17 Recipes for the Home Cook from Our Favourite Chefs

Since lockdown started it seems we're all turned to flexing our culinary muscles and auditioning - via an Instagram carousel of artfully decorated banana bread and Biscoff-topped brownies - for Masterchef. Instant noodles and pasta ready meals have been expelled from our cupboards and replaced with a spice rack of which Romy Gill would be proud. Meanwhile we've replaced our regular shopping habits with scouring Amazon for spirallers and nifty garlic crushers.

Whether you're rustling up a dinner-party for one, humbly bragging via the 'gram or using your downtime to prep for your post-quarantine dinner party plans, it's time to elevate your recipe repertoire with these homecook-friendly recipes from our favourite chefs.

Recipes to rustle up Michelin-starred meals at home

Gizzi Erskine’s homemade Big Mac

Confession time. McDonald's isn't usually the first thing we reach for (even when we're hungover, we'd pick Morley's over Maccies), but since the golden arches stopped glowing, we're craving this forbidden (fast-food) fruit.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

For the Big Mac sauce

  • 3 tbsp finely chopped onions
  • 200g mayonnaise
  • 30g ketchup
  • 30g American-style mustard
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp chopped pickles
  • 2-3 tbsp of dill-pickle brine
  • 1 tsp onion or garlic powder
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika

For the burgers

  • 2 x 80g beef patties, 20 per cent fat. (Of course you culinary creatives can also choose to make your own. Show offs.)
  • Bun
  • Lettuce
  • Gherkins (to taste)
  • Sliced, processed cheese

Method:

  1. Submerge the finely chopped onion in boiling water and leave for five minutes. Drain into a bowl (you'll need some of the liquor later) before removing excess liquid in kitchen paper or a clean tea towel, squeezing as much water out as possible.
  2. Take 1 tbsp of the onion water in a mixing bowl and combine with 2 tbsp of the strained, chopped onion and the remaining sauce ingredients. Let the flavours mingle for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Fatten the beef patties and season with plenty of salt and pepper before frying on both sides in a searingly hot pan.
  4. To build your burger, cut the buns into three horizontal slices and toast. Spread 1 tbsp burger sauce over the top of the bottom and middle slices and divide the reserved chopped onion over the bases.
  5. On the base layer, add lettuce, slices of gherkin to taste, followed by a patty and a slice (or two) of processed cheese.
  6. Add the middle slice of bun, and repeat step 5.
  7. Burger assembled, pop it back into the pan, add a dash of water (about 1 tbsp) and cover with a lid to melt the cheese and reheat the burger.

It's just like the real deal.

Roberta Hall-McCarron’s almond cakes with orange marmalade

For something a bit fancier than a digestive biscuit with your (virtual) elevenses, rustle up this almond cake smothered in orange marmalade. No judging should you wish to scoop it straight out of the jar.

Serves 6 (plus extra marmalade)

Ingredients:

For the orange marmalade

  • 1.25kg oranges
  • 125ml water
  • 50ml lemon juice
  • 375g preserving sugar

For the almond cake

  • 55g unsalted butter
  • 125g ground almonds
  • 190g caster sugar
  • 25g plain flour, sifted
  • 155g egg whites
  • Flaked almonds for sprinkling

Method:

For the marmalade

  1. Using a peeler, remove the skin off three the oranges - avoiding the pith. Cut the skin into thin strips.
  2. Remove the skin and pith of the remaining oranges. With a serrated knife, dice all the orange flesh into 1.5cm cubes.
  3. Boil orange flesh, water and lemon juice for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, blanch sliced skin for four minutes.
  5. To the pot of orange flesh, add sugar and blanched skin and slowly bring back to the boil, before simmering for 30-40 minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. To test whether the marmalade is ready, put a small spoonful (about the size of a 10p piece) on a fridge-cold plate, leave for 20 seconds and then push with a finger to see if the skin of the jam wrinkles.
  7. Transfer to jars and cool.

For the almond cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C
  2. In a pan, brown the butter before straining through a fine sieve. Discard the solids. Leave to cool.
  3. Mix ground almonds, sugar and flour in a bowl.
  4. Place egg whites into a small saucepan and whisk continuously on a very low heat until lukewarm. Make sure the eggs don't cook - this is not an omelette.
  5. Fold the egg whites into the dry mixture in two batches. Once incorporated, gently fold in the cooled butter until combined.
  6. Divide the mixture into six in a muffin tray.
  7. Bake for about 10 minutes, rotate the tray, then bake for a further 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Allow to cool fully before removing from the moulds and topping with the marmalade.

Richard Corrigan’s soda bread

Banana bread suddenly seems a bit basic doesn't it? Once you've seen one burnt loaf, you've seen them all. Buck the baking trend with Richard Corrigna's moreish Irish soda bread.

Makes one large loaf

Ingredients:

  • 250g plain flour
  • 10g salt
  • 15g sodium bicarbonate
  • 150g wholemeal flour
  • 150g jumbo oat flakes
  • 1 tbsp clear honey
  • 1 tbsp black treacle
  • 500ml buttermilk

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
  2. Combine all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Make a well in the centre, then mix in the honey, treacle and buttermilk, working everything together lightly with your hands until you have a loose, wet dough.
  3. Flour your hands and shape the dough into a round.
  4. Lift onto the lined baking sheet before using a sharp knife to cut a deep cross on top (as the loaf cooks this will help release steam). Put it into the oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when you tap the base.
  5. Place on a wire rack, cover with a damp cloth and leave to cool.

Don't even think of putting margarine on it; this bread needs and deserves proper butter.

Selin Kiazim’s tomato-chilli butter sauce

Toss through your pasta stash, smear on pizzas or spread on flatbreads. We're rustling up this sauce to pour over our eggs before mopping up the excess with hunks of bread - homemade, of course.

Makes 1 jar

Ingredients:

  • 500g tomato passata or tinned tomatoes
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 1.5 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed and peeled
  • A big pinch of dried oregano (or substitute any dried herbs you have)
  • 1 tbsp chilli flakes or powder (preferably Turkish pul biber; if you like it hot, add more chilli)
  • Sugar to taste
  • Vinegar to taste (preferably sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar, but any will work)

Method:

  1. Melt a third of the butter in a saucepan until foaming. Add 1 garlic clove, the dried oregano and tomato puree. Stir and gently cook for a few mins.
  2. Add the passata, ¼ cup of water and a pinch of salt. Cook on a very low heat for around 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Finish with a splash of vinegar and pinch of sugar to taste, to balance the acidity and sweetness.
  3. In a separate pan, melt the remaining butter and cook until it turns a nutty brown colour. Allow it to cool for a few minutes and pass through a fine sieve lined with kitchen paper or muslin. Add chilli
  4. Off the heat, combine the browned chilli butter and sauce. Mix well. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Alex Bond’s Gremolata

Chef patron of Nottingham's Michelin-starred Alchemilla restaurant, Alex Bond suggests foraging for wild garlic on your daily walk. If your locale isn't so bountiful, substitute the wild garlic for more parsley should their local park be lacking in wild garlic. Enjoy the gremolata drizzled over everything from grilled fish to pizzas.

Makes 1 jar

Ingredients:

  • 200g flat leaf parsley
  • 100g wild garlic
  • 75g mint
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 100ml groundnut oil or neutral oil (sunflower or vegetable would work fine)
  • 50ml olive oil

Method:

  1. Wash and thoroughly dry the parsley and wild garlic.
  2. With a knife, roughly chop the herbs before transferring to a blender with the remaining ingredients.
  3. Blend until desired the consistency is reached. This can be as chunky or as smooth as you wish. Check seasoning and place in an airtight jar.
  4. Smear over fish, roasted vegetables or use it to jazz up a salad.

Romy Gill’s besan barfi

Since we're all trying to impersonate Mary Berry, flour has been a scarce commodity on supermarket shelves… except for gram (chickpea) flour which is readily available in most world-food stores. Chef Romy Gill shows us how to to make a batch of Indian sweets. Mastered these? Check out her daily cooking show on Instagram live.

Ingredients:

  • 125g ghee (or butter or vegetable oil)
  • 225g gram flour
  • 10 green cardamom seeds, crushed
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 125ml water
  • 50g ground almonds

Method:

  1. Melt ghee (or whatever substitute you are using) in a warm pan. Sift in the gram flour and cook on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring continuously. Patience is key to making barfi, make sure you roast it properly to ensure its not raw or worse, burns.
  2. When the gram flour gets smooth - about 10-12 minutes; it should be a golden yellow colour - colour add the crushed cardamom seeds and ground almonds. Mix well and continue to stir on a low heat for 20 minutes.
  3. In a separate pan, dissolve the sugar into the water (about 5-6 minutes) over a low heat. Once dissolved, pour into the flour mixture. Stir until well combined. This should take about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Line a baking tray with parchment and pour in the mixture. Allow to cool, before cutting.
  5. Store in an airtight container and enjoy as a sweet snack whenever you fancy.

Feel free to add other flavours to the barfi. You can add saffron, rose water, rose water or ginger powder depending on your tastes.

Michael Caines’ curried carrot soup

Bringing Michelin-starred fare into our humble kitchens, chef Michael Caine strikes the balance between showstopping and simple. To celebrate the success of our soup, we'll chuck the yoga pants in the laundry basket and dress up for dinner. Even if it is to pretend we're in the grand surrounds of Lympstone Manor.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 150g onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
  • 500g carrots, peeled and chopped small
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Madras curry powder
  • 300ml chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 500ml water
  • 1 bouquet garni (parsley stalks, coriander stalks, thyme, bay leaf, celery and leek, tied with string)
  • Fresh coriander leaves, for garnishing

Method:

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and cook the onion, garlic and carrots with a pinch of salt over a gentle heat, without colouring, for five minutes.
  2. In a separate pan, toast the cumin seeds.
  3. Add the toasted cumin and Madras curry powder to the vegetables and cook for a further two minutes.
  4. Add the chicken stock, water and bouquet garni. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and leave to cook slowly for 30 minutes.
  5. Transfer to a blender and blend to a fine puree, then pass the puree through a sieve and return it to a clean pan.
  6. Check the seasoning and serve sprinkled with freshly chopped coriander leaves.

Tom Aikens’ blueberry pancakes

Replace your standard poached-eggs-on-toast breakfast with these sweet pancakes. After all, if you can't indulge in isolation, when can you? Besides, the added blueberries are one of your five-a-day.

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 60g sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 150ml milk
  • 300ml buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond essence
  • 60g unsalted butter, melted
  • 100g blueberries

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  2. Sift all the dry ingredients together in one bowl. Whisk the eggs, milk, buttermilk, vanilla extract and almond essence together in another bowl, then add them to the dry ingredients. Whisk until smooth, then add the melted butter and continue to whisk until thoroughly mixed in. Carefully fold in the blueberries.
  3. Grease a non-stick, oven-proof pan with non-stick spray or brush with vegetable oil. Drop in large spoonfuls of the batter and cook in the oven for about eight minutes until golden in colour.

Tip: Sure, you can cook these pancakes on top of the stove but, trust me, they cook more evenly in the oven.

Tom Brown’s potted shrimp crumpet

This is the dish that made chef Tom Brown an overnight Instagram sensation. For those of you missing the 'Wick, overpriced coffees and Sunday brunches - of the boozy variety - Cornerstone's potted shrimp is a welcome alternative to eggs benedict. Be warned: it says it serves 4 but these crumpets are incredibly moreish. Double up on ingredients if you're cooking for your housemates.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the crumpets

  • 125g bread flour
  • ¼ tsp caster sugar
  • 7g packet of dried yeast
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 150ml tepid water

For the shrimp

  • 250g brown shrimp (freezer prawns are fine-ish)
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp mace
  • Pinch smoked paprika
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 2 large gherkins
  • ½ medium kohlrabi
  • Handful of chopped parsley

Method:

For the crumpets

  1. Mix everything together in a bowl and whisk until smooth.
  2. Cover and leave to stand somewhere warm for 15 minutes for the yeast to develop. Bubbles should form on the surface.
  3. Grease eight 90mm crumpet rings and place in a large frying pan or a flat griddle plate over a low heat.
  4. Fill ¾ of the rings with the crumpet mix and cook for around 10-12 minutes until the top
  5. has formed a skin and the mix is almost cooked through.
  6. Carefully lift off the rings and flip each crumpet and finish cooking for 3-4 minutes until
  7. lightly golden brown.
  8. Leave on a wire to cool. Try not to snack.

For the toppings

  1. Gently toast the cayenne, nutmeg and mace in a dry pan until aromatic, being careful
  2. not to burn them.
  3. Add the butter and lemon zest and allow to melt. Leave to one side to infuse
  4. Meanwhile, shred the gherkins and kohlrabi on a mandolin or, alternatively, use a coarse grater and add to bowl. Stir in the parsley, mix well and set aside.
  5. Bring the butter mix back up to the boil and add the lemon juice and shrimp.

To assemble

  1. Toast the crumpets under a hot grill until crispy and golden.
  2. Spoon over the shrimp and as much butter as possible.
  3. Top with kohlrabi and gherkin mix.
  4. Show off to everyone on social media.

Tom Brown’s mackerel on toast

Can't muster the effort to make potted shrimp? We challenge even the most novice chef to struggle with this one. Catering to those who prefer mixing cocktails than a meal, Tom Brown has cooked up the ideal Friday WFH-fare.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • Sliced sourdough or any crusty bread
  • Tinned mackerel in oil (tinned sardines also work well here)
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil, to taste

Method:

  1. Toast the bread.
  2. Open the tinned mackerel and smear a little of its oil on the bread.
  3. Arrange the fish and sliced tomato on top before topping with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Best enjoyed with a Negroni (equal parts campari, vermouth and gin), come 5pm for after-work-from-home Zoom drinks.

Chiawa Camp's butternut and parmesan tart with red onion marmalade

The pastry chef at Zambia's Chiawa Camp started out working life as a carpenter but, thanks to a passion for baking, he quickly found himself cooking up sweet and savoury dishes for camp guests. Just call him the Paul Hollywood of the safari plains.

Makes 6 small tarts

Ingredients:

For the tart filling

  • 450g butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into thick wedges
  • 280g cream cheese
  • 120g feta cheese
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1½ tbsp chopped chives

For the parmesan pastry

  • 225g plain flour
  • 25g grated parmesan
  • 150g cold butter, chopped
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp cold water

For the red onion marmalade

  • 2kg red onions (brown will work too), thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 140g butter
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 75ml red wine
  • 350ml red wine vinegar
  • 200ml port

Method:

For the red onion marmalade

  1. Melt the butter and oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Tip in the onions and garlic and give them a good stir so they are covered with butter. Sprinkle over the sugar and some salt and pepper.
  2. Stir everything and reduce the heat slightly. Cook uncovered for 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally. The onions are ready when all their juices have evaporated and they're really soft and sticky.
  3. Pour in the wine, vinegar and port and simmer, uncovered, over a high heat for 30 minutes. Stir often. The liquid should reduce by about two-thirds. Leave the onions to cool in the pan, then seal in a mason jar.

For the tart

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. To make the pastry, blitz the flour, parmesan and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and water. Mix until the dough just starts to come together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
  3. Grease a non-stick muffin tray. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until 3mm thick. Use a 13cm round pastry cutter to cut six discs from the pastry. Line the prepared pans with the discs. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
  4. Meanwhile, line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Place the butternut wedges in a single layer, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until tender.
  5. Line the pastry cases with baking paper and fill with pastry weights or, if you don't have these to hand, rice. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and pastry weights (or rice). Bake for a further 10 minutes or until crisp and light golden brown.
  6. Stir the cream cheese, feta cheese and milk in a bowl until smooth. Stir the chives. Divide among the pastry cases. Top with the butternut and red onion marmalade. Sprinkle with parsley and serve on a bed of mixed salad leaves.

Charlie Hibbert’s pine nut meringue with rhubarb & elderflower cream

Charlie Hibbert is the head chef at Thyme restaurant in the Cotswold village of Southrop. Meringue isn't usually our go-to dish to whip up (sorry) when our fridge is looking a bit sparse, but seeing as we've got all this newfound time on our hands, we're willing to add it to our recipe repertoire. If you haven't got any rhubarb lying around, other stewed fruits such as apples or pears work just as well. Keep the egg yolks and use them for mayonnaise or, if you're feeling particularly nifty, crème caramel.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the meringue

  • 4 egg whites
  • Caster sugar, double the weight of the egg whites
  • 30g pine nuts, plus extra to garnish

For the rhubarb

  • 6 sticks of rhubarb, cut into 2cm pieces 80g caster sugar
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 orange, zest only
  • 1 vanilla pod

For the elderflower cream

  • 500ml double cream Elderflower cordial, to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  2. Arrange the rhubarb and vanilla in a single layer in a deep baking tray. Sprinkle the sugar and zest evenly over the rhubarb. Cover the tray with foil and bake for 10 minutes or until soft but still holding its shape.
  3. Lower the temperature of the oven to 150°C. Toast the pine nuts in a pan on a medium heat until golden. Let cool. Watch them closely or they will burn and shrivel.
  4. Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Slowly add the sugar and continue to beat until stiff and shiny. You should be able to hold the bowl upside down above your head and none come out - try it, we dare you. Gently fold the pine nuts through the meringue mix, reserving a handful for serving.
  5. Line a baking tray. Use a large serving spoon to portion out the meringues onto a tray, a good dollop will do, and put into the oven. Immediately turn the oven down to 110°C and bake for an hour. The meringues are ready when they are crispy on the outside but soft on the inside.
  6. Shortly before serving, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Gently incorporate the elderflower cordial. If you don't have elderflower cordial and can't get your hands on fresh elderflower, a dash of vanilla essence works just as well.
  7. To assemble, place a meringue onto a plate, dollop some cream on top, spoon over some rhubarb and sprinkle over the reserved toasted pine nuts.

Casa Maca’s Miso Aubergine

Straight from the Balearic Isles, Casa Maca's miso aubergine is as legendary as Flower Power at Pacha on a Wednesday. It's about time you used that sake you've had at the back of your cupboard; plunder the supermarket shelves for the biggest, shiniest aubergine you can find and dig in.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Aubergine

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large aubergine

For the miso sauce

  • 1 tbsp white miso
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • Pinch of salt

For the zuke

  • 2 tbsp sake
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp cornstarch
  • For the caramelised nuts
  • ¼ cup chopped pecan nuts
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp water

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Prick the aubergine with a fork in a few places and brush it with the olive oil.
  3. Place it on parchment paper in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, turning every 15 minutes until very tender.
  4. While the aubergine is in the oven, prepare the toppings.
  5. Start with the miso sauce. Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl until it has a silky smooth texture.
  6. For the zuke, warm the sake on medium heat in a small saucepan until the alcohol has evaporated. Let cool slightly. Add the mirin and sake and whisk over low heat. Next, add the cornstarch little by little and mix over low heat. Remove from heat once it has thickened slightly.
  7. Now, it's time to prepare the nuts. Put the ingredients together in a small saucepan and stir until they caramelise. Keep an eye on them constantly as they can burn easily.
  8. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  9. To present the dish - either to your housemate or to make it Insta-worthy - place the aubergine on a plate and slice it open. Drizzle with miso sauce and zuke before sprinkling over the nuts.

Pompette’s Crème Caramel

One of our must-visit restaurants when we're strolling through Oxford's twee cobbled streets, Pompette brings some of France's je ne sais quoi to Summertown… and now to our WFH lunchtimes. If you can't find any ramekins, using empty Gü desserts pots is a fine replacement. Don't worry if you burn the caramel on your first attempt, you'll perfect it by the time lockdown is lifted.

Serves 6

Ingredients:

For the caramel

  • 200g caster sugar
  • 2 ice cubes

For the custard

  • 200g whipping cream
  • 200g milk
  • 200g double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod (cut in half, seeds scraped out)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 100g caster sugar

Method:

  1. Begin with the caramel. Place the sugar in a deep saucepan pan over a moderate heat.
  2. Shake every so often as the sugar starts to cook and caramelise.
  3. Keep cooking until all the sugar is dissolved and a dark uniform caramel is achieved, shaking gently to encourage the raw and cooked bits to mix.
  4. When the caramel starts to rise up the sides of the pan, carefully remove from the heat, and at arm's length, add the ice cubes. Immediately cover the pan with a lid, swirl gently and then allow to cool.
  5. Place the moulds in a deep oven tray, lined with a kitchen cloth. After five minutes, pour the caramel into the moulds, approximately 0.5cm per pot. Leave to cool completely.
  6. Warm the creams, milk and vanilla seeds up to 50°C.
  7. At the same time, heat a separate pan of water to a simmer.
  8. Set the oven to 135°C.
  9. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar to combine, then pour the warm infused milk and cream mixture on to the egg mixture in three batches (to avoid scrambling).
  10. Place back on a low heat and bring up to 60°C, stirring constantly. Pass through a fine sieve into a separate clean bowl.
  11. Using a ladle skim the surface of any froth/bubbles, gently mix once more and then swiftly pour into the moulds.
  12. Place in the oven, pour in the warmed water into the oven tray over the cloth until the water comes to nearly to the top of the moulds.
  13. Slide a baking sheet on top of the oven tray, and gently (very gently) close the door.
  14. Cook for 35-40 minutes until a set wobble is achieved.
  15. Remove from the oven, and remove moulds from the tray to cool.
  16. Once cooled, transfer to the fridge and allow to set completely for around four hours.
  17. To remove from the mould, run a knife around the outside of each one, trying to get a small air bubble to the top. Then, they should slip out of the moulds onto serving plates.

Eric Frechon’s hazelnut-filled madeleines

You'd think anything that comes out of the kitchens of Le Bristol - the Parisian hotel that boasts the most Michelin stars in Paris - would require top-class culinary qualification from Le Cordon Bleu. Incorrect. Chef Eric Frechon has created this quick, easy and so quintessentially French recipe you'll be transported to 8th arrondissement with the first Nutella-stuffed mouthful. Beret while baking, optional.

Makes 6 madeleines

Ingredients:

  • 125g melted butter
  • 2 small eggs
  • 35ml milk
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 125g flour
  • ½ packet yeast
  • 1 small pot of hazelnut spread (Nutella is fine)
  • 1 tbsp butter (to grease the mould)
  • 1 tbsp flour (to dust the mould)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 210°C.
  2. Melt the butter over low heat.
  3. Grease the madeleine mould with melted butter and dust with flour. (A cupcake tin will do here).
  4. Beat the eggs in a small bowl.
  5. In a mixing bowl, add beaten eggs, sugar, milk and vanilla extract.
  6. Add melted butter, flour and yeast and stir until combined.
  7. Add mixture to madeleine mould until half full.
  8. Add a dollop of hazelnut spread to each madeleine and top with the remaining mixture until full.
  9. Bake for 10 minutes in the oven until perfectly golden. You'll know they're ready from the glorious smell filling your kitchen.

Tristan Welch's spaghetti bolognese

Most of us will try to claim that our spaghetti bolognese is our signature dish, but sadly it doesn't count when the sauce is bought from the supermarket. Revisit this classic and make everything from scratch with this recipe from the chef at Parker's Tavern in Cambridge.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 600g braising steak
  • 6 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
  • 1 medium onions
  • 1 stick celery
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 generous tbsp tomato puree
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ bottle red wine
  • 2l beef stock
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • Spaghetti, enough for four people
  • Cheese, for garnish

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 140°C.
  2. To make the bolognese sauce, heat the butter in a large ovenproof saucepan, season the steak with salt, pepper and brown with the bacon for about 20 minutes.
  3. Finley chop the celery, garlic and onion, add to the pan, and continue to cook until softened.
  4. Stir in the tomato puree, bay leaf and thyme, fry gently for a minute, add the wine and let bubble a little, allowing the alcohol to evaporate.
  5. Dilute with stock and the chopped tomatoes, cover with greaseproof paper and place in the oven for three hours, checking every 30 minutes or so. Add a little more stock if it starts to dry out.
  6. Once cooked, allow to rest stir with a wooden spoon to break the tender meat into smaller chunks.
  7. To serve, cook the spaghetti for two minutes less than it says on the packet, reserving some of the cooking water. Warm the bolognese sauce, add a little of the pasta cooking water, stir in the pasta and boil for a minute allowing the pasta to soak up the sauce.
  8. Serve hot and, for an extra British touch, serve it with freshly grated Berkswell cheese - it's slightly similar to parmesan which, of course, would work well too.

Le Pigalle's croque monsieur

If all else fails and you realise that you're better suited to mixing drinks than eggs and flour, swap your standard sarnie for Paris hotel Le Pigalle's croque monsieur. Even the most inept in the culinary department can follow this one.

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of Harry's American sandwich bread (ideally, though any loaf will do)
  • 50g butter
  • 50g Comté cheese
  • 50g Prince de Paris ham (or any cooked ham)

Method:

  1. Butter the two bread slices on each side. With one slice as the base, layer half the cheese followed by half the ham and repeat with the remaining cheese, then the remaining ham. Top with the second slice of bread.
  2. Toast for about three minutes in a sandwich toaster. If a sandwich toaster isn't to hand, preheat the grill to 200ºC and toast for about 5 minutes.
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