sieve over the flour and baking powder.
5. Using a hand held electric whisk beat until creamy – about 2 mins.
6. Then gently fold in the chocolate chips.
7. Spoon into the tin and bake for 30-35 mins.
8. Cool then turn out.
9. Whisk the icing ingredients together until smooth and creamy and spread over the cake.
10. Fork the top to make a pattern if you like. Decorate with birthday figurines, raspberries or choc chips.
11. Keep cool.

This recipe can be found in The Foolproof Freezer Cookbook.

St Clements Drizzle Cake

Photography by  Tara Fisher

This cake is zingy and fresh tasting – and an easy one to throw together.⁠

Makes 12 squares
175g soft butter⁠
300g caster sugar⁠
zest of an orange and juice of half⁠
zest and juice of a lemon⁠
3 large eggs⁠
200g self raising flour⁠
1 tsp baking powder⁠
100ml whole milk⁠

1. Put the butter, 200g of the caster sugar and the zests into a bowl and beat using an electric whisk until pale and fluffy.
2. Beat in the eggs, gradually, then sieve over half the flour and baking powder, and pour in half the milk.
3. Whisk until incorporated then add the remaining flour and milk and whisk again.
4. Pour into a greased and lined 10 x 8 inch traybake tin. Spread out and bake for 30 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven, leave to cool for 5 minutes while you prepare the drizzle.
6. Mix together the remaining sugar with the lemon and orange juice.
7. Carefully remove the cake from the tin, transferring to a sheet of foil on a board.
8. Pierce the cake all over with a wooden skewer, then lift up the side of the foil to ensure no syrup escapes when you drizzle it all over.
9. Leave to cool completely.⁠

To freeze: Transfer the cake on the board to the freezer. Open freeze then remove the board and cover with more foil. ⁠
To defrost: at room temp for 4 hours⁠

This recipe can be found in The Foolproof Freezer Cookbook.

Dark chocolate pots

Photography by  Tara Fisher

The ultimate after dinner indulgence. These are not for the faint hearted. There are endless variations, adding espresso coffee, orange or mint, if you prefer it to the almond I have chosen.

Makes 8
300g good quality dark chocolate
50g butter
8 soft ameretti biscuits
1-2 tbsp ameretto liqueur
2 tsp caster sugar
5 large eggs, at room temp, separated
To serve: 3-4 ameretti biscuits and cocoa to dust

1. Put the chocolate and butter into a heatproof bowl and sit on top of a pan of barely simmering water until nearly melted.
2. Meanwhile crumble the ameretti biscuits into the bottom of 8 pots, cups or ramekins.
3. Add the ameretto and sugar to the melting chocolate and stir, then remove from the heat and water and leave to cool slightly.
4. Whip the egg whites in a bowl until stiff.
5. Stir the egg yolks into the nearly cooled chocolate and immediately fold in the egg whites until just combined.
6. Spoon the mousse over the crushed biscuits and chill.

To freeze: When set, cover the ramekins with cling film and freeze
To defrost: Take out of the freezer and place in the fridge to defrost gently for an hour
To serve: Crumble over ameretti biscuits and dust with cocoa

This recipe can be found in The Foolproof Freezer Cookbook.

Stovetop Rice pudding

Photography by  Jonathan Gregson

I was introduced to this method of making rice pudding a few years ago. Even without the whole milk or cream it is seriously creamy and is a great pudding fix when you are feeling like something sweet. I have since often made rice pudding this way, as it is also much quicker than the more traditional baked version.⁠

Serves 4-6
650ml whole milk⁠
100ml double cream (or use extra milk)⁠
100g short grained rice such as pudding or risotto rice⁠
1 ½ tbsp golden caster sugar⁠
1 vanilla pod scraped or 1 tsp vanilla extract with seeds⁠
Chopped pistachio nuts or grated chocolate for the top⁠

1. Put all the ingredients into a pan with 100ml water and bring up to the boil.
2. Then turn down to a gentle simmer and cook for about 30 minutes or until the rice is tender. You might need to add a little extra milk if it thickens too much at the end.
3. Top with the pistachio nuts or chocolate before serving.⁠

This recipe can be found in The Foolproof Freezer Cookbook.