Saturday, 25 October 2014

Bara Brith

First of all, welcome to Elizabeth Mears via Bloglovin.

Makes one cake in one 2lb loaf tin

Recipe Ingredients:

    320g plain flour
    125g soft brown sugar
    125g lard (softened and diced)
    100 ml butter-milk/watered down natural yoghurt, or just half milk and water
    195g currants/sultanas
    1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    1 1/2 tsp cream tartar
    1 egg
    1 tablespoon black treacle
    1/2 tsp lemon juice (or white wine vinegar)
    120 ml of tea to soak the currants/sultanas in for 2 hours
    1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
Soak the currants/sultanas in the tea for two hours.
Grease one large 2lb loaf tin with lard/butter and line all around. Pre-heat the oven to 160C.

Using your fingers rub the lard into the flour, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. 
Sift in the bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar, mixed spice. Add the sugar.
Add in the currants/sultanas, including any tea if left.
Beat the egg with the lemon juice (or white wine vinegar) and add to the mixing bowl, stir everything in and then add in the buttermilk/yoghurt/milky water. 
Finally add and stir in the black treacle.

Once everything is thoroughly mixed, and the batter is slightly on the wet side of a ‘dropping’ consistency, (add in a little more milk if the batter is stiff) put it into the prepared loaf tin. 
It should fill the tin to just under 1" from the top.
Put the loaf tin into the preheated oven to bake for 80 minutes.

After 80 minutes check to see if the cake has risen and is fully cooked in the centre by pushing in a skewer, if it comes out clean and hot the cake is ready, if not leave for another 15 minutes. If it looks like the top of the Bara Brith is browning too quickly, cover it in a piece of foil.

Once baked pull the Brith out of the oven and leave to cool for twenty minutes. After twenty minutes turn out the cake from the loaf tin, remove baking parchment and leave to cool on a wire rack. Serve slices warm or cold, sliced with a little butter and jam, or plain and on its own.

Here is mine:

Friday, 24 October 2014

A huge one

Nope, not talking about spiders although we have had our fair share of those this Autumn. We went to our local shop to get milk and inside, sitting on a shelf, marked at just £1, was the biggest butternut squash we have seen. Puts the ones in the big shops to shame.

It was roasted in the oven and what wasn't used up for a meal, got frozen for later use in a curry or with pasta, oh, and it weighed 5lbs after roasting.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Pickling Onions

This is something I haven't done for a few years and we both fancied some so off we went.

We quickly topped and tailed some pickling onions, placed them into a bowl:
and poured boiling water oven them:
 A plate was placed on top to keep the smell in:
After about 20 minutes they were cool enough to handle, were drained and the skins just fell off. Some people recommend leaving them in the water to go cold but we don't as they can go soft.

Normally I would create my own pickling vinegar but this time opted for bought. Whilst the jars were warming in the oven, the vinegar was heated with 2 - 3 tablespoons of sugar. We like to sweeten the vinegar otherwise it is too acidic for our tastes.

When ready, the onions were stuffed into the jars, a whole dried chilli added, then topped up to just under the brim with the hot vinegar and the lids screwed on tightly. Once cold they were labelled and we'll start on them some time in December: