The little cherry tree in our garden has really out-done itself this year. It’s not much bigger than me but it’s managed to produce masses of fruit. As they are sour cherries I do have to cook them before we can enjoy them, just to […]
These are a lovely savoury twist on a sweet tea-time classic. You don’t have to limit them to afternoon indulgence though – these have proved very popular for breakfast and brunch topped with fried or poached eggs.
You can use any hard, medium-fat cheese you like in these so long as it’s got plenty of flavour. Welsh cheddar and Caerphilly are obviously great choices but I’ve used a mix of extra mature cheddar and Wensleydale in this batch. A cheese that’s a bit crumbly means that it will be distributed more evenly through the dough.
makes about 12 (depending on size)
2 tbsp finely chopped chives
150g plain flour
75g wholemeal flour
100g cheese (see note above)
splash of milk
pinch of black pepper
Sift together the flours. Cut the butter into small pieces and rub this into the dry ingredients to leave you with a mixture that resembles fine breadcrumbs. Crumble the cheese, fairly finely and then mix this through the flour and butter, together with the chives and black pepper.
Lightly beat the egg and use this to bring the dry mixture together to form a soft dough. If you need a little more moisture then incorporate a splash of milk into the mix.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to about 1cm thick. Take a round cutter, any size you like, to cut out the cakes. Cook these in a little butter on a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. They should take about 3 minutes on each side and be just cooked in the middle
I’ve never been much of one for rich dark fruit cake. I love dried fruit but I always find fruit cakes to be a bit too sweet and full-on. Something like this is much more my cup of tea, more cake than fruit and a lighter cake at that. It’s no-where near as rich as a dark fruit cake but there’s still plenty of flavour.
The sweet marsala wine is delicious in this if you don’t want to invest in a bottle then golden rum is a good alternative or if you don’t want the booze at all then a little orange juice will do the job.
Dusting the cherries in a little flour before adding them to the mix will help to stop them from sinking to the bottom of cake as it bakes.
3 tbsp marsala (see note above)
50g pine nuts
100g butter, softened
175g plain flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
25g ground almonds
75g glace cherries, halved
3 tbsp milk
Demerara sugar to finish
Combine the sultanas and the marsala in a small pan and gently heat for a few minutes before setting a side for 30 minutes, this will help the fruit to plump up. Grease and line a spring-form cake tin and pre-heat your oven to 180°c.
Sift together the flour and baking powder. Put the butter, sugar, almonds and flour into a mixing bowl and beat it until it is well combined. Drain the fruit (setting the soaking liquid to one side) and mix this into the mixture along with 40g of the pine nuts.
Whisk together the soaking liquid, eggs and milk and then beat this into the dry mixture to form a soft cake batter. Fold through the cherries and then pour the batter into the prepared tin. Level off the top and sprinkle it with a little demerara sugar and the last of the pine nuts to give the finished cake a nice crunchy top.
Bake the cake for about 30 minutes and then carefully open the oven door and cover the top with foil. Bake the cake for a further 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out of the cake clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack.
You just can’t go wrong with a Chelsea bun. Soft enriched dough crammed full of rich, sweet fillings and covered in finger-licking sticky glaze. Always a winner! I love these warm for wintry breakfasts or with a cup of piping hot tea on a chilly […]
Oops! Somehow another madeleine recipe has made it onto this blog… These are like my perfect Anglo-French treat. The floral earl grey tea goes really well with the sharp sweet raspberries and the little sponges have a wonderful melt-in-the-mouth texture. There may have been an incident where I ate one of these with a little clotted cream, you know, just for research purposes, and it was pretty darned delicious.
85g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp earl grey tea
punnet of fresh raspberries
Melt the butter and use a little of it to brush your madeleine tin. Dust the tin with a little flour too and shake out any excess. Put the tin in the fridge to chill. Set the remaining butter aside to cool.
Grind the tea a little in a pestle and mortar. Heat one tablespoon of the milk and steep the tea in this.
Beat the egg with the sugar until it is nicely thick, fluffy and pale in colour. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and then fold this into the egg mixture.
Mix the tea and the remaining milk into the butter and then stir this into the batter and let it stand in the fridge for at least 1 hour but longer if you want to.
Towards the end of the resting time pre-heat the oven to 220°c.
Spoon the batter into each of the little shell shaped cavities of the chilled madeleine tin. You don’t need to worry too much about spreading it out to fill them, the batter will do this of its own accord once it hits the heat of the oven. Gently press one or two raspberries into the top of each madeleine. Bake them for three minutes and then turn the oven down to 180°c and leave them for a further five minutes.
Once the little cakes have risen and become golden brown take them out of the oven and place the tray on a cooling rack for a few minutes. When they’ve cooled a bit you can carefully lift them out of the tin and allow to cool completely on the rack before sprinkling them with a little icing sugar. These are best eaten on the same day, whilst the outsides are still crisp.