One of my earliest memories of cooking is making scones at nursery in Scotland, my memory is pretty hazy as the recollection seems to have me measure and mix these little cream tea beauties with no help at all, what I do remember is planning to make sweet scones and ending up with cheese but whatevs, it’s the thought that counts. I’ve been thinking a lot about scones and Welsh cakes recently, I think I was inspired by LondonEats recipe here. It made me remember another episode from childhood when visiting my grandparents in Cardigan, watching my Step Gran making them on the griddle and serving them up warm with butter and jam mmmmm, just thinking about them is making me dribble so I’ll definitely have to make a gluten free version soon. Anyways onto the scones, I think I’d forgotten how easy these are to whip up, but simple they are and best eaten on the day or frozen to keep fresh. These gluten free ones are quite crumbly but just as delicious and can easily be adapted to make plain scones or cheese ones by swapping in and out some ingredients (I don’t need to spell it out to you do I?)
Makes about 6
- 8oz of gluten free self raising flour
- 2 oz of butter
- 2 oz sugar
- 1 egg
- milk (I explain the measurement below)
- A big handful of sultanas
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees (fan).
Rub the butter into the flour in a large bowl. Mix in the sultanas. Crack an egg into a measuring jug add the sugar and then top up with milk until it reaches the 5 fluid oz mark. Whip the egg and milk mixture together then add to the dry ingredients. Stir together then get your hands in to form into a ball. Flour a board and plop out and flatten so that your mixture is about 2/3 cm thick. Cut out rounds with a cutter (in an ideal world) or in my world a small mug. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment, brush with egg wash (not essential) and bake in the oven for about 15 min until golden.
Serve warm with lashings (love that word) of butter, jam and, go on then, a big fat dollop of cream.
I was going to entitle this drink ‘Hard Lemonade’ because I had drunk one of said drinks at Pitt Cue Co earlier in the week and it was so delicious I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I had a couple of experiments with gin and lemons yesterday and made a pretty decent drink glass by glass but I wanted something I could get ready ahead of time and just pour when the urge took me and so this punch was born. Also after spending most of half term coughing, spluttering and blowing my nose I thought a nice lemon and honey drink was in order as it is medicinal isn’t it?!
It’s a light, refreshing and restorative little tipple that works well chilled over ice. You could easily add gin or vodka to this but when I remembered I had this gingerbread rum leftover from Christmas it seemed to be fate.
- 4 lemons
- 1 nugget of stem ginger
- 1 dessert spoon of sugar
- 2 teaspoons of honey
- a slug of syrup from the stem ginger jar
- about 3/4 pint of water
- gingerbread rum or booze of your choice
Zest and juice 4 lemons into a jug, grate in the ginger and then stir in all the other ingredients and top up with water. Add your glug of rum about 4/6 shots (?). Chill the drink in the fridge for an hour or so and serve over ice.
I’ve been stockpiling carrots recently, I do love a carrot, it might well be my favourite vegetable. Anyway it would seem I’m not really using the quantity I’m buying at the moment so my little orange friend must come to forefront for once and start starring in a dish or two.
This is a very moreish warm salad type affair that mixes the sweet earthy carrots, almost crunchy cauliflower with the spiced, crispy minced lamb
Serves 2 with a couple of toasted pittas on the side
- 4/5 carrots halved or quartered lengthways
- half a large cauliflower, broken in to small florets
- 100g minced lamb
- 1 onion
- 2 teaspoons of garam masala
- 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- 1 tablespoon of oil
- A handful of mint
- a large tablespoon of yoghurt
- a heaped teaspoon of sweet chilli sauce
- salt and pepper
Pre heat your oven to 200 degrees. Mix 1 teaspoon of garam masala with the cumin, coriander, honey and oil. Throw your veg into a baking tray and pour spiced dressing over, tossing until all the veg are covered. Roast the veg in the oven for about 35 min or until tender and slightly charred.
Whilst your veg is roasting get on with the lamb and dressing. Chop the mint, put half in a bowl and leave half for garnishing later. Add the yoghurt and sweet chilli to the mint and let down with water until you have a runny dressing the consistency of double cream.
Soften a chopped onion in the a pan (or microwave) then set aside. Fry the minced lamb in a dry pan until golden, add the onion and continue to fry until browned, add the other teaspoon of garam masala and toast for a further minute or so then turn the heat off until the veg are ready.
When the veg is ready, season generously with salt and pepper and pile up on plates. Top with the crispy minced lamb and onion mix and drizzle over the yoghurt dressing. Finish with a scatter of the remaining shredded mint and serve with toasted pitta or flat breads.
Happy Valentines Day! These farls or potato bread as it is referred to in our flat is a somewhat romantically inspired recipe as my partner is from Belfast and loves these as part of a traditional fry, unfortunately my lack of organisation ended up shoving a buttered one in his face before I deserted him for Brum today but the thought was there and he plans to cook himself a little fry with the leftovers later tonight. I was also planning to be all sickly sweet and try to cut them into heart shapes but again due to time constraints I opted for the more traditional round and wedges of farls, but it’s not a bad idea to cut these into shapes as they are quite delicate and difficult to transfer and turn in one big round so I would in future, perhaps, do circles or cut into wedges or squares before cooking to save the faffing around with rolling pins and plates. So in brief potato bread is my romantic gesture of the day – who said romance is dead?
Gluten Free Potato Farls
These are dead easy to whip up, I somehow managed to do these all whilst simultaneously packing bags for Brum, managing the screams of an excited toddler’s growing anticipation of grandma and grandpa arriving at the gates and leaving the biggest pile of washing up known to man for my dearest, I said it before but who was it who said romance was dead?
Right enough gabbling and onto the recipe…
- 4 medium sized potatoes ( rough unpeeled weight was 650g if you want to be precise but I don’t think you need to bother with something like this)
- 3 big heaped dessert spoonfuls of plain gluten free flour ( I used Dove’s Farm)
- A big (I mean it) knob of butter and more for serving
Peel, then boil the spuds until tender and mash the living daylights out of them, season generously, whack in the butter and mix. Stir in the flour then tip out onto a floured board. Now it is quite hot still but this is where I pretend like I have asbestos fingers (I don’t) and then realise I don’t and ‘ow OWWW!’ my way through a little knead to makes sure all the flour is incorporated, clearly it would be much simpler and pain free to let the damn mash cool first but what’s a little pain on the route to potato bread pleasure hey?
score the farl shapes whilst cooking...
Put a heavy based frying pan on the hob and set to medium. Grease the pan with a little oil and then get onto rolling. Flour a rolling-pin and roll out into a roundish looking shape, then transfer carefully to the pan ( this is where you could lose half the farl so I recommend a plate or a rolling-pin to help with the manoeuver) if it falls apart don’t worry it is easily squished together or made into smaller pieces, it still tastes great so worry no more. Fry for about 8 minutes a side until deep golden brown then serve amongst a selection of your finest fried breakfast finery, on their tod with lashings of butter, or with jam as I guzzled down this morning or all posh with a twirl of smoked salmon and a big blob of creme fraiche.
This is becoming a bit of a regular slot on here, they are just so easy to make and each week I seem to have a new ingredient that needs eating or cooking with before it goes to waste so here we have it another use for those spotty bananas at the bottom of the bowl, or if you’re looking for an alternative try this or this.
I do kinda like the idea of championing these little cakes, they seem to have disappeared in the whole cupcake phenomenon that has swept the world, it’s like a little fairy cake revolution! All hail the humble fairy cake, whipped up easily by everybody, without the need for half a tonne of butter cream icing and designer names and price tags. So this my friends is a little shout out to my fairy cakes, I still love you!
Makes about 20
- 150g butter
- 100g sugar
- 150g gluten free self raising flour (I used Dove’s)
- 3 eggs
- 3 bananas, mashed
- A big handful of sultanas
- 1 heaped teaspoon of cinnamon
Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees (fan). Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one by one. Add the mashed banana, sultanas and cinnamon and stir. Mix in the flour and then spoon into cases, ab0ut 2/3rds full.
Bake for about 15 min or until golden and cooked through. Leave to cool then share, spreading the word, the revolution is here, LONG LIVE THE FAIRY CAKE!!!
I’ve basically nabbed the core recipe for fairy cakes from the side of the Dove’s Self Raising Flour pack here but I’ve added a bit of a twist by adding an ace little favour combination which was inspired by the dregs of my kitchen cupboard and fruit bowl. I wasn’t sure this was going to work but it makes a pretty damn tasty batch of moist, clementine scented cakes filled with morsels of dark chocolate and cranberry pieces. These disappeared pretty sharpish in my office and will definitely be making a come back for any impromptu cake deserving sessions in the future, any old excuse will do.
Makes about 20 in bog standard fairy cake cases.
- 150g butter
- 150g sugar
- 150g gluten free self raising flour (I used Dove’s)
- 1 small packet of dried cranberries
- 100g dark chocolate
- Juice and zest of 2 clementines
Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one by one, add the orange juice and zest, then the cranberries, chocolate and flour. Spoon into cases, about half full. Bake for about 15 min or until lightly golden and cooked through.
Once cooked leave to cool, then eat, share and stand back and be proud – Well that would be the safest advice but actually what you want to do is try one of these little bad boys warm from the oven when the chocolate is still all melty and delicious and tell yourself you deserve it and really you are just checking the quality right? Yeah? You know what I’m talking about.