Thursday, 21 November 2019

Mincemeat Surprise

Christmas is coming and here is a delicious, easy peasy recipe for a festive bake! Easily doubled as they are very moreish!! Another recipe from the A Taste of Stithians booklet, although I have adapted it slightly. Use your own or a good quality mincemeat - definitely not a runny one.

You will need a [round] baking sheet, well greased and pre heat your fan oven to 190C.

12 oz self raising flour
3 oz lard
pinch salt
2 heaped tablespoonfuls of caster sugar
1 small egg
1 teaspoonful mixed spice
zest of an orange
Buttermilk or whole milk to mix
Good quality mincemeat.

In a medium bowl, rub the fat into the flour, salt and sugar and mix with the beaten egg, buttermilk or whole milk until you have a soft scone like mixture. On a floured surface, roll out into a rectangle about ½ an inch thick. Mine was about 11 inches by 7 inches,  Dampen the edges with a little more milk or egg.

Spread with mincemeat  [keep the edges clear, it will spread] then roll up like a Swiss roll. Cut into about 8-10 sections and place these on your greased baking tray, nearly touching in a circle. Bake for about 16-18 mins until nicely browned and then cool. Make up a glacĂ© icing, just runny enough to drizzle over generously. Decorate with flaked almonds and some chopped dried cranberries or cherries.

A lovely alternative to mince pies.

Saturday, 16 November 2019

My favourite Chicken dish!

I saw this recipe in the super A Taste of Stithians booklet and made it immediately. It looked just delicious. Understatement! You can easily buy boned chicken thighs, to save the boring boning bit. 30 or 40 years down the line, I would suggest adding a little chopped chilli too!

Pre heat your fan oven to 180C and you will need a medium roasting dish.

4 large chicken thighs, skinned
6 oz strong grated cheddar
6 oz good pork sausage meat
some small sliced mushrooms - about 4 oz
4 slices of gammon ham, chopped
chopped parsley, some chives and and little thyme - your choice.
fresh ground pepper and sea salt
8 rashers of streaky bacon - smoked or plain but I like smoked

Lay out the skinned chicken thighs flat, on a surface [I covered the thighs with cling film and flattened them out a little with a rolling pin]. In a medium bowl, mix together the grated cheese, sausage meat, sliced mushrooms and chopped ham. Add your choice of chopped herbs, seasoning and with your hands, mix all together. Divide this mixture equally between the four chicken portions and place in the middle. Roll up, then roll two pieces of streaky bacon around the little parcels. Secure with a cocktail stick if necessary, or tuck underneath.

Place in your roasting dish and bake for about 45 mins. There will be lovely roasting juices to spoon over. 

Absolutely delicious. Serve with any type of potato and some nice veg. 

In the above mentioned Stithians booklet this recipe is called Ken’s favourite chicken dish and was submitted by Ken Snowden of Radio Cornwall.

Monday, 11 November 2019

Fruited Cardamon and Chocolate Buttermilk Loaf

A deliciously moist piece of cake - literally! So easy and the flavours are unusual and amazing. I love the smell after crushing the pods, then wonder why I do not use the flavour more often.

You will need a medium/ 1lb loaf tin, well buttered, with a wide strip of parchment through the long sides, hanging over to help you lift it out. Pre heat your fan oven to 160C.

4 oz softened butter
4 oz golden caster sugar
2 large eggs
7 oz SR flour
crush to a powder 5-6 cardamon pods in a pestle and mortar, removing all the bits [use a small sieve]
2-3 fl oz buttermilk
2-3oz good quality dark chocolate - chopped
3 oz sultanas

In a large mixing bowl, cream the fat and sugar, which in the eggs, one at a time, then lightly beat in the flour and spices, alternately with the buttermilk. Finally add the chopped chocolate and fruit.

Tip into your prepared tin and bake for about 1 hour, turning down to 150C for the last ten mins if it is starting to brown too much, or cover with some parchment.

Allow to cool in the tin for a short while then turn onto a rack. A drizzle of melted chocolate when cold is great or just leave plain, as I have done, to enjoy these fabulous flavours.


Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Whiskey Spice Cake

I was born and bred in Stithians, but until recently had not come across the excellent A Taste of Stithians booklet, sold some decades ago to raise funds for Cancer research. This seriously delicious cake is from the booklet and there will be many more in weeks to come, during the winter. This cake is very fruity, moist and crumbly, with a perfect mix of booze and spices. Ideal for the most delicious dessert.

You will need 2 x sponge tins, greased and the bases lined. I used 7 inch tins. Pre heat your fan oven to 150C

8 oz raisins
5 fl oz water
4 oz butter
5 oz soft light brown sugar
1 large egg
6 oz plain flour
1 teaspoonful bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoonful ground cloves
½ teaspoonful ground nutmeg
2 oz roughly chopped
2 tablespoonfuls whiskey

Simmer the raisins in the water for about ten minutes , then strain the fruit, keeping the water and making up to 5 fl oz with a little more cold. Add the 2 tablespoons whiskey.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg. Add the flour, bicarb and spices and mix well. Fold in the cooled raisins, liquid and walnuts.

Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for around 30-35 mins. Cool on a rack then fill with this delicious buttercream:

3 oz softened butter
8 oz icing sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoonful whiskey

Beat the butter, add the yolk, sugar and whiskey. Mix well until soft and creamy. 

How absolutely delicious!!!
Contains raw egg yolk.

Friday, 1 November 2019


Now these flavours mixed together are quite unusual, but somehow, they just work. I love being sent delicious cake recipes from rellies in the US and Australia, although I have adapted this to our use. Fruit, chocolate, coffee, cloves and allspice! Keep them coming, if you send them, I will bake them!!

Butter and line a 8” or 7” spring form cake tin. Pre heat your fan oven to 155-160C

7 oz soft light brown sugar
4 oz butter, softened 
2 eggs
7 oz plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
large pinch salt
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 level teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoonfuls Camp coffee mixed with a little cold water to make up to about 3 fl oz
2 fl oz buttermilk or whole milk
2 oz chopped pecans
4 oz sultanas
2 oz currants
4 oz at least 70% cocoa solids, good quality plain chocolate [pref 80%], chopped. I used 74%

Mix together the flour, spices salt and bp in a small bowl. Set aside. In a small jug, mix the coffee and buttermilk. In a medium bowl, cream the fat the sugar until light in colour and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. 

Stir in the flour and wet ingredients alternatively, until well combined, then finally stir in the fruit, chocolate and nuts.

Tip into your prepared tin and level off then bake for about an hour until firm to the touch. I turned down to 140C after about 50 mins. Cool in the tin for a quarter of an hour then turn out onto a wire rack. 

The cake can be left of course, but can also be brushed with brandy or rum to add a little extra kick.

Oh my! you will love this cake. The flavours combinations are very unusual and the smell in your kitchen while baking is just fabulous.

Note: the 8” will take a tad longer to bake.