Crumpets

‘and shall we have crumpets for tea ?’

I don’t remember where that quote comes from. But that’s what we had for our meal this afternoon. Toasted to a slightly brown colour and hot so that the crumpet is cooked through. I usually have butter or margarine on it but today I had butter and then as a treat a small amount of Greek honey.

The porous, sponge like consistency of the crumpet makes it good for absorbing melted butter. The top of a crumpet is full of a lattice of holes, whereas the base is solid, so these lacunae stay filled and only leak slightly. Yummy! I’ve also toasted crumpets, then grated cheese on them and then I gently microwave them for a savoury snack.

This bought back a memory of using a fork pierced through a crumpet and pushed onto the front bars of a gas fire. A tricky thing to do as the fire might burn your fingers as well as the crumpet! Cook the back first then the front, then take it off the fire and butter and eat. (Childhood memories of when life was more basic).

Croissant and banana!

I wanted something to eat and I decided to have a couple of croissants. I split them and spread a bit of butter on them, but I shouldn’t eat jam, so what else? I saw a banana, it’s a similar shape so I sliced along it’s length horizontally. One half folded into each puff pastry croissant. Delicious! I might try them with whipped cream next time!

Bread and butter pudding?

How do you make it? Raisins and currents between slices of bread with a mixture of egg and milk and nutmeg and sugar somehow added to it? The outcome is a sticky, stiff, yummy lump of slightly crispy pudding.

Problem 1, I have no currents or raisins or even sultanas..

2, I have no sliced bread

3, I don’t eat sugar because of diabetes.

4. I have no recipe to work from and don’t know what temperature to cook it on.

Solution…just make it up as I go. So I sliced some slightly stale brown bread. Buttered it and placed it butter side down into a pyrex glass shallow oblong tray. Added a layer of sliced banana and some sliced pear. Then a few more bits of bread and dots of butter. Finally more banana and pear and a bit of a crust of bread on top. I then whisked up six eggs?! With milk, sugar substitute and a bit of cinnamon (I don’t have nutmeg).

Poured the liquid over the bread slowly so it soaked in.

What heat? I chose gas mark 5 (medium heat) and set the oven for forty minutes. It might be horrible. It might be OK. For future reference does anyone know a recipe?

Apple and Raspberry cake

A little bit flat, but I cooked this in a flan case.

Ingredients (approx amounts)

8oz self raising flour

4oz butter/ margarine

two tablespoonfuls sweetener (or 4oz sugar)

three eggs

two tablespoons milk

pinch of salt

large cooking apple peeled and cored

packet of raspberries.

I put the self raising flour in a bowl and then put bits of butter in plus the sweetener, then with a metal spoon I broke the fat up more, a pinch of salt, then crumbled the mix between my fingers so that it looked like breadcrumbs.

I made a dip in the mix and added the eggs, slowly stirring it in and trying to keep air in the batter, I added a bit of semi-skimmed milk to soften it more.

I added the apple slices and the raspberries to the cake batter so the fruit was evenly mixed into it. Then I poured the batter into the flan case which I had buttered.

I put the cake in an oven, gas mark 4, for 1 hour and 10 to 15 minutes.

It came out nice and moist, and it wasn’t completely cooled when we tore into it!

Note I used self raising flour that contains wheat, milk and eggs that can be allergens, butter which may not be in your diet and sweetener that you can cook with because I try to make sugar free cakes.

Too much fat in my pear cake

Tasty but a bit too greasy.

I decided to make a pear cake with a couple of large pears off the tree. I didn’t have a recipe to hand so followed the one on the back of my bag of self raising flour.

The ingredients were:

150 grams each of self raising flour, butter and sugar.

Three medium eggs

A small amount of water

This was to make a Victoria sponge. I decided I would add raw sliced pears into the base of my glass flan dish (I don’t have a cake tin or grease proof paper).

Method. It said cream butter and sugar together till its light and fluffy, then add the eggs and a bit of water. Then gently fold the self raising flower in.

Problem. I can’t eat sugar. So I used sweetener that you can bake with. The amounts were questionable. 150 grams when you don’t have scales. So I guessed the amounts and I think I put about 200 grams in. The sweetener said 200 grams was five tablespoons, so I used four instead. Then the eggs? I used three, but they were large. Finally I guessed a mug full of flour would be about right….

I creamed the butter and sweetener together and made it softish and fluffy. Then I slowly added the eggs. The mix started to curdle. I tried adding a bit of flour and it started to look like undercooked scrambled eggs! I got my hand whisk out and tried to beat some of the lumps out. Then I folded in the flour, I made a batter, but still saw flecks of butter in the mix.

So I spooned the mix over the pears in a well greased Pyrex flan dish. I put the cake in the oven on gas mark 4 (medium heat) initially for thirty minutes. When I checked it, there were bubbles of gas coming out of it and it was still pale. So I put it on for another twenty minutes. The bubbles were still happening but the surface felt fim and was golden brown. When I tapped it, it sounded hollow, and when I pricked it with a knife that came out clean.

I eased the cake out of its case. Some of it broke up because it had stuck in the dish. It was greasy, but I cut a section out and it held its shape.

It tasted eggy but nice. The pears had cooked through.

Next time I might start making it with flour, then rubbing the butter into that till its like breadcrumbs, adding sweetener, then making a hole in the flour before adding the eggs. I wish I’d remembered that before I made this cake.

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I made bread pudding

Bread pudding made, yum!

It was a bit burnt on top. I used half a stale crusty brown loaf, soaked in water overnight. Then I added a cup of dried mixed fruit, and stirred it in to break up the loaf.  Then added two eggs, some milk, three teaspoons of sugar substitute, a few knobs of butter and a teaspoon of cinnamon to make a wet mix. I put it in a greased shallow  baking dish  and baked it in the oven gas mark six (mid temp not too hot). I cooked it for 1 hour and 20 minutes. It came out a bit burnt on top. The bits of crust were nice and crunchy. I served it hot with cream. You could use custard.

One way to use up stale bread. Thanks Frank’s wife for the original recipe.

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