Wednesday, 2 August 2017


This is my last post before a summer break, but I will return on 17th Sept with lots of new recipes for the autumn. This intriguing cake comes from the Cornwall Hospice, Great Cornish Cake Bake Cake Book. A little taster for you, from this brilliant little book, available in any Cornwall Hospice shop or Amazon for just £6.99. Please support Judy Lawton, the Cornwall Hospice funds organiser by buying this book, for such a great cause, if you haven’t done so already. It is so good, I think you should do another next year Judy!

The recipe has a very interesting story attached to it, but I will say no more! You will have to buy the book, but I can tell you it is from a lovely lady named Doreen Donnithorne who comes from Mitchell.

Grease and line an 8” loose bottomed tin. Pre heat your fan oven to 160C [gas 4]

2 level tablespoons golden syrup
5 level tablespoons marmalade
3 oz brown [wholemeal] bread, crust removed and cut into about ½” cubes
see notes

Blend the syrup and marmalade and in a basin, stir in the bread and coat well. then set aside for a while.

6 oz butter
6 level tablespoons golden syrup
2 large eggs
5 level tablespoons marmalade
12 oz self raising flour
1 level teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 level teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
¼ pint milk, approx

Beat the fat and syrup until light, then add the eggs, one at a time, then the marmalade. Fold in the sifted flour, baking power and spices then add enough milk to make a smooth but fairly stiff consistency. Turn into your prepared tin, level off then carefully spread the topping.

Bake for 1 hour. [mine took a good ten minutes more] Cool in the tin for a bit. Very unusual and just yummy! A great spicy combination of flavours.

The original recipe used margarine.
I covered the top of the cake with tin foil for the last 20 mins of baking.
In the list of ingredients it tells you to use about ½ pint milk. I think this is a mistake as a quarter is about right.
I could not coat all the bread topping with the listed amount of syrup and marmalade, so added a little more, making sure the cubes were all well coated.
My home made marmalade is quite chunky, so I cut the slivers up a little.


See you in the autumn. Best wishes for happy holidays, Laurie, Penryn. x

Monday, 31 July 2017


How good does this look!! Not bad, considering this is exactly as printed in the 1917 Modern Cookery. It looks yummy and up to date! We loved the grainy fudgy filling and topping.

Butter and line the base of a 8” spring form tin.. Pre heat your fan oven to 160C

6 oz plain flour
1½ oz ground rice
4½ oz softened butter
3 oz demerara sugar
3 oz golden syrup
½ teaspoon each of mixed spice and ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large tablespoon milk
3 eggs

In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar to a soft cream, then add the spices and syrup. Mix well then beat in the eggs, with a little of the flour with each addition. Now add the ground rice, flour, baking powder and milk. Mix well then turn into your tin and bake in a moderate oven for about 30 minutes.

When cold split in half. Meanwhile, while it is cooling:

Fudge Filling:

9 oz demerara sugar
1½ oz butter
3 tablespoons milk
Topping: walnuts

Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and stir over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved. Boil for ten minutes. Take it off the fire and continue beating until thick and creamy.

Fill the middle, when still warm and spreadable, but save half for the top then decorate with walnuts.  Yum

Friday, 28 July 2017

Marmalade Muffins

So scrummy!!!! My husband absolutely loves marmalade in any form, so these are like manna from heaven. Plus the recipe is so easy and quick to make. You will need a 12 hole muffin tin, and can use paper cases, but there is no real need.

I recently bought a can of spray greaser and it is brilliant for fiddly jobs like this.

Pre heat your fan oven to 170C. Prepare your tin [s]. This quantity makes about 16-17 so I used two tins, but it can be halved, of course.

11 oz Self raising flour
4½ oz  softened butter
3 oz chopped almonds, lightly toasted in a dry pan [a lovely bite]
5 oz caster sugar
grated zest of a large orange [eat the orange after!]
125 ml marmalade
2 eggs
125 ml buttermilk
a few flake almonds for the top, if you wish.

In a medium bowl, rub the butter into the flour then add the sugar, zest and toasted nuts, then the marmalade, milk and eggs. Mix well and fill your muffin holes to about three quarters full. You can sprinkle over some extra nuts in you wish.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 25 minutes. Yum Yum. They freeze well too. A perfect recipe. I took these to my afternoon Bridge Club and they went down so quickly, with huge praise!

Monday, 24 July 2017


I found these crispy, delicious biscuits in the Modern Cookery recipe book from 1917. Made in a few minutes, no creaming or rubbing in. So easy. But most of all, delicious and unfortunately very moreish. Hey ho.

8 oz self raising flour
4 oz caster sugar
2 oz melted butter
1 egg
2 oz glace cherries
1 oz mixed peel

Pre heat your fan oven to 160C and butter a large baking sheets. This quantity makes 15 x 1¼oz biscuits. 

In a medium bowl, sift the flour and sugar together. Chop the fruits very very finely, then mix into the flour and sugar, making sure all the little bits are separated. Stir in the melted butter and enough of the beaten egg to for a soft dough. If you use a large egg then you might not need the whole egg, [I used one large] the dough should be soft, but not sticky.

Form the dough into large marble shapes and press lightly onto your prepared baking sheet, leaving plenty of room for them to spread.

Bake for about 15-17 minutes in your prepared oven. Just lovely.

Extremely simple, so a great biscuit for kids to make and practice their baking skills.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Carrot Cake

I know, there are loads of recipes around for this cake. BUT, I have tasted many of them and not one comes anywhere near this, for flavour or texture. This recipe was given to me by my sister in law Jo, decades ago, and she found it in her Kenwood recipe book, from about the mid 70s. I had my Kenwood slightly earlier and it was not in mine. I permanently keep one [half] in the freezer for a quick small dessert if needed. It never fails, is so moist and the lemony cream cheese topping/filling is just nectar.

Grease and line the bases of 2 x 8” sandwich tins [loose bottom is easiest]. Pre heat your fan oven to 170C

12 oz finely grated carrot [a food processor is way easier!]
4 eggs
8 oz Soft Dark Brown Sugar
6 fl oz of sunflower oil
8 oz of SR Wholemeal flour [or plain wholemeal with a heaped teasp of Baking Powder]
4 oz desiccated coconut
4 oz sultanas
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1- 2  teaspoon of mixed spice, on taste

6 oz low fat cream cheese
grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons caster sugar
desiccated coconut to taste

In a bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar, until thick and creamy then whisk in the oil. Fold in the remaining ingredients. Mix well, then tip into the prepared tin. Being a saddo, as you all know, I weigh them, so each tin will hold just under 2lbs.

Bake in your moderate oven for about 30-35 mins, cool on a rack.

While it is cooling make the yummy topping, placing all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

When cold, cut each sponge in half and spread with a quarter of the filling, put it back together again, then another quarter in the centre of the cake. You now have four quarters of cake, each section filled. Place the remaining topping on the top and sprinkle over a little more coconut or flaked coconut. A tad more lemon zest as well if you wish, or like me some chopped walnuts. 

Note: I swapped my Kenwood for a KitchenAid a few years ago and when I sold it, I got as much for it as the original cost. But, if you are thinking of buying a mixer, I cannot but help recommend the KitchenAid, it is absolutely brilliant.

Sunday, 16 July 2017


Yet another lovely old recipe I have found, and as so often happened in those days, the base was from a left over roast. It suggests using ham or bacon from the end of a hock or gammon. I love roast gammon, but do not have it that often, but had to buy one to roast, so I could make these with the leftovers! Gammon can be salty, so only season with pepper.

The quantity below makes 8 x 4 oz cakes.

Basic white sauce:
Large knob butter, melted, in a small saucepan.  2 heaped teaspoons plain flour, 10 fl oz whole milk. Seasoning. [+ dry mustard powder]. Quickly add the flour to the melted butter then whisk in the milk, over a medium heat. Keep whisking until smooth and bubbly. Season as you wish [but no salt]. I like to use mustard too, when adding the flour.

½ lb boiled bacon [or ham]
6 hard boiled eggs, cooled in cold water, then shelled
6 tablespoons breadcrumbs from a stale loaf [you can buy them]
½ pint white sauce
2 dessert spoons catsup [ketchup]
[chopped parsley - not in the original recipe]
a beaten egg for dipping

When the eggs are cold put the bacon and eggs through a mincer. Oh dear, I don’t have one of those. But I do have a food processor! Don't you just love old recipe expressions? I just blitz for a 2 or 3 seconds, separately.  Add 3 tablespoons of the breadcrumbs, a good sprinkling of pepper and the ketchup, plus the chopped parsley, if using, then mix well. Stir in the hot white sauce then leave until quite cold and chill. 

Form into little cakes, using plain flour on your hands. Dip into the beaten egg and coat with the remaining breadcrumbs and fry in hot oil [dripping or fat] until golden brown. More pics on my Blog.

The old recipe suggests you serve them on a mound of mashed potatoes. That sounds delicious. My husband and family loved them but we served them with Jersey Royals!

Note: I love the old word catsup. I believe they used to make it with many flavours, as well as our usual tomato and the recipe lists using tomato or mushroom catsup. Has anyone ever seen that?

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Marlene’s Milky Boiled Fruit Cake

Here is yet another different Boiled Cake recipe that a Bridge friend passed to me. Over the last two or three years she has given me several recipes, that her Mum made. Marlene, from Falmouth is in her 80s, so you can work out old this is. I had never seen a Boiled Cake using Condensed Milk either. You will notice there is no added sugar, but the sweetened milk is plenty enough. No tin size was given to me, just “large”, so I used a 9” tin, although if you would like a deeper cake use a 8”.

Grease and line a 9” spring form cake tin. Preheat your fan oven to 140C.

10 oz Plain Flour
1 lb dried mixed fruit
10 oz butter [the original said use marg]
spice [nothing specific to go on, but I used a teaspoon mixed spice]
tin of sweetened Condensed Milk [397gr] 
½ pint water
1 large egg
1½ teaspoons baking powder

In a large saucepan, place the milk and butter then heat until the fat has melted, then add the fruit and spice and bring to the boil. Leave to cool for a while then add the flour, egg, baking powder and water. Mix well and tip into your prepared tin.

Bake for 1½ hours.  I turned the oven down to 130C after the first hour. Just lovely, as I expected. So moist and a lovely flavour.