Monday, 31 July 2017


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


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

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


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]
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. 

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


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


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.