Eggnog Truffles

The quintessential Christmas drink! Eggnog or “Snowball” was the only drink me and my sister were aloud at Christmas. Every year we used to beg and plead for dad to make us a Snowball. We’d sit with our big girl glass filled with what looks like exploding custard and pretend to be adults. Then every year after about 5 sips we’d say Daddy, I don’t want anymore, can you drink it?

I can tell you that 20 years later nothing’s changed! I still get excited about drinking a Snowball and I still every time think ‘I can’t finish this, it’s not as nice as I remember’.

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I was a little sceptical when I tried to make these, I’m not a huge fan of putting alcohol in chocolate, chocolate is perfect all on it’s own. However, because it’s Christmas and because they look so divine I thought I’d give them a go!

I can’t take credit, I found this recipe in my favourite mag however I can confirm they are much nicer than Eggnog!

Eggnog Truffles

Ingredients

  • 75ml double cream
  • 300g white chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 20g butter
  • 2 tbsp brandy or spiced rum
  • 1/2 tsp vanillia extract
  • A generous grating of nutmeg

Method

  1. Put the double cream, 200g chocolate and butter into a large heatproof bowl, set over a pan of barely simmering water. Heat gently until melted.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the brandy, vanilla extract and the nutmeg.
  3. Leave to cool and refrigerate overnight until firm.
  4. Great the remaining chocolate.
  5. Using a teaspoon, spoon out the mixture into small balls and roll through the grated chocolate,  place in small paper or foils.

Enjoy!

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Written with love
Brooke
x

Lest we forget – Apple Batter Pudding.

There’s nothing I can write in this blog post that can convey how much both me, my family, and everyone else in this country owes the generations alive in 1918. From the brave men who gave their lives, to the grieving loved ones at home who lost Sons, Husbands, Fathers, Uncles, Nephews and still managed to carry on. We owe them everything.

I can’t possibly imagine what the suffering and cold must have felt like, or how much courage it must have taken to climb those mud walls and run head on into barbed wire and whistling bullets. I can’t imagine the courage of the women at home who received that dreaded telegram and still managed to work the land. I can’t imagine living in a Britain full to the brim of sweat and grief. We owe them everything.

It’s been 100 years to the day and If I can’t possibly imagine how they lived through that time, then I guess the least I can do is learn and remember. I need to learn as much about those dreadful years and remember so I can pass it on to future generations.

I haven’t always thought like this. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve been rather ignorant of The Great War. We covered it a little in school, I knew they battled in the trenches and I’d dutifully stand in silence every November at 11am. For a whole two minutes every year those brave soldiers had my full attention. But, if i’m honest it really didn’t take long until I’d forget and get back on with everyday life.

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Our New Tradition
This year I acknowledged my ignorance and made more effort to learn what World War 1 was all about, why it happened and what it was like for the brave people who sacrificed their lives so we can live ours. (Dan Snow’s BBC Podcast is brilliant by the way! I’ll link it at the bottom.) I’m still pretty ignorant, I’m sure I can learn much more but at least to help me and Nick appreciate the sacrifice made for all of us I want to start a little new tradition in our house. In addition to buying a poppy (which I admittedly usually lose or wash or just completely forget to put on in the morning), I want to do something that will bring a little bit of 1914-1918 into our home.

Every year on the night before Rememberance Day, I hope to bake or cook something that would have been eaten by our torn and grieving nation during The Great War.

This year I’ve started the tradition with…

Apple Batter Pudding.
Using only 1 egg and two tablespoons of flour this recipe was a creative way to sustain the hardworking nation during the food shortage. This is how they would have eaten it back then but Tesco do have a modern recipe online, i’ll provide a link at the bottom.

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Ingredients…

  • Some apples
  • Dash of lemon juice
  • A little sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of plain flour
  • 3/4 pint of milk
  • 1 egg beaten

Method…

Peel, core and slice apples, place in a pie dish…
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Pour over a little lemon juice and sugar.
Mix together milk, egg and flour in a separate jug and pour mixture over the apples.
Bake in a hot oven for 1.5 hours.
Serve, enjoy and REMEMBER!

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This tasted surprisingly delicious! And because the apples were from a garden tree it cost us pittance.

Next year i’ll share the ingredients and recipe earlier so other people can join in if they wish.

Written with love
Brooke

Links…

Voices of the First World War

Tesco’s delicious looking modern recipe

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Grandmas Chocolate Concrete

Also known as Chocolate Crunch…

I’ll be honest there’s not much I remember from school. I’ve retained maybe 4 French words at the most, I think I’ve still got the basic rules of Pythagoras theorem, a2+b2 = c2? And of course, the wonderful memory of warm Chocolate Concrete served with pink custard. It was delicious!

The one thing about our school was that they took the word concrete quite literal. Don’t get me wrong, some days you’d be lucky, the consistency was just right and your spoon would slice through the slab beautifully. The custard would just soften it enough to eat, It was divine! The other days however, I remember you’d have to put your whole body weight into your cutlery to chop it into manageable mouthfuls. This for me usually resulted in my pudding shooting off the table one way and my plate the other. Que the obligatory claps and cries of “Wheyyy” coming from everyone in the dinner hall while I scrape my pudding off the floor in misery. Even so, embarrassment aside it was worth it! – I liked Chocolate Concrete.

Happily for me Grandma used to be a school cook, and not at my school! The pupils at my Grandmas school will have enjoyed Chocolate Concrete at it’s finest. When Grandma makes it, it’s never too hard. I’ve even made it myself and although it’s not made with her magic baking fingers it still slices marvellously! So, I thought I’d share it…

Grandmas Chocolate Concrete

Ingredients

  • 8oz – 226g Butter
  • 8oz – 226g sugar
  • 10oz – 284g S.R flour
  • 1 1/4oz – 36g cocoa powder
  • 1 egg
  • Sugar for sprinkling

Method

Place all ingredients but the egg into a bowl and rub together with your hands. Crack the egg into a cup, whisk and fold into the mixture to bind it.

Spread mixture into a greased tin (a Swiss roll tin according to Grandma, I don’t have one so I used a sandwich tin)

Bake in the oven for 20 mins, Gas mark 7, 180•c

Sprinkle with sugar and stand for 10 mins,

Cover and keep warm.

Serve with warm custard.

I’d say even Otis wants some but he will actually eat anything. He looks longingly at me like this even when I take multi-vitamins because he thinks he’s missing out.

Hope you enjoy

Written with love

Brooke x

P.s. I’d love to hear what your memories of school dinners are? And if this happened to you? Or was it just me? 🙈

Grandmas Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m often overtaken by a sudden impulse to bake something, this quickly morphs into disappointment when I realise I don’t have all the ingredients needed and i’ll have to hall myself to Morrisons. So frustrating! To avoid this I’ve learnt to always keep stocked up on a small list of essentials..

  • SR Flour
  • Plain Flour
  • Caster Sugar
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Almond Extract
  • Butter
  • Eggs

This would be a useless list without a handy stash of simple recipes. Thanks to Grandma I’ve now got another one to add to my lazy no supermarket baking arsenal. Here it is…

Grandmas Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 150g Butter (softened)
  • 125g Castor Sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 225g Self Raising Flour
  • 75g Plain Flour
  • 100g Chocolate Chips 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven 200°c, Gas Mark 7.
  2. Cream butter & sugar together until light and fluffy
  3. Beat in egg along with vanilla extract
  4. Sieve together both flowers and fold into the mixture until it forms a dough
  5. Stir in chocolate drops until well mixed.
  6. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until 3/4 inch thick.
  7. Cut into circles and flatten until 1cm thick. 
  8. Line a tray with baking paper and place the cookies on. (Leave an inch gap between each cookie if possible)
  9. Bake in the oven for 10 mins or until golden brown. 
  10. Remove from baking tray and place on a wire rack to cool.

Bobs your uncle, you’ve got cookies.

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As tempting as it is to eat them to yourself all warm and gooey, I suggest you share them with your other half or maybe take some to your neighbor.

If you try this then please let me know, I’d love to know how they turn out.

Written with love

Brooke

xx

Edit: If you don’t have chocolate chips then you can cut up normal chocolate finely. If you don’t have any chocolate then go to the shop. Chocolate is a necessity in life and must be kept in bulk. 

Grandmas Wild Blackberry Yorkshire Crumble

I’ve been toying with the idea of sharing Grandmas recipes because well, she can’t half bake! Her recipes are steeped in tradition, the old ways and well I just love all that. She speaks in pounds and ounce and it’s like beautiful music to my metric gram reinforced millennial head. Luckily for me google has a handy conversion tool. The beauty of my Grandma is that she saves recipes, cookbooks, scraps of paper and wonderful nuggets of bakery information. She’s a head of bakery filled wisdom and I believe it terribly selfish to keep this hidden deep within our rather large family. Her baking is at the forefront of all mine and my cousins memories and although we’re partial to delve into the wonders of Costco bakery, Grandma is still our number one essential party throwing tool.

This particular recipe is currently being typed up because me and Otis came across some wild blackberries but simply couldn’t be bothered to use them for anything overly elaborate. I wanted to pick them, bake them, eat them and then sit back down on my lazy backside to watch Gogglebox.  I was completely content in the knowledge that we ate seasonally, literally from bush to belly in 2 hours and I didn’t need to hit the supermarket for a long list of complicated ingredients.

Believe it or not Grandma can text, she can even send picture messages! This is amazing, all i had to do was whatsapp her, “Hi Grandma, I need a recipe that’s quick and easy and involves wild blackberries” I got the following reply…

Grandmas Wild Blackberry Yorkshire Crumble

For the fruit filling…

  • Soak the blackberries in cold water and salt – the salt helps draw out anything you wouldn’t want to be eating. Drain.
  • Add a little water to the blackberries in a pan, add sugar and place on heat – DO NOT LET IT TURN TO MUSH. (My blackberries weighed 500g, I added 100g of caster sugar)
  • Place fruit in an oven dish – don’t include much of the juice.
  • (I sprinkled a little cinnamon over my topping once it was in the dish, Grandma has never advised this so take it or leave it.)

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For the crumble topping…

  • 100g margarine
  • 100g Sugar (I used Demerara)
  • 140g Self-rasing flour
  • 60g Porridge oats

Combine margarine, flour & oats until they resemble breadcrumbs, mix in sugar, place the mixture over the fruit filling and firm down. 

Bake until golden… Gas Mark 5, 190 degrees or the baking oven in the Aga for 30 mins.

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Nick was so desperate to eat this he wouldn’t let me get a decent photo. “You’re always taking bloody photos, move! I’m hungry.” So, there you go, an easy ‘anybody can do it’ cupboard staple crumble. Enjoy!

Edit: Grandma has text me to say she’s found some old recipes from her grandma. This is too exciting!

Written with love

Brooke

xx