Here is where I post the recipes of our ‘family favourites’ in case you are missing them too much and want to make them yourselves. So watch this space!
As anyone who knows me knows, I collect cookery books. Click the widget below if you want to see my collection. I have a few cookery books not on this list, these are quite old and I will list them seperately beneath the widget.
My vintage cookery book collection:
- Good Housekeeping’s Cookery Compendium 1954
- Mrs Beeton’s All About Cookery 1915
- The Daily Mail Cookery Book 1920
- Kenwood Recipe Book 1967
- Radiation Recipe Book 1920s
- Adventurous Cooking with Fanny Craddock 1966
- Trex Cookery 1955
- Trex Cookery 1954
- The Book of Herb Cookery 1957
- The Tyrolese Cookery Book 1938
- Farmhouse Fare An Economy Edition 1945
- Camp Centenary Cookery Book 1985
- And my most treasured cookery book is one that was my Nanna’s. She had it from when she was first married in 1920 – Bestway Cookery Book 1920
- Mrs Beeton’s Everyday Cookery Book 1936
- The Complete Cookery Book for Diabetics 1959
- Old-fashioned Parkin
- Bara Brith
- Spiced Maple Syrup Cake
- Cherry Cake
- Honeyed Banana Cake
- Hudson Brownies
- Turnip dauphinoise
- Spicy crab topping
- Accidental Pulled Pork
- Crab Alfredo with linguine
Old-fashioned Parkin (like my Mum and Linda’s Mum used to make)
Photo to follow.
- 225g medium oatmeal
- 110g self raising flour
- Pinch salt
- 25g golden syrup
- 220g black treacle
- 110g margarine
- 110g soft brown sugar
- 3tsp ground ginger
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 tbsp milk
- Preheat the oven to 140 degree C (120 C fan oven) 275 degree F, gas mark 1
- Grease and line an 8″ sq tin
- Place a medium sized pan on to the weighing scales and into this measure the margarine, sugar, syrup and treacle.
- Place this pan on the stove, on a gentle heat until melted, stirring occasionally.
- Into a large bowl put the flour, ginger, salt and oatmeal and give it a good stir to mix well.
- Pour the melted syrup mix into the flour mix and stir well to combine.
- Add the beaten egg and milk and mix well.
- Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 1 3/4 to 2 hours.
- Cool in the tin for 30 minutes before turning out. (Don’t worry if the Parkin sinks a little in the middle, it will not show when cut into squares and it will still taste nice).
The longer you can keep Parkin, the better it will taste (within reason of course, don’t keep it for years and years 🙄)
BARA BRITH (the cake version, not the yeast version)
Start this recipe the night before!
- 8oz dried raisins and sultanas
- 8fl oz hot, strong tea (Yorkshire tea is very good and make it with 3 tea bags and let it brew!)
- 8oz self raising flour
- 2 1/2 tsp mixed spice (aka apple pie spice in America)
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter (1oz) cool and cubed
- 3 1/2 oz soft brown sugar
- 1 Medium egg, lightly beaten
- Milk to adjust consistency
- The night before, brew the tea in 8fl oz of boiling water, then add the dried fruits and leave covered overnight or for about ten hours in the fridge to soak (giving it a few stirs early on)
- Next day, heat the oven to 180 degree C (160 degree C fan oven) 350 degree F or Gas 4
- Line a 2lb loaf tin
- Sift the flour and the mixed spice together in a large bowl.
- Add the chilled, cubes of butter and rub with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the sugar.
- Add the fruit (and the tea it has soaked in) and the beaten egg and stir well.
- Add milk slowly and a little at a time, until you get a soft dropping consistency off your spoon, mixing well as you go. Your mixture needs to fall back into itself in the bowl, otherwise your Bara Brith will be too dry after baking.
- Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin for about 15 minutes then turn on to a wired tray to finish.
- Serve either on its own or with lashings of butter!
Spiced Maple Syrup Cake
- 290g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 100g margarine
- 150g dark brown soft sugar
- 240ml maple syrup (good quality makes for a better tasting cake)
- 150 ml soured cream
- 2 Medium eggs
- 75 ml soured cream
Topping and filling:
- 500 g mascarpone
- 6 tbsp lemon curd
TIP – Use a Kenwood chef to mix this cake!
- Preheat the oven to 180 degree C (160 degree C fan oven) 350 degree F or Gas Mark 4.
- Grease and flour two 20cm round cake tins.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, ground ginger, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg into a large bowl. Use a Kenwood Chef bowl here if you have one (only because it makes life easier later on) to mix all the dry ingredients well.
- Add the margarine, sugar, maple syrup and 150 ml of soured cream and beat on medium speed with the K beater for 2 minutes.
- Beat in the eggs and 75 ml of soured cream and beat for another 2 minutes.
- Pour into the two prepared tins.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
- Cool for 5 minutes, then remove from the tins and place on a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Whilst the cakes are cooling make the topping and filling.
Topping and filling method:
- Mix the mascarpone and lemon curd by hand until well combined.
- Layer the top of one cake with half of the mix.
- Place the other half on top of this, then cover this top cake with the rest of the mascarpone and lemon curd mix.
- Keep in the fridge in an airtight container.
Photo to follow
- 240g softened unsalted butter
- 200g caster sugar plus extra for sprinkling
- grated zest and juice of one lemon
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 210g self-raising flour
- 200g half and floured glace cherries
- Heat the oven to 170 degree C (fan 150 degree C) 325 degree F, Gas Mark 3
- Grease and line a 23 x 13 x 7cm loaf tin (I use those pre-formed loaf tin liners)
- Cream the butter and the sugar until pale and light in texture
- Add the lemon zest
- Add the beaten eggs a little at a time, with a tablespoon of the flour each time, to prevent your batter from curdling
- Gently mix in the remainder of the flour
- Add the lemon juice and combine gently
- Add the floured cherries, gently folding them into the mixture.
- Put the cake batter into your loaf tin, even out the top then sprinkle with a little sugar (about 2 tablespoons)
- Bake for one hour or until a skewer comes out clean
- Leave to cool on a wire tray before turning out
N.B. Should your cherries sink to the bottom of the cake (and they shouldn’t, if you have halved and floured them) fear not! This cake tastes just as nice, just tell people it is actually a Cherry Bottom Cake 🙂
And especially for Isobel…
Honeyed Banana Cake
- 115g margarine
- 115g light soft brown sugar
- 115g honey (runny or set)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 225g self-raising flour (you can use white or wholemeal)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 large ripe bananas
- squeeze of lemon juice
- 1 or 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar (white or brown) for sprinkling
- Preheat your oven to 180 degree C (160 degree fan) 350 degree F or Gas Mark 4
- Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin (use the pre-formed liners, as life is too short for anything else!)
- Beat together the margarine, sugar and honey, until light and fluffy
- Gradually beat in the eggs
- Fold in the flour, nutmeg and cinnamon
- Peel the bananas and mash the flesh using a fork, with a little lemon juice
- Fold the mashed bananas into your cake mix until well mixed
- Spoon the mix into your loaf tin and even out the surface gently
- Sprinkle with 1 or 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
- Bake in the oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until risen and golden
- If you think your cake is burning on the top but hasn’t yet finished baking, then cover the top of your cake loosely with a piece of foil
- When baked, cool on a wire rack for ten minutes then turn out and leave to finish cooling on the rack.
Usually, on a Friday, for an awful long time, I would bake chocolate brownies for my children for when they came home from school. I would make a large amount and without fail, most would have gone within 24 hours! So here, by popular demand, is the recipe for Hudson Chocolate Brownies. It isn’t a cheap bake to make but it is a yummy one.
- 375g unsalted butter
- 375g dark chocolate
- 6 large eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 500g caster sugar
- 225g plain flour
- 1tsp salt
- Heat your oven to 180 degrees C (160 degrees fan) 350 degrees F or Gas Mark 4
- Line a 33 x 23cm x 5cm (or thereabouts) deep tin with baking parchment
- Gently melt the butter and the chocolate in a large pan
- In a bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract.
- Into another bowl, measure and mix the flour and salt.
- When the chocolate mix is melted, let it cool a little before beating in the eggs and sugar mix.
- Add the flour and salt and beat until smooth
- Pour this batter into your tin and bake for 30 minutes or thereabouts. Brownies are cooked when the top is light in colour and cracking but the inside is still slightly gooey. A dry-in-the-middle brownie is not a brownie!
This Christmas, rather than make our usual Christmas fruit cake, I decided to try something new. In the end, I made a Kransekake: a Scandinavian celebration cake. It has a soft, chewy centre and is slightly crispy on the outside, just like an amaretti biscuit (and just as moreish!) This cake is fun to make and to decorate and absolutely yummy. I have tweaked the recipe a little to make things a little easier. To serve, remove the rings from the bottom up so as to keep the tower for as long as possible.
Ingredients (for the cake):
- 500g icing sugar
- 500g ground almonds
- 4 egg whites
- 1 tsp almond extract
- a little oil and semolina
Ingredients for the Royal icing:
- 3 egg whites
- 600g icing sugar
- red food colouring paste (not liquid or gel)
- Edible Sparkles and/or other cake decorations
- Tape measure or ruler
- Two piping bags with two icing nozzles for writing in icing
- Serving plate/cake stand
- One set of Kransekake tins (optional)
- In a large bowl put the ground almonds. Sieve the icing sugar into this bowl and mix well to incorporate.
- Beat the egg whites (until frothy) then add to the almonds and icing sugar mix.
- Mix to a dough with your hands.
- Cover with cling film, put in the fridge and leave overnight. You can leave the dough in the fridge for a just few hours if you are short on time but the finished cake won’t have that yummy chewy texture. In fact, some people put the cake dough in the freezer, as it makes the Kransekake even more chewy.
- Heat the oven to 200 degrees C/180 degrees C Fan oven/400 degrees F or Gas Mark 6
- If you are using Kransekake ring tins, then lightly oil the rings and sprinkle with semolina. Knock off any excess semolina. Try not to miss any bits. If you haven’t got any Kransekake rings then follow the next part (but instead of placing your lengths of dough in ring tins, lightly oil and dust with semolina a few large baking trays and place your measured lengths of dough circled into rings on these).
- Roll the dough with your hands into two or three long lengths (depending on the size of your table) to about half an inch diameter. Try to get an even thickness to your rolls of dough, as this part is important in giving a nice, even finish to your cake and the rings will bake more evenly.
- If you are using the ring tins then sort them in order of size on your table.
- Cut your rolls of dough to various lengths, starting with the smallest at 14cm.
- Cut another 17 lengths, each one 2.5cm/one inch longer than the last. e.g. 14cm, 16.5cm, 19cm and so on. The last few will be slightly longer than needed for the rings, so pinch off the excess. These lengths don’t have to be exact but I found that having a set measure for each length was far quicker than guessing the length needed and having to put the lengths in and out of the tins time and time again to adjust them to the correct length.
- Place your cut lengths onto the rings and pinch/squash the ends together gently to join. You end up with 18 rings of dough. You will find that the rings increase in size from one tin to another and not in three consecutive sizes per tin. It sounds complicated but is really simple actually.
- Put your rings into a pre-heated oven and bake for approximately 10 minutes, or until golden.
- Take out of the oven and leave in the rings to cool and harden.
- When cool and hard, gently take the baked rings out of their tins and place on the table in graduating sizes.
Make the Royal Icing:
- Using a Kenwood Chef with the K Beater, or other mixer, whisk your egg whites for a short while until frothy.
- With your food mixer running at medium speed, gradually and slowly, add the sifted icing sugar.
- Continue whisking until the mixture is stiff and the peaks hold their shape.
- Put half of this mixture into a piping bag. This is your white icing.
- To the icing remaining in the mixer bowl add the red food colouring paste. Do not be tempted to use food colouring gel or liquid! You need to keep the stiff, whipped consisitency of your royal icing and adding anything other than paste will thin your icing. I tried to improvise here when I found that what I thought was red food colouring paste in my cupboard was actually red food colouring gel. The results were unuseable).
- Mix the red food colouring paste gently ino the icing until evenly distributed.
- Put this red icing into the other piping bag with a piping nozzle fitted.
- Onto your cake stand or plate put a few dots of white icing to ‘glue’ the largest ring to the centre of the plate.
- Onto this largest and first ring, pipe ribbons of white icing, making sure that the icing drapes down the front of the ring just a little (see photo below). When you have gone all around the ring, do the same with the red icing.
- Place the next size down ring onto this base ring and repeat the icing ribbons. You continue like this using your red and white icing until all your rings have been used up. The cake will not fall apart as the icing ‘glues’ each ring to the next.
- Finish decorating with edible glitter, sparkles or whatever takes your fancy. The cake does not need to be refrigerated and will quite happily keep for several days in a coolish, dry room. Protect from flies if in the warmer months of the year.
Serves 4 to 6
- 4 turnips
- 200ml wholemilk
- 200ml double cream
- 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed with the back of a knife
- salt and pepper
- a little butter for greasing
- 50g grated cheddar cheese
- Place the cream, milk and garlic into a pan and slowly bring to the boil.
- As soon as the mixture starts to boil take off the heat and leave aside to cool a little.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (160 degrees C fan oven) 350 degrees F or Gas Mark 4
- Peel and thinly slice the turnips with a mandoline (watch your fingers!) The slices should be about 2mm thick.
- Butter a large, shallow ovenproof dish bottom and sides and season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Arrange the turnip slices over the bottom of the dish, overlapping only slightly.
- Season this with salt and pepper.
- Make another thin layer of turnip slices and season again and repeat this until all the turnip slices have been used.
- Take the crushed garlic out of the cream mixture and pour the mixture over the layered turnips.
- Gently press down on the turnips with the back of a fish slice, so as the make sure all the turnip slices get covered in the cream mixture.
- Sprinkle with the grated cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, then turn the oven down to 150 degrees C (130 degrees C fan oven) 300 degrees F or Gas Mark 2 and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the turnip slices are tender and cooked through. Should the top start to burn before it has finished cooking then cover loosely with a piece of foil for the remainder of the cooking.
Spicy crab topping for Bruschetta or Melba Toast
Photo to follow…
- 1lb white crab meat (tinned/tubbed is just as good for this recipe)
- 2 limes, zest and juice
- 1 mild red chilli (deseeded) and finely chopped
- 1 good handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Mix the crab meat, finely chopped coriander, finely chopped deseeded red chilli, the juice of two limes and the zest of the two limes all together.
- Season to taste with freshly ground salt and black pepper.
- Place in a bowl, cover and leave in the fridge for about six hours, for the flavours to develop.
- Serve chilled on bruschetta, Melba Toast or crackers.
Accidental pulled pork – a little story
A few Christmases ago, I made what has now become a family favourite and all because of an accident in the kitchen! Firstly, it was Christmas morning and half way through, I turned the oven off when the goose still hadn’t finished cooking (don’t ask me why, maybe I’d had too many sherries, who knows, but I think it was a ‘senior moment’!) Then I realised, that instead of making Nigella Lawson’s Coca Cola ham, I was in fact boiling the huge pork shoulder I had bought for New Year’s Day dinner. 😶 I had taken the wrong piece of meat out of the fridge!! Anyway, I managed to save the day and tweak the recipe a little and the ‘disaster’ turned into a triumph! Here is the recipe… It’s a little expensive but by heck, it is yummy! Now, I know there are easier recipes for pulled pork out there but this recipe came along because of a need to save the day (and the pork shoulder) so bear with me.
Accidental Pulled Pork Recipe
- 1 x shoulder of pork (have the butcher de-bone the shoulder but no need to roll it, as you will be pulling it later). Or you could use half a shoulder but halve the ingredients to suit if you do.
- 1 onion, (or two, if you are feeling generous) peeled and cut in half
- 6 litres of Cola and maybe some water
For a whole shoulder use –
- 2 large tbsp of treacle
- 4 tsp English Mustard powder
- 4 tbsp Demerara sugar
- Weigh your pork shoulder and do the math: work out how long to cook (one hour per kilo of shoulder or one hour for every 2.2lb of shoulder). The math part is really important! Put the pork shoulder into a very large (humongous) stock pan, skin side down (if you can) then put in the onion and pour the Cola over all this. If your Cola falls short, then add more Cola or even water. Not Sherry!
- Bring to the boil. (If it is Christmas morning when you make this, now is the time to pour yourself a festive Sherry and put on some Christmassy songs whilst your pan is coming to the boil.
- Reduce to a frisky simmer (the pan of boiling pork, not you 😳) then put the lid on (not quite tight) and cook for the amount of time depending on the size of your shoulder. If your shoulder should go bare, then cover with more boiling water.
- After the correct amount of time boiling your Accidental Pork Shoulder, take the shoulder out of the pan and put it onto a large board or platter to cool awhile. BE CAREFUL, YOUR PORK SHOULDER IS HEAVY AND HOT (and you may have had two sherries by now!) Your shoulder will most likley fall apart as you are doing this, so take care and have your board or platter close to your pan.
- Preheat your oven to 240 degrees C (220 degrees C fan oven) 455 degrees F or Gas Mark 8
- Remove any skin from the shoulder.
- Spread the treacle over the shoulder.
- Mix the sugar and dry mustard powder then rub/pat/smudge all over the shoulder pork.
- Pour yourself another Christmas Sherry.
- Cook in the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes. (The pork shoulder NOT you!)
- Take out of the oven and leave to cool, then pull your Accidental Pork to your heart’s desire. 😶 You will be the champion cook in your household, so pour yourself another sherry and bask in the glow 😊 Should you think your pulled pork needs a little more seasoning or sweetness at this point, then mix up another batch of glaze using maple syrup in place of treacle and drizzle this all over your pulled pork and bung it back in the oven for another ten to fifteen minutes.
- If you cook this any other time than Christmas, then omit the Sherry.
Crab Alfredo with linguine
I was going to take photos of this dish whilst making it for supper this evening but my appetite got the better of me and I had eaten most of it before I realised I had forgotten to take any photos 😀
- 45g butter
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- salt and pepper
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 250ml whipping cream (or 125ml double cream and 125ml wholemilk)
- 125g cream cheese
- 125g grated Parmesan (or mild Cheddar if you prefer)
- 1lb cooked crab meat (I use 1lb tubs of white and claw meat from fishmongers)
- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook your linguine until al dente. Meanwhile…
- Melt your butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat
- Add the garlic and cook very gently for a couple of minutes
- Stir in the flour, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring all the time.
- Turn down the heat to low and add the cream or cream and milk mix and give it a good stir (I use a balloon whisk) then turn up the heat to medium and cook for around 3 minutes to thicken the sauce a little.
- Add the cheeses and stir well to combine, until the cheese melts into the sauce
- Stir in the crabmeat well and heat until piping hot (about 3 to 4 minutes)
- Your linguine should be ready by now. When done to al dente, serve the linguine on a plate and spoon over the crab alfredo.