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.