Monday, 31 March 2008

Aunt Lily's Chocolate Balls

This recipe was handed down by my late Aunt Lily (bet she'd have loved the internet had she lived long enough. She was a very intelligent lady who was born before the 20th century opened and even went to University to graduate MA, before it was normal for women to graduate.

12 Digestive biscuits (crushed)
4 oz butter
3 Tbsps coconut
2 Tbsps drinking chocolate
1 small tin Nestle’s milk
2 Tbsps sherry (rum is better, or Tia Maria) Chocolate vermicelli

Melt milk and butter DO NOT BOIL

Add other ingredients, then sherry, rum or Tia Maria

Leave overnight to harden. Roll into balls and coat with chocolate vermicelli.

I made this recipe in October 2008 and added half a cherry in the middle of each ball. I think that a whole cherry could be even better.

Chocolate Balls

4 oz butter
4 oz syrup
10 Tbsp porage
10 Tbsp coconut
4 Tbsp drinking chocolate Chocolate vermicelli

Melt butter and syrup
Mix well
When cool, form into balls and coat with chocolate vermicelli

Small Buns

I made these buns today (22 May) and have updated the recipe a bit.

This recipe was always one of my favourites when I had other mothers round for tea as you could make so many varieties from one basic recipe.

4 oz butter
4 oz caster sugar
2 eggs
4 oz self-raising flour
little milk

Cream the butter and sugar together until it is soft and thoroughly mixed. If you are using the butter from the fridge, better to leave it to soften for a while (I didn't and it was very hard work).

Add the flour and eggs in two amounts to make sure the mix doesn't curdle.

Place a good teaspoon in each baking case in a bun tin (makes sure they will turn out fine!)

You should get about 18 buns.

Place in an oven at 160 Celcius for 20 mins (until ready)

For variety you can add to basic mix

mixed fruit
Drinking chocolate

You can ice them with plain icing or cut the top off and then cover the new top with butter icing. You then cut the cut off part in half and place them on top of the butter icing to make fairy cakes.

You could use butter icing or chocolate icing or chocolate butter icing, the permutations go on.

With mincemeat I always liked to use icing sugar made to a coating consistency with lemon juice.

For the butter icing, I find it helps to add a teaspoon or so of water to the icing sugar before creaming as this prevents clouds of icing sugar flying all over the place.

For the icing, I used a few drops of lemon juice to give a bit of flavour.

Crunchy Chocolate Truffle Cake

3 crushed Crunchie chocolate bars
600g dark chocolate (50-60%cocoa solids)
140g liquid glucose
600ml double cream, lightly whipped
sifted cocoa to serve

Melt the chocolate and glucose together (? use microwave) then cool for 5 minutes. Tip in the crushed Crunchies, stir, then fold in the cream.

Once blended, tip into prepared tin (23 cm loose-bottomed cake tin, lined with baking parchment and lightly oiled). Tap the tin to level the surface.

Cover and chill overnight - or for a couple of days. Dust with cocoa and serve in wedges with pouring cream


This recipe also goes back many years and may have been my mother's.

4 oz plain flour
2 oz cornflour
2 oz icing sugar
4 oz butter

Cream butter and sugar
Add flour and butter, folding in with a metal spoon
Press into a 7” sponge tin
Prick well
Bake on a middle shelf at 300 for 45 minutes until light brown

Mark for cutting when hot
Remove from tin when cold

Chocolate Squares

These recipes go back to when my children were small and were passed on by a friend. I am pretty sure Royal Scot biscuits no longer exist, but I am sure digestive biscuits would do fine (although Royal Scot were a kind of half way house between digestive and shorbread).

1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp golden syrup
2 Tbsp drinking chocolate
1/4 lb butter
1/2 lb Royal Scot biscuits
8 - 10 squares chocolate

Melt sugar with syrup, drinking chocolate and chocolate (it is always important to use good quality chocolate).

Add melted ingredients to crushed biscuits
Mix well and press into baking tin
Leave overnight
Coat with melted chocolate and sprinkle with vermicelli, then cut with a knife into serving portions.

Golden Krispies

4 oz toffee )
4 oz marshmallows ) Melt slowly stirring all the time
4 oz butter )

When all melted add:

6 oz Rice Krispies

Mix well. Press into patty tins and remove when cold

Or you can form them roughly and put them into paper cases.

I wish I hadn't talked about this with daughter at the weekend, as I can just envisage the taste!

They are a bit addictive.

I made some this morning, April 3rd, using 200gms marshmallow, 200gms toffee (a fairly hard one is best) and 200 gms butter with 300 gms Rice Krispies. This quantity made about 30 Krisppie cakes. Wonder how long they will last!

Cottage Pie

Inspired by frolicking foodie, I have decided to set up a new blog with just recipes. Many of them have been handed down in my family and some have been invented. As you will see, many of them are very simple, but none the worse for that.

Today I made what my family called shepherd's pie, although it ought more accurately to be called cottage pie.

I got 4 x 1lb packs of Limousin mince from the farm shop (it was one of their beasts which they sent to the local abatoire). I had a further small turnip (swede) from my organic vegetable box, so when I went to the farm shop today, I bought another turnip (and also some potatoes, as I could see I would run low.) The total shop included 1 lb mushrooms, 1 cauliflower, some yellow and some purple carrots, some beautiful tomatoes, 2 plums and 1 pack of grapes.

So, yesterday, I browned 1lb of mince with 2 onions, then added some browning and some cornflour mixed to a paste with water and then thinned down a bit with water.

So, this was brought to the boil until it thickened.

Then I added the mushrooms and stirred them well in.

I have wonderful pans which do not lose the liquid, so I left them to simmer at 2 on my induction hob for about an hour.

At this point you can add seasoning to taste (such as Worcestershire Sauce or HP Sauce). I tend to use very little salt in any of my recipes as I like to taste the food..

Once the mince was cooked (after about 40 minutes or so) I spooned it in to a small oblong (or oval would do) casserole dish.

Today, I peeled and chopped 1 large turnip (Swede) and cooked it for 40 minutes.

I then mashed it with some butter and spooned it over the mince, flattening it till it was level.

I also peeled, chopped and cooked some potatoes (to make about 16 pieces when chopped), then mashed them with some butter.

This also got spooned over the mince and spread about with a fork till level. After that I drag the fork over the surface of the potato to roughen it.

Then I grated some cheese over the top and placed the dish in the oven for about 40 minutes at 180 celcius.

It is worth noting that any left over mashed swede or potato can be frozen for future use.

They can also be reheated in a microwave to give 2 vegetables with another meal (if, like me you want to cut down on work)