Culinary Anthropologist

breads and cakes

  1. St Lucia saffron buns

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    Lovely sweet buns with a beautiful yellow colour.  According to tradition in Sweden and Denmark they’re served on St Lucia day, the 13th of December (also my birthday, so doubly auspicious and suited to baking with expensive saffron).   They are normally S-shaped and decorated with a few small raisins or currants.  Serve warm with […]

  2. Sephardi orange & almond cake


    This recipe is adapted from Claudia Roden.  This cake has north African and Spanish roots.  According to Claudia, citrus cultivation and trade was particularly associated with Sephardi Jews around the Mediterranean, and there are any number of orange cake recipes in Sephardi culture. This cake is remarkable for its total lack of both butter and […]

  3. Malt cookies

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    Crispy cookies with a beautiful dark color and a great malty, almost coffee or chocolate-like flavour.  For Christmas you could add flavorings such as 1 tsp cinnamon or mixed spices and ½ tsp grated orange zest – not New Nordic, but very tasty! For a dessert, try layering crumbled cookies with toasted chopped nuts, whipped […]

  4. Rhubarb and yoghurt cake


    This cake is so easy – you can throw it together in ten minutes.  It always goes down really well when we make it in cooking classes.  Rhubarb, orange and yoghurt make a delicious combination.  But you could omit the orange flower water, or substitute rose water, or just use vanilla.  Enjoy the cake warm […]

  5. Baklava


    The best baklava in Turkey comes from the southeast, notably the town of Gaziantep, which is surrounded by pistachio groves and known for its master baklava makers.  Traditionally it would be made with yufka, which is a super-fine dough rather like filo, and baked in a round dish called a tepsi in a wood-fired oven.  […]

  6. Flaky pastry

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    This basic flaky pastry recipe can be used for all kinds of sweet and savoury dishes – quiches, tarts, pies and galettes of all kinds.  It should bake until golden brown, break into buttery flakes and taste delicious.  The pastry will keep in the fridge wrapped in clingfilm overnight, or in the freezer for several […]

  7. Polish doughnuts (pączki)

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    I hardly ever use recipes from the internet, least of all from unknown food bloggers (of whom there seem to be a few million).  Usually I spend hours, days even, researching the thing I want to make in various books and then come up with a hybrid recipe that, for me, takes the best of […]

  8. French macarons

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    This recipe comes from my friend and colleague Jennifer Altman – currently pastry chef at Bay Wolf restaurant in Oakland, California – who recently came to London to give a series of fantastic baking masterclasses with me. We made these macarons at the Cookies Masterclass and they turned out beautifully.  Don’t miss out the drying […]

  9. Almond lace cookies

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    This recipe comes from Chez Panisse in California, where I worked for a while.  The cookies are scrolled, like brandy snaps, and are delicious with poached pears.

  10. Cardamom cookies


    When I made these little biscuits for my third Secret Kitchen they were gobbled up greedily, despite the preceding four course dinner.  I based the recipe on one from Tartine, our favourite café in San Francisco.  (And everyone else’s, judging by the ‘line’ running down the sidewalk every Saturday morning.)  You can create your own […]

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