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Monday, 3 December 2012

And then.....

Hello food.....

The previous post - Croquembouche success - ends on a lovely note of chocolatey happiness.

The next misson was to transport this beautiful beast from Lancaster to North Yorkshire, through the Yorkshire dales on a sunny day.

This was the result

SADNESS ALL ROUND. But as Jess's Messes has always preached, it is all about the flavour, not just the look. In this case it also worked, as it was devoured incredibly quickly by all people celebrating my auntie's birthday. I wish it was more beautiful though.... At least it's a story, and I know next time, get people to come to me for the croquembouche, not the other way around!

Croquembouche Success

Hello food.....

The successful Croquembouche

After an absolute Jess's Messes disarrrster  when making Jane's croquembouche for her birthday, ok it tasted nice, but looked insanely bad, I was determined this time round there would be croquembouche success.

And this time..... there was!

I started making the profiteroles and the creme patissiere filling a couple of days in advance. Then on the day I crisped up the profiteroles, filled them and melted the sugar. Oliver (my clever, maths minded brother) made a lovely cone and the assembling began. This was not a process without pain... I still have a few blisters on my fingers and thumbs from boiling hot sugar disasters, however, it was definitely beginning to feel more stable than last time.

As I slowly built up the tower my confidence grew and ther was real hope that this time it could work. Then, it was time to turn it out.....

The moment of truth.

I was so excited, and scared but as i cut and peeled away the cone, it appeared to stay, yes it was holding it's shape - SUCCESS!!!

It lasted all night, and in the morning I added some chocolate to give it colour.

A happy, chocolatey end to any story.

Happy days.....

Sunday, 25 November 2012


Hello food.....

This is bread. I made it. It is warm and yummy.

This is how I made it:

What do I need?
  • 500g Strong Plain White Flour
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 7g Sachet of Quick Action Yeast
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 300ml Water
How do I do it?
  1. Place flour, salt and yeast in a bowl and mix. 
  2. Make a well in the centre and add oil and water.
  3. Combine everything together.
  4. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, until bread in smooth and silky.
  5. Place in an oiled bowl! Leave for 1 hour until doubled in size.
  6. Knock the bread back (knock air out of it) shape it into an oval and leave to double in size again for an hour.
  7. Score a cross on the top and sprinkle a little dusting of flour if you wish. :)
  8. Place in oven at 220c or  Gas Mark 7, for 25 minutes.
  9. Check it is cooked by tapping the bottom. It should sound pretty hollow, then serve with butter (if you like it) or Jess's Jingle Jam.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Recipe of the week - Giant Jaffa Cake

Hello food.....

This Jess's Messes recipe is very easy really, and so effective, so definitely worth taking a little extra time and making a special, stand out cake - rather than a normal victoria sponge/chocolate cake! If you like Jaffa Cakes, this will be yum beyond belief for you and it stops you feeling guilty for working through a whole packet of 'biscuits' in one night, well that works for me anyway! :)

Giant Jaffa Cake
What do I need?
125g Butter
125g Caster Sugar
2 Eggs
125g Flour
300ml Orange Juice
125g Caster Sugar
3 Leaves Gelatine
250g Dark Chocolate
250ml Double Cream

How do I do it?
1.   Place orange juice and sugar in a pan and heat slowly until sugar has dissolved, place gelatine in warm water until soft and then add it to the orange juice, mis until gelatine has disappeared, place in fridge to set.
2.   Beat together butter and sugar until thick and pale. Add eggs and beat in, fold in flour.
3.   Grease and line a cake tin and fill with mix. Place in oven at Gas mark 5/180˚C for 15 minutes.
4.   Meanwhile, break the plain chocolate into a heatproof bowl.
5.   Place cream in a pan and bring slowly to the boil. Pour over chocolate and whisk together until it goes smooth. Place in fridge and leave to set.
6.   When cake is cooked and cooled place on plate.
7.   Cover the middle of cake in set jelly, place back in fridge for 10 minutes.
8.   Cover the jelly and cake in chocolate ganache. This could take a while to make it work properly.
9.   Place in fridge and serve when set! Lovely, lovely!

Let me know what you think:

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Recipe of the week: Sizzling Sausage Casserole

Hello food.....

Sizzling is used in this Jess's Messes recipe, not to describe the noise of a sizzling sausage sizzling away in a sizzling pan (sizzling mentioned too many times?), it is in fact used to describe the spiciness of the dish. I made it nice and spicy to take the edge of a freezing cold day in rainy Manchester, but you can easily adjust the amount of Paprika to make it to your taste. I also added loads of vegetables. This is not necessarily essential, just a way of using things up!

What do I need?
(Serves 6)
A Sizzling Sausage
  • 1 Tbsp Sunflower Oil
  • 6 Sausages (chopped into about 6 pieces each)
  • 1 White Onion
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Carrots
  • 3 Medium Potatoes
  • 1 Courgette
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 600g Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Tsp Oregano
  • 2 Tsp Paprika
  • Salt and Pepper
How do I do it?
  1. Place the oil in a heavy based pan and heat. Add the chopped up bits of sausage and cook quickly until golden brown. Remove from pan.
  2. Dice the onions and crush the garlic - add to pan. Add a small amount of salt and the paprika and cook until onions have softended, but not coloured.
  3. Add the roughly chopped: carrots, potatoes, courgette, pepper and the chopped tomatoes and bring to the boil.
  4. Return the sausages to the pan and add oregano and bay leaves.
  5. Cover and leave to cook ont he hob at a medium heat for 30 minutes (or until potatoes have softened completely).
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
* You could add lentils if you want to bulk it out a bit! :)


Check out the website:

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

November disappearing..

Hello food.....

Halloween is complete, Bonfire Night is over - the next big thing.....


Make sure you get your Jess's Messes Christmas Hamper orders in asap. Everything is handmade from scratch, with care and love from Jess to my unique recipes! :) They are also delivered in person to you with no extra charge. Easiest Christmas shopping ever!

The deadline is 1st December, and as November disappears before our eyes there are hamper orders flying in. Just click here for more info!

Hamper Packages

1. Ho Ho Ho Humble Hamper (3 beautiful bags, 2 jolly jars) - £12.75
2. Santa's Succulent Snacks (4 beautiful bags, 3 jolly jars) - £16.95
3. Golden Grotto Gift (5 beautiful bags, 4 jolly jars) - £21.00


Jolly Jars
  • Barrowscotch Butterclough Sauce
  • Jess's Jingle Jam
  • Charming Christmas Chutney
  • Ravishing Red Onion Marmalade
  • Luscious Lemon Curd
Beautiful Bags
  • Excellent X-mas Cakes
  • Magical Mince Pies
  • Merry Meringues
  • Twisty, Cheesy Snackingtons
  •  Secret Shortbread
  • Giggly Gingerbread People
  • Tarts
    • Onion and Thyme
    • Leek and Stilton
To order one of these exclusive, homemade, hand delivered hampers, just follow this link:

Or email 

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Winter Warmer

Hello food.....
Almost Christmas

The nights are getting colder, but it's not quite time for the festivity of mulled wine just yet!

This is a nice (almost) Christmassy drink, that is super cheap and super tasty.

1. Place a carton of apple juice in a pan with 1/2 tsp cinammon.

2. Bring to the boil slowly.

3. Place one measure of vodka in a latte glass (or similar)

4. Fill up with warm apple juice.

5. Drink (sensibly)


Tarts in a tart in tart

Hello food.....
Happy Tart

Luckily for me I have very clever and talented friends that can help with all manner of Jess's Messes related things!

The latest one is Jane, who has been helping me with all my accountancy and organisational things.

As a thank you I created a specificly requested foodie delight, which appears to have gone down very well indeed. Here are her lovely words of feedback:


Thank you so much for my tarts in a tart (in a tart).  You make the impossible, possible and delicious!

I’ve always loved the cheese and onion flavour, but the addition of balsamic vinegar in a couple of them was inspired, such a lovely flavour.  I think it possibly replaces my previous favourite of the mushroom and , which for a mushroom fan is always a winner.
Tarts in a tart

I LOVE the new tomato,
mascarpone and basil – hopefully this will be included in the hamper tart

options next year!

Thanks again J


A thing to create for a person that has helped me out incredibly and lovely feedback. All in all a good food moment! :)


Thursday, 25 October 2012

2 Months To Go!

Hello food.....

2 months today is the most beautiful day of the year.....  CHRISTMAS DAY!

This is always my favourite day of the year. To come together with all my lovely family, have some amazing food and just have a true day of utter relaxation and happiness.

Buying presents is always something I absolutely LOVE - however I know that alot of people find it very stressful and annoying to a) try and decide on what to get someone and b) have to go out into the crazily busy, cold streets, hot shops and spend hours trudging behind slow people.

The Jess's Messes Christmas Hampers provide an ideal present shopping solution.

Beautiful Bags
Not only can you choose exactly what selection of products you would like in your hamper (all homemade by Jess), but also the beautiful finished product is hand delivered (for free) right to your door.

There's a great selection of Beautiful Bags and Jolly Jars, all completely homemade from scratch with the freshest of ingredients.

The Seasonal Selections

Beautiful Bags
  • Tarts
    • Onion and Thyme
    • Jolly Jars
    • Leek and Stilton
  • Twisty, Cheesy Snackingtons
  • Secret Shortbread
  • Giggly Gingerbread People
  • Excellent X-mas Cake
  • Merry Meringues
  • Magical Mince Pies

Jolly Jars
  • Ravishing Red Onion Marmalade
  • Charming Christmas Chutney
  • Luscious Lemon Curd
  • Jess's Jingle Jam
  • Santa's Succulent Snacks Hamper
  • Barrowscotch Butterclough Sauce 

The Packages
  • Ho Ho Ho Humble Hamper (3 bags, 2 jars) - £12.95
  • Santa's Succulent Snacks (4 bags, 3 jars) - £16.95
  • Golden Grotto Gift (5 bags, 4 jars) - £21.00
  • If you have any special dietary or other requests (e.g. just jars or only bags) just email 

Extravagant X-mas Extras
  • Mrs Claus's Mulled Wine (500ml) - £7.75
  • Mrs Claus's Mulled Wine with personalised hand painted wine bottle (500ml)  - £12.75
  • Jess's Messes the Cookbook - £12.50
  • Personalised Wine Bottle
  • Special Offer - buy a hamper, get a Jess's Messes book for £10.50

To order a hamper just follow this link and select which hamper you would like to order and make you selections. I will then send you an invoice. You can either pay online through PayPal, or by cash when I deliver to you. :)

Please make sure you have placed all orders by 1st December at the latest!

Email for more information! 

Thank you!!!

Monday, 22 October 2012

The most popular recipe so far

Hello food.....

Filo Pastry Prawny Fantasticals
Everytime I come on here to see how the blog is doing, how many times people have looked at it, which posts people have been looking at, comments etc... every single day people are looking at this post.

Filo Pastry Prawny Fantasticals

I just thought I would share the most popular recipe so far, so if anyone is wondering what would be best to make, this is my suggestion - just based on it's pure popularity (and simplicity)! :)

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Party food ideas

Hello food.....

One item that I believe is always essential when having 'nibbles' at a party is some really nice Jess's Messes Slightly Spicy salsa! As convenient as it is maybe to get some salsa in a jar. For 5 minutes of work it is indescribably tastier, and so, so easy that really there is no excuse. Just follow these simple instructions and you will have the perfect salsa!

  • 10 medium tomatoes (deseeded)
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 handful corinader
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
Finely dice the tomatoes, onion and chilli, tear the coriander, grate the lime zest, squeeze in the lime juice, cover in the oil and sprinkle over the sugar. Then stir everything together and enjoy!


Recipe of the week! - Vanilla Creme Brulee

Hello food.....

Burnt cream just doesn’t sound as attractive as crème brulee does it? Anyway, everyone seems to find these difficult. They’re not actually too hard as long as you pay attention and treat the recipe like a science. I’ve messed with it a bit to get it to the stage where it doesn’t curdle, so make sure you keep quantities just right! Then sit back and enjoy!

What do I need?

4 Eggs
2 Egg Yolks
1 Litre Double Cream
1 Vanilla Pod
135g Caster Sugar

What do I do?

       1. Bring cream and vanilla seeds to boil in a heavy based pan. 
       2. Whisk together eggs, egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until lovely and creamy.
       3. Slowly, slowly add the cream mix to the eggs, whisking all the time to make sure it doesn’t go all manky and curdley.
       4. Strain into a jug in case of any little lumps and pour even amounts into ramekins.
       5.Place ramekins in baking dish of boiling water (be very careful) and cook at 180˚c/ Gas Mark 5 for 30 minutes.
       6. Cool.
       7. Sprinkle a thin coating of caster sugar on the cooled brulees and ‘burn’ with a blow torch, et voila – crème brulee!