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Boxmoor Direct


ARTICLES / Recipes



Fresh Cherry and Almond Cake

Lemon Sandwich Cookies

Lemon Marscapone Creams

Chocolate and Walnut Biscotti

Apricot Jam Swiss Roll

Rhubarb and Almond Tart

Rasberry & Vanilla Panna Cotta

Mincemeat & Apple Mini Strudels



Cheesy Vegetable Gratin

Vegetable and Chilli Noodle Bowls

Chicken and Rice Burritos

Potato and Broccoli Gratin

Coconut Seafood Curry

Cajun Meatballs 

Chorizo and Prawn Paella

Lamb Koftas

Squash and Spinach Lasagne

Cheesy Vegetable Gratin

Cheesy vegetable gratin
From Feb 2020 | Boxmoor Direct

A warming one-pan family supper packed with winter vegetables & topped with
a rich cheese sauce. Serve with toast or crusty bread.

Ready in 55 minutes

Serves 4


2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
350g small cauliflower florets
1 large courgette, roughly chopped
100g mushrooms, sliced
2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
Large handful baby spinach leaves, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
350g tub fresh four-cheese pasta sauce
150ml passata
100g Red Leicester cheese, grated
Freshly chopped parsley, to garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof frying pan (see TIP) over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for a further minute.

  2.   Add the cauliflower, courgette and mushrooms and cook, stirring, for 5-6 minutes, then stir in the tomatoes, spinach and oregano. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour over the pasta sauce and turn gently to coat the vegetables. Drop spoonfuls of the passata on top and scatter over the grated cheese.

  3.  Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until golden and bubbling. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and serve straight from the pan with toast or crusty bread.

    TIP:  If your frying pan is not suitable for use in the oven, transfer the vegetables to a large shallow baking dish before pouring over the cheese sauce. 

Vegetable and Chilli Noodle Bowls

Vegetable and Chilli noodle bowls
From June 2019 edition
 | Boxmoor Direct

This is a quick vegetarian supper packed with flavour! Soba noodles are Oriental noodles made from buckwheat flour. You’ll find them in most large supermarkets but if unavailable, use egg or rice noodles instead. 

Ready in 30 minutes

Serves 4


1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp grated root ginger
1 red chilli pepper, deseeded & finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
½ aubergine, diced
1 small courgette, diced
1 red pepper, deseeded & diced
1 yellow pepper, deseeded & diced
300ml hot vegetable stock
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
250g pack soba noodles
1-2 tsp sesame seeds
Coriander sprigs, to garnish


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large deep frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until tender and fragrant.

  2. Add the carrots, aubergine, courgette and peppers and fry over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour in the stock and simmer for a further 3-4 minutes until the vegetables are just tender.

  3. Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the pack instructions. Drain well and toss into the vegetables along with the soy sauce and sesame oil. Divide between four warmed bowls and served sprinkled with sesame seeds and garnished with coriander sprigs.

    TIP:  For a more substantial supper top the bowls of vegetables and noodles with slices of grilled or pan-fried firm tofu, or add some stir-fried prawns. 

Fresh Cherry and Almond Cake

Cherry and Almond Cake
From May 2019 edition | Boxmoor Direct

This delicious fruity cake can be served warm as a dessert or cold as a classic afternoon tea cake.

Ready in 1hr 40 minutes

Serves 8


225g unsalted butter, softened,
plus extra for greasing
225g golden caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
4 medium eggs, beaten
300g fresh cherries, pitted & halved
100g ground almonds
150g icing sugar
Extra fresh cherries, to decorate


  1. Preheat the oven to 170C, fan 150C, gas mark 3. Grease a 20cm round deep cake tin with the extra butter and line the base and sides with baking paper.

  2.  Place the butter and caster sugar in a large mixing bowl and using a hand-held electric mixer beat together until very pale and creamy. Gradually pour in the eggs, beating well after each addition. If the mixture starts to separate slightly, stir in a spoonful of the flour.

  3.  Sift over the rest of the flour and fold in gently with a metal spoon. Toss the cherries into half of the ground almonds, and fold into the mixture with the rest of the ground almonds. Spoon into the prepared cake tin and gently level the surface.

  4.  Bake in the preheated oven for 55 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes, until the cake is risen, golden & a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

  5.  Whilst the cake is still cooling make the icing: sift the icing sugar into a bowl and stir in 2-3 tbsp warm water and mix to make a thin icing. Spoon the icing over the warm cake, allowing some to drizzle down the side. Decorate with extra cherries and serve warm or cold.

    TIP:  The fresh cherries will mostly sink during baking but this is perfectly normal, giving a moist fruity layer at the base of the cake. It’s best eaten within 2 days of baking.

Chicken and Rice Burritos

Chicken and Rice Burritos
From March 2019 edition | Boxmoor Direct

Make these quick and easy wrap for on-the-go lunch or supper. Wrap tightly in foil to transport.

Ready in 30 minutes

Makes 4


1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
100g easy-cook long grain rice, boiled, drained and cooled (see tip)
2 tsp chilli powder
350g chicken breast fillet, thinly sliced
Half a red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
Half a green pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
4 large flour tortillas
4 tbsp tomato salsa
Lime wedges, to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onion and garlic for 5 minutes until softened. Add the rice and chilli powder and stir-fry over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes.

  2.  Meanwhile, heat a cast-iron griddle pan over a high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes, turning once until the chicken is seared and cook through. Add the peppers to the pan after 2 minutes and cook till soft.

  3.  Cut the cooked chicken into thin strips and stir into the rice mixture with the peppers. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  4.  Warm the tortillas as directed on the packaging. Place a tortilla on a chopping board and spread with 1 tbsp of the salsa. Top with a quarter of the chicken and rice mixture.

  5.  Fold in the sides towards the centre then roll up tightly to completely enclose the filling. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make four burritos in total. Serve the burritos halved, with lime wedges.

    TIP:  Use a 250g pouch microwave Mexican style rice instead of cooked long grain rice. Add to the pan with 2 tbsp water and stir-fry until piping hot.


Potato And Broccoli Gratin

Potato and Broccoli Gratin
From February 2019 edition | Boxmoor Direct

This hearty vegetable gratin makes a great side dish for a Sunday roast, or a very satisfying vegetarian supper served with crusty bread and a mixed green salad.

Serves 4-6
Ready in 1 hr


750g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
225g broccoli florets
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and cut into thin wedges
25g butter
25g plain flour
300ml milk
150g mature Cheddar, grated
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Fresh basil leaves, to garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C, fan 180F, gas mark 6. Boil the potatoes in a large pan of lightly salted water for 8-10 minutes until almost tender, adding the broccoli to the pan for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking time. Drain well and place in a large shallow ovenproof dish.

  2. Heat the oil in a large pan over a high heat and fry the onion for 3-4 minutes until just softened. Scatter the onion over the potatoes and broccoli.

  3. Melt the butter in the pan, then stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute until foaming. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually stir in the milk. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring all the time. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1-2 minutes, still stirring, until the sauce is smooth and thickened.

  4. Stir in the half the cheese and the mustard and simmer for a further minute. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour the sauce over the vegetables in the dish and scatter over the rest of the cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes until golden and bubbling. Serve garnished with the basil leaves.

    TIP:  Choose a firm, waxy-fleshed potato such as Charlotte or Desiree for this dish, or try sweet potatoes instead.


lemon sandwich cookies
From July 2018 edition | Boxmoor Direct

These delightful crisp and buttery lemon and almond cookies have a tangy layer of lemon curd in the middle.

Makes 10
Ready in 40 minutes plus chilling and cooling

115g unsalted butter, softened
115g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 tsp almond extract
1 large egg yolk
200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
Milk, for sealing and glazing
2-3 tbsp good quality lemon curd
2 tbsp flaked almonds


  1. Place the butter, sugar and almond extract in a mixing bowl and beat with a hand-held electric whisk until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk then gradually beat in the flour to form a crumbly dough.

  2.  Gather the dough with your hands and knead lightly until smooth. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes, or until firm.

  3.  Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to 2mm thick. Using a 7cm round fluted cookie cutter, stamp out 20 rounds, re-rolling the dough as necessary. Place on the baking sheets and chill in the fridge for 15 mins. Preheat oven to 190°C, fan 170°C, gas mark 5.

  4.  Lightly brush around the edge of half the cookie dough rounds with a little milk. Drop ½ tsp of lemon curd in the centre of these rounds. Carefully top with the rest of the cookie dough rounds, gently pressing to seal the edges.

  5.  Glaze the tops lightly with milk and sprinkle with the extra caster sugar and flaked almonds. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until pale golden. Leave to cool completely on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

    TIP:  Replace the lemon curd with jam, marmalade or chocolate hazelnut spread for a change of flavour. Remember the filling will be very hot straight out of the oven, so be sure to leave to cool completely before tucking in!


coconut seafood curry
From June 2018 edition | Boxmoor Direct

Full of flavour, this speedy curry is great for a summer supper. Replace the asparagus tips with green beans or sugar snap peas, if liked. Serve with boiled noodles or steamed Thai jasmine rice.

Serves 4
Ready in 50 minutes

1tbsp vegetable oil
8 shallots, peeled and halved
2-3 tbsp Thai green curry paste (see Tip)
225g new potatoes, scrubbed and halved
1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
400ml can reduced fat coconut milk
150ml vegetable stock
2tbsp light soy sauce
450g cod fillet, skinned & cut into chunks
175g fine asparagus tips
Juice from 1 lime
200g cooked tiger prawns, thawed if frozen
2tbsp freshly chopped coriander
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped red chilli and fresh coriander leaves, to garnish
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted


  1. Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan over a medium heat and fry the shallots for 5 minutes until golden. Stir in the Thai green curry paste and cook for 1 minute.
  2.  Add the potatoes, carrot, coconut milk, stock and soy sauce. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are almost tender.
  3. Add the chunks of cod and asparagus tips to the pan. Cover and simmer gently for a further 6-8 minutes until the fish is just cooked and beginning to flake.
  4. Gently stir in the lime juice, tiger prawns and chopped coriander. Simmer for 5 minutes until the prawns are piping hot, then season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve in warmed bowls garnished with chopped chilli and coriander leaves.

    TIP: Brands of Thai green curry paste can vary in spiciness so check on the jar before adding. If you want a really fiery flavour, fry 1 chopped small red chilli pepper with the shallots. 


lemon marscapone creams
From April 2018 edition | Boxmoor Direct

These quick and easy desserts make a delicious sweet treat for any occasion. Add the zest of 1 lemon to the cream mixture for an extra citrus kick.

Serves 4
Ready in 15 minutes

Juice of 2 large lemons
50g caster sugar
250g tub mascarpone cheese
200ml double cream
10 sponge fingers
2 tbsp white chocolate curls to decorate


  1.  Mix the lemon juice and sugar in a bowl and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Place the mascarpone in a large mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until soft and smooth. Gradually beat in half the lemon sugar mixture, beating well after each addition.
  3. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until softly peaking. Gently fold the cream into the lemon mascarpone mixture. If it is a little too firm, fold in 2-3 tbsp of milk or single cream.
  4. Dip four of the sponge fingers in some of the remaining lemon and sugar mixture then arrange in the base of four glass serving dishes, breaking to fit if necessary. Spoon half the mascarpone cream mixture on top.
  5. Repeat the layers once more using the rest of the sponge fingers, lemon sugar mixture and lemon mascarpone cream. Scatter the white chocolate curls over the top. Serve immediately or chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours before serving.

    TIP: To make white chocolate curls, run a swivel-bladed vegetable peeler along the side of a bar of good quality white chocolate.

CAJUN MEATBALLS with herb and tomato couscous

chorizo and prawn paella
From March 2018 edition | Boxmoor Direct

Mince always makes a great speedy supper – here lean pork mince is spiced up with Cajun seasoning and rolled into meatballs.

Serves 4
Ready in 45 minutes

450g lean minced pork
½ red onion finely chopped
1 garlic clove crushed
25g fresh white breadcrumbs
2 tsp Cajun seasoning (see TIP)
Salt & ground black pepper
1 tbsp freshly chopped coriander
1 tbsp sunflower oil

225g couscous
½ red onion, finely chopped
8 sun-blush tomatoes, drained & chopped
3 tbsp freshly chopped coriander
2 tbsp olive oil


  1. To make the meatballs, place the pork, onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, Cajun seasoning and coriander in a food processor. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper and process for a few seconds until thoroughly mixed. Alternatively, mix well with clean hands.
  2. Shape the mixture into 24 meatballs. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the meatballs for 10-15 minutes until browned and cooked through. Shake the pan frequently to turn the meatballs.
  3. Meanwhile, place the couscous in a large bowl and pour over enough boiling water to just cover the grains. Leave to soak for about 10 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed. Separate the grains by stirring with a fork. Add the onion, tomatoes, coriander and olive oil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Divide the hot couscous between four serving bowls. Thread the cooked meatballs onto metal skewers and serve on top of the couscous.

    TIP: Cajun seasoning is a spicy blend of spices, chilli powder and herbs such as thyme and oregano. You’ll find it on the spice racks in the supermarket.


chorizo and prawn paella
From January 2018 edition | Boxmoor Direct

This one-pan supper can be on the dinner table in less than one hour. Serve with a crisp green salad and some crusty bread for a delicious and filling midweek meal.

Serves 4
Ready in 50 minutes


1tbsp olive oil

250g chorizo sausage, diced
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
4 celery stalks, chopped
225g paella rice
Few strands of saffron
850ml hot chicken or veg stock
200g raw king prawns (thawed if frozen), peeled with tails left on
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp paprika


1.   Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan and fry the chorizo sausage for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the onion, garlic and celery to the pan and fry gently for 8-10 minutes, stirring, until softened.
2.   Stir in the rice and saffron strands and cook for 1 minute, then pour in the stock. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes, until the rice is almost tender and nearly all the liquid has been absorbed, stirring frequently.
3.  Add the chorizo and prawns to the pan and cook for a further 5-6 minutes, until the prawns are cooked through and pink. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve in warmed bowls sprinkled with the paprika.


chocolate and walnut biscotti
From December 2017 edition | Boxmoor Direct

These crunchy Italian biscuits are perfect for dunking into a festive coffee or serving as an after dinner treat. They also make a great foodie gift packed into clear gift bags and tied with ribbon and a Christmas label.

Makes 20
Ready in 1hr plus cooling time


  • 50g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • Finely grated zest from 1 orange
  • 50g dark chocolate chips
  • 50g walnut pieces
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 175g plain flour, plus extra for kneading

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C, fan 160C, Gas 4. Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until pale and fluffy, then beat in the egg and orange zest. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnut pieces.

  2. Sift over the baking powder and flour and stir well until combined. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead to a soft dough, adding a little more flour if necessary.

  3. Divide the dough into two pieces and shape each to an oval shape roughly 20cm x 10 cm. Place on a large baking sheet and flatten slightly. Bake for 20-25 minutes until firm and light golden. Cool for 5 minutes.

  4. Transfer the two pieces of semi-baked dough to a chopping board and, using a sharp knife, cut each piece into 10 slices.

  5. Return the slices, cut-side down, to the baking sheet and bake for a further 8-12 minutes until crisp and golden. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.


lamb koftas
From September 2017 edition | Boxmoor Direct

This flavour-packed dish is great for a late summer lunch or dinner. Serve with warmed flatbreads and tzatziki, if liked.

Serves 4
Ready in 50 minutes, 



  • 350g lean minced lamb
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2tsp ground coriander
  • 2tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp smoked paprika
  • 2tbsp fresh chopped coriander
  • Squeeze of lemon juice


  • 225g couscous
  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cucumber, finely diced
  • 4 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 3tbsp fresh chopped mint
  • 4 tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • Lemon wedges and mint sprigs to garnish

  1. To make the koftas, place the mince, onion, garlic, spices, fresh coriander and lemon juice in a food processor. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then process until very finely minced.

  2. Divide the mixture into 12 and using clean damp hands, shape each into an oval. Push each oval onto the end of a long wooden skewer (see tip) and place on a foil-lined grill pan. Cook under a preheated medium grill for 8-10 minutes, turning frequently, until browned and cooked through.

  3. Meanwhile, make the couscous. Place the couscous in a heatproof bowl and pour over 250ml boiling water. Cover and leave to soak for about 10 minutes, until all the water has been absorbed. Fluff the couscous with a fork and stir in the olive oil, lemon juice, cucumber, spring onions and mint. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  4. Serve the koftas with the couscous and tomatoes, garnished with lemon wedges and mint sprigs.

TIP: Soak the wooden skewers in cold water for about 20 minutes to prevent the ends burning under the grill.


Apricot Swiss roll
From June 2017 edition | Boxmoor Direct

Great for a teatime treat, this light sponge cake is best eaten on the day it’s made. For a chocolate version replace 25g of the flour with 25g sifted cocoa powder.

Serves 8-10
Ready in 40 minutes,
plus cooling time

  • Ingredients:
  • 100g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 3 large eggs
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 225g icing sugar
  • Few drops vanilla extract
  • 6 tbsp apricot conserve
  • Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C, Fan 180C, Gas 6. Lightly grease a 33x23cm Swiss roll tin and line the base and sides with baking paper. Lightly grease the baking paper.
  2. Place the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl and whisk with a hand-held electric whisk until the mixture is very thick and pale and the whisk leaves a trail when lifted out – this will take 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Sift the flour over the whisked mixture, and     gently fold it in with a metal spoon until just incorporated. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin, tilting it gently to make sure the mixture spreads evenly into the corners.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes until the sponge is pale golden and springs back when lightly pressed with your fingertips. Whilst the cake is baking, place a sheet of baking paper on a clean damp tea towel and sprinkle with 2tbsp caster sugar.
  5. Quickly invert the hot sponge onto the paper and peel off the lining paper. Trim the edges of the sponge and roll up firmly from one short end with the paper inside. Leave to cool completely.
  6. To make the buttercream filling, beat together the butter and vanilla extract then gradually beat in the icing sugar until smooth and creamy.
  7. Carefully unroll the cooled cake and remove the paper. Spread the   buttercream over the sponge then spread the apricot conserve on top. Gently re-roll and serve sliced

TIP: Use any fruit conserve you like or try lemon or lime curd for a really tangy filling.



Rhubarb and Almond Tart

From April 2017 edition | Boxmoor Direct

A delicious tart with a layer of tangy roasted rhubarb topped with a sweet almond frangipane. Serve warm or cold with crème fraiche or vanilla ice cream.

Serves 8

  • Ingredients:
  • Flour, for dusting
  • 300g ready-made shortcrust pastry
  • 250g rhubarb, trimmed & chopped
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp orange juice
  • 150g unsalted butter, melted
  • 125g ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 medium eggs, beaten
  • Icing sugar, for dusting
  • Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/Fan 180C/Gas Mark 6. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and roll out the pastry to about 3mm thickness. Use to line a 23cm loose-based fluted flan tin. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, place the rhubarb, 25g of the caster sugar and the orange juice in a shallow roasting tin. Roast in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes until just tender, turning once. Leave to cool.

  3.  Trim off the excess pastry from around the edge of the chilled pastry case and prick the base all over with a fork. Line the case with baking paper and baking beans and bake blind for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and lining and bake for a further 5 minutes until pale golden.

  4.  Strain the rhubarb from the roasting juices and spoon into the pastry case. Beat together the melted butter, remaining caster sugar, ground almonds, vanilla extract and eggs in a bowl until smooth and creamy. Gently spread over the rhubarb.

  5.  Bake the tart for 30-35 minutes until the topping is golden and just set. Serve warm or cold dusted with icing sugar. See tip for serving suggestion.

 TIP: For a stylish way to serve the tart, pipe swirls of fruit puree or sieved jam onto individual serving plates before gently placing the slices on top. Decorate with tiny fresh mint or basil sprigs. 



Panna Cotta

From February 2017 edition | Boxmoor Direct

These delightful creamy desserts make the perfect Valentine treat!

Makes 4


  • 75g fresh raspberries, pureed
  • 1 sheet leaf gelatine
  • 600ml double cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 pared strips lemon rind
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 sheets leaf gelatine
  • Few drops pink food colouring


  • 2 ready-made chocolate
  • brownies, halved horizontally
  • Fresh raspberries


  1. To make the raspberry jelly hearts, line a small 6cm square dish with cling film. Soak the gelatine in a shallow dish of cold water for 2-3 minutes. Heat the raspberry puree in a small pan with 1 tbsp water. Remove the gelatine leaf from the water and stir into the hot puree until dissolved. Pour into the lined dish and leave to cool, then chill in the fridge until set.
  2. When the jelly is set, use a small heart-shaped cookie cutter to stamp out 4 heart shapes and place each one in the base of a small heart shaped ramekin dish (each about 150ml capacity).
  3. To make the panna cotta, place the cream, vanilla extract, lemon rind and caster sugar in a pan and bring slowly to the boil. Remove from the heat.

  4. Meanwhile, soak the gelatine leaves as in step 1. Remove from the water and stir into the hot cream until completely dissolved. Leave to cool for 30 minutes. Remove the strips of lemon rind and divide the mixture between two bowls. Stir a few drops of pink food colouring into one bowl. Spoon the two mixtures into the ramekins, to give two with colouring and two without. Chill for 6 hours or overnight until set.

  5. To serve, cut and trim the halved brownies to make four heart shapes the same size as the ramekins. Dip each ramekin into a bowl of hot water for a few seconds to release the panna cotta then turn each one out onto a heart-shaped brownie. Decorate with fresh raspberries.



squash and spinach lasagne

From January 2017 edition | Boxmoor Direct

If you fancy a meat-free supper this week then try this delicious filling vegetarian lasagne. Serve with a crisp green salad and crusty bread.

Serves 4

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled & flesh diced
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g baby spinach leaves
  • 250g pack fresh egg lasagne sheets
  • 250g ricotta cheese
  • 300g cottage cheese
  • 150g ready-grated mozzarella cheese
  • 25g pine nuts
  • Green salad, to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C, Fan 180C, Gas Mark 6. Place the diced butternut squash, onion, garlic and oregano in a large roasting tin and drizzle over 2 tbsp of the olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss to mix. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the squash is very tender. Cool for 10 mins.
  2. Transfer everything from the roasting tin (including any pan juices) to a food processor and process until smooth, add a little hot water if needed to give the mixture a spreadable consistency.
  3. Steam the spinach for 1-2 minutes until just wilted. Place the lasagne sheets in a large shallow heatproof dish and cover with boiling water. Leave for 3-4 minutes to soften then lift out of the water and drain on kitchen paper. Mix together the ricotta and cottage cheeses in a bowl along with half the mozzarella cheese.
  4. Spread a third of the squash mixture in the base of a square medium-sized ovenproof dish. Top with a layer of wilted spinach followed by a layer of the cheese mixture and a layer of lasagne sheets, cutting them to fit if necessary.
  5. Repeat the layers two more times, finishing with lasagne sheets and a thin layer of the remaining cheese mixture. Scatter over the rest of the mozzarella cheese and the pine nuts, and drizzle over the rest of the olive oil. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cheese topping is golden and bubbling. Serve with green salad.

TIP: Instead of the spinach you could use lightly fried slices of courgette or sliced beefsteak tomatoes.



Mini Strudels

From December 2016 edition | Boxmoor Direct

These delicious sweet and buttery mini fruity strudels make great festive puds over Christmas. You can prepare them a few hours in advance, cover and chill in the fridge and bake just before serving. 

Makes 9

  • 8 tbsp luxury mincemeat
  • 1 small cooking apple, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 8 sheets filo pastry, each measuring 18x31cm
  • 50g unsalted butter, melted
  • Filo pastry stars, to decorate (see Tip)
  • Icing sugar, to dust
  • Whipped cream or brandy butter, to serve


  1.  Preheat the oven to 200C, Fan 180C, Gas Mark 6. Mix together the mincemeat and grated apple. Take one sheet of filo pastry and brush with some of the melted butter.

  2.  Place a spoonful of the mincemeat mixture along one short end of the sheet of buttered pastry. Fold in a little of the pastry along each long side then roll up to enclose the filling. Place seam side down on a large greased baking tray.

  3.  Repeat with the rest of the pastry sheets and mincemeat mixture to make 8 mini strudels in total. Brush with any remaining melted butter.

  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden. Cool for 5 minutes then halve and serve with filo pastry stars and dust liberally with icing sugar. Serve with whipped cream or brandy butter.

TIP: To make the stars, fold a spare sheet of filo pastry into three. Stamp out tiny stars using a small star-shaped cookie cutter and brush with a little melted butter. Bake as above but for only 4-5 minutes until crisp and golden.

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