Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Hokey Pokey

Place 100g caster sugar and 4 tbsps golden syrup in a saucepan and mix.

Place pan on heat, but do not stir.

Mixture will melt and then bubble until the colour of maple syrup, in 2 -3 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/2 tsps bicarbonate of soda and quickly pour onto a tray lined with reusable parchment or greased foil.

Leave to set and then break into pieces.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Hazelnut Cookies

225g/8oz plain flour
15g/0.5oz baking powder
115g/4oz Stork block margarine
115g/4oz demerara sugar
115g/4oz chunkily, chopped hazelnuts
0.5 tsp vanilla extract
25-50ml/1-2 fl oz milk
Preheat oven to 170'c. Sift flour & baking powder together & rub in margarine until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Add sugar and hazelnuts. Stir in vanilla extract and enough milk to form a soft rollable dough. Turn out onto a floured surface, roll & cutout cookie shapes. Bake for 7 - 10 minutes until pale brown.
Nuts can be substituted with chocolate drops.

Elderflower Cordial

Collect 10 elderflower heads during the middle of a sunny day. Remove any insects, being careful not to lose the pollen and place flowers in a bowl with the zest of a lemon.
Pour over 0.5 litre of boiling water, cover with a clean tea towel and leave for 24 hours.Strain through a net into a saucepan and add 500g of caster sugar. Bring to the boil, stirring occassionally to dissolve the sugar. Add the juice of the lemon and simmer for 5 minutes.
Pour into sterilised glass bottles and keep in the fridge for up to a month.

Boiled Fruit Cake

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup water

3oz hard margarine/butter

1 lb mixed fruit

1 medium egg

2 cups SR flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1. Place sugar, water, margarine and fruit in a saucepan and bring to the boil.

2. Stir in bicarbonate of soda and simmer for 10 minutes. Leave to cool.

3. Preheat oven to 140'C (fan). Grease and line a 7" to 8" round tin.

4. Add beaten egg and flour and mix thoroughly.

5. Turn into tin and level top.

6. Bake for approximately 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean when testing.

Banana Crunch

8 oz butter or margarine
8 oz rolled oats
8oz granulated sugar
8oz plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 large eggs, beaten

2 - 3 bananas, depending on size

Greased baking tray

1. Melt fat in a large saucepan.
2. Stir in dry ingredients.
3. Combine mixture with the eggs. Stir well.
4. Spread half of the mixture over the base of the baking tray. Thinly slice the bananas and arrange evenly over the mixture. Cover with remainder of mixture.
5. Bake in the centre of the oven at 180'C for approximately 20 minutes, until golden brown and risen.
6. Cut whilst hot and leave to cool in tray

Pumpkin Muffins

115g butter or margarine
175g dark muscovado sugar
115g black treacle or molasses
1 medium beaten egg
225g cooked and pureed pumpkin
200g plain flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1.5 tsp ground ginger
50g raisins
Preheat oven to 190'C and line approx 15 muffin tins with paper cases.
Beat together butter, sugar and molasses until light.
Add egg and pumpkin and mix well.
Fold in dry ingredients until just blended, do not over mix.
Fold in raisins.
Spoon into case and bake for 12-15 mins until spongy

Spicy Pumpkin Cookies

Spicy Pumpkin Cookies aka Splats! Charmingly renamed by my children!

115g butter or soft margarine
175g dark muscovado sugar
200g cooked and pureed pumpkin
150g raisins
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 190'C.
Cream together butter and sugar.
Mix in pumpkin, raisins and vanilla.
Sift together dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture.
Place spoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet, spacing well apart.
Bake for 12-15 mins until golden and spongy.

Pumpkin Cake

4oz margarine
4oz caster sugar
2 beaten eggs
2 rounded dsp golden syrup
8oz SR flour
1 rounded tsp mixed spice
5oz dried mixed fruit
3/4 cup cooked, mashed pumpkin
Preheat oven to 170'C and grease and line 8" round tin.
Cream margarine, sugar and syrup until soft.
Gradually beat in eggs.Fold in flour, spice and fruit.
Gradually mix in pumpkin to a soft consistency.
Bake for 45-50 mins or until cooked

Gingerbread Biscuits

4oz/100g granulated sugar
8oz/200g SR flour
pinch of mixed spice
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 tsp ground ginger
4oz/100g butter or margarine
4 tbsp golden syrup

Preheat oven to 160'C.
Mix dry ingredients together.
Rub in butter or margarine until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add golden syrup and mix to a dough.
Roll out on a floured surface and cut out shapes.
Bake on a greased tray for approx. 6 - 7 minutes, or until lightly golden, turning halfway through baking.
Leave to cool slightly before moving onto a rack.
Can also be made in a processor.

Mushroom Burgers

I have adapted a recipe from a recent Vegetarian magazine and stuffed 4 large mushrooms with a spinach mixture.
To make, fill a processor bowl 2/3 full of baby spinach leaves.
Add a clove of garlic, 1 tsp of lemon juice, 1 slice of wholemeal bread, some mature cheddar and the stalks of the large mushrooms plus a couple of smaller mushrooms. Season and process.
Fill 4 large mushrooms with the mixture and top with a few slices of cheese.
Bake at 190'C for 15 minutes.
Toast seeded burger buns and place one cooked mushroom in the centre of each bun.
The quantities are not crucial and cheese can be changed to use whatever is to hand.

Orange Pastry for Mince pies

500g/1lb plain flour
175g/6oz icing sugar
375g/12oz softened butter
Zest and juice of 1 orange
Sift flour into a bowl and rub in butter until mixture is crumbled.
Stir in zest and sugar.
Using a knife stir in orange juice until dough just begins to stick together.
Gather up dough and pat into a disk, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Makes approximately 24 mince pies.
The pastry is light, crumbly and rich so leave the mince pies to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tin.
They are very rich so I make mine in mini muffin tins, which then makes 55 smaller pies.
muffin tins, which then makes 55 smaller pies

Individual Christmas Puddings

150g/5oz SR flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground mixed spice
50g/2oz softened butter
2 eggs, size 2
75ml/3floz molasses or treacle
110ml/4floz Irish stout
2 tbsp dark rum
411g jar of luxury or homemade mincemeat
75g/3oz Bramley apple - peeled, cored and finely chopped
175g/6oz currants
25g/1oz roasted hazelnuts, chopped
Grated zest of an orange and a lemon
8 individual pudding basins plus paper and foil

1. Place dry ingredients, butter, eggs, molasses, stout and rum into a processor and beat together. Alternatively place ingredients into a large bowl and use a hand-held electric whisk.
2. Stir in mincemeat, apple, currants, nuts and zests.
3. Grease 8 small pudding basins and divide mixture equally into the basins.
4. Cover each with a circle of buttered greaseproof paper and a square of foil, using a pleating motion to seal edges.
5. Place in a roasting tin and pour 1cm of boiling water around the basins.
6. Bake in a preheated oven at 180'C for approximately 45 minutes.
7. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from basins by running a knife around the pudding before turning onto a serving plate.

These can also be cooled, individually wrapped in greaseproof paper and placed in a container in the freezer until Christmas. Defrost before cooking and bake on a tray, covered with a foil tent at 180'C for 25 minutes or reheat in a microwave.

Red Onion and Goats Cheese Tarts

These are so quick & easy and very tasty.
Soften 2 thinly sliced red onions, herbs (your own choice) and 2 cloves of garlic in some olive oil until slightly coloured. Add a dash of balsamic vinegar.
Roll out a slab of bought puff pastry until it is big enough to cut out 6 squares. Score each square as shown.
Place on a baking tray and top with onion mixture, keeping it inside of the scored square. Place a square of firm English goats cheese on top. Bake at 190'C for 15 - 20 minutes.


75g/3oz Light Muscovado Sugar
75g/3oz Butter or Hard Margarine
30ml/2tbsp Golden Syrup
150g/5oz Rolled Oats
50g/2oz Raisins
A Sprinkling of Sunflower Seeds
20cm/8" Round Pyrex Flan Dish
800w Microwave
1. Place sugar, butter & syrup in a basin and microwave on high for 2 mins.
2. Stir in oats, raisins & seeds. Press into greased dish and cook on high for 3 mins.
3. Allow to cool slightly, then cut into 8 or 12 pieces. Leave in dish until completely cold.

Fairy Cakes

Makes approx 16

100g caster sugar
100g soft butter/margarine
2 medium eggs
100g SR flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
a dash of milk

Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Gradually add eggs. Fold in flour and baking powder. Add milk to form soft dropping consistency. Spoon into paper cases and bake for 8-10 minutes at 170'C. Can be decorated when cold.

Easter Biscuits

Easter Bunnies and Eggs

225g plain flour
75g icing sugar
25g ground almonds
125g butter/margarine
1 medium egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
100g dark chocolate

Mix together flour, sugar and almonds. Rub in butter. Add egg and vanilla then flour to form a dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes. Roll out and cut into shapes. Bake at 180'C for 10 - 15 minutes. When cool decorate with dark chocolate.

Rhubarb Muffins

Makes 12
250g plain, wholemeal flour
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
200g light muscavado sugar
50g chopped walnuts or pecans
6 tbsps sunflower oil
1 medium egg
250ml semi-skimmed milk
1 tbsp demerara sugar

1. Preheat oven to 180'C. Line muffin tin with cases.
2. Mix together flour, baking powder,cinnamon, muscavado sugar and nuts in a bowl.
3. Mix together beaten egg, oil and milk. Stir into dry ingredients, do not over mix.
4. Spoon into muffin cases and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake for approximately 20 mins.
They only keep for 3 days because they are moist, but they freeze very well.