Tuesday, April 21

Over the moon.

Bev is now out and about with Mabel and Olwyn. Here they are earlier today on the kitchen doorstep waiting for their 10 o'clocks. They are currently partial to red grapes.

After a baking session I saved all the left over pastry bits and served it for tea - they loved it.

It is lovely to capture the hens in their daily activities. Mabel does enjoy looking at the flowers - no she doesn't eat them.

A couple of days ago Bev made her way to the henhouse and laid an egg - a good indication she is well and truly over her ordeal.

The eggs from Bev are out of this world!

Over the moon indeed. ABC Wednesday.

Sunday, April 12

Money and something new!

I have been so busy organising and baking for our village hall events of late, hence my lack of blogging.

The coffee mornings are now doing very well. At the last one we introduced a soup for the lunchtime and it was a great success - it sold out. Numbers so far :-

  258.35         Coffee morning 1
  223.41         Baking Stall at Village Market
  359.41         Coffee Morning 2

The Biker's initiative is a new idea. 3 times a year the Oliver's Mount Racing Circuit in Scarborough holds racing weekends over Saturday and Sunday. The road leading to our village is off one of the main roads to Scarborough, the A171. Many bikes pass the end of our road. The prices are quite steep and the food stalls are limited choice (mostly pies and burgers) but pricey.

 My partner in crime, Karen and I decided we would try something new and hatched a plan. 

We used facebook to advertise the information. 
We also used an old wheelbarrow as an advertisement on the main Moor Road to Scarborough. There are strict rules re using signposts to advertise - but this method is mobile and therefore within the law.

The venture was new because we had to buy raw ingredients (bacon, sausage, bread) which would incur costs and there was the question of what to do with them if not sold.

The weather has been dreadful but despite the odds been stacked against us the bikers came, not in their hundreds, but they came and after expenses we made a profit of £138.

It was great to catch up with some dear old friends Barry and Trish will bring their fellow bike mates to the next event - Barry is the leader of the group and will pass the word.


The bread  left over (fresh rolls made by our local baker and delivered on Saturday morning) is now in the freezer and will be used up when we serve soup at our next coffee morning/lunch. A local farmer gave us a carrier of leeks which I blanched and froze - the next soup will be leek and potato.There is also a pack of sausages left over - again in the freezer which I will make into scotch eggs, again for the next time. I made some corned beef slices - these are now frozen and will be offered with a salad for the lunchtime menu.

Our next coffee morning will incorporate a plant stall but it is 6 weeks away.......and now we have our wheelbarrow we are thinking........May Bank Holiday weekend???????

Watch this space!

ABC Wednesday - M for money and N for new!

Tuesday, March 31


last week I was sharing information about our village market where we had a cake stall. Between us, the women of the village baked for England. This little number was the first to be sold out of - in under an hour. 

Karen and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
One of the features about our new fundraising strategy is we keep the neighbours informed about what is happening - this is the letter Karen and I have just posted to every member of the village.

Dear friends and  neighbours, a big thank you to all for the support you gave to our baking stall last Saturday. Your kind donations of ingredients, baking and buying our cakes brought in a fantastic profit of £223.41.

Time flies when you are having fun and before our very eyes our monthly coffee morning draws nigh, this coming Saturday, 4th April. We have lots of fun activities for the kiddies, including “Hook a duck” game, colouring activities and lots more. We will also be presenting certificates from our last egg colouring competition. The kettle will be on ready to provide you with cups of tea or coffee, fresh sandwiches and soup and roll is on offer too.

We were recently given generous donations for our village hall kitchen from the relatives of “Auntie Peggy” including a lovely Royal Worcester pie plate, so in memory of Peggy we are introducing “Peggy’s Pie Special” where each coffee morning we will have a pie of the month….April’s Pie Special will be Lemon Meringue.

For those who can not attend we have baking boxes available at £5 per box. If you would like one of these please contact Denise or Karen

Thank you again for your support.

My L contribution to ABC Wednesday.

Here are the recipes I used for the favourites...

Coffee Walnut Cake (Nigella Lawson’s version)

for the sponge

·                                 50 grams walnut pieces
·                                 225 grams caster sugar
·                                 225 grams soft unsalted butter (plus some for greasing)
·                                 200 grams plain flour
·                                 4 teaspoons instant espresso powder
·                                 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
·                                 ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
·                                 4 large eggs
·                                 1 - 2 tablespoons milk

for the buttercream frosting

·                                 350 grams icing sugar
·                                 175 grams soft unsalted butter
·                                 2 ½ teaspoons instant espresso powder (dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water)
·                                 approx. 10 walnut halves (to decorate)
1.                             Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/350°F.
2.                             Butter two 20cm / 8inch sandwich tins and line the base of each with baking parchment.
3.                             Put the walnut pieces and sugar into a food processor and blitz to a fine nutty powder.
4.                             Add the 225g/2 sticks butter, flour, 4 teaspoons espresso powder, baking powder, bicarb and eggs and process to a smooth batter.
5.                             Add the milk, pouring it down the funnel with the motor still running, or just pulsing, to loosen the cake mixture: it should be a soft, dropping consistency, so add more milk if you need to. (If you are making this by hand, bash the nuts to a rubbly powder with a rolling pin and mix with the dry ingredients; then cream the butter and sugar together, and beat in some dry ingredients and eggs alternately and, finally, the milk.)
6.                             Divide the mixture between the 2 lined tins and bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the sponge has risen and feels springy to the touch.
7.                             Cool the cakes in their tins on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, before turning them out onto the rack and peeling off the baking parchment.
8.                             When the sponges are cool, you can make the buttercream.
9.                             Pulse the icing sugar in the food processor until it is lump free, then add the butter and process to make a smooth icing.
10.                        Dissolve the instant espresso powder in 1 tablespoon boiling water and add it while still hot to the processor, pulsing to blend into the buttercream.
11.                        If you are doing this by hand, sieve the icing sugar and beat it into the butter with a wooden spoon.
12.                        Then beat in the hot coffee liquid.
13.                        Place 1 sponge upside down on your cake stand or serving plate.
14.                        Spread with about half the icing; then place on it the second sponge, right side up (i.e. so the 2 flat sides of the sponges meet in the middle) and cover the top with the remaining icing in a ramshackle swirly pattern.
15.                        This cake is all about old-fashioned, rustic charm, so don’t worry unduly: however the frosting goes on is fine. similarly, don’t fret about some buttercream oozing out around the middle: that’s what makes it look so inviting.
16.                        Gently press the walnut halves into the top of the icing all around the edge of the circle about 1cm apart.

Cherry & Almond loaf cake



·                                 200 grams natural-coloured glace cherries
·                                 250 grams self-raising flour
·                                 225 grams butter (softened)
·                                 175 grams caster sugar
·                                 3 large eggs (beaten)
·                                 2 - 3 drops almond essence
·                                 100 grams ground almonds
·                                 6 tablespoons milk


1.                              Preheat the oven to 170ºC/gas mark 3/325ºF. Halve the cherries, wash them in a colander under cold water, then pat them dry, toss them in some flour and shake well to get rid of excess.
2.                              Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs and almond essence, then gently fold in the flour and ground almonds. Fold in the cherries and then the milk and spoon the thick mixture into a lined and buttered loaf tin (23 x 13 x 7cm / 9 x 5 x 3 inches) and bake for ¾-1 hour, or until a cake-tester comes out clean.

3.                              As with all of these sorts of cakes, leave in the tin on a wire rack until completely cooled.

Chocaholic (pictured above in my post)
180g (3/4 cup) room temp butter, 180g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
3 free-range eggs, beaten  125g   (1 cup) self-raising flour
100g (1 cup) ground almonds     ½ tsp baking powder
100ml (1/2 cup) milk                    4 tbsp cocoa powder
200g (2 bars like this) milk chocolate chunks
200g (2 bars)white chocolate chunks
2lb loaf tin
Cream together your butter and sugar until light & fluffy. Mix in your eggs, followed by your flour, almonds, baking powder, cocoa, and milk.
You should be left with a lovely smooth batter. Roughly chop your chocolate bars and add to the batter. Stir it around. If you’re using a metal tin, grease it in a good smear of butter. If you’re using a silicone one (clever you) don’t bother. Pour the batter into your tin.
Pop into the middle of your oven and close the door. Cooking time will vary depending on your cooker, but it should take around 45mins. When it’s done the top should be nice and shiny and it should have raised up in the middle, I take mine out when it’s still a little bit wobbly because it gives a good squidgy middle later. If you want a more sturdy cake, leave it an extra 5-10.
Put it onto a wire rack to cool (still in the tin) and when it’s cold enough to handle, slide it out to chill a little more.

Chocolate Orange Loaf


·                                 140g butter, softened
·                                 200g self-raising flour
·                                 11⁄2 tsp baking powder
·                                 200g golden caster sugar
·                                 3 large eggs
·                                 6 tbsp milk
·                                 finely grated zest 1 large orange

To finish

·                                 3 tbsp orange juice
·                                 50g golden caster sugar
·                                 50g dark chocolate


1.                             Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter and line the base of a 1.2-litre loaf tin. Put all the cake ingredients into a bowl and beat with a hand whisk or wooden spoon for 3-5 mins, until light and fluffy. Spoon the mix into the tin and level the top.
2.                             Bake for 40-50 mins, until golden brown and firm to the touch. Meanwhile, heat the orange juice and sugar gently in a small pan, stirring until dissolved. When the cake is cooked, remove it from the oven and spoon over the orange mix. Leave to cool in the tin, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

Mary Berry's ginger and treacle spiced traybake recipe


225g (8oz) softened butter   175g (6oz) light muscovado sugar
200g (7oz) black treacle         300g (11oz) self-raising flour
2 level teaspoons b/ powder 1 level teaspoon ground mixed spice
1 level teaspoon ground allspice  4 large eggs
4 tablespoons milk  3 finely chopped bulbs of stem ginger from a jar

For the icing:
75g (3oz) icing sugar
3 tablespoons stem ginger syrup from the jar
3 finely chopped bulbs of stem ginger from a jar

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Fan 160C/Gas 4. Grease a 30x23 cm (12x9in) traybake or roasting tin, then line the base with baking parchment.

Put all the ingredients for the traybake into a large bowl and beat until well blended. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin, scraping the bowl with a plastic spatula to remove all the mixture. Level the top gently with the back of the spatula.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for 35–40 minutes, or until the cake has shrunk from the sides of the tin and springs back when pressed in the centre with your fingertips.
 Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes then turn out, peel off the parchment and finish cooling on a wire rack.

To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl, add the ginger syrup and mix until the icing is smooth and has a spreading consistency. Pour the icing over the cake, spread it gently to the edges with a small palette knife and sprinkle with the chopped stem ginger to decorate. Allow the icing to set before slicing the traybake into 15–20 pieces.

Share it