American Breakfast Pancakes: These are those thick, spongy American pancakes that are often eaten with warm maple syrup and crisp fried bacon. I love them with the syrup alone, but if you do want bacon, I think streaky is best. You can easily cook these pancakes by dolloping the batter onto a hot griddle (smooth, nor ridged, side) or heavy based pan.
Ultimate Christmas Pudding: I don’t deny it: there is something unattractively boastful about calling one’s own recipe “ultimate”. But having soaked my dried fruit for this pudding in Pedro Ximénez – the sweet, dark, sticky sherry that has a hint of liquorice, fig and treacle about it – I know there is no turning back. It’s not even as if it’s an extravagance: the rum or brandy I’ve used up till now are more expensive and do the trick less well. This is sensational.
Molten Chocolate Babycakes: These are the acceptable face of culinary cute: their intensity guarantees the triumph of chic over prettiness. And, what's more, they're easy to make. You can make the mixture up a few hours in advance and put it ready and waiting in the prepared tins in the fridge until you want to cook them, which must be at the moment you're ready to eat them.
Flourless Chocolate Lime Cake with Margerita Cream:There is something about a flourless chocolate cake that makes it so damn easy to eat. This is one of my fallback favourites for pudding when I have friends over for supper.
Star-Topped Mince Pies:This is the way I make my mince pies, and there is no changing me or them: they are small, to be popped straight into the mouth in one go; the pastry is plain, the better to contrast with the rich, fruited filling; and they have not full casings but little stars as lids, which makes them look beautiful and taste flutteringly light.
Christmas-Spiced Chocolate Cake: There are few more popular ways to end a dinner party than with a fallen chocolate cake – the cakes are so called because they are compact and flourless and, when cooling out of the oven, their rich centres drop and dip a little. It is into this dip, not so dramatic as to be called a crater, that you drop or scatter the sticky nut topping.
Chestnut Chocolate Pots: I'm almost embarrassed by how easy these are. It's true that you do need a processor, though you could just chop well and whisk using a lot of elbow grease. As an experiment, I also tried the chestnut pots as chestnut chocolate mousses: the mousses were more work and not as good; this - lazy - way provides a much more meltingly luscious texture.
Pizza rustica is not a pizza in the way that we've come to understand it, though anyone who's spent time in Italy might well have come across it. Pizza Rustica: The word pizza simply means pie, and this term denotes a deep, pastry-encased creation.
Christmas Chocolate Biscuits: I love these dark, fat patties of chocolate shortbread exuberantly topped with festive sprinkles. There’s something so cheering about the sight of them, but they have more in their favour than looks: they are a doddle to make, and meltingly gorgeous to eat.