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.


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.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Blueberry Scones

I love Blueberries and eat them every day, especially with my morning cereal. So iI thought it would be a good idea to add fresh berries to other things, like Scones!!! I have also added some ginger as that is my favourite spice and they go so well together.  So easy, made in minutes and when still warm, split and spread with some clotted cream. Heaven on a plate.

Butter a baking sheet and pre heat your fan oven to 200C. Scones love to be in a very hot oven!
This quantity makes about a 12-14 small ish scones. Very easily doubled or make them larger.

12 oz self raising flour
½ teaspoonful baking powder
1 - 2 heaped teaspoonfuls ground ginger
3 oz caster sugar
2 oz softened butter
4 oz fresh blueberries [a little more if you can squeeze them in!]
90 ml buttermilk
90 ml whole milk

In a large mixing bowl, place your dry ingredients, then rub in the softened butter. Add the fruit then stir in the buttermilk, adding whole milk until you have a soft dough - the softer the dough the lighter the scone. You might need a tad more milk. Turn onto a floured surface and very lightly knead for a moment or two, until smooth. Lightly roll out to about ¾ of an inch thick and using a 2 inch plain cutter, cut into rounds and place on your prepared baking sheet. You can easily see the fruit so try to avoid cutting through whole ones.

Bake for about 15 mins and cool on a rack. Tuck in and enjoy. Must be good for you with all these blueberries!!! If you decide to make larger scones increase the baking time by a couple of mins.

They freeze well, but freeze as soon as they are cold. Like all scones they need to be eaten on the day of baking to enjoy at their best.

Monday, 19 June 2017


Another lovely boiled cake recipe, this time from Gemma, who has kindly sent me her Gran, Peggy Davey’s old recipe. Peggy hailed from the Camborne area although neither Gemma or her Mum can recall where Peggy got the recipe from. Thank you Gemma, I hope I did your Gran’s recipe proud. It is just lovely.

There are several small differences from the boiled cakes that I posted a few weeks ago. I rarely, if ever use margarine these days, but thought I would follow the recipe exactly, which uses Stork.

Grease and line the base of an 8 inch spring form tin. Pre heat your fan oven to 150C 

In a large saucepan, place:

A block of Stork [hard block]
8 oz caster sugar
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
half a pint of water
12 oz sultanas or mixed fruit [I used sultanas]

Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 mins. Allow to go cold. Then add and stir in:

2 beaten eggs
12 oz self raising flour

Mix well, but do not beat. Tip into your prepared tin and bake for about 1 and a half hours.
Try to keep your mitts off it for a day or two before cutting!

Just delicious, as I thought it would be. Thank you Gemma.

Keeping the base recipe, you could vary the flavour slightly by using difference types of sugar, soft dark brown or light muscovado etc., or replace some of the water with orange juice?

Another very different boiled cake soon, this time milk based.

Thursday, 15 June 2017


When I saw this in the Modern Cookery Book of 1917 I just knew I had to make them! I love the inventive ways our forebears used up leftovers.

Rough Puff Pastry: 8 oz plain flour, Salt and pepper [a little dried mustard powder too if you wish]
2 oz butter, 2 oz lard and a little very cold water to mix. Rub the fats in half way ish then bind with the cold water. Mix and lightly knead then place in a poly bag and chill for a bit.

Pre heat your fan oven to 200C You will need a muffin tin or deep ish tart tin. This quantity makes ten large muffin size puffs [why did they call them puffs, I wonder?]

4-6 oz any cooked meats - beef and ham? Pork and something? Whatever. I had some roast beef left over from Sunday and some ham in the fridge.
2 medium sized potatoes [after peeling they weighed just over 5 oz]
1 medium carrot 
1 onion [I used red]
a spring each of parsley and thyme
left over gravy

Chop the herbs finely. Peel and grate the veggies. Put the meats through a mincer. This all sounds like too much work so I bung everything in a food processor. [two batches]. Moisten with a generous tablespoon of left over gravy [I saved some]. Then mix well.  

Roll out your pastry and line the muffin holes. Fill just about to the top with the meaty mix and pop on pastry lids. Poke a little hole in the middle and bake for a 25 mins. Quickly take them out of the oven and with a little funnel, pour a spoonful of gravy into the pies [through the hole in the top]. OR if your funnel does not fit, like mine did, gently lift off the pastry lid!! Duh. Reduce the oven temperature to 180C then pop back in the oven for another 10 minutes or so, until nicely browned.

Cool on a rack and eat warm. Just wonderful, why had I not thought of this before??? Today if we have anything left over, we throw it out, but in the olden days they used leftovers up in the most inventive ways.

So good and tasty. 

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Coconut Macaroon Cakes

Another simple, but lovely cake, courtesy of the WI ladies of the 1960s. You need a rectangular swiss roll tin about 12” or 13” x 10”. These little cakes are incredibly easy and done in minutes and look pretty impressive.

The recipe gives no method, so I had to take a punt with rubbing the fat into the flour.
It worked out really well, as you can see, so I reckon I guessed right!

Pre heat your fan oven to 160C and I decide to line the tin with baking parchment, leaving some hanging over on the long sides to help me lift it out.

First part:

3 oz butter 
6 oz SR flour
pinch salt
3 oz caster sugar
4 large beaten egg yolks
Vanilla extract

Rub the butter into the flour, add the sugar and mix with the egg yolks, then spread into the bottom of your prepared tin. It is quite crumbly, so tip in the mix and spread as evenly as you can then press down.

Second part:

4 large well beaten egg whites
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 and a half cups desiccated coconut

Whisk the egg whites until fairly stiff then fold in the sugar and coconut. Spread on top of part one and bake for 1 hour.

A bit different, so simple and lovely. Cut into little squares. Makes about  24 squares.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017


Another old gem from the Modern Cookery recipe book dated 1917. I love the title, don’t you? Again reminiscent of a bygone age. The method is quite unusual but so easy, please do not be scared of yeast cookery and if you have never tried it before, this is a good recipe to start you off!

You will need a 1lb loaf tin, generously buttered and place a strip of parchment across the middle to help you lift it out.

Pre heat your fan oven to 210C [very hot]

½ lb plain flour
2 oz lard
½ teaspoon salt
¼ oz fresh yeast [½ teaspoon dried yeast]
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup
2 oz raisins [if large, halve them]
¼ pint boiling water

Place the lard in a basin and add the golden syrup and the boiling water. Stir until the fat has melted then leave until lukewarm. Put the flour into a bowl and mix in the salt and raisins.
At this stage they suggest you cream the yeast and sugar, so do this if you have come across fresh yeast. I just stirred the yeast and sugar into the flour. Make a well in the centre and pour in the warm syrupy mixture. Mix well and then knead until smooth, by hand or with a mixer and dough hook. If using a mixer, as I do, add the raisins 30 seconds or so before the end, until they are evenly distributed in the dough. Cover and set aside in a warm spot for 1¼ hours. Knead again for 3 or 4 mins then place in your loaf tin. Leave to rise again for 20-30 mins then bake in your hot oven for about 30 mins.

When cool ish, slice and butter to enjoy a real old fashioned treat. Go to my Blog for a photo of a slice oozing with butter!!!

What a brilliant recipe. Made in minutes and the dough was so soft. So very yummy. I will be making this forever now!

Friday, 2 June 2017


This is such a great recipe, don’t they look stunning? Given to me by a distant cousin, who lives in California. In fact she is the President of the Cornish Society there. This biscuit can be made at any time obviously, but is particularly used for special occasions, or made and given as a gift. My grateful thanks Kitty. Sending Cornwall’s best wishes to our Cousin Jacks and Janes. 

The recipe uses cups, which I find very easy and can be bought anywhere.

Pre heat your fan oven to about 165C. Prepare baking sheets and line with parchment.
This quantity makes about 40 biscuits.

2 cups caster sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-1/3 cups all purpose flour [plain]
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup powdered sugar for rolling [icing sugar]

In the bowl of a food mixer, blend the oil and sugar well. Add the cocoa powder, mixing well, then the vanilla and eggs, scraping bowl sides as needed. With your mixer on low, gradually add the remaining dry ingredients [not the icing sugar] and blend again. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight, in the bowl.

Place the icing sugar on a tray. Using your hands or a portion scoop, form dough into 1" balls, roll in the powdered sugar and place on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes in your fan oven oven, then cool on rack.

Just lovely. Too moresih for words, unfortunately, but, hey ho.