On the move again

We're moving out of this house on Wednesday, so I won't be blogging for a while. We take possesssion of the new UK house mid October, so will be staying in a holiday cottage in Northants for a few weeks.

Will be sad to leave here and all our friends. Everyone has been so kind to us; it's been like a long holiday.

Au revoir from France, and hope you'll join me again in the UK!


National Cupcake Week

It's National Cupcake Week, so I made a few this morning as my contribution. I decided that I would make fairy cake sized ones, as this is much more British than the blowsy US cupcakes.

I'm not a huge fan of buttercream, so these are simply dipped in some good dark chocolate from our local chocolatier. I used about half of a 100g bar of 70% dark chocolate for the topping.

It's a simple 100g butter, sugar and sr flour mix with 2 heaped tbspns cocoa powder and 2 eggs.
Just beat the butter and sugar together, add the eggs and beat them in, then fold in the flour mixture.
I also added a heaped tspn of coffee granules to the flour mixture, which Ina says enhances the chocolate flavour. We shall see!
This amount of mixture made 8 small cakes, plenty for the 2 of us.


Plum upside down cake

                                 My friend gave me lovely plums from her garden.

I decided to make a variation on the gooseberry upside down cake I posted a while back, as it's so quick and easy.
It's just 110g of butter and sugar beaten, then add 2 eggs and 110g sr flour. I added some cinnamon with the flour as I love it!
Butter a 20cm springform tin well and make a nice payer of soft brown sugar in the bottom then add the plums, cut in half and stoned, skin-side up.
Put the cake mixture on top and spread it out evenly.
Bake in oven 180C/gas4 for about 35-40 mins till golden brown.

The plums were very juicy, but the cake tasted delicious. We had some as a pudding tonight.


Cheese and red onion tart

Another of my 'use up what's in the freezer and garden' recipes.

We've had a good crop of onions this year, both red and white, so I decided to use up the puff pastry in the freezer and make an onion tart. I found some Cathedral Cheddar yesterday in the supermarket, so a marriage made in heaven!

You need:

1 pkt puff pastry
2 big red onions sliced
about 75g Cheddar cheese grated
dried mixed herbs
1 tbspn oil and 1 tbspn butter
about 1 tspn sugar
sprigs of any herbs you fancy

Preheat oven 210C/gas7 and grease a baking sheet.

Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan and fry the onions gently for about 5 mins till soft then add the sugar, s&p and dried herbs and cook for a further 10 mins.
Roll out the pastry [I've packed my rolling pin so had to use a lemonade bottle. Mum would be proud of me!] and put onto baking sheet.
Spoon the onions onto the pastry leaving about 2 cms round the edge.
Sprinkle the cheese over the top and put the sprigs of herbs on the cheese. I used thyme.

Cook for about 12-15 mins till the pastry is risen and golden brown.

I made a big green salad and a tomato salad to eat with it. Bob also had chunks of crusty bread that I'd made in my new breadmaker.

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