Saturday, 30 March 2013

Easter Nests

Easter Nests are a traditional favourite in the family - the easiest little cakes in the world, beloved of children and chocoholics!    This year I made some larger ones, in cereal bowls lined with cling film.   These will be decorating my Easter table, filled with a variety of mini eggs.

Easter Nests

2oz/50g butter
4oz/100g milk or dark chocolate
3 tbsp golden syrup
4oz/100g rice crispies
bag of mini eggs

For small nests, use cake cases in 12 bun tin.   For larger nests, double the quantity (at least!) and use cereal bowls lined with cling film.

Melt together the first three ingredients, then add the cornflakes/crispies.   (You can usually add more than the stated amount).    Put spoonfuls into the cake cases, add a couple of mini eggs to each one.  Chill to set the chocolate. 

If you are making larger nests, chill the nests on their own, then ease out of their bowls and add the mini eggs and a few Easter chicks.

Happy Easter!


Friday, 29 March 2013

Gingerbread and Ginger Trifle

Two recipes in one - gingerbread and ginger trifle.... food for the gods!   A perfect recipe for Easter, this is an adaptation of Jo's Stour Festival ginger trifle, a delicious, zingy alternative to sherry trifle, with little nuggets of ginger, gingerbread and proper custard, topped with a layer of cream and ginger biscuits.

First, make the gingerbread - the best recipe I have found is Mary Berry's, with added ginger pieces.   Then assemble the trifle.   It's that easy.

World’s Best Gingerbread

8oz self raising flour
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp mixed spice
4oz soft brown sugar
4oz margarine (I prefer butter)
4oz treacle
4oz golden syrup
1 egg
¼ pint milk
3 chunks of stem ginger cut into small pieces

Line a tin 8” x 12” with foil and grease well.  Put sugar, marge, syrup and treacle in a pan and heat gently until melted.  Beat egg into the milk.  Add treacle mixture, ginger and milk to the flour and beat well.  Pour into the prepared tin.  Cook for about 20-25 minutes on 180 deg C until brown and springy to the touch, beginning to shrink away from the sides of the foil. 

Best eaten immediately, saving enough pieces for the trifle. 

Ginger Trifle 
Ginger Trifle

several pieces of gingerbread - depending on the size of the trifle
1 small packet ginger nut biscuits
ginger wine (optional, but highly recommended!)
stem ginger chunks
nuts (optional)
3/4 to 1 pint double cream, whipped until it can still just pour
custard (recipe below for a largish trifle for up to 8 people)

3/4 pint of custard made with 3 egg yolks, 1.5oz/40g caster sugar
3/4 pint single or double cream (if using double, do part milk!)
½ tsp cornflour
few drops vanilla essence

To make the custard, mix the yolks, sugar, cornflour and vanilla, using a small whisk.   In a milk pan (preferably non-stick), warm the cream/milk to blood heat.  Pour this mixture onto the yolk mix, whisking gently until it is all incorporated.  Pour the entire mixture back into the pan and heat it.  Change over to a wooden spoon, and stir the custard lovingly until it thickens and coats the back of the spoon.    Allow it to cool. 

Now assemble the trifle.  The gingerbread, any nuts and pieces of ginger go into the bottom of the bowl, with half of the gingernut biscuits.   Pour over a good slug of ginger wine.   Then add the custard and, finally, the whipped cream.  Decorate with the remaining ginger nut biscuits.    Chill to set the custard and cream.   This is probably best made a day in advance, but it still delicious the same day! 

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Lemon Sponge

The lightest cakes are sponges, and this lemon sponge is no exception, and very suitable for Easter, as it balances out all that chocolate!  I don't normally use margarines or buttery spreads in cooking, but it does give a better result when you use the "all in one" method.     Perfect for a cook in a hurry!

The centre of this cake is filled with a mixture of whipped double cream and home made lemon curd, and it has a lemon butter icing.  Alternatively, you could do a lemon glacé icing.  You mix the juice in to the sugar, slowly, until you have the consistency you want - too thick and the top of the cake comes off, too thin and the icing makes a dash for the plate!   You can see here that I forgot to grease the sides of the tin....

Decorate with mini eggs, chickens and other Easter symbols, and tie with a bright yellow ribbon to remind you that spring is nearly here.

Lemon Sponge Cake
Classic Lemon Sponge Cake

3 large fresh eggs
6oz/170g  sieved self raising flour
6oz/170g  caster sugar
6oz/170g  butter or spread at room temperature
1 tsp baking powder

½ pint double cream, whipped, combined with:
small jar of lemon curd – amount to taste


Butter Icing:
6oz/150g  sieved icing sugar
3oz/75g butter at room temperature (not marge!)
grated rind of half a lemon
small quantity of lemon juice

Glacé Icing:
4oz/110g sieved icing sugar
juice of approx half a lemon, heated

Preheat oven to 180 deg C, and line two 8” loose bottom sandwich tins with parchment (or spray with a “cake release” agent), and grease the sides.

In a food processor or Kenwood, blend the cake ingredients together and then beat until pale and fluffy.   Divide between the tins and cook for 15-25 minutes (depending on the heat of your oven) until risen and golden brown.  To test, they should have come away from the edges slightly, and if you put a (heated) knife or skewer into the middle, it will come out clean.

Tip out of the tins onto a wire rack and leave to cool.  When cool, make the icing and filling.  Blend the butter icing in a food processor, adding lemon juice for taste and to give a softer consistency – again, too hard and the cake top will peel off as you spread it.   

Sandwich the middle section of the cake together first, using the lemon curd and cream mix.  Then, use a flat bladed knife to add the icing top (it helps to have a mug of boiling water handy to wash the knife).  Decorate before the icing has dried.   

Monday, 25 March 2013

Traditional Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns used to appear only on Good Friday, and were a special treat.  Now, only the home made ones are special!   So easy to make, the kitchen will smell delicious with their spices and yeast, and the resulting buns can be eaten hot with butter, or toasted.   They don't last long, as they have no preservatives, but freeze beautifully.    

A baker friend gave me a top tip - to soak the fruit in a sugar syrup for 24hrs.   It works - but if you want to make the buns immediately, I've found that boiling 3tbsps sugar in half a pint of water, and then adding the fruit and simmering for a few minutes works just as well (remember to drain the fruit before using).   The raisins and peel are then moist and delicious, not like road chippings!

Hot Cross Buns
Traditional Hot Cross Buns

1lb/450g strong plain flour (bread flour)

1oz/25g fresh yeast or 15ml 1 level tbsp dried yeast

1 level tsp castor sugar

¼ pt/150ml milk

4 tbsps/60ml water

1 level tsp salt

1 level tsp mixed spice

1 level tsp cinnamon

1 level tsp grated nutmeg (freshly grated is best!)

2oz/50g castor sugar

2oz/50g butter, melted

1 beaten egg

6oz/150g raisins

3 tbsps cut mixed peel (soak these in sugar syrup if wished)

For the crosses:  small quantity pastry made with 2oz flour, 1 oz butter, small             quantity of water to mix

to glaze:  2tbsp milk and water

               3 tbsp castor sugar                                         Oven 190 deg C

If you are doing the quick-soak method for the dried fruit, do that first.  

In a large mixing bowl, put 4oz (100g) of the flour, adding the yeast and 1 level tsp sugar.  Warm the milk and water to approx 43 deg C – a bit warmer than blood heat, add to the flour and mix well.  Leave in a warm place until it is risen and foamy – 10-15 mins for fresh yeast, 20 mins for dried.

Mix together the remaining flour (12oz/350g), salt, spices and 2oz sugar.   Into the frothy yeast mix stir the butter and egg, then add all the dried ingredients.    This makes a very soft dough.   Turn onto a floured worktop and knead it until smooth (you will probably add a bit of flour in the process).  Put back into the big bowl, cover with a cloth, and leave to rise until doubled in size – about 1 – 1 ½ hrs.      After that, turn the dough out again, and knead it again (about 2-3 minutes minimum each time).      

Cut the dough into 12 pieces, and shape into rolls.  Put them onto a floured baking sheet, cover with oiled clingfilm or a light cloth, then leave for another 30 minutes to prove (second rising).   Make up the small quantity of pastry, and roll it out thinly.   Cut into long strips.  Wet one side of the strip, and lay them over the buns to form a cross (diagonal works best!).    In a small pan, mix the milk/water and sugar.  Heat gently together and leave this to cool.   

Bake for about 12-20 minutes until light golden brown and firm to the touch.    When you take them out, glaze the buns with the milk and water mix.  For best results, do this twice, then leave them to cool…. if you can resist them for that long!  

Friday, 22 March 2013

Easy Chocolate Brownies

This is a favourite recipe - there are many brownies, some more cakey than others, but this is perfect - chewy with an intense chocolate taste and a kick of muscovado.  It works brilliantly well made with rice flour for a gluten-free treat.   Thanks to my neighbour Emma and her keen baker daughter Celia for reuniting me with this recipe.    The photo below shows white chocolate chunks - delicious....  Together with home made vanilla ice cream and a fruit compote, this makes a fabulous pudding.

Easy Chocolate Brownies
Easy Chocolate Brownies

40z/100g plain chocolate
5oz/150g butter
4 ½ oz/125g plain flour (or rice flour)
½ oz/15g cocoa powder
10 ½ oz/300g soft muscovado sugar
1 pinch salt
2 eggs
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
4oz/100g chopped pecans/walnuts
(2oz/50g chocolate chunks)

Preheat oven to 180 deg C, and line a baking tin (9” square, or oblong tin depending if you want the brownies thinner or thicker!) with non-stick baking parchment. 

Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave, stir the chocolate into the butter so it all mixes together (it is better to under-heat the chocolate and stir out the lumps using the residual heat in the butter).  

Sieve the flour, cocoa and baking powder together.    In a separate large bowl, beat the eggs, adding the sugar and vanilla.  Mix until just combined (this gives the best brownie texture).   Fold the melted chocolate into the beaten egg mix, then add the flour and nuts.  

Spread into the tin and cook for up to 25 minutes – the mixture will rise in the tin, but it is better that it is undercooked rather than solid.    Cut into squares when cool, if you can wait that long! 

Monday, 18 March 2013

Easy Banoffee Pie

Banoffee Pie - it's got to be the sweetest, creamiest, most indulgent pudding on earth!  Yet it still contains fruit....   This is the world's simplest recipe, with the only cooking being melting butter for the biscuit base.  You could also use Gluten Free digestive biscuits.  This recipe is ideal for students and mums in a hurry.   Here I made it in a ceramic dish, which means it is much more difficult  (and messy) to cut.   I usually use a loose based metal tin.  

Banoffee Pie
Banoffee Pie

6oz/150g crushed digestive biscuits (or Hobnobs)
3oz/75g melted butter

1 tin (397g) Carnation Caramel
3 bananas
½ - ¾ pint whipped cream - double or whipping, as preferred

Line the base of an 8” loose based tin with baking parchment.   Mix the bicuits and melted butter, press into the tin so they make an even layer, and chill until set. 

Spread the caramel over the biscuit base, chop the bananas over the top and cover with whipped cream.  Chill, but not for long, this tastes better at room temperature.   Remove from the tin (and remove the parchment too!) before eating if you want to cut it into neat slices.     

Be Warned:  this pudding does not last.

This is also featured in my book "Kate's Puddings - the Cookbook of the Blog" available on eBay and on my website along with 74 other recipes, many of which will not be appearing on the blog, but all of which are ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! 

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Tarte Au Citron - classic lemon tart

Lemon tart, what's not to like?  crisp buttery pastry, tangy lemon filling, maybe a little cream or yoghurt.... this is one of those classic puddings that is good either warm or chilled, summer or winter.  There are lots of recipes for this tart, but this is one of the simplest which I found in a French Country Cookbook many years ago.   For best results the tart is first "baked blind".  Why?  It takes a bit longer, but otherwise the pastry is soggy, and there's nothing worse than damp claggy pastry!  This tart serves about 8.

Tarte Au Citron
Classic Tarte au Citron

4oz/100g butter
8oz/225g plain flour
pinch salt
1 egg, beaten

3 eggs
4oz/100g caster sugar 
3 lemons
4oz/100g butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 200deg C.     Make the pastry (in a food processor, add the butter to the flour and salt, process  until it looks like crumbs, add the egg and cold water as needed to make a smooth dough).    For best results, put the pastry in a ball into the fridge for 20 minutes, then roll out into a 9” loose bottomed flan tin and prick the base lightly.   You can refrigerate it again for another 20 minutes.   

Bake blind – put a sheet of greaseproof paper on top of the pastry, and fill it with dried pasta/rice/lentils.   Try to make sure the paper and pasta comes up the sides of the case as well to support the edges.   Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove the paper and bake the case for a further 5 minutes to dry it out.   Turn the oven down to 160 deg C.

Whisk the eggs.  Grate the rind from all 3 lemons and add to the eggs.   Take 5 thin slices off one lemon and keep for decoration.   Squeeze the juice from the remaining lemons and add it to the eggs.  Whisk in the sugar and the melted butter.

Pour the lemon mixture into the baked case and bake at 160 deg C for 12-15 minutes until the filling is just set.   While it is cooking, cut the pith and pips from the lemon slices (sharp scissors work better than a knife!).  Put the slices in a circle on the lemon tart and put it back into the oven for a further 5 minutes.     The tart shouldn’t be allowed to get brown (but it does happen!).   Cool and chill slightly.    Dust with icing sugar.  

Friday, 15 March 2013

Traditional Almond Macaroons

These delicious, chewy, macaroons are the traditional teatime treat!  Perfect for dairy and gluten-free diets, they are a great way of using up left-over egg whites, and are one of the main constituents of my Classic Sherry Trifle, as well as a great accompaniment to a creamy mousse.    So quick and easy to make, I usually do a batch or so when making other things, as there always seem to be egg whites begging to be used!   They are delicious fresh, but can be stored in an airtight tin for ages without becoming sad.  They can be made on rice paper, but I prefer parchment.

Traditional Almond Macaroons
Traditional Almond Macaroons

1 egg white
3 ½ oz/100g caster sugar
2oz/50g ground almonds
½ tsp almond essence
flaked almonds
small quantity egg white for glazing
Line 1-2 baking sheets with silicone paper/parchment (it has to be non-stick: I learned this the hard way!), and preheat the oven to 180 deg C.

Whisk the egg white until stiff, and fold in the ground almonds, caster sugar and almond essence.   Put dessertspoonfuls of mixture onto the paper, allowing room to spread (about 6 per tray).   Drop a few flaked almonds on each, then use the pastry brush dipped in egg white to simultaneously glaze the macaroons, press them down and make the almonds stick.   (The Good Housekeeping cookbook says you can pipe the mixture, but I prefer the rustic look).   

Bake for about 10-15 minutes until just beginning to colour.  When you take them out they will be squidgy, but leave them and they will stiffen.   

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Easy Chocolate Mousse - rich and smooth

Chocolate Mousse - a classic recipe for rich, smooth mousse.  This is very easy to make, and best served in small quantities!   Over the years, I've tried it with brandy, rum and sherry.... they're all good. The original recipe suggested coffee, and I have tried orange juice, but it wasn't the best.   My Stour Festival friend, Beryl, who does the chocolate mousses, agrees with me that very high cocoa chocolate doesn't work well in this mousse, so stick to Menier or Bournville, or any standard dark chocolate.   The recipe has a small quantity of butter for added smoothness, but if you want to make it dairy-free, omit the butter (and don't put cream on the top!).   It will make about 6 small servings.  They are also gluten-free!

Chocolate Mousse

3 large eggs, separated
6oz/150g dark chocolate
1 coffee cup of rum/sherry/brandy
½ oz/12g butter at room temperature

cream, fruit or grated chocolate to decorate

Melt the chocolate and alcohol together, either in the microwave, or in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (microwave is quicker!).    Make sure that the mixture doesn’t get too hot, and if you are using the bowl over water method, don’t allow any water to get in.    It is important that all the chocolate is melted, otherwise you get little lumps in the mousse, but don't let it boil.   Stir the mixture until smooth.

Stir in the egg yolks one by one, then the butter (if you want to make this dairy-free, leave out the butter).    Whisk the egg whites until they are standing in stiff peaks.  Using a metal spoon, first fold in about 1/3 of the whites to break up the texture, and then add the remaining third.  

Pour the unset mousse into small bowls or ramekins, or into a single bowl (it makes about 6 small ones), and leave to set.    Decorate with whipped cream and fruit, or grated chocolate.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Hot Blood Orange Layered Soufflé

Usually made with lemons, I tried this delicious soufflé recipe using blood oranges for a change, and it was very good! Blood oranges are not as sharp as lemons, but a little more tart than normal ones, and the sauce was a rosy orange colour.  When it is cooking, the pudding separates into a light spongy top layer with a lovely custardy layer underneath.  It has never been known to fail.    The recipe below serves about 6, and is taken from Mary Berry's Aga Cookbook, but is also in Good Housekeeping.   I usually make it in a large soufflé dish, this is just for show!  

Hot Orange Soufflé

4 eggs
2 large oranges (I used blood oranges) – rind and juice
8oz/225g caster sugar
1oz/25g butter
2oz/50g flour (or blend)
16floz/475ml milk

Boil a kettle of water, butter a 2.5 pint/1.4 litre ovenproof dish and preheat the oven to 180 deg C.   

Separate the eggs, and put the yolks, orange rind and juice, sugar, butter and flour into a food processor and blend thoroughly.  Add the milk slowly through the funnel.  

Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until firm and fold into the mixture (I usually do it the other way round as it is difficult to fold into a processor bowl!).   When it is reasonably well mixed, ie, not too many egg white islands, pour it into the greased dish. 

Stand the dish in a large oven tin and pour the boiling water around it.    Cook for about 35-40 minutes until it is risen and browned (and the top is set and spongy to the touch).  If it is browning too quickly, put a piece of foil over the top.   The pudding doesn't like to stand around too long, so timing is important but not critical - it can be left in the oven on a lower setting, but not for too long!  (still tastes great, but doesn't look quite so good)

Delicious served with cream or Greek yoghurt.   

Friday, 8 March 2013

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Blueberry Clafoutis

Somebody gave me a lot of blueberries, so I thought I'd try something new, and found this great recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage recipes.    Clafoutis is simply a French twist on the English pancake, a kind of sweet toad in the hole, but much, much nicer!    This picture is a fair representation, judging by Hugh's photo of the same dish..... it's a rib-sticking good pudding not noted for its beauty!  

Blueberry Clafoutis

14oz/400g blueberries
zest and juice of half a lemon
1tsp honey
3oz/75g flour
4oz/100g caster sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
8.5fl oz/240ml milk

Preheat oven to 180 deg C and butter a 25cm/10” baking dish.  

Put the blueberries into the base of the dish, add the lemon juice and rind, then the honey (if the honey is sticky or set, microwave it to warm it up quickly).    

Whisk together the flour and caster sugar, then add the eggs, and mix together, finally adding the milk slowly.  The idea is to make a smooth thick batter, so get those lumps out!

Pour the batter over the blueberries and bake for about 35-40 minutes until it is golden and puffy.   Dust with icing sugar and serve hot or cold.  Serves 6. 

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Florentines - chocolate biscuit heaven

Florentines - possibly the nicest biscuits in the world!  Ideal with ice cream or a whipped creamy pudding, they are surprisingly easy to make, but vanish quickly, which speaks for itself.   The ideal Florentine should have a good mixture of nuts and fruit, snap crisply and have a lovely layer of chocolate on the base.  Personally, I prefer not to chop the fruit up too much as I like a more rustic looking Florentine.   Like brandysnaps, there is a window of time when they are malleable, but the mistakes are equally delicious!  This is a Good Housekeeping traditional recipe - it always works.


3 ½ oz/100g butter
4oz/110g caster sugar
1tbsp cream (single or double)
4oz/110g nuts (walnuts and almonds mixed are best)
2tbsps sultanas
5 glacé cherries
2tbsps cut mixed peel

4oz/100g plain chocolate

Line 2-3 baking sheets with silicone paper/parchment (it has to be non-stick: I learned the hard way!), and preheat the oven to 180 deg C.

Assemble the nuts, fruit and peel on a large chopping board and chop roughly so that they are not still whole, but retain some individual texture and shape.    In a small pan, melt the butter, add the sugar and boil together for 1 minute.  Then add the chopped ingredients and the cream, and mix well.  

Remove the pan from the heat, and put heaped dessertspoons of the mixture onto the baking sheets.  They spread, so I usually put about 2-3 per tray (makes about 12-14 depending on the spoon size).   Bake for about 10 minutes until golden brown.   To start with, bake a tray at a time, so they don’t all need attention at once!

When the biscuits are brown, take out of the oven and, using a palette or table knife, press the edges inwards to make a better shaped biscuit – they will firm up relatively quickly, so don’t leave it too late…. (if so, just put them back into the oven for a VERY short time until they soften, and try again)     When they are firm, put onto a wire rack and leave to cool fully.  You can then re-use the parchment for another lot. 

Melt the chocolate in the microwave, and spread it onto the backs of the Florentines, leaving chocolate side up so it sets.     Store in an airtight tin, between layers of parchment or waxed paper.   They are fragile, but beautiful.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Angel Cake - light and airy

Angel cake is the ideal pudding if you have lots of left over egg whites and want to do something different to the ubiquitous meringues.  It's very light and absolutely delicious with strawberries and lashings of cream....  This is a classic recipe from the Hulme and Downs Cordon Bleu Cookbook, and the photo below is of one I thoroughly over-decorated for the Stour Festival.   It is also at least 1.5 times the recipe!

Angel Cake                                                                       oven:  180-190 deg C
2 oz fine white plain flour
3 ½ oz caster sugar
pinch salt
6 egg whites
¾ teaspoon cream of tartar
2 ¾ oz caster sugar
2-3 drops vanilla essence
½ pint cream (I usually use more)
1lb strawberries

Sift the flour and the 3 ½ oz castor sugar together three times and set on one side.  Place the egg whites with the salt and cream of tartar in a deep bowl and whisk until foaming.  Add the second portion of sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, and the essence, and continue whisking until the mixture will stand in peaks.  Carefully fold in the sifted flour and sugar. 

Turn the mixture into a clean, dry, 9” tube cake pan (I don’t bother, and usually use an 8 or 9” spring clip cake tin) and level the surface.    Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes (recipe says this, but mine is done earlier) or until no imprint remains when a finger lightly touches the top.   (the cake should not go too brown!)

When the cake is done, turn the tin upside down on a wire cake rack and leave until quite cold when the cake will fall easily from the tin.  To finish, split through 2 or 3 times (this bit always makes me feel inadequate, mine usually only splits once!) and fill with whipped cream and sliced strawberries.  Mask the cake with cream and decorate with strawberries.  

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Rhubarb Muffins

I can't remember where I found this recipe, but it is another delicious way of cooking rhubarb - fudgy brown muffins with a delicious cinnamon and sugar top and bright pink rhubarb pieces!    I've been cooking these for a TA weekend, and the first batch came out a bit brown.  Not a problem - simply cut the tops off and ice them with a vanilla icing (6oz/170g softened butter, 12oz/340g sifted icing sugar/1tsp vanilla).... and they become cup cakes.   Versatile, or what?

Rhubarb and Cinnamon Muffins
 Rhubarb Muffins

9oz/250g soft brown sugar
4fl oz/110ml vegetable oil
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
8fl oz/225ml buttermilk or low fat yoghurt
6oz/170g rhubarb, cut into 1cm dice
2oz/50g walnuts, roughly chopped (optional)
10oz/280g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 ½ oz/45g of wheatgerm (not essential)
2dessertsp caster sugar mixed with 1dsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 200deg C, 400F and put 12 paper cases into a muffin tin.  In a large bowl, mix the sugar, oil, egg, vanilla extract and buttermilk or yoghurt.  Stir in the rhubarb and nuts.  Sift over the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and add wheatgerm.  Fold together quickly until just blended, but still rather lumpy.  Spoon into the muffin tin, and sprinkle liberally with the sugar and cinnamon mixture.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

These are delicious as a snack but more important, as a pudding, served warm with maple syrup and Greek yoghurt.  

Friday, 1 March 2013

Life-sustaining Flapjack

This flapjack recipe has got to be the best!  Given to me by Anne-Marie, then cook at Canterbury Cathedral Choir House, where my son was a chorister, it is designed to ensure full stomachs for the choirboys during their demanding schedule.     I've tweaked the recipe slightly, including dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds, and this has become a stalwart of any TA weekend and exercise.    It has, quite literally, got us up and down mountains!     The youngest person to cook this recipe is Noah, at the grand old age of 3, so what's stopping you???

Choir House Flapjack

6oz brown sugar
2tbs golden syrup
6oz butter
9oz porridge oats
3oz plain flour (you can substitute rice flour for gluten-free)
4oz raisins
(I usually add a good handful pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries)

Place sugar, syrup, butter and raisins into a pan and melt together.  Stir in dry ingredients and mix well.  Press the mixture into a lined baking sheet (8” square tin).  Bake in oven at gas 5 (180 deg C) for approx 20 minutes until golden brown (watch carefully, as they will go black while your back is turned!).  Cut into squares immediately and then leave to cool.

This recipe is also in my cookbook "Kate's Puddings - the Cookbook of the Blog" which can be ordered off eBay or my website