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Posts from the ‘Typically British’ Category

A New Years Trifle of Gingerbread & Nectarine

 (3)Now don’t fall off you’re perch’s because I’m posting twice in one week.  This is not a New Years resolution either so no one get too excited please. The next post could be a month away. I have just had more time over Christmas with the shop closed till the 7th but I am already writing my lists for shopping, preparing and baking to be done Monday. This was our New Years Eve dessert which followed Braised beef cheek and ribs, Mexican spiced. Accompanied with a piquant coleslaw,  bean & corn salad and homemade tacos. It was a gloriously sunny evening, we ate outside and lit the outdoor fire as the sunset so we could spend the rest of the evening outdoors. I have to confess, we didn’t see the New Year, I’m not much good with late nights, even on special occasions. Does it really matter if one doesn’t stay up till after midnight?

The recipe will made 6 individual servings or one medium sized trifle bowl. You can prepare all the components of the trifle or buy some of them depending how you feel and how much time you have. I have offered recipes for each part if you are feeling adventurous. I thought of buying a gingerbread loaf when contemplating the recipe, cursing that I hadn’t frozen some from my shop before we closed for Christmas, but when I looked at what the supermarket had to offer I couldn’t bring myself to buy it.

I’m also submitting this for our monthly Sweet New Zealand blogging event which is hosted this month by Alessandra If you pop over you will find more delectable sweet treats by fellow bloggers.

Simple Gingerbread Sponge

Preheat oven 160C, Line approx 18cm cake tin or tray with greaseproof.

100g butter, melted, 100g golden syrup, 1 free range egg, 100g self raising flour, handful crystalized ginger, roughly chopped. Save a few pieces of ginger for slicing and decorating the trifles.

In a medium sized bowl, beat together the butter. Add the egg and beat mixture again. Add the chopped ginger and flour and stir until combined.

Pour mixture into lined cake tin and bake to 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool before using in the trifle. Crumble sponge roughly once cool.

Creme Anglaise

200ml cream or milk, 2 medium free range eggs, 1 heaped Tbsp castor sugar, seeds of 1 vanilla pod

Whisk eggs and sugar together in a large bowl. In a saucepan heat cream or milk and vanilla bean seeds over a medium heat to a simmer. Pour hot milk/cream over the egg mix and whisk while pouring to prevent eggs scrambling (easier if you get an extra hand to help you). Turn heat down to low and pour the mixture back into the saucepan, cook over the low heat whisking all the time until sauce thickens. It’s important to keep whisking to prevent sauce sticking to bottom of pan. Once thickened pour into a clean bowl and cover with lid or plastic wrap to cool.

Poached Nectarines

6 nectarines (or you could use peaches), 1 vanilla pod (I use an empty pod that has already had its seeds used above)

Half and de-stone the nectarines. Place them in a pan and cover with water. Add the vanilla pod and place over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. I don’t add sugar to the water as the tart fruit contrast well with the other sweeter ingredients in the trifle. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and allow fruit to cool in water. If fruit is quite ripe then you may only need to simmer for 5 minutes or use the fruit fresh. Once cool slice nectarines into wedges, approx 12 wedges per nectarine.

Whipped Cream

150ml whipping cream whipped to soft peak. Or you can use more cream if you prefer a thicker layer of cream!

Assembly

Layer nectarines, sponge, creme Anglais then cream. A few slices of crystalized ginger for decoration.

sweetnz

Raspberry & White Chocolate Ganache Lamingtons & my POP UP Patisserie

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They say every cloud has a silver lining and redundancy from my full time employment this month was just that. I decided it the opportune time to do what I have not been brave enough to do for some time and go into business for myself. I am opening a POP UP patisserie! Why POP UP you might ask? Well it is financially a lower risk and it also give me the opportunity to test the market in our neighbourhood. There was also an existing coffee and juice bar looking for some yummy food so we were the perfect match, two small businesses under the same roof complimenting each other. Our opening day will be 2nd July, 2013 … just over a week away! This is our address and opening hours:

9D Factor Road, Waimauku, Auckland (sharing premises with The Daily Squeeze) – Opening hours; Tuesday – Saturday, 8am – 3pm

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Menu selection changes daily but here is an idea of what mouth watering treats are on offer.

Homemade pies; Beef Stroganoff, Moroccan Lamb, Thai Chicken
Homemade Soups; Piri Piri Chicken & Corn Smokey Ham & White Bean
Sweet Potato & Blue Cheese Galette Roasted Tomato & Halloumi Galette
Rueben Sandwiches, BLAT
Savoury Tarts
Pain au Chocolat & au Raisin
Eccles Cakes, Scones, Shortbread
Portugese tarts, Palmiers
Vanilla Custard Doughnuts
Raspberry & White Choc Lamingtons
Blueberry Danish
Lemon Drizzle, Gingerbread Loafs

Also stocking artisan bread by Pukeko Bakery

…and lots more

And yes you will be able to buy some of these delicious homemade Raspberry & White Chocolate Ganache Lamingtons if you pop in!

For those who would like to try making their own here is the recipe below.

I’m also submitting this recipe to our monthly Sweet New Zealand blogging event which is hosted this month by my dear friend Sue over at Couscous & Consciousness.  If you pop across to her blog you will find a few more Kiwi bloggers and their sweet creations.

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Ingredients

Sponge base here,  plus 1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries.

100ml whipped cream for filling & 4 Tbsps raspberry jam for filling

 200ml whipped cream for ganache

200g white chocolate for ganache

1 Tbsp raspberry jam for ganache

200g coconut thread

Method

Sponge method here, plus add the raspberries after the flour and stir through only a few times so raspberries don’t break up.

Instead of using two round cake tins like in the victoria sandwich cake recipe, use two square. this will make the top and bottom piece of the Lamington.

Bake as per recipe, allow to cool before filling sponge cake.

Spread the jam over one sponge layer, then spread the cream over the jam. Place second sponge on top of jam & cream.

Before cutting the sponge into square I find it better to let it rest in the fridge for a few hours.

Cut cake into approximately 8cm square pieces.

To make the ganache, place the cream & chocolate into a plastic bowl and heat in the microwave for 1 min. Stir and continue to microwave in 10 second blasts, stirring in-between until chocolate has melted.

Add the 1 Tbsp of jam to the ganache.

Now for the messy bit! Pour the coconut thread onto a tray.

Dip all 4 sides of each individual cake square into the ganache, using a spatular to scrape of too much excess ganache. Roll cake in coconut thread. Place on a tray the spread a bit of ganache ontop of square and sprinkle with coconut.

Enjoy!

Posh Bangers & Mash with Herby Peas

DSC_0017 (1)Bangers… does that make sense to anyone other than the British? Sausages earned the named bangers during World War 1 when the meat content in them was reduced due to rationing and shortages. More water was added which made them explode when cooked, hence bangers.

I was never a fan of sausages as a child but loved to make what we called ‘a bean fort’. A dollop of mash was put onto the plate and you made a well in the centre. Half a sausage stood tall in four corners as turrets to a fort and you poured your beans or peas in the centre. The highlight was to break the mash wall and watch all the beans soldiers run out. I obviously always likes to play around with food even then :o)

I began to really like sausages when living in Germany, where only meat and spices are put into the sausages, no wheat or other fillers are used. In New Zealand there is finally a trend by some butchers to make sausages in the same method, relying on their meat and spices to shine in their glory without packing them with cheap fillers. Amanda, my  stall holder neighbour at Hobsonville Point Farmers Market, who is the owner of Farm Gate Produce  makes these beautiful free range piggie sausages I used in this recipe. They also have a mixed beef and pork spiced sausage which is perfect not only for good old Bangers and Mash but makes a great pasta dish by using the sausage instead of meatballs. Don’t get me started on how amazing their aged eye fillet is either otherwise I’ll never finish this post. Anyway, if you do get a chance to try them, you really should and you can buy one of my sweet treats from the market too to finish your meal off.

A note when making the three elements to this dish, make the beans and peas first and put aside, they can be warmed through just before you are ready to serve. That will save you the juggling of pots and pans on the stove top.

Congratulations also to the winners of the Haute Cuisine double passes….. Genie and Sue, have fun at the movies!

Bangers – Sausages – 4 people

8 quality free range, wheat free sausages

Cook as required. If using wheat free sausage do not over cook them, treat them like you would a good steak.

Ingredients – Mash

1 Tbsp butter

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 x 400g tin butter beans, drained

1 x400g tin cannellini beans, drained

1 cup veg stock

Method – Mash

In a medium pan over a low heat put the garlic and butter. Cook for 1 minute.

Add both beans to the pan with the stock and warm through.

Once hot blitz with a wiz stick till you have a smooth puree.

I don’t salt them as tinned beans tend to have enough but go with your own preference.

Ingredients – Herby Peas

3 cups baby peas – frozen

1 cup podded broad beans (optional)

1/4 cup of veg stock

1 handful parsley

1 handful of basil or mint

1/4 tsp salt

Method – Herby Peas

Warm the frozen peas and podded broad beans with the stock in a medium sized pan over a low heat. Don’t boil them, they really don’t need to be cooked and too much heat will turn them brown.

Add the herbs and salt and with a wiz stick blitz a quarter of the peas, keeping the stick in one place so all the peas don’t mush. The quarter blitzed peas will create a sauce.

Assemble on the plates or serve on family style platters or if you have kids maybe they would like to try making a bean fort!

Little & Friday’s Chocolate Cherry Cake & New Residents

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Happy New Year Everyone!

I have a little obsession for Little & Friday cakes, fortunately I don’t venture close to their cafes often otherwise I may look as round as this chocolate cake. For those of you who live in Auckland you may have already visited one of their little cake shops and experienced their baking delights. They’re what I call ‘real’ cakes, they are cakes with substance, traditional in texture but modern in appearance.

I have not listed the recipe as I have not bought the book yet, although it is on my wish list. National Radio have the recipe here, permission given to publish by the owner. The recipe came out exactly how I had experienced them at Little & Friday, although I did use cherries instead of raspberries.

We have new residents at our house, Beryl, Thelma and Nerys. They are three adopted hens which had been abandoned and we happily gave them a new home…. well actually a very elaborate coop and free range of the garden. They were all a little scruffy and dirty when they arrived and we were told they weren’t laying eggs but we have big hearts and decided even if they don’t lay we would look after them. A good bath, yes we bathed them! A good diet and they are now laying and they donated the eggs for my chocolate cake.

If you come from Northern England you might recognise their name? They come from the cast and actors of a TV series called the Liver Birds which was set in Liverpool, my beautiful home town. The Liver Birds are also an iconic emblem that represents the city of Liverpool, dating back to the 1300s. Two statues can aslo be see towering above the port on the Royal Liver Buildings.

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Christmas Mince Pie Pops

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As we hurtle towards Christmas I feel like a spectator on the sideline watching everyone in a frenzy of shopping, pre Christmas gatherings, work functions etc. I would normally take part, I love Christmas with it’s trees and decorations, carols, yummy treats and families coming together. This year has been different, I don’t seem to be able to muster the enthusiasm but instead just find myself bobbing along with the flow of things. It’s been an exhausting year, endless travel with quite a stressful and busy job. Making far too many people redundant as the business down sizes only to have my own employment in the balance next year. Keeping positive, perhaps the universe is telling me it’s time for a fresh start, time to do something else? So instead of revving up I find myself slowing down, putting my feet up, taking time out for a lazy surf and chilling at the beach. The Christmas menu hasn’t even been thought of but it will happen…no worries as we say here. Hardly a Christmas treat has graced my ovens let alone my blog (except for the 47 Christmas cakes I have baked and sold but that’s part of a business). As we prepare to kiss 2012 behind and relish new beginnings in 2013 I leave you with a small treat, Christmas Mince Pie Pops.

I first saw pie pops over at Linda’s beautiful blog Call Me Cupcake, only then to find I am so behind and they are common knowledge in other countries. They even have pie pop makers, oh my goodness which rock have I been hiding under! So here is my version of pie pops, filled with a sweet Christmas fruit mince and chocolate. You can use your favourite Christmas pie filling or try mine. My shortcrust pastry has a little more butter in it than the regular half fat to flour. A tip from a French chef I worked with. It guarantees a short crust but if you have ‘hot’ hands’ I recommend you use a food processor for the crumb rather than the old fashioned way. It’ll keep the butter from melting.

So hows your year been and what are you hoping for next year?

Wishing you all a wonderful festive season where ever you are and however you celebrate and I will see you back in 2013!

This is also my submission to our monthly Sweet New Zealand challenge which is hosted this month by Lydia over at Lydia Bakes where you will find a lot more Kiwi sweet treats.

Ingredients – makes 12

300g sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe here)

200g sweet mince pie filling (recipe here)

12 pop sticks (bake proof not plastic)

Method

Pre heat oven to 180C

Roll pastry out to 1/2 cm thick

Using a cookie cutter approx 8cm diametre, cut out 24 pastry rings. Re-roll any bits and pieces to make more circles.

In half the circles cut out a star shape (or whatever mini cutter shape you have) for the lid of the pie.

Take the other half of the circles and place a teaspoon of mincemeat in the centre.

Wet the outer ring with a little water so the base and lid will stick together.

Lay the pop stick half way across the pie and fruit and press slightly into the pastry.

Place the lid on top of the pie and press the edges together, particularly around the pop stick so it will hold when baked.

Place on a 2 non stick trays and bale for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Remove from tray when cooled. If any pie filling oozes out onto the tray loosen pie pop from tray before it cools so it doesn’t stick.

sweetnz

Malaysian Egg Curry & Return of The Gannets

Where have you gone my lovely sunshine? For one day you graced us with your presence and back into hiding you went, all you left behind was a glowing red line across the back of my neck, evidence that you truly had visited . Our beautiful Gannets were happy as the sun shone, they played on the blustery sea air, swooping and diving, showing off to their mates, they are home again for the season. When the wind blows onshore we can hear their calls from our deck, they know summer is on it’s way even if the sun doesn’t always play it’s part in the deal.

As the weather changed again the salads went to the back of the fridge and a quick spicy Malaysian curry made an appearance for lunch. The recipe is slightly adjusted from Alice Hart’s book, Vegetarian to suit the ingredients I had on hand, it’s one of my favourites because it is so quick to prepare and full of fragrant flavours.

Ingredients – 4 portions

Serve with Basmati or Jasmine rice

8 soft boiled eggs

1 Tbsp coconut oil

4 spring onions, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic

2 inch fresh ginger, grated

1 tsp cumin seeds, ground

1 tsp coriander seeds, ground

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 chili, chopped

400ml chopped tinned tomatoes

2 Tbsp tamarind paste

100ml coconut milk

1 Tbsp brown sugar

salt to season

large handful fresh coriander, chopped

Method

In a large frying pan heat the coconut oil over a medium heat.

Add the spring onions, ginger and garlic and saute for 2 minutes.

Add the ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, chili & tomatoes to the pan and saute for 5 more minutes.

Stir in the tamarind paste, coconut milk and brown sugar, season with salt to your taste.

Simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken and then add the boiled eggs.

Cook for a few more minutes to warm the eggs through.

Scatter with fresh coriander and serve with rice

The Asparagus Table – La Vignarola – Italian Spring Soup, Wholemeal Asparagus Tart and Egg Asparagus Soldiers

Some of the simplest things in life are best, how often have you heard that remark?  The long awaited asparagus season is here in New Zealand and keeping it simple with asparagus certainly highlights the veg at it’s best. My favourite way to eat asparagus is just lightly steamed served with eggs ‘anyway’ and lashings of butter,  try a fun quirky way of serving the spears with your soft boiled egg using them as ‘dunking soldiers’. As I was eating the asparagus and boiled eggs my mind had already wandered onto truffle oil drizzled into the shell…watch out shopping bill, truffle oil may well be in the next basket.

The Italian spring soup La Vignarola is perfect for show casing not only asparagus but also lovely spring vegetables of podded peas and broad beans. If you can’t find them freshly podded and don’t have them sprouting away in your garden, snap frozen are pretty convenient and taste great too. A simple tart of asparagus with sour cream and mustard is easy for anyone to whip up, I made a wholemeal pastry but you can always buy pre bought if you are short on time or don’t have ‘pastry fingers’.

La Vignarola – Spring Soup

Ingredients

4 spring onions, sliced

2 bunches asparagus

200g frozen peas, defrosted

200g broad beans, podded (you can use frozen)

200g jar marinated artichoke hearts

3 cloves garlic

2 cups vegetable stock

Large handful each of parsley & mint, finely chopped

Zest and juice 1 small lemon

100g shaved Pecorino to serve

Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

Method

Cut the woody ends off the asparagus spears and discard, then cut spears into three.

Place a little olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.

Add the spring onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the asparagus, podded broad beans and stock to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Add the peas, artichokes juice and zest of the lemon to the saucepan and season with salt & pepper.

You can add some of the artichoke marinade to the soup also if you wish, tasting as you do.

Add the parsley and mint.

Bring the soup to the boil then remove from the heat and serve immediately, you want the veg to be crisp and green.

Serve the soup with shaved pecorino and crust bread

Asparagus Tart – serves 6

Ingredients – pastry
110g butter

180g wholemeal flour
1 egg

2 Tbsp iced water

pinch of salt

Method – Pastry

Place flour, butter and salt in the bowl and whiz until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Add the egg and water and knead together briefly to form a dough.

Rest the pastry in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Roll pastry out to fit tart tin and press into place, trim edges off pastry.

Ingredients – Tart Filling

1 bunch spring asparagus

250g sour cream

2 large free range eggs

2 heaped tsp whole grain mustard

salt & pepper to season

ground black pepper

Method – Tart Filling

Pre-heat oven at 180C & grease & flour a 20cm loose bottom tart tin.

Remove the woody ends from the asparagus and cut spear in half.

Whisk together the sour cream, eggs and mustard and season with a little salt & pepper.

Pour mixture into the pastry base.

Lay the asparagus half spears on top of the mixture in pastry case, alternating tip and base as in picture.

Grind some black pepper over the top of asparagus.

Bake in oven on a lower shelf (to crisp pastry base) for 35-40 minutes until tart is set and golden.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing tart from mould.
Serve warm of chilled

Microwave Lemon Curd, Lemon Victoria Sandwich Cake, Lemon Shortbread Biscuits

My friend and neighbour asked her children to pop down into the garden to pick some lemons off their tree, keep them entertained while dinner was being prepared. I suppose the trick with young children is you need to be specify exactly how many lemons you want them to pick otherwise it turns into a game and they merrily pick away all the lemons within reach which is what happened and why I was the receiver of an armful of beautiful, thick skinned, very large juicy lemons. We use a lot of lemons and limes in a week but this was even a little too many for us in our every day cuisine so I decided to make lemon curd. When you lead a busy life and are permanently rushed for time, standing over a pot stirring and waiting for curd it to thicken could be hit and miss, if like me you are attempting to multitask at the same time.  I decided to give the microwave method a go and hoped I wouldn’t end up with lemony eggs as I wasn’t sold on the idea apart from the time factor. I was amazed how easy it was, with no scrambled egg in sight, as a result I will never toil over a stove again to make curd. The key is to cook the mixture in short bursts in the microwave and whisk in between every burst of cooking time. I normally treat my curd like gold and if you get a jar you are honored indeed when it takes so long to make I tend to hide it at the back of my cupboard but this method was so quick I gave all the jars of curd away with the same speed it was made, knowing I can whip up a batch any time.

Once you have a batch of lemon curd, the dessert table beckons you to bake, easy shortbread turns into delightfully special treats and the traditional Victoria Sandwich Cake becomes a little more royal.

This is also my submission for our monthly blogging event Sweet New Zealand which is being hosted by Sue over at Couscous and Consciousness

Microwave Lemon Curd

Ingredients -4 x 200ml jars

4 lemons, juice & zest

4 eggs

100g sugar

100g butter

Method

Sterilise your jars & lids by boiling in water for 10 minutes.

Whisk together the lemon juice, zest, sugar and eggs in a plastic bowl, I use plastic because it doesn’t heat as much as glass or ceramic (less likely to get scrambled egg).

Add the butter to the bowl.

Place bowl in microwave on high for 1 minute , remove and whisk. The butter will only be partially melted.

Heat again for 1 minute in microwave, remove and whisk. If the butter has already melted and the liquid is getting warm start heating for 30 seconds bursts only and remove from microwave in between each 30 seocnds and whisk before heating again.

Once the lemon curd has thickened it is done. Pour into sterilized jars and seal with lid.

Lemon Curd Shortbread Biscuits – makes 12 minis

Ingredients
50g sugar

100g butter

150g plain flour

1/4 tsp vanilla paste or seeds of 1/2 bean

Method
Pre-heat oven to 200C

Place sugar, flour, butter into a food processor and whiz them until they resemble breadcrumbs.

Then pulse slowly until the mixture comes to a dough, do not over mix at this stage.

Remove biscuit dough from the food processor and place between 2 sheets of greaseproof paper.

Roll the shortbread out to 1/2 inch thick and use a biscuit cutter to cut out circles. With half of the biscuits cut out a smaller whole in the centre, I used a large piping nozzle. Re-roll the scraps of dough and cut out further biscuits until all the dough is used.

Place on a non stick baking tray with a little space between biscuits and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown, remove from the oven and allow to cool.

To serve, add a dollop of lemon curd to the base biscuit and top with a ‘wholy’ biscuit. Biscuits can be stored in an airtight container for a week without their curd filling. I recommend adding the curd before you serve them.

Lemon Victoria Sandwich Cake

Ingredients
250g SR Flour

250g butter

200g sugar

4 free range eggs

1/4 tsp vanilla paste or seeds of 1/2 bean

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C

Butter and line with greaseproof paper the base and sides of 2 x 20cm cake tins

Place the butter, vanilla bean seeds or paste and sugar in a large bowl and beat or whisk together until pale and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time  beating well between each addition.

Fold in the flour with a large metal spoon, taking care not to knock out too much air.

Spoon the mixture into the tins and smooth the top.

Bake cakes in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes, do NOT be tempted to open the oven before this time is up as this sponge cake is sensitive and likely to sink if not fully cooked. Cake will be golden brown when cooked and spring back when touched.

Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tin and transferring to a cooling rack.
Allow to cool completely before filling with lemon curd and whipped cream.

Filling & Assembly
Whip 300ml of whipping cream to soft peak

Spread 200ml of lemon curd over the base sponge and top with whipped cream

Place second sponge on top of cream and dust top with icing sugar

Roasted Strawberries in Vanilla Syrup with Scones

Roasting fruit is the perfect cooking method that allows the fruit to retain it’s colour, shape and flavour. I always roast my rhubarb and making the strawberry tarte tatin last week I was wishing for more baked fruit but not necessarily in a pastry case. Jamie’s method of cooking fish ‘en papilotte – in a parcel’ came to mind and I decided this should give the strawberries the same texture and flavour as the tarts. I just use vanilla syrup to sweeten the strawberries slightly, if you don’t have syrup, use seeds from a vanilla bean or half a teaspoon vanilla paste and a tablespoon of sugar. It’s a great alternative to jam for your cream teas, less sugar and still the full aroma of the fresh strawberry.

Ingredients

1 chip/punnet strawberries (approx 12 small)

2 Tbsp vanilla syrup (I used Equagold)

Method

Pre heat oven to 180C

Wash & hull the strawberries and place in a bowl with the vanilla syrup, toss the strawberries through the syrup.

Take enough greaseproof paper to make a parcel to hold your strawberries.

Place the strawberries on one half of the greaseproof paper with the vanilla syrup. Fold the other half over the strawberries and then fold the three open sides over twice to make a parcel. Click Here for a YouTube demo, it’s done a little differently and I make my parcel round the fruit but it gives you the idea.

Place strawberry filled parcel onto a baking tray and roast for 12 minutes. Strawberries should just start to soften but hold their shape still. Don’t over roast or you will end up with a ‘mush’.

Allow to cool and serve with scones and cream

Ingredients – scones

200g Self Raising Flour

50g butter

1 Tbsp icing sugar

150ml milk

Method for Scones
Preheat oven to 200C degrees centigrade.

Place flour, butter and sugar into a bowl.

Using your fingers, rub mixture together until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Or use a food processor.

Form a well in the centre of bread crumb mix and add the milk, kneed gently to form a soft dough.

Transfer scone dough onto a floured board and press the dough out with hands (rather than using a rolling pin) until it is about 2cm thick.

Use a round cookie cutter to cut out the scones or slice the scones, it should make 8

Place on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. If you tap the bottom of one they should sound hollow when cooked.

Sticky Crunchy Apple Flapjack Tart

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While pondering on this recipe and what I was actually creating, the old Superman saying came to mind, ‘is it a bird…is it a plane…no its…’ Well it’s a Heinz 57 cross breed with a flapjack which is a British oat slice and and a desire to have an apple tart with a difference. If you aren’t familiar with the flapjack it a moreishly sweet, chewy centre and crispy outer oat slice. If it wasn’t for the ton of golden syrup or brown sugar that goes into it it would be rather good for you. I have sandwiched apples in between my slice, pressing the bottom layer into a base and crumbling the the second layer over the top. It has proved to be quite versatile this week as a dessert hot with ice cream or yoghurt and the left overs made a great lunchbox slice and even a substitute breakfast crumbled in a bowl with yoghurt. Of course you could substitute pears or stonefly it when it is in season.

Ingredients
150g rolled oats (finer flakes)
150g whole oats
50g wholemeal flour
150g butter
100g soft brown sugar
3 large granny smith apples
2 tsp cinnamon

Method
Pre heat oven to 180C and grease a 22cm tart tin with a loose removable bottom.
Core the apples, and chop into approx 1 inch pieces. If you read my blog regularly you will know I don’t peel apples and pears but you can if you prefer.
Put the sugar and butter in a pan over a low heat. Once melted add all the oats, flour and cinnamon and stir to combine.
Press two thirds of the mixture into the prepared tin with a metal spoon, if the mixture sticks to the spoon, rinse and use the wet spoon to continue pressing.
Bake for 15 minutes and remove from the oven.
Cover the part baked base with the chopped apples.
Cover the apples with the rest of the mixture by crumbling it over the top.
Bake for another 30 minutes.
Serve warm with ice cream or yoghurt. Stays fresh for a week.

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