Friday, 22 September 2017



CARAMEL FINGERS


I love the old recipes from the Cornish Ladies of the 1960s WI. This is another of their wonderful recipes. Just delicious.

Butter a shallow ish square tin 6” x 8” and pre heat your fan oven to 170C

4 oz butter
4 oz soft dark brown sugar
1 large egg
tablespoon treacle
4 oz self raising flour
4 oz chopped dates
2 oz chopped walnuts
2 oz sultanas
pinch salt
vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and spread into your prepared tin.

Bake for about half an hour, or just over, leave it in the tin and carefully cut while hot then leave to cool. Dust the top with a sprinkling of caster sugar while hot.

Yum Yum


PS - Why are they called Caramel Fingers? Just a yummy dark sponge mix really. Hey ho, who am I to disagree with a lady from the WI?

Sunday, 17 September 2017



Duchess Cake


Let's start off the autumn season with the most delicious moist cake that is also a great keeper. A friend from Helford gave me this recipe from a tatty old cake small paperback book circa about 1970. I was so impressed by the old book I looked for a copy on eBay - hey presto. I now have my own copy. It was written by a lady named Margaret Bates  and is entitled Talking About Cakes and within its pages are some brilliant recipes. More of those during the next year.

Butter and line a 7” spring form tin. Pre heat your fan oven to 160C

6 oz softened butter
6 oz caster sugar
3 eggs
6 oz plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
almond extract
Vanilla extract or bean paste
about 8 oz marzipan
Flaked almonds

Roll out the marzipan to just under a 7” circle. Set aside for a mo.

In a medium bowl, cream the butter and caster, until really light and fluffy. Whisk in the eggs one at a time followed by the extracts. Fold in the flour and baking powder and mix well. Tip half of the mixture into your prepared tin and level off. Place the marzipan on top, then tip in the remaining mix. Scatter over flaked almonds.

Bake for about 1¼ hours, then cool on a rack.

Oh my! A brilliant cake to post on my return! Enjoy.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017




MARMALADE THATCH CAKE


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]

Topping:
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.

Cake:
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.


NOTES:
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.

Enjoy!


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


Monday, 31 July 2017


FUDGE CAKE


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



GEMS


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

Topping
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


EGG AND BACON CAKES


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]
Pepper
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.

Sunday, 9 July 2017



Lemon Layer Cake


You would never think this cake recipe is over a hundred years old! Absolutely delicious! From the old Modern Cookery book of 1917. While, of course, it can be eaten at any time, it is quite rich and we ate it as a dessert.

Butter and line a 6” loose bottom or spring form tin.

5 oz SR flour
4 oz softened butter
3 oz caster sugar
a lemon
2 eggs
1 tablespoon milk

Beat the fat and sugar to a soft cream with the grated rind of the lemon. Add the beaten eggs and beat until smooth. Now stir in the flour and milk and gradually add about half the lemon juice. [save the rest]  Turn into your prepared tin and bake for about 1 hour. Cool, wrap when cold then leave for 24 hours.

The filling:

a lemon
1 egg
4 oz caster sugar
1 oz softened butter

Beat the egg and add the sugar, then the grated rind and juice of half the lemon and the butter. Stir them in a basin over boiling hot water until the mixture is smooth and thick. I needed to add a heaped tablespoon of icing sugar too.  Leave until cold then cut the cake into three and spread with the filling.

The Icing:

8 oz icing sugar
lemon juice - you have saved!
flaked toasted almonds [dry fry them in a pan - but keep a watch and stir]

Sieve the sugar and add enough lemon juice to form a thick, but just runny, paste. Cover the whole of the cake with this then decorate the top and/or edges with the toasted almonds. 





Note:
Orange may be substituted for the lemon.


Just lovely as a dessert and even better with a little added clotted cream [not in the pic!!].  The filling soaks through making the cake so lush. Mmmmm.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017



ROCK CAKES


In the past these old traditional buns have often had a bad press, undeservedly so, in my opinion, because when well made, are delicious and not hard as the title would suggest. In times past, especially in Cornwall, raising agents were not used. Nowadays self raising flour is mostly used but this very old recipe of well over a hundred years ago uses just plain flour and no baking powder. They keep well too and are just as good the second day and beyond. The first time I made them my husband ate 4 right off. Trust me - they are delicious. 

Pre heat your fan oven to 160C and butter a baking sheet. This quantity makes about 18-20, but it depends on the size of your rocks!

1 lb plain flour
6 oz butter, softened to room temp
2 eggs
½ lb currants
½ lb moist sugar [soft light brown]
lemon essence [these days extract]

Place the flour in a bowl and rub in the softened butter [until it resembles fine breadcrumbs] then mix in the sugar thoroughly. Add the currants [the original tells you to wash and dry them!] and lemon extract. Stir in the two beaten eggs and mix the whole together with a wooden spoon. It will come together, do not be tempted to add any more liquid. 

Drop the mixture in lumps onto your well buttered baking sheet and bake for about 20 mins.

Cool on a rack and tuck in. Old style baking at its best. This took no more than 8 or 9 mins to prepare and is so easy.

Just lovely and so simple. Yum Yum.


Note: If you opt for larger buns please increase the baking time.

Saturday, 1 July 2017



PARSNIP BALLS


Time for a break from cakes, cause I love different veggie dishes and as parsnips are my husband’s absolute fave, I just had to try these when I found this recipe idea in a very old cook book.

Makes about 16-18 depending on size. You will need a deep fry pan or deep fat fryer.

1 pint mashed, boiled parsnips, allowed to go cold  [about 1¼ lb  mashed weight] 
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon milk
2 eggs 
breadcrumbs from a stale loaf [or buy!]
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Oil for frying [dripping in the original!]

In a saucepan, melt the butter and add the cold parsnip, pepper and salt and milk. Stir over a medium heat until it begins to bubble, remove from the heat and add one beaten egg. Allow to cool. When cold form into balls about half the size of an egg, using floured hands.  Roll these in the other beaten egg, then the breadcrumbs.

Fry quickly in hot oil.  [More pics on my Blog]. Tip into a dish lined with kitchen paper.

So delicious and worth the effort for a special meal. Just great as a side with steak! We absolutely loved them.







Tuesday, 27 June 2017


Milk Chocolate Cake


Another winner taken from the old Be-Ro booklet. Every recipe in it is a gem and when I started to make this, I was sure of a good result. Just delicious and foolproof, milky and rich, although the method is quite different from today’s usual sponges.

Pre heat your fan oven to 160C [old 350F] and butter 2 deep 7” sponge tins.

In a bowl place:

7 oz Self Raising flour
8 oz caster sugar
pinch salt, 
2 tablespoons cocoa

Mix well, then rub in, until it resembles very fine breadcrumbs:
4 oz butter

Stir in:
2 beaten eggs, mixed with 5 tablespoons evaporated milk
5 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or bean paste

Divide equally between your tins. I am a saddo and generally weigh to ensure I get the same size.
Level the tops [ish] and bake for about 35 mins then cool on a wire rack.

Make your topping:

Melt together:
2 ½  oz butter
4 tablespoons cocoa [Green and Black’s is brilliant]

Stir in:
8 oz icing sugar
3 tablespoons hot scalded milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or bean paste

Beat until thick and smooth. Put a layer between your cake then cover the top and sides.

Enjoy!!!


Note: Scalded is quite an old expression. It means bringing your milk almost to a boil, then allowed to cool a little before using. This topping is great and a handy recipe for you.