The Purple Potter's Umra Archives
(The Purple Potter's own website is here)



Sheila's Cake Brownies
Anne's Baking Powder Biscuits
Chris' Pepparkakor
Chris Toodles' Children's Recipe for Chocolate Brownies 1
Chris Toodles' Children's Recipe for Chocolate Brownies 2
Chris Toodles' Chocolate Parkin
Chris Toodles' Rock Cakes 1
Chris Toodles' Rock Cakes 2
Dave's Chocolate Muffins
Debbie's Derbyshire Pikelets (with Durham version)
Debbie's Blinis
Doug's American Biscuits Elizabeth's Treacle Parkin
Jenny's Best Ever Fruitcake
Kate B's Cheat's Mille Feuille
Kate B's Cheese Straws
Kate B's Macaroons
Kate B's Mother's Best Nutty Carrot Cake
Nick O's Harlequin Chocolate-Bar Fridge-Cake
Nick O's Mince Pies
Nick O's Sweet Lemon Buns with a Vanilla Custard Topping
Niles' Worm Cake
Penny's Guinness Chocolate Walnut Cake
Peter's Mum's Cheese Biscuits
Rosie's Fruit Cake
Sheila's Cake Brownies
Stephen B's Cornbread Muffins
Stephen B's Chocolate Brownies Susan Carter's Toffee Shortbread Squares
Vicky's Oatcakes

Back to UMRA Recipe Book Contents

Anne's Baking Powder Biscuits

(Makes about 14*)

Pre-heat oven to about 220 deg C, grease a large baking sheet.

2 cups (450 gm) all-purpose flour (I prefer 225gm a-p flour plus 225 gm wholemeal)
1 tablespoon (15 ml) baking powder
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
4 tablespoons (60 gm) shortening
about 3/4 cup (180 ml) milk

Mix together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender (what's that?) or two knives until texture of dry crumbs. (Fingertips work too, I find;-)). With a fork, stir in milk to form a soft dough. **Turn out on lightly floured surface and knead 2 or 3 times. Pat into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Cut with a floured 2-inch biscuit cutter or use a knife and cut square biscuits. For crusty biscuits, place two inches apart, for softer biscuits, place close together. Bake for 12 to 15 mins or until nicely browned.

* I don't guarantee that my translations from cups to grammes are stricly accurate, but I think they're in the correct proportion:-)

**(This is where I deviate from the standard recipe, as I add an extra 60 ml of milk to make "drop biscuits", which don't involve kneading and cutting out, but just dropping tablespoons of the dough onto the baking sheet.)

You can also add 2/3 cup (125 gm) grated cheese to the flour mixture with the shortening, or make herb biscuits by adding 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley and 2 tablespoons of another herb you fancy, with the milk.

Chris' Pepparkakor

OK then, here it is. The original was in Swedish, and I have adjusted some of the quantities to weight rather than volume, simply because that is how I cook.

150 g butter or margarine
425 g castor sugar
250 g golden syrup
200 g water
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1.5 tablespoons ground cloves
1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda
850 g plain flour

Cream fat, sugar and syrup until soft.
Add water and spices, then blend in flour gradually.
Work dough until manageable (either on a board, or using a dough hook)
Leave dough to rest in fridge overnight.
Roll out thinly, and cut into shapes with cookie cutters.
Place on oiled baking tray.
Bake at 200 C for about 5 minutes. Actual time varies, and depends on thickness - don't let them discolour.
Immediately on removal from the oven, lift with a spatula and place on a cooling rack. If you hesitate, or don't have a good flexible blade, they will stick.

This makes a great mound, probably far too many for most people. After several years of excess, this time I actually made half quantities, and it still filled a large container, plus some to hang on the tree, as is traditional.

Incidentally, I know that it is accepted practice to let pastry rest in the fridge, but I find that, having done so, I need to work it to again to get it soft enough to roll out. I have to wonder if I am wasting my time.

Chris Toodles' Children's Recipe for Chocolate Brownies 1

I'll give both imperial and metric in case you're still an imperial at heart.

110g (4oz) butter
110g (4oz) plain chocolate
225g (8oz) caster sugar
2 beaten eggs
110g (4oz) plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
110g (4oz) chopped walnuts
pinch of salt.

Oven setting 180 degrees C, 350 degrees F, Gas mark 4

Grease a shallow oblong tin. 18 x 28cm (7 x 11 inches)

Break chocolate up into a bowl and add the butter. Fit the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water. When the butter and chocolate have melted, take the bowl off the heat and stir in all the other ingredients.

Spread the mixture into the baking tin and put it in to the oven to bake for 30 mins. Let the mixture cool in the tin for 10 mins. It will sink a little bit. Then cut the brownies into squares and cool them ona wire rack. Store them in a biscuit tin.

Chris Toodles' Children's Recipe for Chocolate Brownies 2

Also a children's one but using 'cups',
Makes about 20

200g butter
1/2 cup cocoa
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp imitation vanilla essence
1 cup plain flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Oven setting : 180 C. 350 F., Gas mark 4.

Put butter and cocoa in a big pan. Melt gently, don't boil.

Add sugar and vanilla. Stir really well.

Take off heat. Sift in the flour. Stir it in.

Add eggs. Beat them in really well.

Add chopped walnuts. Stir in.

Spread evenly in tin. Bake 25 - 30 mins.

When cool. Ice with chocolate icing.

Chris Toodles' Chocolate Parkin

A chocolate version of a traditional Yorkshire ginger cake

7 oz flour
2 tbs ground ginger
A little grated nutmeg
tsp bicarbonate of soda
2oz cocoa powder
3 oz butter
5 oz fine or medium oatmeal
3 oz sugar
6 ox golden syrup, warmed
1 egg, beaten
pint milk

Set oven to 375 degrees F, 190 C or Mark 5. Grease and flour an 8 inch round or square cake tin. Sieve the flour into a bowl together with the mixed spice, nutmeg, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs then stir in the oatmeal and sugar. Make a well in the centre and add the warmed syrup gradually, stirring, together with the beaten egg and milk a little at a time to produce a smooth mixture. Put into the tin and bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. When cooked, leave it in the tin for a few mintues then turn out on to a wire rack to cool.

Chris Toodles' Rock Cakes 1(From a Mrs. Beeton's dating from the 1940s probably)

Rub lb of butter, lb of flour, teaspoon of baking powder and lb of moist sugar well together (the flour should be dried and sifted); mix in 1 egg, well beaten, teaspoon of lemon and gill of milk. Drop the cake mixture upon a baking tin as roughly as possible, and bake for about of an hour in a rather quick oven. Currants or peel can be added, if liked.

Chris Toodles' Rock Cakes 2 (coconut)

6oz self raising flour
A pinch of salt
level teaspoon of mixed spice
3 oz butter or marg
3 oz sugar
2 oz desiccated coconut
1 egg, beaten
A little milk to mix

Oven: 400 deg. F, mk. 6

Yield about 15 - 18 small cakes

Grease 2 large baking trays.
Sift together the flour, salt and spice. Rub in the fat and add the sugar and coconut. Mix with the beaten egg and enough milk to give a stiff consistency. Put teaspoonfuls of the mixture on to the greased baking trays and bake towards the top of the oven for about 15 minutes.

Dave's Chocolate Muffins

1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 package (1 1/3 cups) white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 190C.
In a large bowl add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda. Mix well. In a medium bowl mix the egg, milk, butter and vanilla. Pour the milk mixture over the dry ingredients, and mix lightly, just enough to moisten. Set aside about 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips, and mix the rest into the batter. Spoon into muffin tins that have been greased or lined with paper muffin cups. Sprinkle reserved white chocolate chips over the tops of the muffins. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Debbie's Derbyshire Pikelets

8oz plain flour
1 tsp salt
quarter oz yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 egg
half pint milk

Put flour and salt into bowl. Cream yeast and sugar and add beaten egg and warm-ish milk. (Actually, I'd use that dried yeast that comes out like diddy ball bearings). Add the wet stuff to the dry stuff and mix till it looks like a thin batter - you might need more milk. Cover and leave to rise for 30 mins in a warm place. The recipe says it should have doubled in size, but if it's very wet, it's hard to judge that. Fry single teacups-full in a lightly greased frying pan or on a hot griddle, turning once when they are set.

Durham version

8 oz flour
1.5 oz sugar (that's one and a half, not 15)
pinch of salt
pinch of bicarb
buttermilk or sour milk

Mix flour, sugar and salt and add enough milk or whatever to make a batter around the same consistency as (unwhipped) double cream. Dissolve the bicarb in a little water and add to batter. Beat well and cook as for the Derbyshire ones.

Debbie's Blinis

2 tsp dried yeast
12 oz flour - you can use all buckwheat, half and half with plain flour, fine wholemeal or ...well, anything floury will do. But I would go for half and half buckwheat and plain white.
A bit over half a pint of warmish water
2 eggs (separated)
1 oz melted butter
half a pint of warm milk
pinch of salt.

Put half the flour into a bowl. Mix the yeast with the warmish water and the sugar and stand until it goes frothy. Then add the yeast slop to the bowl, beat until smooth and leave in a warm place to rise for 30 mins.

Then add the rest of the flour, egg yolks, melted butter and salt, and beat in the milk. Whisk wildly throughout this bit.

Leave batter in warm place again for 30 mins till doubled in size. Meanwhile, whisk egg whites. (wash whisk before you do this, as any trace of butter on the whisk will stop the whites whisking, if you see what I mean)

Fold eggwhites into batter and rise again for 30 mins.

If the batter is too thick, water it down a little, then fry as for the pikelets.

Doug's American Biscuits

Here's a couple of biscuit recipes that we think are good, with some commentary and variations. If anyone wants to try your biscuits on me, I'm very experienced with them, having originally come from the South.

From Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, by Debhora Madison. p. 648

Basic biscuits are easy and fast to make-the oven won't even be hot by the time you're ready to pop them in. If you're reheating soup for dinner, biscuits will make it special. Here are a few things to know about making good biscuits: The less the dough is worked, the more tender the biscuits will be. Knead the dough just until it comes together in a smooth ball-about a dozen kneadings. Gently rework the scraps and use them too. Placing biscuits close together makes them rise higher and the steam coming off them keeps them from drying out. Placed an inch apart or more, they'll be crustier. Biscuits baked directly on a heated pizza stone have an especially good crust. If you don't have a biscuit cutter, a drinking glass, wineglass, shot glass-a glass of any kind will do. Biscuits can also be cut with a knife into diamonds or squares. Enjoy them while they're still warm from the oven. Biscuits aren't meant to be kept around, but leftovers are good toasted.

Basic Buttermilk Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose or pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat the oven to 450F. If you have a baking stone, heat the oven for an extra 10 minutes. Otherwise, lightly grease a sheet pan and set it aside. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and cut in the butter with your fingers or two knives until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Pour in the buttermilk and stir it with a fork until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Lightly flour the counter, turn out the dough, and pat it into a circle about 3/4 inch thick. Cut into rounds or another shape. Reassemble the scraps and cut them out as well. Bake the biscuits directly on the hot baking stone or on the sheet pan until light brown, 15 to 20 minutes

Variations: Baking Powder Biscuits Instead of buttermilk, use regular milk and omit the baking soda.

Dropped Biscuits Increase the liquid in the Basic Buttermilk Biscuits or Baking Powder Biscuits to 1 1/3 cups. Instead of rolling it out, drop the dough by spoonfuls onto the sheet pan. They will be rough and cobbled looking rather than smooth, but just as good.

Seeded Cheese Biscuits To the dry ingredients for Buttermilk Biscuits or Baking Powder Biscuits, add I cup coarsely grated, then chopped cheese, such as sharp Cheddar or Gruyere. Roll them out, brush the tops of the biscuits with beaten egg, and sprinkle generously with poppy or sesame seeds before baking.

From Fannie Farmer Cook book, p. 544

Light-gold and crusty outside, moist and fine-textured inside.
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or vegetable shortening
4 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 425F. Grease two 8-inch cake pans. Put the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a bowl. Cut the butter or shortening into the flour with two knives or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the milk all at once and stir just until the dough forms a ball around the fork. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and knead 14 times. Pat until 1/2 inch thick. Cut into rounds with a 2-inch cookie cutter. Place touching each other in the cake pans and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Variations: Crusty Baking Powder Biscuits. Roll biscuits to 1/4 inch thick and place I inch apart. Bake in a 450F oven for 12 minutes. This will yield almost twice as many biscuits.

Buttermilk Biscuits. Use 2/3 cup buttermilk instead of sweet milk and l/2 teaspoon baking soda, cutting the amount of baking powder in half, to 2 teaspoons.

Cheese Biscuits. Add 1/2 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese to the dry ingredients.

Drop Biscuits. Add an additional 1/3 cup milk and drop by teaspoonfuls onto a buttered baking sheet.

Elizabeth's Treacle Parkin

5oz butter (or margarine and lard mixed)
5oz Treacle
4oz Brown Sugar
Warm Milk
1/2 lb flour
1 level tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 lb ground oat meal
1 egg
1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda

Time 1 1/4-1 1/2 hours, temp regulo Mark 2,300F.

Have ready greased baking tin. Put fat treacle and sugar and about 2 tbsps milk in saucepan over low heat to melt and blend.

Sieve flour and spices and mix with oatmeal in a bowl.

Stir in the blended syrup mixture and beaten egg.

Now add bicarbonate of soda dissolved in a further 2 tbsps milk and mix well.

If necessary, add a little extra warmed milk to make a stiff batter consistency.

Pour into a prepared tin and put into oven straight away.

When cool, keep in a tin for a day or two before eating.

Tin size 11 1/2" x9" x 2"

Comment from Min: This was very nice, but I'd use a smaller tin, and for an extra treat, replace a couple of ozzes of oats with ground nuts of your choice (except, of course, for those with allergies...)

Jenny's Best Ever Fruitcake

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup dried fruit
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
lemon juice
1 cup brown sugar
1 or 2 quarts whiskey

Before you start, sample the whiskey to check for quality. Good, isn't it? Now go ahead. Select a large mixing bowl, measuring cup, etc. Check the whiskey again, as it must be just right. To be sure the whiskey is of the highest quality, pour one level cup into a glass and drink as fast as you can. Repeat...

With an electric mixer, beat 1 cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add 1 tsp. of thugar and beat again. Meanwhile, make sure the whiskey is of the finest quality. Cry another tup. Open second quart if necessary. Add 2 arge leggs, 2 cups fried druit and beat till high. If druit gets stuck in beaters, just pry loose with a drewscriver. Sample the whiskey again, checking for tonsistency. Next sift 3 cups of salt or anything, it doesn't really matter. Sample the whiskey.

Sift 1/2 pint of lemon juice. Fold in chopped butter and strained nuts. Add babblespoon of brown thugar, or whatever color thugar you can find, and wix mell. Grease oven and turn cake pan to 350 gedrees. Now pour the whole mess into the coven and ake. Check whiskey again and bo to ged.

Kate B's Cheat's Mille Feuille

1. Take one packet of JusRol Frozen Puff Pastry.
2. Put both sheets on greased baking sheet, sprinkle with a little brown sugar, and bake till big and bouncy. Cool.
3. Meanwhile, whip some cream, and don't forget a dash of Something interesting.
4. Fold in fresh raspberries.
5. Cut edges of puff pastry sheets to size, and split in two, so you have four sheets.
6. Spread raspberries and cream over sheets, pile up into sophisticated heap.
7. Ice top one with glace icing. Alternatively, don't bother, just shake icing sugar over it.

Time to prepare: about 45 mins.

Kate B's Cheese Straws

I offer this for umratic delectation (adapted from a Jill Dupleix recipe):

200g plain flour
100g butter
about 200g grated ancient very strong cheddar. If you use Parmesan you could use less, perhaps. I like my cheese biscuits very cheesy
1 egg yolk (yes!)
sea salt crystals
chopped fresh rosemary and/or dried mixed herbs
black pepper
cold water

Heat oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4. Sieve flour into food processor, add butter in bits, cheese, freshly ground black pepper, some dried herbs, good dose of paprika and a dash of cayenne. Whizz till combined (looks like breadcrumbs). Add egg yolk and a little cold water, whizz till the dough forms a ball, adding a little more water if necessary. Roll out fairly thin (about 1/2 centimetre) and cut out shapes - mine were small roundels and hearts and some straws. This quantity makes about 30 small shapes like that. Place on baking tray. Ms Dupleix then brushes hers with beaten eggwhite but I didn't, having better things to do with it. Sprinkle with sea salt crystals and chopped rosemary and bake for 10 minutes or so until golden. Actually the straws were less successful, but the little round biscuits were very moreish.

Kate B's Macaroons

It's dead easy:

3oz ground almonds sifted with 3oz caster sugar, add grated zest of an orange (or mandarin if no oranges, lemon would be nice too), teaspoon of vanilla extract, teaspoon or two of orange flower water (last not compulsory, I just like the smell; you could try a little cinnamon perhaps).

Beat 1 large eggwhite till peaky, add a little caster sugar and beat again till glossy, fold in almond/sugar/zest/flavourings mixture until all combined. This makes about 16 little ratafia-sized mounds, which just fit on Lakeland's small ricepaper roundels. Sprinkle a couple of flaked almonds on top of each mound.

Bake these in oven preheated to 150 for about 25 minutes or until golden and crispy at the edges. Leave to cool. Try not to eat more than four or five in one sitting. Very good with poached pears and frozen yoghurt (see, we do try a bit).

Kate B's Mother's Best Nutty Carrot Cake

275g brown sugar
225ml sunflower seed oil
3 eggs
175g brown flour sifted
1 and a half tsp baking powder
3tsp or more mixed spice - ginger, cinnamon, cloves*
half tsp sea salt
225g carrots grated finely
100-125g walnuts finely chopped
grated rind of 1 lemon plus lemon juice to taste

*easy on the cloves as they dominate. A 'Christmas spice' mix is often very nice. Try allspice and coriander as well. Sometimes I put in a handful of crystallized ginger chopped very small.

heat oven to 350F/ 175C/ gas mark4. Put sugar in large bowl and stir in oil, beating with wooden spoon. Break in eggs one and a time and beat in until amalgamated. Sift in the flour, baking powder, spices and salt, continuing to beat (better to mix these first before adding bit by bit). Finally stir in the grated carrot and chopped nuts. This is quite a liquid mixture, don't worry, simply pour into tins lined with baking parchment. This makes 2 lb tins, or 1 lb tin plus 12 muffin-sized fairycakes. Cook until the top feels springy and the edges are slightly caramelised - the loaf takes about 70 minutes, the little cakes less, between 40 - 50. I prod the loaf with a thin skewer to make sure it's cooked all the way through. Let tin cool a bit before removing the cake, though it usually comes out then fairly easily. I've never tried it with philly icing, but I imagine if you beat the cheese with a little icing sugar and some orange juice it might be quite nice.

Nick O's Harlequin Chocolate-Bar Fridge-Cake

Line the bottom of a 2pt loaf tin with Maltesers. Around the perimeter of the tin lay Bounty Bars with Crunchie Bars in the middle. For the top layer, alternate Crunchie Bars and Mars Bars. Obviously substitutions are possible.)

Melt together 200g good plain or bitter chocolate;30g butter; 120ml milk; 1tbsp rum and pour over the contents of the loaf tin. Tap the tin a few times to shake out the air bubbles and ensure good coverage. The bars may have a tendency to float on the liquid chocolate so to counter this I use a sheet of polythene, a piece of stiff card (cut out to the shape of the tin) and some weights. Place in the fridge and allow to set for a few hours or better still, overnight.

Serve by turning the fridge-cake out of the tin (dip the tin in hot water if it doesn't release easily) and hack pieces off with a serrated knife. Goes well with cream, ice cream, cherries or strawberries - or whatever you like, really.

Nick O's Mince Pies

The pastry is highly non-vegetarian and the filling is highly non-teetotal. If I haven't put you off yet, then I promise the pastry is delicious and worth the effort of fiddling around with the extra ingredients. 22 oz plain flour;
1 lb lard;
1 tbs baking powder;
1 egg;
1 tbs vinegar; 1/4 pt milk;
1 large jar of mincemeat and brandy to taste.

1. Sieve the flour and the baking powder
2. Rub in the lard until crumbly
3. Whisk together the milk, egg and vinegar
4. Make a well in the middle of the flour/lard mixture and add the liquid
5. Mix together but handle as little as possible
6. Cover the pastry and rest in the fridge for at least an hour
7. Roll out pastry and make up the mice (TWATBILI) pies, glaze with milk if you like.
8. Make at about 180degC until golden brown. (about 15-20mins)
9. Cool on a rack and sprinkle with caster or icing sugar.
Credit where credit is due: the recipe came from Amanda Williams of Outwell and I've used it since it was published in a village magazine in 1996

Nick O's Sweet Lemon Buns with a Vanilla Custard Topping

"Pancitos de Salud"

Cream together 40gms of fresh yeast with a teaspoonful of sugar, a rounded tablespoonful of plain flour and one quarter of a cup of warm water.

While the yeast is starting to get to work, beat to- gether 3 eggs, 70gm unsalted butter, three-quarters of a cup of sugar, a quarter of a cup of warm milk, then mix in the yeast and the grated rind of 1 lemon. Little by little, beat in more flour until the mixture becomes a soft dough, just firm enough to separate from the bowl. Knead the dough vigorously then leave it in a warm place in a clingfilm-covered bowl until it has doubled in volume.

To make the topping, mix 1 whole egg, 1 egg yolk, one and a half tablespoons of flour, 1 teaspoonful of van- illa essence and 100gm sugar in a saucepan. Blend in 1 cup of cold milk then, stirring continuously, cook on a high heat until it becomes a stiff paste. Leave it to cool and move on to the next stage.

Make the dough into little balls and place on a baking tray to rise. If one paints melted butter on one's fingers while doing this it reduces sticking and im- proves the texture of the bun. Bear in mind that the dough balls will expand to four or five times original size in the oven.

Paint the risen buns with beaten, whole egg then pipe on the topping using an icing bag or equivalent. Place the baking tray in the middle of a moderate oven and bake for about 15 minutes until golden. Allow to cool and serve while fresh.

(The original recipe then garnishes the buns with large sugar crystals but since I haven't tried that myself I've left that bit out. (I haven't yet sourced the block sugar one is supposed to hammer the crystals from!)

Niles' Worm Cake

4 oz fresh worms
5 oz caster sugar
10 oz dried fruit
1/2 pint milk
4 oz SR flour

Preheat oven to Gas 3, 140 deg.C

Mix the worms, sugar and fruit in a large bowl, and mix well

Stir in milk, and leave for 30 minutes

Sieve in flour, mixing well, and pour into two 1 pound loaf tins

Bake for approx one hour.

Notes: dried fruit can be altered to taste to include glace cherries (reduce sugar slightly), chopped shelled nuts, dessicated coconut, the exciting things in small packets like prunes, sun-dried apricots, etc.

If fresh worms are not available, Kellog's All-Bran makes a reasonable substitute. Do not use dried worms.

Worm cake is a pleasant and interesting way of introducing more roughage into your diet. I did once work out the calories per slice, assuming no butter, using the Weight Watchers thingie, but I've lost the details, so I can't remember. It wasn't astromical, since the only real bad thing is the sugar, which divided by 24 slices in two pound loaves isn't really bad after all.

Penny's Guinness Chocolate Walnut Cake

150g/5 oz self raising flour (I use wholemeal)
50g/2oz butter
50g/2oz sugar (I use muscovado)
75g/3oz chopped walnuts (erm, came in 100g pack so I put the lot in and think more would be even better)
100g good dark chocolate (suspect more would be better)
150ml/6floz Guinness
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon bicarb
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

7 inch round cake tin or 2lb loaf tin - greased and (at least) bottom lined

Rub butter into flour, stir in sugar and nuts.
Melt the chocolate in the Guinness over a gentle heat (or in microwave); whisk lightly. When cool, blend the liquid into the dry ingredients with the beaten egg and raising agents.
Pour into lined tin and bake Gas 4, 180 C, 350 F for about 45 minutes until cooked through. Leave to cool in tin for 10 mins before turning out.

It says you can spread it with butter but I, who normally really go for butter on cake, feel this is overkill although it does help to stick the crumbs together.
Moistens as it keeps - but not for long round here :) Tends to go mouldy if you forget about it so if this is at all likely I suggest freezing it (although I haven't tried that myself).

Chocolate chips might be a pleasant addition...

Peter's Mum's Cheese Biscuits

Cheddar or Gloucester cheese. It doesn't matter if it is a bit old.
Half its weight in plain flour
Half again butter or margarine

Grate the cheese. Rub fat and flour together with cold hands (keep running them under the tap if like me you have hot hands) until they look like breadcrumbs (the mixture, not the hands). Stir in grated cheese. Add beaten egg little by little until the mixture is of a stiff rolling consistency. Roll out 1/4 inch thick and cut into small shapes. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 425F until golden brown.

Rosie's Fruit Cake

250g block of margarine
250g caster/castor sugar
4 eggs, beaten

375 g self-raising flour 1 tsp baking powder
375 g currants, sultanas and raisins, in roughly equal proportions
125g glace cherries, quartered
1 tbsp mixed peel (optional)

Grease an 8-inch cake tin. Cut a piece of greaseproof paper to fit the bottom of the tin.

Put all the ingredients into a large bowl together. Mix with a wooden spoon until it forms a stiff dough. Spoon into the cake tin and bake in a preheated oven at 150C for 1 1/2 hours.

Sheila's Cake Brownies

one and a quarter cups of sugar
three quarters cup of margarine or butter
three quarters cup of cocoa powder
two eggs
one teaspoon vanilla extract
one and a half cups of all-purpose (plain) flour
one teaspoon baking powder
quarter teaspoon baking soda
one cup milk
one cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

In a large saucepan heat sugar, margarine or butter, and cocoa powder over medium heat till margarine melts, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat lightly just till combined. Combine flour, baking powder and soda. Add dry ingredients and milk alternately to the chocolate mixture, beating after each additional. Stir in nuts. Pour batter into a greased 15 x 10 x 1 baking dish (or whatever you have, as I do!).

Bake in a 350 degree oven (I think that's about 200c to us) about 20 minutes or till toothpick inserted near the centre comes out clean.

Frost with no-cook fudge frosting if required:

four and three quarter cups of icing sugar
half cup of cocoa powder
half cup margarine or butter
third cup boiling water
teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix icing sugar and cocoa. Add butter, boiling water and vanilla. Beach with an electric mixer until combined, cool for 20-30 minutes until spreading consistency.

Could also consider Rocky Road Frosting:

half cup tiny marshmallows
one ounce unsweetened chocolate cut up (the good stuff!)
two tablespoons butter or marg
one and a quarter cups of icing sugar
one teaspoon vanilla extract
half cup tiny marshmallows (not a repeat)
quarter cup chopped walnuts

In a medium saucepan combine half cup marshmallows, chocolate butter and two tablespoons water. Cook and stir over low heat until marshmallows and chocolate melt. Cool 5 minutes. Add icing sugar and vanilla beat till smooth. Stir in other half cup of marshmallows and walnuts.

Highly recommended!

Sorry about cup measurements, but you can buy them for a reasonable cost at many places now.

Stephen B's Cornbread Muffins

The following is my (Texan) mother-in-law's receipt for cornbread muffins (makes 12 muffins). This produces light but rather crumbly muffins:

1 1/2 cups corn meal
1/3 cup flour
1 tbsp sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsps baking powder
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease muffin tins and heat until very hot. Mix all ingediments together. Fill muffin tins about half full. Bake for about 20 mins or until golden brown. Remove from pans immediately to keep crust from going soggy.

Stephen B's Chocolate Brownies

This is from the Joy of Sex^H^H^HCooking, hence the US quantities (makes about 30)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

melt in a double boiler
1/2 cup butter
4oz unsweetened chocolate (aka Bakers Chocolate) cool this mixture

beat until light in colour and foamy in texture 4 eggs at 70 degrees (Farenheit that is, not ENE), 1/4 teaspoon of salt add gradually and continue beating until well creamed
2 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

with a few swift strokes, combine the cooled chocolate mixture and the eggs and sugar. Even if you normally use an electric mixer do this manually.

Before the mixture becomes uniformly coloured, fold in, again by hand 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour

And before the flour is uniformly coloured stir in gently 1 cup pecan meats

Bake in a greased 9x13 pan about 25 minutes. Cut when cool as interiors are still moist when fresh from oven.

Susan Carter's Toffee Shortbread Squares (contributions by Peter and Andrew C)

4 oz SR flour
2 oz sugar
4 oz marg
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

4 oz marg
2 level desertsp syrup
Either 1 small tin condensed milk or 1 small tin evaporated milk with 1 oz sugar

Topping: 6 oz dark chocolate

Rub margarine and flour together, add sugar and press into a greased tin. Bake at 350F until golden brown.

Meanwhile melt all the filling ingredients together, stirring occasionally. Boil for five minutes, stirring constantly, then beat. Pour onto base and allow to cool.

Cover with melted chocolate and leave until firm enough to cut into squares. Refrigerate the squares and serve cold.

(I vaguely remember making a better-tasting base but I can't remember the quantities. For this, you put digestive biscuits in a poly bag and crush into crumbs with a rolling pin. Gently cook the crumbs in a little melted butter/marg, leave a while to cool, then line the tin with them. - Andrew)

Vicky's Oatcakes

Oatcakes are good for kids. I used to make these regularly for the kids for teatime, after school, especially if they had friends home.

10 oz porridge oats
6 oz brown demerera sugar
8 oz butter
2 teaspoons ginger

Melt butter and sugar in pan. Add oats and ginger and smooth flat into a large baking tin.

Bake at 350/110 for 20 mins until golden. Cut into squares before it cools and take out when it does.

Or you could shape it into balls to bake. It comes out as cookies then.

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