A sweet treat

Let’s celebrate the festive season with a sweet treat.

Lulu Williams tells Noni Needs how to make her favourite sweet treat – Florentines. 

And why she goes to the trouble of making large circular ice cubes.

You’ll need:
Florentines: Makes 40
4oz butter
4oz caster sugar
1 egg
5oz coarsely chopped almonds
3 oz plain chocolate
2oz candid peel
chopped walnuts
1oz cheries
2oz sultanans

Melt butter and sugar in a pan.
Stir in egg.
Preheat oven to 350F(180C).
Put small heaps of mixture onto a grease tray allowing room to spread.
Bake for 10-15mins in moderate oven. Allow to half cool before transferring to wire racks.
Coat bottom with melted chocolate.
Store in refrigerator.


Coming Home for Christmas

Clare Boyd-Wallis chats to Noni Needs about her festive plans with grown-up Children coming home for Christmas and needing to add vegetarian to her cooking repertoire.

Clare shares a favourite aunt’s family chicken and broccoli recipe that can be modified and caters for vegetarians and meat eaters. And pulled out of the freezer when needed.

And Clare talks helpful cooking tips from Bish Bash Bosh, a vegetarian sensation.

Clare B-W’s Chicken and Broccoli in a Mayonnaise Curried Sauce
Serves 6

You will Need:
1 large chicken
1 onion
1 carrot
Bouquet Garni (or a few herbs)
Salt and Pepper
A few whole peppercorns
2Ibs Broccoli
Butter for greasing

For Sauce:
2oz Butter
2oz Plain Flour
1 rounded tablespoon of curry powder
7oz Evaporated milk
2 tablespoons Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 oz Cheddar cheese (a little more to sprinkle on top)
Some bread crumbs

Poach Chicken in large saucepan having covered with water. Add chopped onion and carrot, black peppercorns and Bouquet Garni. Simmer until juices run clear. Leave chicken to cool, while still warm remove meat from chicken and set aside. Keep one pint of the water for your sauce removing veg and Bouquet Garni. Cook Broccoli until tender. Drain and run under cold water to refresh colour. Butter large oven dish and place Broccoli in a layer on the bottom.

Melt butter, flour and curry powder. Cook briefly and then gradually add the stock from the chicken. Once sauce begins to boil remove from the heat and add evaporated milk, mayonnaise, lemon juice and grated cheese. Season to taste. Make a layer of chicken on the broccoli and pour over sauce. Sprinkle grated cheese on top with bread crumbs. When cool dish can now be frozen.

Heat through at 180 degrees until browning and bubbling.

A vegetarian version can be made using Quorn pieces, find them in the freezer section of the supermarket. Roast Quorn on an oven tray and then put over broccoli. Use a vegetarian stock cube to make stock and then do as above.

Cheese notes from Ben Rosling of Cheeseculture

Ben Rosling from Cheeseculture.co.uk talks about 3 Hampshire cheeses to Noni Needs. Tunsworth, Winslade and Old Winchester.

Smelly, runny or hard?

There’s also tips on how to get the best from your cheese and how to pair your wine like a professional to go with your cheese. 

Cchristmas cheese box
Christmas Cheese box from Cheeseculture.co.uk

Thanksgiving in Steep

Thanksgiving is alive and well in Steep.

Genevieve Hayes and Debora Harding share their menus, recipes, memories and neighbourghly love of Thanksgiving with Noni Needs.

Gen's Pumpkin pie
Genevieve’s homemade Pumpkin pie


RECIPE OPTION 1 – uses corn syrup


  • 1 cup Karo Light or Dark Corn Syrup (if you can find it in UK)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups (170g/ 6 ounces) pecans
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust


  • Step 1. Mix corn syrup, eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla using a spoon in a bowl and stir in pecans.
  • Step 2. Pour the above into the pre made pie crust.
  • Step 3. Bake at 175c in the centre of the oven for 60 to 70 minutes.

RECIPE OPTION 2 – uses golden and maple syrup


  • flour, for dusting
  • 500g pack sweet shortcrust pastry
  • 75g butter, softened
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 175g golden syrup
  • 175g maple syrup 3 eggs,
  • beaten ½ tsp vanilla extract 300g pecan halves
  • double cream, whipped, to serve
  • Step 1 On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry and line it in a 23cm pie dish. Prick the base of the pastry case with a fork and chill for 30 mins, or until firm.
  • Step 2 Heat oven to 190c. Line the pastry case with baking parchment, fill with baking beans and bake for 15-20 mins until the sides are set. Remove the beans and parchment and return to the oven for 5-10 mins until the pastry is golden and the base is set. Leave to cool.
  • Step 3 Turn up oven temp to 200c. Use an electric whisk to beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Keep the beaters going and pour in both of the syrups. Gradually add the eggs, ¼ tsp salt and the vanilla, then whisk until combined. Stir through the pecans, then pour the mixture into the pastry case. Bake for 10 mins. Turn heat down to 160c for 30-35 mins (the pie should be golden brown and the filling should wobble a little in the centre when shaken). Leave to cool and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.



For the pastry:

  • 510g plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 300g cold butter
  • 6tbsp caster sugar

For the pie filling:

  • 1 small culinary pumpkin
  • 435g maple syrup
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cloves (or 5 cloves, ground)
  • 9 tbsp golden rum (optional)
  • 9 large eggs
  • 450ml evaporated milk

Step 1. Make the pastry by mixing the ingredients, rolling out and chilling in the fridge.

Step 2.  Chop pumpkin in half and roast in the oven for about an hour. Remove from oven, cool and remove flesh into a bowl.  When cool completely add the maple syrup, spices, rum and beaten eggs into the bowl and mix with a hand whisk.  Then add the evaporated milk.

Step 2.  Remove pastry from the fridge and line a greased pie dish with the pastry.  Fill with the pumpkin mixture and bake in the oven at 170 for 45-55 mins.  Halfway through check the pie and cover the pastry with tin foil if it is getting too browned. To check the pie is done insert a knife, which should be wet but clean and the centre will be just barely jiggly.  Cool for 2 hours before serving with whipped cream.

Recipes from Geneveive Hayes

Shine Radio’s Recipe: What’s a Poke Bowl?

Comfort food and a healthy dish. Who could ask for anything more? 

Before lockdown 2, Kate Fairweather had cooked Noni Needs her Hawaiian Poke bowl which is deeply rooted in Japanese cuisine.

Here Kate shares her fast, easy, delicious lunch ideas. And even better, you can use leftovers.

Kate Fairweather poke bowl
A delicious Poke bowl of loveliness

Parent’s Piccalilli

Mandy P, shares her Parent Pickles’ secrets with Noni Needs. Have you ever made a pickle or been in one?

Join Noni as she finds out from Mandy how to make her Parents Piccalilli.

Great with Cauliflower cheese – now that’s a tip from Alan Cosh!

Parents Pickles

You’ll Need:
4 sterilised jars.
A non-metallic bowl for mixing the veg and letting stand over night
A big pan for cooking

450g/ 1 lb each of peeled pickling onions, cauliflower florets, de-seeded cucumber, topped and tailed french beans
340g/12oz coarse rock salt
1 tbsp each english mustard powder, ground ginger and ground tumeric
750 ml/1.25 pt white malt vinegar
1 tbsp whole yellow mustard seeds
2 cloves garlic, chopped
175g/6 fl oz light muscovado sugar
2-3 tbsp cornflour

And listen to the rest.


Cara Wassenberg’s Blueberry cake delight

Cara Wassenberg talks Noni Needs through her Blueberry cake recipe. A favourite for a special occasion, like a birthday. Cream cheese frosting is essential.

View Cara’s work at www.Gallery57.co.uk or at www.carawassenberg.com.

This recipe is based on the Blueberry cake in Humming bird bakery recipe book.

You’ll need:

For the cake
350g unsalted butter, at room temperature
350g caster sugar
6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
450g plain flour
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
280ml soured cream
250g fresh blueberries plus extra to decorate

icing sugar to dust, if desired

a 25cm ring mould, greased and dusted with flour

Cream Cheese frosting x 2 lots
300g icing sugar
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold

Debora Harding’s Halloween chocolate chip cookies

“Own your own magic”. Hot off the interview trail with Jane Garvey, Mariella Frostrop, Kate Mosse and Jeremy Vine with her book, Dancing with the Octopus, The telling of a true crime.

Debut author, Debora Harding chats to Noni Needs about her Halloween in the US in her haunted house. A fire station no less.

Sharing a fast, easy and magical chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Debora Harding cookies
Cooking up a magical batch of cookie dough
Debora Harding cookies
Debora Harding cookies

Rice Inspiration

Bored of Rice? No such thing.

Listen to James “Foodie” Fairweather inspire Noni by taking her on a rice dish inspiration of different rice grains from around the world. Originally broadcast as a two part special. You can now listen to it as a single podcast.

How many different rices do you use in your cooking?

Rachel Perry’s apple chutney

Join Rachel for chutney delight

This week’s Shine radio recipe is all about apples.

Noni Needs chats to Rachel Perry about her special recipe for making apple chutney. This recipe has been tried and tested over the years. Great for your cheeseboard or a Christmas gift.

You’ll need:
A preserving pan
Makes approx 11-12 jars – re-use empty, sterilised jam jars

2 kg apples
1 kg onions
250g raisins
3 good thumb-sized pieces fresh ginger, finely chopped
3 chillies
900g light brown sugar
900ml malt vinegar
10g pickle spice (in a muslin)
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons mixed spice

Mix in the pan
Simmer for 40 minutes
Put into sterilised jars

Eat after 3 weeks when the colour has deepened
Wrap and gift, as you will

Happy Eating x