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A Few Recipes

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Well you asked for recipes, so here goes... The first two are taken from Mum's typewritten recipe book. It's full of cracking 70's recipes and a rather comedy list of utensils apparently vital to their success. Anyone know what on earth a larding needle is??

Treacle Toffee

4oz treacle
4oz golden syrup
1 lb dark soft brown sugar
¼ pint water
¼ level teaspoon cream of tartar
3 oz margarine

- Prepare your tin, either by brushing with oil or lining with greaseproof or baking paper.
- Weigh out the treacle and syrup and add to a large pan along with the water, sugar and cream of tartar.
- Heat VERY GENTLY until every grain of sugar has dissolved.
- Then add the margarine and bring to a sharp boil.
- Don't stir the mixture but allow it to boil for approx 15 mins. You're aiming for 270 degrees/hard ball on the sugar thermometer, or you can test it by putting a few drops in a cup of cold water, then rolling them between your fingers.

- When it's done, pour into the tin and leave to cool.
- You can score lines on the top when it's cool but not firm. I prefer to just leave it to set and then whack it with a hammer - I prefer odd sized chunks of toffee rather than neat little squares.
- Store in an airtight tin.

Vanilla Fudge

1 small tin evaporated milk
2 tablespoons water
1 lb granulated sugar
2 level tablespoons golden syrup
1 oz butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

I took this pic when I made the first batch a few days ago - the ingredients are slightly different. This is mostly because I went shopping without a list and bought condensed milk instead of evaporated, so had to work to a recipe from the Nestle website. I prefer the family version below though.

- Put milk and water into a heavy based saucepan and bring to boil.
- Add sugar, syrup and butter, lower the heat and stir constantly until the sugar dissolves.
- Bring to the boil again and boil briskly, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes until soft ball stage/240 degrees is reached on the sugar thermometer.

- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla essence.
- Leave to cool slightly, then beat until the fudge becomes creamy and loses its gloss (or until you get bored of whisking, whichever comes first!)

- Spread into a tin and leave to cool.

- The recipe, being a bit oldschool, says to use a shallow buttered tin and to mark into squares when not quite cool. I use my handy silicone loaf tin and find that this means you can just turn it out onto a chopping board and slice it up once it's properly cool and set.


1½ oz butter
4 fl oz (125 ml) whipping cream
4½ oz sugar
4½ oz flaked almonds
2 oz mixed peel
1½ oz glace cherries, chopped
2½ oz plain flour
8 oz plain chocolate

- Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4/350 F/180 C and grease two baking sheets or line with baking paper.
- Melt the butter, cream and sugar together and slowly bring to the boil.
- Take off the heat and stir in the almonds, mixed peel, cherries and flour until blended.

- Place teaspoonfuls of the batter 1-2 inches apart on the baking sheet and flatten with a fork. You don't want them to be too thick or they won't cook properly.

- Bake for about 10 mins, until they're brown at the edges. They will have spread out and gone a bit messy - don't worry! Get a palette knife and just push the edges in gently. Bottom half of the tray have been tidied up top, top half is as they come out of the oven.

- Leave to cool very slightly on the tray and then transfer to a wire rack.
- When properly cooled down, start to melt your chocolate.
- Turn the florentines over and get spreading!

- If you're feeling swanky you can run a serrated knife over the choc when it's about to set to create a pretty pattern but quite frankly, I can never be bothered.

Hope you give them a go! I can only personally speak for the toffee but I'm told the others are very good too and homemade goodies always go down well as gifts.

ps - Giveaway winners (and various other people...) - I went to the post office yesterday. The poor girl behind the counter looked at me in horror as I kept pulling parcel after parcel out of a humoungus bag. She did admire the gold wrapping on one of them though. I don't usually go in for spangly outer wrapping but I had so much stuff to send that I ran out of a) jiffy bags, b) the thin plasticy envelopes I keep for ebaying, c) brown paper and sparkly paper was the only thing left!

pps - In other news, I nearly had a very happy moment in the charity shop next to the post office when I saw a vintage Aquascutum tweed suit for a tenner. Upon closer inspection it was actually just a vintage tweed suit with an Aquascutum label shoddily stitched into it. Booooo! I would still have bought it anyway mind you (am not a label snob) but it turned out to be rather too large for me. Never mind, more money to spend on drinks at the work Christmas do tonight!


  1. That vanilla fudge looks amazing!!!!yum yum yum.

    I bet the post office loves this time of year with parcels going out. Lady infront of me the other day had about 20, all different countries. :0

  2. Your scales are fab! I'm adding the fudge to my list of things to make.

    I'm dead excited about the bunting. I've got a few things to send abroad for Christmas, so I'm doing it via the post room at work so I get trade prices.

  3. Thank you! I can't wait to try these out.

    Arianne from A + B in the Sea

  4. ooh i need to get a thermometer, i want to make fudge!! :)
    have a lovely xmas do !! xx

  5. Thanks for the recipes. You'll put Delia & co out of business lol.

  6. Can I come to your house for Christmas?

  7. Wow, fudge looks soooo yummy.

  8. Mmmmmm, my mouth is watering, have fun at your Christmas works do tonight.

  9. MMM, I am going to see if I can get a thermometer in town later!

  10. I have just found your blog, your delicious recipes and your lovely outfits. yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I had never head of Florentines before. I must do some baking.
    I shall be back.

  11. I dread going to the post office after a mad eBay session, it’s probably the worst part for me, as I always seem to be served by the same person. And even though they don’t say it, I know there probably thinking… How many parcels!?

    Thank-you for sharing the recipes, I have epically failed on the baking front recently. Here’s hoping I collect some good recipes for the New Year to try out x

  12. totally making these for the office bring your own buffet next week- everyone'll be well impressed!
    Thanks for posting the prizes so quickly- can't wait to dig into mine!

    xxx Maddie

  13. Yay! Recipes! Cheers for this, Alex!

    And I do love those scales!

  14. Ohh i love your scales, they are fab.
    I'm stealing the fudge recipe, i might experiment with adding some chocolate too x

  15. Dear Alex, your sweets all look delicious! I could eat those florentines now! I felt so sorry for my postman today bringing the second delivery of the day with it snowing heavily. Hope you've had a good week xx

  16. Larding needle?!
    Those treats look gorge,but I am being soooooo good(after falling off the wagon very badly)that I will NOT make any such thing!!! LOL!
    OOO,hope the Christmas work do is FUN!
    Gagging to see what you wore,pretty girl.
    Love! XXX

  17. In all of these recipes, there's always ONE ingredient I have no idea what it is!!!

    And a larding needle sounds painful...

  18. Will definitely be trying to make the fudge, hubby will be over the moon. Lovin the old school scales! x

  19. i totally heart those scales, and i have a need to make that fudge looks sooo scrummy!

  20. Thanks for posting the recipes - they look great and I can't wait to try them. Great idea to use the silicone loaf tin for the fudge! x

  21. ooh thanks for the link, might try the fudge too mmmm x


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