Saturday, 9 October 2010

Ginger Cake

225 g self-raising flour
100g soft brown sugar

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 dessertspoon ground ginger

½ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ pt milk

4 oz butter

4 tablespoons black treacle

2 eggs

Pre heat oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4.

Grease and line a 20cm (8inch) round deep cake tin

Mix all the dry ingredients together and pass through a sieve into a pudding basin.

In a saucepan, heat the milk, butter and treacle until they are all melted and combined.

Beat the eggs into the dry ingredients until thoroughly mixed, then beat in the treacle mixture.

Spoon into tin and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the top springs back when pressed.

Cool in tin 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container to encourage moisture.

Note – the recipe specifies butter but as the cake is strongly-flavoured baking margarine (not soft spread!) works just as well.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Orange Cake

8 oz plain flour

¼ tsp salt

3 oz margarine

1 dessertsp orange peel (Grated or peeled in fine strips -be careful not to get any of the white pith on the peel – it is very bitter)

3 oz caster sugar

1 ½ tsp baking powder

1 egg

1 dessertsp orange juice with milk (about ¼ - 3/8 pint in total)

Grease & line a 6" loaf tin. Set the oven at 190 C, Gas 5

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt.

Add the sugar and orange peel.

Mix in the egg, orange juice and about ½ of the milk. Stir mixture, adding more milk a spoonful at a time to obtain a dropping consistency (until a small amount of the mixture will fall from the spoon if gently shaken). Pour into tin and bake until risen, brown and springy – about 45 minutes to an hour.

Peanut Butter Cookies

These are yummy!

½ cup butter (softened)

½ cup peanut butter

½ cup brown sugar or honey

½ tsp vanilla

1 egg

1 tsp baking powder

1 cup flour

½ cup dried milk powder


Cream the butter, peanut butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla. Stir in the sifted flour, baking powder and milk powder. Drop the mixture from a teaspoon onto greased and lined baking sheet and flatten with a fork (or the bottom of a glass, lightly greased)

Bake in a moderate oven, 180C, gas 4, 8-10 minutes

Special Scones

This recipe makes light, fluffy scones. If you want fruit scones, add to the mix at the dry crumb stage.

8oz self-raising flour

1 level teaspoon baking powder (this gives the flour a bit of extra lift!)

Pinch salt

2oz softened butter

1oz sugar

1 egg and milk to total ¼ pint

For fruit scones

Dried fruit – raisins, sultanas, currents etc. for fruit scones – 2oz


Sift the flour with the salt and baking powder. Rub in the butter.

Stir in the sugar (and fruit, if making fruit scones). Mix in the egg and milk, keeping back a little for glazing, to make a soft dough.

Cut into rounds @ ½ - ¾ inch thick (Tip – if you roll out the dough to ¼ to 3/8 inch thick and then fold it in half before cutting into rounds, your scones will split apart nice and politely when you serve them!)

Bake at scone temperature (220C-gas 7, hot!) 7-10 minutes

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Rich Chocolate Cake

3 oz cocoa (not drinking chocolate)    

4 ½ oz soft brown sugar

½ pt milk

4 oz margarine (not soft spread)

8 oz caster sugar

3 eggs

1 ¼ tsp vanilla

8 oz plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda

Mix the cocoa and brown sugar. Scald the milk (that is, heat it until it is very hot but not boiling) over a medium heat. Add gradually to brown sugar mixture, then beat until smooth. Leave on one side to cool.

Cream the margarine. Add the caster sugar gradually, creaming together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla.

Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Now add about a third of it to the marge-sugar-egg mixture, and beat to mix it in. Then add about a third of the cocoa mixture and beat. Continue to alternate adding flour mixture with cocoa mixture, beating between additions; then beat until smooth.

Pour into greased sandwich tins. Bake in a moderate oven (Mark 4, 190◦C) 25 to 30 minutes.

Allow to cool in tins 5 – 10 minutes. Remove from tins. Cool on wire racks. Sandwich layers together with the filling of your choice (stewed apple puree is nice!)


Some words about the ingredients –

Vanilla – good vanilla is not cheap, but cheap vanilla flavouring is nasty. You will often find two sorts of vanilla on sale – one will be about the same price as other flavourings, one will be a LOT more. Get the expensive one.

Cocoa – Drinking chocolate is not the same thing. It has less chocolate and has sugar added. If you substitute drinking chocolate, (not recommended) increase the amount and cut back on the sugar.

Margarine – this is where you can economise. The stuff sold for baking is fine.


Sunday, 6 June 2010

Lemon Cheesecake

This is not the easiest recipe. However, it is worth the effort. Warning – it is VERY rich, and this recipe will easily serve 10-12.


4 Tablespoons water

½ oz. Gelatine

4 eggs

4 oz caster sugar

12 oz cream cheese

¼ pt single cream

¼ pt double cream

Juice and zest of 2 lemons


For biscuit crust –

8 oz digestive biscuits

4 oz butter

2 oz caster sugar


  • Put the water into a bowl, sprinkle on gelatine and leave 10 minutes to soften. Separate the eggs and put whites to one side.
  • Mix the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl and stand it over a saucepan of gently steaming water. Whisk until mixture is thick and the whisk leaves a trail when lifted. Remove from heat and whisk until cold.
  • Stand the bowl containing the gelatine in the saucepan of hot water and stir until dissolved. Allow to cool slightly, and then pour slowly into the egg yolk mixture, stirring all the time.
  • Blend the single cream and the cheese together, add to the egg mixture with lightly whisked double cream, lemon juice and zest. Leave in a cool place until just on point of setting. Add the stiffly-beaten egg whites and fold into mixture with a large metal spoon or spatula. Rinse out a 20.5 cm spring-opening tin with cold water. Pour in the mixture and put in fridge until set.
  • Melt the butter. Crush the biscuits and mix with the melted butter and sugar. Sprinkle over the surface of the cheesecake and press down lightly. Return to fridge for about one hour, then remove from tin.

Monday, 31 May 2010

Vanilla Fudge

I learned the hard way that fudge, unlike most confectionery, has to be stirred while boiling!


4 level tablespoons golden syrup

½ pint milk

1 large can (about ½ pint) skimmed, sweetened condensed milk

½ lb margarine

2 lb granulated sugar

¼ level teaspoon cream of tartar

½ teaspoon vanilla essence


  1. Grease a shallow 13 in by 9 in tin. Measure the golden syrup carefully, levelling off the spoon with a knife, and making sure there is none on the underside of the spoon. Place in a large, heavy-quality saucepan; add remaining ingredients.
  2. Stir over a moderate heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil and boil quickly until soft-ball stage is reached, stirring continuously. Remove the saucepan from heat.
  3. Beat fudge with a wooden spoon until it is thick and grained. Pour quickly into the tin. Mark into squares, leave until almost cold. Cut into squares. When completely cold, turn out, separate into squares and leave to harden.

Coconut Ice

Quite an easy one, this, if you have a sugar thermometer.

1 lb granulated sugar

¼ pt milk

5 oz desiccated coconut

Pink food colouring


  • Brush a 7-inch square shallow tin with melted fat or oil. Place sugar and milk in a heavy-quality saucepan. Stir over a low heat until sugar is dissolve.
  • Bring to the boil and boil quickly, without stirring, until "soft ball" stage is reached (240 degrees F or when a little, dropped into a saucer of cold water, just forms a soft ball)
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat, add coconut and stir until the mixture begins to thicken. Pour half of the mixture into the tin. Quickly colour the remainder pale pink and pour over the first layer. Spread mixture to sides of tin
  • Leave until almost set, mark into bars. When cold, turn out of tin and cut into bars.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Turkish Delight

This recipe doesn't rely on gelatine to set it, so should be OK for vegetarians. It does need a fair bit of care in making, but it is worth it.


Turkish Delight

1lb granulated sugar

¼ level teaspoon cream of tartar

4oz (approx) cornflour

8oz (approx) icing sugar

2 oz clear honey

2 teaspoons rosewater or ½ tsp rose flavouring (variation – lemon flavouring)

¼ tsp pink food colouring

1¼ pints water


  1. Lightly grease a 7-inch square tin.
  2. Place sugar and ¼ pint of the water in a heavy-quality saucepan. Stir over a moderate heat until the sugar has dissolved to form a syrup. Bring to the boil and boil quickly, without stirring, until "soft ball" stage is reached (240 degrees F, or until a little, dropped into a bowl of cold water, will just form a soft ball)
  3. Remove from heat , stir in the cream of tartar; leave on one side.
  4. While syrup is cooking, mix 3 oz cornflour and 7 oz icing sugar in a large saucepan with a little of the remaining pint of water. Add the rest of the water. Bring the mix to the boil, stirring, and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Reduce the heat and gradually pour the syrup mixture into the cornflour mixture, beating well with a wooden spoon.
  6. Bring back to the boil and boil for 20 – 30 minutes, stirring all the time, until the mixture is transparent and a pale straw colour (The cornflour has to react with the syrup, and the mixture will not set properly unless this is done!)
  7. Add the rosewater and the honey; mix thoroughly. Pour half of the mixture into the tin. Quickly colour the remainder pale pink, and pour over the mixture in the tin, spreading out to sides if the tin.
  8. Leave until completely cold then turn out of tin. Dip a sharp knife into icing sugar and cut the Turkish Delight into 1-inch wide bars. Mix @ ½ oz of icing sugar and ½ oz cornflour together. Roll the bars in the mixture, coat evenly. Leave the bars 3-4 hours, then cut into 1-inch cubes and coat in mixture. Leave overnight.