Jam Oaties

These jam oaties are soft biscuits with a dollop of raspberry jam in the centre – very yummy.

Jam Oaties

  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 12–15 minutes
  • Ingredients
  • 115 g (4 oz) butter (½ cup, or 1 stick)
  • 85 g (3 oz) light muscovado/soft light brown sugar (⅓ cup)
  • 1 egg, medium (U.K.)/large (N.A.), beaten
  • 85 g (3 oz) plain/all-purpose flour, sifted (⅔ cup)
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
  • 115 g (4 oz) porridge oats/quick cooking rolled oats (1 cup + 2 tbsp)
  • about 3 tbsp raspberry jam
  • You will also need two baking sheets, lightly greased.
  • Method
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (gas 4).
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Add the egg and beat until combined.
  • Then fold in the flour and soda .
  • Finally, fold in the oats.
  • Place dessertspoonfuls of the mixture on to the baking sheets, spacing them well apart. The mixture should produce 12–14 biscuits.
  • Now flour the tip of your thumb and make a small depression in the centre of each biscuit, taking care not to press down too far.
  • Spoon a heaped ½ teaspoon of jam into each indentation .
  • Bake for 12–15 minutes until just firm, swapping the trays over halfway through baking.
  • Remove from the oven and leave on the baking sheets for 5 minutes to firm up. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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Chocolate Marble Cake

This recipe makes a really light and airy cake. Perfect on its own or served with whipped cream.

Chocolate Marble Cake

8 servings
  • Preparation time: 35 minutes
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes
  • Ingredients
  • 120 ml (4 fl oz) milk (½ cup)
  • 1 x 100g bar plain/dark chocolate with 70% cocoa solids
  • 60 ml (2½ fl oz) crème fraîche (¼ cup) (sour cream can be used as a substitute)
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 170 g (6 oz) butter, softened (¾ cup, or 1½ sticks)
  • 170 g (6 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¾ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 3 eggs, medium (U.K.)/large (N.A.), lightly beaten
  • 225 g (8 oz) self-raising/self-rising flour, sifted (1¾ cups)
  • salt
  • icing/powdered sugar to dust

Equipment

  • You will also need a bundt pan with a base measurement of 20 cm (8 inches), greased and dusted with flour, or a 20 cm (8 inch) springform cake pan, sides greased and dusted with flour, base lined with baking parchment.
  • Method
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (gas 4).
  • Break up the chocolate and put it in a heatproof bowl with half the milk. Sit the bowl over a pan of just simmering water to melt the chocolate, about 5 minutes. Make sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir the chocolate and milk until combined and then put to one side to cool.
  • Now in a small bowl, lightly whisk together the remaining milk, crème fraîche (or sour cream), and brandy. Put to one side.
  • Next, using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until soft and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Now gradually add the eggs until the mixture is smooth. Occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl to incorporate all the mixture.
  • Using a large metal spoon fold in half the flour with a pinch of salt and then add half the milk mixture. Repeat using the remaining flour and milk mixture.
  • Spoon slightly less than half the cake mixture into a separate bowl and quickly mix in the melted chocolate.
  • Then combine both batches of the cake, marbling lightly so that both mixtures are still apparent.
  • Carefully spoon into the prepared cake pan and bake for 40 minutes, until a fine skewer comes out clean when poked through the centre of the cake.
  • Leave in the pan until the cake is fairly cool and then turn out on to a wire rack.
  • Dust the top with icing/powdered sugar to serve.
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Homemade Traditional Mixed Peel

Perfect for use in festive baking, fruit cakes, fruit buns, and more.

Mixed peel is very difficult to find in North America. I like to use it when baking fruit cakes and fruit buns, and especially when it comes to traditional English festive recipes.

The traditional fruits to use are lemons and oranges and this is a very simple recipe. One advantage is that you can freeze it in small batches so it will be there just when you need it.

Homemade Traditional Mixed Peel

  • Preparation time: 50 minutes
  • Cooking time: 35 minutes
  • Standing time: 2–3 days
  • Ingredients
  • 5 average sized citrus fruits, traditionally lemons and oranges
  • 280 g (10 oz) granulated sugar (1½ cups)
  • Method
  • Wash the fruit, scrubbing the peel, and then cut each fruit in half.
  • Squeeze the juice from the fruit which can then be refrigerated and used in other recipes.
  • Now cut each piece of fruit in half again so you are working with a quarter piece.
  • With a sharp knife, scrape out all the remaining fruit segments, leaving as much of the pith as possible.
  • Then cut the peel into approximately 0.75 cm (¼ inch) wide pieces and put in a large pan.
  • Add water to the pan so it just covers the peel and then bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Drain as much of the liquid as possible by using a colander and then tip the peel back into the pan.
  • Repeat the process by just covering the peel with fresh water. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Now, drain off the liquid again, but this time reserve 120 ml (4 fl oz) (½ cup).
  • Put the peel in a bowl and leave on one side.
  • Now pour the reserved liquid into the pan and add 120 ml (4 fl oz) (½ cup) water.
  • Take two thirds of the sugar, 190 g (6½ oz) (1 cup), and add it to the pan.
  • Gently bring the liquid to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  • Once the sugar syrup has come to a boil, pour it over the peel. Cover the bowl and leave to stand overnight.
  • Next day, transfer the peel, the liquid, and remaining sugar to a pan. Stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves.
  • Then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and drain well.
  • Spread the peel out on two large baking trays/sheets covered with baking paper/parchment. Leave to dry. This can take 24–48 hours. Occasionally move the peel about with a fork to keep the pieces separate.
  • It can now be stored in the fridge for up to one month or divided into small batches and put in snap lock freezer bags and frozen.
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Old Fashioned Rock Cakes

Rock Cakes

Scrumptious, light and crumbly little rock cakes that are made with mixed fruits and spices.

Old Fashioned Rock Cakes

12 cakes
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 18 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 325 g (12 oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour (2⅔ cups)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 170 g (6 oz) light brown sugar ( cup)
  • ¼ nutmeg, grated
  • ½ tsp mixed spice, or pumpkin pie spice
  • 170 g (6 oz) butter, softened (¾ cup, or 1½ sticks)
  • 40 g (1½ oz) currants (⅓ cup)
  • 40 g (1½ oz) sultanas (⅓ cup)
  • 40 g (1½ oz) raisins (⅓ cup)
  • 1 egg, large (U.K.)/ extra large (N.A.), beaten
  • 1 –2 tbsp milk

Equipment

  • You will also need 2 baking sheets, lined with parchment paper


  • Method
  • Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5)

  • Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
  • Mix in the sugar, breaking up any lumps that cling together.
  • Next mix in the spices.
  • Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Now stir through the dried fruits.

  • Sprinkle the egg over the mixture and start to bind in, adding a little milk, as necessary, until a stiff dough has formed.
  • Make 12 mounds of the dough on the baking sheets but do not smooth them out, the surface needs to look irregular.

  • Bake in the oven for 18 minutes until they become golden brown.

  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a couple of minutes.
  • Then transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
  • Store in an airtight container.
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