Sunday, 19 August 2018


Carrot and Orange Tea Bread


A lovely recipe, perfect for slicing and you can spread it with a little butter too, if you like! Hey ho. Not sure where the recipe came from, but it has been in my clippings folder for decades, although as per I have altered it, as you do!  Grating carrot is a pain in the neck, I know, but this recipe is worth it.

You will need a 2lb loaf tin, well buttered and place a long strip of parchment across the tin to help you lift it out.

Pre heat your fan oven to 150C

9 oz plain flour
2 level teaspoonful cinnamon
3 teaspoonfuls baking powder
6 oz grated carrot
6 oz softened butter
6 oz caster sugar
the grated zest of a large orange
3 large eggs
3 oz finely chopped walnuts
a little milk or orange juice

In a medium bowl, place the flour, spice and BP. Stir in the carrot and set aside for a mo.

Cream the butter, zest and sugar until pale and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Fold in the remaining ingredients, along with a little milk and/or orange juice until you have a soft dropping consistency, then tip into your prepared tin.

Bake for about 1 hour 10 mins.  Leave in the tin to firm up for a short while them cool on a rack. Enjoy! Will happily keep for a few days, beautifully moist and freezes well.


Tuesday, 14 August 2018


Peppermint Fingers


I got this recipe from the old Gwinear Parish Recipe booklet, full of interesting recipes and ideas. I often visit old churches, for one of my other hobbies - genealogy - and they often have recipe booklets for sale from the parish. The original recipe used marg and you all know by now that I won’t use that if at all possible. It also used drinking chocolate instead of cocoa.

You will need a Swiss Roll tin - I used my smaller one at 11” x 6”, well buttered. Pre heat your fan oven to 160C

5 oz butter
2 oz soft brown sugar [I used light]
3 oz crushed cornflakes
4 oz plain flour
2 oz cocoa

Melt the butter in a pan, add the flour, sugar, cocoa and cornflakes. Mix well then press into your prepared tin. Bake for about 12-13 mins. Do not overbake.

Peppermint topping:

4 oz icing sugar
peppermint extract

Place the icing and extract into a jug and mix with a small amount of water, to make a stiffish runny consistency and pour over the base while it is still HOT. Allow to cool.



6 oz good quality chocolate

Melt the chocolate and evenly spread it over the peppermint topping. Leave to set, then cut into fingers.


So yummy. A lovely tea time treat.

Thursday, 9 August 2018


Savoury Sausage Whirls


A scrumptious, delicious bake, great for parties and buffets. Very easily doubled to make a larger amount. Great warm or cold. This recipe was on the radio many many moons ago - Jimmy Young, I believe, so perhaps the 70s, although I have made a few changes, especially for the pastry given.  But you know I am a saddo and save and keep recipe ideas!

Please buy the best sausages [at least 90% pork] and take the skins off. Your choice! Nothing beats plain pork for me, although I do like the ones with some apple in them.

Pre heat your fan oven to about 200C and butter a flat baking sheet.

2½ oz butter and lard mix
2½ oz mature grated cheddar
8 oz plain flour
seasoning - sea salt, fresh ground pepper and some dried mustard
8-9 oz sausage meat
1 very very finely chopped onion or large shallot
1 small dessertspoonful veggie bouillon or even mild curry powder
a beaten egg
a little fresh grated parmesan

In a small bowl, rub the fats into the flour then stir in the grated cheddar. Mix well. Bind with cold water then gently knead into a dough.  Leave to chill for a few minutes in the fridge.

Roll out this cheesy pastry, fairly thinly, into an oblong.  Neaten and trim the edges.  Brush all over with the beaten egg, then carefully spread over the sausage meat, leaving the long sides clear. Sprinkle over the onion and bouillon [or curry powder. I use a mild Tikka sometimes, to get just a hint, but if you like it hot]…… Season as you wish, with a little salt and lots of fresh ground pepper.

Dampen the long edges again and carefully roll it up, making sure you tuck the first long end in really tightly.   Chill again for a short while, then with a very sharp knife cut into about ¾ inch slices. Place on your prepared sheet, brush with more beaten egg and sprinkle over a little parmesan and bake for about 30 mins. Oh my, just delicious. Trust me!!!!


Fab picnic and party food and quite different from sausage rolls.

Saturday, 4 August 2018


Old Fashioned Marble Cake


A very good stand by, basic recipe, loved by many over the last century. I generally like to bake it in a ring tin. This recipe is foolproof and never fails, the texture is fairly dense, making it moist and utterly delicious. It keeps well for several days. Trust me! Just lovely. 

Pre heat your fan oven to 160C. Melt some butter and brush the insides of your tin generously, then sift over a little flour. Shake off any excess over a sink.

7 oz softened butter
7 oz caster sugar
a dessertspoonful extra caster for the chocolate part
1 small teaspoonful vanilla extract or bean paste
a couple of drops of rum extract if you have it
3 medium eggs
9 oz plain flour 
¾ teaspoonful baking powder
3-4 fl oz whole milk, approx
2 tablespoonfuls good quality cocoa
2-3 tablespoonfuls rum
icing sugar to dust or make some topping as I did.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and vanilla until light and fluffy, then gradually beat in the sugar. When this is well mixed, add the eggs, one at a time. Sift the flour [I often don’t bother] and BP and fold these into the buttery mix alternately with the milk and rum extract. You need to add enough milk for the batter to fall heavily from your wooden spoon.  This will not be all of your milk, as you will need the rest for the chocolate mixture. All this will depend on the size of your eggs.

Take your prepared tin and gently spoon in roughly about two thirds of the batter. Do not level off.

With the remaining batter, fold in the remaining spoonful of sugar and the cocoa, along with a little more of the milk and the rum to make a heavy dropping consistency. Spoon alternate colours into your baking tin and draw a spoon carefully through to give the marbled effect and level off.

Bake for approx 45 mins. Keep an eye on the top and turn down if browning too much.

Leave in the tin for a few minutes then turn out. Dust with icing sugar when cold, or make a thick drizzle topping, as I did, using Icing sugar, a little cocoa and a little rum, then I grated over some plain chocolate. But is is equally good just plain.  Enjoy.

Note: If you use a regular tin, you may need to adjust the timings. Bake until just form to the touch.

Note: Good, heavy, quality ring [or bundt] tins can be very expensive. Keep an eye open on the Thursday/weekend bargains at Lidl OR look in the baking section of TK Max. This is where I bought the one I used for this cake and I bought it for a fraction of the usual price. I have two or three now, of different sizes and love baking with them!


Monday, 30 July 2018


The Queen Mother’s Favourite Cake

I have been given this recipe by several people over the years, so I thought it perhaps about time I made and posted it. On every WI copy I have seen, is the proviso that it must only be made to be sold in aid of a charitable organisation. So I hope, as I pass it on, you will use this the next time you are asked to bake a cake!

Line a Swiss Roll tin, about  9” x 12” with foil, building it up well at the sides.

Pre heat your fan over to “moderate” ie 160C 

Pour a cup of boiling water over a cup [about 4 oz] of chopped dates and 1 teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda. Let it stand to cool.

6 oz caster sugar
2 oz soft butter
6 oz plain flour
2 oz chopped walnuts, plus a few for the top
1 beaten egg
1 small teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt

Mix together then add to the date mixture, stirring well. Tip into your prepared tin and bake for 35 mins.

Topping:

5 tablespoons soft light brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons of cream from the top of the milk [double cream?]

Mix together in a small saucepan and boil for three minutes.  Spread over the cake then top with assorted chopped nuts of your choice. eg more walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds.


Cool then cut into portions. Very very good.

Thursday, 31 May 2018


Rich Plum Cake

Now this recipe is very different from your usual fruit cake, with some very different ingredients, [tin strawberries??]  but trust me, it is very good, so deliciously moist and fruity. A little eccentric perhaps, but give it a try, one dull afternoon! I found this is the old Talking about Cakes book from the 1970s. 

You will need a 7 or 8 “ spring form tin, greased and lined. Pre heat your fan oven to 130C. I used an 8”.

4 oz butter
4 oz soft dark brown sugar
1 oz dark chocolate, melted
4 oz plain flour
small half teaspoon cinnamon
small half teaspoon mixed spice
small half teaspoon nutmeg
3 large eggs, separated,
4 oz glacé cherries
4 oz chopped almonds
8 oz raisins
8 oz sultanas
8 oz currants
6 oz mixed peel
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tin strawberries, drained
Whiskey or Rum to soak the cake when baked

In a large bowl, cream the softened butter and sugar, then beat in the melted chocolate. Whisk the egg whites until fairly stiff.

Mix the flour and spices then roughly divide into 3. Add the first 3rd to the creamed mixture, together with the egg yolks and beat thoroughly. Add the second part to the stiffly beaten egg whites. Assemble all the dried fruit then add the last 3rd to the fruit. Mix all three parts together along with the lemon juice and the well drained strawberries.

Tip into your prepared tin and bake in a slow oven for about 2 hours. 

When cooked and still in the tin, pour over about 4 tablespoons of your chosen spirit!! I used Rum. Leave for a while, for the booze to soak through, then cool on a rack. 

As you can imagine, it is absolutely beautiful, well worth the effort. A great keeper too.

No more recipes for a few weeks. See you at the end of July with a very special recipe!


Sunday, 27 May 2018



Coffee and Walnut Muffins


I do love making muffins and these are just great, using wonderful Camp Coffee and Buttermilk.  For years I never used Camp but then saw it in their new bottle and re discovered how good it is to bake with. It will always be a store cupboard favourite now!

Lightly oil [or spray] the cups of your 12 hole muffin tin. You could use cases if you wish. I often don’t bother.  Pre heat your fan oven to 170C

9 oz plain flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
3 oz each of caster and soft dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2-3 oz chopped walnuts
3 teaspoons of Camp Coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 large egg
110 ml sunflower oil
225 ml buttermilk or whole milk [you know what I used]

In a large bowl place the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Mix the wet ingredients in a large jug and tip the wet into the dry.  Done. How easy is that?

¾ fill the tin/cases and bake for about 25 mins. Leave to cool in the tin for about 5 mins then lift out and cool on a rack.

Make a camp coffee butter icing and place or pipe a swirl on the top of each muffin along with half a walnut.

Just delicious. Piece of cake!


Note: have you tried the spray greaser “cake release”. Just a fast squirt for things like bun and muffin tins? Very handy.