The team share their most treasured recipes

All the global great and good in food and beverage are descending on London's ExCeL for the International Food & Drink Event 2023. It's an absolute must for our foodie team - great networking, interesting seminars and a dream for samples. To celebrate, we asked the team to share their secret family favourites. Tuck in and enjoy.

Rachael’s Mum’s Jumble

“My Mum used to make this for us growing up.”


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 4 oz butter
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup cornflakes
  • 1 egg (optional)


Melt butter, then add dry ingredients. Press into a sponge dish in moderate oven for 20-30 minutes. Ice with chocolate icing. Cut into squares while still hot.

Anisha’s Mum’s Gujarati Chicken Curry


  • 500g chicken (serves 4)
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • Cooking oil
  • 1 diced onion (medium)
  • 3 chopped spring onions
  • 1 handful chopped coriander


  • 5 cloves
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tsp fresh garlic paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin & coriander blend powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp ground green chillies
  • 1 tsp garam masala


  1. Heat oil in pan, covering base. Add the cloves and cinnamon sticks.
  2. Mix in the garlic paste.
  3. Add the diced onions and saute for 2-3 minutes, until coloured.
  4. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and add all seasoning ingredients, apart from the garam masala.
  5. Simmer for 3-5 minutes and add the chicken.
  6. Add two glasses of water and leave to cook, stirring occasionally.
  7. Once the chicken has cooked through, keep on a low heat and add the garam masala, chopped spring onions and chopped coriander.
  8. Simmer for a further 3-5 minutes before serving.

Eiléanór’s Nan’s Scones

“A staple bake my Nan used to make”


  • 8 oz self-raising flour
  • 2 oz butter
  • 2 oz sugar
  • 3 oz sultanas
  • Drop of milk


  1. Heat oven to 180c
  2. Add the flour and butter to a mixing bowl and rub in with your fingers until looks like fine crumbs.
  3. Stir in the sugar and sultanas and then the milk to form a soft dough
  4. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface (no thinner than 2-3cm) and stamp out the scones (I usually use a 6 or 7cm cutter and get about 8 or 9 scones)
  5. Bake for around 10 mins until golden on top

Lisa’s Grandma Green’s Chocolate Sponge Cake

“In celebration of her 100th Birthday this year, it has to be my Grandma’s chocolate sponge recipe which has been used for family birthday cakes and teatime treats for generations! I also used it when I worked in a local ice cream shop and café, and it always went down a treat.”


For the sponge

  • 8oz (225g) self-raising flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 8oz (225g) unsalted butter, softened (or stork for baking)
  • 8oz (225g) caster sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp milk

For the chocolate buttercream

  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 500g icing sugar, sifted
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
  • Small amount of cold water


You can do this by hand, or using a food processor with a plastic blade or a whisk paddle.

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy
  3. Sieve all the dry ingredients into the mixture, then add the eggs, milk and vanilla extract
  4. Beat the mixture until fluffy and pale
  5. Grease 2 sandwich tins (including the sides) and line the bottom of the tins with a circle of greaseproof paper then grease again over the paper
  6. Split the mixture evenly between the tins, spreading it out until it nearly touches the sides, and the top is fairly flat/even
  7. Bake for approx. 35 mins. Warning: do not open the oven door until at least 30 minutes has passed or the sponges will sink! You can test they are done by lightly pressing down on the tips in the middle. If they spring back, they are done, if they do not spring back and are still a bit squishy, they need a few more minutes.
  8. Cool in the tins on a wire rack for about 5 mins then turn them out of the tins onto the racks. Carefully remove the paper and leave them to cool completely.
  9. Make the buttercream by beating together your icing sugar and butter until light and creamy (a food processor or electric whisk makes this easier but is not essential). Add your cocoa powder and approx. 2tsp of the water and beat it until it is a smooth, spreading consistency (adding a little more water at a time to get this right.)
  10. Sandwich your sponges together with a generous amount of buttercream. Top with more buttercream or alternatively sifted icing sugar or cocoa powder (or both!) sprinkles or chocolate buttons also make a great topping!

Amy’s Mum’s Italian Beef Casserole

“Like a Bolognese but much, much better. My favourite as a child and one I make for my family now.”


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic (I usually go for the full bulb)
  • 1 celery stick finely chopped
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 2-3 bacon rashers chopped
  • 500g beef mince
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes, drained
  • 400g can of Campbell’s Condensed Tomato Soup
  • 1 tbs dried basil leaves
  • 250g tagliatelle
  • 250g cheese, grated


  1. Fry onion gently in oil until softened. Add garlic in the last minute. Once onion is soft, add celery and carrot, cook for a further 5 minutes.
  2. Add bacon and mince and cook until browned
  3. Add tomatoes, soup, basil, salt and pepper.
  4. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. While everything is cooking, heat oven to 180C and cook the pasta.
  6. Mix everything together
  7. Transfer to casserole dish and cover liberally with grated cheese.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes until cheese has melted.

Abbie’s Nan’s Chocolate Chip Buns

“SUPER simple but is my absolute favourite – my nan used to make them and now my mum makes them, and Freddie has helped make a few batches too. Great for kids to get involved in!”


  • 6oz baking spread or butter
  • 6oz caster sugar
  • 6oz self-raising flour, sieved
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 packet dark choc chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degree Celsius (fan oven).
  2. Beat the margarine until smooth.
  3. Add the sugar, and whisk into the margarine until it’s pale and soft.
  4. Mix in the eggs bit by bit, adding a spoonful of flour each time to prevent it from curdling.
  5. Once you’ve added all the egg, mix in the remaining flour.
  6. Stir through the chocolate chips.
  7. Line a muffin tray with 12 cases and evenly spoon in the mixture.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly pressed.

Some other favourites from the team you can find online.


“This has been updated for the Coronation but we’ve used this Carnation Tiffin recipe for years!”


“Family recipes are top secret in my household so I’m sharing a mid-week meal I enjoy rustling up on a regular basis – the Hairy Bikers’ Chicken and Ham Tangle Pie.

If you’ve landed here from the IFE – thanks for reading! We are a specialist food and drink PR agency. You can find out more about Pier’s food and drink expertise, what we do and examples of our work, here.

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