Recipes

Rudesheimer Coffee: per serving.

pic_ruedesh_kaffInto a tall coffee cup/mug put in sugar (optional).Pour in 1 measure of Asbach Uralt brandy (can use other brandy but try the real thing)Using long match, set brandy alight (you might want to warm brandy first in microwave)Leave to burn for a few moments and then whilst still flaming, pour in hot, strong, fresh brewed coffee (please, not instant coffee!) and fill to approx inch below rim.Top with whipped cream sweetened with vanilla sugar and sprinkle with dark chocolate. Drink coffee through cream or as we do, through a straw, using a spoon to enjoy the cream.

Traditional Sangria

This authentic recipe was give to me by a very cute and sexy Spanish bartender in Majorca. Well worth making on a hot summery’s day. The morning or day/evening before you plan to serve, prepare all your fruit. Proportions and ratios don’t count here – whatever you have to hand in the fruit bowl (we always keep fruit in the fridge on holiday). The only fruits to avoid are bananas and kiwi. So, into the serving jug goes sliced apple, orange, lemon, lime, diced melon, cherries if you can find them, strawberries even. Working to one bottle of wine, on top of the fruit pour over half a wine glass of brandy (good stuff please) and half a glass of Cointreau or Grand Marnier and allow to steep in the fridge until required. When ready to serve, pour in a bottle of red wine, top up with ice cubes and then add lemonade. Taste (cook’s perk) to check there’s enough brandy and Cointreau in it. You probably won’t get much lemonade into the jug so serve extra lemonade to taste separately. Serve with a spoon to eat the luscious fruit at the end.

This can also be made with white wine and/or champagne but we have found we much prefer it the traditional way.

Now for that extra something: add a measure of banana liqueur. It made such a difference, so if you’ve got some to hand, do try.

Enjoy, down to the last drop!

Doughnut Muffins

Ingredients: (makes 12)
140g/5oz caster sugar white or golden
200g/7oz plain flour
1 tsp bicarb of soda
100ml/3½ fl oz natural yoghurt
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
140g/5oz melted butter
12 tsp seedless raspberry jam (though will work with any flavour)
Extra caster sugar for dusting

Method:
Heat oven to 190c/170c fan/gas 5
Lightly grease muffin tin/s
Put sugar, flour and bicarb into bowl and mix
In a separate jug or bowl whisk together yoghurt, eggs and vanilla
Quickly pour egg mixture and melted butter into dry ingredients and quickly fold with metal spoon. Note: lumpy mix is fine – don’t over stir.
Divide two-thirds of mixture into muffin tins. Spoon tsp of jam into each then cover with remaining mixture.
Bake for 15-18 mins until risen, golden and springy to touch.
Allow to cool for 5 mins before lifting from tins.
Roll each in the extra sugar.

In a word: YUMMY

APPLE TART  COCKTAIL
Ingredients
50ml gin
Half a teaspoon of cinnamon and sugar
20ml apple juice
Ginger beer
2 squeezes of lemon
1 fresh apple

Grind the sugar and cinnamon into a fragrant powder with a pestle and mortar. Sprinkle this over thinly sliced apple, and caramelize these slices in a hot, non-stick sauté pan without oil or butter – about 30 seconds each side should do it. Leave to cool. When ready to make the drinks, add the gin to a rocks glass and sprinkle in half a teaspoon of the cinnamon sugar. Fill the glass with lots of cubed ice. Next, add the apple juice and top up with ginger beer, finishing off with two squeezes of lemon. This gives the drink a lovely tartness.Finally, garnish the cocktail with a slice of your caramelized apple, serve and enjoy!

Easy Peasy Fruitcake
Stage 1: Into large saucepan put 500 gm mixed dried fruit in any combination you like. (I always use bag of Tesco’s No Need to Soak Luxury Dried Fruit but still go through this next step). To pan add approx 1 glass of fruit juice, be it orange, apple, whatever, or cold tea, or a mix of juice and any alcohol you fancy, or tea and booze. Or, if you really, really must, use plain old water. Bring pan up to boil, stirring gently, Turn off heat, cover pan and make a cup of tea or coffee, go for a walk, read a book, work on your WIP. Leave fruit to soak for at least two hours or even overnight.

Stage 2: Into fruit add 3 oz butter, any sort, and 3½ oz sugar, any sort, it doesn’t matter! Bring to boil, simmer for 1-2 mins stirring gently. Remove from heat. Add approx 100-200 gm glacé cherries, or small drained tin of pineapple chunks, or half to whole peeled, cored, chopped apple, or chopped apricots, or chopped ginger minus syrup – anything you want in fact, or a mixture or even none of these things. Allow to cool whilst you have another cup or tea or change the beds or peg out the washing. Or all three!

Stage 3: Weigh out 6oz of self-raising flour. Add approx 1 oz ground almonds or any sort of chopped nuts, or none. If not using nuts add extra 2 oz of flour or even desiccated coconut (nice with the pineapple). Add one teaspoon of baking powder, pinch of salt and if wanted, a teaspoon of cinnamon or mixed spice. Grease 8inch loose bum cake tin, be it round or square, or use loaf tin/s. Line if you feel so inclined with greaseproof paper (I use the greaseproof paper from packets of lard). This mixture can also be bake in bun tins, especially if too much mixture for 1 loaf tin (adjust cooking time). Warm oven to 200C/180C Fan or Gas Reg 6. Whisk two eggs together.

Stage 4: When fruit cool tip in all Stage 3 ingredients and fold together with spoon, add eggs, stir to combine. (Note: if flour and eggs added to too warm a mixture it will begin to bubble and eggs might curdle; best have another cup of tea if you are not sure fruit cool enough.) If mixture seems too runny, stir in another tablespoon of flour but note this isn’t supposed to be a stiff mixture.  Pour into cake tin and bake in centre of oven for 40-55 mins till knife or skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in tin for 5-10 minute then turn out, cool and store in airtight tin for a couple of days to mature. You can, if wanted, spike with brandy or whisky too.

Ouzo Dream Cocktail

One of the many cocktails served whilst staying at Agios Gordios was the sublime Ouzo Dream. I would never have thought of creating a cocktail with Ouzo but this one was deliciously refreshing as well as being as blue as the ocean lapping the sands in front of me:

In a tall glass, a generous measure of ouzo over ice, followed by Sprite or lemonade and topped by a measure of curacao. Serve with a slice of lemon, a straw and a good splash of Greek sun, preferably brought to your sun lounger by a sexy Greek barman. Bliss.

ApfelStreuselkuchen (Apple Crumble Cake)

For the crumble topping

  • 100 g plain flour (or self-raising and omit baking powder)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 75 g chilled butter, cubed
  • 75 g light soft brown sugar (or Demerera or even granulated)
  • 25 g flaked almonds (optional)
  • Pinch cinnamon

For the sponge

  • 100 g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 100 g caster sugar (or Demerara/soft brown)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 175 g plain flour (or self-raising and omit baking powder)
  • 3/4 tsp baking power
  • pinch salt
  • Fruit 350g approx apples peeled and sliced

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter the tin and line the base with baking parchment.
2. For the crumble topping: Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl then, using your fingertips, rub in the butter until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, cinnamon and flaked almonds, mix to combine then set aside in the fridge while you make the sponge.
3. For the sponge: Cream the butter in a large bowl or in an electric food mixer until soft. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then whisk in the milk. Sift over the flour, salt and baking powder and fold into the cake batter.
4. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin, spreading it out evenly, and then gently place the apples over the mixture. Sprinkle over the crumble topping and bake in the oven for 45–50 minutes or until golden and cooked in the centre.
5. Allow the cake to cool slightly before removing the tin, then place on a serving plate. Dredge with icing sugar and serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream. Equally delicious served at room temperature.

This Rachel Allen recipe is also scrummy when made with plums (stoned & halved)  or why not try stewed rhubarb and ginger, or gooseberries or blueberries. Can be baked in a square tin, served cut into squares. Ideal too for lunch boxes or picnics.

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Traditional Lamb Cake (Delicious with fresh-brewed coffee)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions: With an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar, then add in the water. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Add into butter mixture and mix well. Add in the vanilla. In another bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, then add into batter.Grease and flour one lamb cake mould, and pour in batter. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 F (175 C) for about forty five minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. When cold, dust with icing sugar.

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These are recipes that work for me.  Over the years, with a very fussy husband to feed I’ve had to adapt many recipes to suit and along the way gained a vast amount of knowledge re food and drink. I hope you will find something useful here. I’m addicted to food programmes with the exceptions of those silly “Come Dine with Me” or “Masterchef” type ones. I want to learn not see people make fools of themselves and play with food. The only fools I like are gooseberry and rhubarb! My favourite chefs: James Martin, Gary Rhodes and Delia.

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