• Eatables,  Stuff I Like

    Madeira Cake

    After we’d chowed down this Madeira Cake, I had a urge to reaffirm in my middle-aged brain that in fact all of my reasonings on the origin of Madeira Cake were true. That it did originate in Madeira, and I was always correct in my answers to pub quizzes, (oh, the pub! it’s been 18 weeks since I stepped inside one), anyway, I was wrong all along. The cake was named after the Madeira wine from Portugal, which from the 18th century onward, was drank alongside the cake in the afternoon for tea. Hence, the name. So now I know! I love plain things like rich tea biscuits, scones, shortbread…

  • Eatables

    Chocolate Chip Muffins

    Ingredients: 250g plain flour 100g sugar 3 teaspoons baking powder pinch of salt 175ml milk 75ml vegetable oil 1 egg Half a teaspoon of vanilla extract 125g chocolate chips ( I only had 100g, as someone in my house had been sneaking into the cupboard in the middle of the night and pinching handfuls of the things when everyone was asleep. That’s why mine look a bit inadequately chocolate chipped!) Method: Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 5. Put paper cases onto a tray. I used silicone ones. Sift into a bowl the flour, sugar, baking powder, chocolate chips and salt. In another bowl, mix together the egg,…

  • Eatables

    Chocolate Flutterby Cakes

    I know these are meant to be called ‘Butterfly Cakes’, but I call them ‘Chocolate Flutterby Cakes’. It is a name given to them by my youngest son, when we made them together once when he was about 5 years old, and he said, “These butterfly cakes will flutterby”, and I said yes my sweet, butterflies really do flutterby don’t they. So the name has stuck. Shakespeare made up his own words, so he can too 🙂 Ingredients 4oz  margarine 4oz caster sugar 2 eggs 3oz self raising flour 2 tbls cocoa powder 1 tsp baking powder 1 tbls milk Butter icing 2 tbls margarine 4oz icing sugar Method Preheat…

  • Eatables

    Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Prep time: How long’s a piece of string? Cooking time: Depends on your oven, but around 10 minutes. Ingredients: 225g caster sugar 300g plain flour 200g melted butter 1tsp vanilla extract 1tsp baking powder pinch of salt 1 egg, plus egg yolk 1 or 2 tbls milk Shed load of chocolate chips, or about 200g. Plus a couple of spoonfuls on a plate reserved for later. Method: Preheat the oven to 165 degrees. Sieve flour into a bowl, and add sugar and baking powder. Meanwhile, melt some butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, (you can do this in the microwave. but it will melt real quick,…

  • Eatables

    Victoria Sponge…Kind of!

    Have you ever tried a proper Victoria Sponge cake? It’s the plainest of cakes, which is right up my street, because I am the ultimate plain Jane, enjoying rich tea biscuits, vanilla ice cream and anything else that gives minimum flavour. Actually, you can’t really put a Victoria sponge into that category, because when made well, they can be scoffed quite easily whilst emitting moans of exquisite pleasure, and a scoop of mashed potato will not do that, unless you throw in half a block of butter. Queen Victoria had this cake named for her. A Duchess of some town, introduced the concept of having sponge cake for afternoon tea,…

  • Eatables

    Butterfly Cakes

    This is a trip down nostalgia lane. I made these fairy cakes as my first cooking experience as a child. They were the first recipe I attempted at school, and they were also the first cakes I made with my children when they were little. They have been around as a recipe for as long as I can remember, which is nearly 50 years! Gulp!!! And, my grandmother even made them, so they are a really old English recipe. For some reason, they seem to appear quite often in children’s cookery books, and I think it’s because they are simple to make, very cute to look at, and filled with…