Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Banana and Maple Syrup Bake with a Peanut Butter Topping 

A great tray bake, so unusual, with a soft texture and utterly delicious. I must thank a cousin across the pond for this, although I did adjust, then translate the amounts from cups though. The spongey base, which smells heavenly is a great keeper and can be decorated with whatever you fancy or even left plain. A dead easy all in one recipe.
Butter a square or oblong baking dish, about 2” deep. Line with parchment, hanging over to help you lift it out. Mine was 9 x 9”. Pre heat your fan oven to 160C

8 oz plain flour, half white half wholemeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
2 oz caster sugar
4 oz maple syrup
4-5 oz banana puree [2 med fruit]
4 fl oz sunflower oil
2 tablespoons milk
1 large beaten egg 
2 oz natural peanut butter
2 dessertspoonfuls water
2 heaped tablespoons icing sugar

In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt. Mix well.
In a smaller bowl, combine sugar, maple syrup, banana puree, oil, milk and the egg.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Pour into your prepared baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes until just firm to the touch. Cool in the tin for a short while then lift, to cool on a rack. Decorate when cold, then cut into squares.

For the topping, whisk the peanut butter with the icing sugar and water until smooth and fluffy. Add more peanut butter or sugar to achieve the desired consistency.

You would not believe how yummy this is! The smell when it is baking??? Oh my.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Eleanor’s Savoury Slices

This is my sister's recipe and she has guarded it for many a year. The cheese and oat pastry is delicious and blends perfectly with the vegetables. You can use wholemeal or ordinary plain flour.
It is equally tasty whether served warm or cold, so is very adaptable. I will give you the quantities for making the tart in a large Swiss Roll tin, but I made two thirds of the pastry and filling for a 9 inch round loose bottom flan tin. Whatever!

Prepare your tin, butter well and pre heat your fan oven to 200C

Make the delicious pastry:

6 oz plain flour
½ level tsp salt
½ tsp dry mustard powder
pinch cayenne
2 oz rolled oats
4 oz butter
3 oz grated mature cheddar
1 egg yolk
about 4 tablespoons cold water

In a medium bowl, rub the butter into the flour, then add the remaining dry ingredients and bind with the egg yolk and water. Bring together with a light knead then chill in the fridge until your veg is ready.


1-2 oz butter 
8 oz onions, sliced - I used red
8-12 oz frozen mixed vegetables [Bird’s Eye is brill for this]
½ pint milk
3 eggs
4 oz grated mature cheddar cheese
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Roll out your pastry and line the tin and trim the edges.

Melt the butter in a large fry pan and fry the onions until soft, but not browned. Stir in the veg and stir to warm though for 2 mins. Beat the eggs, seasoning, milk and cheese together. Spread the vegetables over the pastry then pour over the eggy mix.

Bake for about 45 mins. But turn down to 180C after 20 mins. Do not remove it from the tin. Cut into squares or slices when needed.


Thursday, 18 April 2019

Fruit and Walnut Tart

Yet another lovely dessert idea from the WI ladies. Super easy and failsafe. You can make it even easier if you use ready made all butter shortcrust or even buy a ready made pastry case. I made my shortcrust, which I have posted many times before and lined a medium fluted flan tin. Serve warm with lashings of clothed cream. Or custard. 

Make/buy your all butter shortcrust and line the flan tin, chill while you prep. Pre heat your fan oven to 180C

4 oz butter
6 oz soft light brown sugar
2 eggs
8 oz mixed dried fruit
2 oz chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon vinegar

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter then stir in the sugar to dissolve. Add the beaten eggs, vinegar, dried fruits and walnuts. Mix well and tip into your prepared pastry case. Bake for 30 mins.

How simple is that! Absolutely delicious too. Equally as good when cold.

Note: I have no idea why the vinegar is in the ingredients. Any ideas?

Friday, 12 April 2019

Vienna Shortcakes

While I was visiting friends and rellies “up country” recently, I met up with the family of my dear old friend Atty, who used to live in Falmouth. Atty sadly died three years ago but her cookery books and recipes live on. Over the next year or more I will be passing on many of them to you as I trawl through her books, many of them now back in Cornwall with me.

I will start off with a simple recipe, just delicious and these teatime treats can be served in two ways - with a dob of jam in the centre or with almond. I used the almond.

You will need a 12 hole bun tin and bun cases. A piping bag with a large star shape nozzle. Pre heat your fan oven to 170C. Makes 12.

In a bowl, place:

8 oz softened butter, beaten until very soft.
a little vanilla extract
3 oz icing sugar

Beat together until very soft.

6 oz plain flour
2 oz cornflour

Work the flours into the butter, then fill your piping bag.

Pipe a large round swirl into the paper cases, add a whole blanched almond or a small amount of jam in the dip in the middle, then bake for about 20 mins.

Dust with more icing sugar when almost cool. So buttery and melt in the mouth crumbly. Delish,

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Once A Year Cake

I am now passing on to you this very special recipe, kindly given to me by Chris, and this wonderful and unusual recipe was given to her by a friend who was born in Bodmin and it was her mother’s recipe, although neither knows where she found it. Chris, who lives in London, believes it is 60+ years old, maybe even more and was named “Once A Year” as it would have been very expensive to make, and I can confirm, a lot of work, especially in the prep and clearing up department! But don’t those layers look stunning? It can be used as a celebration cake as well as a family fruit cake. I left it for my husband to munch through, while away. Chris tells me it is a good keeper.

You will need 5 bowels, butter and line a 8-9” cake tin, although Chris tells me it can be made in a 8” square too. As with your Xmas cake, tie a double layer of thick brown paper around the outside of your tin.

8 oz glace cherries
8 oz almonds, blanched and cut into strips [not flaked]
the grated zest of an orange 
12 oz raisins and currants mixed
8 oz glacé pineapple. see note:
2 oz angelica
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg or Mixed spice
10 oz plain flour
8 oz  softened butter
8 oz caster sugar
6 medium eggs

Basin 1 - place your cherries, halved 
Basin 2 - place your almonds slivers with the orange zest and cinnamon 
Basin 3 - place your raisins and currants, with nutmeg or spice, stir to mix
Basin 4 - place your chopped pineapple and angelica

In a mixing bowl, cream your butter and sugar until light and fluffy then add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition, then fold in the flour.

Divide this mixture evenly into the 4 basins  [approx 9 oz each] and fold in.

Spread the cherry layer over the base, cover this with the almond layer, then the raisins and currants layer and finally the pineapple. Level off each layer as best you can without mixing them together. The mix is fairly stiff as each layer is stuffed with fruit!

Bake at 120C for 1 hour, then reduce the temperature to 110C for approx a further 2½ hours. I covered after the first hour. To test, is it firm to the touch? Then by inserting a fine skewer into the cake and if it comes out clean you are there!

Cool in the tin for an hour, then remove. Pierce the base with a fine skewer or needle when cold and sprinkle over 2 tablespoons brandy. Allow to dry for a short while then wrap in parchment and foil and store in a cool dry place until you need to decorate.

Or hang on for a day or so and just eat it!

Baking is gas mark 1 for 1 hour then reduce to ½.

Glacé pineapple is not freely available and when it is, very very costly. Of course you could make your own but it takes a month. I used dried pineapple, that I soaked for a few hours in a mix of runny honey and brandy. Seemed to work OK. The angelica was hard to find too so I got it online, but would imagine you could easily get it in a large supermarket.