16oz digestive biscuits crushed
4oz sultanas
8oz butter
6 tablespoons syrup
2oz drinking chocolate
12oz (300g bar) cooking chocolate milk

1. Line swiss roll tin with cling film.
2. Melt butter and syrup in a pan then turn off heat.
3. Add sultanas, drinking choc and biscuits and mix well.
4. Place in swiss roll tin and spread evenly.
5. Melt chocolate and pour over spreading evenly. Leave to set and cut into squares.


500 g fresh raspberries
Half pint of fresh cream
1 tsp of thick honey
1 generous tbsp of whisky
1 heaped tbsp of toasted oatmeal

Whisk the cream together with the honey and whisky. Fold in the toasted oatmeal. Pile on top of fresh raspberries and serve with shortbread biscuits.

Lemon Curd and Blueberry Loaf Cake

175g (6oz) softened butter
100g (4oz) greek yoghurt
2 tablespoons (30ml) lemon curd
3 eggs
200g (8oz) self-raising flour
85g (3oz) golden caster sugar or soft brown sugar
85g (3oz) blueberries

Preheat oven to 160c/325F/gas mark 3
Grease a 2lb loaf tin and line with baking parchment
Put all ingredients apart from blueberries into a large mixing bowl.
Mix with an electric whisk until batter just comes together.
Scrape half into loaf tin and sprinkle half blueberries into the tin.
Add rest of batter and scatter remaining blueberries on top.
Bake for approx 1 hour and 10 minutes until golden. Test with a skewer into the centre which should come out clean.
Cool in tin then remove onto a plate

Lemon icing (if desired)
140g (5oz) icing sugar
Juice of a lemon
Sift icing sugar into a bowl and add enough lemon juice to make a thick smooth icing.
Spread over cake

Lemon and Apricot Cake

175g butter (softened)
175g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
175g caster sugar
3 medium eggs
finely grated rind of one lemon
175g dried apricots, chopped
75g ground almonds
40g chopped pistachios
50g flaked almonds
15g whole pistachios

squeezed juice of one lemon
5 tbsp caster sugar

Preheat oven 180C
Grease 900g loaf tin, line base and sides with wax paper, grease paper Place butter, flour, BP, sugar, eggs, lemon rind in a bowl, mix until smooth and glossy Stir in apricots, ground almonds, chopped pistachios Spoon mixture into tin, smooth the surface with a spatula Sprinkle flaked almond and whole pistachios Bake in centre of oven 75 minutes; check after 45 minutes, and cover with tin foil Leave cake to cool in the tin

Make syrup by heating lemon juice and sugar on small saucepan. Spoon syrup over cake (while cake is still warm).
Remove from tin when cake is completely cool.

(From 30 Classic Cakes: Traditional Treats for Family and Friends)

Spiced Pumpkin & Coconut Casserole

500g shallots
1.5kg pumpkin or squash
Large fennel bulb
3tbsp olive oil
3 red pepper
6 garlic cloves
2tbsp Cajun seasoning
Vegetable stock cube
400ml tin of coconut milk
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
100ml single cream

Peel the shallots by blanching them in boiling water for a couple of minutes, drain and rinse in cold water. Peel away the skins, leaving the onions whole.

Seed, peel, and dice the pumpkin into 2-3cm chunks.

Peel the fennel and chop into chunks of a similar size as the pumpkin.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a flame proof casserole. Add the peeled shallots and fennel. Fry for 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mix starts to colour. Set them aside on a plate.

De-seeded and roughly chop the red peppers, and add to the casserole. Add another tablespoon of oil at this point. Fry gently for ten minutes, stirring frequently, etc. Return the shallots and fennel, add garlic, the pumpkin, some chopped thyme, plus a good couple of tablespoons of Cajun seasoning (either a pre-mix, or e.g. equal portions of oregano, paprika, cayenne, and black pepper). Add a vegetable stock cube with 150ml water, coconut milk, and chopped tomatoes. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer slowly for 45 minutes.
Stir occasionally.

When cooked, add 100ml single cream and leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Pineapple Xmas Cake

1.5kg mixed fruit (e.g. 700g sultanas, 500g raisins, 250g currants, 50g mixed peel) 450g crushed pineapple 3C flour 1t cinnamon 1t mixed spice 1/2t ground cloves 225g butter 1C sugar 1/2t vanilla essence 1/2t almond essence 1/2t lemon essence
6 large eggs
approx. 1 extra cup flour

Topping: 50g glace cherries, 50g blanched almonds

Soak fruit in pineapple for 2-3 days
Line 23cm cake tin
Cream butter and sugar
Add eggs, one at a time, incorporating 2T flour with each etc.

Bake at 150C for 1 1/2 hours, then reduce to 130C for 2 hours.


75g butter
215 ml cold water
95g plain flour, sifted
3 large eggs, beaten
75g finely grated Gruyère cheese

Preheat the oven to 200C. Put the butter and water in a pan and leave on a low heat until the butter has melted. Meanwhile, sift together the flour and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. When the butter has melted, turn up the heat, bring the mixture to the boil and add the flour. Beat vigorously until the mixture is smooth and leaves the sides of the pan, then leave to cool slightly before gradually beating in the eggs to make a smooth, glossy choux paste. Beat in 3/4 of the cheese.

Drop heaped teaspoons of the mixture, about 3-4cm apart, onto a large, well-greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes until puffed up, crisp and golden. Serve warm.

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