10/22/2017

Caramel and Pear Cake

325g caster sugar
4 pears, peeled, quartered, cored and sliced
175g self-raising flour
1 tspn baking powder
125g butter, melted
2 eggs
50ml milk
1 tspn vanilla extract

You need a 20cm  springform round cake tin

Preheat  oven to 180C/gas4, . 

Put 150g sugar in a pan and add 3 tablespoons of water. Dissolve the sugar over a gentle heat, then turn up the heat and boil until the sugar turns a rich amber colour. Swirl the pan  but don't stir. Pour the caramel into the base of the prepared tin which you've lined with baking paper which comes up the sides a little. Let it cool, then arrange the pear slices in a circle pattern on top.

Sift the flour and baking powder together. Add the rest of the sugar, and stir till mixed.. Add the melted butter, eggs, milk and vanilla, then mix at high speed for 1 minute to make a smooth batter. Pour over the pears and bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour. 
Cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then turn onto a wire rack and serve still warm.


It's a delicious dessert. The cake has a nice soft texture, then you have the juicy pears with the moreish toffee topping. 

10/09/2017

Raspberry Buns

The mention of Rock Cakes in my book of British cooking, reminded me of the Raspberry Buns my Mum used to make. I loved these, and would hurry home from school when she'd mentioned she was making them. It was my Granny's recipe, and luckily Mum had written into her notebook.

There are several recipe that were family favourites that Mum didn't include in her book, and I've tried to replicate them but with little success - 'double custard' being one. She made a great apple flan in a flan tin, with a sponge base filled with stewed apple, then piped a layer of this 'custard' round the edge and puts dabs on top. The 'custard' looked a bit curdled, but was delicious. I know she made some Birds custard, but what she added to it, I don't know! I've tried various ways of making it, but they're all wrong. Sorry, I digress.

The buns are made in the same way as Rock Cakes - the rubbing in method.

You need
225g sr flour with 1 tspn baking powder
75g butter
75g caster sugar
1 beaten egg
milk
raspberry jam
milk and caster sugar for the topping

Preheat oven 180C/gas4

Sieve flour and baking powder into a bowl and rub in the butter.stir in the sugar, then add the egg and enough milk to make a soft, but not wet, dough.
Divide the dough into 12 pieces and roll it into balls.
On a floured surface, flatten the balls and put 1/2 tspn of raspberry jam in the centre.brush the edges of the dough with jam then pull the dough up over the jam. Turn the buns over so the join in underneath.
Brush the tops with milk then bake for 15-20 mins till golden.
Cool on a wire rack - don't eat straight from the oven as the jam will be very HOT!



A taste of childhood. Nice soft texture inside , with a crunchy top and the jam oozing out. An easy to make treat.



9/25/2017

Walnut and Date Cake

Another case of using up something at its ' Use By' date; this time some chopped dates. Wanted to make an easy cake, so made my Mum's Date cake with walnuts.
It's a cake that keeps very well.

Oven 180C/gas4                            Grease and base line a 20cm square cake tin.

In a bowl put 210ml boiling water, 175g chopped dates and 3/4 level tspn bicarbonate of soda. Leave it for 5 mins.
Cream together 175g soft brown sugar and 50g soft margarine, then beat in 1 beaten egg and the water and dates.
Sieve 225g plain flour with 3/4 tspn baking powder and pinch salt, then fold into the date mixture. Add 40g of chopped walnuts and mix together.
Spoon into the tin and bake for about 45-50 mins.
Cool on a wire rack then remove the paper.


This is just part of the cake, as I gave the rest to my lovely Polish neighbour! I sprinkled some sugar on the top  - not really sure why!
It has a lovely flavour, almost caramel taste from the dates and a nice crunch from the walnuts. It has a nice moist texture, and is excellent with a cup of tea or coffee. A nice old fashioned tea treat.

9/16/2017

Chocolate and Hazelnut Biscuits

When 2 of my grandsons, aged 13 and 16 came to visit, to keep them off their x-boxes, I baked with them! We made these chocolate biscuits, and they were a great hit. Sadly there weren't any left to take home to their brother, so next time we'll have to make double the amount!

Preheat oven 190C/gas5                Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.

you need: 125g butter, 125g caster sugar, 50g dark brown sugar, 1 beaten egg, 1/2 tspn vanilla extract, 100g plain flour, 25g cocoa powder, 75g oats, 1/2tspn baking powder, 1/2 tspn bicarb, 125g chopped hazelnuts and 25g demerara sugar

Beat the butter and caster and dark brown sugars together till nice and smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and beat again.
Mix together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and bicarb. and add to the batter. Stir in the nuts.
Take tspns of the mixture and roll into about 30 balls. Put the demerara sugar on a plate and roll the balls in it. Put the biscuits about 5cm apart on the baking trays. Press them down gently then bake for about 10 mins. Cool on the trays for 5 mins, then turn onto a wire rack to cool.



You could use other nuts instead of hazelnuts. They're nice and nutty and crunchy. Very moreish.

9/11/2017

White Chocolate Crunchies

My daughter's favourite chocolate is white, so having recently made my son's favourite dessert, and as she was coming to stay for a week - a very rare occurrence - I decided to make her something using her favourite ingredient.

I tried one of these crunchies at a coffee morning, and asked for the recipe.

The only cooking involved is melting the chocolate, butter and crème fraîche.

You need an 18cm square tin which you line with baking parchment.

Break up 300g white chocolate and put in a bowl. Add 150g butter and 1 tbspn crème fraîche and melt together gently over a simmering pan of water.

Crumble 100g Amaretti biscuits and chop up 100g candied fruit [I got mine in Waitrose].

When the mixture is melted, take the bowl and add the biscuits, fruit 25g dessicated coconut and 50g toasted flaked almonds. Mix it all together carefully. Spoon into the tin and leave to set in the fridge for 4 hours.

Cut into 20 squares when set, using a knife dipped in hot water.


It's very fruity and nutty. As expected with white chocolate, it's quite sweet. I like the combination of textures - the candied fruit, the biscuits and the smooth chocolate. Not something to have regularly, but a nice occasional treat.

9/01/2017

Norfolk Tart

I don't make many sweet tarts these days, but my son loves treacle tart and especially this version, which is a Norfolk Tart. As he was coming for the weekend, I decided to indulge him with his favourite pudd!

Preheat oven 200C/gas6

Roll out 225g shortcrust pastry [bought or home made] and line a 7" or 17.5 cm round tin.
Fill with baking beans and bake for 15 mins. Take out the beans and reduce the oven to 180C/gas4.
Warm 100g syrup in a pan till runny, then take off the heat and stir in 25g unsalted butter and the grated zest of a lemon.
Beat 1 egg and 3 tbspn double cream together gently then stir into the syrup mixture.
Pour this into the pastry case and bake for 30 mins.
Serve this warm with some cream or ice cream.


This is very rich and moreish. It has a lovely creamy filling with a good lemony hint.





8/20/2017

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake

My love of cinnamon is well known, so when I got given some apples, I decided to try a recipe given to me ages ago by an American friend. It's nothing special to look at, but tastes great - that's of course, if you like cinnamon! It's not overwhelming, as there's none in the cake only in the topping.

The recipe uses butter milk and oil. The amount of cinnamon sugar topping suggested for the cake was far too much, even for me, so I reduced it drastically, and there was still plenty.

225g light brown sugar, 75ml oil, 1 large egg, 225ml buttermilk, 1 tspn bicarbonate of soda, 1 tspn vanilla extract, 350g plain flour, 180g chopped apples [weight after peeled - I used 3 eating apples]

Topping: 2 tbspn granulated sugar and 11/2 tspn cinnamon

Preheat oven 160C/gas3                  Grease and base line a 20cm round cake tin.

Put the brown sugar, oil, egg, buttermilk, bicarb, vanilla extract and flour in a big bowl and mis together well. Stir in the apples then spoon the batter in the tin.
Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over the top of the batter.
Bake for about 1 hour 10 mins. The recipe said 45 -55 mins, but although the topping was nice and crunchy, the cake wasn't cooked in the middle. Leave in the tin for 5 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack.




Sorry about the photos. My camera has died, so am trying to use my husband's 'posh' one!

It's a typical American cake in that it's very sweet. I served some as a dessert with crème fraîche, which counteracted some of the sweetness. Some friends had a slice with a cuppa and they didn't find it too sweet.
 You can see that there's plenty of sugar topping, but the recipe said 150g sugar and 3 tspn cinnamon!
It's a light crumb and a soft texture, and the crunchy topping makes a good contrast.


8/09/2017

Chocolate and Tonka Bean Muffins

I think I've mentioned before that I much prefer muffins to cupcakes - I find the icing on cupcakes just too much.

We have a lovely shop in town which sells a great range of herbs and spices, particularly difficult to find ones. In France I did a day's cookery course in a local restaurant, and one of the ingredients we used was Tonka beans. If you want to find out more about them:

http://www.greatbritishchefs.com/how-to-cook/how-to-cook-with-tonka-beans

I'd never heard of them, so was interested to taste their flavour. It's hard to describe - a bit similar to vanilla, but with fruity and spicy elements! You only use a little, as they can be harmful in large quantities, so it's claimed. I bought 3 beans from my local shop.

I'm explaining all this, because my lovely friend who owns the tea shop, gave me her recipe for chocolate muffins with Tonka bean.

The recipe!

200g sr flour, 1 tspn baking powder, 150g white chocolate, 12 small squares of dark chocolate, 1 Tonka bean, 100g caster sugar, 1 tspn vanilla extract, 2 eggs and 50ml milk. Icing sugar to dust tops [opt]

Preheat oven 180C                     grease a 12 hole muffin tin or use muffin paper cases

Break the white chocolate into pieces and melt over pan of simmering water. I usually use my microwave for melting chocolate, but have had a few disasters in it when melting white chocolate!
Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl then add the sugar and mix.
Add the beaten eggs, vanilla extract, milk and melted chocolate. Grate half of the Tonka bean into the batter using a small grater. Beat together.
Fill the holes in the muffin tin or the paper cases 3/4 full then press a square of dark chocolate down into the middle.
Bake for 20 and cool on a wire rack. Dust tops with icing sugar.


These were delicious. Lovely soft texture, melted chocolate in the middle, hint of the exotic bean. Very different flavour from my usual muffins. Will definitely make them again. Now I have to work out what to do with the half of the bean I didn't grate! More muffins?

8/01/2017

Upside Down Plum Cake

I bought a punnet of local grown red plums, and wanted to use them in a cake rather than my usual pie or crumble.
This is a nice easy recipe I was given by my French friend, and I often use it with different fruits.

250g red plums, 180g caster sugar, 130g soft butter, 100g sr flour, 4 eggs, icing sugar to sprinkle over top [opt]

Preheat oven 200C/gas6                           Grease a 20cm cake tin

Wash plums then cut in half and remove stones.
Separate the eggs and add the yolks to the sugar. Beat till white and fluffy.
Beat in the butter then fold in the flour.
Whisk the egg whites till stiff then fold into the batter.
Line the base of the tin with the plums, cut side down, and cover with the batter.
After 20 mins, turn the oven down to 180C and bake for a further 20 mins.
When cool, turn out upside down and dust the top with icing sugar.



I like the cake mixture - it has a soft crumb and a light texture. It's a good contrast to the juicy plums. The cake makes a good dessert with some ice cream or cream. I sometimes use pears or apples instead of plums.

7/22/2017

Raspberry, Hazelnut and Pine Nut Tart

Have been having another sort out in my baking cupboard to find what needed using up. I found some pine nuts and ground hazelnuts, both very near their 'use by' date, so decided to use them in a tart. 
What would go well with them?  I always have some frozen raspberries ready to use, as they're one of my favourite fruits and thought these would work well with the nuts. For the filling I'd use creme fraîche instead of cream, not to make the tart too rich.

My loose-bottomed tart tin is 23cm. Preheat oven 200C/gas6

You need 300g of shortcrust pastry, bought or home made [ I added a little sugar to it].
Roll out the pastry to fit the greased tin, and put in the fridge.

Break 3 eggs into a bowl and add another yolk, 120g caster sugar and 60g ground hazelnuts. Whisk together , then add 100cl creme fraîche  and 1 tspn vanilla extract and mix together well.

Put 200g of raspberries on top of the pastry and pour over the egg mixture. Sprinkle 80g of pine nuts on top and bake for 35-40 mins till the top is golden. Leave the tart in the tin to get cold before removing.




I really liked the different textures in the tart - the pastry, the creamy filling, the soft tart raspberries and the crunch of the pine nuts. The flavours worked well together. A nice easy summer dessert.



7/15/2017

Litle Rhubarb Meringue Tartlets

I made these a while ago when there was rhubarb in my local market. As well as rhubarb and meringue, there's an almond cream in the tartlets.
I cheated and bought a block of short crust pastry, but of course you can make it yourself.

You need: 320g shortcrust pastry, 400g rhubarb and 80g caster sugar, 125g ground almonds, 80g butter, 125g caster sugar and 3eggs, 3 egg whites and 75g caster sugar.

Preheat oven 180C           You need a 12 hole bun or tartlet tin.

Peel and chop the rhubarb then cover it with the 80g caster sugar and leave for 1 hour.

Roll out the pastry and use a cutter to cut out circles to fit your tin. Line these with baking beans and bake for 10 mins; take the beans out and bake for a further 5 mins. Take tin out of the oven and let the tartlet cases cool.

Cream : beat the butter and 125g caster sugar together. Add the eggs one at a time, then the ground almonds - beat the mixture well.

Turn the oven down to 120C.

Meringue: beat the egg whites into peaks; add half the sugar and beat in ,then fold in the rest.

Put some cream into the bottom of the pastry cases, add some rhubarb then top with some meringue - I piped mine on.

Bake again for 15 mins till golden.



Lovely mixture of textures - crunchy pastry, soft cream, tangy rhubarb, then the meringue.

Think I've said before that I don't bake just for me, but these were for friends I'd invited for tea. Made a nice change from scones and cakes.





7/03/2017

Peach Loaf Cake

Sometimes you just want a simple piece of cake with your cuppa, and this loaf cake is just what you need. I had a medium sized tin of peaches reaching its 'Use by' date, so decided to add them to a basic loaf cake mixture.

Preheat oven 180C/gas4                      Grease a 900g loaf tin

Beat together 150g butter and 150g caster sugar. Beat in 3 eggs, one at a time.

Fold in 150g flour with 1 tspn baking powder.

Drain the syrup from the tin of peaches and cut them into dice. Add to the batter and stir in.

Spoon into cake tin and bake for about 40 mins.


This is my attempt and prettying up my photo of the cake! I kept back a couple of peach slices and added some flowers that were hanging round in the cupboard!
The cake was nice and moist, with a soft crumb. Good contrast between the soft cake and the fruit. I'll certainly make it again, but with a different fruit, such as pears or pineapple or raspberries. Maybe add a bit of spice. A good standby recipe.


6/25/2017

Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies

I like brownies, and my friend gave me this recipe which is a bit different from your usual one. It has cream cheese added to the batter.

Preheat oven 180C/gas4               Grease and line a 18x24cm tin

Put 125g butter, 125g dark chocolate and 200g light brown sugar in a pan; stir over medium heat till melted. Take pan off the heat and beat in 3 eggs.
Add 50g sr flour, 50g cocoa and stir into the mixture.
Pour into the tin.
Beat 200g cream cheese [use full fat not low fat] with 50g icing sugar till smooth. Spoon into the batter then swirl with the tip of a knife to get a marbled effect.
Bake the brownies for 35-40 mins.


I liked these - you get the taste of the traditional brownie with the added texture of a cheesecake. They mix together well. Do I prefer it to the normal brownie - no, I don't think so, but it makes a change! I thought cooking them for so long would make them hard, but the crumb was moist.

6/17/2017

Hummingbird Cake

Until recently, I thought that a Hummingbird Cake was the same thing as a Carrot Cake! On one of my afternoon tea visits [I'm trying to find all the little tea shops in Northants!] I saw this cake and decided to try it, liked it so much that I had to make one. I need to take a cake for a retirement party tomorrow, so decided this was the time to make it.
It's based on a recipe from an old 'Living' cookbook.

preheat oven 180C/gas4                  Grease a 3x23cm sandwich tins and line bases.

In a bowl sift together 250g plain flour, 250g caster sugar, 1 tspn cinnamon and 1 tspn bicarb. To this add 3 beaten eggs, 200ml sunflower oil, 100g chopped pecan nuts [you need a few more to decorate the top], 3 ripe and mashed bananas and 85g tinned pineapple, chopped, and 4 tbspn of its juice from the tin. Beat this all together with a wooden spoon till its mixed well.
Divide the batter between the 3 tins then bake for 25-30 mins till golden and firm.
Leave cakes to cool in tins for 10 mins then turn onto wire racks.

Filling and topping: In a large bowl beat together - 175 full fat cream cheese [Philly], 55g butter and 1 tspn vanilla extract till smooth. Sift in 400g icing sugar and beat till smooth.

Use half the filling to sandwich the cakes together, then spread the rest on the top. Decorate with some more chopped pecans.







I'm sorry that the photo is a bit blurry. I really do need a new camera or a better photographer!

It's quite a large cake. I loved the mixture of textures - the crunchy nuts, soft fruit and the creamy topping. I'm still not a convert to pineapple, but it's not really a strong element in the cake. The cake itself is soft and moist. I still prefer Carrot Cake, but this runs a close second!

6/11/2017

Banana and Caramel Cake

A quick post. It's the usual story - what to do with 3 very ripe bananas in the fruit bowl. I also had a tin of Carnation Caramel coming to its 'use by' date, so decided to make a cake combining both of them.

The Caramel is very sweet so there's only a small amount of sugar in the cake. I wanted an easy cake to cut, so made it in a loaf tin,

Preheat oven 180C/gas4                     Grease a 900g/2 lb loaf tin

Cream together 75g butter and 25g soft brown sugar till fluffy. Beat in 1 egg then add the caramel and mix well. Sift together 225g plain flour and 2 tspn baking powder then fold these into the mixture.
Stir in 3 ripe and mashed bananas. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for an hour. I covered the top with foil for the last 15mins as it was getting very brown.
Cool in tin for a few mins then turn onto a wire rack to cool.


I really expected it to be very sweet, but it isn't. The crumb is soft and I liked the bits of banana. The caramel flavour is there, but not strong. It's quite a dark colour, but then the caramel is too!
It's an OK cake, but nothing special.

6/01/2017

Caribbean Coconut Cake

Coconut seems to be one of the 'in' things as you see coconut oil, creamed coconut  etc. My late husband hated coconut, so not wanting to eat a whole cake on my own, I rarely made one.
This is a recipe given to me by my neighbour, so I promised to make it. I suppose it's called a Caribbean cake because of the coconut and pineapple jam in it?

Preheat oven 180C/gas4           Grease 2x20cm sandwich tins and base line.

Cake: In a large bowl put 175g butter, 175g caster sugar and 3 eggs. In another bowl, sift together 175g sr flour, 11/2 tspn baking powder and 1/2 tspn freshly grated nutmeg.
Beat the butter, eggs and sugar then fold in the flour mixture plus 55g desiccated coconut and 2 tbpsn creamed coconut. Mix well.
Divide the batter between the tins then bake for 25 mins till golden. Cool in tins for 5 mins then turn onto a wire rack.

Filling:  Sift 280g icing sugar into a large bowl. Add 115g butter and 3 tbspn creamed coconut and beat together till smooth.

Spread 3 tbspn pineapple jam [I found some in a local Caribbean shop] over one of the cakes and spread half of the butter cream on top. put the other cake on top and spread the rest of the buttercream over it. Toast some desiccated coconut [ carefully or it will burn!] and sprinkle over the top.



The cake had a nice soft crumb and the coconut flavour was strong, but not too strong. I'm not sure if I liked the pineapple jam, but that may be because I'm not a great fan of pineapples!
The topping was a good creamy contrast to the soft cake, and I liked the toasted coconut which gave a bit of a crunch. A nice addition to my 'cakes with tea' recipe list.

5/28/2017

Cider and Spice Cake


I've had a very nice French lady staying with me . She came with a party from our twin town in France. I bought some wine and a nice bottle of cider, only to discover she didn't drink any alcohol! So I decided to use some of the cider in a cake.

A nice easy cake to make; am not sure where I found the recipe as it was scribbled on a piece of paper.

Preheat oven 180C/gas4                Grease a 20cm square cake tin.

Cream 125g butter and 125g caster sugar together till nice and fluffy. Mix together 225g sr flour, 1 tspn bicarb and 1 tspn mixed spice.
Fold half of the flour mixture into the batter then add 200ml cider and mix well.
Stir in the rest of the flour and pour batter into the tin.
Bake for about 35-40 mins.
Cool the cake in the tin then sprinkle some caster sugar mixed with a little more mixed spice over the top.





It's a nice moist cake with a soft texture. The cider flavour comes through well and the spice was a nice background flavour. Adding the spice to the sugar topping gave an extra spicy boost to the cake. 

You could used other spices - whichever you like best, and you could add cubed apple to the cake.

A tasty, easy, teatime treat.










5/18/2017

Strawberry, Ricotta and Mascarpone Tart

The friend I've mentioned before on here, who owns a tea shop, came over at the weekend and brought me some strawberries grown locally. I wanted to make a tart with some of them, so found a French recipe in a folder for this one.

The pastry is 'une pâte sablée', a rich sweetened shortcrust, but it's made in a processor or mixer. The filling is just a mixture of mascarpone, ricotta and icing sugar and the whole is topped with sliced strawberries.

For the pastry - 1 egg, 200g flour, 125g butter, 75g caster sugar, 50g ground almonds, 1 tspn almond essence [opt], pinch salt.

For the cream - 250g each of mascarpone and ricotta and 100g icing sugar

Topping - punnet of strawberries, sliced

Preheat oven 200c/gas6          You need a 23cm tart tin

Put all the ingredients for the pastry in a blender and mix till blended. Bring together into a ball, cover with clingfilm and put in the fridge for at least half an hour.

Mix the cheeses and icing sugar together in a bowl.

Take pastry out of fridge and roll out to fit the tart tin. Bake for 20 mins till light golden colour.

When cold, spoon the cream into the pastry case and decorate with the strawberries.



Photography by my daughter!
It was a delicious ending to a family meal. The filling wasn't too sweet and had a lovely soft texture. The slightly sweet pastry was crisp and contrasted well with the filling, and the strawberries were delicious, really tasting like strawberries. A nice simple but delicious dessert.


5/07/2017

Caramel Chocolate Cake

I always seem to find something I need to use up in my store cupboard, and this time it was a tin of Carnation Caramel just coming to its 'use by' date.
I love anything caramel, so decided to use it as a filling and topping for a cake. I know it's very sweet, but I took it to a coffee morning to share the sweetness!

It uses oil instead of butter, so perhaps that makes it a bit healthier!

For the cake:

Preheat oven 180C/gas4               Grease and base line 2x18cm sandwich tins.

Sieve together 175g sr flour, 21/2 tbspn cocoa powder and 1 tspn bicarb. Stir in 150g caster sugar.
In a jug  - put 150ml vegetable oil [I used sunflower] and 150ml milk, 2 eggs and 1 tspn vanilla extract and beat together.
Beat 2 tbspn of the caramel till smooth and add to the egg mixture. Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix well. [It's a wet mixture]
Pour into the tins and bake for 20-25mins till risen and firm. Cool the cakes in the tin, then turn onto a wire rack.

For the icing:

Melt 125g dark chocolate [I used 70%] in a microwave or over simmering water. Add the rest of the tin of caramel and 1 tspn vanilla extract and beat together till smooth. Add 1 tbspn sieved icing sugar and mix together.

Put one of the cakes on a plate and spread half of the icing on top. Add the second cake and cover the top with the rest of the icing. Leave to set.


I sprinkled a bit more icing sugar on the top. The cake has a lovely soft, moist texture and is a good contrast to the smooth caramel filling. Yes the filling is sweet, but the dark chocolate counteracts some of the sweetness and gives it a lovely flavour. A nice treat with a cuppa.


5/03/2017

Maple, Parsnip and Apple Cake

I love carrot cake, and the other day I was out with a friend and spotted another vegetable cake, this time with parsnip in it, so I wanted to make one.
I have a friend who has a lovely little tea room, and she gave me this recipe - it's very popular in her shop.

For the cake you need - 175g butter or margarine, 200g demerara sugar, 100ml maple syrup, 3 eggs, 250g sr flour and 2 tspn baking powder, 2 tspn mixed spice, 250g parsnip, peeled and grated,1 medium eating apple, grated, zest and juice of an orange, icing sugar to dust the top.

Preheat oven 180C                     Grease and line the bottoms of 2 x 20cm sandwich tins.

Melt the butter, sugar and syrup gently in a pan. Allow to cool a bit then beat in the eggs. Stir in the flour and baking powder and the spice.
Add the parsnip, apple and orange. Pour into the tins and bake for 25-30 mins.
Cook in tins for 5 mins then take cakes out and cool on a wire rack.
Sandwich the cakes together with a vanilla butter cream or mascarpone or even whipped double cream, and dust the top with icing sugar.

For the vanilla butter cream you need 125g butter, 250g sieved icing sugar, about 2 tspn milk and 1 tspn vanilla extract. Beat the butter and icing sugar till creamy - add a little milk to help, then add 1 tspn vanilla extract and beat in.
Put one of the cakes on a cake plate then spread the butter cream on top. Add the second cake and dust with icing sugar.


 You couldn't tell that there was any parsnip in it, just an flavour of something elusive. It has a light texture and is moist with a nice spicy note. A good edition to a cake repertoire. Maple syrup is quite pricey, so you could use golden syrup instead.

4/27/2017

Mini Chocolate and Ginger Puddings

I recently bought a set of 4 mini pudding basins, so had to try them out. I love the combination of chocolate and ginger so decided these flavours would be in my little sponge puddings.
The only drawback to these puds is that they need to be steamed.
Maybe you could do them in the microwave? Have made a large sponge pudding in my microwave, so perhaps these little ones would work too?

Lightly grease 4 small pudding basins [ I got mine from Lakeland].

Put 100g soft margarine or butter, 100g sr flour, 100g caster sugar, 25g cocoa powder and 2 eggs in a bowl and beat together. Chop up 25g dark chocolate and 50g stem ginger and add to the batter.
Spoon between the 4 basins  up to 3/4 full. Cover the top with circles of parchment paper then a pleated piece of foil.
Steam for about 45 mins till puddings are springy and cooked.

To serve with them  - chocolate custard.

Beat 2 egg yolks with 1 tbspn caster sugar and 1 tbspn cornflour to make a nice smooth paste.
Heat 300ml of milk in a pan till boiling, then pour it over the egg mixture. Pour back into the pan and cook over a low heat till it thickens.Take pan off the heat and add 100g dark chocolate broken into small pieces. Stir till chocolate melts.

Run a knife round the inside of the tops of the basins then tip out the puddings onto plates. Spoon some of the chocolate over the top and serve what's left in a jug.



I loved the little bits of stem ginger in the soft cakey pudding - gave it a bit of a zing - and the chocolate pieces hadn't quite melted.  The sponge had a soft texture and contrasted well with the lovely chocolate custard. A nice treat!



4/24/2017

Apple Custard Cake - French Style

We all know we can't have enough apple recipes, and my lovely French friend G sent me this one to try. She loves finding new recipes, and often uses ingredients from other countries, including the UK, which she finds in her local Carrefour.
I haven't made any kind of apple custard cake before, so it was just right to make for my family coming on Saturday. I've adapted the recipe as there wasn't a mention of what size tin to use; there rarely is in French recipes, simply says 'moule à manqué', a deep cake tin! G didn't say what apples she used, but I used Bramleys, as I didn't want the cake to be too sweet. She must have got the custard powder at the supermarket [but I always take of tin of it with me when I visit her, together with tea, marmalade and Marmite!]

Preheat oven 180C/gas4               Grease a 20cm springform tin and line base with baking paper

Make the custard for the cake first - mix together 2tbspn custard powder and 55g of caster sugar in a pan then slowly add 250ml of milk, whisking it in then slowly bring to the boil. Stir it over a medium heat till it thickens. Take it off the heat and add 20g butter and 2 tspn vanilla extract. Pour into a bowl and cover with some clingfilm and leave to cool.

Mix 40g custard powder together with 185g plain flour and 2 tspn baking powder. In another bowl beat together 200g butter and 110g caster sugar till nice and fluffy. Add 2 eggs, one at a time, then add the flour mixture, 1 tspn vanilla extract and 1-2 tbspn milk.
Peel core and thinly slice 3-4 medium Bramleys.
Spoon half of the cake batter into the tin and spread the cooled custard over the top. Drop the rest of the batter over the top in spoonfuls, and smooth gently to completely cover the custard. A little spatula is useful to do this.
Put the apple slices over the top of the batter, and sprinkle some cinnamon and demerara sugar over the top.
Bake for about 50 mins.





A very different sort of apple cake. The texture of the main part is very smooth and custardy, then the slightly solid apples with a hint of cinnamon. The top has a crunch from the sugar which contrasts nicely with the other textures. Using the Bramleys it wasn't too sweet. It's a nice tea cake or a good dessert, maybe with s scoop of vanilla ice cream or a spoonful of crème fraîche.
Slice the apples thinly or they might not be completely cooked.

4/13/2017

A Duo of Muffins for Easter

As I have already decided to make the chocolate cake in my last post for Easter,  I thought I'd make some small cakes for my grandchildren. They love muffins and they came to visit yesterday so we made them together.
The first one we made was topped with buttercream and my favourite  Cadbury's mini eggs, but the second batch was a great favourite of my 2 older grandsons - Crunchy Peanut Butter muffins.
I always use oil when making muffins - don't think it is really any healthier, but it sounds better than using butter.

For the Easter Muffins:

Preheat oven 200C/gas6           Grease a 12 hole muffin tin or use 12 paper cases.

Sift together 225g plain flour, 55g cocoa powder, 1 tbspn baking powder and a pinch of salt. Stir in 115g soft brown sugar.
Lightly beat 2 eggs in a jug then beat in 250g buttermilk and 6 tbspn sunflower oil.
Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and carefully stir in the wet ones. Mix till just combined - be careful not to over mix or your muffins will be hard.
Spoon the batter into tin - I use an ice cream scoop.
Bake for about 20 mins till risen and firm. Cool on a wire rack.
For the topping :
Put 85g soft butter in a large bowl and beat till fluffy; then sift in 175g icing sugar and beat together, then adding 1 tbspn milk .
Put spoonfuls on top of each muffin and swirl round, or you could use a piping bag with a large star-shaped nozzle to pipe the cream on. I did the one in the photo with a nozzle, but the boys just swirled with a fork to their hearts' content!
Decorate with a few of the mini eggs.



For the Peanut Butter muffins:

Same oven temp. and tin as for the Easter muffins.

Make the topping first - finely chop 50g unsalted roasted peanuts and add them to 40g demerara sugar; mix together.

Sift together 280g plain flour, 1 tbspn baking powder and a pinch of salt. Stir in 115g soft brown sugar.
Beat 2 eggs in a large jug then beat in 175ml milk, 6 tbspn sunflower oil and 175g crunchy peanut butter.
Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and add the wet ingredients. Mix together carefully till combined, but don't over mix.
Spoon into the tin and sprinkle the topping mixture over each one. bake for about 20 mins till golden.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.



Good crumb on the chocolate ones - firm and moist. Love the contrast between the cake mixture, the soft creamy icing and the hard crispy egg.
Am a great lover of peanut butter so these were also my favourite. The cake mixture is soft and moist with a lovely peanut flavour. It contrasts so well with the crunchy peanut topping.

4/04/2017

Rich Chocolate Mousse Cake

I went to a 50th wedding anniversary party a few weeks ago, and this was the celebration cake. It was delicious, so I asked my friend who made it for the recipe.

It's more like a solid mousse than a cake, but the chocolate flavour is so good. I have to say tho' that a slice is very rich. I made it last weekend as a try out for Easter, as I had friends coming for lunch.

For the cake you need ; 330g dark chocolate, 120g cocoa, 350g melted butter, 10 egg yolks, 330g icing sugar and 330g  whipping cream

For the ganache: 200g dark chocolate and 10cl single cream

You need  a 23cm springform cake tin lined with baking parchment

Beat the egg yolks together till fluffy. [Freeze the whites in batches for meringues?] Melt the chocolate and butter over a bain marie then add to the yolks and mix gently together. Add the cocoa powder and mix well. Whisk the cream till firm, and carefully fold into the egg mixture.

For the icing - melt the chocolate and cream over a bain marie. Spoon a thin layer of this chocolate ganache into the bottom of the cake tin, then add the cake mixture, smoothing the top with a palette knife.

Take the cake out of the fridge and cover top with the ganache, using a palette knife to smooth it over.

Put back into the fridge for at least 3 hours, remove when needed and carefully remove from the tin and serve chilled.



As I said earlier, it's very rich. My daughter added the mint and a couple of bits of chocolate for the photo, but it doesn't need any additions. A smooth, creamy mousse cake, perfect for a special occasion. Decorated with some chocolate eggs, it's going to be my centrepiece at Easter!

Note - as the cake contains uncooked egg yolks, it's not suitable for young children or pregnant mums.

3/26/2017

Lemon Cupcakes

I'm not a great fan of cupcakes as I find the topping too sweet, and I prefer muffins or our British fairy cakes. I was asked to make some for a special tea, so decided to make lemon ones, to use up 2 lemons which just happened to fall off my tree! The topping is a bit different as I used mascarpone.

 You need a muffin tin with paper muffin or cupcake cases.  Preheat oven 180C/gas4

80g flour
1 tspn baking powder
pinch bicarb.
40g ground almonds
75g caster sugar
3 eggs
100g melted butter
zest of 1 lemon

Icing:
250g mascarpone
juice and zest of 1 lemon
50g icing sugar
yellow colouring

Beat eggs and caster sugar together till white and fluffy.
Add the baking powder and bicarb to the flour and add to the mixture together with the ground almonds, butter and lemon zest. Mix together till a smooth batter.
Put the paper cases in the muffin tin and fill them 3/4 full with the batter.
Bake 15 mins till golden, then take out if tin and cool on a wire rack.

Beat the sieved icing sugar and mascarpone together, then add the zest and juice of the lemon and a few drops of yellow colouring. Mix well then spoon into a piping bag with a largish rose nozzle and decorate the cooled cupcakes. Keep in the fridge till you need them.



I liked the topping mixture, as the lemon counteracted the sweetness. If anything, I think I'd add a bit more icing sugar, but they proved very popular and others didn't seem to find them a bit sharp. I used yellow paste not the colouring in a bottle, as I find paste gives a better colour. The ground almonds gave a nice hint of nut to the cake, and they had a nice crumb, contrasting well with the soft icing.



3/11/2017

Lemon and Apple Tart

 I first had this tart in a little bistro-style restaurant in France. It's very different from the usual apple tart, using grated apples and including lemons in the filling. As I was in a hurry to get it made, I cheated and bought some shortcrust pastry from Waitrose, but of course you can make your own. The recipe was on a bag of sugar I bought ages ago in France!
What I loved about the ready-made pastry in France, was that is came in a round shape ready for the tart tin. Wish ours did!

You need:  a block of shortcrust pastry, 3 large eating apples, 150g caster sugar, 2 eggs, 80g melted butter and 2 lemons, washed well.

Preheat oven 200C/gas6.                          Grease a fluted tart tin.

Zest the 2 lemons and put it in a small bowl then add their juice. Grate the apples into a larger bowl then add the lemon zest and juice to stop the apples turning brown. Mix together.
Add the 2 eggs, the sugar and the melted butter and mix everything together.
Line the tin with the pastry then pour the mixture in.
Bake for about 40 mins till golden.


It's a lovely light tart and it makes a good dessert. The apples and lemons balance well - the apples taking away some of the acidity of the lemons.I like the texture - soft pastry and the contrasting texture of the grated fruit. I will certainly make this again.

ps the French bit that was on here was the recipe from the bag that I had typed and saved in Word ready to translate! Sorry I forgot to delete it.😮

2/28/2017

Bakewell Flapjacks

Flapjacks are one of my family's favourite things to eat and a Bakewell tart is another, so a combination of both is a marriage made in heaven!
I've been having a good sort out of my baking files lately - you know the ones, with cut out bits from newspapers, magazines, recipe cards you've picked up in supermarkets, handwritten recipes on scrappy bits of paper ...... and I came across a recipe for these flapjacks. I've changed it a bit to suit our tastes.

Preheat oven 180C/gas4                 Grease a medium baking tin

Put 150g oats, 75g ground almonds, 45g plain flour and 45g caster sugar in a bowl and mix together. Add 150g melted butter, 3 tbspn golden syrup and 3 tbspn milk and mix well.

Put half of the mixture into your tin and press it down; spoon over 2 tbspn raspberry jam and sprinkle over 15g flaked almonds. put the rest of the mixture on top and smooth over. Sprinkle a few more flaked almonds over the top.

Bake for 10-15 mins till goldenish. Cool in the tin then mark into pieces.

I cut it into 10 decent sized flapjacks.



Very moreish! Lovely combination of soft oatie base and jam, then the crunchy nuts, more oatie cake then more crunch. A nice change from the usual flapjack - it's soft, so not for you if you like crunchy ones!



2/20/2017

Walnut, Honey and Banana Loaf Cake

I love making loaf cakes and this is one of my favourites. It's a recipe from my Mum's old notebook, which I haven't looked at for ages. As is often the case, using up some ripe fruit was the reason for making it. It's such an easy one to make - an almost all-in-together type of cake.

Preheat oven 180C/gas4                       Grease a 900g laof tin.

For the cake you need; 3 ripe bananas, mashed, 110g butter, 8 tbspn runny honey, 110g brown sugar, 1/2 tspn vanilla essence, 2 eggs, 1/4 tspn bicarb., 1 tspn baking powder, 1/2 tspn cinnamon. pinch salt, 180g plain flour, 45g oats and 150g chopped walnuts.

In a large bowl put the bananas, butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, eggs, bicarb, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and mix together till combined thoroughly - you may have a few banana lumps, but that's ok. Add the flour and oats and mix with a wooden spoon, but don't over mix. Add about 3/4 of the walnuts and stir in gently.

Pour the batter into the tin then sprinkle the other walnuts on top.

Bake for 40-45 mins.

Cool in tin for 5 mins then serve warm with some butter and a drizzle of honey.



Have to confess that I forgot to sprinkle the rest of the walnuts over the top! It's a moist cake with a soft honey flavour. There's a a good contrast of textures and flavours with the background honey flavour, the crunchy walnuts and the soft banana pieces. A tasty teatime treat, and a good use for ripe bananas.








2/13/2017

Mocha Cake

When I go shopping I often have a coffee mocha in the local café, so decided to make a cake with those flavours - chocolate and coffee. Nothing too complicated, but hopefully, delicious.

I used dark chocolate and a little cocoa for a chocolate boost and some strong espresso coffee.

 Preheat oven 180C/gas4                                                     Grease and base line a 900g loaf tin.

In a bowl mix together 200g plain flour, 2 tspn baking powder, 1 tbspn cocoa, pinch of salt and 200g caster sugar.

Melt 125g dark chocolate over simmering water or in the microwave then add 125g of chopped up butter and 150ml of espresso coffee and mix together till smooth.

Separate 3 eggs and add the yolks one at a time to the mixture. Add the flour mixture and mix together. Whisk the egg whites till stiff then gently fold these into the batter. Pour into the tin and bake for 45-50 mins.

Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then finish on a wire rack.

For the icing - 50ml strong coffee, 300g sieved icing sugar and 50g soft butter.

Beat the 3 ingredients together to make a paste then smooth over the cooled cake. Chill for about 2 hours before serving to allow the icing to set.



I roughed my icing up a bit with a fork as it didn't look too smooth! The cake had a great mocha flavour - maybe more coffee than chocolate, but delicious. It had a good texture and the cake contrasted well with the smooth coffee icing.

2/07/2017

Lemon Tiramisu

My family came yesterday and they love desserts, especially anything with lemon. I wanted to make something different from my usual lemon meringue or tart, so as I had a large packet of boudoir biscuits in the cupboard, decided to try and make a lemon tiramisu.
I found a recipe online, but it wasn't exactly what I wanted. I used both fresh lemons [from my tree in the greenhouse ] and lemon curd to give a good lemony flavour, as well as the small amount of Limoncello that was left in the bottle!

I used:

250g boudoir biscuits, 250g mascarpone, 2 lemons, 3 eggs, 100g caster sugar, 20cl whipping cream, 3 tbspn lemon curd and 4 tbspn Limoncello.

Cut one lemon in half and squeeze out the juice; mix this with 50g of the sugar and the Limoncello.
Zest the other lemon finely.
Whip the cream till it gets thick. 
Separate the eggs and beat the whites till firm peaks, then beat the yolks with the other 50g of sugar till the mixture is white. Add the mascarpone, lemon curd and lemon zest [keep a little bit to sprinkle over] then beat together to get a soft creamy mixture. 
Gently fold in the cream then the egg whites.
Cover a serving plate with some parchment paper. Dip half the sponge fingers in the Limoncello mixture then put them side by side on the plate. Cover these with half of the mascarpone mixture. Dip the rest of the fingers in the Limoncello, then put them side by side in another layer on top of the first.
Cover this with the rest of the mascarpone and smooth the top with a spatula.
Wrap with clingfilm and put in the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving.



My daughter took the photo, as you can guess! She works in the food industry so is very precise, hence the lovely square piece and the lemon slice! I must have some lessons from her! Oh, I sprinkled the zest on just before we ate it.
It had a really good lemon flavour, and the textures were good - soft sponge and creamy filling. I was very happy with the result, as were the family. Think it will become one of our family recipes.









1/30/2017

French Walnut Tart

I was shopping in Milton Keynes last week and came across a shop rather like the now sadly defunct Julian Graves. They had a special opening offer on walnuts, so I bought a large bag - nuts are good for you, anti-oxidents, omega 3 etc! I wanted to make something different to use some of them, and came across a recipe for a walnut tart.
It's from a tourist brochure I picked up somewhere in France, and this recipe, I was informed, is a speciality of the Périgord region. It brought back memories of when we lived in France, and my neighbour had a prolific walnut tree and would give my a huge carrier bag full. The only problem was you had to shell them all! At least the ones I bought were shell-free.

Preheat oven 200C/gas6               A tart dish about 23cm or a flan tin with a loose bottom.

For the shortcrust pastry -  125g flour, 75g butter, 25g caster sugar, 1 egg yolk, a pinch of salt and 25ml water
Make the pastry and line the tart dish or tin and put aside.

For the filling  - 500g walnuts, 150ml crème fraîche, 60g caster sugar, 1 egg and 2 tspn vanilla extract, icing sugar

Choose the best walnuts [you need to keep about half]  to decorate the tart, then put the others into a processor or blender and whizz to a powder. Add the crème fraîche, sugar, egg and vanilla and mix well.
Pour the mixture over the pastry and bake for 30 mins.
Take the tart out of the oven, decorate the top with the rest of the walnuts, sieve over some icing sugar and pop back into the oven for a minute or 2 for the sugar to melt.
Leave to cool.



I cooked my tart in a foil tart dish as I wanted to take it to a coffee afternoon. It was delicious - really nutty, and I loved the texture contrasts between the soft pastry, the cream filling and the crunch of the walnuts on top. Something different to try.






1/21/2017

Tarte Alsacienne

I love recipes using apples, and I made this tart for dessert when my children came last weekend. It's unlike the usual French apple tart, as it has cream in the filling with the apples.
It comes from a leaflet I picked up somewhere, several years ago, when we were in Alsace, and I've made it many times since.

Preheat oven 190C/gas5              
You need a large fluted and greased flan tin [preferably with a loose bottom] - 24-26cm.

For the pastry : 170g flour, 1 tbspn caster sugar, pinch salt, 125g cold butter cut into cubes and 2 tbspn cold water.
Rub the butter into the flour to which the sugar and salt have been added. Add the water and make into a ball. Cover in clingfilm and put into the fridge for about an hour.
Roll into a circle, and use the rolling pin to fit the pastry into the flan tin.

For the filling:
You need 4 apples  - I used Granny Smith, but you could use Golden Delicious or Braeburn, but not Bramleys, as they don't hold their shape. Peel and cut them into quarters, take out the core and pips and slice them carefully into neat slices. Spread them out evenly over the pastry.
Beat 1 whole egg and 1 yolk in a bowl with 6 tbspn sugar, 20cl of double cream or crème fraîche and 1 tspn vanilla extract. Pour this over the apples and bake for 50-55 mins till golden.


You can, of course, use your favourite recipe for shortcrust pastry with a little sugar added. I like the textures of this tart - the crunchy pastry, the soft fruit mixed with a lovely creamy layer.
 I have made it with Bramleys, just to try them, and they became mushy instead of keeping the pretty slices.




1/16/2017

Crumble Brownies with Pears

My family love Brownies and I usually make this recipe from Suelle's great blog 'Mainly Baking', but have a look there and you'll be spoilt for choice for Brownie recipes.
I wanted to try something different and, as often happens, I had a couple of pieces of fruit in the bowl that needed using - this time pears. So I decided to make a brownie base, then a layer of chopped pears and finally a crumble topping.
I didn't use Suelle's basic recipe this time, but one a friend gave me.

For the brownie part  you need - 200g dark chocolate, 50g flour plus 1 tspn baking powder, 150g butter [melted], 3 eggs and 125g caster sugar 


For the crumble - 75g flour, 80g caster sugar and 120g soft butter


You also need 2 pears, peeled, cored and cut into cubes.


Preheat oven 180C/gas4                 Grease a brownie tin - mine is about 25 x 20 cm [ or 10" x 8"]


Brownies - melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave or over simmering water. beat the sugar and eggs together then add the chocolate and butter. fold in the flour with baking powder.

Spoon the batter into the brownie tin and bake for 15 mins.
Make the crumble - rub the butter into the flour and stir in the sugar.
Take the brownies out of the oven, sprinkle the chopped pears over then top with the crumble.
Put back in the oven for 20 mins till the crumble is golden.



We loved these, although they didn't have quite squidgy texture that a normal brownie has -  probably because they are baked for longer. Lovely contrasts of texture - the soft brownie then the moist fruit and finally the crunchy topping. They won't replace my favourite brownies, but they are great as an alternative.

1/09/2017

Blue Cheese and Nut Palmiers

This is a very quick and simple appetizer  I made for New year's Eve. I used Roquefort cheese as that's what I'd bought, but Blue Stilton, Bleu d'Auvergne etc would do just as well.

You need 1 pack puff pastry, 200g blue cheese, 1 egg and some chopped nuts - I used a mixture of walnuts and hazelnuts whizzed in a blender, but not too small.

Roll out the pastry; beat the egg and cheese together and spread over the pastry. Sprinkle over the chopped nuts. Roll up the 2 long sides towards the middle then cut into 2cm slices.

Bake on a tray lined with baking paper for about 15mins at 200C/gas6.


Not a wonderful photo, but only had a chance to take one before they all disappeared! A tasty appetiser, and one which you could easily vary - change the cheese, add herbs, add chopped up bacon or ham. The list is endless.
I liked the combination of the blue cheese and nuts - different textures, the nuts adding a bit of crunch.
Must have a problem with my fan oven, as sometimes things nearest the back of the oven get too brown, as with this palmier!

1/02/2017

Galette des Rois

January 6th is Epiphany, when the Kings came to visit Baby Jesus, and in France you have a Galette for the Kings.
 It's a tradition to put a fève or bean in the centre of the galette, and whoever finds this in their slice is King or Queen and wears a gold crown [which is given with the galettes when you buy them in the baker's or supermarkets in France].
I made 2 galettes to take to my French conversation group today - one traditional one and one to which I've added some apples - not traditional!

For the traditional one you need:

2 packs puff pastry
125g ground almonds
100g caster sugar
100g melted butter
2 eggs beaten + one beaten egg to egg wash the top

For the apple version you just need to add 2 eating apples [I used Gala], 1 tspn cinnamon, a knob of butter and 1 tbspn caster sugar

Preheat oven 220C/gas7      A baking sheet covered with baking paper

Roll out the 2 packs of pastry and cut a large circle out of each.
Put the caster sugar, ground almonds and melted butter in a bowl and beat together.
Add the beaten eggs and mix well.
Put one of the pastry circles onto the baking sheet, then spoon the almond mixture on top, stopping 2 cm from the edge. Top with the other pastry circle.
For the apples version - melt a knob of butter in a pan, then add the apple cubes, 1 tspn cinnamon and 1 tbspn caster sugar and fry till golden. Spoon the apples over the almond mixture then brush the edge with water and put the other pastry layer on top. Press the pastry circles together using your fingertips.
Make a motif on top of the galette with a sharp knife. 
Brush the top with eggwash and bake for 25 mins.

This is my traditional one



This is the one with apples


My daughter did the traditional swirly pattern on the apple one, much better than mine, as I didn't cut deep enough so the pattern didn't really show!
I love the simple one, the crisp pastry contrasting with the soft almondy filling. The apple added another texture and flavour, but I prefer the traditional one.