Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Eves Pudding

Don't know about anyone else but after the festive season I always seem to have some fruit in the fruit bowl which is getting a little long in the tooth, I hate to waste food and try wherever possible to use them in some recipe or another. Eves Pudding is a great recipe to have in the arsenal and is delightfully comforting, it smells wonderful when baking and the lemony zesty aroma is a great pick me up. The Eve in the name refers to the fact that apples are used in the recipe.

  • 450g or so Apples - peeled, cored and chopped into small chunks (ideally bakers but whatever you have)
  • 75g Demerara sugar
  • Lemon zest - 1 whole lemon
  • 75g Margarine
  • 75g Caster sugar
  • Egg - free range
  • 150g self raising flour
  • Milk - about 1tbsp

  • Preheat your oven to 180c
  • Grease your baking dish
  • Place your apples in the dish and sprinkle with the demerara sugar and lemon zest
  • Mix your sponge in the normal manner, use the milk to achieve a dropping consistency
  • Spoon over your apples and smooth to cover
  • Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes until the apples are soft and the sponge is golden
Serve hot, warm or cold, either on its own or with cream, custard or ice cream. Delicious

Banana Crumble slices

And now for something completely different, after all the Christmas baking and spices here's a recipe to ring the changes and also to use any overripe bananas you are bound to have in the fruit bowl in the bargain. I haven't made this recipe in a while, its another one from my scrap book and can't remember why I don't make it more often. Enjoy.


  • 175g sugar
  • 175g Vegetable margarine
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 100g porridge oats
  • 2 medium bananas - mashed
  • 25g sultanas or raisins
  • Caster sugar to sprinkle


  • Pre -heat your oven to 180c fan / 200c non fan
  • Cream the sugar, margarine together
  • Add the flour and oats and mix to a crumble mixture
  • Lightly oil or spray your baking tin - which is approx 8 by 12 inches
  • Sprinkle half your crumble mixture in the baking tin, press down lightly.
  • Spread over the mashed bananas and sprinkle on the dried fruit
  • Sprinkle over rest of mixture and cover banana, press down lightly
  • Bake for 25-30 mins until golden
  • Sprinkle with caster sugar 
  • Cool in tin and cut into chunks.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Mincemeat and Sultana Muffins

Another lovely recipe to use your homemade mincemeat, these muffins are delicious and well flavoured, a real tea time treat and a great substitute to the traditional mince pie that is normally left out for Father Christmas on Christmas eve.

It's basically an all in muffin recipe and you can use any dried fruit you fancy, apricots, cranberries, I think raisins would all work really well but I chose sultanas this time round. I  used my homemade sloe vodka mincemeat from an earlier post but you could use ready made. 

  • 80g Sultanas or other dried fruit ( if you use apricots chop into small pieces)
  • 280g Plain flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 90ml sunflower oil
  • 350g mincemeat , good half of a large jar
  • 1 egg - free range beaten
  • 240ml milk
  • 85g caster sugar
12 -14 large muffin cases, muffin tray

Preheat your oven to 180c fan, 190c normal oven. 
Sift all you dry ingredients in to your  bowl, 
Add all the other ingredients (except the dried fruit element), 
Mix very gingerly until incorporated and then add the dried fruit, 
Quickly fold this in until all the flour is just incorporated ( do not over mix) 
Spoon into your cases and bake for approximately 20 -25 minutes, tested with a cocktail stick. Cool on a wire tray and sprinkle with icing sugar to serve.

Caramelised Onion Sausage Rolls

For my recent WI Christmas party , this is  the savoury recipe I decided to cook, its an easy twist on the classic sausage roll. Instead of using the traditional puff pastry I used shortcrust to ring the changes and if you are short of time you could use ready made to save time. Ideally if you can get hold of sausage meat then great but often as not I use a high meat content sausages and remove the skins. You could also serve them at a drinks party or even on a picnic.

  • Shortcrust pastry
  • Caramelised onion chutney
  • Sausage meat
  • Herb of your choice ( sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley)
  • Egg
  • Poppy seeds or sesame seeds

Firstly mix your sausage meat in a bowl with your chosen herb, use your hands to squeeze and fold the mixture together and put to one side. 
Roll out your pastry into an oblong approx 12 inches long by 8 inches wide.
Now half and half again to give you 4 pieces 12 inches long by 2 inches wide.
Half the sausage meat  and form each into a long sausage approx 12 inches long.
Spread 1 tbsp of caramelised onion chutney centrally along the length of one of the strip.
Place your sausage snake on top of the chutney.
Place your other matching strip of pastry on top.
Seal the edges with a little beaten egg, and crimp both edges. 
Repeat until you have 2 sausage snakes.
Place on a baking tray and cover with cling film.
Chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight if you want to pre-prepare.

When you are ready to bake -
Cut into pieces approx 1 inch in size.
Glaze with beaten egg.
Sprinkle with seeds.
Bake in an oven on baking parchment on a baking tray. 
Your oven should be at approximately  180 -200c
Bake until golden, this will be approx 15 - 20 minutes.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Family Teatime

Need an idea for a great Christmas gift for a friend or family ? Then look no further, Family Teatime is a lovely book which has some great cake, biscuit and tea time treat recipes. The book is beautifully illustrated with Vintage images and postcards and filled with tips and anecdotes on the origins of afternoon tea.

This delightful book has a practical wipe clean cover and has an illustration for each recipe featured. The recipes are for all the traditional teatime favourites and one or two surprises, each recipe is detailed and easy to follow. The book would be ideal for all the family to bake together and having fun experiencing a traditional afternoon tea.

I have enjoyed making a number of the recipes from the book, scotch pancakes, almond and cherry cupcakes and lemon bars  which all turned out well.

I have kindly been sent the book to review by Flame Tree Publishing, the book is available to purchase on Amazon.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Wholemeal mincemeat slices

In one of my earlier posts I made mincemeat ready for Christmas, its been maturing for a few weeks and is now ready to use in some lovely baking. I like traditional mince pies but feel that any of the commercial avlaible ones are overly sweet, therefore I enjoy making my own when time allows. This is a recipe I have made for the last few years and is the ideal vehicle for my lovely homemade mincemeat. The pastry is lovely and crumbly and is somewhere between a flapjack, biscuit and shortcrust pastry. The slices were very popular at my WI Christmas party.

  • 150g butter or quality margarine
  • 75g soft brown sugar
  • 225g plain wholemeal flour
  • 110g porridge oats
  • Approx 225g mincemeat, about 1/2 a large jar


You'll need a 11 x 7 inch shallow baking tin, butter well

Melt the butter and sugar in a pan, 
Once melted allow to cool slightly, then add your oats and flour.
Stir and mix thoroughly. 
Press half of this mixture firmly in the base of the tin, the firmer you press the better. 
Spread your mincemeat on top of the base coat smooth with a spoon.
Pour on the top and gain level across the tin and press down firmly. 
Bake in a pre heated oven  at 200C for approx 20 minutes or the top is browned slightly. 
Cut into desired pieces whilst still in the tin.
Cool in the tin fully and serve sprinkled with icing sugar. Store in an airtight tin.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Shortbread for Christmas

Things are starting to get festive in our household, I have always loved shortbread and I hadn't baked any for a few years so I thought I would bake some in the run up to Christmas. The buttery short sweet crumbly biscuit is lovely as a gift or great served as a afternoon treat with tea. To save time I mix mine in my trusty magimix food processor, Its important to use a quality butter in your mix to give the best results.There is just one problem it disappears very quickly !


  • 200g plain flour
  • 50g cornflour
  • 175g butter(unsalted) - softened
  • 75g caster sugar


Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until just coming together, tip out onto floured surface and form a ball of dough, shape and roll to desired shapes, place on baking sheet and bake in a pre-heated oven @ 160c fan / 180c no fan until lightly golden ( about 15-30 mins depends on thickness), remove from oven and sprinkle with caster sugar and cut whilst warm into desired pieces. Cool then eat, delicious. Store in an airtight tin.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Bailey's Tipsy Cake

Baileys Tipsy Cake, other Irish whisky cream liqueurs are available!

For our most recent Clandestine Cake club outing the theme was secret Santa, so basically it’s a mystery until we all turn up to the meeting, hoping that everyone doesn’t turn up with the same cake. I decided to bake a tipsy cake, easy but slightly different and definitely Christmassy in spirit, well at least rich in spirit – hick!

Tipsy cakes are basically sponge cakes soaked in alcoholic syrup, then served in dainty slices to your guests, from my research on the internet this seems to be another idea from the USA. My recipe is based on one by Thane Prince published in the Saturday Telegraph at least a decade ago, which survives as a clipping in my recipe scrapbook. Yes, I know very anal and OCD ish but it does mean I can find some fabulous recipe inspiration when I need it. It’s a great recipe and terribly easy.

Ingredients for the cake
  • 110g soft butter or quality margarine
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 110g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp instant coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp of hot water

Ingredients for the syrup
  • 150ml water
  • 55g caster sugar
  • 120ml Irish cream liqueur – baileys or Aldi’s version is good too and much cheaper!
  • To finish Whipping or double cream, chocolate shavings, shards, and whatever else takes your fancy.

Mix your sponge by the usual method adding the coffee mixture for the last mix, bake in a 6-7” ish loose bottomed  round cake tin, oiled and base lined, the oven is at about 160c for fan, 180c without fan. Bake until golden, well risen and cooked through when tested with a skewer, this is about 30-40 minutes. Allow the cake to cool for approx 10 mins in the tin, then turn on to a deep serving plate.

Now make your syrup, dissolve the sugar in the water and boil for approx 2 minutes until slightly reduced, allow to cool slightly and add you liqueur. Now make loads of holes in your cake and spoon your syrup, now allow to cool fully. Top with whipped cream and your decoration

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