Friday, 29 August 2014


The Cornish call golden syrup - treacle, but we call treacle - black treacle [molasses]. These delicious scones use half golden syrup and half milk to bind and are almost akin to Thunder & Lightening, especially if you just put a dollop of clotted cream in them! But I think if you split them with plain butter it is just as good.  When I found this old recipe I could not understand why they are not in more frequent use!

To make 12 scones [they freeze well]

In a bowl sift:
12 oz SR flour
pinch of salt
½ a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

Rub in:
2 oz butter to resemble very fine breadcrumbs

In a measuring jug, on flat scales weigh 3 - 4 oz golden syrup. Warm this slightly in a microwave [or on the hearth of an open fire???]. Make up the liquid to 7 fl oz with milk, or buttermilk. I used plain milk, but would have used buttermilk if I had some. Whisk together until blended.

Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the liquid, then bring together, first with a knife, then your hand. Tip onto a floured surface and lightly knead until smooth. Gently roll out to about ½ - ¾ in thick. Please handle the mix as little as possible. Use a cutter to shape the scones, then place them on an oiled baking sheet. I don’t usually bother to grease the sheet for scones but with the high sugar content they might stick. Bring the offcuts together and re roll to cut the rest.

Preheat your fan oven to 210 C and bake for about 11-12 mins. I used a 2 in cutter. If you use a larger size increase the cooking time, reducing the temp after 10 mins.

When warm, split the scones, just butter or add a little more treacle and clotted cream.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014


My mother used to make these regularly and as a young child, I recall looking for the cotton holding them together, before tucking in!  I don’t know if they are particularly Cornish, although they may be, but my Mother always used proper Cornish Parsley Stuffing with them. I have no idea where they originate but for me they bring back memories and taste of my childhood.

I have given them a slightly modern twist, but keeping as a base my Mother’s recipe.

I use 2 per person, although my husband will eat 3! I am not giving you exact quantities as it depends on how many you are prepping etc. There is no need to use expensive steak, as you are going to pound them, and this tenderises the meat. I use ordinary frying steak.
You also need a small batch of Parsley Stuffing [posted last December] - but any stuffing may be used. Lots of photos on my Blog of each stage.

As in the photos, you need to flatten and pound your steak, [between 2 pieces of polythene]. I use a rolling pin! Cut the steak to shape, but I reckon around 3” x 5” is about right. It should be very thin now.


Take a small sausage shape piece of stuffing and wrap the steak around it, tying it in place with 2 pieces of cotton thread. When you have enough for the Olives, I chop up the offcuts to use with the stock. I made the Olives in the photo from one pack of Lidl thin cut frying steak.

Peel and dice a large carrot, 2 sticks of celery and a leek - The Terrific Trio! Fry them off in a little oil and butter until just soft and season. Tip them into the bottom of a casserole dish. Using the same pan, turn up the heat, add the chopped up offcuts and then flash fry the Olives to brown the outside, season with Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper.  Place them on top of the veg. Make up a beef stock pot and deglaze the pan with it, then pour over the Olives, with just enough to almost cover. Place in a medium oven, covered, for about an hour. 180 Deg C.

Serve with a lovely mash to soak up the gravy!!! and a green veg. If you look at the end photo you can clearly see the cotton tied around the beef. Take it off before eating!

Cornish Parsley Stuffing - 12 oz fresh bread crumbs [stale bread] teasp salt and pepper, 
6 oz suet, 2 oz chopped fresh parsley, 2 teas dried mixed herbs. Bind all with 4 eggs.

Friday, 22 August 2014


This “recipe idea” was given to me by Marlene, aged 80 from Falmouth, over lunch at an all day Bridge event. The conversation amongst the ladies turned to food, as it does! and Marlene told us about her childhood Sunday teas, when her mother would make these Hogs Pudding Patties. I quizzed her about the method and I do hope I have recreated them exactly as she explained it to me.

Some months ago I made [and posted] Hogs Pudding from Scratch and it was pretty hard work! This time I went to the Farmer’s Market over at Truro, on a Saturday morning and bought a Hogs Pudding from The Primrose Herd, Busveal, Redruth. 

For about 12 Patties: you need about a 9 - 10 inch length of Hogs Pudding. This Premium Cornish Pork Pudding cost me just over £4.

Make up some rough puff pastry:
8 oz plain flour 
large pinch salt
4 oz fat - half lard, half block stork

rub the fat into the flour then bind with just enough very cold water. Work into one piece then place in some cling film and chill for at least half an hour. Or alternatively buy some!

I rubbed the fat in rather more than I would do for pasties. I wanted it between rough puff and shortcrust.

You need 2 cutters, one giving you a ¼ inch edge when the hogs pudding is sitting on it and one larger, with enough length to come over the sides [just]. Roll out your pastry until fairly thin.

Slice the Hogs Pudding and remove the skin. Cut the smaller pastry circle, brush it with beaten egg and place the Hogs Pudding slice on top. Cover with the larger circle of pastry and take a fork and press the edges together with the fork, making a sort of frill. Repeat.

Brush the tops with more of the beaten egg and prick with a fork, before popping them into a hot fan oven 220C. Turn down after 10 mins to 190C and cook for a further 25-30 mins.

Very good, Marlene! Thank you for your reminiscences.

Monday, 18 August 2014


Another unusual cake, that tastes just amazing. I found this recipe some time ago in an old church booklet from Sithney, [between Helston and Breage] when I went exploring some of my roots in that area. I am into Genealogy as well as baking. The cake is light as a feather with a soft texture, because the coconut has absorbed so much milk.

Oil and line a loaf tin [9” x 5”] with baking parchment. Easy to lift out then too. Use proper cup measures.

Soak ½ a cup of desiccated coconut in half a cup of milk, in a basin for at least an hour. The milk will have been absorbed completely.

4 oz butter
1 cup caster sugar
the zest of a large orange

Cream the above together until light and fluffy.

Whisk in:
2 beaten eggs.

Fold in 1½ cups of SR flour, with a little extra milk to bring to a soft dropping consistency. Fold in the milky coconut.

Tip into your tin. Then bake for about 45 - 50 mins at 170 C. Lift out then cool on a rack.

Juice half of the orange. Sift 1½ cups of icing sugar into another bowl along with ½ oz of softened butter. Mix the sugar and butter with about 2 tablespoons of orange juice then top the cake. Grate more zest over the top. Sooooooooo yummy.

Thursday, 14 August 2014


I love Victoria plums and can’t wait until August when they appear in the shops [or on Trees].  They make wonderful jam too. This cake is very simple for a summer dessert, served barely warm with clotted cream, or just for afternoon tea. There is no reason why you cannot make it with a different variety of plum at any time of the year, but it is just not the same……. you need a sweet variety.

Wash, stone then halve and quarter [if large] about 6 or 7 [8 if small] Victorias. Make sure they are then dry.

Cream together until pale and fluffy:
5 oz room temperature butter [NEVER marg]
4 oz caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste [essence is OK ish]

Whisk 2 eggs, then beat them in. Then adding:
5 oz SR flour 
2 oz ground almonds.
You may need up to 2 tablespoons of milk if the mixture is stiff. Add one first, then the other if needed. Mix well.

Lightly oil and line the base of a 7” cake tin [spring form is best] then tip in two thirds of the mix and roughly spread it out. Cover with the plums, keeping away from the very edge. Then the rest of the mix, in dobs over the plums. Don’t bother about being too fussy, it will more or less level itself out.

Bake in a preheated oven 165-170 deg C for about  40-45 mins, until just firm to the touch. 
Dust with icing sugar, then enjoy. Mmmmmmmmmm.

Sunday, 10 August 2014


I have renamed one of my favourite salad dishes, as virtually all the ingredients come from Cornwall, most from my own garden. Another great party dish that is perfect to serve at BBQs and with a cold buffet any time of the year. Make it at least 2 hours before you need it, to allow time for all the wonderful flavours to merge. Overnight is good as well.

When I discovered Bulgur Wheat a couple of decades ago and started making Tabbouleh, I later fiddled and adjusted the recipe to fit me and my tastes.  This is my Cornish version and I hope you like it. This cost me probably less than a £1 to make as I have all the herbs  outside my back door and the veg in a greenhouse. But if you need to buy the herbs it can work out fairly costly. [trust me, it is worth it]

To feed about 6 - 8 but very easily doubled or trebled.

Weigh 6 oz of Bulgur Wheat into a bowl, then cover with boiling water and leave for 30 mins, allowing it to rehydrate. It will triple in size. That’s all the cooking! Drain and cool.

While that is “cooking”, prepare:

about 4 or 5 inches of a cucumber, quartered longways, deseeded and finely chopped
2 medium/large tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and finely chopped
medium echallion shallot, finely chopped
zest of half a large lemon [juice too]
2 fl oz of Cornish Rapeseed Oil [so much nicer than Olive oil]
Fresh ground pepper and Sea Salt. Any really good salt. I used Himalayan Pink.
Huge handfuls of Parsley and Mint, chopped.

The herbs are the expensive part, as I mentioned above. If purchasing them you will need at least 2 extra large pots of each of the mint and parsley. As you can see from the photos, the herbs dominate and the aroma while you are mixing is incredible and so mouthwatering.

When the grains are cool, stir in the rapeseed oil, lemon juice and seasoning, check to make sure the seasoning is good. Then mix in all the rest of the ingredients before tipping into a serving bowl. Chill in the fridge. Just perfect.

Note- Tabbouleh is a middle eastern dish, most especially from Lebanon. And who came over to mine our tin +2000 years ago? Brought over their saffron too. The Phoenicians.

[Nowadays Lebanon!!!]. It’s a small world.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014


The crab cakes we make here in Cornwall and other parts of the West Country are very different from those in the USA. We use mashed potato as the ingredient to bind, plus all the flavourings, of course. I honestly do not know if our earlier forebears made some form of crab cakes, but surely those that lived in the coastal fishing villages must have?

As I make these, it is mid June, the crab season is now in full flow in Falmouth Bay and the meat is so scrumptious. Many folk do not like the brown meat. But it undoubtedly has far more flavour and is ideal to mash into the potato, [plus it is cheaper] giving the cakes an intense crab taste and flavour. I go for ⅓ rd white, the rest brown. They freeze perfectly, as I will do for the ones I am prepping - to use during the summer for an easy meal when visitors are here.

I will not give you exact quantities but use, ¼ as much again potato as crab.
Therefore: 1lb mixed crab meat to 1¼ lb mashed potato. But you can add a little more potato if you wish.

Boil your potatoes until just soft and drain. Cool for a few minutes, then tip in the brown crab meat and mash together, with the juice of half a lemon. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

While the potatoes are cooking, chop together, very very finely:

A medium red chilli [I took out the seeds, but it is up to you]
a medium shallot
a few spring onions
grated zest of a large lemon
large handful of fresh parsley

When the potato and crab is smooth, tip in the herby oniony mix and combine carefully.

Now shape the cakes. I place a small plate on flat digital scales and carefully weigh each portion to get the same size. Mine were 3 oz each. Then pat each one into shape and place on a sheet ready to chill or freeze. [The above makes about 15] Chill for a couple of hours, then fry in a fairly hot pan for about 3 - 4 mins each side. Just delicious with a salad on a summer’s evening. Oh - and sweet chilli sauce! Shed loads of it!!

You can fry them in any oil you wish, BUT those that follow my recipes know that I love using Rapeseed oil. Borderfields make a fabulous Chilli Infusion version. I use that, for dishes like this.

Defrost in the fridge for an hour or so, then continue as above.
If you do wish to freeze them, pack individually, in a rigid container, when frozen, or a ziplok bag. I wrap each one in cling film first.

Saturday, 2 August 2014


Scrumptious summery strawberries in a muffin, within a zesty lemony mix. Very easily made, light as a feather and all done in just over half an hour.

This quantity makes 12 large muffins. You need a large 12 hole muffin tin and I like to put the mix into baking cases as well. Saves greasing and you don’t have to worry about them sticking. But of course you can bake them straight into the tin, if you prefer.

4 oz butter, room temperature
6 oz caster sugar
2 large eggs
10 oz SR flour, sieved
½ teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
zest of a lemon
¼ pint milk
large cup of chopped strawberries [about ¼s, if small size]

Cream the butter, zest and sugar, then add the eggs, until it is all very light and fluffy. Mix together the flour, salt and BP, then add to the mix, alternately with the milk. Finally stir in the chopped strawberries.

Spoon the mix into the muffin cases, filling to about two-thirds [or just over] full. Bake for about 18-20 mins at 180C [fan oven]. Just delicious and the smell is heavenly. Lovely eaten just warm, as well as cold and great the next day!