I came across a basic recipe in a book after thinking I should find a way to use up stale croissants one Christmas holiday. However I tweaked it myself and invite you to do so using your favourite tipple or whatever is left in the dregs of your bottles !
- 2 stale croissants
- 100 grams sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 250 mls of channel islands milk or a mix of double cream and full fat milk
- 2 tablespoons ( ok i tend to add rather a glug oe so extra!) Of your fave booze I LOVE amaretto or brandy.
- 2 large eggs (beaten)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/gas mark 4/350ºF.
- Rip the croissants into pieces and put in a small dish
- Put the sugar and water into a saucepan, mixing to dissolve the sugar before putting the saucepan on the hob ,
- Caramelize the sugar and water mixture by letting it boil until it all turns a deep amber colour; this will take 3-5 minutes.
- Turn heat down to low and add the milky mix and booze stirring carefully.
- Take off the heat and, still whisking, add the beaten eggs.
- Pour the mixture over the croissants and leave for a few minutes so they soak up all the liquid.
- Place in the oven for 20 minutes and enjoy!
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Twelfth night cake – the recipe
Twelfth Night cake celebrated the last day of the festive season on 5 January when there were great feasts, of which cake was an essential part.The punch called wassail was also a main feature of the feast on Twelfth Night and although enjoyed throughout Christmas time, door-to-door wassailing (similar to singing Christmas carols) commanded ‘figgy pudding’ ( or 12th night cake) and hot punch. It is considered unlucky to leave Christmas decorations hanging after Twelfth Night So the home should be cleaned and cleared ready for the Epiphany on 6th January which marks the day when the nativity story tells us that the wise men visited the infant Jesus.
Baked inside the cake were a dried bean and pea, one in one half and the other. Not to be confused with a standard Christmas cake, this cake had a quirky significance attached to it. Baked inside the cake were a dried bean and pea, one in one half and the other in the second half. As visitors arrived to the feast they were given a slice of cake, ladies from the left and gentleman from the right. Whoever found the bean became King of the Revels for the night and the Queen was found with the pea, gaining power to instruct all to their heart’s content. the second half.
- Butter – softened to room temperature 200g
- Dark muscovado sugar 200g
- Plain flour200g
- Eggs – 4x beaten
- Ground almond 50g
- Sherry, sweet or dry 100ml
- Candied peel, roughly chopped 85g
- Glacé cherries – roughly chopped 85g
- Raisins 250g
- Currants 250g
- Lemon zest from 1 lemon finely grated
- Mixed spice1½ tsp
- Ground cinnamon 1 tsp
- Ground nutmeg ½ tsp
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Icing of your choice: pre-made royal or buttercream
- ½ tsp baking powder
- Dried bean and a dried pea
- Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas
- Line the base and sides of a 20 cm round, 7.5 cm deep cake tin.
- Beat the butter and sugar with an electric hand mixer for 1-2 mins until very creamy and pale in colour, scraping down the sides of the bowl half way through.
- Stir in a spoonful of the flour, then stir in the beaten egg and the rest of the flour alternately, a quarter at a time, beating well each time with a wooden spoon. Stir in the almonds.
- Mix in the sherry (the mix will look curdled), then add the peel, cherries, raisins, cherries, lemon zest, spices and vanilla. Beat together to mix, then stir in the baking powder.
- Don’t forget to add in your dried bean and pea!
- Spoon mixture into the tin and smooth the top, making a slight dip in the centre.
- Bake for 30 mins, then lower temperature to 150C/fan 130C/gas 2 and bake a further 2-2¼ hours, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin, then take out of the tin and peel off the lining paper.
- When completely cold, wrap well in cling film and foil to store until ready to decorate. The cake will keep for several months
- I like to decorate with simple icing and a crown for the king tower but it is all a matter of personal choice.
Peanut Butter cookies – a recipe
So, you have just received a phone call and visitors are just checking you are in and they will pop in on the way past in about ten min! Whilst we all love the idea of visitors itf you are anything at all like me you need to know you have something to offer them.
Whilst i can usually knock up a cake quickly I haven’t always got everything needed to do so and if the guests are only ten mins away and not staying long you need to act fast!
These cookies are just that, very fast ,very easy and very moreish! Perfect with a cup of tea warm or cold and making sure I have a jar of peanut butter in the house hidden at the back of the cupboard has served me well over the years!
- 1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line 2 large baking trays with baking parchment.
- 2.Measure the peanut butter and sugar into a bowl. Add the egg and mix until the mixture forms a dough.
- 3.Break off chunks of dough and roll into balls, place, well spaced apart, on the trays. Press the cookies down with the back of a fork in a cross.
- 4.Bake for 12 mins, until golden around the edges and paler in the centre.
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