Saturday, 27 January 2018

Paradise Cakes

Another lovely recipe from the Ladies of the WI. Why Paradise? I have no idea but they taste like heaven. You can use bought shortcrust pastry if you wish, but I made mine with my usual 8 oz plain flour, 5 oz cold butter, a little caster sugar, I egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of cold water. You will have some left over, so handy for jam tarts or similar.

You will need a Swiss roll tin that has been buttered and lined with shortcrust pastry. [mine was 9” x 13”] Pre heat your fan oven to 170C

6 oz softened butter
5 oz caster sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
4 oz ground rice
3 oz ground almonds
2 oz sultanas
2 oz glacé cherries
3 oz currants
caster sugar to dredge

Roll out your shortcrust pastry to line the Swiss roll tin. Chill in the fridge while your prepare the filling.

In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one  at a time, beating well after each addition, then mix in the rice and almonds. Finally adding the fruit. Tip over the pastry base and level out. Bake for about 40-45 mins. I turned down to 160C about halfway through.

Cool in the tin for a while then cut into squares or slices and dredge generously with caster sugar.

Just yummy.

Monday, 22 January 2018


These nutty bars are just deliciously gooey and nutty and the recipe comes from the Ladies of the WI. I used a nut mix of Walnuts, Hazelnuts, Cashews and Almonds [in Lidl] but you can use any nut combo. So easy. But don’t panic when you cut them after baking, the top will crack.

You will need a Swiss roll tin [I used one 7” x 12”]  that has been buttered and lined. Pre heat your fan oven to 170C

3 oz melted butter
12 oz light soft brown sugar
2 med eggs, beaten
½ teaspoonful vanilla bean paste or extract
6 oz plain flour
2 level teaspoonfuls baking powder
7-8 oz nuts [roughly chopped]

In a medium bowl stir the melted butter into the sugar and beat well,  then adding the eggs and vanilla. Continue beating until well combined. Stir in the flour with the baking powder and add this into the sugar mix. Now add your chopped nuts.

Tip into your prepared tin and level off and bake for about 30-35 mins. Cut into bars while still hot and leave the bars in the tin until cold. 

Note: I did think that they might be even better if you add a tablespoonful of cocoa! Next time….

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Pork Sausage and Apple Pie

I was given this old recipe by a lovely senior lady from near Truro and it was in her mother’s old hand written recipe book. It can be eaten hot or cold and will happily sit in the fridge for a day or two and can also be frozen. You need no fancy equipment, just a flat baking sheet. You can also use bought “all butter” shortcrust pastry.

You will need about 8 oz of shortcrust pastry. I have given you my version many times. I added plenty of seasoning and some dry mustard powder.

A well buttered baking sheet and pre heat your fan over to 190C

10 oz best pork sausage meat
2-3 oz smoked streaky bacon, finely chopped
a sharp eating apple peeled, cored, finely chopped, like a Granny Smith
a small trimmed leak, finely chopped
2 heaped teaspoonfuls fresh chopped parsley
a beaten egg
seasonings to taste

In a medium bowl mix all of the above ingredients together, best done with your hands.

Cut your pastry in half and roll out a base until it is about 8 inches in diameter. Place your filling in the centre and shape into a nice mound, leaving about an inch around the edges. Seal the edges with some more beaten egg or a little milk. Roll out the remaining pastry and place over the top and press the edges together. Trim, making it nice and neat and cut off any surplus pastry. Press with a fork to seal it properly. Brush with more beaten egg and poke a little hole in the top. 

Bake in your pre heated oven to about 30 mins, then turn down to about 170C and bake for another 15 mins until lovely and golden. Cool on a rack and serve. Enjoy!

Just scrumptious and you have used no equipment. Made in minutes too.

Note: I am sorry that the photos are not up to my usual standard. The light this winter, especially since Xmas has been dreadful, with long dull grey days.  I only have a ordinary camera, point and click. 

Friday, 12 January 2018

Apple Amber Pie

The simplest tastiest dessert, especially if you buy your ‘all butter’ shortcrust pastry. The apple filling is just delicious. Another WI winner. I used golden syrup rather than honey! After all I am Cornish. You can really taste the orange juice and zest and it comes through wonderfully.

You will need a 8 inch loose bottomed flan tin, buttered. Pre heat your fan oven to 190C

6 oz shortcrust pastry [see my recipe below]
1½ lb cooking apples, peeled and cored
grated rind and juice of an orange
golden syrup or runny honey to sweeten
1 oz butter
2 eggs, separated
2 oz caster sugar
caster sugar for sprinkling

Roll out your pastry, as thinly as you can and line your flan tin. Prick the bottom with a fork and scrunch up some parchment paper and cover the pastry and fill with ceramic beans [or whatever you use]. Bake for about 20 mins until set and starting to brown. Remove the paper and beans and set aside for a mo.

Meanwhile, slice the apples and stew in the orange juice and zest until starting to soften, then sweeten with either the golden syrup or honey to your taste. Add the soft butter and egg yolks and stir well. Cool before turning into the pastry case.

Meanwhile [again!]

Whisk the egg whites until stiff then add the caster sugar, continue whisking until thick and glossy.

Turn the oven down to 160C.

Spread the meringue over the apples mix [or pipe if for a special occasion] using a spoon as you don’t want it too even. Dredge with caster sugar and bake for another 20 minutes until lightly browned.

Heaven on a plate.

Shortcrust. I never do it by hand. In a food processor, place:
8 oz plain flour, 5 oz cold butter, cubed and a tablespoon caster sugar. Pulse, until it resembles  fine breadcrumbs. Add one egg yolk and 2 tablespoons cold water. Pulse again until it comes together.  Lightly knead and place in a poly bag to chill for 20 mins or so.

Sunday, 7 January 2018


Us Cornish have always loved dates and this recipe makes the most delicious, gooey, fruity filled cake. Oh my! You will love it. Another old WI recipe, although I did make one or two updates. I used half light muscovado sugar, as that flavour marries so well with dates, plus I added a large splash of sherry to the liquid when soaking the dates.

Butter well and line the base of a 10” spring form cake tin, not too deep. Although I baked this one in a  9” square tin, as I wanted slices. Pre heat your fan oven to 160C

8 oz stoned and chopped dates
½ pint boiling water, plus a large glug of sherry or brandy 
a heaped teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
6 oz softened butter
12 oz soft light brown sugar [or half light muscovado]
3 large eggs, beaten
11 oz plain flour
a little demerera [optional]

Dissolve the bicarb in the boiling water and add the dates. Stir well and leave to cool, overnight is good to let the dates absorb the liquids..

In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Alternatively add the flour and gooey date mix in about three lots and mix well. Turn into your prepared tin and bake for about 55-60 mins until the top is firm to the touch. Cool in the tin for a short while then transfer to a cooling rack.

Just lovely. The smell and flavour is amazing. Enjoy.

Note: before popping the cake into the oven I lightly dredged with demerera sugar to make a crunchy topping.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Chocolate Buttermilk Sandwich

Happy New Year! This is a delicious, luxurious, Chocolate cake recipe, so easy and guaranteed to be a winner. A cousin sent this over to me from the US. Yes, it is a large cake, but great for a special occasion. You can fill this delicious cake with whatever filling you fancy, fresh double cream or a chocolate buttercream. Cream cheese with a little icing sugar and cocoa mixed together is good too! I made a buttercream and added some melted white chocolate.

You will need 2 x 9 inch sandwich tins, well greased and the bases lined if you wish. Pre heat your fan oven to 160C

10 oz plain flour
1 teaspoonful bicarbonate of soda
8 oz softened butter
7 oz caster sugar
7 oz soft light brown sugar
1 teaspoonful vanilla extract
4 large eggs
6 oz 70% cocoa solids chocolate, melted
6 fl oz buttermilk

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, along with a teaspoon of the flour, with each addition. Beat in the melted chocolate then the dry ingredients, alternatively with the buttermilk and vanilla. Mix well then tip into your prepared tins. I have mentioned before that I am a saddo and weigh them to make sure equal quantities are in each tin. No need really!

Bake for about 30 mins, until firm to the touch and allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes. Cool on a rack, while you make a filling of your choice. I used a soft cream cheese, a little icing sugar, with added melted chocolate and a hint of vanilla.

You can make enough filling to decorate the top, as well as the middle, but alternatively a light dusting of icing sugar is enough.

Enjoy. Just lovely.