Saturday, 30 June 2007

Myles’ Chocolate Snails (or Blonde Brownies)

These delicious brownies won a prize for best flavour in the LIttle Spooners category

Warning: Not for the calorie-conscious….

1/3 cup of butter (75 grams)
1 cup brown sugar (200 g)
1tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 cup plain flour (110 g)
¼ tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. baking soda
Pinch salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, or good quality chocolate, broken into small pieces
Optional – cup of chopped walnuts

Cream butter, sugar, egg, vanilla
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt
Add to butter/sugar mixture and mix
Stir in chocolate chips.

Spread into a greased and floured 7x11 inch pan

Bake at 180c (350f) for 20 – 25 minutes

These brown quickly, so watch them and check at 20 min. mark. Take them out of the oven when they still seem a bit gooey, but slightly browned on top.

Let cool and cut.


Fabio's Butterfly Sandwiches

Fabio based his entry on a biscuit recipe from and sandwiched them together with buttercream and his mummy's home-made berry jam. The biscuits taste lovely but the dough is a little tricky to roll and there's ages of waiting while it chills.
And they didn't win any prizes!
Makes 20
100g blanched hazelnuts
225g unsalted butter, softened
150g caster sugar
3 medium egg yolks, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g plain flour, plus a little extra for rolling out
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
25g icing sugar, to dredge
10 tbsp raspberry and/or apricot jam

Preheat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3. Finely grind the hazelnuts in a food processor and set aside. Beat together the butter and sugar until light. Mix in the egg yolks and vanilla, then sift in the flour, baking powder, lemon zest and hazelnuts and blend. Lightly knead until it comes together. Flatten into a disc, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 1 hour.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out to 3mm thick. Using a cookie cutter, stamp out as many biscuits as you can. Reshape leftover dough into a ball, re-roll and cut out more biscuits – you should get about 40 in total. Arrange them all on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets; chill for 15 minutes.

Bake on the middle shelf of the oven (in batches, if necessary) for about 15 minutes or until golden. Cool on the baking sheets for 1 minute, then on a cooling rack. When completely cool, spread half of the biscuits with buttercream and jam. Press another biscuit on top and dust with icing sugar..

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Winner Cakes All!

The first bunfight was a huge success with over fifty very creative entries. Thanks very much to everyone who took part. James will be posting the winners' names soon. In the meantime, we'd be delighted if anyone wants to email us their entry recipe and will happily post it on the blog.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Hello and Welcome

Do you have doughy buns?
Are your tarts fruity?
Does your cookie crumble?
Do you fancy your chances against local food godesses Silvana ‘cold hands’ Franco (yes of televisual fame) and Angela ‘sharp knives’-Boggiano (food editor of Delicious magazine)?

Then ladies, man your stoves because you are cordially invited by the Bellenden Village Womans Institute in collaboration with The Review Book Shop- purveyor of fine verse, to

The Bellenden Bun Fight Cookery Competition

From your
Chairman and Chief Judge
James Fisher

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

A Few Details

The event is to be held on the Review Book Shop courtyard on Sat 16th June under the marquee

Please drop off entries between 10am and 12pm to either James or Roz

Judging results to take place at 3pm. Refreshments will be served under the marquee, of sour grapes, hard cheese and humble pie and Silvana’s infamous elderflower cordial

Remember this is a bit of tea and bun and home cooking rules. Brownie points will be given for any cracking stories behind your entry (madam).

You can pick up an entry form and further info from Review Book Shop.

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

First Batch is Ready

I've been busy this morning making my entry for the preserves catergory. I'm no expert when it comes to marmalade and this is my first atempt at lemon which I've livened up with a few lime leaves and a last minute addition of star anise which James is guaranteed to hate. I can hear him now, "You can't have star anise in marmalade, Silvana, it just isn't done!" No prize for me then...

Lemon and lime leaf marmalade
Makes 10 jars
1kg lemons
2.2 litres water
6 kaffir lime leaves
1 star anise
2.5kg granulated sugar

Place the lemons and water in a very large pan and bring to the boil. Cover and cook on the lowest setting for 2 hours.

Leave until cool enough to handle.

Halve the lemons and scoop out the pulp, pips and pith and add to the pan along with the star anise. Shred the rind as you go and set aside .

Bring the pan to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Pass through a fine sieve, lined with a cloth back into the clean pan. 

Add the shredded rind and sugar, gently bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves then boil vigorously for 15 – 20 minutes.

Test by putting a little onto a cold saucer and returning to the fridge for a few minutes – push the marmalade with your finger and if it wrinkles, it is ready to set. If not, keep boiling and testing.

Carefully ladle the hot marmalade into warm sterilised jars (wash then put in a cold oven, turn to low heat and leave for 20 minutes), then top with a wax disc and circle of sellophane. Leave to cool and set then it’s ready to eat.