Friday 28 June 2013

Getting a soaking

Jackie’s Tea loaf
I’ve often been asked if Grandma has a cake recipe where you soaked dried fruit overnight. Yes - Grandma regularly soaked raisins, sultanas and currants overnight to make sure they were plump.
View over Loch Linnhe
Here’s a recipe from Jackie at the Huntingtower Lodge near Fort William in Scotland. Jackie serves her Tea Loaf to her guests as they arrive at her wonderful boutique B&B. Jackie and Chris are so welcoming and our room was absolutely stunning with amazing views over Loch Linnhe.
Jackie’s Tea Loaf
1lb/450g mixed dried fruit
7 oz/200g soft brown sugar 
(N.B. I used 4oz/110g sugar for a reduced sugar content)
½ pint/10 fl oz/275-300 ml cold tea
1 egg beaten
9 oz self raising flour

Put the dried fruit, sugar and tea in a bowl and leave for 3 hours or until the tea is absorbed. (I left it overnight and it worked well). Beat in the egg and the flour. Pour into a 2lb/1 kg loaf tin. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C (Fan 160C)/Mark 3/350F for an hour to an hour and a half. (I found 1 hour was enough.) Allow to cool on a wire rack.

I’m pleased to say that it didn’t rain when we visited Scotland this time so we didn’t get a soaking! Many thanks to Jackie for sharing a fabulous recipe. 
 Enjoy Jackie's Tea Loaf! Would you like a slice?

Friday 14 June 2013

A very versatile Orange cake

Grandma said that her Orange Cake recipe was a “very good cake”. It's a great cake for summer so it’s Recipe of the Month at  Tim & Jane's Tasty Flavours stall.
Orange Cake
5 oz (175g) butter
5 oz (175g) caster sugar
3 eggs
5 oz (175g) self raising flour (sieved)
Grated zest of 1 orange
Strained juice of ½ orange 
Preheat the oven to 180°C, Mark 4, 350F. Line the base of a 20 cms /8 inch cake tin with non-stick baking paper. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Beat the eggs and add a little at a time, adding a dessertspoonful of flour with each egg. Fold in the remaining flour, orange zest and orange juice. Put the mixture in the cake tin and bake for about 25 minutes until it starts to shrink from the sides and a cake skewer inserted into the centre comes away clean. Place on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn the cake out onto the rack and leave until cool. 
Decorate with Orange slices, Icing sugar & Orange zest, Butterscotch pieces, Orange Butter Cream or Candid peel. 
Grandma often decorated it Orange Butter cream filling  just like I did with the Olympics Orange Cake for my Gamesmaker team mates in 2012.
Use soft brown sugar instead of white caster sugar to make an Orange & Butterscotch Cake as I did for the Jubilee celebrations. 
I hope you enjoy this versatile cake. Do you think it could be one of my 5 a day? 👍

Friday 7 June 2013

A Perfect start to Father’s Day

Delicious Wheaten Bread 
Still thinking what to do for Dad on Fathers Day? Here’s a recipe from a neighbour to get his day off to a great start. The family has routes in Northern Ireland and this recipe is a firm family favourite with every generation including the youngest members. It’s a delicious Wheaten Bread made with Soda bread flour and wholemeal flour and has a moist, nutty texture. This recipe makes 2 small loaves.
Wheaten Bread
12 oz/340g coarse wholemeal flour
8 oz/225g soda bread flour (or use strong plain flour with 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda)
4 oz/110g caster sugar
2 tsps salt
3 fl oz/75ml olive oil or 3 oz/75g soft margarine (or a mixture)
1 egg
1 pint/20fl oz/575ml buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 180C (160C Fan), Mark 4, 350F. Mix all the dry ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients and mix well together. Divide the mixture between 2 greased tins (or line with loaf tin liners/greaseproof paper). Bake for 35-45 minutes.
Mix well
 Healthy start to a perfect Father's day
It’s delicious served with butter or toasted for breakfast.  You can add seeds, nuts or dried fruit. I tried it with dried apricots. Indulge Dad with this healthy treat – he might even start making it himself! Tell us  if you have a regional recipe to share …