Festive Flapjacks

So called because the festive season calls for an added layer of luxury in terms of ingredients, and I CBA to melt two different types of chocolate to decorate them at any other time of the year 😉 Beware, these flapjacks are addictive and FULL OF CALORIES! But that’s why they taste so good 😉

For 12-16 bars you need
(sorry can only remember this recipe in imperial measurements!)
6oz butter
6oz sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
10oz rolled oats (not cheap ones, proper scottish decent ones but not jumbo ones)
1/4 cup sultanas
1/4 glace cherries
100g each milk and white chocolate, melted

Begin by placing everything apart from the oats and chocolate in a large pan and letting the butter melt. Meanwhile, line a swiss roll tin with baking paper. Once the butter et al is melted, add the oats and mix well. Press into the lined tin and bake in a moderate (180 degree) oven for 15-20 mins until bubbling and golden brown. Take care not to overbake or the edges and sides will become brittle and too crunchy when it’s cooled.

Remove from the oven once cooked and leave to cool for 30 mins or so before sliding out of the tin. Leave on the baking paper to cool totally. Drizzle/spread over the melted chocolate in any pattern you like and then cut into bars once the chocolate has set. Deeeelishous!!!

Quick Cherry Sauce (v)

We moved house recently and collected the remains of the freezer in the old house this weekend. After sitting in the cool box for most of the day, whilst the fruit seemed still to be frozen I am on a mission to use it up as quickly as possible. This sauce goes really nicely with cheesecake to cut through the richness.

For 2-3 portions you need:
1/2 pack frozen cherries
2-3 spoons vanilla sugar (depending on taste)
1/8 cup water

Place everything in a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 mins or so till the cherries are thawed and hot and the sauce has thickened a little. Serve with vanilla cheesecake or eat on its own or with cereal or or or…

Cherry and Almond Cake

This is a Nigella recipe from Domestic Goddess. It’s a cynch to make, but tastes SO divine, travels well and lasts well too. You can also freeze it and defrost a slice at a time for lunchboxes.

For about 10-12 slices you need:
225g butter, softened
250g self raising flour
200g glace cherries, washed, dried and cut in half
175g caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
2 tsp almond essence
100g ground almonds
6tbsp milk
4 tbsp flaked almonds

Begin by creaming together the butter and sugar. When fluffy add the eggs, almond essence and milk and mix thoroughly. Add the flour and almonds. Finally add the cherries and mix well. Scrape the thick batter into 2 lined 2lb loaf tins. Scatter each loaf with 2 tbsp of flaked almonds. Bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees) for 40 mins or so until the cake is cooked, risen and golden brown on the top. Slice and enjoy.

Summer Fruit Cobbler (v)

I always keep some frozen fruits in the freezer for puddings, smoothies and muffins. At this time of year the frozen fruits are much better value and have fewer food miles/carbon from hothouses but taste just as good, especially when cooked. This is a dead simple recipe but tastes divine, especially with some ice cream or clotted cream if you’re feeling indulgent. You can make it vegan by using vegan marge and soya milk and serving with swedish glace.

For 4-6 portions you need:
800g fruit (I used british garden fruits and cherries)
85g vanilla sugar
1 tbsp plain flour

Topping:
100g plain flour
50g ground almonds
85g vanilla sugar
1 tsp baking powder
50g butter/soya marge
75ml milk plus a little extra for brushing before baking
1 tsp vanilla extract
25g flaked almonds

Toss the fruit, sugar and flour together before tumbling into a baking dish.

Blitz the butter, baking powder, sugar, almonds and flour together till mixed and then drizzle in the milk till just combined. Knead together lightly then roll out and cut into about 12 pieces. Lay the scones on top of the fruit and brush with the left over milk. Bake at 180 degrees for about 35 mins till bubbling, golden and aromatic. Scoff. Repeat.

Breakfast Cherry and Vanilla Muffins

One of the best things about being on leave at home is that I can pretend every day is a weekend day and that means loads and loads of *baking* (Becka does a happy dance). I fancied something different for breakfast today but didn’t fancy the washing up that accompanies a fry up or fecking pancakes. Again! So I decided to make some muffins as according to Celia Brooks Brown “nothing beats a batch of home-bakes muffins”. They’re in the oven as I blog so I can’t deny or confirm that fact. Yet. This is a variation of her muffins recipe from New Vegetarian.

For about 10 muffins you need:
2 cups plain flour
6 tbsp oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup yogurt (use a runny one not the 0% total I used as it’s too thick)
1/2 cup milk (as yogurt was too thick)
1 cup vanilla sugar
1 1/2 cups frozen cherries
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

Lob everything into a bowl and mix lightly. Scrape into muffin cases and bake at 180 degrees for about 20 mins till risen and golden brown. Enjoy with coffee and fresh OJ. Yum.