Autumn perks: Jeremy Lee’s lush hazelnut cake recipe | King of puddings

New season hazelnuts, and a kitchen equipped for baking, provide a welcome distraction from the changeable weather. This hazelnut cake is a remedy for all autumnal anguish ...One perk that autumn delivers with great panache is an excuse to stay indoors. Outside of late, with each passing day, the temperature cools and – let’s face it – the wildly changeable weather we enjoy on these temperate isles introduces considerable wardrobe issues; rain, wind, sun, grey clouds and blue skies bedevil one’s choice of what to wear (particularly if you are of the bicycling persuasion).Being as I am of that very persuasion, wheeling into town is like a mad game in which the penalty is the removal of an article of clothing at every set of lights – or, worse, that I regret not putting on that sou’wester as the blue skies vanish and a shower of rain appears from nowhere. Continue...

Chef Jacob Kenedy: ‘I do a lot of cooking at home and I never lost my passion for it’ | A cook’s kitchen

A splattered splashback, expansive worktop and stylish LED ring light make up the home rig of top chef Jacob KenedyI live above Plaquemine Lock – my pub-turned-Southern restaurant in Islington. I was born here, opposite the pub on Noel Road, on the other side of the canal, but am newly returned. I didn’t think I’d ever been here when it was still a working pub, but my childhood au pair visited from Israel after we’d just opened and said she used to bring me in here for tea in the pram after a morning walk. So the whole thing feels quite serendipitous.I’d been nursing the idea of a Louisiana-style restaurant for a few years, and when the pub came up, it fell into place. There’s no style of food that goes quite so well with alcoholic drinks as Cajun and Creole, and we’re right by the water here, which feels fitting ... Continue...

Meera Sodha’s recipe for mouth-numbing noodles with chilli oil and red cabbage | Vegan

Once you’ve fallen for the unique lip-tingling qualities of Sichuan peppercorns, you’ll find it hard not to add them to all sortsWe need to talk about heat – the kind that comes from fresh chillies and peppercorns, and also from ginger, horseradish or too much garlic. Each plays a different, nuanced role, but our undeveloped language when talking about discrete types of heat mean they’re usually described in a one-size-fits-all way, as simply “mild”, “medium” or “hot”.Understanding the various types of heat that various ingredients offer is an important skill for any cook, and can make the difference between a successful meal or slow, culinary torture. Some heat hits you smack at the top of your head, as wasabi and mustard do, and feels as though you need a whale’s blowhole for it ever to escape. Other heat, such as that of ground Kashmiri chilli or black pepper, has a gentle, rounded flavour that builds gently to make you feel as though you’re carrying a hot-water bottle in your stomach. Continue...

Yotam Ottolenghi’s beetroot recipes for autumn

Whether it’s raw, roasted, baked or stewed, it’s time to get with the beetBeetroot can be a bit divisive. Depending on how you look at it, its deep purple colour is bold and beautiful or, quite literally, a bleeding nuisance. Its smell and earthy taste are just as controversial: “It tastes of soil,” say those who think that’s a bad thing. “It tastes of soil,” say those who think it’s a good thing. Predictably, I side with the latter. I love beetroot, because it tastes of the earth and its colour makes total sense at this time of the year. What I’d love even more, though, is for its range and versatility to be more accepted, so it was less divisive in the first place. Purple beetroot are still the most widely available, but look out for other varieties, too: the pretty pink-and-white-striped ones, say, or golden bulbs that carry much less potential to stain. Continue...

Howard Jacobson: ‘I’m in two minds about fish’

It’s an atavistic ritual. You take your seat, you ask to see the fish, you poke it and you nod your head. ‘That one’Just back from a fish holiday. Not fishing for fish, but fingering fish. It’s what’s expected of you when you eat out on a Greek island. If the taverna doesn’t tempt you in off the street with a cabinet of the day’s catch on ice, the waiters will bring a raw selection to your table. Fresh. Feel.I’m in two minds about fish – it depends how much oil and garlic they cook it in and how well they disguise the taste so that you think you’re eating meat – but I poke the carcasses for politeness’s sake. I have no idea what I’m poking to find or how I’ll know when I’ve found it. Should the fish yield a little to my pressure? Should it resist? Should it be rubbery or slimy; should the eyes be open or closed; should the fish look contented in death, or angry? Continue...