Wednesday, 28 October 2020


Lemon Ice Cake

Here is a brilliant idea for an easy peasey make ahead dessert. You will just need to take it out of the freezer about 15-20 mins before serving, cover with any soft fruit of your choice, plus a little more cream if you wish, to decorate. I found this recipe yet again in the Farmer’s Weekly collections. A veritable treasure trove of great simple recipes and ideas. I am putting one of these in my freezer for a simple Xmas dessert.

You will need a spring form 8 inch cake tin, that you have lightly oiled.

3 large eggs, separated

4 oz caster sugar

5 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoonfuls lemon zest

pinch salt

½ pint double cream

Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks, set aside for a mo. Lightly whip the double cream too.  

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks until thick and creamy and then beat in the caster sugar.  Add the zest, juice and salt and continue whisking for a few seconds. Then fold in your egg whites and double cream.

Tip into your prepared tin and level off then place in your freezer. How easy is that.

When you need it, take it out of the freezer for 20 mins then carefully release the cake. Decorate as you wish and serve immediately. As you can see, I used strawberries. 

Yum yum. I love lemon and this is such a lovely light dessert following a meal.

Thursday, 22 October 2020


Crispy Coconut Squares

Well, don’t these sound and look yummy? I love this sort of bake. Another recipe taken from the old Echo booklet, with a few alterations from me. As you do! 

You will need a 7 x 11 inch tray bake tin, at leach 2 inch high. Pre heat your fan oven to 160C

In two parts: The base

6 oz SR flour

3 oz softened butter

4 oz caster sugar

In a medium bowl, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, then add the sugar. Tip not the base of your prepared tin and press down and level off - easy with the back of a spoon. Bake for 20 mins.


The topping:

6 oz light muscovado sugar

2 oz softened butter

2 large eggs

4 oz desiccated coconut

4 oz raisins or sultanas

3 oz chopped walnuts

2 oz quartered glacé cherries

2 tablespoonfuls cornflour

1 teaspoonful vanilla extract or bean paste

In a medium bowl, place the sugar, eggs and butter and beat until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well, then spoon over the partially cooked base. Return to the oven for another 25-30 mins.

Cool in the tray for a short while then cut into squares and place on a cooling rack. Wow, just lovely.

Keeps well for a few days, but that is not likely!

Saturday, 17 October 2020

Another Mincemeat Cake recipe!

Following on from my post a week or so ago, follower Chris sent me the photo of this recipe, that belonged to her mother in law. I love looking at faded scraps of paper with little gems written on them. Thank you so much Chris. There will be another mincemeat recipe in a week or two that Matthew sent to me. All these Mincemeat recipes!!! and it is no where near the festive season yet!!

The original recipe used marge, there was no method and Chris thought it might have been an “all in one” but I decided to use the creaming method. I used my own Mincemeat plus the extra cherries, even though I had plenty of cherries in my fruit mix. I loved the added cinnamon flavouring.

Pre heat your fan oven to 150C and great and line the base of a 6 or 7 inch spring form tin.

4 oz softened butter

4 oz caster sugar

2 eggs [I used large]

6 oz SR flour

1 teaspoonful cinnamon

8 oz Mincemeat

2 oz glacé cherries, chopped.

In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar, whisk in the eggs and then fold in the flour and then the fruit mix.

Tip into your prepared tin and bake for about 1¼ hrs [the original says 1½ hours but fan ovens cook faster these days]

Cool in the tin for a short while then transfer to a rack. Leave it for a day or so, then tuck in. 

Note: I used castor sugar but would think you could use any. I will try light muscovado the next time.

Lovely! Moist and delicious.

Monday, 12 October 2020


Cherry Ginger Cake

Another old recipe from the Farmer’s Weekly collection. They really are a wonderful source of excellent traditional recipes.  Those of you who have followed me for many years will know I love ginger, in any form, but particularly crystallised! But come to think of it, any ginger.

You will need a 2 lb loaf tin, as I used, but equally good in a 7 inch round. Pre heat your fan oven to 160C

5 oz crystallised or stem ginger

4 oz dried or glacé cherries

8 oz SR flour

6 oz caster sugar

6 oz butter, softened

3 eggs

½ teaspoonful vanilla extract

1 tablespoonful milk

First chop your ginger into very small pieces, reserving a few larger bits to decorate the top later on. Halve the cherries and toss the fruit in a little flour.

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar, then whisk in the eggs, alternatively with the flour. Add the vanilla and milk and mix well. Tip into your prepared tin and bake for about 45 mins, then turning down your oven to 140C for a further 20 mins.

Cool, then if you wish, make a water icing with icing sugar and decorate with more cut halves of cherries and ginger.


Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Mincemeat in time for Christmas

I made my first mince pies yesterday!! I felt sorry for my husband who loves them, although I normally waiting til 1st Nov, as you have to draw the line somewhere! But have you ever thought about making your own Mincemeat? It is very very easy, although the prep does take a little time. Then just mix all that lovely fruity, nutty mix with the booze of your choice and wait for it to mature before using for your mince pies. There is not even a method, although you do need to sterilise your jars before packing. I just use the dishwasher.

The quality below makes approx 12 jars depending on size of course. I save jam jars or you can buy them these days at a very reasonable price.  [I find Hobby Craft the best value] The Mincemeat will keep but best eat it within 5 months at it’s very best. So making this during the beginning of October is perfect timing.

I have fiddled with different combinations of fruit and nuts for some time, and I like this. I want a luxury combo. You can use Brandy, Rum or Whiskey - your choice. I am using whiskey this year, but I do like rum.

4 lbs dried fruit in total, generally around equal quantities of currants, sultanas, raisins, plus half quantity of chopped mixed peel, dried cranberries [no need to be too exact, chuck it in!]

12 oz soft dried figs [in Lidl, they are very good and reasonable]

12 oz glaze cherries

6 oz chopped apricots

about 8 pieces of stem ginger

about 8-10 tablespoonfuls of the syrup

10-12 oz chopped whole almonds and walnuts or pecans mix

3 lb dark muscovado sugar

3 heaped teaspoonfuls mixed spice

½ teaspoonful ground cloves

12 tablespoonfuls vegetable suet, ie one whole packet

grated zest of 4 lemons and 3 oranges

6 apples, [I like golden delicious] very finely chopped [in a the juice of two of the lemons]

20 tablespoonfuls booze

Assemble all your ingredients: Chop the mixed peel until very very fine. Chop the figs, quarter the cherries and finely chop the stem ginger. Zest the citrus fruit and chop the apples and toss in the lemon juice.

In a very large mixing bowl bring all your ingredients together and mix well. Cover with cling film and leave all day, stirring occasionally. Get your jars ready, put the clean jars in an empty dishwasher to sterilise or put them in an oven on an ovenproof tray.

Pack the jars, and seal. How easy is that? Now you have to wait.

Note: you can use Bramley apples but I find they turn to mush when cooking and golden delicious do not! 

Friday, 2 October 2020

Blueberry Dessert Cake

Well, I love Blueberries and have them every day with my cereal. I have also used them baked in muffins and other cakes but this is a little different. More a dessert than a cake as it uses fresh cream, [although you can fill the centre with butter icing], so needs to be kept in a fridge and eaten within a day. A great dessert that can be made a few hours in advance, so moist with a lovely cinnamon flavour.

Pre heat your fan oven to 160C and you will need a spring form 9 inch cake tin, fairly deep. Lightly grease and line the base.

6 oz softened butter

5 oz caster sugar

3 large eggs

8 oz SR flour

1 teaspoonful baking powder

1 teaspoonful vanilla extract

2 teaspoonfuls ground cinnamon

4 tablespoons sour cream

1 cup of blueberries

In a large mixing bowl, place all the ingredients except the fruit. and beat until well combined. Stir in the  fruit. How easy is that?

Tip into your prepared tin and bake for around 45-50 mins until firm to the touch, cool for a while in the tin then transfer to a rack until cold. Cut in half carefully. I have a nifty slicer, a bit like a hack saw that keeps it level.

The filling:

10 fl oz Double Cream

a heaped tablespoonful of icing sugar

Whisk together and fill the delish cake.

Make up a water icing using lemon juice instead of water, if you wish. Allow it to run over the slides and just before the icing sets place a further cup full of blueberries in the centre. Chill until use.

A brilliant dessert. Even better, if possible, with a large dollop of clotted cream or ice cream!