October 2012
I clearly have an almond thing going on. More bakewell tarts!

And I've also had fun making plum jam and Delia's Dowerhouse Chutney (also try her Christmas Chutney)

Yes that's carrot cake in the background by Mary Berry!

Bakewell tart
You'll need:
A 12"x9" traybake tin
A pack of dessert (or shortcrust) pastry from your supermarket chiller cabinet
For the sponge mixture
100g Stork margarine
100g caster sugar
175g self raising flour
1 level teaspon baking powder
2 large eggs
2 tbs milk
1/2 tsp almond extract.
To finish
4 tbs jam (raspberry is traditional)
flaked almonds

Heat your oven to 180C (mine is slow, if yours is a hot oven, try 160/170C)
Line your tin with baking parchment ( really, its worth it!)
Roll out the pastry and line the tin with it, including up the sides. This is fiddly, cutting and patching adds to the rustic charm here.
Put all the other ingredients into a big bowl and mix. I use an electric hand whisk. You can use your Kenwood, KitchenAid (ain't you posh!) or a good old fashioned wooden spoon and elbow grease. you could try you food processor - let me know how you get on.
Test for almondy flavour and add more extract to taste. Go easy!

Now brush the jam evenly over the pastry and pour the sponge mix over the top. Sprinkle with flaked almonds and pop in the middle of the oven, for about 25 minutes. Once springy in the middle, trim any odd bits of pastry and leave to cool in the tin. Cut into slices and eat.This is what's left of mine....

January posts
The dangers of flapjacks....

So much can go wrong with such a simple recipe. These flapjacks may look lovely but my dentist is going to have his work cut out when I next visit! I left these in the oven too long but bless them, my family will eat them anyway. Here's the recipe anyway courtesy of Delia...
8oz soft brown sugar
6oz unsalted butter
2 desertspoons of golden syrup
12oz porridge oats (not Readybrek please!)
1/2 teaspoon of powdered ginger.
Put the butter, sugar and syrup into a pan and heat gently until the butter has melted. Stirring is helpful. Don't leave it thinking you have time to nip upstairs with the latest pile of washing. You don't. The mixture will boil in your absence and you will have rock hard flapjacks. Take the pan off the heat, tip in the oats and ginger and give it all a jolly good stir. Turn the mixture into a tin like the one in the picture (you've already lined it with baking parchment - did I mention that?) and pat it all down flat. Pop in the oven preheated to            150 degrees C and bake for 30 minutes. Don't turn the heat up a bit because you have a slow oven/ignore the beeping timer for five minutes because you're on the phone to Number One Son who is having an existential exam crisis. Which is what I did, of course, hence the need for extensive dental work after eating one of these beauties.
Why the pizza wheel? Well, once you've taken the flapjacks out of the oven, this is the best way to divide them up, whilst they're still warm. Then once they've cooled you simply break them along the cutter lines with your (clean) hands. And pop into a tin. "Ah", said Number Two Son, "crunchy flapjacks". And took one for his snack.