A friend of mine used to make low fat cakes which I really loved.
They were basically made of fruit and, while I can’t quite remember how she got the ingredients to bond together, the result was blissful.
Now, it seems there’s someone doing it professionally, two people actually, Jenkins& Hustwit, who make a Granny Loaf Fruit Cake which has less than 2% fat.
The company, started by a couple of farmer’s wives in Northumbria, promises the very best in good old-fashioned farmhouse baking. They specialise in high quality cakes and puddings, and even make Christmas puddings, so there’s something to look forward to.
It should be noted that they also make gluten free cakes and no added sugar cakes, but we’re still writing up all the details at GoodnessDirect. Exciting stuff nonetheless.
This year Great Britain hosts the 30th modern Olympic Games and rejoices in Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee following 60 years on the throne of the United Kingdom (and as Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, Duke of Normandy, Lord of Mann, Paramount Chief of Fiji and sovereign of many other realms and territories).
So, it’s a great opportunity for a party! (That’s the long weekend which starts 1st – 5th June – put it in your diaries now.)
If you weren’t aware many streets will be taking part in The Big Lunch as part of the Jubilee celebrations, with neighbours everywhere getting together for a grand knees up.
There will be bunting everywhere you look… And, not surprisingly, Britain’s leading and most innovative chocolate makers, Montezumas, are joining in with the celebration (that’s very important because the British love chocolate like no other nation on earth).
They’ve designed special chocolate bars based on one of Great Britain’s other great exports: the pudding!
It’s pretty crazy but Montezuma’s chocolate is especially good: they’ve designed the new chocolates based on our most noble pudding flavours. For example, there’s the Apple Crumble Bar, the Treacle Tart Bar or the Eton Mess Bar, or you could enjoy even more flavours in their Great British Pudding Truffle Collection.
Pride, chocolate and pudding – at last we’re realising what it means to be British.
One of the highlights of last week’s Free From Awards was Tideford’s Butterscoth Rice Pudding which, as you can tell from the name, is absolutely scrummy.
Tideford make organic foods that are so divinely delicious that they taste home made. They make soups and sauces, pestos and puddings, all gluten free and wheat free, with many vegetarian and vegan options to choose from.
They believe in good, honest convenience food. So they deliberately make all their products in small batches to retain the authenticity of the recipe without additives or preservatives. It has won them over 50 awards from around the country and a big following.
But, just in case you haven’t heard of Tideford Organic, they’d like to send you a hamper of their goodies. For your chance to be the lucky winner of a hamper send me an email with your name and address and I’ll pick a random winner on 4th May 2012 (UK addresses only).
Great chieftain o’ the puddin-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place
There are some things we Brits do better than anyone else. We have better chocolate than anywhere else. We like marmalade spread thickly on our toast. We put vinegar on our chips and we love it!
But if there is one great staple of British society, that is envied the world over, it is our great range of puddings. They are our culinary heritage; savoury or sweet, we are famous for them. And haggis, as Rabbie Burns expounds, is a true great of the pudding class.
What you may not realise is that on Burns Night (25th January) there are countless ways to serve haggis. It really is truly versatile.
Most people know about the traditional serving of ‘neaps and tatties’, and their knowledge might extend to the Flying Scotsman recipe (simply stuff a breast of chicken with haggis, bake it wrapped in smoked bacon and serve it with a creamy alcoholic sauce).
Yet there is more… How about Haggis Balls in a Whisky and Mustard Sauce? Or Haggis Tartlets with Red Onion Marmalade?
You could go continental with a Haggis Lasange or explore your exotic side by preparing Haggis Pakora.
Then there’s also a true piece of mean cuisine: the Haggis Torta Salgada -a kind of Haggis soufflé-style pie.
So if you’re ever bored with Burns night then it’s possible you’re not being creative enough, which of course, is what Burns night is all about. Begin the evening by serving kipper pâté with oatcakes, surprise everyone in the main course with your own haggis with a difference, and build to a grand finale with a luscious cranachan dessert. Recipes can be found at Macsween’s Recipes.
The real great secret about haggis is that it’s so easy to cook. If you buy a Macsween’s haggis it’s possible for you to steam it in just 6 minutes in the microwave (their vegetarian version takes 60 seconds!) So you still get to look good in the kitchen without all the bother.
All the eloquence of Rabbie Burns and all the speed of GoodnessDirect?
owe it all… he wrote, to their gratis grace and goodness
Put the milk, double cream, coffee and opened vanilla pod into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
Whisk the eggs, yolks and granulated sugar together. Slice the croissants in half lengthwise. Use 1oz of butter to grease an ovenproof dish.
Using the remaining butter, spread this on the cut sides of the croissants. Lay half of them on the base of the dish, butter side up. Sprinkle with raisins and lay the remaining croissants on top.
Let the boiled cream cool a little and pour it on to the egg mixture stirring all the time. Put it back on the heat and stir until it starts to thicken and then take it off immediately.
Strain half of the cream mixture over the croissants and allow to soak for 15 minutes, gradually straining over the rest of the mixture until all is in the dish. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/180°C/350°F. Cook in a Bain Marie until set.
Take out and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Pipe a line of whipped cream up the middle of the pudding, sprinkle the grated chocolate over the cream and dust the whole thing with sugar. Serve.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Lightly oil six 175ml oven proof dishes. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together, using an electric whisk, until the mixture is pale and fluffy.
Add the egg yolks and beat again until smooth. Add the milk, flour and cocoa and blend again, using the electric whisk, until smooth and quite runny.
Wash the whisk heads then, in a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gently fold into the chocolate mixture. Divide between the prepared dishes, and bake for 12 minutes or until risen. Carefully transfer to serving plates and serve immediately.