Honey Granola

Granola is like a slightly sweetened roasted muesli, which gives it a lot more crunch and chew, as well as some baked nuttiness. It’s the honey that really brings this together: as well as being a preferable form of sweetener, it binds the ingredients to make fun clusters. Try blossom or heather honey for a proper taste of the British countryside in your breakfast bowl. Once you’ve made your own granola there’s
no going back to shop-bought.

Makes around 1kg

150 g honey
60 ml sunflower or groundnut oil
250 g rolled oats
100 g bran
150 g sunflower seeds
100 g hazelnuts
150 g dates
100 g dried apricots
100 g wheatgerm
100 g sultanas

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.
  2. Pour the honey and oil into a pan and heat gently until the honey has melted.
  3. In a bowl, mix the oats, bran and sunflower seeds, then pour on the liquid from the pan and mix well. Spread out on a big baking tray.
  4. Roast for 20-25 minutes, turning everything three or four times, then leave to cool.
  5. Meanwhile, roast the hazelnuts until they turn a golden brown (which takes about 10 minutes), then roughly chop, along with the dates and apricots.
  6. When cool, mix everything together with the wheatgerm and sultanas. Store in an air‑tight container; lasts for about a month.
  7. They are best served the same day, although the unglazed madeleines will keep in an airtight container for a few days. They also freeze well.

Orange madeleines with honey-butter glaze

A tiny amount of baking powder in this batter, though not strictly traditional, ensures these delicate madeleines develop the characteristic hump as they rise. If you don’t have the specific moulds, use a well-buttered and floured cupcake tray and fill it very sparingly.

Makes 18

80g unsalted butter, melted
115g plain flour
2 large eggs
60g golden caster sugar
20g runny honey
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
A pinch of salt
½ tsp baking powder

For the honey glaze
60g unsalted butter
A small pinch of salt
4 tbsp runny honey
2 tbsp orange juice
100g icing sugar

  1. Brush the madeleine moulds sparingly with melted butter and lightly dust with flour, tapping and shaking off the excess. Put the tray in the freezer while you make the batter.
  2. Whisk the eggs, sugar, honey, zest and salt together for around 5 minutes until pale and thick. Sift the flour and baking powder over the egg mixture and fold in using a large metal spoon. Drizzle the butter around the edge of the bowl. Gently fold everything together, being careful not to knock the air out. Chill the mixture for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 210C/425F/gas mark 7.
  4. To make the glaze, melt the butter in a small pan and beat in the salt, honey, orange juice and icing sugar until thick and smooth.
  5. Drop spoonfuls of batter into the moulds to fill the indents by about three-quarters, but don’t spread the batter out or you will disrupt the air bubbles. Bake for 7-9 minutes, until they are golden at the edges and the centres have risen right up. Cool on wire racks for 5-10 minutes then drizzle generously with the glaze. Return them to the wire racks to set, the glazed side upwards. They are best served the same day, although the unglazed madeleines will keep in an airtight container for a few days. They also freeze well.

Pain perdu with roasted apples

Pain perdu is one of those desserts that can be thrown together at a moment’s notice. Here it’s served topped with honey-roasted apples, but you can use almost any fruit in season. If you happen to have any leftover brioche, use this in place of bread for a luxury version. Pain perdu is always best served as soon as it’s assembled, before the bread has time to go soggy.

Serves 4

4 large eggs
275ml milk (or half milk, half cream)
2 tbsp caster sugar
4 tbsp runny honey
Zest of ½ orange, finely grated
1 vanilla pod, split, seeds scraped and reserved
½ tsp ground cinnamon
4 slices white bread
1 tbsp vegetable oil
20g unsalted butter
Icing sugar, for dusting
Handful of toasted almonds (optional)

For the apples
40ml runny honey
20g unsalted butter
Juice of ½ orange
Pinch of ground cinnamon
8 granny smith apples

  1. Make the roasted apples first. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Put the honey, butter, orange juice and cinnamon into a small saucepan and heat gently until combined.
  2. Place the apples on a baking tray and spoon the honey and orange mixture over them. Roast, basting frequently with the juices for 10-15 minutes, until tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apples to a dish.
  3. Pour the honey and orange sauce from the tray into a small saucepan and reduce over a low heat until thickened slightly. Core and quarter the apples, then spoon over the sauce.
  4. Lower the oven to 120C/250F/gas mark ½. Next make the pain perdu. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, 1 tbsp of the honey, the zest, vanilla seeds and cinnamon. Pour the mixture into a deep plate or a shallow dish.
  5. In batches as necessary, lay the bread slices into the egg mixture and leave to soak for 2-3 minutes, turning once. Meanwhile, in a non-stick frying pan, heat the oil and butter until hot. Add the soaked bread slices and fry for around 2-3 minutes, turning once, until golden brown on both sides. Transfer to a plate or baking tray and keep warm in the oven while you fry the rest.
  6. To serve, dust the pain perdu with icing sugar. Place on warm plates and top with the roasted apples and sauce. Drizzle with the remaining honey and scatter over a few toasted almonds if you like. Serve at once.