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Chocolate Fudge Cake

Sometimes you need cake. Chocolate Cake. Special Cake. And sometimes you need two Very Special Mini Chocolate Cakes! 

One for you, one for a friend… Or something! Mini cake is always a good idea, right? 

Basic Cake Mix:

180g self raising flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 pinch salt

40g cocoa powder

125g caster sugar

2 eggs

150ml olive oil

150ml milk

2 tbsp golden syrup

– Heat the oven to gas mark 4 and grease and line your chosen cake tins. 

– Sift the flour, bicarbonate, salt and cocoa into a large mixing bowl. 

– Mix the sugar and wet ingredients together in a large jug. 

– Stir the wet I to the dry and mix well until thoroughly combined. 

– Divide between your chosen cake tins. 

– Bake! 4″ tins should take around 25-30 minutes, 8″ sandwich tins around 30-40 minutes and if you want to bake it all as one huge cake (23cm springform) then you’re looking at about an hour. Check regularly and test to ale sure a skewer comes out clean before removing from the oven. 

Chocolate Fudge Icing: 

50g butter

200g icing sugar

45g cocoa powder

4 tablespoons milk

– Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. 

– Sift in the icing sugar and cocoa powder. 

– Add the milk and mix well until smooth. 

– Leave to cool and thicken before spreading on the cakes or pour over as a glaze. 

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Cinnamon Scone Cake

This Cinnamon Scone Cake was actually the first of the Giant Scone Cakes. I had the idea of a cinnamon flavoured scone smothered in clotted cream and honey and I couldn’t rest until it had been created!



450g self raising flour

a pinch of salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

100g butter, softened

1 1/2 tbsp caster sugar

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

Just under 300ml milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice added* (or 300ml buttermilk)

2 tbsp brown sugar + 1 tsp cinnamon

50g icing sugar + cold water

– Heat the oven to gas mark 5 /180C and line a baking tray. 

– In a large mixing bowl mix the flour, salt and baking powder. 

– Rub the butter into the flour mix until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. 

– Add the sugar and cinnamon and stir lightly. 

-Mix in the milk quickly and thoroughly but be careful not to over mix the dough. 

– Trn the dough out onto the baking tray and use floured hands to shape into a round. 

– Slice though the dough to to the number of sections you want. 

– Brush the top with a little milk and a sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon. 

– Bake for ~30 minutes until the sugar on top is caramelised and the scone cooked through. 

– Mix the icing sugar with just a little water then drizzle over the top. 

– Serve with clotted cream and honey. Plain butter is also delicious! 

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Korma Paste

This was one of the tastiest things I’ve cooked all year! I was so proud of how it turned out. My kitchen smelt amazing having been full of spices! I usually have a jar of supermarket curry paste tucked away for emergencies but I was feeling creative and I knew I could do better. 

It was actually a doddle to whip up and it gave me enough for two separate curries. Needless to say, the second portion wasn’t hanging around for long!


For the Korma paste:

2 tsp garlic purée 

1 tbsp ginger paste

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon garam masala

½ teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons oil

1 tablespoon tomato puree

2 fresh green chillies

3 tablespoons coconut powder

1 tsp dried coriander leaf

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tablespoons flaked almonds

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

For the Sauce:

2 chicken breasts, sliced

1 x 400g can coconut milk

1 tbsp corn flour slaked with a little water

– First you want to heat a large, heavy frying pan and lightly toast the flaked almonds and cumin seeds over a medium high heat until fragrant. 

– Then put all of the ingredients for the paste into a food processor/blender and pulse until you have a smooth paste. 

– To serve 4 add half of the paste to the large frying pan and heat on a medium high heat. 

– Add the chicken breasts and stir well. 

– Add the coconut milk and simmer on a low heat for 15minutes. 

– To thicken your sauce add the cornflour and stir well until thickened. Then remove from the heat. 

– Serve as a main meal or as part of a larger feast! (My Cumin Roasted Cauliflower and Red Lentil Daal go brilliantly with it.)

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Giant Victoria Scone Cake

I love sitting in the garden in the summer surrounded by flowers with a big pot of tea and scones for tea! So what could be better than a Giant Victoria Scone Cake. One giant scone, sliced in half and filled with freshly whipped cream, homemade jam and berries from the garden. Yum! 

Makes 1x 9″ or 2x 7″ scone cakes

450g self raising flour

a pinch of salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

100g butter, softened

2 tbsp caster sugar

Just under 300ml milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice added or 300ml buttermilk

– Heat the oven to gas mark 7 and line a large baking tray. 

– If using milk and lemon juice, combine in a jug now and let it sit for a bit. 

– Place the flour, salt and baking powder in a large mixing bowl and give a quick stir to combine. 

– Add the butter and use your fingers to rub it in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. 

– Add the milk and mix until all the flour is incorporated. Try not to mix too much, a light hand gives a better scone. 

– Tuen out the dough directly on to your lined baking tray. Scrape down the sides for any spare dough as this mix should be quite sticky. 

– Flour your hands well and lightly pat the dough into a round cake. 

– Brush the top with milk. 

– Bake for 25 minutes until firm and just browned. 

– Leave to cool almost completely before splitting in half and spreading with jam. Fill with whipped cream and fresh berries. Dust with icing sugar and enjoy! 

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Ration Week: Day 4

Today started well with eggy bread. I was going to make this with reconstituted dried egg powder but I just haven’t been able to find any! I was then going to use the dried egg white powder I’d found but after using it yesterday I was covered with an allergy rash. It could have been something else I touched but I did have an egg allergy as a child and still can’t have vaccines cultured on egg so chances are it was that. So, I fully confess I cheated and used a fresh egg for this bread. 

Eggy Bread: Mix 1 egg, splash milk, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Melt a scant tap of fat in a large frying pan. Dip 2 slices of bread in the egg on both sides then straight into the pan. Cook until browned on the first side then flip and cook until browned on the other side. 

Lunch was the fabulously vibrant beetroot soup! I spared some of my margerine ration to smear on the bread and indulged in a sausage roll as I’d been working hard in the garden all day!

Beetroot Soup: Place 3 cooked beetroots, peeled and diced, 1/2 oxo cube, a good pinch salt and a splash of Worcestershire sauce in a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Either push the beetroot through a sieve or use a stick blender to purée it. Check for seasoning and serve.  

I decided to push the boat out a bit for dinner tonight and go for Sausages in Cider with a Potato Ring, braised cabbage and carrots. 

I’m a bit weird about fruit in my main courses but this sausage and cider stew was amazing! It’s definitely going to enter frequent rotation come the Autumn, it was gorgeous! The Potato Nest was a bit faffy for something that looked kind of cool but otherwise didn’t wow me. And when a wartime recipe tells you to grease your baking tray well you should listen to it because they didn’t waste fat if they didn’t need to! I tried to save my fat ration and do without and ended up with it stuck to the tray! 

Braised cabbage was a saviour. I would normally fry the cabbage in some fat first, sometimes using bacon lardons but here you simply use the stock, which adds a whole lot of flavour and the slow simmering adds a nice sorry so that the cabbage actually tastes like it should, unlike that boiling fiasco!  Boiled carrots rounded everything off. 

Sausages in Cider: Brown 4 oz sausages in a heavy bottomed pan. (Cheap sausages help here as the fat content means you don’t need to use extra fat!) add 1 sliced onion and 1 thinly sliced dessert apple with a good pinch of salt and sprinkle of pepper. Place the lid on the pan and cook for 2 -3 minutes until the onion and apple are softened. Add half a pint of cider and simmer for 20 minutes. Add 2 tsp corn flour to a little water then mix into the stew and stir until thickened. 

Potato Nest: Grate 3 medium potatoes and mix with 2 oz self raising flour and a good pinch of salt. GREASE your tray well and shape into a ring. Bake at gas mark 6 for 30-40 minutes. 

Braised Cabbage: half full a pan with chicken stock. Add sliced cabbage to fill the pan and put the lid on. Simmer until almost all of the liquid has evaporated. Check to see if you need to add any salt as the stock should be salty enough. 


As it’s Sunday I thought I’d try a fancy dessert recipe! This is Coffee Cream and is delicious even though I messed something up along the way and ended up with a lumpy dessert rather than the smooth, creamy dessert I think I should have got. I think I left the coffee part to set for too long before mixing it with the whisked evaporated milk so it didn’t combine well. The evaporated milk took forever to cool though so that held me up. I would still definitely try this recipe again as it’s a nice one to have in the repertoire of you don’t have cream in. 

Coffee Creams: Place a 250ml tin of evaporated milk in a saucepan of water (make sure it is covered by water) and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to cool in the tin. (This can take several hours) Then put in the fridge to chill completely. 

Mix 1oz cornflour with 1/4 pint milk. Make 1/2 pint strong coffee in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the cornflour and milk mixture and 2oz light brown sugar and whisk until thickened. Set aside to cool, covering the top with a damp piece of grease proof paper to prevent it forming a skin.

Pour the evaporated milk into a large mixing bowl and whisk until light and fluffy. Gradually add the coffee mixture, folding in well between additions. Spoon into serving glasses and chill before serving with a sprinkle of cocoa powder for decoration. 

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Ration Week: Day 3


Today started with potato cakes and an egg white and mushroom scramble. The powdered egg whites are the closest thing I’ve been able to find to dried egg, it’s just not something supermarkets stock anymore! They scrambled up pretty well, though!

Powdered Egg White Scramble: 1 sachet powdered egg white made up according to pocket instructions poured over dry fried mushrooms and very swiftly scrambled. 

The potato pancakes were fun, from the 3 medium potatoes I used I got about 12 pancakes! I snacked on them all day but I admit the birds appreciated the rest, tsk, tsk, food waste!

Potato Cakes: take leftover mashed potatoes and add self raising flour until you get a soft dough, almost a batter, (it will be very sticky!) for my 3 potatoes I needed 6oz flour. Melt 1tsp cooking fat in a large frying pan then dollop spoonfuls of mixture in well spaced. Let this cook for a minute then flip it over and press it down with the spatula to form a flat pancake. Cool until browned then flip over again and finish off the first side now it’s flat. You can see each stage above. 

Lunch was paste sandwiches. Things like sandwich pastes were available fairly readily in 1951. I went for chicken and crab as neither of these were rationed. The chicken was alright, nothing exciting but it filled a gap! The crab paste… Well, I’m just going to have to give up on English crab. I love Asian crab but after a lot of experimenting I just don’t like crab! Unfortunately, neither does Darcy so no one will be eating that crab paste!

This is my whole 4oz meat ration for the week. The butcher and I had a good chat about it and we decided that for one person mince was the only way to go. Not only was it cheap, it’s much easier to bulk it up, which is what I did! 

This is where things got real for me. I took a whole 5 minutes trying to decide whether to use my cooking fat (which is disappearing fast!) or go for margerine, which I had been saving for baking. I was standing there weighing up the pros and cons, thinking what I might want to use each for later in the week and wondering what I could do without. This is what women went through for 14 years! Trying to think and plan and scrimp and save and eke out every little bit from their rations. 

The finished result! Cottage pie! This was wonderfully filling, just what I needed after a whole day down the allotment.  It made the mince go an awful lot further than it would have otherwise and it was flavoursome and hearty. Definite comfort food! 

Cottage Pie: Melt 1 tsp cooking fat in a small pan, add 1/2 small onion, 1/2 carrot, 1/2 stick celery, some swede, salt and pepper and put the lid on. Allow it to sweat for a few minutes. Add the mince, half an oxo cube and a splash of water. Put the lid on and allow to simmer until all the veg is cooked. If it starts to stick then just add a splash more water. Put the cooked mixture into a single pie dish. Top with mashed potato (always make extra mash was one of the rules of rationing I think! And put under the grill to brown the top. Serve with more vegetables. 

Pudding nearly got forgotten about today as the dogs demanded a walk right after dinner, luckily I remembered to turn the oven off before I went, leaving my Apple Crisp to keep warm. Happily I remembered it before morning and it was still nice and hot. I served it with cold custard leftover from yesterday. 

I was raised in a custardless household as my parents were each scarred by childhood traumas and can’t stand the stuff. (Thanks to rationing!) Turns out I love the stuff! Hot or cold a tin of Bird’s custard is definitely going to be a permanent addition to my pantry!
Apple Crisp: Dice 2 apples, skins on. Put in a small oven proof bowl or pie dish. Drizzle with honey. Dot 1/2 oz margerine on top then cover with porridge oats. Drizzle the top with more honey. Bake in the oven for at least 30mins at gas 4 or higher. (Can go in with whatever you’re cooking for a main course and be forgotten about!) make sure you allow it to cool a bit before serving as it will be piping hot! 

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Ration Week: Day 2

I wasn’t feeling great today so I treated myself to a cup of coffee to start my day. 1 sugar isn’t bad, I suppose, but it’s still not my favourite! Breakfast was toast and jam. I smeared 5g of butter over my toast sparingly! Oh how thankful I am for jam! Making your own jam during rationing was encouraged and you could trade your ration coupon for preserves for sugar at certain times of year. (1lb preserves got you 1 lb sugar, which would usually make you just under 2lbs jam so it was well worth it!)

While working today I say with a huge pot of tea made with 2 teabags. This kept me going for hours!  A pot of tea is definitely the way to go! A whole lot of errands took up my afternoon and I ended up grabbing a Sainsburys Basics sausage roll for my lunch. I figured that the quality was probably on a par with post war fare! 

I popped in to my local butcher and had a good chat with him. (His father ran the shop during the war and apparently there was an awful lot of ‘stretching’ of the rules going on!) I got some mince for tomorrow and a pot of proper dripping for my cooking fat ration. 

Dinner was fish cakes with oven potato ‘chips’ and boiled cabbage. I am not a fan of boiled cabbage. I love cabbage but boiling it is just rubbish! I like my cabbage braised or covered in butter. As it was I sprinkled it with plenty of salt and that helped. I do wonder what my salt consumption is looking like this week as it’s such an easy way to get more flavour out of your food!

Fish cakes: Boil and mash 3 medium potatoes, (I did 6 and saved half for potato pancakes tomorrow!) Cook 1 very small (3oz) fillet of white fish (I should have poached it in a little milk, it was late so I microwaved it!) mash the fish into the potato adding salt, pepper and chopped parsley. Shape into patties and roll in breadcrumbs. Bake for 20 minutes at gas mark 8. 

Oven ‘chips’: Thinly slice 2 potatoes, melt 1/2oz cooking fat in an oven tray. Add the potatoes, spread out flat and bake in the oven at gas mark 8 for 20 minutes, brushing the melted fat over the top occasionally. 


And then pudding! I really craved something sweet last night (chocolate!) so tonight I thought I’d stave that off by doing baked apples with custard.

Baked Apple: Core a cooking apple and fill the hole with ~2tbsp sultanas, drizzle with honey and bake at gas 8 for 20 mins) serve with Bird’s custard powder made according to the instructions. (Saving the rest for later!)

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