Thursday, 30 May 2013

CCC No 15 - Tiramisu cake for Baking the Books ! - South Lancashire CCC at Ebb and Flo Books, Chorley.

             Ebb & Flo Bookshop in Chorley

Here at Lancashire Food we like to support and promote local businesses and as I also love a good book, so  I was delighted to hear that an independent bookshop was opening in Chorley which is in my patch Clandestine Cake Club wise.  Dianne the lovely owner of Ebb and Flo immediately agreed to host one of our meetings even though at this stage she didn't have an actual shop and the shop was some months away.

Roll the calendar forward and here we are holding our "Baking the Book" event in the cute newly opened bookshop. The shop has a range of books specifically selected by Diane 
to offer a selection of interesting reading for all customers and for them to discover books they didn't know they wanted or, perhaps, that even existed. Customers are encouraged to browse, sit, smell, touch and hold the books, have a cuppa and chat about books. The shop also has inspiring areas for children, such as a den and craft room. 

As well being a great book shop Diane is keen to hold bookish events as well and has a great whats on section on her website, so there is plenty going on !

slide 3

We are here with a theme of baking a recipe from our favourite cooking or baking book, my bake was a Tiramisu Cake from Fiona Cairns "The Birthday Cake Book".

We all had a great time and loved the new bookshop and I am sure lots of us will pop in the next time we are in town. Oh and just so you know Dianne stocks the Clandestine Cake Club cookbook. We had a great selection of cakes inspired by books or taken from our favourite baking books, check them out !

Lemon diary sponge

Vegan carrot cake

Strawberry & marscapone swiss roll

Coconut & Lime Cake

Blueberry, peach and amaretto cake 
Chocolate chilli cake
Coconut layer cake
Victoria Sponge
Lemon Drizzle Cake
Date & Walnut Cake
Iced Lemon Curd Cake

ebb & flo Bookshop

Goosnargh Cakes - Forgotten Food for Slow Food Week 2013

Forgotten Foods project (UK Ark of Taste)
I have a number of recipes on that blog that are traditionally "Lancashire" and a couple of them are very popular, so I was delighted to be contacted by Slow Food UK  to take part in their campaign to  create an ark of Forgotten Foods, this highlights foods which have fallen out of favour, the idea of the campaign is to preserve these traditional foods before its too late and they are lost forever and promote our rich regional culinary history.

One such food is Goosnargh cakes (not really a cake at all more of a biscuit) which is  no longer commercially available reliably and is seldom baked locally,  this caraway flavoured crumbly shortbread style biscuit has really fallen out of favour.

Goosnargh is a village just outside Preston and is now probably more famous as the home of fabulous poultry production. I have had a  recipe for Goosnargh cakes on the blog for a couple of years and its now pretty popular especially since being featured in "Visit Lancashire" year book, most traditional Lancashire recipe books have a recipe for the cakes but since being contacted by Slow Food I have actively been searching them out.

I have been lucky, a neighbour who knows I love cooking and baking recently lent me his hand-written family recipe book and low and behold another Goosnargh cake recipe was contained within, this one using coriander powder and a little baking powder, I estimate this dates from the early 1900's .

Here's the link to the earlier post on the blog for Goosnargh cakes with the original recipe.

In celebration of all things Goosnargh cake, here's the new recipe and also a selection of new photographs to tempt you to bake this "forgotten food". 


  • 1/2 lb flour (this will be plain)
  • 6 oz butter (or 5 1/2 oz and small tsp of baking powder)
  • 2 oz sugar
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder or bun seeds (these will be caraway seeds)
  • Rub in and mix to a paste without moisture.
  • Roll out to 1/4 inch thick
  • Cut with a plain round cutter
  • Bake for 15 mins in a moderate oven (top shelf), do not turn them, when cold dust them thickly with castor sugar

I am hoping in some small way that by being involved in the campaign I am doing my bit in ensuring Goosnargh cakes will not be a forgotten food for long. The recipe book is proving a treasure trove of long forgotten delicacies which I will enjoy experimenting with. Slow Food UK have a section on their website called "Cook it or lose it" which is proudly featuring a related post. 

You might also want to consider joining Slow Food UK , follow the link if you want to find out more.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

First Garden salad, hot smoked salmon and jersey royals and rabbit proof fence

Over the last few days we have been busy in the vegetable garden, sowing, planting and fencing (to keep pesky Peter Rabbit away from the vegetables, just hope it works), I noticed that finally we have enough rocket, sorrel , flat leaf parsley, early lettuce and salad burnet to have a green salad from the garden for lunch.

Supplemented by some left over jersey royal potatoes (which incidentally you can serve hot or cold, I like both ways ) and some hot smoked salmon (the best comes from DelishFish their honey roast is awesome), I quickly whipped up a light complementary dressing using about a tablespoon on EVOO ( extra virgin olive oil), a little lemon juice, a 1/2 tsp dijon mustard, a few drops of honey and some fresh or dried dill. Whisk it all up and taste for seasoning and balance. Oh and I snipped over some chives too.

There you have a great easy lunch, very healthy and tasty too ! 


This post fits perfectly with the brief for Herbs on Saturday a great blog campaign run by the lovely Karen at Lavender and Lovage and this month hosted by Anneli at Delicieux


Saturday, 25 May 2013

Spicy sweet potato cake loaf

Another unusual bake using sweet potatoes to give the cake moisture and a soft tender crumb, the resultant cake is delicious, spicy and lovely served to accompany a coffee or tea. You could guild the lily by frosting or topping with a cream cheese topping but I love it just the way it is.  The other nice thing is the mixture actually makes 2 loaves so you have one to freeze / share or gift.This is based on a bake by the fabulous Averiecooks who has some amazing recipes, check out her blog !


  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, chopped and microwaved until soft, then drain and allow to cool
  • 2 free range eggs 
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil ( I like to use sunflower)
  • 2 tbsp plain yoghurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cups soft light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (level)
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp approx freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • Preheat oven to 180c /325F 
  • Oil spray a 2 x 2lb loaf tins or alternatively use a tin liner ( I get mine from the pound shop)
  • Combine all the fry ingredients in a large bowl
  • In another bowl combine all the wet ingredients
  • Now combine the two bowls, gently combining fully ensuring everything is fully mixed
  • Pour the batter into the two prepared tins, smoothing the tops level if necessary
  • Place in the oven
  • Bake for 60 - 70 minutes , until tested cooked with a skewer
  • Its as simple as that !
  • Cool in the tin for 10 minutes or so and then cool fully on a wire rack
  • The loaf freezes wrapped and also keeps well wrapped in foil in a tin for up to a week if it lasts that long.

I took one of these loaves along to my regular Womens Institute meeting and it was very popular, so much so that I didn't get a slice :-(

Monday, 20 May 2013

National Vegetarian Week and Greenhalghs

Greenhalgh's Butter pie served with brown sauce

This week is National Vegetarian Week  a great celebration of vegetarian food. One great Lancashire delicacy is a great dish for vegetarians and that is Butter Pie. A pie that has its history firmly fixed in Lancashire and the area surrounding Preston in particular as a economical and nutritious meal for catholic mill workers. Butter pies are still produced by a number of local north west bakeries to satisy local demand, one of which Greenhalghs recently approached me to review their butter pie, obviously as a connoisseur  of the butter pie I was more than happy to undertaken this task.

A butter pie has a filling of potatoes, onion and butter, plus a little seasoning this is all in cased in a shortcrust pastry parcel, happily all the fats in Greenhalghs pastry are of vegetable origin so no worries there if you are vegetarian  I found the freshly baked pies to be delicious, juicy and tender and the pastry having just the right amount of crumble combined with melt in the mouth filling. Some people may think a pie with only potato, onion and butter in its filling would be a little bland, but far from it in a Butter pie the potato flavour comes to the fore. It is also nice that the pie has potato slices which create a nice texture rather than a mush I have seen in other butter pies.

Most high streets in the North west have a Greenhalghs so its easy to pop in and stock up on this great tasty vegetarian snack , especially during National Vegetarian Week.

Alternatively if you are feeling creative you could always make you own , check out the recipe in the popular posts.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Baking Brave for World Baking Day ! Rhubarb Custard cake


Its world baking day and in its honour and to use some of the rhubarb rapidly taking over the garden, I am baking brave "Rhubarb custard cake ".

 I have never made this before and also never used straight custard powder in a cake before, I snaffled the recipe from Morrisons website here and have followed it to the letter, so we will see how it goes.

As for World baking day, as you know I don't need many excuses to bake but this sounds like a good one, an international celebration of baking across the world, and an excuse to try to something new, in other words to bake brave ! so here we go.

I'm also submitting this as part of Calender cakes run by Lauralovescakes and Dollybakes 
                                              Join the Baking Challenge

Chocolate Courgette Loaf

BBC Radio Lancashire came to visit us yesterday for the Lunchtime Favourites programme and this is the cake I chose to feature when Maria Felix Vas was visiting, its a difficult task to select just 12 tracks that represent your life so far, I enjoyed the making the programme and the bake went do very well. 

I thought I'd refresh the post in honour of the visit, I hope you enjoy the bake!

This recipe was created in celebration of the annual courgette glut , I am revisiting my Prize winning Chocolate courgette loaf, as published in Green and Blacks - Chocolate Recipes - Unwrapped.

Its a really easy recipe if a little fragile when it first comes out of the oven. If you wish to guild the lily you can ice and fill if with jam or cream, it is quite rich already so I prefer it plain.
  • 175g Dark chocolate ( at least 60% cocoa solids)
  • 225g courgettes
  • 200g Plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarb of soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla paste (optional)
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 175ml sunflower oil
  • 2 medium eggs
Preheat oven to 180c / 350f/gas mark 4
Greased and lined 2lb loaf tin
Melt the chocolate, I use the microwave, but be careful don't overheat. Grate the courgettes in your bowl, sift the flour, baking powders and spices into the bowl, add the other ingredients and mix well, lastly add the slightly cooled chocolate. I use my food processor but a bowl is fine too. Pour into your prepared tin and bake for approx 50 mins, test with a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave in the tin to cool, before finishing the cooling process on a wire rack.
The loaf stores well in a tin and also freezes well.

I am also going to include this post in We should Cocoa this month hosted by Jibberjabber and created by Chocolate log blog, the theme is vegetables.


Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Rhubarb and maple syrup crumble muffins

Whilst playing with the samples of maple syrup from Clarks I dreamt up a recipe to use that lovely seasonal ingredient of rhubarb in combination with maple syrup, loosely based on a previous muffin recipe with a crumble topping, my I present Rhubarb and maple syrup crumble muffins. Almost healthy as they contain fruit, a natural sweetener and wholemeal flour, I hope you enjoy them.

Mr Lancashire Food (our official photographer) has taken some absolutely stunning photographs of these muffins which really make them look very special. Check out his new pinterest page

Muffin mixture
  • 1/4 cup light brown soft sugar
  • 1 egg free range
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 5 tbsp melted butter - then cooled
  • 3/4 cup plain low fat yoghurt
  • 1 cup wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup chopped rhubarb
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder & 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Crumble topping
  • 1/4 cup plain wholemeal flour
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 2tbsp maple syrup
  • 2tbsp light soft brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3tbsp butter
You have options on the crumble topping either melt the butter for a more crunchy topping or rub in for a soft sandy crumble topping, the choice is yours.

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C
  • Prepare your muffin pan with large muffin cases - 12 cases
  • Prepare the crumble mixture in a small bowl and put to one side
  • In a seperate bowl mix the dry ingredients and in another bowl mix the wet muffin  ingredients, then combine gently together, do not over mix, lumpy is ok.
  • Lastly add the rhubarb and 1/3rd of the crumble mixture to the muffin mixture
  • Spoon into the muffin cases and top with the remaining crumble mixture
  • Bake for 15 -20 minutes until cooked and golden
  • Cool on a wire rack and dust with icing sugar when cool

I used Clarks maple syrup in this post which was kindly supplied free of charge by Clarks for recipe development purposes. If you would like to win some of Clarks syrups or honey's check out our rafflecopter giveaway.

I am also entering these muffins in the lovely Ren Behan for Simple and in Season Blog event

                                                Simple and in Season

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