Posts Tagged recipes

Little Easter Fairy Cakes

Today was my turn to make small cakes for the “Golden Age Group” that I help out with.  This is a club for elderly people in Churchingford every fortnight.  They have a speaker, then a high tea of sandwiches, scones and cakes.  As we have just had Easter I decided to make my fairy cakes with an Easter theme.

Little Easter fairy cakes

It’s a simple recipe.  You weigh the eggs and then add the same of sugar, butter and flour.  I used 3 eggs that weighed 200g, so beat together 200g of butter and light brown sugar, then added 200g of self raising flour.  I split the mixture into 2, and into one bowl I added a teaspoon of mixed spice and half a teaspoon of ginger powder and a generous sprinkling of dried currants.  Into the other bowl I added 4 teaspoons of cocoa powder, then turned them into individual cake cases.  Popped them in the oven at 200 degrees for 15 minutes, and left them to cool. I made some icing out of icing sugar and water, and for the chocolate icing added more cocoa powder, and then topped them off with mini chocolate eggs.  I’m always making cakes, as I like to offer my B&B guests cakes when they arrive.  see us atwww.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Something else to do with Blackberries and Apples

The Blackberries are at last coming to an end.  I seem to have been picking them for 2 months now, not that I am complaining.  I have made Blackberry jam, and Blackberry and Apple crumbles, and we’ve eaten them raw with raspberries, cream and meringues.  We still have the cooking apples at the top of the tree that we can’t reach and are waiting for them to fall, so I thought what else can I do with Blackberries and Apples?

Blackberries in our garden

So I have made “Squidgy Spiced Apple and Blackberry Cake”!! – Delicious

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

125g butter or spread

225g dark Muscovado sugar (or I have used half light muscovado and half dark)

2 eggs

225g plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

150g blackberries, washed and dried

150g or cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut up really small

Method:

Heat the oven to 160 degrees C or gas mark 3.  Cream the butter and sugar with an electric food mixer, then mix in the eggs.  Mix in the flour, baking powder and spices. Then fold in the apple and blackberries.

Pour into a buttered, base lined 8 inch cake tin and bake for one hour or until a knife comes our cleanly.  Leave for 10 minutes, then remove from the cake tin.

Can be served with cream or ice cream, or just eaten with a cup of tea.

This is a moist cake that will keep in a cake tin for 3-4 days if wrapped in foil.

Guests to our B&B may get the opportunity to try out my Squidgy spiced apple and blackberry cake.  visit us at www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Turning Blackcurrants into Cassis

Blackcurrants picked 29th July 2011

This is the first year we have grown any blackcurrants. I don’t like the bother of topping and tailing them, but I do like Cassis. So I borrowed a book off a friend with the recipe for Cassis and set about picking all my blackcurrants. Unfortunately it wasn’t that many and some were past their best, but if they are only going to soak in brandy I don’t think it matters too much.

I then assembled all the ingredients and tipped them into a demi john.  To go with our very few blackcurrants we only had a 20cl bottle of brandy, so I had to scale down the recipe as we are not going to make much cassis.

ingredients for cassis

Here is the recipe for Cassis.

Ingredients:

550g blackcurrants

1 x 3.5 cm pice of cinnamon stick

2 or 3 cloves

6 fresh blackcurrant leaves

600ml brandy

350g sugar

Method:

Put the blackcurrants in a basin and mash with a potato masher.  Put in a bottle with the spices and leaves.  Add the brandy and sugar.  cover tightly and leave in a warm place for 1 to 2 months.  Strain, squeezing out as much juice as possible, then pour into sterilized bottles and cork tightly.

So now we have to wait.  Still, with any luck we will have a glass each of Cassis for Christmas!

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glorious goosegogs!

Last year we saw a small advert in the local Londis shop  “Free to good home, 2 mature gooseberry bushes”.  So we phoned the number and the lady said to come round to collect them.  When we got there, she presented Neil with a spade and said “you’ll have to dig them up!”. So he did, and they were big and we only just got them in the car.  We brought them back, dug them into the garden, and over the next couple of weeks, all the leaves fell off.  We wondered if we had killed them, moving them, but thought we would be patient and see what time would tell.

This spring, we noticed the first few leaf buds, then flowers, then slowly the growing of little gooseberries, until they were glorious and ripe and ready to pick.  One bush is red gooseberries and the other the ordinary green.

Red gooseberry bush, JUly 2011

So the other day I picked a load of lovely red gooseberries, sat in the sunshine and topped and tailed them all, then made them into jam.

Glorious goosegogs, topped and tailed

This is how I made the jam:

Ingredients: 600g topped and tailed gooseberries

450g jam sugar (Jam sugar has added pectin and as gooseberries have natural pectin I used less sugar to jam than normal)

Knob of butter (I used Flora)

Method:

Heat the washed gooseberries and sugar in a large saucepan on the stove top.  Mash the gooseberries with a potatoe masher to break them up.  Stir to disolve the sugar.

When the mixture is hot and starts to bubble, add a knob of butter and stir to disolve.

Bring the mixture to a rolling boil (when you cannot stir the bubbles down) and let it boil for 4 minutes.

Take some of the mixture on a spoon and drip onto a cold saucer.  If it firms up then the jam is ready, if not put back onto boil for another minute or two.

Tip the jam into warmed jars and seal straight away.

This mixture made 3 small jars.  for a greater quantity just multiply up the ingredients.    I shall be serving this to my bed and breakfast guests with their breakfast. Yummy!

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Elderflower cordial and Champagne

The elderflowers  have been prolific this year, so yesterday evening in the sunshine (between the showers) we gathered about 50 heads of elderflower and set to making some elderflower cordial and elderflower champagne.

The elderflower champagne recipe was from River cottage, but the recipe for the cordial was from a local lady. We made some of this last year and it was really successful, so refreshing made up with some sparkling water and a slice of lemon.

Elderflower Cordial                         makes 1.5 litres.

Ingredients:            20 heads elderflowers, 1.8kg Granulated or castor sugar, 1.2 litres water, 2 unwaxed lemons, 75g citric acid crystals.

Method

1.       Shake elderflowers to expel any insects and then place in a large bowl of cold water to wash.  Drain, and shake off excess water.

2.       Put sugar into a pan with the water and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.

3.       While the sugar syrup is heating, pare zest of lemons off in wide strips and toss into the pan with the elderflowers. Slice lemons, discard ends, and add slices to the pan, and stir in the citric acid. Cover and leave at room temperature for 24 hours.

4.       Next day, strain cordial through muslin (or a new J-cloth rinsed out in boiling water), and pour into thoroughly cleaned plastic bottles. Screw on lids and it is ready to use. Store in cool place or in the fridge.

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