Tuesday, 9 December 2014


These are very simple and can use any basic sponge recipe, with a lovely big dob of mincemeat in the middle, baked, then iced and decorated with a festive motif! They look stunning on a plate during the build up to Christmas. Just as easy as mince pies too.
I have been making them every few days as my husband loves them so much!
This is my last post until the first week of January. Too much baking, with visitors arriving as well. So, I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 
Best wishes from Laurie, in Penryn, Cornwall.

You need a 12 hole muffin tin and some Christmasy muffin cases - I found some little holly cutters in Truro Pannier Market.

This uses an all in one method, so place in a bowl: How easy is that???

6 oz SR Flour
6 oz softened butter [definitely not marg]
4 oz any sugar - caster or soft light brown
1 teaspoon mixed spice - or any festive mix of your choice
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon milk
Green and red fondant icing
Icing sugar

Beat together until light and fluffy - you all know how! Spoon a large teaspoon of the mix into the bottom of the muffin cases, then a medium heaped teaspoon of mincemeat - I used Lidl’s Deluxe Rum and Raisin. Then place another teaspoon of mix over the mincemeat. I carefully try to cover the fruit as best I can, but no real need to be too fussy.

Bake in a pre heated fan oven 170 C for 20 mins. Cool, then when they are cold:

Mix a small amount of icing and put a blob on each bun. Roll out a small amount of green fondant icing and cut the holly leaves, place then on the icing. Then take tiny pieces of the red fondant and make berries.

How easy is that???
Seal your fondant blocks in any air tight container and they will keep fresh over the festive period, to use again and again.

Right - I am off to marzipan my Christmas Cake. See you in the New Year!! x

Saturday, 6 December 2014


This is an old recipe, taken from the radio during the late 60s. It has a lovely refreshing taste, great texture too. I do sometimes add more decoration, especially if it is for a dessert, but it is just as good left plain, with a cup of tea!

grease and line the bottom of a 7” tin - loose bottom is easiest. Pre heat your fan oven to about 145C

6 oz room temperature butter
4 oz caster sugar
5 tablespoons lemon curd
3 large eggs
8 oz SR flour

Cream the fat and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the lemon curd. Mix well. Add the beaten eggs, one at a time along with some of the flour, finally add the remaining flour. Tip the mixture into your cake tin and bake for approx 1 hour 10 mins, but check after 1 hour.

Leave in the tin until half cool. I then cut it in half, to spread a thin layer of curd between the halves. Doing this while the cake is still just warm, the curd soaks in a little, making the cake lovely and moist. Cool completely. 

While that is happening make a lemon curd topping [optional].

3 oz soft butter
3 dessertspoons lemon curd
6 oz icing sugar

Beat the above together, then spread over the top of the cooled cake.
If you wish you can further drizzle over some softened lemon curd or grate over some lemon zest [or both], like I did.

If you complete all 3 stages of the cake/decoration you will use a whole jar of Lemon Curd - approx 400 gr

Just great with clotted cream!

Note: The old radio show was the Jimmy Young Show, when folk would call or write in with their recipes. If you remember these, then you are about the same age as me or older!!!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014


Indeed this cake is very strange, with the most peculiar mix of ingredients but somehow it just works! Chocolate, Coffee and Lemon fight with your tastebuds for recognition! I think chocolate just about wins but the coffee smell does dominate. In the build up to Christmas I have decorated it with some marzipan and icing, but that is optional, of course. It just adds to the strange mix - only more so!

Grease and line the bottom of a 6” spring form cake tin. Preheat your fan oven to about 165C

Cream together, until light and fluffy:

4oz softened butter
3 oz caster sugar

then add:
the zest of a lemon
4 oz finely chopped chocolate - I used 70% cocoa solids
a heaped dessertspoon of instant coffee, mixed with a teaspoon of boiling water

Whisk again, then add:

2 eggs [with a little of the flours]

Beat in:
2oz Plain Flour
2 oz Cornflour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 dessertspoon brandy or rum

Finally add:
2 oz chopped glace cherries
2 oz very very finely chopped mixed peel [M&S’s are brilliant]

Tip into your prepared tin and bake for about 50 - 55 mins. Cool in the tin for a few mins then cool on a rack. The smell is a heady mix of chocolate and coffee! When cold decorate. I flavoured this icing with lemon extract to continue the theme. Enjoy!