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

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

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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