Friday, 28 December 2007

Choc fondue made with cocoa powder

Fudgey Chocolate Fondue

  • 4 oz butter or margarine
  • 2 oz Cocoa powder
  • 6 oz sugar
  • 4 fl oz evaporated milk or light cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Assorted Fondue Dippers: pound cake pieces, marshmallows, cherries, grapes, mandarin orange segments, pineapple chunks, strawberries, fresh fruit slices

1. Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat; immediately stir in cocoa. Add sugar and evaporated milk.

2. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and hot. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Fondue will thicken slightly as it cools. Serve warm with Assorted Fondue Dippers. About 1-1/2 cups fondue.

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Peanut butter and apple cake

6 oz butter and peanut butter (about 5 oz of butter and 1 tbsp of peanut butter is what I used)
6oz brown sugar
3 eggs
6 oz flour
2 small-medium cooking apples

  1. Cream the butter, peanut butter and sugar till soft and fluffy
  2. Beat in the eggs
  3. Fold in the flour and mix well
  4. Peel and core the apples and cut them into small pieces
  5. Stir the apple pieces into the mixture
  6. Grease a non-stick tin (2 lb loaf tin is about right). If it's not non-stick you'll need to base line it with greaseproof paper.
  7. Bake in a moderate oven for about 45 minutes. The skewer should come out clean when you test it: don't turn off the oven till it's properly done.
  8. Allow to cool for a few minutes before turning it out to cool on a rack.
  9. Serve at once hot with custard or cream, or serve it later, cold, for tea. Store it in a cold place, and make sure you eat it all within a few days.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Beetroot in citrus sauce

about 2 lbs beetroot (no tops required)
water to cover
1 1/2 tbsp cornflour
1 lemon, rind and juice
1 orange, rind and juice
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 oz butter

NB items 1 to 4 of the method should be done a bit in advance, or you can reheat beetroot that is already boiled and ready from another day.
  1. Scrub the beets carefully (we want to use some of the cooking water, so we don't want dirt in it).
  2. Put them in a pan and cover them with cold water. Bring to the boil and boil for about 45 minutes to an hour until tender.
  3. Drain off the liquid into a jug (we need about half a pint of this: the rest can go).
  4. Allow the beetroot to cool a bit, then peel them and slice them thinly.
  5. Mix the cornflour to a smooth paste in a jug, with a little of the cooled beetroot stock.
  6. Add further stock to make the sauce up to half a pint.
  7. Add the lemon rind and juice and orange rind and juice to the jug and mix well. Turn it into a large pan and heat gently over a low heat, stirring all the time until it thickens.
  8. Add the salt, sugar and ground cloves to the sauce.
  9. Add the butter and beat it in well with a wooden spoon.
  10. Heat the sauce to piping hot. Then add the beetroot and continue over the heat until the beetroot is thoroughly hot through.
  11. Serve hot as a vegetable accompaniment to strong dark meat or other winter meals, and with red wine.
It goes well with Christmas dinner or on Boxing Day.

Friday, 7 September 2007

Roast lamb

A joint of lamb (shoulder or leg)
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
sprigs of rosemary
mint sauce
  1. Weigh the joint and calculate the cooking time
  2. Cut little slits in the skin of the lamb and slide the slices of garlic in just under the skin; do the same with some rosemary leaves.
  3. Put the joint in an enamel roasting tin
  4. Scatter the remaining rosemary in at the sides; put on the lid.
  5. Roast in the oven as follows:
Oven temperature: 190ºC, 375ºF, Gas 5, Fan oven 170
Time: for medium rare 20 minutes per lb plus 20 minutes; for well done 25 minutes per lb plus 25 minutes.

Roast potatoes can be added 45 minutes before the end, and should be turned at least once.

Serve with gravy and mint sauce.

Innovation biscuits


4 oz butter
4 oz brown sugar
6 oz self raising flour
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1 oz choc chips or currants or chopped nuts or other suitable additive
1 oz mixed peel
about 1/4 egg or a little milk
  1. Cream the butter and sugar until soft
  2. Add the flour and spice and work well together
  3. Use a little egg or milk to make the mixture bind together
  4. Add the chocolate chips (vel sim) and peel
  5. Roll into small balls and place on a greased tray
  6. Bake
Moderate oven, gas mark 4, fan oven 170º or less, about 20 minutes
Makes 28-30

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Ps.- Shrewsbury Biscuits

6 oz plain flour
4 oz butter
2 oz sugar
currants (not too many)
  1. Rub the butter into the flour
  2. Add the sugar
  3. Add currants
  4. Knead
  5. Roll out
  6. Cut into rounds
  7. Bake on a greased tray
Moderate oven, Gas mark 4 for about 20 minutes.
Makes 12

Friday, 3 August 2007

Summer Pudding


6 large slices of white bread, home baked or from a proper baker.

1 1/2 lbs of summer fruit (raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, blackberries... Some people like to use cherries)
6 oz sugar (more or less, depending on how tart the fruit is)
2-4 tbsp of water.

Lashings of fresh cream to serve.

A large pudding basin (2 pints or so).

Put the fruit, water and sugar into a pan and heat until the juice just runs and the fruit turns soft but not mushy. Some fruit does not need to be stewed at all, but can be added at the end of cooking (e.g. raspberries).

Set aside to cool.

Cut off the crusts from the slices of bread, and cut them into large pieces that can be arranged in the basin, so as to cover the bottom and all the sides neatly without too much overlap. Reserve a large piece or pieces for the top.

Pour in the fruit. If there is a lot of juice you can keep some back so as not to swamp it.

Put the remaining slice(s) of bread on top.

Find a saucer that does not rest on the side of the bowl but will settle in, while still covering the whole of the top of the pudding. If the pudding is very juicy a porringer with sides is good.

Put the saucer on top of the top slice of bread. Put a weight (1 lb or 2 lb) or a full jar of jam on the saucer. If the juice is coming over the edge of the saucer, stand the weight in a cup to keep it clean.

Allow the pudding to cool and then refrigerate over night. There should be enough juice to soak the top slice of bread thoroughly (if you kept some back you may want to add it later if the pudding seems too dry).

To serve:

Remove the weight and the saucer. Run a palette knife round the pudding to loosen the sides. Turn it out onto a deep dish. Serve slices of the pudding on white plates, with silver spoons and lashings of fresh cream served in a silver jug.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Boiled chicken and vegetables for church lunches

Two large chickens, about 4lbs each
a bunch of carrots
four onions
two cloves of garlic
bay leaf and other fresh herbs
about six pints of water
salt and pepper

7 lbs courgettes

22 baking potatoes, and butter to serve.

Use the largest stock pot available.
Wash the carrots and cut into pieces if they are large (otherwise leave them whole).
Peel and slice the onions.
Put the onions, garlic, carrots, water, salt, pepper and herbs and seasoning into the stock pot and turn up the heat to maximum. Add the two chickens. Bring to the boil before the service starts.

Turn down the heat and simmer for two hours.

Put the baking potatoes on trays in the oven and turn on the oven (190-200ºC) about an hour and a half before serving.

About fifteen minutes before serving add the sliced courgettes to the top of the stew. Test the seasoning, and add more salt if necessary.

To serve, remove the potatoes from the oven and serve on trays, with the butter served separately. Lift out the courgettes and serve in a serving dish. Lift out the chickens onto a large plate and dismember them, removing the bones. While one person is doing this, another should take two pints of the stock or so, and thicken it with three tablespoons of plain flour, and heat to boiling in a saucepan on the stove.

Keep the rest of the broth for soup on a later day (or if a three course meal is required, keep the chicken warm while serving a soup made with the broth).

Serves not more than 22 people.


1 lb self raising flour
3 oz butter
a pinch of salt

  1. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients.

This dry scone mix can be stored ready for use.

To mix and use:
A quarter of a pint of milk, milk and water or milk and egg for every 8oz of flour
  1. Mix quickly, and roll out on a floured board.
  2. Cut into rounds and place on a greased baking sheet
  3. Bake at 230º C, gas mark 8, for about 12 minutes

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Best seafood pie

Serves three

One pack of mixed ready-cooked seafood from tescos
a few anchovy fillets

One onion, peeled and chopped
1 oz butter
1 tbsp flour
half a pint of milk
salt to taste

scant 1 lb new potatoes
fresh basil leaves
  1. scrub or scrape the potatoes till they are pretty naked.
  2. boil them in salted water until just done but not fragile.
  3. drain them and tip them into a bowl
  4. chop them roughly with the basil leaves. Add a knob of butter.
  5. melt the 1 oz of butter in a pan.
  6. fry the chopped onion until it is translucent.
  7. add the flour to make a roux, cook gently and then slowly add milk to make a white onion sauce.
  8. add chopped anchovy fillets and the seafood. Season with further salt if required (but the anchovies are salty).
  9. Put the seafood mixture in a small oven-proof dish. Spread the crushed basil potatoes on top. Dot with further butter and bake in a moderate oven until piping hot and crispy on top.
  10. Serve with minted peas, and additional new potatoes if required.

Gooseberry crumble

1 1/2 lbs gooseberries

6 oz flour
2 oz butter
4 oz sugar

  1. Top and tail the gooseberries.
  2. Add a spoonful of water and some sugar and bring to the boil or microwave till they are soft. Test for sweetness, and add more sugar if necessary. Don't make them too sweet.
  3. Put them in a greased dish.
  4. Heat the oven.
  5. Put the flour and butter in a mixing bowl and rub in.
  6. Add the sugar. Stir till sugar is well dispersed.
  7. Pour the crumble over the fruit.
  8. Bake in a moderate oven for about half an hour.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Annie's "boh" Chick Peas

Another recipe somewhat related to the previous one…

Tomato sauce (homemade with tomato, onion, garlic etc, or from a bottle if cheating)
Spices: cumin, cinnamon, a little cayenne pepper if desired, and "massalé" (coriander, turmeric, cumin, aniseed, mustard seed, fennel, cloves).
Chick peas (250g) ready boiled.

Combine all ingredients and heat through. Serve with rice and spinach with cream and nutmeg.

Stuffed Courgettes, greek style (à la Annie)

Round Courgettes x (number of people x2)

Minced beef
Tomatoes (plum, chopped)
Spices: cumin, cinnamon.
salt, pepper
grated cheese

Cut the tops off the courgettes and dig out the middles. Par-boil them in salted water. Keep the middles aside. In a frying pan gently fry onions, then add beef until cooked through. Add garlic (if desired), tomatoes, courgette middles (chopped up) and spices. Reduce liquid.
Take courgettes out of water and fill middles with tomatoey mixture. Cover tops with grated cheese and bake in oven for 20-25 minutes at around 180-200ºC.



Sunday morning porridge how Daddy makes it:


for each person add the following quantities:
1 oz medium oatmeal
7 fl oz water
1/3 teaspoon salt
  1. Put the oatmeal and water in a non-stick pan. Soak overnight.
  2. Add the salt.
  3. Bring to the boil gently and cook for 5 minutes or so.
  4. Serve hot in warm bowls. Serve a jug of cold milk separately, and a selection of brown sugar, maple syrup, black treacle etc.
For porridge how Mummy likes it, stir a dessertspoon of plain yogurt into your bowl of porridge, and drizzle ginger syrup over. Have a small cup of cold milk alongside, into which you dip your every spoonful of hot porridge. This keeps the milk from getting hot by contact with the hot porridge.

Saturday, 23 June 2007


Haggis always bursts, in my experience. So here's my solution to the problem:

1 haggis
A large saucepan of water.

  1. Place the haggis in a pudding basin. Put on the lid, or tie on a paper cover.
  2. Put the basin in the pan of water.
  3. Bring to the boil and boil gently for an hour or more.
  4. Lift out the basin, remove the haggis and serve on a plate (the contents will burst out when you cut off the end, if the end hasn't already burst loose).
Serve with bashed neeps (that is mashed swedes with butter and black pepper) and potatoes, boiled or mashed.

lemon sorbet

1.5 pints of water
12 oz sugar
rind and juice of 4 lemons
2 egg whites
  1. Pare thins strips of the lemon peel off, just the yellow surface, not down to the white. Add them to a pan containing the water. NB It's not clear to me whether it's better to squeeze the lemons first or later.
  2. Add the sugar to the pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Boil rapidly for about five minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and allow the syrup to cool.
  5. Squeeze the juice from the lemons. Add it to the cooled syrup.
  6. Strain the syrup into a suitable freezing box.
  7. Add the egg whites (just as they are, not beaten).
  8. Gently break up the egg whites with a fork to disperse them.
  9. Place uncovered in the fast freeze section of the freezer.
  10. About two or three hours later, check to see if it is mushy. Don't be too impatient: it needs to be really almost frozen.
  11. Decant the mush into a large basin (chill this in the fridge first, especially in warm weather).
  12. Whisk it until it's all white and frothy. In my view a hand rotary whisk may be better than an electric one.
  13. Spoon the froth back into the ice cream box (you may need two), put on the lid and place it in the freezer. It will be ready in an hour or two.
This makes more than two litres in my experience.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Gingerbread men

4 oz butter
4 oz soft brown sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
8 oz plain flour
2 tsp ground ginger

Oven 190º C, 375ºF, Gas 5, Fan oven 170.
  1. Cream butter and sugar.
  2. Beat in syrup.
  3. Stir in flour and ginger.
  4. mix until it forms a soft dough.
  5. Roll out on floured suface to about 1/4 inch thick.
  6. Cut out shapes, the larger the better.
  7. Decorate with raisins for eyes etc, if required.
  8. Grease baking trays.
  9. Put the gingerbread on the trays. Bake for 10 minutes, till golden.
  10. Allow to cool a bit until they're firm enough to transfer them to a rack to cool.