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Mrs Beeton’s Adventure Dessert Biscuits

These dessert biscuits are fantastic for Holiday treats in the lead up to Christmas!

 

Halloween is over and I am definitely one of those Christmas fanatics – so bear with me here.

My latest bake is a lovely soft biscuit with a outside crunch and as Mrs Beeton says “With whatever the preparation is flavoured, so are the biscuits called, and an endless variety can be made in this manner”.  So go with whatever flavour your little heart desires – today I chose ground ginger to add to my biscuit batter to get everyone in the Christmas spirit.

As per the usual routine I started off with my ingredients set out ready to go.  The recipe needs; 1 lb Flour, 1/2lb Butter, 1/2lb Sifted Sugar, the Yolks of 6 eggs and flavouring to taste.  If your mind is blank as to options for flavouring here are some ideas – Cinnamon, Lemon zest, Currants, Ground ginger, Cocoa powder…let your imagination soar.  If you are feeling fancy, make half and half different flavours!

Soften your 225g (Yeah I know, it’s a lot!) of Butter and beat it vigorously until it resembles cream instead of butter.  I used my mixer for this so as not to wear out my arms this early in the bake, haha.  Then I added in the flour “by degrees”, which is just really a posh way of saying ‘a bit at a time’ until it is mixed in.  Then in went the icing sugar and the flavouring, and followed up by your lovely egg yolks (previously beaten until light and frothy).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your mixture will end up a soft dough, but still be able to be moulded with your hands into tablespoonful balls.  This mixture made 5 trays of cookies, but you can reuse your trays after removing the cooked biscuits if you don’t have a neverending supply of cookie trays.  Grease and flour, or line them with baking paper – the reusable type is a fantastic save for the environment, it may be more expensive to start with, but in the long run it is worth it.

The cookies need to go into a ‘slow oven’ for around 15 minutes, making sure they don’t gain too much colour (don’t burn them – it does not add to the flavour, haha).  I put my oven at around 160 degrees Celsius and this worked well.

The average cost back in the day was apparently 1s, 6d to make these and you will get around 4 dozen biscuits out of the one dough.  This is why it is such a fantastic recipe to make and gift for Christmas, or pop it on the table to let the gannets help themselves as my family did.  I started out with 52 and now have one plateful left, that’s how moreish they are.  I think they would look super cool decorated with some red or white royal icing and a cherry on top.

I hope you enjoyed this bake and I hope you come back to visit me again soon.  I am over the moon with this fabulous new website and have to credit Yellow Banana Design for all their hard work.  Remember if you are a fan of YouTube also this recipe will be up to view on there very soon under Sweet Sensations NZ.

 

 

 

2021-11-10T09:04:39+13:009 November 2021|Bakes, Biscuits, Makes, Mrs Beeton's Cookbook, Vintage Kitchen, Xmas|0 Comments

Mrs Beeton’s Adventure – Strawberry Drops

After a break from our regularly scheduled programme, I am back again with another adventure into the great Mrs Beeton’s cookbook. 😄

As a celebration for retaining our sanity through a very loooooooooong lockdown, I thought it was time for a special treat! I think we all deserve one, so here goes….

I guide you to the very sweet section of ‘Confectionery and Ices’ of this lovely old cookbook and very summery sounding (and smelling, it turns out) Sweet drop. Now this recipe is called Strawberry drops but the caption says that you could use any fruit you desire. Let your imagination run wild people!

I decided to stick to the original plan and make these with my family’s favourite summer fruit – Strawberries. 🍓

The recipe ingredients are pretty concise and you will only need 1/2lb of finely powdered sugar (icing sugar), 1/2 pint of the juice of your chosen fruit (pulp) and 2 egg whites. Should be a super quick treat right? Sounds perfect!

I started by whizzing my fresh strawbs in the food processor and straining then again through a sieve so that I had a smooth as silk ‘juice’. Then all you need to do is whip the egg whites into stiff peaks and fold the three ingredients together. If you are no stranger to cooking you may be taking a look at your mixture right now and thinking it’s pretty much like a flavoured meringue, right?!

It pretty much is, and the smell of the fresh fruit is divine! You may want to make these in all different flavours just to have this smell in your house 24/7. 😄

So I got my lovely piping bag out and fitted it with a pretty nozzle and spooned the mixture into my bag ready to pipe some teeny drops onto my baking tray. Making sure I had lined multiple baking trays with paper (cause it makes heeaps!) I went ahead and piped them out.

Now the recipe only says to ‘bake in a very cool oven’, so I needed to call on my previous meringue knowledge for this one. I set my oven to 120 degrees Celsius and baked them for around an hour, It ended up a very long dance party time today as it made 4 trays of mini ‘drops’

All that was left now was to plate up a dainty plate of drops and ration myself to a few at a time. 😄 These are great for decorating cakes and desserts and the natural fruit flavour is better than a processed sweet any day. Don’t be scared to try making homemade sweets and candies, they will be so much better for you than the store bought kind.

In my YouTube video I include an excerpt from Mrs Beeton encouraging you to do just this. 😁

I hope you enjoyed this quick bake, let me know below if you would like to read about more sweets from this cookbook. Check out my YouTube video below for a follow along tutorial.

Hope to see you back again with my next instalment. 💕

2021-11-10T08:55:03+13:006 October 2021|Bakes, History, Mrs Beeton's Cookbook|0 Comments

Classic Kiwi Baking – Eclairs

Hey there,

It’s another week in Level 4 for us Aucklanders so it was time to do something a bit different and break out into the good old classic kiwi bake. What better place to do that than with a classic kiwi cookbook – The Edmonds cookbook. 😁. Hopefully, most of you kiwis have this in your cupboard, so why not get it out and bake along with us!

Yes! So I have a helper for this bake…my 11-year-old son. That’s right folks, let’s teach our boys how to cook too, it’s not just a girly ‘sport.’ 😁. He has been helping me in the kitchen a lot this lockdown and is getting pretty good at it. Today I let him pick and he chose something I’m sure most of you know and love – Chocolate Eclairs. ❤️

We started out getting all our ingredients together on the benchtop and measuring them ready to go. The recipe calls for 75g butter, 1 cup water, 1 cup plain flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence, 3 eggs, Chocolate Icing (icing sugar, cocoa, water + butter) and some delicious fresh whipped cream.

Just a note folks, that it will take some strength and a decent piping bag to pipe these beauties onto the baking sheet, so get pumping iron. 😁

My helper and I started off with the butter and water in a saucepan and heated it on the stovetop until the butter had melted and the mixture was bubbling. Here’s where you have to work fast – straight after you have tipped your flour into the butter/water mixture you will need to use those muscles to stir vigorously until the mixture comes together and away from the sides of the pot.

We then turned off our element and brought the pot over to our bench to add the sugar and vanilla essence. After incorporating this we added the eggs one at a time (using a go between bowl just to double check there was no shell going on in too). This mixture may look a bit weird and is pretty tough to combine, if you have trouble mixing the eggs in pop it in your mixture for a quick burl, works wonders!

It doesn’t look very pretty yet but there’s more work to be done! It will be delicious, I promise.

Fill your large piping bag with any large nozzle you fancy and pipelines of around 7cm onto the baking sheet. A trick to get the pastry to disconnect from the nozzle is to cut it off with a pair of scissors or a sharp knife.

Here we have several lovely caterpillars lined up on our tray. 😁 We used two trays to fit them all in. Then in they went to our trusty oven at 200 degrees Celsius for around 25 minutes. The bigger your eclairs the longer they should be in the oven (We made cute minis – the smaller they are the fewer calories, right? 😂).

After the timer went off we took them out, nice and golden brown, to cool. Then with a sharp knife, we cut a slit in the slides the length of the eclair. If you have large eclairs and need them to dry out inside, then cut the slit earlier and leave to dry.

We whipped our cream to soft peaks and made some really easy chocolate icing with a cup of icing sugar, a tablespoon of cocoa and a tablespoon of butter, with water to mix until we were happy with the consistency. Then we got out a piping bag with a smaller nozzle and piped that delicious cream inside the eclair, and iced the top with our chocolatey good Icing.

And there was only one thing left to do, which was to enjoy the tasty treats – Fresh is best people! ❤️

I hope you all get a chance to do some baking with your family, it really is a very special time, and something they will take with them for the rest of their lives. ❤️

2021-11-10T08:55:03+13:0018 September 2021|Bakes, Edmonds Cookbook, History|0 Comments

Baking Bread – Pretzels

Hi everyone, with so much time on our hands and nowhere to go right now it’s the ideal time to test your bread baking skills!

I wanted to stretch myself (literally) and try something I had never attempted before, and what better way to do that than by making Pretzels! And no folks, not the little crunchy ones, the big soft, salty goodness that is a giant pretzel. 😀

You will need a few ingredients on your bench but THE most important one has to be PATIENCE. 😀. Yes people, bread is a bit of a waiting game and if you are not a patient person this your second test.

Here is the ingredient list:

1 1/2 cups warm water

1 Tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 package active dry yeast, or 2 1/4 teaspoons

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup melted butter

10 cups water

2/3 cups baking soda

1 large egg yolk with 1 Tablespoon water

Pretzel Salt/Rock salt

Non-stick cooking spray/oil

For the first step I put my warm water into the mixing bowl, stirred in the sugar and salt and sprinkled my yeast into the water on top. The first wait is a short 5 minute one while the yeast puffs up/froths in the water.

Then I added the rest of the ingredients up to the melted butter. Making sure I had my dough hook attachment on my mixer I tuned it to medium speed and let it work it’s magic for around five minutes more. And low and behold – a lovely dough ball.

Now the longer wait begins…oil a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth for an hour or more, or until it is double the size.

The next bit involves a bit of rolling and some time making your best pretzel shapes. Dividing it into 8 pieces I rolled each one out into a long thin rope until they were all 24” long.” ( Yes, I did get a ruler out to measure 😄).

I then made some lovely U shapes and brought the ends down to cross over and meet the bottom of the U. 🥨

Lining them all out on two baking paper lined pans I put a pot of the water and baking soda combo on the stovetop to boil. Now, one by one I placed them into the boiling water for 30 seconds at a time. Another time consuming process, but essential to the bake.

Brushing these lovelies with an egg yolk/water wash combo I then sprinkled them with my rock salt (as that’s all I had available). They then go into a preheated oven at 235 degrees Celsius for approximately 14 minutes (keep that timer handy people).

They go a gorgeous deep golden brown and glisten if you brush them with melted butter straight outta the oven.

If you have a bit of time on your hands and LOVE pretzels, why not give this bake a go!

‘Til next time folks ❤️

2021-11-10T08:55:03+13:0030 August 2021|Breads|0 Comments

Mrs Beeton’s Adventure – Roly-Poly Jam Pudding

Welcome back to my next instalment of Mrs Beeton’s adventures, and here in NZ right now I thought everyone could do with a comfort food bake. ❤. Lets be swept away, come join me on my next adventure into the vintage baking world…..

Many of you may have made or eaten versions of this bake during your childhood and I think it’s lovely to bring back those memories by baking something with love. Today’s journey takes us into the world of pastry and puddings where we are going to be making a Roly-Poly Jam Pudding. 😁

Now this one is a three parter as I could not leave out the thing which makes this pudding extra nostalgic, but first things first I gathered the ingredients together for the pastry and jam pudding on my benchtop and set to work.

There are only two ingredients in Jam Roly poly but the first is suet crust which I needed to make from scratch beforehand. Suet crust includes flour, beef suet and water, now I couldn’t get hold of beef suet, so after consulting Mr google I decided to use shortening instead. If using beef suet the instructions are to ‘free the suet from the skin and shred, then chopping up extremely fine, rub into your flour‘. As I was using fridge cold shortening I used my old trick and grated it into the flour to give a fine consistency when rubbing in. For every pound of flour you will need 5/6 ounces of suet (or shortening) and then mix in 1/2 pint of water.

After mixing it by hand or in my case, my trusty Kenwood mixer it should look something like this…

Mrs Beeton explains that if you would like to go for a richer pasty you can use 1/2 to 3/4 pound of suet to every pound of flour. And if you are feeling extra energetic on the day, why not pound the suet in a mortar with a little butter and lay it on the pastry in small pieces as you would do for a puff pastry.

My workout today was the rolling of the pastry on my baking board, to around 1/2 inch thick. I think that’s plenty for one day, don’tcha think. 😁 Then the fun part was lathering the pastry with my homemade rhubarb and strawberry jam, the recipe calls for 3/4 pound but I say why not go wild!

Then you know what to do….roll it all up into a big sausage. I laid it on some floured calico I had, rolled that up around it and tied the ends up like a Christmas cracker. 😁

Mrs Beeton says to put the pudding into boiling water and boil for 2 hours. As I didn’t have any pot big enough for that feat I made a makeshift water bath and put my trusty oven to the test, at 180 degrees Celsius. Because the water evaporates you will need to keep an eye on it and top up when necessary.

Here are my Macgyver skills in action. 😂

While that was cooking happily away I got to thinking….What jam Roly poly is complete without the addition of some glorious custard. Why not go the whole hog people, it wouldn’t be the same without it. ❤️

Waddya know, there was a recipe for Boiled custard just a few pages along. This custard needed a pint of milk, 3 eggs, 3 oz sugar and flavouring of whatever your hearts desire. Mrs Beeton suggests bay leaves, lemons rind or vanilla extract, and a cheeky tablespoon of brandy to finish it off.

The milk gets popped into the saucepan with the sugar and flavouring and ‘steeped by the side of the fire until well flavoured’. I chose a low setting on my stovetop for this. The flavourings get taken out with straining the milk and then you will need to cook down the milk a little before stirring in the whisked eggs (you don’t want scrambled eggs in your custard, trust me).

There is a very lengthy description of what to do if you would like a richer custard, of which some are using 2 duck eggs, cream instead of milk, and doubling the eggs using only the yolks. The pot goes back on the heat and stir it ‘only one direction’ until it thickens. A very important point in italics is on no account allow it to reach boiling point, in other words have patience (if you can). The brandy is added after it is taken off the stovetop if you so desire and nutmeg grated on top. 😁

Violà! Delicious custard! 🤤

All that was left to do was remove the pudding from my oven and wait patiently for it to cool a little to avoid burning my fingers.

Cutting it into slices and putting 2 in my bowl (no judgment please 😁), I poured a healthy amount of custard and sat down to enjoy.

I hope you enjoyed this bake as much as I did, don’t forget to let me know if you’ve tried it by commenting below. Remember if you would like a follow-along video that will be up on my YouTube channel soon.

Til next time lovely readers ❤️ Bon Apetit!

2021-11-10T09:04:25+13:0027 August 2021|Bakes, Cakes, History, Makes, Mrs Beeton's Cookbook|0 Comments

A different kind of vintage bake 💕

Hi all you lovely people, and welcome to my baking blog for those of you who are new 🙂

Having recently celebrated my *cough* (we won’t say exactly what number) birthday and getting the most exciting present of a stack of rather lovely vintage cookbooks, I decided to change tack for this blog post and segue into the 60’s.

The beautiful area of Devonport here in good old NZ is home to an extensively stocked 2ndhand/vintage bookshop called, funnily enough, Book-Mark. ❤️ They always come up trumps when we visit looking for goodies and this time was no exception! Among the stack my parents bought me was a cookbook which they recognised as one my Scottish grandmother had cooked from (hopefully she will get to read this). The Kenwood recipe book is the title and this one hails from 1960. I thought this was pretty darn cool and as I have a Kenwood mixer just like my Gran did, I thought it would be perfect to give the recipes a try.

I wanted something to impress the fam and this cookbook didn’t disappoint…with the rather grand title of (putting on a perfect French accent, not 😂) “Genoise” Gateau à la Vanille, I felt this bake was perfect! There is even a byline telling the reader that this recipe was published by kind permission of Mr Trompeto, of the Grosvenor Hotel in London. How posh is that!

Scanning through I saw that even though the recipe was two-thirds of the page instruction wise, it doesn’t contain too many ingredients. You will need eggs, castor sugar, flour, butter, milk and water. The recipe is divided into two sections, the cake and the icing, and it pays to read through before starting. There is a variation note which suggests you could make this up as one Gateau or multiple petite fours, I thought why not grease and flour a few more pans and go for the smaller cakes. If you’re going to put in the work why not go the whole hog. 😁

For both parts of this recipe, you are required to warm the bowl, so I went for the old fashioned way and filled it with warm water and let it sit for a bit before drying clean again to start.

The eggs and first measure of castor sugar go into the bowl and are vigorously beaten for a good 8-10 minutes, which is where a standing mixer is fantastic if you would like to keep the feeling in your arms. 😁 It ends up looking like a fluffy vanilla cloud in the bowl..very satisfying.

The next step is a very careful folding in of the flour and the first measure of butter (melted, but not hot). Pour this mixture into your tin or tins and into the oven it goes at a moderate 375F (190C). For……minutes, it doesn’t actually say here but my little cakes took 20 minutes cosily all in together.
And voila your cake part is done. 👏

Onwards and upwards to the icing and your warmed bowl. Now, this states that you need to attach the ‘Juice extractor & Oil dropper’ to your mixer, which is a pretty cool looking attachment. Sadly I did not own this myself so I Macgyvered it and stood slowly squeezing a dropper bottle into my mixing bowl. Tedious but not very taxing on the body. 😁 The Kenwood mixer, with attachment, shown below.

The second amount of softened butter gets popped into the mixer with the second lot of castor sugar and while mixing you need to drip in the combined water and milk into the bowl slowly, taking about 5 minutes in total. Don’t forget to flavour with your vanilla essence and you should get a mixture that looks pretty similar to a mock cream.

Then the fun part…we get to ice and decorate! Woop!

Cutting the cakes in half I sandwiched the two layers together with my icing and then spread the rest thinly around each cake (Top and sides). I like to pipe so added a few fancy do-dad’s to the top of each cake and some cute sprinkles. The recipe suggests toasted almonds, and chocolate powder added to the centre icing to pipe, but it’s really up to you to go where the creative juices take you. ❤️

Here is one of my finished creations….

I hope you have fun with this bake and if you are looking for a detailed ingredient list, please check out my YouTube video at Sweet Sensations NZ. I really look forward to hearing from you and seeing you back here soon. ❤️

YouTube video link: https://youtu.be/tdLSkLtBZWY

 

2021-11-10T08:55:03+13:0012 August 2021|Advice|0 Comments

Mrs Beeton’s Adventure – Succotash

Welcome back all you lovely readers, today I feel like a bit of a change so we are heading into the ‘Vegetarianism’ section of Mrs Beeton’s cookbook.

If you are an avid meat eater don’t be put off today by the topic, a good steak always looks great with a side of yummy veges. 😉

If you are an 80’s kid like me, you will have grown up with Saturday cartoons and no doubt be familiar with Sylvester or Daffy giving a good old “Sufferin’ succotash” every now and then. If like me, you have always wondered exactly what succotash was, you are in for a treat. 😁

According to good old Mr Google, Succotash is ‘broken corn kernels’ and originated from the United States and Canada. My favourite toons use it as an expression of frustration and I think it’s pretty cool. So why not cook up the recipe courtesy of Mrs Beeton and see how it tastes!

We start off with Lima or String beans, green corn (I used regular old yellow corn as that’s all I could find – I think you can even use a mix of beans and corn to spice it up a bit), milk, butter, pepper and salt. Pretty simple list of ingredients don’tcha think? Should be a pretty short and sweet cook! Never judge a book by its cover, 😄 the cooking time is looooong!

I recommend cooking this while you have your meat cooking, especially good with a bbq or your favourite roast. She starts by instructing us to shell the beans or if using string beans, cut them into pieces. I topped and tailed mine and chopped them into 2cm sized pieces to put into my pot. You will need to either use whole kernel corn or remove it from the cob, making sure you have a third more corn than beans. The beans go into the saucepan of boiling water and keep them simmering away for 20 minutes on your stovetop.

It’s a good idea to have a strainer on standby as there is a lot of straining in this recipe. I then drained the beans and added the corn to the saucepan with the beans. Just enough boiling water to cover goes into the pot with a little salt and back on the stovetop for another 30 minutes, and we are getting there….but wait there’s more! We then strain off most, but not all, of the water and substitute it for your milk which has been patiently waiting. Adding butter (it doesn’t say how much so I made a guess and added 1 1/2 tablespoons), salt and pepper to taste. And on again to Mr Stovetop for another 10 minutes (I put it on low heat for this bit).

Taking it off the heat I plated it up onto my Crown Lynn (as I felt a vintage cook deserved vintage plating 😁), along with my roast chicken legs which had been happily cooking away in my oven.

There you have it! It’s not a tricky recipe but it is time-consuming. The instructions are to serve ‘very hot’ and it is seasonable from July to October. I think if you can get hold of beans and corn year-round from your local supermarket you can pretty much have this at any time of year.

Bon appetit my lovely readers!

A video of the cook it is up to view on my YouTube channel at: https://youtu.be/vAzOlaQ3Dlg

Please check out my other blog posts if you haven’t already and my Sweet Sensations NZ YouTube channel for videos of my lovely vintage cooks and bakes 💕 See you again soon!

2021-11-10T08:55:03+13:0029 July 2021|History, Mrs Beeton's Cookbook|0 Comments

Mrs Beeton’s Adventure – Common Cake

It was an easy decision to go with another bake again this time, as I loved the last recipe. So turning to the “Breads, Buns, Cakes” section I scanned through and found one that caught my eye…Common Cake 😃

Although this combination of spices does not make a ‘common cake‘ in today’s times, it was common for these to be used back when this cookbook was created “1906” when their bakes may have been done in a range something like this advertisement (featuring in the front of #MrsBeetons cookbook).

Caraway gives this bread a slightly anise or liquorice flavour and was a sought after flavour in British baking, dating back from the 1700s and through Victorian times.

Now that our mini history lesson is complete let’s get back to our recipe bake, shall we? 😃

The Common cake includes a note in its title mentioning that this bake is ‘suitable for sending to Children at school’, of which I have plenty, so it seemed right up my alley. 🤣 Here are the ingredients laid out on my benchtop ready to go.

We have flour, butter (or clarified dripping), caraway seeds, allspice, pounded sugar, currants, milk and yeast.

Now the recipe starts off like a scone mixture and quickly segue into a bread. After rubbing the butter into the flour with a little cheat I learned at High School cooking class (grating it in makes it easier to rub in smaller amounts – you’re welcome if you didn’t already have that titbit stored. 😉) Alternatively you can use one of these nifty little pastry blender thingmys.. (or your good old hands)

I warmed the milk in my super quick non-vintage Microwave and stirred in the yeast. It didn’t mention leaving the yeast to froth for 10 minutes but I did it anyway, as with other breads I’ve made in the past.

I then added the milk into the flour with the other dry ingredients and mixed to a dough with the dough hook on my Kenwood mixer (saving my tired arms, lol). Add in the currants and mix some more until it was nice and shiny.

I had to divide this into around a third (one larger tin) and then the remaining 2/3 I cut into 4 smaller ‘buns’ for my cute little #JamieOliver springform tins.
She says to line the cakes ‘with strips of buttered paper about 6 inches higher than the top of the tin’ and I then put the separated dough balls into the 5 tins.

Now we play the waiting game as I waited for them to rise for ‘more than an hour’ (dance party time 🥳).

The instructions for baking once again don’t give any specific temperature but do say I needed a ‘well-heated oven’ and ‘1 1/2 to 2 hours baking’ time.

I put mine onto good 180 degrees celsius again just to be on the safe side with my oven.

The smell filling the room was gorgeous and they rose a bit, maybe 6 inches brown paper lining was a bit of an overkill, but they rose above the tin edges nonetheless.

The resulting breads were pretty impressive and reminded me of panettone in looks. Those lovers of caraway had a wee taste of my mini buns and I had rave reviews.

Mrs Beeton mentions that the time taken to make the common cake is 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 hours. The average cost being 1s. 4d. and is sufficient to make 2 moderate-sized cakes.

I hope you enjoyed this bake as much as I did and remember there will be a YouTube video to watch at:

Thank you so much for coming back again to my blog and welcome to any new readers! Hope to see you here next time😁 Cheerio!

2021-11-10T08:55:03+13:0026 June 2021|Cakes, History, Mrs Beeton's Cookbook|0 Comments

Mrs Beeton’s Adventure – Folkestone Pudding Pies

I hope everyone is ready for an afternoon tea treat with this recipe, as my next adventure was in the ‘Pastry and Puddings’ section of my Mrs Beeton’s cookbook.

As you will know I love to bake, so this one was pretty exciting for me. I searched for a recipe which had an ‘olde worldly‘ feel to it and after poring through the recipe goodies I decided on ‘Folkestone Pudding Pies’. I know what you’re thinking – that sounds interesting!
I’ll keep you in suspense no longer, here we go…

The ingredients I gathered on my bench were; milk, ground rice (rice flour), butter, sugar (white), 6 eggs, puff-paste (puff pastry sheets – to save time), currants and my chosen flavouring. The recipe suggests lemon peel or bay leaves, you can use whichever one takes your fancy. 🙂

The most exciting part was having it all in pounds and ounces so that I got to use my very cool op shop buy of my brown retro salter scales. Groovy baby! 😄

The flavouring is used to infuse your pint of milk with and needs to sit in the milk for at least a half an hour, minimum, for this to happen, then we take these out of the milk and add the rice flour (3oz).

I then ‘set it on the fire’ (which is really just my stovetop, but the fire sounds so much cooler) for 1/4 hour. I had to really watch it and stir the whole time in order to not end up with a gluggy, lumpy mess.

You are really just making a super light custard by using the rice flour, and as an added bonus it is gluten-free if you have anyone in the household who is also gluten-free.

After my 15 minutes was up I took it off the heat and added my 3oz butter (chopped for easy melting), 1/4 lb sugar and my eggs (these need to be beaten well before adding). This mixture has to be left to cool, so again the need for a dance party for one while I was waiting. 😄 You could totally put it in your fridge to help speed up the process if you’re pushed for time or don’t feel like dancing.

I used a standard-sized ‘patty-pan’ tray to make my pudding pies in, but you could use any size you wanted, Go muffin size for a good-sized dessert or mini for some delicious bite-sized ones. I chose a circular cutter to cut out the bases for my pies and greased and floured the tray before placing the pastry in them. This was just to make sure that I could get them out easily without any brute strength involved.

Greasing and flouring creates a non-stick base if you don’t have any baking paper or the time to cut it out.

Each circle was placed in each patty mould and these were filled up to the top of the pastry with the cooled custard. I went wild sprinkling currants onto each one (cause I love them), and then put them on to bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 20-25 minutes. The recipe just states that the need to be cooked in ‘a moderate oven’, so I used my baking experience to determine how hot my oven needed to be.

Now I managed to fill 3 dozen patty pans with my mixture, as I chose the standard size, but this would change depending on the size of your trays. She does say ‘sufficient to fill a dozen patty pans’, so I’m thinking she went for the larger size. Back then, Mrs Beeton let us know, the average cost was 1s 6d.

Now I’m kind of glad that it made so many as they didn’t last long in my house, everyone that tried them loved them. I likened them to the flavour of a very light bread and butter pudding and would love to know if you try them too!


Every baking day is a happy day!

Don’t forget to subscribe for further updates everyone ❤️


Video link on You Tube for this bake at:

#vintagecooking, #vintagecookbook, #mrsbeeton, #cookingblog, #bakingblog, #vintagebaking, #retrobake, #retrobaking,

2021-11-10T09:03:50+13:0031 May 2021|Bakes, Cakes, History, Mrs Beeton's Cookbook|0 Comments

Mrs Beeton’s Adventure – Stewed Ox Tail

So many recipes to choose from!

Where do I go for my next Mrs Beeton’s adventure?
I chose to not overthink things and go with a main which would naturally follow a starter in a meal, and as I already had the oxtail in the freezer from our local butcher, the Stewed Ox Tail seemed the obvious choice.

Skimming through the ingredients it looked like there was a lot less chopping involved in this one, another thumbs up from me. 👍🏻
After gathering everything I needed I dove straight into my second adventure with good old Mrs Beeton…

Hanging out on my kitchen bench were my Oxtails, 1 Onion, Mace, Black peppercorns, Allspice, Salt, My trusty herbs gathered in a bunch, Butter, Flour and Lemon Juice. The last ingredient I was unable to find in our local supermarket so decided to source a recipe for this via the internet, I have attached this recipe below for mushroom ketchup for those of you who would like to try it. It’s not too tricky and tastes great!

The first instruction was to divide the tails at the joints, which as my kitchen is pretty much devoid of any butchery equipment, would have been a bit of a tricky task. Luckily my trusty local butcher had already done this for me, ah, bliss! Then I simply had to ‘put them in a stewpan with sufficient water to cover and set them on the fire’

As we covered last time, the chances of me lighting a fire in the kitchen without an Aga were pretty slim and a little dangerous, I decided to use my good old slow cooker to make the meat lovely and tender over the 2 1/2 hour cooking time required.

After bringing the cooker to the boil I skimmed the scum (to make the end gravy clearer) from the top of the dish, added my onion chopped into rings, spices, seasoning and my lovely herbs, turning it to low heat.

My youngest and I used the waiting time to host an impromptu 80s dance party in the living room 😎🎶

Time flies when you’re having fun and before too long I was back in the kitchen ready to remove the tails and make the gravy.

I took some of the liquid out (as there was quite a bit due to the size of the cooker) and put it into a pot on the stovetop.

Mixing around 25grams of melted butter and a tablespoon of cornflour together I added this to the saucepan to whisk together, brought it to the boil to simmer for 15minutes until it was thickened and gorgeous. The next instruction was to strain through a sieve but there didn’t seem to be any lumps in my pot so I went straight to adding the tablespoon of lemon juice and teaspoon of my homemade mushroom ketchup.

I heated the lot through and poured it lightly over my dished up Oxtail. The recipe asked for it to be garnished with croutons but I was a bit pushed for time so quickly snipped off a garnish of fresh parsley.

The note under the recipe tells us that the average cost back then for this dish was 1-2shillings, according to the season and it fed around 8 persons.

The slow-cooked meat just fell off the bone and melted in your mouth, the addition of the mushroom ketchup was one I had never used before but was a refreshing flavour change!

The YouTube video for this cook is available to view at: https://youtu.be/l_HpaaXCTaI

I hope you enjoyed my second adventure and will join me for number three.🙂

Thanks so much for following along!

2021-11-10T08:55:03+13:003 May 2021|Bakes, History, Mrs Beeton's Cookbook|0 Comments
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