Yorkshire Parkin Cake

Heralding from Northern England Parkin is a real family favourite. It is a gingerbread cake traditionally made with oatmeal, treacle and syrup. As a child I have to admit I didn’t eat lots of it but just recently I can’t get enough of it!

My mum is very fond of it, so I wanted to make her a batch but struggled to find a reliable recipe. Finally, after much research I stumbled across this recipe and it works! I have tried it several times and it always turns out the same. This is surprising as it can be difficult to get consistency with cakes that contain syrup/treacle as the measurements can vary each time and effect the bake.

A cracking cake served warm with custard or you can leave it for a few days or more, if you can resist, to get more moist and sticky. Give it a try a Phenomenal Parkin

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Betty’s Tea Room, York

I’ve always wanted to visit Betty’s in York, UK. A very traditional tea rooms established in 1919, it’s quintessentially British, from the service to the staff attire.

Due to it’s high standard and excellent reputation it gets exceedingly busy. When we went they were queuing out of the door today! Foreseeing this, I pre-booked a table in their Belmont Rooms, on the first floor. We were sat down much quicker, avoiding queuing in the cold.

We were made to feel very welcome; sat on a beautifully laid table. The staff couldn’t be more helpful, so respectful and attentive. We felt very special and well looked after.

I ordered Betty’s Earl Grey Tea. It was so lovely; served in a traditional tea pot with the leaves and a tea strainer – as it should be in my opinion.

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We were then presented with an exquisite afternoon tea stand with sandwiches including; coronation chicken, roast ham with a sweet whole grain mustard, egg with cress and prawn. They were extremely tasty, freshly prepared and they were more than willing to bring more if required. I thought about it but looking at the rest of the stand I wanted to make sure I had enough room for the cakes! After all that’s what it is all about the sweet treats. Hehe.

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I then sampled the stunning homemade sultana scones with jam and clotted cream – need I say anymore. An absolute pleasure to eat!

Then the highlight (in my opinion) the patisserie cakes.

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The fruit tart was particularly good but my ultimate indulgence was the Black Forest macaron with a rich, chocolate cream filling with fresh cherries and an alcoholic kick at the end. Divine.

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We had a delightful afternoon, the ambience was fabulous, with a lady playing the piano, it was extremely relaxing. If you’re ever in York you must visit Betty’s, to experience a traditional and friendly food experience. There are not many like Betty’s around these days sadly. We are swamped with franchises setting up coffee shops and cafés, don’t get me wrong I like some of them but feel we should maintain our traditions and heritage in the classic and individual tea rooms of English history and culture. I understand you pay the price but it’s a small price to pay when you receive an excellent service and a day you won’t ever forget for being so lovely!!

Please note Betty’s also sell cakes, bread, souvenirs and gifts which are worth looking at. As well as being a fabulous tea rooms they also sell excellent produce, perfect for a gift or to take home for yourself.

Betty’s Tea Room a must to visit and the perfect way to spend my New Years Eve. Have a lovely evening everyone.

Stephy x x

Bouillet Patisserie – Lyon

Having already sampled the delightful gateaux’s in a patisserie in the centre of Lyon we decided to travel around the city to discover more culinary delights!

Viola we found this fabulous patisserie. The Macarons were a delight. I scoffed the most tastiest Macarons I think I’ve ever eaten!

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It was well worth the steep climb to reach the shop, French streets are so pretty. Rustic and full of charm and character.

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I ate a variety of flavours including; pistachio, coffee, chocolate orange and lemon. Tres tres bon! Before you ask, no I didn’t share them, I ate them all myself as something’s in life are meant to be indulged by oneself and this is one of them.

The patisserie Bouillet is well worth a visit.

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You are truly spoilt for choice, not a bad thing, but I found the Macarons particularly superb!

Next to try making them myself…….

Stephanié x x

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Flapjacks

Flapjacks

These always remind me of being a child, my mum would make a huge tray of them. Brings back lovely memories of helping my mum in the kitchen as a child and enjoying licking cake bowls. 😊

Flapjacks

Ingredients
12oz Butter
4oz Brown Sugar
2tbsp Golden Syrup
16oz Rolled Oats

Method
Preheat the oven to 160degrees. Lightly grease a 20cm square baking dish.

On a low heat, in a large pan melt the butter, sugar and syrup together until the sugar is completely dissolved. Keep stirring it so it doesn’t catch on the bottom. When it is melted take off the heat.

Measure out the oats and add to the pan and mix thoroughly so all the oats are well coated.

Place in the prepared baking dish. Spread out evenly and level out so it is equal depth to ensure even cooking.

Bake for 20mins until lightly coloured on top.
Allow to cool completely before portioning and serving.

For a variation you can melt some chocolate on top too. Enjoy!

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The recipe taken from my mums cookery book; I doubled it to make a larger tray!! Love hand written cookery books, a real family treasure. 😊

Malteser Brownies by JessieCakes

These malteser brownies are the best! The addition of maltesers is genius! They give it a lovely milk chocolate and honeycomb flavour and texture combination, divine! The lovely thing too is that you can alter the filling if you wanted, instead of using maltesers you could use dried fruit and nuts or chocolate chunks or chips, which ever you fancied or had in the cupboard.

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When I’ve made brownies in the past they have always been a little dry and not moist, however these are lovely and moist but still hold their shape and crisp up nice on top. The cooking instructions are correct so there’s no confusion, the recipe is a winner! I took some to my grandparents to try and my nana ate two!! She thought they were delicious. A definite crowd pleaser. Thanks again Jessie for sharing this lovely recipe! 😃💋

Please try these, you won’t be disappointed. The recipe is taken from Jessie Cakes, follow the link below.

jessiecakesdiary.wordpress.com/2013/03/30/malteaser-brownies/

Honey and Pistachio Cake

I was watching Jamie Does….Athens, and  having visited some of the Greek islands it was like reliving and revisiting cracking holidays I have had in the past. He made this decadent cake and I had to try it. It’s very luxurious and rich, a great treat and wonderful if you’re expecting company. I served it with Greek yoghurt and red grapes halved. Jamie served it with Greek yoghurt and strawberries but whichever you fancy.

It’s really easy as you just place all the ingredients in a bowl, give it a good mix and place it in the oven…….genius!

Thanks again Jamie for another wonderful recipe, keep them coming!! 😃

Honey and Pistachio Cake served with Greek Yoghurt and Red Grapes

Honey and Pistachio Cake served with Greek Yoghurt and Red Grapes

Makes 12 slices

Ingredients

  • 5 Eggs
  • 225g Greek Yoghurt
  • 225g Caster Sugar
  • 75g Ground Almonds
  • 150g Self Raising Flour, sieved
  • 200g Semolina
  • 200ml Olive Oil
  • Zest 1 Lemon
  • Zest 1 Orange

For the Syrup Glaze

  • 150g Pistachio Nuts, crushed, but with some left whole
  • 125ml Honey
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • Juice of 1 Orange

Method

Preheat the oven to 180degrees. Grease an oven proof dish, approximately 18cm, with a little olive oil and dust lightly with flour, this will ensure the dish is non-stick. You are best not using a non-stick dish as the dish you cook it in is the same one you cut and serve it in.

Lightly beat the eggs and place the eggs, Greek yoghurt, caster sugar, ground almonds, self raising flour, semolina, olive oil and the zest of the lemon and orange in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly until well combined. Place in the pre-oiled dish and bake for 30mins.

When cooked through, cool in the dish for an hour.

In a small saucepan, heat the honey and juice of a lemon and an orange, along with the crushed pistachio nuts.

Heating the syrup glaze

Heating the syrup glaze

Prick the cake all over with a knife and then pour the warm syrup over the top. Spread it evenly so all the cake is well covered and absorbs the syrup evenly.

The glazed cake

The glazed cake

Allow time for it to absorb all the syrup and then serve with Greek yoghurt and fruit. Alternatively, you could use different nuts too, I might try pine nuts, think that might be a good match too. Enjoy!

Move fast.....it soon goes 😃

Move fast…..it soon goes 😃

Oat and Raisin Slice

These slices are similar to flapjacks and Anzac biscuits, more of a tray bake/cake. They are so simple and lovely hot from the oven or great when firmed up slightly with a nice cup of tea or coffee.

With the addition of flour it lightens the mixture and gives it a more cake like texture but still with a little chew to it. Delicious!

Oat and Raisin Slice

Oat and Raisin Slice

Makes 12 Slices

Ingredients

  • 4 Cups Rolled Oats
  • 2 Cups Self Raising Flour
  • 2 Cups Raisins
  • 250g Butter
  • 4 tbsp Golden Syrup
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon

Equipment

  • 18cm Square Cake Tin

Method

Preheat the oven to 170degrees.

In a saucepan melt the butter, syrup and brown sugar until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbling slightly. Take off the heat.

In a bowl, mix together the rolled oats, flour, raisins and cinnamon. Add the mixture from the saucepan and mix well until all the dry ingredients are coated.

Place the mixture into the baking tin and flatten down with the back of a metal spoon, ensuring it’s evenly spread out and pushed down firmly.

Place in the oven and bake for 10-15mins. It should rise slightly.

Allow to cool in the tray slightly and then cut into squares.

Fresh out of the oven.......😃

Fresh out of the oven…….😃

They should be crisp on top but chewy in the middle, holding their shape. Yummy!

You can do different variations too, nuts work very well as do chocolate chips. Melted chocolate is lovely on top. Give it a try!