Cake and Flowers


Sunday, 24 January 2016

Not for the first time I bring you cake and flowers. Daffodils and coconut buns. 

Coconut buns are a variation on old fashioned rock buns and dead easy to make. The recipe comes from my 1960 edition of The Good Housekeeping Cookery Compendium which I wrote about here.

Coconut Buns

Makes 16-18

Rub together 12 oz self-raising flour and 6 oz butter.
Add a pinch of salt if you have used unsalted butter.
Stir in 6 oz sugar and 4 oz desiccated coconut.
Add one beaten egg and enough milk to make a stiff dough.
Put rocky lumps of dough on a greased or lined baking sheet. Don't put them too close together.
Optional -for the cherry on the cake add a cherry to each cake!

Bake for 12-15mins in a very hot oven -the recipe said 450ºF which is 230ºC , this was a bit too hot I thought, I suggest 220ºC (200º fan) and keep an eye on them.

Best eaten fresh and if your blog is six years old today you are allowed to eat six coconut buns.

The Great British Year


Wednesday, 20 January 2016

It's cold. This morning there is hoar frost covering every surface. It takes me twice as long to walk to the shop because I keep stopping photograph it all. Now I am wrapped in a shawl with a warm laptop on my knees. Tom has brought me a double choc chip cookie back from work (Subway) and it's not half bad. There is coconut and sweet potato soup on the stove for lunch and a bright bunch of Cornish daffodils in a Cornishware jug on my windowsill and I think I like this time of year best of all.

But, wait, what about when it begins to get warmer, that day when the sun feels warm on your face after weeks of damp and cold, when the air is soft and scented with the first spring flowers? Surely that's the best time of the year? Or is it some weeks later when everything is suddenly the greenest it has ever been and you can practically hear it growing, and the woods are filled with bluebells. Or the long days of summer when all the windows are open and the kitchen is full of scarlet berries being turned into jam. Or late summer when the holidays are over and there are new beginnings, a welcome return to routine and the blackberries are ready to be picked for a crumble. Or is it later still when the apples and quinces are ready, pumpkins and squashes appear and the days shorten and chill. Or when fires are lit and you stir the pudding and catch a glimpse of sparkle just around the corner?

What I love about our wonderful, varied, ever-changing year is everything.

Cake of the Month ~ Christmas Clear-out Cake


Sunday, 3 January 2016

No, I don't feel like eating cake either. I'm all about light and healthy at the moment as I suspect you are. But the absence of a Christmas cake did not go unnoticed and I promised to knock up an every day fruit cake to make up for it.

Whilst assembling ingredients I found various little bits of this and little bits of that leftover from making florentines and other Christmas treats. Half a bar of chocolate, a few chunks of crystallised ginger, a handful of walnuts, the sticky remains of glacé cherries and candied peel and a spoonful of mincemeat. These I chopped up and weighed adding dried cranberries, dried apricots, raisins and sultanas to make up the 1½ lbs of mixed dried fruit.

I also added a teaspoon of ground ginger and used plain wholemeal flour plus 2 teaspoons of baking powder in place of the self-raising flour.

I am told it is a good cake but I still don't feel like eating any just yet.

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