Meera Sodha’s blondies with peanut butter, jam and chocolate. Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian. Food styling: Emily Kydd. Prop styling: Jennifer Kay.
A blondie batter, says Meera, should be merely a vehicle for whatever brings you joy. In this case, she has gone “full American girl scout” with the peanut butter, raspberry jam and a little chocolate, but use the same measurements of what you have and what you love – tahini, almond butter, apricot jam, roasted rhubarb, halva, salted caramel, nuts, white chocolate chips, the list goes on – to customise this incidentally plant-based batter as you please.
Yotam Ottolenghi’s white chocolate and pear cookies with lime and cardamom. Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian. Food styling: Emily Kydd. Prop styling: Jennifer Kay.
The crowd-pleasing US-style chewy-crisp cookie is given a twist with fruit here, and it – quite literally – works a treat. The pear offsets the monotone sweetness of white chocolate with its acidity, while cardamom brings sweet spice. Yotam wasn’t sure if this recipe would work, but given the results he was glad he tried. I urge you to do the same – now is the time to give things a whirl, after all.
Tamal Ray’s raspberry and lime curd bars. Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian. Food styling: Emily Kydd. Prop styling: Jennifer Kay.
A reinvention of the better-known American lemon bar, using raspberries (which are just getting good) and that zingy complement to almost everything – lime – on a shortbread base. I have never really “got” shortbread’s rich, rather one-dimensional character, but here its butteriness is the perfect foil for the vibrant, almost jellied fruit topping.
Meera Sodha’s vegan banana bread with toasted coconut. Photograph: Yuki Sugiura/The Guardian
Banana bread is everywhere: it is officially a lockdown 2020 trend. Do we need another recipe? No, but you do very much need this one, which is as good eaten neat as toasted with jam or alongside (vegan) ice-cream for pudding. As you can probably tell, I could – and do – eat it morning, noon and night.
Jordan Bourke’s salted miso toffee crispies. Photograph: Lizzie Mayson/The Guardian
This and the three other bakes featured alongside it put a spin on a classic – chocolate cookies with tahini; coconut macaroons with cranberries; brownies with orange and spelt flour – and can be made in just 30 minutes.
Tamal Ray’s blood orange syrup loaf cake. Photograph: Yuki Sugiura/The Guardian. Food styling: Aya Nishimura.
You will have a hard time finding Tamal’s preferred blood oranges right now, but you could make this with any citrus. It is also not unlikely that, given current shortages, flour eludes you – in which case, this recipe is for you. Polenta and almonds stand in for flour to bring body and bite to the batter, which, once baked, is soaked with orange syrup. The perfect damp bake that, like any good loaf cake, invites your delectation throughout the day.
Liam Charles’ pineapple upside-down cake. Photograph: Yuki Sugiura/The Guardian. Food styling: Aya Nishimura.
Tinned fruit bakes are everything right now: a cheap and easy way of shaking up the production line of banana bread and chocolate biscuits. I can’t confidently tell you whether tinned pineapple counts as one of your five a day, but its combination with dark rum and caramel sauce in this twisted school-lunch classic is transportive, taking you to sunnier climes or simply down memory lane (anywhere but home)!
Felicity Cloake’s perfect chocolate biscuits. Photograph: Dan Matthews/The Guardian. Food styling: Jack Sargeson.
Of all the underwhelming bakes out there, posits Felicity, shop-bought chocolate biscuits take the proverbial biscuit: they never really taste of chocolate. But these, her own version, created with the help of some of baking’s greats – Nigella Lawson, Dorie Greenspan – are not only extremely chocolatey, but require just seven ingredients and a mere 15 minutes in the oven. If teatime is all the time for you these days, this is a chocolate biscuit worth risking it for.