A traditional English dessert where bread is buttered, then topped with a sprinkling of dried fruits, and then covered with a vanilla custard before topping with cinnamon and demerara sugar. It is then baked until the top is lovely and crispy.
Butter the bread and cut each slice into quarters.
With the buttered sides uppermost, lay the quarters in the bottom of the ovenproof dish, overlapping them to fit.
Scatter the currants, sultanas and mixed peel on top.
In a separate bowl, whisk together two of the eggs and the yolk only of the third. Whisk in the sugar and then stir in the milk and vanilla extract until combined.
Strain the custard and gently pour over the bread.
Sprinkle the top with the cinnamon and demerara sugar, and then leave for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (gas 4)
Put the dish into a roasting tin/pan and then fill the roasting tin/pan with boiling water until it comes half-way up the sides of the dish. Bake for 45 minutes until the custard is set and the top is brown and crispy.
These little cakes are an adaptation of ones made on the Great British Bake-off. Coffee cupcakes with chopped walnuts have a coffee buttercream filling, chopped walnuts round the sides and a swirl of buttercream on the top. They really are delicious and, although each step takes a bit of time, they are not difficult and well worth the effort.
200g (7 oz) butter, softened (¾ cup + 2 tbsp, or 1¾ sticks)
2 tbsp milk
1½ tbsp coffee extract
170g (6 oz) walnuts, finely chopped (1⅓ cups)
2 × 12 hole bun/muffin trays
a piping bag fitted with a 2D star nozzle (the size used to swirl icing on the top of cupcakes)
For the cakes
Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5)
Grease 16 of the bun/muffin holes. Base line them with parchment paper or just cut out the bottom of cupcake liners which is easier. (Don’t use the whole cupcake liner as you want the sides of the cakes to remain flat and quite firm.)
Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Then beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a tablespoon of the flour with each egg. Next mix in the coffee extract. Now fold in the remaining flour and baking powder. Alternatively add all the ingredients together in a food mixer and beat until well combined.
Finally gently fold in the nuts.
Divide the mixture evenly between the 16 prepared bun/muffin holes and then pop in the oven for about 18 minutes until the top of the sponge springs back when lightly pressed with the tip of the forefinger.
Remove from the oven and leave for 5 minutes for the cakes to become cool enough to handle. Take a small palette knife and run round the outside of the cakes to make sure they are free from the sides of the bun/muffin holes. Then carefully lift them out, peeling off the liners, and leave on a cooling rack to become cold.
For the icing and decoration
While the cakes are cooling the icing can be prepared.
Put the butter into a large bowl and then mix in half the sifted icing/powdered sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating until creamy. Then beat in the remaining icing/powdered sugar. Add in the milk and coffee extract and beat until smooth and creamy.
Once the sponges have become cold, cut them in half horizontally. Do this very carefully as the sponges will be very light in texture. Using a little less than a quarter of the buttercream, spread a layer over the bottom half of each cake and then sandwich them back together again.
Now spread a very thin layer of the buttercream around the sides of each cake. Again this needs to be done very gently, being careful not to put pressure on the top and bottom of the cakes as you do it, or they become squashed.
Now roll the sides of each cake in the chopped nuts until thickly coated.
Finally, fill the icing bag, fitted with the star nozzle, with the remaining buttercream and swirl the icing over the top of each cake.
new or baby potatoes and a green salad, green beans, or spinach
large frying pan/skillet
Warm a plate in the oven.
Then, place the frying pan/skillet over a medium heat and pour in the olive oil. When it is hot, add the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the pork to the pan. Brown the pork on both sides, about 5 minutes, then reduce the heat and cook for a further 5 minutes on each side. Transfer to the warmed plate and and return it to the oven.
Toss the mushrooms in the pan to coat and cook until lightly browned, 2–3 minutes. Lift out with a slotted spoon and add to the pork.
Blend the flour into the pan juices. Gradually stir in the wine until the sauce is smooth and then add the thyme leaves. Increase the heat and let it bubble until reduced by about two-thirds.
Turn the heat down to low and stir in the crème fraîche and mustard to warm through. Do not let the mixture boil as it will make the mustard taste bitter. Season.
Return the pork, mushrooms and any juices, to the pan and stir the sauce. Heat everything through very gently and then serve garnished with snipped chives, if liked.