Butternut squash and ginger teabread

I haven't made a teabread for a while, so as I had a butternut squash to use up, I hunted for a recipe in my folders and found this one from 'Good Food' magazine; it's also online and the recipe is here . The recipe is for pumpkin or butternut squash.

I liked the moist texture of the teabread and the flavour of the squash. It's delicious buttered - the slice in the corner of the photo is for my husband who loves butter!


Apple and almond tart

I have some apples to use up, so decided to hunt through my collection of apple recipes to find something different. This recipe is from a booklet I had many years ago in a magazine called 'Home and freezer Digest' which sadly no longer exists. I thought I'd also use this as my offering to Ruth's [of 'Pink Whisk'] October challenge -  to use apples in a recipe - which you'll find here

75g butter
175g plain flour
25g ground almonds
1 egg yolk
15ml cold water
1/4 tspn almond essence


115g plain flour
1/2 tspn mixed spice
50g butter in cubes
50g light demerara sugar
50g flaked almonds

675g cooking apples
25g sultanas

Preheat oven 190C/375F/gas5

I used a food processor to blend the flour and butter for the pastry, then stirred in the sugar and ground almonds. Whisk the egg yolk, water and almond essence together, then add them to the mixture and make into a nice soft dough. Put into the fridge for about 20 mins.

For the topping - put the flour and spice in a bowl, and rub in the butter.Add the sugar and almonds.

Roll the pastry out to fit a 23cm loose bottomed flan tin. I liked Mary Berry's advice on the GBBO masterclass last week - she took the base out of the flan tin, put it on the worktop and rolled the pastry out over it; you could see the base through the pastry so you had a good idea of the size you needed. I didn't try it! Let the pastry chill for about 1/4 hour.

Peel, core and slice the apples thinly then arrange them in circles in the pastry case. Sprinkle over the sultanas and almonds. The tart will seem very full, but the filling will drop a bit when cooking. Cover this with the topping, pressing it down lightly. Bake for 25-30 mins till top is golden and the apples are soft. Cool in tin for 10 mins. If you want, you can dust the top with icing sugar. I think it finishes it off.

We liked this very much; the contrast between the soft apple and the crunchy topping was delicious. One to add to my notebook. I also liked the slight almond flavour in the pastry.


No bake chocolate fingers

An easy, quick recipe to take over to my grandsons.

It makes 16 fingers.

Grease and line an 18cm square tin

Melt 60g butter, 1 tspn cinnamon, 3 tbspn golden syrup and 200g dark chocolate in a large saucepan.

 Then add 250g crushed biscuits - Nice, malted milk, digestive etc. I used just Nice biscuits and crushed them so some were left in pieces.
 Mix it all together and spread into the tin.
 Leave to cool then put into fridge to chill. Cut into fingers.

The boys loved them, but we found them too sweet even tho' I'd used dark chocolate.


Chocolate mousse tartlets

We had some of the family yesterday, and as my dil is a chocoholic, I thought I'd make these.

The recipe has been adapted from a French cookery book that my penfriend gave me years ago, but which has languished at the back of the shelf ! The book has some other great tarts to try, so will be posting more recipes. It's called simply 'Les tartes' but I can't find an author.

The recipe makes 8 tartlets.

250g  shortcrust pastry [your own or bought]
175g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
2-3 tbspn water
1 tbspn butter - softened
1 tbspn cognac or cointreau [opt!]
3 eggs, separated
chocolate shavings or grated chocolate to decorate

Preheat oven 200C/gas6

Roll out the pastry and line eight 10cm tartlet moulds. Then put them in the fridge for about 15 mins.
 Line them with parchment and fill with beans and bake them 15mins; take out the beans and paper and cook them for another 5 mins; leave to cool.

Melt the chocolate over a bowl of hot water or in the microwave and leave to cool. Add the butter and mix till it's melted then add the egg yolks. Now's the time to pour in the cognac or Cointreau. Mix it all together.
Beat the whites stiffly then fold in the chocolate mixture .

Spoon the mixture into the pastry shells and put in the fridge till they're set [2-3 hours].

Before serving, sprinkle some shavings or grated chocolate on top.

I didn't add any cognac or Cointreau to the tartlets as my grandchildren would be eating them. We liked the texture of the chocolate in the filling - silky and very more-ish.

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