Have you got a burning cookery, or career question? Before you write, please do have a look through some of my FAQs first - you may well find your answer there and it could be quicker than waiting for me to reply to an email. If not, then drop me a line and I’ll do my very best to get back to you within a reasonable time frame.
Frequently asked questions
Help, I’m making a wedding cake!
You’re in good company as I get more wedding cake queries than all the others put together. I’ve compiled a pdf of some of the most useful questions which should help.
Can I assist you on a photoshoot?
Drop me an email using the form below, and I’ll keep your details on file. I’m not doing a huge number of shoots at the moment, but things might change.
How can I start working in the world of food magazines?
I started by assisting food stylists on photo shoots, and by asking for short work experience placements with the editorial food teams at some of my favourite magazines, taking holiday from my day job if needed (I was a healthcare copywriter, not a good fit for me!).
If you want to be hands-on in cookery, then a formal cookery qualification will reassure potential employers that you can cook to a good standard. I went to Leiths, but there are many other choices and routes in. The main thing is making contact and offering hands-on help with a smile. If you’re in the UK, then being in easy reach of London helps.
How do you measure flour for your recipes?
So glad you asked, as it’s crucial! To measure fine, dry ingredients such as flour and confectioners’ sugar for my recipes, please use the fluff-spoon-sweep method, as this is how I measured when I developed the recipes.
- Start by aerating it by fluffing and swirling it in the package or box with a spoon or fork.
- Hold the cup over the package or a bowl to catch any excess.
- Gently spoon heaping spoonfuls into the cup measure.
- Keep going until the flour or sugar is mounded in the cup, and is at least as high as the edge of the cup all the way around.
- Take a straight-edged knife and lightly sweep away the excess.
- Don’t pack or press the flour, or scoop it with the cup straight from the bag, as this compacts it into the cup and your bake could end up with too much flour in it.
- 1 cup of all-purpose (plain) flour and measured this way is 125g. Same goes for icing (confectioner’s) sugar.
What is the difference between self-raising flour and self-rising flour?
Self-raising flour is flour used in the UK. It differs to plain (all-purpose flour) as it has baking powder added to it already. Self-rising flour (USA) is the essentially the same, plus it has ¼ tsp salt per 1 cup (125g) flour.
To make your own self-raising, mix every 1 cup (125g) all-purpose (plain) flour with 1½ teaspoons baking powder.
If you do have USA self-rising flour, you will not need to add any extra salt listed in the recipe (unless specified, or you like your baked goods particularly salty).
I have specific dietary requirements, or cook for someone else who does. Can you adapt a recipe for me?
I’m unable to accept individual queries at the moment, however I hope to include more gluten-free, vegan and other recipes on the site soon.
Where are the credits for the photos on your site?
Many of the images here are shots (part of the recipe development process) from my own phone or camera. I am working on adding photographer credits to any others at the moment. It’s important, I will do it, so watch this space. Or rather, the space just beneath the name of each recipe…
Can I run one of your recipes on my own blog/site?
If you’d like to run recipes and images from Simple & Classic, then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
All of my recipes are original – some published for magazines and brands (you’ll see where alongside the recipe), some for books, and some will be purely for the site (‘exclusive’ recipes). I would appreciate a link back to the site if you adapt a recipe. Thank you.
Do you have more info for Commissioning Editors?
Yes, here’s a bit more about what I do:
I write recipes for magazines, newspapers, campaigns and of course, books. With clear and focused recipe ideas that reflect your brief, and well-tested recipes provided on time (with decent photos that won’t leave you guessing), I pride myself in being a solid commission. Baking, health, family, seasonality, ingredient-focused and entertaining recipes are all good with me. I won’t send you a recipe that isn’t good to eat or look at.
I love being on set for editorial shoots, especially if styling my own food for recipe features. I work part time, so it doesn’t always work with the diary, but please try me.
Recipe testing and editing
Book and other projects are welcome. I can turn rough copy into a great recipe that will work first time - and if not, then let you know exactly what it needs or ask your author the right questions.
Shaping content and crafting someone else’s recipes is so satisfying, and a brilliant way to learn more about food and cooking. Every day is a school day.