Monday, April 29, 2013

Bakestone Biscuits - Perfect for open fires or wood stoves

Based on an old Scottish recipe called bannocks, these biscuits are very versatile and require only simple ingredients.  They don't need baking in the oven so are perfect for cooking on campfires and wood burning stoves. You can use whatever spices or flavourings you have available to make these quick and delicious biscuits suit you.

Ingredients - no measurements required, each stage is done by eye so it is easy to make as much or as little as you like.

Oats - use medium oatmeal for a finer texture. To make your own oatmeal, put porridge oats in a bag, wrap in a tea towel and bash with a hammer, back of an axe or rolling pin until the oats are suffienciently broken. You can use a mix of whole oats and fine oats for the recipe.

Butter - melted. How much depends on the oats and required taste, generally about 1-2 tablespoons for 1 mug of oats.

Sugar - again depends on taste, I use 3 heaped tea spoons of soft brown sugar for 1 mug of oats.

Pinch of salt
Bigger pinch of baking powder
Hot water
Flour for rolling out the biscuits
1 teaspoon mixed spice


1. In a large bowl mix together the oats, sugar, baking powder, salt and mixed spices.

2. Melt the butter and add to the oat mix. Stir really well until all the oats have been encorporated and are golden and sticky. Use more butter if you need to but stirring thoroughly will reduce the amount of butter needed.

3. Add enough hot water to turn the mix into a stiff paste. You generally don't need much, only 1 tablespoon. You will notice the texture changes from sticky and crumbly to more solid and shiny.

4. Flour a chopping board, put the oaty mix on it and add more flour on top of the mixture to help roll it out. Roll till about 5mm thick and cut into circles. (You can jus flour your hands and make them into rounds yourself if you have limited supplies, or use a plank as your board and a wine bottle as your rolling pin!)

5. Heat up a heavy based frying pan, dry - no grease. Use a frying pan if your using a hob, or a bakestone for an open fire, or just place directly on your wood burning stove.  Cook the biscuits for a minute or two on each side until golden and crispy. If they burn or cook to quickly then turn the heat down!

6. Enjoy your biscuits warm, or keep them in an air tight tin for a few days.

7. There are many ways to adapt this recipe and make a huge variety of wonderful biscuits. Try adding a few spoons of coco powder to the oats,  or ground ginger, or dried fruit, or rum soaked
raisins. You can experiment with sugars, try soft brown or golden caster, or even honey or golden
syrup.  You can simply use what you have available in your cupboards.

My favourite is to add good quality coco powder, mixed spices and rum soaked raisins to make
divine chocolate biscuits. If you can spare the butter, cooking these biscuits in a small amount of butter in a frying pan will result in super soft gooey texture, simply delicious!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Elderflower and Elderberry Victoria Sandwich

Elderberry Victoria Sandwich

The trick to getting this right is to first weigh your eggs (whilst in their shells is easiest!).  This is because when the eggs, butter, flour and sugar are all the same weight you get a perfect sponge! 


3 Medium Eggs (weight is approx 180g)
*180g Butter - softened
*180g Self Raising Flour
*180g Caster Sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Elderberry Jam (or jam of your choice)

*weigh your eggs and use the same weight for your flour, butter and sugar

for the icing:

250g Icing Sugar
1 table spoon Hot water
3 table spoons of Elderflower cordial (or flavour of your choice)


 1.   Preheat the oven to 180C or Gas mark 4. Grease and line two 18cm cake tins.

2. Using a wooden spoon beat the butter till its soft.

3. Add the sugar and beat with the wooden spoon until its creamy.  The more effort you put into this bit the lighter your sponge will be :)

4. Add the eggs one by one, along with one tablespoon of the flour each time.  Stir the mixture well inbetween eggs.

5. Add the Vanilla Essence with the last egg.  You want it all to be well mixed in to form a light airy consistency.

6. Add the salt and sift in the flour half at a time.  Use a large metal spoon to fold the flour into the mixture. (To fold you scrape round the side of the bowl, then straight through the middle, until its mixed well)

7. The mixture should drop of the metal spoon easily, if not then add a spoonful of hot water.

8. Divide the mixture between the two sandwich tins and use the back of a spoon to spread it out evenly.

9. Bake for 25 minutes, until lightly golden and springy

10. Once cooled, spread the jam on the top of one sponge, then place the other sponge on top.

11.  Traditionally it is then sprinkled with caster sugar on top.  However I like to add a good layer of icing sugar.

12.  To make the elderflower icing sugar, sift the icing sugar into a bowl.  Mix one tablespoon of hot water with 3 tablespoons of cordial together in a cup, then gradually add the mixture, one spoon at a time, to the icing sugar until you get thick, smooth, glossy texture.

13.  Spread the icing ontop of the cake.  Start by pouring it all in the middle, then use a knife to spread to the sides.  This way you should achieve a smooth layer of icing.

NB: if using 20cm tins or bigger increase the amount of eggs to four, and adjust the weights accordingly.  Alternatively you can use one deep 18cm tin, and cut it in half horizontally, but you MUST wait until it is completely cooled.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hot Chocolate / Chocolate Mousse - Wheat, Gluten, Dairy Free (contains egg yolks)

This delightful dessert works well both as a hot chocolate or a cooled mousse.  Ive modified the original recipee to take out the lactose in it, and it works really surprisingly well!  For those who can eat lactose, you can use whole milk and double cream if you like - but I think the result is too rich.  This lactose free version remains light as well as chocolatly and tasty :)

You will need

250ml Hemp Milk
125ml Coconut Milk
60g Sugar
1 tablespoon Corn Flour
35g Coco Powder
15ml Hot water
2 Egg Yolks
60g Dark Chocolate - chopped into chunks


1. Warm the milk in a pan.

2. In a mixing bowl, mix together sugar, coco powder and the corn flour.  Add 2 tablespoons of hot water and whisk into a paste

3. Next mix in the egg yolks, followed by the coconut water.

4. Put the eggy mixture into the pan of warmed milk. Keep on a low heat and stir continuously until it becomes thicker (almost like mayonaise - it may take 5mins or so)

5. Take off the heat and stir in the chocolate chunks

6. Enjoy hot, or leave to cool then place in the fridge to set.

P.S Dont know what to do with left over egg whites? Try mixing with 150g descicated coconut and about 100g icing sugar. Shape into balls and place on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven Gas mark 6 for 10 minutes.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hemp Quiche - Wheat Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free

 The last four months my IBS has been playing up and I'm once again lactose and wheat intolerant :(  So I have been experimenting with some dairy and wheat free recipes, and this is one of my favourites! Although there is no cheese, the lovely nutty hemp flavour with the veggies is delicious enough!

For the pastry base, I recommend experiment using a mixture of flours to see what works best for you.  Whether your wheat free or gluten free, Hemp and Gram (chickpea flour) are good options.  I have experimented with rye and spelt too, both of which make nice pastry, although these flours arent suitable for all.

You will need:

For the pastry:
100g Flour (in equal measure - Gram, Spelt, Hemp)
50g Soya Butter

3-4 eggs
200ml Water
A few handfuls of Hemp Seeds (whole/dehulled)

Veggie topping of your choice.


1. First the pastry! Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until it becomes like breadcrumbs. If you fancy an extra nutty hempy taste to your base,  add a small handful of hempseeds too.

2. Add small amounts of water and mix until you get a firm dough

3. Roll out and use it to line a well greased pie dish. Prick with a fork 8 times and bake in the oven for 5 minutes at Gas Mark 4 / 180C

4. Next make the hemp milk. Using a blender, mix a handful of hempseeds with 200ml of water and blitz for 2 minutes on full power. If you used whole seeds then I suggest you use a seive to strain out the shells.  If you dont have a blender, then either grind your hempseeds, or use dehulled hemp seeds, and gently heat them in a pan of 200ml of water till the water turns milky.

5. In a bowl, mix the beaten eggs and hemp milk together. Season well with salt, black pepper and mixed herbs.

6. Now begin to build up your layers of veggies in the pie dish. Its often good to start with a layer of tomato puree on the base, but instead a good sprinkling of hempseeds is tasty too. I suggest a layer of Sustainably fished Tuna,  topped with Sweetcorn, fried onions and finally tomatoes.  But any veggie combos will do.

7. Pour the eggy mixture over the top of the veggies, making sure everything is well covered.  Top it off with a good sprinkling of dehulled hemp seeds.

8. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes on gas mark 4 /180 C, or until it is set and the top is golden.

Veggie suggestions

Onions - chop and lightly fry until soft
Bacon - Chop and fry first
Broccoli - boil in water for 5 minutes first
Mushrooms - Slice and fry in butter first
Leek - slice and fry in butter first
Tinned salmon - extra nice if you top with fresh spinach and use riccota cheese
Tomatoes - slice up and place on top of quiche

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Vegan Tea Bread

This simple recipe is great because it doesnt require much stuff or effort, its very cheap to make, and once youve tried it you can experiment with it easily!  Try adding your favourite nuts, seeds, candied fruit, hempseeds, or anything else you fancy!

You will need: 

all measurements are in cups, dont panic - its all about proportions, if you just use the same cup then itll work :)

1 cup of tea (any tea is nice, earl grey, redbush etc)
1 cup of raisens (or sultanas/currents/mixed peel)
2 cups of flour (self raising, or add 2 teaspoons of baking powder)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon mixed spice


1. Put the kettle on and make 2 cups of tea.One of them is for you, dont add milk to the other one (but you can stir in a spoonful of honey if you want to)

2. Add the raisens to the cup of tea, and leave until the tea goes cold.

3. Next, add the flour, sugar, baking powder and spices to the tea mixture and stir well until all mixed together

4. Line a loaf tin with baking paper, and spoon the mixture into the tin.

5. Bake in the oven at Gas Mark 4 for about 45 minutes.

Depending on the depth of your tin it might need slightly more or less time, best way to check is to poke a knife into the cake, if it comes out clean its done, if it come out with raw cake mix on it then it needs more time!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Vegan Jam Rolly Polly

This recipe doesnt have to be vegan at all, the secret ingredient is Suet, which you can get both a Vegan and Meat version :)

You will need:

8oz Plain Flour
4oz Suet
A lot of Jam or marmalade
A spoonful of sugar
Optional - for a glaze, either Milk (cows/hemp/soya) or a beaten egg


1. Mix the Flour and suet together in a bowl.

2. Add spoonfuls of water, bit by bit, and stir in until you have a sturdy dough.

3. Roll out into a square on a lightly floured bit of baking paper

4. Spread your jam all over the square - nice and evenly

5.  Use the baking paper to help you roll the pastry.  The best way is to lift and roll, to ensure that you keep a good layer of jam as you roll round.

6. Once rolled, spoon over some milk as a glaze, then sprinkle on a spoonful of sugar. Dont use too much because the sweetness comes from the jam!

7. Bake in the oven at Gas mark 6 for 25 minutes, then gas mark 4 for another 15 minutes. Leave to cool before eating as hot jam is very very very hot!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hemp Pancakes (with hemp milk)

Pancakes should be eaten more regularly than just on pancake day!  My favourite topping is Bacon and Maple syrup, once youve tried it youll never eat anything else!

Try these delicious hempy pancakes too!

You will need:

110g Plain Flour
Pinch Salt
2 eggs
50g Butter
275 ml of Water
2 Handfuls of hempseeds


1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl.

2. Make a well in the middle and break the eggs into it. Whisk until its mixed well with the flour.

3. Hemp Milk: You need to make hemp milk now, its super easy! If you have a blender then blitz the 275ml water with a handful of hempseeds for 2 minutes. If you use whole seeds you'll have to sieve out the shell afterwards.  If you dont have a blender, then it may be easier to use dehulled seeds, just gently heat up the water with a handful of seeds until the water turns milky. Sieve out the seeds and leave to cool before using.

4. Next gradually add the milk, and whisk away until any lumps have disappeared.

5. Melt the butter and use it to lubricate your frying pan. Make sure you get the pan nice and hot before you start.

6. Use a cup or a ladel to spoon the mixture onto the frying pan, tilting the pan straight away to ensure you get a even coverage.  Cook for a minute or two on each side until golden.

7. For extra Hempy goodness try sprinkling a few hemp seeds on the frying pan as soon as you pour the batter in.  Or for a hempy overload, try adding a handfull of hemp seeds into the batter - this will give your pancakes a heavy hempy flavour, its very delicious!