Honey Rum Butter (not brandy for Christmas puddings)

I’m in complete Christmas preparation mode at the moment and I had to include this but it is absolutely not a recipe just a throw together of ingredients to melt on top of your Christmas pudding.


175g butter

175g brown sugar

6 tablespoons brandy (or in my case honey rum as I thought the sweetness would go very well indeed)



  1. Blend the butter and sugar together with an electric whisk
  2. Add the alcohol
  3. Freeze if it’s before Christmas and bring out on Christmas morning to melt a little before applying to your cooked Christmas pudding that you’ve hopefully given a little flame!

Merry Christmas!!



Honey Rum



Making homemade ‘Mcdonald’s’ Burgers

Have you ever been sat watching a TV show or documentary and they are eating a well known branded burger or one that looks just like it. We were watching ‘The Founder’ on TV recently which illustrates the very sad story of the real ‘Mcdonalds’ brothers showing how they were unique and special. So in my usual style I went to the internet to see if it was possible or somebody had cracked how to duplicate the famous ‘Big mac’ burger and lots of people had indeed. I have pulled together a few of the elements that I thought would get me close to it and you have to admit when you see the final picture they look really good! Next time however I think I will take more effort to really season the burgers or use better quality meat and they were nice but not quite the perfect patties; everything else however was pretty damn close.


Famous Burger Sauce



  • ½ cup mayo
  • 4 teaspoons finely diced sweet pickles or relish (burger gherkins)
  • 1 tablespoon finely diced white onion
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mild mustard
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika



  1. Mix all ingredients together and store in a sterilized jar


The rest of the burger


  1. Either buy or make your own burgers. The best homemade burger recipes are not made of breadcrumbs or onions just simple ground beef (the better quality the pepper) squashed into thin patties; seasoned and cooked on high heat so they get a little charring
  2. For the buns I took some standard floury baps and added a spray of oil and some sesame seeds as they were seedless. The spray gives a little shine which looks great. Try toasting your buns in a dry hot pan first to get a nice texture. I used one of the bottom buns to made a middle bun like the famous burger has
  3. For the filling finely dice some ice cold lettuce and add 2 pickles per bun. Add one splodge of sauce per bun, one slice of cheese and a burger. Stack to made a 3 bun; 2 burger structure.
  4. For the fries I finely chopped up some Maris piper potatoes and fried them once. I saw a tip that said ‘Mcdonald’s’ dip their fries in a mixture of beef stock and spices before a second fry so I made up a bowl of beef stock and added the fries. After 20 minutes I dried them carefully and fried again. They were amazing. If you can add some of the beef pan fat to the mix after cooking the burgers and it will all harmonize up.


Serve and enjoy!


Simple Caramel Custard Tarts

After a conversation with my other half recently and the topic of desserts came up we ended up discussing the humble custard tart. Now I’ve only ever had these things from shops and I do remember one of my friends from school being obsessed with them.

I therefore went off in search of a recipe and apart from the pastry which of course you can just go and buy it is the most simple recipe to date I’ve blogged about and considering I thought it would be scary to work with cooking eggs (picturing scrambled sweet egg tarts) it turned out great.

Using my simple shortcrust party recipe as detailed below make up a batch of pastry; cover in clingfilm and store in the fridge for a few hours to really chill down.


Ingredients for the filling:

  • 3 eggs
  • 45ml (3 level tbsp) white sugar
  • 400ml (3/4 pint milk)
  • Pinch nutmeg


  1. Get your pastry out of the fridge and on a lightly floured board or surface roll it out. Lay over either a large or individual (greased) pie tin. Even cup cake tins will work.  Using an extra bit of pastry as a tool push the pastry into the corners and cut off the edge to make pretty.
  2. Whisk the eggs into the sugar and add warm milk slowly.
  3. Put the pie tin in the fridge and using a jug pour the mix into the case so not quite filling it. Push into the oven very slowly.
  4. Sprinkle with the nutmeg or cinnamon if you prefer. A little sugar also caramelizes quite nicely.
  5. Back at 220 degrees c for 10 minutes and then 180 degrees c for a further 20 minutes until the dish doesn’t wobbly a lot, only slightly.