Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Coconut biscuits (in less than 20 minutes!)

Melt 100g butter and pour into a large bowl.
Mix in 1 heaped cup of self raising flour, 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of dessicated coconut.
Mix in 1 beaten egg.
Beat for a minute or two.

Make into small balls with your hands (approx 18), slightly flatten and place on a baking tray. (Allow room for spreading.)
Bake at 180 degrees for 12 - 15 minutes.
Allow to cool on a wire tray - at least long enough that you don't burn your lips.

(That's quicker than walking to the corner shop!)

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Apricot Cake

In a large bowl mix 3 eggs, 175g self raising flour, 100g soft butter, 100g muscovado sugar,
 100g chopped dried apricots, 150g sultanas and 75g chopped glace cherries. 
(It's good idea to rinse and dry the cherries to remove the sticky coating.)

Bake at 160 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes in a 2lb loaf tin.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tin, then finish cooling on a wire rack.

For the icing put 1 tbsp apricot jam and 1 tbsp water in a saucepan and heat until the jam is melted.
Pour into 100g icing sugar and mix until smooth.
Spread onto cake, decorate with some pieces of dried apricot.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

My elderly food mixer

This is my mixer, given to me in 1997 by an elderly couple, friends of my in-laws.

It is made by Timothy White's, originally a chemist's and hardware shop which was bought by Boots in 1968. Boots took over the pharmaceutical side and Timothy White's became a housewares shop.

I'm guessing that my mixer is a 1970's model, with the attractive beige colourway.
I still have the instruction manual and recipe booklet.
The recipes are all imperial, although there is a conversion chart should you be new fangled enough to work in metric.
I love that this mixer is probably as old as me, and still works perfectly.
I love that the label tells me it has one tenth of a horsepower, and it was made in England.
I love that it helps me bake fabulous cakes!
I love that it has helped to make many, many cakes before, and will hopefully carry on to mix up many, many more.

How about you? Do you have any equipment that has stood the test of time?

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Enormous chocolate cookies with buttons

Melt 200g plain chocolate and 50g butter in a large bowl over a pan of simmering water.
Stir in 1 can (397g) of condensed milk and remove from the heat.

Allow to cool, then mix in 225g self raising flour.
Chill in fridge for 10 minutes or so.

Place large teaspoonfuls on a baking tray. Leave plenty of space to allow them to spread.
Press 2 or 3 chocolate buttons (stolen from children's lingering Easter chocolate stash) into each cookie.
Bake at 180 degrees for 15 minutes; the cookies will still be quite soft but will harden up when cooled.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Short sleeved cardi

It's not very often I bother knitting something for myself; baby things are much smaller, and therefore quicker!
But here is a little cardigan I have made, using a pattern in a magazine.
The yarn is 100% cotton, in white and pastel colours. I bought it in Lidl over a year ago and it has been hiding in my vast wool stash ever since.
Now I am hoping the fine weather stays a little longer so that I can actually wear it!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Easter Egg Stash-busting Milk Chocolate Cake

Cream 150g margarine with 250g caster sugar.
Blend in 75g melted milk chocolate (easter egg!) and 3 egg yolks.
Gradually add 250g sifted self raising flour and 180ml milk and mix until smooth.

Beat the 3 egg whites until stiff, and carefully fold into the mixture.

Bake at 180 degrees for 35 - 40 minutes.

Allow to cool, then cover with more melted easter egg, and sweets as desired.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Flat breads

Easier than I could possibly have imagined!!

Mix 180ml warm water, 2 cups bread flour, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp easy yeast into a dough.
Knead for 5 - 10 minutes (as usual I let my breadmaker do this.)

Allow dough to rest for half an hour, until doubled in size.
Knock out the air and divide into 8 pieces.
Roll each piece into a ball, then roll out on a slightly floured surface into a very flat circle. (The flatter the better, but not so thin it breaks!)

Cook one at a time in a very hot frying pan for about 1 minute each side.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Happy Easter

Home made hot cross buns for Good Friday.
Cornflake nests.

Let's go on an egg hunt!

Happy Easter everybody!

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Baby hooded cardigan

Here is a little cardigan I've just finished knitting for my bestest friend who is expecting her first baby in June.
She doesn't know what flavour she's having, so the yarn is a soft lemon colour.
I'm pleased with this because it involved a fair bit of "picking up" for the button band and the hood; this is my least favourite knitting skill, but one I think I have finally mastered.