Cardamom Scented Treacle Tart

A divine twist on  a classic, this Cardamom Scented Treacle Tart will be the highlight of any meal or coffee break, and won’t break the bank either.

Cardamom Scented Treacle Tart | The Hedgecombers

I was kind of surprised when researching traditional treacle tarts that they are such  a thrifty dessert. I was also kind of surprised that the sweet, gooey centre is just a mix of golden syrup and breadcrumbs. Huh. Clever stuff.Cardamom Scented Treacle Tart | The Hedgecombers

Whilst their extreme sweetness would ensure diners only need a thin slice to finish off a meal or accompany a strong cup of coffee, a well made treacle tart sure does feel like a truly decadent pud, worthy of the finest dining tables.Cardamom Scented Treacle Tart | The Hedgecombers

So I took a bunch of traditional recipes, merged them to make my own and added cardamom purely because it it an awesome spice. And so my friends, I am happy to bring you the best damn treacle tart I’ve ever tasted.

If you need a show stopping dessert, this one’s on me :)

Cardamom Treacle Tart

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 8+


  • 1/2 a pack of shortcrust pastry
  • 25g butter
  • 350g golden syrup
  • zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • The seeds from 6 cardamom pods, finely ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 160g breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten


  1. Preheat the oven to 180/350/gas 4
  2. Make your own pastry, or roll out the pre-made pastry to be as thick as a £1 coin, and use it to line a 20cm pie dish.
  3. In a large saucepan add the syrup, butter, zest, juice, ginger and cardamom and stir until melted and well combined.
  4. Remove from the heat and tip in the breadcrumbs. Mix well then spoon the mixture into the pastry case, flattening and smoothing down with the back of your spoon.
  5. Arrange the pastry leaves around the top of the tart, and brush all exposed pastry with the beaten egg. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the pastry has turned golden brown and the filling has puffed up and darkened a little. Let cool before diving in.

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Easy Peasy Crab Cakes

These easy peasy crab cakes are the perfect midweek tea or lazy weekend lunch. Serve alongside a fresh salad or some lightly stir fried veggies.Easy Peasy Crab Cakes | The Hedgecombers

As Jonny won’t eat seafood, splurging on a whole crab, just for me, doesn’t often fit into my weekly food budget. However, this week I had a whole bunch of invoices clear at the same time, and whilst that may have sent most normal women clothes shopping, it sent me straight down to the fishmongers.

Rock & roll.

Easy Peasy Crab Cakes | The Hedgecombers

Whilst I could quite happily have sat in a secret, dark corner and snaffled all that sweet juicy meat straight from the shell, I figured I’d be a grown up and actually elevate it from a guilty pleasure to a light and deeply flavourful lunch.

Easy Peasy Crab Cakes | The Hedgecombers

And so, ta-da! Very simple crab cakes that are flavoured with coriander, spring onion and chilli. Serve them with some fresh salad and a drizzle of soy sauce or some sweet chilli dipping sauce. Delish.

The recipe is loose based on the size of the crab you acquire, just match the amount of potato to the amount of (white & dark) meat you pull from the shell. A small brown crab, about 6 inches across will easily make 4 crab cakes but if you are going much bigger, think about increasing amounts of seasonings suggested.

Easy Peasy Crab Cakes

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 2+


  • 1 crab, ideally handpicked
  • Equal amount of cooked potato
  • 1 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 red chilli
  • Small bunch coriander, chopped
  • Splash of fish sauce or soy sauce
  • Oil for frying


  1. Scrape the crab meat into the pan with the drained, cooked potatoes. Add in the springs onions, chilli, coriander and fish/soy sauce and mash loosely with the back of a fork.
  2. Combine everything well and then shape into patties.
  3. Heat a real good glug of oil in a frying pan until shimmering. Very carefully slide a crab cake into the hot oil. Don't overcrowd the pan.
  4. Cook for 2 minutes then swiftly turn the patty over to cook the other side. Do be careful as it is easy to get splashed with the hot oil.

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Comforting Cream of Celeriac Soup

This Comforting Cream of Celeriac Soup is just the job for days when you need a little extra love. It’s dairy free and yet still creamy, smooth and utterly divine.

Cream of Celeriac Soup | The HedgecombersI’ve become rather uptight about food of late. I’d reached a point where I couldn’t see past the last recipe I’d published and was so uninspired about food that I’d started to live on toast. That is the downside of blogging about food, you’re always pushing yourself to invent something new, to create new dishes that will inspire and excite the readers of the blog, and I’d flat-lined.

I’d reached the bloggers equivalent of writers block.Crema of Celeriac Soup | The Hedgecombers

And so, I released the hold Netflix had on me (farewell Damages – it’s been fun) and instead started watching cookery shows when doing monotonous chores like washing up or editing photo’s. Slowly but surely Jamie, Gordon and the Hairy Bikers have pulled me out of my gastro-slump and once again I find myself excited by food and eager to play with it.Cream of Celeriac Soup | The Hedgecombers

And play I did, in creating this culinary cuddle of a soup. Silky smooth and rich, yet fresh with just a hint of spring. It doesn’t taste strongly of celery so please don’t let that put you off. It’s a lovely blend of fresh, clean tasting celeriac, dijon mustard and creamy coconut milk. And it is blooming lovely.

Comforting Cream of Celeriac Soup

Prep Time: 50 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 6


  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 litre stock, or water and stock cube
  • 1 celeriac weighing over 1 kilo, peeled and chopped
  • 1 floury potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 can coconut milk, top 2 inches of cream skimmed off and put aside
  • Another 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • Up to 1/2 litre of boiling water to thin the soup to your preferred thickness


  1. On a gentle heat sweat the onion and bay leaf for 15 - 20 minutes, being careful not to colour or crisp the onions at all.
  2. When they are translucent and smell sweet, add in the teaspoon dijon mustard and just let that fry for 30 seconds to release the flavour.
  3. Pour in the stock (or water and stock cube) and add the celeriac and potato. Pop on the saucepan lid and let simmer for around 20 minutes or until the veggies are soft.
  4. Remove the bay leaf and season with the salt, pepper, coconut milk and another 1/2 teaspoon of dijon mustard.
  5. Whizz in the blender and when perfectly smooth pour back into the saucepan. At this point you'll have a puree and if that is how you like it, then perfect! However, I like my soups a little on the thin side so I added 1/2 litre of boiling water to get it just right.
  6. Serve in bowls or mugs and top with a little of the reserved coconut cream from the top of the can. Delish.

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Chocolate Valentines Cookies {Dairy Free}

These Chocolate Valentine’s Cookies are dairy free, so simple to throw together, and guaranteed to prove your undying love to a sweet toothed lover ;)Dairy Free Chocolate Cookies

Love is in the air here at Hedgecombers HQ, and to celebrate all things smoochworthy, I made Jonny some loved up chocolate cookies.

Dairy Free Chocolate Cookies

I made them dairy free so that I could scoff them too.

That my friends is true love, right there :)

cookie lw4123

PS if you fancy icing your cookies too, try the icing recipe I used in my Gluten Free Snowflake Cookies. It’s dead easy and doesn’t run or otherwise misbehave. Feel free to pimp it with as much food colouring as your heart desires :)

Chocolate Valentines Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 27 minutes


  • 225g plain flour
  • 100g sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 110ml vegetable oil
  • 5 tablespoons water


  1. Preheat the oven to 190/375/gas 5
  2. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a large bowl. Add the other ingredients and mix together until you have a soft dough.
  3. Lightly flour the work surface. Take half the dough and gently roll it out until it as thick as a £1 coin.
  4. Using a sharp knife or a cookie cutter, cut out whatever shapes you fancy. There are no rules here so let your imagination take over.
  5. Use a fish slice or a palette knife to gently slide the cookies onto a baking sheet. Keep rolling and cutting out the leftover dough until it is all used up.
  6. Bake for 8-12 minutes depending on the size of your cookies - my large heart measured about 6 inches high and that took 11 minutes to bake perfectly.
  7. Using the fish slice/spatula slide the hot cookies off the baking sheet to a marble slab or cool work surface to fully cool down.
  8. If you'd like to ice your cookies as I have, follow the link above to find my icing recipe.


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Sweet Potato, Walnut & Sage Soup

This fragrant Sweet Potato, Walnut and Sage Soup is smooth and creamy whilst being low fat & dairy free. The walnuts counter the sweetness of the sweet potatoes with their earthiness, whilst also adding a subtle nutty texture.

Oh yeah. Are you sold yet? Sweet Potato, Walnut and Sage Soup | The Hedgecombers

This soup has become a firm favourite in our kitchen already. Even Jonny loves it and he’s not quite as keen on fruit n veg as I am :) Sweet Potato, Walnut and Sage Soup | The Hedgecombers

It was also good to put my Foothie power blender through its paces, although it ground the walnuts to a fine grain within seconds! Actually, if I’d have blitzed them any longer they would have turned into walnut butter.

Hmmm, walnut butter…?

Obligatory soup-in-a-blender shots coming up…Sweet Potato, Walnut and Sage Soup | The HedgecombersSweet Potato, Walnut and Sage Soup | The Hedgecombers

Like magic innit? Anyway, as far as I’m concerned, this soup recipe is good enough to become a family heirloom, so please feel free to pass it onto your Grandchildren with my love ;)

Janie x

PS Are you nuts about soups? If so, try out this Broccoli & Almond one I made way back in 2011. Just no laughing at the photo’s, OK? ;)

Sweet Potato, Walnut & Sage Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4


  • 850g sweet potato, peeled & cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 litre water
  • 1 stock cube
  • 50g walnuts, ground
  • 2 level teaspoons dried sage


  1. Cook the sweet potato and onion in the water with stock cube until soft.
  2. Meanwhile blitz the walnuts in a power blender until finely chopped, then pop them in a small bowl to one side.
  3. Pour the veggies into the blender and add the sage. Whizz together until smooth, the pop the walnuts back in. Give them a little blast to mix the walnuts evenly through the soup.
  4. Pour back into the pan and add enough boiling water from the kettle until the soup is the consistency you like.




Shared with Karen at Cooking with Herbs

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