Sunday, 27 September 2020

Date Flapjacks

Well, yet another date recipe and I make no apologies. I just love dates, I love eating them, baking with them, as all Cornish folk do! This recipe is absolutely fabulous! From an old baking booklet. Of course the recipe would have used dates chopped from a solid block, as I have done. Available in Sainsbury’s. These oaty and coconut flapjacks have a lovely gooey date centre that tastes very yummy!!

You will need an approx 7 or 8 inch square tin, not too deep or similar. lightly buttered and the base lined.  Pre heat your fan oven to 160C

6 oz butter

1 dessertspoonful golden syrup

6 oz caster sugar

4 oz medium oats

3 oz desiccated coconut

3 oz plain flour

large pinch of bicarbonate of soda

a teaspoonful vanilla extract or bean paste

6 oz dates, chopped and 5-6 tablespoonfuls juice from a large orange

Put the dates and juice in a small pan and heat through until the dates are soft and squishy. You may need a tad more juice. It will only take a couple or three minutes.

In another pan melt the butter and syrup and then add the remaining ingredients. Mix well.

Tip half of the oaty mix into your prepared tin and press down lightly and evenly. Cover carefully with the date mix. Then cover the dates with the other half of the oaty mix.  I crumbled it over to avoid moving the dates, then lightly forked it through. Bake for about 30 mins maybe a tad more until golden.

Cool in the tin for a while then cut into squares or slices, when almost cold transfer to a rack.  So yummy. One of the best, trust me!

Sausage Pie

Here is a great idea using traditional ingredients in a different way. I saw this in a very old booklet and was a little sceptical but was looking for an easy meal that I could prep in advance so thought I would try it! Well, I am so pleased I didi!! Now I can pass it on to you!

You will need an oblong oven proof dish about 3 pints, or similar. Pre heat your fan oven to 180C

1 lb good sausage meat

[ I used Asda’s Extra Special 98% Pork sausages and skinned them]

½ teaspoonful dried mixed herbs

about 4 oz chopped streaky bacon 

3 medium vine grown tomatoes, sliced

Salt and pepper

1 large cooking apple, peeled and cored and sliced

4 oz grated cheddar

2lb potatoes, mashed [with butter and an egg yolk]

Place the sausage meat in the bottom of a lightly buttered dish. Level off and sprinkle with the herbs. Cook the bacon in a small fry pan in its own fat until crisp and coloured, then place on top of the sausage meat. Add the sliced tomatoes, S&P, and sliced apple. Stir the cheese into the mash and spread over the top [or pipe if you want to be fancy!] Bake for about one hour!

Well I never. How scrumptious.

Note: I sprinkled over some parmesan and smoked paprika for a little extra kick, but that was not in the old recipe.

Tuesday, 22 September 2020


An Autumn Cake

This lovely recipe is taken from an old  Cornwall WI booklet and of course, as it is Autumn now, uses cooking apples. The cake is very moist and is a good keeper. The apples need to be peeled, cored and simmered in a tablespoonful of water then mashed well, giving you a very slightly pulpy mixture. You will need about 3 medium apples.

You will need a 8 inch spring form cake tin, buttered and lined. and pre heat your fan oven to 160C

5-6 oz apple pulp

5 oz softened butter

5 oz soft light brown sugar

2 eggs

½ teaspoonful cinnamon

½ teaspoonful mixed spice

½ teaspoonful bicarbonate of soda

8 oz plain flour

3 ox chopped glacé cherries

3 oz any chopped nuts - I used pecans

zest of a lemon

demerara sugar for sprinkling

[although not in the original recipe, I added a handful of raisins]

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the beaten eggs. Then add the flour and spices and bicarb. Mix well, then add the fruit, nuts and lastly the apple pulp and lemon zest.

Tip into your prepared tin and level off then sprinkle over some lovely crunchy demerara.

Bake for about 45 mins until firm to the touch. Just scrummy. Trust me, this is a special cake!!

Note: I used one large Bramley and two Gala eating apples to give a variety off texture.

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Lemon and Spicy Ginger Cake

Such amazing flavours blend in this easy peasy loaf cake. I found this recipe yonks ago in a magazine while having my hair done! Well, you have to pass the time somehow! You will need a 2lb loaf tin, lightly greased and lay a strip of parchment across the long sides, hanging over to help lift it out. Don’t be alarmed at how runny the mixture is!!

Pre heat your fan oven to 160C

8 oz golden syrup

4 oz butter

4 oz soft light brown sugar

8 oz plain flour

2 teaspoonfuls ground ginger

1 teaspoonful cinnamon

1 teaspoonful mixed spice

½ teaspoonful bicarbonate of soda

2 large eggs

about 3 tablespoonfuls milk, pref whole

Place the butter, syrup and sugar in a medium saucepan and gently heat until it feels smooth and the sugar has melted. Set aside to cool.

Place the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir well, then pour in the buttery mixture, beaten eggs and milk. Mix well and pour into your prepared tin. So easy!

Bake for about 55-60 mins but check after 50 mins or turn down if too brown. Leave in the tin for ten mins then cool on a rack. Meanwhile…

8 oz icing sugar

zest of a large lemon

plus the juice

Make a lemon icing with the icing sugar and lemon juice. Not too runny but enough to spoon over the top of your cooled cake and run down the sides. Just before it sets, sprinkle generously with the lemon zest.

Absolutely delish! Enjoy.

Friday, 11 September 2020

Apricot Cream Cake

Oh my! this is just so delicious. I wish I could send the taste of this cake through the ether to you! I found it many years ago in a Farmer’s Weekly collection booklet. An impressive dessert cake if you wish, or can equally be ate at any time. I made it for an afternoon of Bridge. You can use either butter icing or double cream in the filling. The recipe called for the apricots to be soaked overnight to soften, but of course, these days we can buy the apricots, all lovely soft and squishy.
You will need a 7 inch spring form deep cake tin, greased and lined. Pre heat your fan oven to 160C
8 oz dried apricots
¾ pint water
6 oz softened butter
6 oz dark muscovado sugar
3 large eggs
6 oz wholemeal plain flour
1 teaspoonful baking powder
2 teaspoonfuls cinnamon
1 teaspoonful mixed spice
Double cream, plus more to decorate OR
butter icing - see below
any chopped nuts to decorate. I used chopped hazelnuts
Place the apricots in the water overnight and then simmer for about half an hour, uncovered. Drain well but keep the liquid. [I did not bother with the overnight bit, just an hour], Chop and mash the drained apricots with a fork and set aside. Do not discard the juice!! You will need it in a mo.
Cream the butter and sugar, then add the eggs, one at a time with a small amount of the flour.
Fold in the flour, bp and spices and mix well then tip into your prepared tin and bake for about one hour but check after 50 mins.
Cool on a rack then cut the cake into three equal [ish] layers. Brush each layer to moisten, with the retained apricot juice.
Fill each layer with a third of the mashed apricots and the cream of your choice and sandwich together. Moisten the top and spread the last third of the apricots on top. Pipe or swirl more cream as you wish. Sprinkle over the nuts and tuck in. Absolutely deliciously moist and yummy.
Store in the fridge after making. I used buttercream.
Butter cream icing = double icing sugar to softened butter plus a little vanilla extract or bean paste, and a very small amount of water or the drained juice. I used some drained juice and for the above 4 oz butter and 8 oz icing sugar.
Note: if you are having any problems obtaining any muscovado sugar in these strange times [Asda has none, or my Sainsburys] but Morrisons have plenty


Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Liver and Onions with Apple Bake

Now, I do realise many of you will go “Yuk, I hate liver”. But we love it and in the past I have always tossed it in flour and pan fried, served alongside some fried onions and bacon. with mashed potatoes!  But then as I was trawling though an old Cornish recipe book, I found this basic idea and I adapted it from there. The added grated apple and juice makes it remarkably tasty! It is a lovely easy meal, if you enjoy liver. This quantity serves 4.

You will need an ovenproof dish, well greased. Pre heat your fan oven to 190C.

1½lb lambs liver, thinly sliced with all the tube bits etc cut off

2 tablespoonfuls plain flour 

Salt and fresh ground pepper

In a poly bag place the above, the liver you have patted dry with kitchen paper, and toss until it is evenly coated with the flour. Set aside for a mo.

2 onions finely sliced

2 tablespoonfuls of oil and butter to fry

5 fl oz apple juice

1 grated granny smith [or similar]

5 fl oz good stock of your choice [I used an Oxo cube]

Approx 1½ - 2lb of evenly sized potatoes that you have parboiled but still just firm.

melted butter for brushing over the top

parsley to garnish 

In a med-large fry pan, heat the oil and butter and fry the onions until just soft, place in the bottom of your dish. Add the liver and and cook until lightly browed on both sides. Transfer to your baking dish, levelling the liver out. In a jug, mix together the stock, grated apple and apple juice then pour over the liver. Thinly slice the cooled potatoes and neatly arrange on the top. Brush with butter and season once more.

Bake for about 30 mins, maybe a little more until browning and bubbling. Longer if cooking from cold, if you have prepared it in the morning for cooking later. Sprinkle over some chopped parsley and serve with veg of your choice. Simple, easy, economical and delicious.


Note: In the past I have always preferred pigs liver, but the lamb’s was delish.