Category: Baking

Stir-up Sunday

A Christmas Pudding, sometimes cream or custard etc are added as a topping.

 

Stir-up Sunday is the last Sunday before Advent.  The custom comes from when families & relatives gathered together and stir the ingredients of a traditional British Christmas pudding before the first Sunday in Advent as observed by Anglican churches.

There is a Collect (prayer)

Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.’  

Also, It allows time for the pudding to mature properly for the month before the Christmas Day meal. By tradition, each member of a family or participant is encouraged to make a wish as they stir.

The pudding mixture is stirred from East to West in honour and remembrance of the three wise men who visited the baby Jesus with their gifts.

In some households, silver coins are added to the pudding mix. It is believed that finding a coin brings good luck.

I remember as a child in the 1960s, my mother would traditionally put & stir ‘silver’ sixpence coins known colloquially as a tanner into the mixture. Later when the UK went decimal ‘other’ silver coins were added.

It is believed that like Christmas trees and Christmas decorations, Christmas puddings were introduced to the UK in the 1800s, by Prince Albert, who was the husband and consort to Queen Victoria.

There can be some variations of ingredients, traditional puddings mainly contain dried fruits, raisins etc. The mixture and cake are held together by egg and suet &  sometimes moistened by treacle or molasses. It is flavoured with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and or other spices. Measured alcohol is added, mainly brandy but dark beers or stout can be used.

Before the pudding is served during the Christmas meal, some households set light to the pudding as the alcohol content allows it to burn briefly as part of the serving tradition.

The pudding is usually aged for a month or more,[or even a year until the following Christmas Day; the high alcohol content of the pudding prevents it from spoiling during this time.

 

 

 

Classic Brownie Recipe

Brownie with Love, by Mae Mercado-Sanguer

Brownie is easily a favourite with everyone.  But then again, why ever not?!!!

I had a bit of a conundrum categorising this recipe.  Should it go under baked cakes or baked cookies?  I did a bit of research and found out that it should be classified as a cookie?

Why?

Apparently it has something to do with the manner it is eaten.  Brownie is a finger food, just like cookies and biscuits.  Cakes are eaten with a fork or even a desert spoon, if cake is rather runny.

So that’s it

Below is a recipe that is easy to follow for such a delicious treat.

Classic Brownie Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 200 g butter or margarine
  • 165 g cocoa powder
  • 400 g  brown caster sugar
  • 1¼ teaspoons vanilla 
  • 125 g plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 g  walnuts or unsalted peanuts

Method of Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
  2. Line a brownie tin/tray or grease a 20 x 18 cm tin.
  3. Melt the butter and cocoa together in a saucepan, under a low heat.
  4. Add the sugar and vanilla. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Remove from the heat and mix in the flour and half of the nuts then the eggs.
  6. Pour into the already prepared brownie tin.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or when press the top is soft and bounce back up.
  8. As soon as it comes out of the oven, tip in the rest of the nuts all over the top of the hot brownie.  Run a wooden spoon over the top to gently press in the nuts.
  9. Cool and cut into serving pieces.

 

Enjoy!  Sometimes I like my brownies still slightly warm and then served with a bit of ice-cream on the side.   Hmmm I think this is when brownies become a cake! 🙂

Upside Down Pineapple Cake Recipe

This cake recipe is so light and moist.  The pineapple on top is fantastic.  It is so lovely; would be a real treat for any occasion for the whole family and friends.

Ingredients

  • 50g softened butter
  • 50g light soft brown sugar
  • 6 pineapples rings from canned in syrup, do not discard the syrup
  • 6 glacé cherry
  • 2 tbsp sultanas
  • 100g softened butter
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs

 

 Method of Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together until fully incorporated into a creamy butter.
  3. Using a preferably non-stick deep cake tin with loose base and about 20 cm wide, spread the butter mix on the base.
  4. Then arrange the pineapple rings on top of the butter mix, placing each of the  cherries in the centres of the rings, the dome part of the cherries on the bottom.
  5. Set aside and make the cake mix.
  6. In a large mixing bowl or a food mixer, place together the butter, caster sugar, self-raising flour, baking powder, sultanas, vanilla extract and egg with 2 tbsp of the pineapple syrup.
  7. Mix until it has a soft consistency of a batter.
  8. Pour into the tin over the pineapple slices and smooth it out so it’s level and all the slices covered.
  9. Bake for 35 mins, test with a clean knife by inserting into the cake.  When the edge of the knife comes out clean, then it is ready.
  10. Leave to stand for 5 mins, then turn out onto a plate. Serve warm with ice-cream or cream.

 

 

Garlic Puree Recipe

Garlic, photo by JMorton

Garlic Puree Recipe

Garlic puree is such a versatile ingredient to a lot of things.  It can be used for cooking as well as in making dips and sauces.

Below is a recipe shared by Judy Ann Santos of the Philippines.

Ingredients:

1 cup peeled garlic cloves

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 bay leaf

a pinch of salt

Method of preparation:

Over a very low heat, simmer the garlic cloves in the olive oil.

Drop in the bay leaf and season with a tiny amount of salt.

Allow to cook for 5-10 minutes for the olive oil to infuse the cloves.

Then fish out the bay leaf and transfer the garlic and oil into a food processor and puree until it has the consistency of a mashed potato.

Put the puree into a clean distilled jar and cover.  Let it cool down before storing in the fridge.


 

Roasted Garlic Puree Recipe

Ingredients:

1 Cup Garlic cloves, unpeeled

¾ oil Oil

Method of Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Wrap the unpeeled garlic cloves in an aluminium foil, loosely.

Baked in the oven for half to three quarters of an hour.

Remove from the oven and peel each of the garlic.

Put the peeled cloves together with the olive oil into a food processor and blitz until pureed.

Transfer in a clean jar and store in the fridge when cool.

 

 

Pink Radish Pickles Korean Style

*Side dishes readily available in the fridge to complete a meal can look like a well prepared feast.  Below is a Korean recipe of pickled pink radishes just perfect for the new year.

Pink Radish, photo by PH Morton

Pink Radish Pickles Korean Style-

 

Ingredients

  • 1½ lbs pink radishes
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Method of Preparation:

  • Wash the little radish, removing all dirts and grits.  Top and tail and them but cutting the stem and the root bits.
  • Cut them into thin circular slices.  Set them aside for the moment.
  • Heat a sauce pan and pour in the white wine vinegar and water.  Stir in the sugar and salt.
  • Bring to a boil under low heat, stirring occasionally to dissolved the sugar and salt granules.  This should take no more than 4 minutes.
  • Put the radish slices in a jar or jars and top up with the hot vinegar.  Leave uncovered for an hour or until the liquid had cooled completely.
  • Put the lid on tightly and store in the fridge.
  • It can last up to 5 days in the fridge with the radishes keeping its crunch!
  • Enjoy!

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Roasted Sweet Apples Recipe

Bowl of apples from our garden
Photo by JMorton

Roasted Sweet Apples Recipe

This recipe is ideal served with roast pork and roast turkey.  Perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas celebration.

You can cook the apples separately with the roast pork or turkey but it would be better and tastier cooked around the meat of preference.  They would then soak up juices as the apples cook.

Ingredients:

  • 6 sweet apples
  • 50 g butter
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Method of Preparation:

  • Peel the apples, leaving them whole.  Remove the cores, easier using an apple corer.
  • Drizzle the lemon juice all over the apples, to prevent them browning even before they start cooking. 🙂
  • Insert a pat of butter into the middle of the apples, sprinkle with salt, cinnamon and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.
  • Put them around the roast 20 minutes before the meat is cooked.
  • Or put them on a baking sheet and cook separately on a preheated oven at 190ºC for 25 minutes.
  • Serve around the baked apples with the roasts.
  • Enjoy!

 

Bisquick Recipe

Flour

My good friend, Bess Mercado, cooked Red Lobster Cheddar Bay biscuits which has bisquick as the main ingredient.

By all account this Red Lobster Cheddar bay biscuit is rather delicious.  It is therefore worth finding out how it is cooked especially as I have never heard of a bakery selling them in London.

I am not familiar with bisquick to be honest. But I want to know what is it.

Thank goodness, I found and easy recipe for it which as follows.

Bisquick Recipe

 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¹/3 cup butter or margarine

Method of Preparation:

  • To correctly mix the baking powder and salt with the flour, they must be sift three times into a mixing bowl.
  • Cut the butter or margarine into small cubes and rub them in to the sifted flour until they resemble bread crumbs.
  • Now it is ready to go; it can be cooked immediately or keep in the fridge for a few weeks until needed.

 

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