Thursday, November 29, 2012

Scottish recipes - Cherry Cake

Scottish Cherry Cake

Christmas is coming and Cherry cake brings back great Christmas time memories for me

I remember many a family get-together at Christmas and Hogmanay (a Scottish New Years Eve) at my grandparents home. Cherry cake and Black bun, and good old Scottish Fruit Loaf were always present at the table

It is a cake that I ate as a child and loved so much

It's cute to look at and just tastes amazing 

This recipe uses glazed cherries and not maraschino cherries. In Texas its not easy to get your hands on glazed cherries all year round but at this time of year some supermarkets have them in little tubs like this one. Otherwise you can buy them year round on websites like

Glace Cherries

Apparently this cake has been around for decades and decades in the UK and no wonder, it is fantastic

While making Cherry Cake it is difficult to stop your cherries sinking to the bottom of your cake, but I use a little trick to stop the cherries sinking 

Cherry cake is sold in Shops everywhere in Scotland at this time of year, but since I am in Texas and can't find it, here is the great recipe I use

It is based on a Delia Smith recipe

You will need

8oz/225g Butter (softened)
8oz/225g Fine Sugar
4 large eggs
8oz/225g Plain (all purpose) Flour
half Tsp Baking Powder
9oz/250g Glace/Glazed Cherries
4oz/100g Ground Almonds 
half teaspoon of Almond Extract
1 Tbsp Milk
Brown sugar to sprinkle

  • Set oven to 180C/ 350F and line an 8 inch round cake tin with parchment paper (bottom and sides)

  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar, until light and fluffy
Butter & Sugar

  • In a small separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs

  • Add the eggs slowly, beating gently as you go

  • Sift in the flour and baking powder and carefully fold into the egg mixture

  • Cut the cherries in halves and quarters 

  • Add the cut cherries to some extra flour (doing this will help stop the cherries sinking to the bottom when baked)
Flour & Cherries

  • Add the cherries to the mixture and mix in well
Add cherries

  • Add in the ground almonds, almond extract and milk. Again mix well

  • Pour into the prepared tin and sprinkle the top with brown sugar
cake mixture

  •  bake for 1hr until risen and golden on top

  • Cool in the tin before placing on a platter
Cherry Cake

Cut into wedges and enjoy

Scottish Cherry Cake
Scottish Cherry Cake

This lovely cake is springy and spongy to touch and crispy on the outside

Us Scots think it is best enjoyed on Hogmanay

But you can enjoy this cake anytime of the year



Monday, November 26, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Trifle

Pumpkin Spice Trifle

Trifles are very popular in Scotland and I will be making a typical Scottish trifle soon

In the meantime, here is the great Pumpkin Spice Trifle, perfect for this time of year

Last week here in Texas, we celebrated Thanksgiving along with everyone else in the united States

I love the typical Turkey & Stuffing, green bean casserole and  sweet potatoes

but I don't love Pumpkin Pie, my sweet toothed Scottish appetite wants something more

So in keeping with Thanksgiving

Here is the Pumpkin Spice trifle

I ripped this from a Supermarket flier recipe and modified it slightly

You will need

For the cake
6oz/175g Butter
6oz/175g Brown sugar
3 lightly beaten Eggs
10oz/250g self raising Flour
1 tsp Mixed Spice
1tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg

For the pumpkin cream filling
1 box of Vanilla pudding
1 Tinned Pumpkin 
Half cup of Brown sugar
1 teaspoon Mixed spice

For the cream
500ml Heavy whipping Cream

  • Cream together sugar and butter in a large bowl until smooth
Butter & Sugar

Butter & Sugar

  • Add the lightly beaten eggs a little at a time adding a spoonful of flour to prevent curdling
Add Eggs

  • Sift flour, and spices into the wet ingredients and mix well
Cake mixture

  • Pour mixture into a cake tin and bake for 1 hour at 325F 160C
Cake mixture

  • Meanwhile, make up the vanilla pudding according to packet (do you know its a very American thing and this is my first time making up vanilla pudding....I know !)

  • To make the pumpkin cream, mix together the set vanilla pudding, the pumpkin, brown sugar and mixed spice, refrigerate until ready to assemble the trifle
vanilla, pumpkin, sugar

Pumpkin Cream

  • Now whisk up the heavy whipping cream until stiff, refrigerate until ready to assemble the trifle
Whipping Cream

  • To assemble, first crumble half the cake into the bottom of the trifle bowl

  • Next add half the pumpkin cream

  • Then a layer of the whipped cream

  • Repeat all the layers again, and sprinkle cinnamon on top for decoration

  • Enjoy
Pumpkin Spice Trifle


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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Scottish recipes - Quick Ham & Lentil Soup

Lentil soup

loved by us Scots

This recipe uses an abundance of veggies and Red Lentils.
Yes, Red lentils. Loved by Brits and Indians alike

Here in Texas they are hard to get, only the brown ones are around, I found these beauts in the International Indian foods section of my local supermarket

Many a recipe is around for lentil soup, using a variety of different veggies, and different Ham sources

For this recipe I used bacon and stock instead of a ham hock

It's a quick recipe where you can cut down on cooking time by soaking the lentils in warm water before transferring them to the large pot

Makes one gigantic pot of soup

You will need

300g Lentils
3 small potatoes
3 carrots
1 turnip
2 onions
1 garlic clove (crushed)
8 Bacon slices or a Ham Hock
2 pints of Stock (and maybe a bit water for thinning later)
salt and oodles of fresh ground pepper
a little oil for softening veggies

  • Using a sieve, rinse the lentils under water

  • transfer them to a bowl and cover with warm water, leave to sit for 30 minutes

  • peel and chop the potatoes, turnip, carrots and onions

  • Cut the bacon into bite sized pieces

  • in a large pot, add the oil and fry the bacon

  • add the chopped veg and garlic and fry for about 5 minutes until slightly softened

  • drain the lentils, add then to the veg pot, Mix well (if using a ham hock add here)

  • Add 2 pints of stock of choice (you can use water here instead if you wish)

  • Bring to boil then simmer for around 40 minutes, until lentils swell and the veg really softens (take ham hock out and cut up meat from bone and add meat back in if using a ham hock)

  • once ready, mash a little with a potato masher to break up the bigger pieces, or you can liquidize if you prefer no lumps

  • serve and enjoy


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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Scottish recipes - Hot Toddy

'Tis the Season for..... No, not Christmas.

'Tis the Season for colds, coughs and flu

A Hot Toddy is a typical Scottish drink made from Whiskey and honey which is served hot

Scottish Hot Toddy

Scottish beliefs are that this Hot Toddy will ease the symptoms of the common cold and the sniffles, whether or not this is true, many Scots still use a Hot Toddy for this purpose, I do suspect modern medicine will tell us this is not the case

Nevertheless, a wee Hot Toddy is still a nice evening drink on a cold, damp night, and boy, do we get plenty of cold, damp nights in Scotland

Here in Texas, its not so damp and cold, I am spoiled here

To make this Hot Toddy

You will need

2 tbsp Whiskey (or Bourbon if its easier to find, my USA friends)
1 tbsp Honey (or 1 tbsp Brown Sugar)
Hot Water

Cinnamon Stick

Scottish tradition says, use a Crystal Glass and a silver spoon - this is what I did, how fun !!!

  • Heat the glass or teacup by running it under warm tap water then dry

  • Boil some water

  • Put the honey (or sugar) into the glass
Hot Toddy
  • Pour a little hot water into the glass
Hot Toddy
  • Once the honey has melted, add 1 tbsp whiskey, stir
Hot Toddy
  • Add more hot water and the other tbsp of whiskey
Hot Toddy
  • Fill to taste with more hot water, stir and enjoy hot
Scottish Hot Toddy

You can also add lemon juice or pop in a cinnamon stick, the choice is yours.

Typically a Scottish Hot Toddy does include Whiskey but you can also enjoy this drink with Brandy or Rum if you prefer

The important thing to remember is to make it how you like it and enjoy

Keep your sniffles at bay my friends


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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Scottish recipes - Treacle Scones

Scottish Treacle Scone

This recipe is a nice change from the regular scones I made earlier in the year see them here

It uses Treacle to give them a more malty, autumn like flavour

Treacle is a childhood favourite of mine, I used to eat it on bread. I really can't do that now, I am just not that used to the taste like I was when I was a kid

It is fine if added to something, like these Scones, but I can't eat it in the raw anymore

My Mum used to make Treacle Toffee, I really must look out her recipe and make that soon

So, these warm scones are wafting through my home as I am typing up this post, it is probably my favourite aroma..... home baking

If you would like to make them too

Here is the recipe I used

You will need

8oz/225g Self Raising flour
2oz/50g Butter or margarine
1oz/25g Fine Sugar
2 Tbsp Treacle (or Molasses)
Half tsp Cinnamon
Quarter pint/150ml of Milk
Pinch of salt

  • Set oven to 220C/425F. Grease a Baking tray or cookie sheet

  • Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl

  • Add butter and rub in, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs 
add butter

resembles Breadcrumbs

  • Add the sugar, cinnamon and treacle

  • Add the milk a little at a time and mix until a soft, elastic dough is formed
Elastic dough

  • On a floured surface, knead the dough and roll out 

  • Cut out rounds about 2.5 inch cutter
Rounds cut

  • Place on greased tray and brush top with milk
On cookie sheet
brush with milk

  • Bake for 10 minutes until golden brown

  • Place on wire rack to cool

  • Enjoy with a butter, or some strawberry preserve and cream
Scottish Treacle Scone

I hope you love these Treacle Scones as much as we do.


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