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(c) Good Housekeeping UK

If you miss custard creams or just crave them, then you can make them yourself with a few simple ingredients from your pantry and a little custard powder. This recipe for custard cream cookies is from Good Housekeeping UK. I first made this recipe before I had a kitchen scale (more on this later).

US Standard

  • For the cookie:
  • 2 cups All Purpose (plain) flour, plus extra to dust
  • 6 dry tablespoons Bird’s custard powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/8 cup or 7 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, chilled, cut into cubes
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • Filling
  • 1/3 cup (5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup icing/powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp Bird’s custard powder

Or

Metric

  • 200 g (7oz) All purpose (plain) flour, plus extra to dust
  • 50 g (2oz) Bird’s custard powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 75 g (3oz) caster sugar
  • 125 g (4oz) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into cubes
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • For the Filling
  • 75 g (3oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 125 g (4oz) icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp Bird’s custard powder
  • For the biscuits, put the flour, custard powder, baking powder, sugar and butter into a food processor, or use a fork and mix until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Alternatively, rub the butter into the flour mixture using your fingertips.
  • Add the egg and milk and mix until the mixture just comes together. Tip onto a work surface, bring together with your hands, then wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 mins or up to 1 day.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out dough until 3mm (⅛in) thick. Cut it into an even number of 3cm x 4.5cm (1¼in x 1¾in) rectangles, re-rolling trimmings as needed. If you like, mark the rectangles with a diamond and a dot in each corner.
  • Put rectangles on prepared sheets and bake for 13-15 minutes until lightly golden. Cool on the sheet for 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, put the softened butter into a large bowl and sift over icing sugar and custard powder. Mix to combine (don’t add water as it needs to be fairly thick). Set aside.
  • When the biscuits are cool, sandwich together with some of the filling, using a knife, spatula, or a piping bag if you want a less messy finish.
IMG_6119

(c) Julia Briggs

  • Oven 190 C, 375 F, Gas mark 5
  • A greased two pound loaf tin
  • 6 oz butter
  • 6 oz caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs or 2 eggs and the whites from another recipe
  • 4 oz self raising flour
  • 2 oz ground almonds ( for a different texture, you can use all flour though)
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

 

  • Icing (of your choice) I used:
  • a 7 oz block of dark chocolate and
  • 3 oz butter melted together then poured of the finished cake

IMG_6113Cream the butter and sugar together then add the eggs and beat hard.  Slowly add the flour, milk and ground almonds if using and combine well.   Now divide your mixture into two and add the cocoa powder to one half.  Spoon the two mixtures alternatively into the tin and tap down to rid the mixture of any air pockets.

Now with a thin knife blade or a skewer draw through the mixture to mixIMG_6114 slightly and produce a marbled effect.  Bake for 40-45 minutes until well risen and firm to the touch.  Test with a cake test or skewer.  Leave to cool in the tin for about 15 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack.

Place a plate under the rack to catch any drips then make up the icing and pour over the cake.  Enjoy a thick slice with any tea you like.  -JAB

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(c) Julia Briggs

Who likes anything with lemon in it?  Most of you I am guessing.  Even my hubby likes these biscuits and he does not like lemon!

The recipe for these biscuits is very old and I can no longer read the name but I know it was from an old Italian lady and began with B.

 

If anybody knows these biscuits then please let me know.

You will need:

  • 2 greased baking sheets
  • Oven 180 C  350 F  Gas Mark 4
  • 8 oz flour
  • 4 oz sugar
  • 4 oz butter
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • Zest and some juice of half a lemon
IMG_6109

(c) Julia Briggs

Sift the flour into a bowl and add the sugar.  Cube the butter and rub it into the flour and sugar until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Whisk the egg yolks,then add the  vanilla essence, lemon zest and a small amount of lemon juice and add to the dry ingredients.  Mix well until the dough comes together.  Shape the dough into a sausage and wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Then remove the dough and divide into approximately 12 pieces, use your hand to shape the biscuits into either rounds, circles or S shapes.

Place on the greased baking sheets and bake for about 10-15 minutes until the biscuits are pale golden and firm to the touch.  Allow to cool on a wire rack.  If you like you can make some icing with icing sugar and the rest of the lemon juice for some of the biscuits.  They do go down well with a nice cup of tea.

-JAB

IMG_6012

(c) Julia Briggs

My husband does not like jam but loves Marmalade so I make him cake or buns and he puts marmalade in the middle so I thought I would experiment with a real marmalade cake just for him!  He likes the ‘no peel’ marmalade but you can use either.

Oven 180 C  350 F  Gas Mark 4  A well greased 9″ cake tin or two 7″ ones.

I made the normal cake mixture but added more flour and, of course, marmalade.

You will need:

  • 8 oz softened butter
  • 8 oz caster sugar
  • 10 oz Self Raising Flour
  • 4 medium sized eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of Marmalade

Icing:

  • 4 oz Icing Sugar
  • 2 oz Marmalade (if using Marmalade with peel in sieve the peel out)
  • 1 teaspoon orange juice.
  • orange peel from the sieved Marmalade or sugared orange slices to decorate
  • Extra Marmalade and double cream  for sandwiching the cakes together
IMG_6004

(c) Julia Briggs

Beat the sugar and butter together until light and creamy then add the eggs one at a time with a tablespoon of flour to stop it curdling.  Fold in the flour and the Marmalade with a figure of eight movement and divide between your tins or spoon the whole mixture into the one tin if using a large cake tin.  Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes until firm to the touch and a cake tester or needle comes out clean.  Leave in the tin to cool slightly then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

Make the icing by combing all the ingredients together.  Split the cake and spread some marmalade on the bottom half and whipped cream on the top half and then sandwich the cake together and pour on the icing.  Decorate with the orange slices.  Enjoy with a nice cup of tea.

-JAB

 

 

IMG_5998

Julia Briggs (c)

Is it OK to say I do not like chocolate cake?  I do make chocolate cakes and I do eat some chocolates, like Maltesers but I have never been a fan of rich chocolate cakes so I make this orange flavour cake and put chocolate chips in and it is good.

You can of course use cocoa powder in place of some of the flour if you want a chocolate colour, you can also use milk, plain or white chocolate chips, I only had white chocolate in stock.  I filled half with orange marmalade and half with lemon curd and butter icing to satisfy the whole family!

You will need: Two 8″ cake tins well greased or one well greased 10″ cake tin. Oven 180 C  350 F  Gas Mark 4

  • 8 oz Butter
  • 8 oz Caster Sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • A few drops of vanilla essence
  • A few drops of orange essence
  • 8 oz Self Raising flour
  • Grated rind of an orange
  • juice of half an orange
  • 4 oz chocolate chips
IMG_5995

Julia Briggs (c)

Cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy then add the beaten eggs with a spoonful of flour and the vanilla and orange essence.  Fold in the flour, grated rind, juice and chocolate chips.  Pour into two 8″ cake tins or one 10″ tin.  Cook for 35 minutes until well risen and firm to the touch.  Leave in the tin to cool slightly, using a cake tester or needle prick all over the top of the cake and then mix the other half of the orange juice with a little hot water and pour onto the cake. When slightly cool take from the tin and place on a wire rack until completely cold.

Slice the cake, or not if you have made two!  Spread orange marmalade or lemon cheese on the bottom half then cream or butter icing onto the underside of the top half of the cake.  Sandwich them together and enjoy a piece with a cup of tea.

 

–  JAB

IMG_5871My Mother did a lot of baking and she did try and vary it at times.  Rice buns are something she made not very often.  They are made from normal cake mixture with added ground rice in place of some of the flour.

They look the same as a normal bun but taste a little differently.

 

Oven 200 C   400 F  Gas Mark 6

To make 20 buns you will need:

  • 4 oz butter
  • 4 oz caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 oz Self Raising Flour
  • 3 oz ground rice (or rice flour)
  • a few drops of lemon essence
  • the juice of half a lemon (optional)

Cream the butter and sugar together until it is pale and creamy then add the eggs one at a time plus a tablespoon of flour with each egg. Add the lemon essence and lemon juice if using.  When well mixed fold in the flour and ground rice until the mixture is well combined  and put a spoonful of mixture into each bun case.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes until firm.  You can decorate with a half cherry or some white icing or leave them plain.  Enjoy with a cup of tea. — JAB

IMG_5926I love carrot cake but I am not keen on it with lots of spices and dried fruit and certainly not nuts so I have been experimenting with various recipes and I think I have come up with a good one.  It uses oil instead of butter and just a little ginger to jazz it up.

 

 

You will need:

  • 9 fluid ounces of sunflower oil
  • 8 oz light brown or muscovado sugar
  • 3 large eggs (you can use the spare yolks from the Easter Nests too)
  • 8 oz Self Raising Flour
  • Some ground ginger, mace and grated nutmeg if liked
  • 7 oz peeled and finely grated carrot
  • Oven 180 C 350 F gas mark 4
  • Grease and bottom line two 7-inch sandwich tins

IMG_5918Whisk the sugar and oil together and then add the eggs one at a time, fold in the flour and spices and finally add the grated carrot

Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for approximately 30 minutes until firm to the touch and golden.

Leave the cakes to cool for about 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting:

  • 2 oz unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 8 oz pack of cream cheese
  • 1 oz icing sugar
  • few drops of vanilla extractIMG_5921

Beat all the ingredients together until well mixed and then spread half the mixture on one cake, put the other cake on top and spread the remaining frosting on top.  If liked you can sprinkle nuts of your choice on top.

A lovely tasty cake to serve for afternoon tea.

 

-JAB

 

IMG_5859Savoy Biscuits or Lady Finger cakes can be eaten alone – with a cup of tea – or used as the sponge in a trifle.  Remember we made a trifle with trifle sponges broken into pieces well you can use these if you like instead.  There are softer and soak up the alcohol better or you can just eat them as a little cake.  Either way they are quick to make and tasty.  The recipe is a fatless sponge one.

You will need:

  • Two baking sheets lined with parchment.  Set the oven at 190 C  Gas Mark 5  375 F
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 oz caster sugar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • 3 oz Plain Flour
  • A little icing sugar for dusting

You can use a piping bag with the end cut off and a plain nozzle in or you can just make them round by dropping a teaspoonful of the mixture onto the baking sheets.

We are using plain flour so we need to get as much air into the mixture as we can so start by separating the eggs and put the yolks and half the sugar in a mixer IMG_5852and beat well.  Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks and then gradually and carefully add the remaining sugar.  Now put everything together and fold in the sieved flour.  Taking care not to knock the air out.  Put the mixture into a piping bag and pipe fingers onto your baking sheets.  Cook for only 15 minutes until firm to the touch and a nice colour, not too pale and not too brown.  Dust with the icing sugar and then place on a wire rack to cool completely.  They can be frozen for later use or stored in an airtight tin for a dew days.

Enjoy fresh from the oven with a cup of tea from our new English Tea Store sampler packs!

–JAB

 

IMG_5798Cream cheese puffs are made from Choux pastry, which we made last year when we did the chocolate eclairs.  Oven needs to be hot 220 C, 425 F  Gas Mark 7 with a tray of water in the bottom.  Two greased baking sheets run under water just before putting the puffs on.

 

You will need:

  • 4 oz Choux pastry made with
  • 4oz Plain Flour
  • 2 oz butter
  • 1/4 pint water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 oz strong cheddar cheese grated

Filling:

  • 4 oz cream cheese of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon made mustard
  • 1 tablespoon either horseradish sauce or mayonnaise
  • A dash of tabasco sauce

Melt the butter and water over a gentle heat then bring to the boil, then remove from heat and stir in the flour.  Return to the heat and stirring all the time mix together until the mixture forms a ball in the middle of the pan.  Allow to cool then add the lightly beaten eggs and beat together.  Add the grated cheese and mix together well.  Spoon the mixture, about 18, onto the baking sheets and bake for 10-15 minutes until risen and crisp outside.  Make little slits into the sides and leave to cool.  Mix all the filling ingredients together and chill until firm.  Pipe the mixture into the buns using a plain nozzle.

-JAB

IMG_5778

(c) Julia Briggs – English Tea Store

Chocolate cake again?  You ask.  Well there are a number of recipes for chocolate but this one is a favourite of my dentist and we had an appointment the other day.  The dental nurses had given up chocolate for Lent but cocoa powder is not chocolate so the opinion was that a chocolate cake made with cocoa powder was okay to be eaten in Lent.  This particular chocolate cake is quite moist and has a chocolate cream cheesy topping.

Oven 180 C  350 F  gas mark  4  A greased 7″ cake tin.

  • 4 oz butter
  • 4 oz Caster Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 4 oz self raising flour
  • 1 oz cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Whisk the softened butter and sugar together until light and fluffy then add the eggs and golden syrup, stir in the flour and cocoa powder and finally the milk.  This will be more of a batter than a normal cake mixture.  Pour into the tin and bake for 20-25 minutes until firm to the touch.

Leave to cool in the tin then turn out onto a wire rack and leave until cold.  When cold slice the cake in half and spread the bottom layer of cake with a jam of your choice. Then make the filling and topping with:

  • 3 oz sifted icing sugar
  • 2 oz sifted cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons  cream cheese
  • 2 oz butter
IMG_5781

(c) Julia Briggs – English Tea Store

Mix all the ingredients together and spread about half onto the underside of the top layer of cake.  Then sandwich the cake together and spread the remaining filling on the top of the cake.  If it is not Lent then you can drizzle some melted real chocolate on top.  Unfortunately this cake does not keep well so eat as soon as possible with a nice cup of tea.

-JAB

 

 

 

 

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