Monday, January 31, 2011

Kitchen Disasters!

A welcome to Kitchenbunny with the added hug to go with it. The comment was re using discarded citrus peel to make candied peel. I can also be used to make an economy marmalade (recipe given some time ago now).
There are a lot of 'foodie discards' that can be used successfully, and what springs to mind are radish and beetroot leaves that can eaten and used as 'salad leaves'. The seeds from a fairly ripe red bell pepper can be sown and these than grow into plants which will provide more peppers.
The core of white cabbage can be grated and used with grated carrots, onions and some mayo to make coleslaw, and the pale green leaves attached to a bought cauliflower, plus its core and stalk ends of florets will make an excellent soup (more about this later today).
Even the little bit of egg white left in egg shells can be used as 'glue', either to seal down letters (they cannot then be steamed open), or used to stick almost anything. Brush egg white over grapes and dust them with icing sugar and they then appear 'frosted' and can be used as garnish. Or brush egg white over inside of a raw or baked-blind pastry case and it will prevent any filling oozing out of tiny cracks, and also help to prevent the base going soggy from fruit juices etc.

It is a good idea to go round the supermarkets and check out their 'reduced price' section as mentioned by Julie. Usually a wide variety of things there from loaves of bread, soft cheeses, cooked meat, dented cans and anything that has just about reached its use-by/best before date. Often feel I miss out a lot of bargains because of shopping on-line, and one day hope to go early enough to a store that has a 'scooter' that I could use, so that I can have a trawl round and find some products I really, really want. Even need.

Very pleased that you are now enjoying your jacket potatoes Julie. Did order two varieties with my recent order, one name now forgotten but it said 'baking potatoes on the bag', the other was King Edward's. Am pretty sure these both were the names given to you. I baked one of each (in the microwave) to give them a taste/try and they both had great texture, but think the King Ed had a better flavour.

Am surprised that Toronto only has one large supermarket Margie. Although it is mainly on the outskirts of town they build these large stores, probably due to needing plenty of parking space. Admittedly some are in large towns, but generally there is always plenty of competition . It always surprises me how a store can suddenly spring up in an area where there are others not too far away, and managed to get enough customers to make loads of profit. Where do these new customers come from? Probably other stores lose a goodly number, but even then all still seem to make a profit.
In Morecambe (admittedly not the largest of towns but it does have rambling suburbs) we have a big Morrisons, Tesco, an Asda, Lidl, Aldi, and a huge new Sainsburys just opened. Smaller Spar, Tesco Express, Co-0p and Booth's dotted around the place. All these only a few miles away from Lancaster who have the same plus others including M & S. Carnforth (only a short drive away) have even larger Tesco and Booth's. Am wondering why Waitrose and/Orcado haven't yet moved in on us.

There is a move to get rid of the 'use-by' dates due to the fact that most people bin the dated foods even when they are still perfectly safe to eat. As you say Tricia, the date is only a guide. I myself have had yogurts that have 'blown' (tops ballooning up) and had to be thrown away - still well within its 'use-by' date. Chefs now suggest opening packs and do a 'sniff and taste' check before deciding whether an out of date item cannot be used.
We keep our fridge at no higher than 4C which seems to keep food in good condition for much longer than the 'use-by' date, and we have to remember that these dates allow for people who bring home shopping on hot days, often in the back of the car for an hour or more, then left on the kitchen table before being put in the fridge. If a coo box/bag can be kept in the car, and chilled products put into it, then these immediately place in the fridge as soon as they have been taken home, this usually gives them a longer shelf-life than stated. But don't quote me on this. It's just experience seems to have proved this to me. Always use your own judgment.

Hardly ever do we check the dates on products in our fridge. If we do it is usually cream (bought regularly for B) but while he was away there was an unopened tub that was not used, but a couple or three weeks after its date it was still 'fresh'. A lot of products only start to go 'off' once opened - even within the date given, so this is where we do need to be extra vigilant.

Suddenly realised - when setting the February challenge - that it is not as easy as first thought. Easy enough if we count the money saved when we buy 'offers', but those of us who do this regularly (and have a larder full of them), have to think of other ways to save money above and beyond that. Myself am finding it very difficult and just about everything cooked/baked etc will have been cost-cut as this is normal practice for me.
Perhaps the best way is to live of what has been bought and make it last much longer. So instead of sending in an order again in four or five weeks time, will aim to exist another four weeks without buying anything other than 'the necessary' (milk, eggs and maybe bread etc). Having already set my budget at £125 for a month, what is left over after the 'necessaries' have been bought will be my profit.

But even this will not stop me explaining from day to day the savings that have been made in the Goode kitchen (and other rooms in the house) above and beyond the call of duty. Other cooks may not bother to do these, but every hint and tip could mean more pennies in the piggy.
Yesterday was planning a marathon cook-in, but it didn't go according to plan although the morning was fairly successful in that I brought out the bag of cauliflower leave, cores and broken bits of florets, shredded the lot in the food processor, then added them to 15 fl oz UHT milk (this incidentally a few weeks past its b.b. date, so no doubt would have been binned by someone else, but as it was still but perfectly OK I used it). After simmering until softened, this then put back into the (unwashed as no need to) food processor bowl and given a blitz, this time with the blade, where it then made a thick puree. This poured into a bowl, hot water put into the processor bowl with a blitz to 'clean it', the resulting liquid then added to the soup (and a final rinse of the bowl and attachments in the kitchen sink in the normal way).
With seasoning added and a final stir, this then made enough for four good servings (the equivalent of 4 x cuppa soup sachets & 15p each (offer price) = 60p. This was poured into containers and room found in the freezer for it. As well as soup, it could be thickened with instant potato to make a 'cauli and potato' topping for a Cottage pie, or even potato cakes (and the like).

Decided that morning to also bake some oat and apricot biscuits that had been found in the fridge (the mixture made before B's trip, half of this cooked, the rest rolled up and wrapped tightly in foil to keep chilled). This sliced into 15 biscuits and these were cooked in the oven (approx 160C) for about 15 minutes. At the same time cooked an apple and blackberry crumble, using most of the remaining apples from our tree, and the last of the blackberries in the freezer.
The biscuits were very floppy when taken out of the oven, and then rock hard when left to cool on the tray, but as this happened the previous time, and they softened when left overnight in the kitchen, am hoping this will occur this time. Really hard biscuits should never be binned as almost certainly they will soften if left 'out'. One of the reasons why recipes always say that biscuits (and the like) should be stored in airtight tins so they don't soften.

The crumble hadn't begun to brown, so as I desperately needed a sit down turned the oven off and decided to finish it off later. But then the afternoon turned out to be a DISASTER in the making. Firstly I still did not feel at all well, and am sure I would be having the flu if the flu jab hadn't prevented a full blown attack. My chesty cough was getting worse and I felt mega-tired. Anyway had to rouse myself to get B's supper as liver and bacon was requested. The liver had been ordered from Tesco (89p vacuum pack) and once opened, found 6 large pieces and several small strips, so froze the large slices in 3's, enough for two meals, and decided to use the strips for supper than night. This worked out at 30p of liver per serving, which is about the least expensive and probably the most nutritious meat there is.

First put the grill on to brown the crumble (this still in in oven sitting under the grill) then put some potatoes on to boil, cutting them into chunks so they would take less time to cook. Went to the fridge to bring out the white cabbage that B always has with liver, but it was under a pile of other veggies (cauli, parsnips, salad potatoes, lettuce, etc, etc, etc, and even when was able to reach it, found it a large white (as yet unused) cabbage that my hand could not fit round. Decided to give B peas instead.
White cabbage keeps so well in the fridge (reason why I bought a whole one instead of a portion), and weeks, even months later is 'usable'. And so cheap.

Got out some frozen peas, put them in a container and into the microwave to heat later, then portioned out the liver, packed away the 2 packs, then floured the strips. Four rashers of bacon put on to fry, the liver added later. Suddenly realised there was a smell of burning. Thought it was something stuck to the base of the frying pan, but it turned out to be the crumble that had been forgotten about. Taken from the oven this had a topping as black as could be. Fortunately, after a little cooling this top layer was easily lifted off - luckily there was a lot of crumble, so enough left to still make it as it should be. I apologised to B, asking him to think of any burnt bits remaining as 'caramelised' (it was probably the sugar sprinkled on top that had caramelised anyway), and if he poured on loads of cream it should taste OK. After eating it later he said it was fine, but probably didn't dare tell me if it wasn't.

Meanwhile went back to the frying pan. Drained the potatoes - and having prepared too many as some were for me - added half to the pan of liver and bacon to become coated in the bacon fats. B strolled into the kitchen and I asked him to serve up his own supper, the microwave having just 'pinged' to say the peas were ready, then scampered back to my chair to cosy up in my cuddle quilt and another that Gill had given me, took a paracetamol and settled down for the evening and a nap or three.

Couldn't face making myself the 'Red Flannel Hash' that I had planned for my own supper (diced cold potatoes, beetroot, and corned beef fried with probably onion) as I had completely lost my appetite, so put the makings back into the fridge and later eased my throat by eating several clementines. Had to eat something as had to take my diabetic pills.

So - all in all - not a bad day for money saving as the cauliflower soup cost little to make, the biscuits were 'left-over' biscuit dough, the apples and blackberry crumble made from 'free fruits', and the liver itself a real 'cheapie'. Even the 'new' potatoes (bought prior to Christmas and stored in the fridge) were 'on offer' as were the frozen peas and - now I come to think of it - the bacon too. So how can I work out all the savings made on that? Difficult - so you see why it works best FOR ME if I just make my purchases last as long as possible then work out the savings after that. This could mean waiting until my next order - which could be late March or even later still.

In the meantime will still be telling you about economies made each day, even though dishes will be made from foods already bought because if on offer then, may still be on offer now. Plans today include making a litre of ice-cream for B , and this will be a genuine saving because B normally brings himself tubs of the ice-cream from the supermarket (even if they are not on my shopping list).

Now - a query recently about using Barley meal/flour. My reference book states: "Barley flour is a fine sweet flour that adds a distinctive taste to bread and biscuits". As barley does not contain gluten it cannot on its own be used to make bread unless mixed with strong white flour. It is often used to make porridge - in the same way as oats, and also barley (griddle) cakes (recipe below). Barley flour can also be used to thicken sauces and soups.

Hear is a recipe for traditional Scottish Barley Bannocks. Not having made these, am uncertain as how they turn out or even taste. This recipe has no sugar, and with the fairly high percentage of raising agent feel they might end up more like bread buns. If you have the barley meal, then worth having a go. If a reader has already made these, then please let us know exactly what to expect.

Barley Bannocks:
1 teacup barley meal
1 level teaspoon salt
1 rounded teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teacup plain flour
1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
approx 1 teacup of milk
Sift together all the dry ingredients, then stir in enough milk to make a fairly soft dough. Divide into three or four pieces, knead and roll out each to about half an inch thick. Place on a hot griddle (or use a large heavy frying pan) and bake for a minute or two until brown on the underside. Turn and bake on the other side, opening up the edge a little to see if the bannock is cooked through.

Having poked my nose into my reference book to find out about barley, was agreeably surprise to also find details and photos of other grains - 34 shown, and this not the complete 'range'. Many of these can be substituted in place of another, so we should not always stick to the ones we are used to. Obviously we don't wish to spend money of a product we don't use often, but if we do have semolina for instance, as well as using for puddings, it makes roast potatoes very crispy if they are tossed in this before adding to the hot fat and roasting on. Great cakes can be made using semolina, and myself have even made 'polenta' using it.

An alternative to cous cous is bulgar wheat - made in much the same way, and pearl barley can be used to make a risotto instead of using rice. Practically all the gluten free flours can be used to make bread and cakes just as long as mixed with a flour higher in gluten, but = even having said that - there are plenty of recipe for gluten free cakes and biscuits made with gluten-free flour. Where the gluten is not so necessary, the flours could be used on their own - perhaps making pancakes.
Always best to use a recipe when dealing with gluten-free flours, but there is nothing to stop anyone experimenting as long as they can find a way to use failures - otherwise it can get a bit expensive, and that is something this site tries to avoid.

So far am feeling a bit better, so will take the opportunity to go into the kitchen and at least prepare the necessary for supper, and maybe even cook it this morning to reheat later this afternoon (but only if B desires chilli con carne for instance). If B will have returned from the gym in time to watch Jamie O today, he should then be able to see how to cook salmon, as we have several 'servings' of this still in the freezer, so might just let him follow instructions and cook his own meal tomorrow.

As expected the massive number of hits that happened recently has now gone back to a reasonable number, many more than previously, but in the hundreds, not in the thousands. Perhaps just as well, for if many then sent in comments, I could spend hours just replying to them all. Not that this should put off anyone sending in a message - the more the merrier. So keep those comments coming.

Tomorrow it will be February, so hope we have all girded our loins and ready to do battle in our kitchens, putting padlocks on our purses and wielding our wooden spoons. The only beating done will not be the beating of retreat but the beating of eggs and the like. Together we march through a month of deliberate savings waving our banners (a sheet of kitchen paper?) and by the end we should all find more than we hoped for deposited in our piggy banks, and have gained a real sense of achievement. If only I could dish out medals!

As ever, join me again tomorrow to find out more of the cost-cutting Goode life. See you then.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Spreading the Load

When making candied peel, the peel is kept in large 'cup-shaped' pieces, and later stored this way. Best chopped/diced when needed to add to a cake batter etc. Small jars of partially sliced 'cups' of peel is another 'goodie' to include in the Christmas Hampers we cooks like to give as gifts.
Candied Peel: makes 16 'cups'
4 large oranges
4 lemons
half ounce bicarbonate of soda
5 fl oz (150ml) hot water
1 1/2 pounds granulated sugar
extra water as needed
Wash the fruit (to remove any wax) and slice in half - the lemons sliced lengthwise, the oranges crosswise. Remove all the pulp and membranes, the pith can stay. Place the peel in a bowl. Dissolve the bicarb in the hot water and spoon over each piece of peel, then cover with boiling water to cover the peel completely, leaving it to stand for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile make a sugar syrup by dissolving 1 lb (450g) of the sugar with 15 fl oz (425ml) of water. Strain the peel, put in a bowl and pour over the syrup, then leave to stand for 2 days. Strain off the syrup and into this dissolve the remaining 8 oz (225g) sugar. Put into a pan with the peel and simmer until the peel looks clear, then remove peel, place on trays and dry off in a cool oven.
Boil the syrup for half an hour to reduce it, then dip the peel into this before placing back on trays and returning to oven to dry again.
Boil remaining syrup until very thick, then pour a very little into each citrus 'shell/cup' , leave to dry then store in an airtight container.
Rinse well, then put the peel in a pan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Paying the Price

During wartime rationing cooks made the most of what was available, and farmers wives lucky in that they had more variety I suppose. Here are a few recipes from that time that are good enough to make today.
Apple Jelly: (use this as a base for herb jellies etc)
Having saved the peels and cores from apples (you could freeze these to collect enough to use), put them in a large saucepan and just cover with water, then cook until pulpy. Strain through a jelly bag and measure. To every pint of juice add 1 lb sugar and heat until the sugar has dissolved, then boil fast until it sets. This jelly is equal to that made with whole apples.

Carrot Jam:
flaked almonds
cooking brandy
Scrub and trim the carrots and cut into small pieces. Cook until tender in as little water as possible (steaming would be best) then rub through a sieve (or blitz in a food processor). Measure the carrot puree, put into the preserving pan and to each pint add 1 lb sugar, zest and juice of 1 lemon. Heat gently until the sugar has melted then boil until setting point is reached. Roughly chop the almonds, add them to the jam with a tablespoon of brandy. Then bottle in hot, sterilized jars. Seal in the usual way.
Note: this jam will not keep without the brandy.

Here is a recipe for fruit cake, the original name being: 'Christmas Cake without Eggs', and possibly this or a slight variation could be used to make a fruit cake for any time of the year. Not quite sure what temperature 'a good oven' would be, so best to use the temperature for a rich fruit cake of this type - around 170C, 325F, gas 3, maybe even less.
Eggless Fruit Cake:
8 oz (225g) plain flour
8 oz (225g) ground rice
8 oz (225g) granulated sugar
8 oz (225g) currants or raisins
8 oz (225g) sultanas
4 oz (100g) mixed candied peel
12 oz (350g) butter or good margarine
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp almond essence
half pint (300ml) boiling milk
Mix the flour, ground rice, sugar dried fruits and peel together, then cream the butter and mix well. Put the bicarb into a tablespoon of cold milk, add the almond essence to the boiling milk, then gradually blend the milk into the cake mixture while it is still very hot. Beat everything well together, put into a fairly large tin (presumably greased and lined) and bake in a good oven for 4 hours.
This cake will keep for months and will improve.

This next recipe is for a very economical 'lemon curd'.
Mock Lemon Curd:
1 lemon
1 teacupful of water
1 teacupful of granulated sugar
1 egg, well beaten
1 teaspoon cornflour
1 small knob of butter or marg.
Grate the lemon zest into a saucepan and add the water, sugar and butter. Heat gently and when sugar has dissolved, simmer gently for a few minutes. Mix the cornflour with the juice from the lemon and stir this into the pan. Simmer for a few minutes and then remove from heat and then stir in the beaten egg. Do not reheat to boiling as this will cause the egg to curdle. "This is a nice change from jam".

We are all used to buying our sauces and chutneys from the supermarkets, but maybe worth considering making one or two from time to time. Try these for size:
Home-made Hot Sauce:
1 pint spiced 'pickling' vinegar
2 tblsp plain flour
3 tblsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tblsp black treacle
1 tblsp mustard powder
Mix all together and boil for 20 minutes, then put through a strainer. When cold, bottle and cork. This is very tasty.

This next chutney methinks could end up tasting a bit like Branston Pickle. Those of you who make goodies later in the year to include in 'Christmas Hampers' take note of the last sentence.
Indian Chutney:
3 lbs apples, peeled and quartered
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 pints malt vinegar
2 lbs Barbados sugar
1 lb raisins, chopped if large
8 oz (225g) crystallized ginger, chopped finely
1 tsp chilli powder
1 dessertspoon dry mustard
1 tsp salt
Boil the apples and onions to a pulp in the malt vinegar, the add the rest of the ingredients . Mix well together, and boil for a further half hour, stirring often. Pot into hot, sterilized jars and seal. A little of this chutney, added to stews and hashes before dishing up, is delicious. It also makes a welcome Christmas present if put into small fancy jars.

Any recipe that makes a cake without using eggs is worth knowing about, and the last for today might be able to be cooked in a tin using a slow cooker, or even in a bread machine (are you up for trying it Cheespare?).
Steamed (eggless) Chocolate Cake:
2 cupfuls plain flour
half tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tblsp sugar
1 1/2 tblsp cocoa
2 oz (50g) fat (butter, marg or lard)
2 tblsp golden syrup
milk or yogurt to mix
Sift together the flour, bicarb and cocoa and stir in the sugar. Rub in the fat and mix in the syrup and enough milk/yogurt to make a stiff batter.
Have ready a well greased cake tin, put in the mixture, cover top with greased paper, then place in a steamer and cook for 1 hour 15 minutes. Then remove and place in a warm oven for 10 minutes to dry off the top. Not to be cut until the following day.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Food For Our Future

With my belief that eating onions (and garlic) is a great preventer (and cure) of colds, today am giving a recipe for onions soup made the French way. Home made beef stock of course is preferable, otherwise use a stock cube and don't add more salt. The toasted cheese is optional, but a classic topping for this dish, so worth it.
French Onion Soup: serves 4 or more
2 oz (50g) beef dripping or butter
1 lb (450g) large onions, thickly sliced
1 oz (25g) brown sugar
1 oz (25g) plain flour
1 1/2 pints (900ml) beef stock (see above)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
brandy (opt)
French bread,
grated hard cheese (pref Gruyere)
Dijon mustard
Melt the fat in a large pan over low heat, then saute the onions until softened but not brown. Stir in the sugar, turn up the heat and cook until the onions are just beginning to caramelise, then stir in the flour, cook for 2 minutes before slowing adding the stock. Stir gently until beginning to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 - 30 minutes. Add seasoning to taste (pepper only if using a stock cube). If you wish, serve it at this stage, adding a dash of brandy before ladling out, and/or add the toasted cheese (see below).
toasted cheese: slice the bread and toast on one side only. Spread the mustard on the untoasted side and sprinkle cheese on top then brown under the grill until the cheese is bubbling, and then float a slice on each bowl of soup before serving.

Another onion 'dish' that appeals to me is crispy onion rings, mainly because this is a good way to use up the broken bits of savoury 'cheese' biscuits that collect at the bottom of the tin. Preferably the dry water biscuits/cream crackers. Alternatively use crushed cornflakes.
Called 'Irish-style' as the beer used is Guinness, but any sort of ale would do. Or use lemonade or soda water for those that prefer not to use alcohol. Think it is 'the bubbles' that help make the batter so crispy. The ale just adds extra flavour.
'Irish' Onion Rings:
7 oz (200g) cream cracker crumbs (or see above)
half tsp garlic powder
pinch cayenne pepper or black pepper
9 fl oz (225ml) Guinness (or see above)
1 egg
5 oz (150g) plain flour
2 large onions
oil for frying
Mix together the crumbs, garlic powder and pepper. Put the egg into a bowl, beat lightly then whisk in the flour and beer.
Slice the onions into quarter inch (6mm) rings, then dip first into the batter then into the crumbs. Fry in batches in pre-heated oil (360C) until golden (takes about 2 minutes). Drain on kitchen paper, and serve a.s.a.p.

Removing myself firmly from my onion basket, am ending today's recipe selection with yet another that uses porridge oats. An easy recipe to make, ending up as a type of flapjack. A chewy treacle 'biscuit' is just the sort of thing to munch during the cold winter days.
Oaties: makes 8
4 oz (100g) plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
half tsp salt
4 oz (100g) porridge oats
2 oz (50g) sugar
3 oz (75g) black treacle
4 oz (100g) margarine or butter
coarse oatmeal for sprinkling (opt)
Sieve together the flour, baking powder and salt then stir in the oats. In a small pan heat the sugar, treacle and marg/butter. When melted add to the dry ingredients and mix well. Tip into a greased 7" sandwich tin and mark into 8 wedges. Sprinkle with coarse oatmeal and bake at 180C, 350F, gas 4 for about 20 minutes. Cool in the tin, then turn out and cut through the markings to divide up into portions.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday Chat.

This recipe makes good use of peanut butter, and ‘Satay Sauce’ – can be used as a sauce for cubed pork or chicken when skewered and grilled or barbecued. It can also be used as a marinade prior to cooking, but any remaining sauce must be boiled (as it will then contain meat juices) if wishing to use it also as a pouring sauce.
Satay Sauce: serves 4
5 fl oz (150ml) coconut milk
5 tblsp peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp dark muscovado sugar
Blend together the coconut milk and the peanut butter, and then stir in the remaining ingredients. Heat gently, stirring all the time until smooth and very hot. Keep warm and serve to be spooned over the cooked meats.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Frugal Fare

Have discovered a few old recipes that are frugal enough to fit into my cost-cutting style of cooking, and worth eating today. Where possible have included 'the metrics' as these were not in use at the time of printing.

Here is an example, given mainly because of the oats used - seeing that oats seem to be the flavour of the month at the moment. The oats used in this recipe probably took longer to cook than the 'quick-cook' porridge oats of today, so if using the latter you may need a little less water and not need to cook them for so long. Play it by ear.
Oatmeal and Herb 'Sausages':
15 fl oz (425ml) salted water
half pint measure flaked oatmeal
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp mixed dried herbs
1 tblsp chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper
tomato ketchup (opt)
1 egg
Boil the water and stir in the oats. Simmer for half an hour, stirring frequently. Put the onion, herbs, parsley in a bowl, adding seasoning to taste and a little ketchup if wishes, then pour the oatmeal mixture over, adding the egg and enough breadcrumbs to make a stiff dough. Flour your hands and form the mixture into sausage shapes (aka 'rissoles'). Dip into flour, egg and then breadcrumbs, then fry to a golden brown. Serve with a hot sauce.

In the same book is a recipe for making self-raising flour. Most of us keep both plain flour and self-raising as well as the raising agents, but is it really necessary to make our own? Maybe not - when the price is the same - but sometimes we cooks can run short of the S.R. so worth keeping this recipe to hand. Just in case. Obviously we don't have to make this in such large amounts as the recipe suggests, just adjust the proportions accordingly.
"special flour for making Cakes, Scones, etc...:
4 lbs plain flour
2 oz cream of tartar
1 oz bicarbonate of soda
Sieve all together, this makes an excellent self-raising flour, easy to prepare at home. "

One more recipe from the book, this for cheese biscuits. Reading the ingredients it is not a million miles away from a recipe for short-crust pastry, so this mixture could have a dual purpose. Either use for biscuits or to as a pastry case for a savoury flan, or pie topping. If using as pastry, may need to be rolled slightly thicker and will therefore take longer to cook.
Cheese Biscuits:
6 oz (175g) plain flour
4 oz (100g) butter
2 oz (50g) finely grated cheese
salt and pepper to taste
milk or water for mixing
Rub the fat into the flour, add the cheese and seasoning to taste. Mix to a stiff paste with a little milk or water and roll out to about 1/8" thickness. Cut into rounds about the size of a top of a tumbler, prick with a fork to prevent rising and bake in a hot oven (200C, 400F, gas 6) for 7 - 10 minutes. The biscuits should be light golden brown when done.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Slow, slow, quick quick, slow...

Am 'feeling my oats' at the moment. Must be the cold temperature - it always speeds up my metabolism. So you can guess how thrilled I was when I discovered a small recipe book published by 'Quaker Oats' in pre-decimal days. So expect to see a few more oaty recipes over the next week or so. To finish today am giving one for oat pastry - the booklet uses this several times, especially good when making flans/quiches.

Oat Pastry:
6 oz (175g) plain flour
pinch salt
2 oz (50g) porridge oats
2 oz (50g) margarine
2 oz (50g) lard
cold water to mix (approx 2 tblsp)
Sift flour and salt into a bowl and add the oats. Rub in the fats and mix to a stiff dough with cold water. Use as required.
When used for a flan, roll out the pastry, line the tin and bake blind at 200C, 400F, gas 6 for about 20 minutes.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Wanderer Returns

Carrots keep so well during the winter months and as they are nutritionally good for us, feel we should use them far more often. Think that most savoury dishes I make contain carrots as they give a sweetness to the dish which is very pleasing. This makes them good to use in dessert dishes as well.

This first recipe makes vegetarian rissoles. The mixture can also be 'squeezed' round skewers to cook like kebabs. If the carrots are small, double up the amount. Use different herbs/spices if you wish.
Carrot and Apricot Rissoles: serves 4
8 carrots, sliced
2 slices stale bread, crumbed
4 spring onions (or 1 shallot) finely sliced
5 oz (150g) dried apricots, finely chopped
3 tblsp pine nuts (or chopped almonds)
1 egg
1 tsp chilli powder (or 1 fresh chilli seeded and chopped)
handful each fresh dill and basil, finely chopped
salt and pepper
sunflower oil
Steam or boil the carrots for about 25 minutes, or until they are very soft, the drain well and mash whilst they are still warm. Add the breadcrumbs, onions, apricots, nuts and mix well. Stir in the egg, chilli and herbs adding seasoning to taste.
Place a small heap of flour on a shallow plate, then take a lump of mixture (plum-sized) in your fingers and form into a sausage shape. Coat this in the flour and put on one side whilst forming more rissoles from the remaining mixture. It should make about a dozen.
Put some sunflower oil in a frying pan (enough for shallow frying), then when hot, fry the rissoles for 8 - 10 minutes - shaking the pan occasionally so they roll round and all sides are cooked. When golden, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Eat hot with cool yogurt 'Raita'. Eat with crispy salad and crusty bread for a lunch or supper dish, or served on skewers as a nibble to go with drinks.

This next is very much a dish made according to what you have (within reason of course). Use it as a guide, not feel you need to stick to it.
If the egg is large (and the pan is small) you may find you can cook two (or even three) 'pancakes' from the one egg. If so, slide the first onto a plate when cooked, then slide the next on top to make a stack before rolling then up together.
Carrot and Cabbage Soup with Egg: serves 4
1 egg
1 tblsp sunflower oil
1 1/2 pints (900ml) vegetable stock
2 large carrots, finely diced
4 outer leaves Savoy cabbage, finely shredded
2 tblsp soy sauce
half teaspoon sugar
half teaspoon ground black pepper
fresh coriander leaves for garnish (opt)
Beat the egg in a bowl. Heat the oil in a small frying pan until hot (but not smoking). Pour egg into pan to just cover base and cook until the top is set and the underside golden. Slide onto a plate (see above), then roll up tightly and slice into quarter inch (5mm) rounds and set aside for garnish.
Put the stock into a pan with the carrots and the cabbage. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, then stir in the soy sauce, sugar and pepper. Stir well, then pour into individual warm bowls, topping with the egg circles (leave them round or shake out into 'noodles' - whichever you prefer) and garnish with coriander leaves.

Now a recipe for oat-lovers. This is one easy enough for children to make (so B might even be able to manage it). As ever, different nuts can be substituted, and a little grated orange zest would give extra flavour.
Choc Chip Oat Cookies: makes approx 20
4 oz (110g) butter
4 oz (110g) soft dark brown sugar
2 eggs beaten
3 - 4 tblsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 oz (150g) plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
4 oz (110g) porridge oats
5 oz (150g) chocolate chips
4 oz (110g) pecan or walnuts, chopped
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, milk and vanilla until well combined. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together, then fold this into the creamed mixture. When fully mixed, stir in the oats, chop chips and nuts. Chill in the fridge for at least one hour.
To cook: using 2 teaspoons, dollop mounds of the mixture - placing well apart - on greased baking trays, then flatten each with a spoon or fork. Bake at 180C, 350F, gas 4 for 10 - 12 minutes until the edges of the cookies are beginning to colour. Then remove and cool on wire racks. If making larger cookies, increase the cooking time slightly.

Final recipe today is one developed for an automatic bread-making machine. A traditional Welsh Tea Bread called Bara Brith in England (or Gorsaf Fywydd Llansadwrn if you feel up to pronouncing it in Welsh).
Bara Brith:
7oz (200g) strong white bread flour
5 oz (150g) stoneground wholemeal flour
3 tsp dried semi-skimmed milk powder
2 tblsp (40g) dark brown muscavado sugar
1 tsp mixed spice
half tsp ground cinnamon
half tsp freshly ground nutmeg
7 oz (200g) mixed dried fruit incl peel
5 fl oz (150ml) slightly warm water
half tsp sugar
half tsp ascorbic acid (Vit C)
2 tsp dried active yeast (Allison)
1 tblsp (to overflowing) olive oil
1 medium egg
Activate the yeast by whisking with the warm water, sugar and Vit C for 30 seconds, then for a few seconds every minute for 2 - 3 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together the flours, milk powder, sugar, spices and fruit.
Pour the yeast mixture into the bread machine, add the egg and the generous tablespoon of oil. Then cover with the flour/fruit mixture. Set the bread machine to a basic large loaf setting with a cycle time of 2.50 hours.
Start machine and check consistency after about 10 minutes of mixing. If too wet add a little more flour. If too dry (flour remains at base) add a little more water (the most likely cause of failure is the mixture being too wet, so give it time to mix thoroughly before adding more flour).
When cooked, turn out onto a cake airer and leave to cool. When cold wrap in foil and leave to mature for a couple of days before slicing.
To serve, slice thinly and spread with Welsh butter.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cook's Year

No apologies for giving another recipe using porridge oats - because they are both healthy and CHEAP. In all honesty it should be 'oatmeal' as used in Scotland, but the porridge oats work well enough. This is a somewhat similar to the Irish Soda Bread and is one way to put bread on the table when we have run out of supermarket sliced or even yeast when home-baking. This eats well with soup when the bread is still crusty and slightly warm. With of course - butter! Use a mug or large 'breakfast' teacup as a measure and you won't even need scales for weighing out.
Oatmeal Bap:
1 measure oatmeal (or porridge oats)
1 measure plain flour
1 measure sour milk or buttermilk or diluted yogurt
1 rounded teaspoon salt
1 rounded teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Soak the oatmeal in the milk overnight. Sift the flour, salt and bicarb together and stir into the soaked oats, adding more flour if necessary, as the dough needs to be fairly stiff.
Knead, then roll out to a round about 2" thick. Place on a floured tray, mark into wedges and bake at 180C, 350F, gas 4 for 20 minutes (or longer) until cooked through and lightly browned.

Next Best thing to Haggis: serves 5
8 oz (225g) ox liver
1 teacup of water
4 oz (100g) shredded suet
4 oz (100g) pinhead oatmeal
1 onion (approx 5 oz/150g)
salt and pepper
Put liver in a small saucepan with the onion and water, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile toast the oatmeal in the oven (or under grill or in dry pan) until light brown.
Mince the cooked liver with the onion and make the cooking liquid back up to a cup with cold water, then add this with the toasted oats and plenty of seasoning to the liver and onions. Turn into a greased pudding basin, cover and steam for 2 hours.
Traditionally, this is served with mashed potatoes and swedes.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Back in Harness

First two recipes today contain those ever useful, incredibly cheap, cholesterol lowering porridge oats. Although other ingredients are not necessarily 'cheap', they are probably also on our larder shelves - and can be substituted with similar ingredients if not (another fruit juice or even water instead of orange, different dried fruits etc...)

Fruity Flapjacks:
8 oz (225g) porridge oats
3 tblsp honey
2 oz (50g) margarine
5 tblsp orange juice
2 0z (50g) sultanas
2 oz (50g) dried apric0ts, chopped
Melt the margarine and honey together in a pan, then stir in the rest of the ingredients. Make sure the honey and fruit juice cover the oats.
Tip the mixture into an 8" (20cm) square greased ovenproof dish and press well down, flattening the surface. Bake at 180C, 350F, gas 4 for 15 - 20 minutes until golden. Mark into squares or fingers, but leave to cool in the dish for 15 minutes before removing.

Oat Scones: makes 12 scones
4 oz (100g) wholewheat flour
2 oz (50g) plain (white) flour
3 oz (75g) brown sugar
1 rounded tsp baking powder
half teaspoon cinnamon (or other chosen spice)
2 oz (50g) margarine
4 oz (100g) porridge oats
3 oz (75g) raisins (or other dried fruits)
2 egg whites
3 tblsp milk (pref semi- or skimmed)
Sift together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon, then stir in the sugar. Rub in the margarine until like coarse crumbs, then add the remaining ingredients and mix together to make a dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll (or pat) gently into an 8" (20cm) diameter circle. Slice into 12 wedges and place on an ungreased baking sheet, brushing the surface lightly with milk. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes at 200C, 400F, gas 6.
If you wish, dust the tops with a little sugar and cinnamon before baking.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Times They Are 'a Changing

Two economical recipes today, both made with similar ingredients, one a savoury pudding, the other savoury 'pasties'. The pudding is more 'nourishing' in that it contains more protein (eggs and milk) so a substantial meal in its own right, but this doesn't mean the pasties aren't worth the effort as these can be eaten both hot or cold and make good picnic fare or taken (with a salad) as a packed lunch. These are the type of recipes where we can include other ingredients if we wish (as long as common sense prevails).

Cheese and Onion Pudding:
1 oz (25g) butter
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 pint milk
4 oz (100g) white breadcrumbs
4 oz (100g) Cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper
3 eggs, lightly beaten
Melt the butter in a pan over low heat, and fry the onions for several minutes until just turning golden. Stir in the milk and bring to just boiling. Remove from heat and stir in the breadcrumbs, cheese, seasoning to taste, and the beaten eggs. Spoon out into a greased pie dish and bake at 190C, 375F, gas 5 for half an hour or until golden and well risen. Serve immediately with green veggies or salad.

Cheese and Onion Pasties:
12 oz (350g) short-crust pastry
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 small onion, grated
4 oz (100g) Cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper
pinch of dried sage or mixed herbs (opt)
Roll the pastry on a floured surface large enough to cut four saucer or tea-plate shaped circles. Mix the remaining ingredients together and divide into four. Place a portion in the centre of each pastry circle, dampen the edges, then either fold over to make a half moon, or pick up sides of pastry and draw together over the top, pinching edges firmly together to seal.
Place on a greased baking sheet and bake at 200C, 400F, gas 6 for half an hour. Serve hot or cold.

Final recipe today uses chicken livers. These really are one of the most economical 'meats' we can buy, and usually cheaper from the supermarket than the local butcher. Shortfalls in weight can always be made up using more of the less costly ingredients
Chicken Liver Risotto:
3 oz (75g) butter
1 tblsp sunflower oil
4 oz (100g) long-grain rice
6 oz (175g) chicken livers (more or less)
6 oz (175g) closed cap mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tblsp tomato puree
15 fl oz (450ml) hot chicken stock
grated Parmesan cheese
Melt 2 oz (50g) of the butter in a pan with the oil, then stir in the rice and stir-cook until the rice becomes transparent.
In a separate pan melt the remaining butter and add the mushrooms and livers and toss until the livers have firmed up. Remove from heat and - using scissors - cut the livers into bite-sized pieces. Stir back into the mushrooms, then add the contents of the pan into the rice.
Dissolve the tomato puree in the hot stock, pour over the rice and bring to the boil. Give it on stir, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until the rice is tender and all liquid has been absorbed. Fluff up the rice/mushrooms/livers with a fork, pile into a heated dish and serve immediately, with a side dish of Parmesan to be sprinkled over each portion.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Must find something to be Glad about!

Making a small amount of meat go further is just a matter of adding other ingredients to it. Here is a simple example: a beef (or lamb, ham, chicken, turkey...) burger. The recipe given today uses minced (raw) turkey, but other meats (and other additives to go with) can be substituted. Minced cooked meat could also be used. This will cut down the cooking time, but always make sure the burger is thoroughly heated through. thin burgers cook faster than thicker ones. It is not necessary to use the amount of meat in the recipe, use less and more of the remaining ingredients. This is another recipe that uses porridge oats. As well as helping to lower cholesterol, oats are quite high in protein and also soak up/take on the flavour of the meat used.
Most of the ingredients are prepared by mincing, grating or chopping, but there is no reason why the lot should not be put into a food processor and pulsed for a few seconds to give a finer texture (but not long enough to make it ultra-smooth).

Any Which Way Burgers: makes 8 - 10
2 tblsp sunflower oil
1 onion, grated or finely chopped
3 oz (75g) porridge oats
approx 1 lb (450g) minced turkey
3 oz (75g) no-soak apricots, finely chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper to taste
Fry the onion in the oil for 5 minutes until softened, then transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool, leaving the remaining oil/onion juices in the pan. When the onions are cold, add the remaining ingredients, and - using clean hands - mix together until well combined. Shape into 8 - 10 burgers. Heat the reserved oil in the frying pan and fry the burger for 10 minutes if using raw meat, or 6 minutes if using cooked meat, turning once. Always make sure the burgers are thoroughly cooked through before serving.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Measure Twice, Cut Once...

The first thrifty recipe today is a version of our traditional 'Fidget Pie'. The bacon used is normally the chunkier sort, sometimes collar bacon - diced, but suggest that those cheapo packs of bacon pieces or offcuts would work really well with this recipe. Remove the fat from these packs and render it down so that you can collect bacon fat - this really does give a lot more flavour when frying than the bog-standard lard or oil.
The pastry is basically 'short-crust', and as this is a savoury pie, best made with lard (cheaper than butter anyway).
Fidget Pie:
8oz (225g) plain flour
pinch of salt
4 oz (100g) lard, diced
2 - 3 tblsp cold water
1 large potato, peeled and chopped
8 oz (225g) streaky bacon (see above) diced
1 large cooking apple, peeled and chopped
salt and pepper
5 fl oz (150ml) water
milk to glaze
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and run in the lard until like breadcrumbs. Add enough cold water to make a stiff dough, then turn out onto a floured board and knead lightly until smooth. Wrap and chill in the fridge for half an hour.
Meanwhile, grease a 1.75 pt (1 ltr) pie dish and put in the prepared potato, onion. Season lightly, then top this with a mixture of bacon and apple, adding a little more seasoning. Pour in the water.
Roll out the pastry - fairly thickly - to fit the top of the pie dish, leaving enough pastry left to first roll out into a strip to fit round the edges of the dish. Dampen this strip with water, put around the edges, dampen the top and lay the pastry lid over, pressing well down to seal. Cut a few slashes in the top to allow steam to evaporate out. Brush the pastry with milk and bake at 200C, 400F, gas 4 for half an hour or until the pastry is golden, then reduce temperature down to 160C, 325F, gas 3 and bake for a further hour, tenting the pastry with foil (if necessary) to prevent it browning too much. Serve hot with a green vegetable.

This next recipe is for another pastry - this time using porridge oats - and so makes a good covering for a fish pie or fish 'pasty'.
Oat Pastry:
8 oz (225g) plain flour
4 oz (100g) porridge oats
pinch of salt
6 oz (175g) margarine
4 - 5 tblsp cold water
1 egg, beaten (or use milk) for glazing
few oats for sprinkling over pastry
Sift the flour with the salt and stir in the oats. Rub in the margarine until like breadcrumbs and bind with water to a firm consistency. Roll out and use as required, brushing with egg or milk, sprinkling over a few oats and bake at 200C etc. for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 150C and continue baking for a further half hour (timing depends upon what is in the pie, tent with foil if getting too brown).

Most pancake recipes are fairly standard. The one given today is extra economical as it uss less egg and a mixture of water and milk instead of all milk. Add an extra egg if you prefer a richer pancake - but as these are often used as a 'wrapping' to a nourishing filling, there is no need to gild the lily even further. Remember that pancakes - when interleaved - will freeze perfectly and thaw out almost immediately.
Pauper's Pancakes: makes 8
4 oz (100g) plain flour
1 egg
5 fl oz (150ml) milk
5 fl oz (150ml) water
1 tblsp sunflower oil
Put all ingredients into a bowl and whisk until smooth. Wipe a non-stick or heavy frying pan with a butter paper (or a little oil) and bring up to heat. Pour about 2 tblsp of the batter into the pan and swirl around to coat the base evenly. Cook until the top is set then flip the pancake over and cook the reverse side until golden. Slide the pancake onto parchment paper (if intending to layer and freeze) or onto a warm plate and keep hot. Re-grease the pan again and repeat until all the batter has been used up.
Tip: the first pancakes are less likely to stick if a DRY frying pan has been thoroughly heated before adding the oil and batter. Mixing the oil in the batter also helps to prevent sticking.

Monday, January 03, 2011

The Saving Starts Here!

Over the next few days (maybe even weeks) will attempt to give recipes that ARE both economical and easy to make. We start with a satisfying soup, perfect for these cold days. It is also one of the traditional Scottish broths, and good enough to have stood the test of time. As with most root vegetables, and the allium family, extra onion (or shallot) can take the place of leeks, swede instead of turnips, add potato if you wish. Instead of the oatmeal, use pearl barley (but oats are cheaper which is why this recipe is being given).
All recipes make enough for four good servings. Even enough for six smaller appetites.

Scottish Oaty Soup:
small knob of butter
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 small turnip, peeled and chopped
1 leek, white and pale green part only, chopped
1 oz (25g) medium oatmeal or porridge oats
1 pints stock (chicken or vegetable)
salt and pepper
half a pint (300ml) milk
Melt the butter in a saucepan and gently fry the onions for a few minutes until softened, then add the other vegetables, cover the pan and saute these also for a few minutes. Stir in the oats and continue cooking over moderate heat for 3 -4 minutes, then add the stick, stir well and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover pan and simmer for 30 - 40 minutes or until the vegetables are very tender. Season to taste.
Heat the milk separately until almost boiling, then stir this into the soup, adjusting seasoning if necessary, then serve immediately.

This next dish again uses 'store-cupboard' ingredients. If you have no crisps, use roughly crushed cornflakes instead. If you have no cornflakes, then use breadcrumbs mixed with a little butter and grated cheese. If you have no breadcrumbs....use your imagination!
Cost-cutting Corned Tuna: serves 4
1 oz (25g) butter
1 oz (25g) flour
half pint (300ml) milk
2 oz (50g) hard cheese, grated
salt and pepper
1 x 7oz (200g) tuna
12 oz (350g) sweetcorn kernels (canned or frozen)
1 x 30g (or thereabouts) pack of salted potato crisps
Melt the butter in a pan and stir in the flour. Cook for one minute then slowly add the milk and bring to the boil, stirring continuously. Simmer for a couple of minutes before adding the cheese and seasoning to taste. Flake the tuna and add to the sauce with the liquid from the tuna can, then fold in the sweetcorn (drained if canned).
Spoon into a greased ovenproof dish and sprinkle crumbled potato crisps on top. Bake at 180C, 350F, gas 4 for about 20 minutes until the top is brown and crispy. Good served with a green salad and tomato wedges.

Final recipe today uses peanut butter and this - together with other store-cupboard ingredients - makes a lovely sauce that can be used with any pasta of your choosing. Ideally to be eaten with meatballs, sausages, beefburgers etc., but equally good eaten just as-is for a light lunch or supper dish.

Barbecue flavour Pasta:
2 tblsp sunflower oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 - 2 tblsp curry powder (or mild curry paste)
3 tblsp peanut butter
2 tsp tomato puree
strips of lemon peel (opt)
half pint (300ml) chicken stock
salt and pepper
8 oz (225g) spaghetti or pasta of your choice
Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onion until just turning golden, then stir in the curry powder/paste and cook for a few seconds more. Stir in the peanut butter, tomato puree, lemon rind (if using) stock, and seasoning to taste, then bring to the boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lemon rind.
While the above is simmering, using another pan, cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain well, then add the pasta to the cooked sauce, mixing/tossing well until fully coated. Serve hot, alone or with above suggestions (or what you will).

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Never Put Off Until Tomorrow...

Peanut Biscuits: makes 24
8 oz (225g) plain flour
4 oz (1o0g) peanuts (salted or unsalted)
half tsp baking powder
3 oz (75g) lard
2 eggs, beaten
6 tblsp water
Finely chop or grind the peanuts, then mix these with the flour and baking powder. Rub in the lard, and mix in most of the egg with the water to make a dough (reserving a little of the egg to brush on the biscuits).
On a lightly floured board, roll out the dough to 1/4" (5mm) thick then cut into rounds or triangles and place on greased baking trays, brushing tops of biscuits with the reserved egg. Bake at 200C, 400F, gas 6 for 20 minutes or until golden. Cool and serve with butter and/or cheese.

This next recipe is so-called due to the use of 'bits and bobs' from the larder. This time a fruit cake using the larger dried fruits: dates, apricots, prunes, rather than only sultanas, raisins and currants, although any or all can be used together as long as the combined weight stays the same as the total of fruit in the recipe. Despite this cake not keeping as long as the richer, traditional recipes, it still keeps well for up to 2 months.
Pennywise Fruit Cake:
8 oz (225g) dried prunes, stoned and chopped
4 oz (100g) no-soak apricots, chopped
4 oz (100g) sultanas
2 oz (50g) dates, chopped
2 oz (50g) chopped candied peel
2 oz (50g) chopped glace cherries
half pint (300ml) cold tea
4 oz (100g) soft brown sugar
10 oz (275g) self-raising flour
2 oz (50g) ground rice (or semolina)
1 tsp mixed spice
4 oz (100g) butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
Put the all dried fruits, peel, and cherries into a bowl with the tea. Cover and leave overnight to soak and swell. Sift the flour and spice together then stir in the sugar and ground rice. Add the soaked fruits and liquid, then the butter and eggs and fold together until well mixed.
Spoon mixture into a greased and double-lined 8" (20cm) square cake tin (or use a 9"/23cm round tin), levelling the surface, then bake at 180C, 350F, gas 4 for 1 hour, then reduce heat to 300C, 150F, gas 2 and cook for a further 2 hours. Leave to cool in the tin, then remove and wrap cake in foil. Store in a cool, dry place. Eat within 2 months.