A Cornish girl's food adventures

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Chocolate, hazelnut & coriander shortbread

Chocolate, hazelnut & coriander shortbread

Since I changed the name of this blog I’ve been thinking about how it’s maybe a bit strange that there aren’t actually that many recipes on here that use coriander. It’s my name so I feel a little bit like it should be my trademark. […]

Coconut water margaritas

Coconut water margaritas

Allegedly it’s spring here in the UK. The weather has yet to get the memo. All too often it’s still cold and wet and grey. So obviously, with cinco de mayo coming up, I’m going to make myself a few of these and pretend that […]

Rhubarb & custard cake

Rhubarb & custard cake

The upside of baking your own birthday cake is that you get to have exactly the cake you want. The downside of baking your own birthday cake is baking your own birthday cake!
I don’t actually mind to be honest, the kitchen is my happy place, so it’s no real chore to spend an hour or so in there creating a delicious treat to share with my friends.
I’ve adapted my recipe for fresh peach buttermilk cake for this. It makes such a lovely bouncy sponge and adding some tart (homegrown) rhubarb makes me love it even more than the original. The rich, creamy custard buttercream is quite literally the icing on the cake. So good!

Ingredients
serves 16
cake
175g rhubarb
50ml of vegetable/sunflower oil
150g sugar
2 eggs
300g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
175ml buttermilk
frosting
70g sugar
2 tbsp plain flour
70g custard powder
200ml milk
200g room temperature butter, cubed

Grease and line a 9″ square cake tin and pre-heat your oven to 190°c.
Dice the rhubarb and toss it in 25g of the sugar. Roast the rhubarb in the oven as it pre-heats, until it is just tender.
Beat together the oil, sugar and salt until they are thick and pale. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Sift together the flour and raising agents. Add one third of this to the batter and briefly beat it in. Follow this with one third of the buttermilk and beat again. Repeat this until all of the flour and buttermilk have been incorporated and you have a thick, smooth batter. Drain off the juice and fold the rhubarb through the batter. (Don’t throw the juice away – it’s delicious added to a gin and tonic) Pour the batter into the prepared tin and use a spoon to spread it out and smooth off the top.

Bake the cake for around 30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean and then leave it to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
You can start to make the frosting whilst the cake bakes. Combine everything but the butter in a pan, making sure that there are no lumps. Gently heat the mixture until it turns into a very thick paste. Leave to cool.
Once the custard mixture has cooled transfer it to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat it until it starts to become a little fluffy. Add the butter, a few pieces at a time, with the mixer running, until you have a rich thick, creamy buttercream. Either spread or pipe this onto the cooled cake, depending on how fancy you’re feeling!

Berry Basil Smoothie

Berry Basil Smoothie

Generally speaking I’m not too fussed about smoothies. I love fruit so eating it never feels like a chore and I also think that eating it rather than drinking it makes me feel more full (and therefore a lot less likely to reach for less […]

Miso Caramel Whip

Miso Caramel Whip

I’m a child of the eighties and as such I will always have a soft spot for Angel Delight, specifically butterscotch Angel Delight. I know it’s horribly artificial but it’s also delicious and sweet and fluffy (and easy to make). I’ve made it a little […]

Everything scones

Everything scones

Maybe it’s this food blogging lark but my cupboards always seem to have packets of dried fruit, nuts and seeds in them with just a few spoonfuls left in each. Ordinarily I’d toss them into some granola but Mr C and I recently made a batch of butter which left us with a fair amount of buttermilk. Even after several pancake breakfasts and a plum cobbler there was still some residing in the fridge so I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone and make some lovely light fluffy scones and toss in all these odds and ends. They turned out beautifully and now I may just end up buying more seeds so that I can make them again!

Ingredients
500g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
20g sugar
75g butter
300ml buttermilk
100g of whatever dried fruit, nuts, seeds or chocolate chips you’ve got in your cupboards

a sprinkling of demerara sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 200°c and pop in a baking tray to warm up.
Sift together the flour and raising agents (I do this twice for extra lift). Whisk in the sugar and then lightly rub in the butter until the mixture looks like chunky breadcrumbs. Toss through the fruit/nuts/seeds and then use the buttermilk, adding a little at a time, to combine everything into a soft dough. Very briefly knead the dough and then pat it out to about one inch thick. Use a pastry cutter to stamp out the scones or just cut the dough into triangles.
Carefully retrieve your hot tray and cover it with a silicone sheet or some baking parchment. Place the scones on the tray and brush the tops with a little extra buttermilk before sprinkling them with sugar. Bake them for 15-20 minutes (depending on their size) before leaving them too cool a little on a wire rack.

Peanut butter millionaires shortbread

Peanut butter millionaires shortbread

Soft tender peanut butter shortbread topped with crunchy peanuts, rich caramel and smooth creamy chocolate. What’s not to love? I can pretty much guarantee that I will never turn down a piece of caramel shortbread when it’s on offer and these are certainly no exception. […]

Cardamom buns

Cardamom buns

I’m almost certain that homemade bread is good for the soul. The process of making the dough, the smell as it bakes and that first taste when it’s fresh from oven – it really does make me feel good. I love making a batch of […]

Bergamot & gin soak cake

Bergamot & gin soak cake

So you’ve heard of lemon drizzle cake right? Well soak cake is what happens when you make a little too much delicious drizzling syrup and don’t want to waste any of it! Seriously, this cake is literally drenched in deliciously fragrant, sweet, sticky syrup. Because I don’t like icing. If I could stomach icing then I could have just added a heap of icing sugar to the syrup to thicken it and used it to decorate the cake, which you can of course do if you’re on board with the idea.
I love this cake as it is though. It’s so soft, tender and moist (obviously) and the flavour of the bergamot is just amazing (I do love Earl Grey though!). I know that it’s not an easy fruit to get hold of though, my mum gave me this one, so feel free to swap it to a different fragrant, sour citrus fruit if you want. Lemon and lime would make a nice combination.

Ingredients
makes 1 medium bundt or loaf cake
100g butter
125g sugar
zest of one bergamot
2 eggs
100g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
50g ground almonds
pinch of salt
3 tbsp milk
syrup
30ml gin
juice of one bergamot
50g icing sugar (plus extra 50g more to finish)

Pre-heat your oven 180°c and prepare your tin. Grease and line it if you’re using a loaf tin or grease it and dust it with flour if you’re using a bundt tin.
For extra flavour you can blitz together the sugar and zest in a food processor if you like but don’t worry if you’re short on time. Cream together the butter, zest, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, before sifting in the flour and baking powder. Stir in the ground almonds and then mix through the milk to give the batter a nice dropping consistency. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake the cake for around 45 minutes. It should be well risen and golden on top and feel springy to the touch when it’s done.
While the cake bakes you can make the soaking syrup. Combine 50g of icing sugar with the gin and fruit juice in a small pan and heat gently. Let the syrup bubble until it thickens and reduces a little. Set it aside to cool a bit.
Take the cake out of the oven and pop it on a wire rack to cool but leave it in the tin. Use a cake tester or a cocktail stick to poke the cake all over. Use a spoon to drizzle about half of the syrup over the warm cake before leaving it to cool completely. Add the remaining icing sugar to the leftover syrup to thicken it, use as much as you need to get your desired consistency. Turn out the cake onto a serving plate and pour over as much or as little of the thickened syrup as you like to glaze the cake.

Baked S’mores cheesecake

Baked S’mores cheesecake

I think baked cheesecakes might be my super-power. (Making them and eating them). I never really have any problems with them and they always turn out well, slightly soft and rich and creamy, the way a baked cheesecake should be. This one is no exception […]