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 πŸ˜‰ Beware, these flapjacks are addictive and FULL OF CALORIES! But that’s why they taste so good πŸ˜‰

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!!!

Moroccan Bulghar Wheat Salad (v)

The weather has been *glorious* for the last 10 days or so πŸ™‚ Quite strangely warm for mid March. In order to acknowledge this fact I made myself a bowl of yummy vegan goodness for lunch yesterday. I often make soaked bulghar wheat because it’s quick, easy and filling. You can add whatever you have to hand, don’t be put off by the long list of apparently random and weird ingredients. Make in bulk and enjoy over the week as the flavours develop and the fruit plumps up more and more.

For 6-8 portions you need:
1 cup bulghar wheat
2 cups stock
1 red onion, diced finely
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander
1 pack chilli marinated olives
1/4 cup each of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and pine nuts
2 tbsp ras-el-halout
4 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
1/4 cup raisins

Toast the seeds with the ras-el-halout until lightly toasted and spitting hot. Soak everything else in a large bowl and add the sizzling seeds to the mix. Combine well and leave to marinate. Serve with tomato sauce and salad leaves.

Boyfriend Editionβ„’ Tea Loaf

I have made this cake, a variation of St Delia’s iconic Irish Tea Bread, three times so far. And each time it’s been slightly different. The first time I made it, I heavily spiced it with mixed spice and cinnamon as the original batter mix was a bit insipid for me. The second time I made it was called the Baker’s Edition and it was rich, moist and succulent due to soaking in orange juice. Inspired by the Baker’s Edition, my boyfriend requested an extra special Boyfriend Edition cake. And this is it. It uses roobios tea and whisky as soaking fluids as he introduced me to roobios which I now adore, and we both love whisky. It’s the lightest in texture and taste of the three I have made, and filled with lurve. Enjoy πŸ™‚

For two 2lb loaves you need:
225g sultanas
225g raisins
225g currants
125g chopped glace ginger
100g glace cherries
100g chopped candied peel
225g demerara sugar
275ml strongly brewed roobios tea
75ml whisky
1 large egg, lightly beaten
450g self raising flour
1/2 nutmeg, freshly grated
2 tbsp vanilla sugar

Begin this 24 hours before you want to make it. In to a large bowl place everything apart from the egg and flour. Mix well and leave to steep in a cool place, stirring once or twice during this period. The next day, pre-heat an oven to 170 degrees and line two loaf tins. Add the beaten egg to the fruit mixture and combine thoroughly. Then add the flour and mix well. Don’t forget to add lots of love at this stage too πŸ˜‰

Scrape into the tins. Grate the nutmeg over the top of the unbaked cakes, and then sprinkle over the sugar. Bake for about 90 mins or until it’s risen, golden brown and cooked all the way through. Leave to cool. The cake can be eaten immediately, but it’s better if left to mature and served either cold, or toasted, with lashings of butter. Oh and a mug of strong tea. Roobios, natch πŸ˜‰

Carrot, Sultana and Sunflower Seed Salad with Hazlenut Oil and Coriander

This was a knock your socks off salad created out of dying veggies in the fridge and pepped up with some lemon juice and sunflower seeds. It was soooooooo good.

For 1-2 portions you need:
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
1/4 cup sultanas
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp hazlenut oil
1/2 pack fresh coriander, finely chopped
salt and pepper
2 tbsp sunflower seeds, toasted
1 tsp dried mint

Place the carrot, lemon juice, sultanas, dried mint and corriander in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over the oil. Add the hot toasted seeds and allow them to sizzle into the other ingredients. Mix well and allow to stand for a bit before serving. It’s even better the next day!

Apple Chutney (v)

I am in the thick of my Christmas hamper preparations. The actual contents are a suprise, but this is a new recipe so deserves to be blogged. Sometimes all you need with your cheese is a nice dollop of tangy chutney. And this one is lovely.

For 6-8 jars you need:
900g bramley apples, cored and chopped
225g onions, chopped
340g granulated sugar
425ml white wine vinegar
110g sultanas
3 tsp mixed spice
3 tsp ground corriander
3 tsp salt

Place everything in a preserving pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 60-90 mins, until a spoon drawn across the bottom leaves no trail. Spoon into sterilised jars and leave for 2 weeks until matured. This will keep for at least a year.

The Ultimately Boozy Christmas *ahem* Winter Solstice Cake

This is such a yummy cake. I truly think I have excelled myself this year (yes I know, pride cometh before a fall and all that but :P).

For a generous cake that makes an 8″ square and 2 2″ square cakes you need:
1.5 kilos mixed fruit e.g. currants, sultanas, raisins, mixed peel, cherries etc
500-700ml mixture of rum, brandy, whisky
225g butter
225g dark soft brown sugar
2 tbsp treacle
3 tbsp mixed christmas cake spice with orange peel (morrisons sell it… or use cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice and add some grated orange zest)
225g plain flour
4 eggs

Begin by soaking the fruit for a month. Yes a whole month. Place in a tub with the booze and leave well alone, save for shaking it once a day.

When you’re ready to make the cake cream the butter and sugar and then add the eggs. Fold in the flour and spices and then add the fruit mixture. Mix well and place in the prepared tins. Bake the small cakes for 3 hours and the large one for 4 1/2 hours at 120 degrees. Leave to cool totally and then wrap. Cover as you wish πŸ™‚

Drunken Fruit (v)

This makes a totally decadent and utterly delicious topping for ice cream/sorbet/swedish glace. Yum. Make a batch up and stash it a cool place. It’ll keep for ags. But leave it *at least* a week before using… Top up with more rum or fruit as you use it.

For 8-10 portions you need:
1/2 cup sultanas
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup mixed peel
1-2 cups rum

Place the fruit in a clean tub and pour over the rum. You want enough to cover the fruit but not drown it. Shake daily for at least a week and then use as you wish.