In my memories of childhood school fairs, two images loom large. The first is of trestle tables covered with white newsprint bearing long rows of floral sand-saucers, all labelled with the names and classrooms of their young creators, and with notices of the prizes awarded in each age group. I was always a keen entrant - but I don't think I ever won anything. My second image is of the sweet stall with its little crepe paper-covered baskets and paper or cellophane bags filled with delicious assortments of delicacies like pink-and-white Coconut Ice and crunchy, chewy Hokey Pokey. Here was guaranteed consolation for sand-saucer disappointments.

  • Salame Dolce (Chocolate Salami)

    Salame Dolce (Chocolate Salami)

    Carol Field's inspired research into traditional and modern Italian cooking has made many hundreds of recipes available to English-speaking cooks. I found this simple recipe in her 1993 book 'Italy in Small Bites' - a... More »

  • Pistachio and Hazelnut Halva

    Pistachio and Hazelnut Halva

    In India and the Middle East this sort of confection is usually served as a dessert in bowls, and has a light and fluffy texture, but I prefer it as a slightly fudge-like sweet. It... More »

  • Salted Toffee Almonds

    Salted Toffee Almonds

    This is a very simple recipe for an extremely popular confection. Everyone loves toasted almonds and when they are coated in crunchy caramelised sugar and lightly sprinkled with salt, the flavours and textures combine in... More »

  • Coconut Ice

    Coconut Ice

    Having tried in vain to achieve a two-layer, pink-and-white coconut ice by colouring the second half of the mixture after pouring the first half into the tin, I decided to make it in two separate... More »

  • Hokey Pokey

    Hokey Pokey

    Although some British recipe books have recipes for Hokey Pokey, they seem usually to be made using caramelised sugar, without the essential golden syrup that gives Antipodean Hokey Pokey its delicious crunchy stickiness. This is... More »