Start a new thread

1 to 20 of 84 replies


To start the ball rolling ... my friend Scully's

Sweet Cucumber Pickle

2lb cucumber
1 large green pepper
2 large onions
2 oz salt

½ pt cider or wine vinegar
8 oz soft brown sugar
½ tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp celery seeds
1 dsp mustard seeds

Wash cucumber but do not peel.
Peel onions.
De-seed pepper.

Thinly slice all prepared vegetables and place in a large bowl.
Add salt and mix well.
Cover and leave to stand for at least 3 hours.
Rinse vegetables well, in a colander, under running, cold water.
Squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

Place in a large pan, add vinegar and bring to the boil.
Simmer until vegetables are soft, about 20 mins (well, I found it a bit longer).

Add sugar and spices to the pan, stir to dissolve and boil for a further 10 mins.

Pour hot pickle into hot, sterilized jars and cap immediately with sterilized lids.

Quick off the mark there Chef Dove!

Right then......

Plum and apple cake

125g butter or baking marg

1 egg

200g caster sugar

150g self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp grated nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

100g nuts(pecans or brazils, well chopped)

3 eating apples,5 medium plums, peeled and chopped

Cream butter & sugar, add egg and beat, then beat in the flour & other dry ingredients, followed by the fruit and the nuts. Put mixture into greased/lined 7" tin, and bake for 50 min to 1 hour, until skewer comes out clean, at 170degrees.

I do a cucumber pickle as well Dove, but you recipe seems much nicer. I am going to try that as I have loads of cucumbers.


OK - I'll start with chocolate carror cake which was Possum's favourite birthday cake for years and everyone else loves it too.  If you find the white chocolate icing a "death by chocolate" too far, just use a normal ganache.


 This can be done in a food processor as it is an all-in-one sort of cake.   It's quite a lot of mixture so if you have a small goblet, use half the quantities and a 7" square tin.   It can also be cooked as small buns in which case each takes about 12 minutes to cook.   A full quantity makes about 32.  These freeze very well and make a healthy snack for handing out each day for the morning break at school.   Do not ice them.   It could get very messy.

 310g                        grated carrot

150g                        grated dark chocolate (70% if poss)

250ml                      grape seed, safflower or sunflower oil

185g                        soft brown raw cane sugar

3                             large eggs

215g                        self-raising flour, sifted

5ml (1tsp)                bicarbonate of soda

30ml (2tbs)               cocoa powder, sifted

110g                        golden syrup


250g                        Philadelphia Light or equivalent

40g                         icing sugar

150g                        white chocolate

Start by grating the carrots and chocolate and removing them to separate bowls to add at the end.

Once you have done the carrots and chocolate, whiz the oil, eggs and sugar together in the processor till well blended then add the flour, bicarb and cocoa.  Whiz lightly.   Then add the syrup and chocolate for a quick whiz and then the carrot.   If you over whiz the last, the cake becomes quite wet, takes longer to cook and may sink in the middle but you can camouflage that with the icing..

 Pour the batter into a greased and lined 10" square cake tin and cook at 180C for 45 to 50 minutes, or until done.

 Allow to cool in the tin before transferring to a serving plate.

 Melt the chocolate for the topping until soft enough to whip.  I do it in the microwave but you can also do it in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.   Be careful as white chocolate easily gets overh

Next one....

Lemon and Courgette Cake

250 g butter or baking marg

3 eggs

3 unwaxed Lemons

200 g caster sugar

250 g finely grated Courgette (squeeze to remove the excess water)

1 tsp vanilla extract

200 g self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder.

An extra 100 g caster sugar for the glaze

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat, adding a spoonful of the flour to stop mix curdling. Fold in the rest of the flour, lemon rind and the courgettes. Spoon into a round tin, or will make 2 x 1lb loaves. Bake 170 degrees for 35 to 40 min. When cooling, brush with a mixture of lemon juice from the leftover lemons and the extra 100g caster sugar mixed together


Honey & Co's courgette, golden raisin and pistachio cake 


60g pistachios

175g self-raising flour

1 tsp ground ginger

r½ tsp ground star anise

200g light brown soft sugar

50g caster sugar

185ml olive oil

2 eggs

60g golden raisins

3 courgettes, unpeeled but trimmed, grated (200g)

the zest of 1 lemon


Preheat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5. Butter a 1kg loaf tin and line the base and long sides with a sheet of baking parchment, allowing a little overhang at the sides. Once the oven is hot, roast the pistachios for eight minutes. Keep them whole and leave to cool a little.

Mix the flour, a pinch of salt, the ginger and star anise together and add the pistachios. Place the sugars and oil in a large mixing bowl (or you could use a machine with a whisk attachment if you are super-lazy) and whisk together until combined. Whisk the eggs in one at a time and keep whisking until you have a lovely emulsified texture, a little like mayonnaise. Now add the rest of the ingredients, get rid of the whisk and use a large spoon or spatula to fold and combine into an even mixture.

Transfer the cake batter to your lined loaf tin and bake for 35 minutes. Turn the tin around so that it bakes evenly and leave for a further 15-20 minutes. The end result should have a lovely springy feel. Allow to cool in the tin before removing. This will keep in an airtight container for up to three days and for up to a week if you store it in the fridge.

MAKES 1kg loaf 

Last edited: 08 August 2017 19:17:52



Fruit and veg Linda ... all part of your Five a Day ... virtually medicinal 

Didn't think of that Dove. Does the Virtual Cafe serve virtual alcohol??? I have a recipe for Brandied Cherries!!

Garden Soup

2 Courgettes

1 Onion


2 handfuls of rocket

1 small carrot

1 pint veg stock


1. Fry onion & garlic on medium heat until soft

2. Add chopped courgettes and stir gently for a few minutes.

3. Add stock and chopped carrot

4. Simmer for 20 mins or until the carrot is cooked. Switch off heat, add rocket to the pan and leave to cool slightly

5. Whizz in a blender.  Will freeze well too!

To go on the virtual cheese butties...

Courgette and Tomato Chutney

500 ml cider vinegar

400 g soft brown sugar

 1 tbsp mixed spice

2 tblsp yellow mustard seed

1 cinnamon stick

 4 chopped red onions

1 kilo chopped courgettes

 1 kilo chopped tomatoes

4 peeled and diced dessert apples

300 g sultanas

1 tsp salt

Put all ingredients into a large heavy based pan and cook for at least 2 to 2 1/2 hours. When thickened, pour into warmed sterilized jars, and top with a sterilized lid. Leave for at least 3 weeks to mature.

Linda Taylor2 says:

Didn't think of that Dove. Does the Virtual Cafe serve virtual alcohol??? I have a recipe for Brandied Cherries!!

See original post

 Of course ... got  to use up last Christmas's cooking brandy so you have an excuse to get some more for this Christmas ... otherwise Sainsbugs et al will go bust 


If you want "healthy" I have loads of recipes with fruit and veg in them and they don't all include chocolate but, since chocolate is so good against dementors I think it's a bonus and not to be messed with.


Chocolate comes from beans and beans are vegetables ............. 'nuff said   

It's not exactly cooking, but this simple recipe for fruit vinegar is one I use every year. It's basically Pam Corbin's recipe for raspberry vinegar.

1kg juicy fruit - raspberries, elderberries, blackcurrants - whatever you have too much of. Picked in dry weather so the fruit is dry.

600ml cider or white wine vinegar.

Granulated sugar.

Put the fruit in a bowl and lightly crush gently with a wooden spoon. Add the vinegar. Cover a leave for 4 or 5 days, stirring now and then.

Strain through a scalded muslin cloth or jelly bag and leave to drain over night.

Measure the strained liquid, pour it into a clean pan and add 450g of sugar for every 600ml of fruity vinegar. Slowly bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved and then boil for 8 to 10 minutes.

Leave to cool. Bottle and seal when it's cold. It will make between 1 and 1.5 litres depending on how juicy the fruit is.

It makes a great salad dressing (over goats cheese, in particular), a spoonful in hot water is a soothing drink when you have a cough (especially elderberry) and it goes well in lots of dressings, sauces and that sort of thing.

Oh O.K then

Brandied Cherries.

250 ml brandy

600g cherries

115g caster sugar

1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 stick of cinnamon

100 ml cold water

2 tsp lemon juice/ 1/2 tsp lemon rind

Bring to the boil the water, sugar, lemon juice and rind, vanilla and cinnamon. Add the washed and destalked cherries, and simmer for 5 mins. Remove from heat, remove cinnamon stick and cool a little before adding the brandy.

Pack into sterilized jars and cover with the liquor.

As an aside peeps, the cherries haven't been stoned, so don't forget... you mustn't eat the stones!!!! (Re story of guy who swallowed 3 stones not long ago and nearly died from cyanide poisoning! Just thought I had better mention it!!)

I will now drink the rest of the Brandy 'cos it goes off very quickly doesn't it??



OK - this one is seriously good and rich.   Boozy too.  Great in winter when we need comfort food.  I use 54% Belgian dark chocolate.  British cake recipes and Belgian chocolate are an unbeatable combination.


You need a greased and lined 9”/23cms round cake tin with a removable base and the oven should be pre-heated to 180C.  For a 10” square cake, add a third of the quantities.

140g                        candied orange peel, chopped into small pieces

350g                        dark chocolate (54%) broken into pieces

225g                        butter

80ml                        warm water

85g                         plain flour

230g                        ground almonds

5                             eggs, separated

310g                        caster sugar

15ml                        Cointreau or Triple Sec liqueur

 Topping :-

120g                        butter

150g                        dark chocolate broken into pieces

 Begin by melting the butter and chocolate together.  Do not overheat.  Stir in half the warm water and leave to cool.

 Blitz the candied peel in a processor with the rest of the warm water.  Add to the melted chocolate and stir well.

 Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl until they are stiff enough to form peaks.

 In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar till light and fluffy.   Add the chocolate mixture, flour, almonds and Cointreau and stir till thoroughly combined.    Gently fold in the egg whites.

 Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and spread it level.  Bake for 1 hour or a bit longer if needed until a clean skewer comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

 Cool in the tin.     To serve, place it on a plate.  Melt the butter and chocolate for the topping together gently and spread the mixture on the top.  You can garnish it, if desired, with chopped candied orange peel.

Oh Obs.... I am droooooooling!!!! That one is definitely for Christmas!


It is seriously good Linda.   I need to go and talk to my courgette plants now!

Pat E

Oooooh! Such temptations. Hubby has lots of cake recipes and doesn't need to be tempted again, but I might just let him have a look at these ones.

If anyone wants that recipe for the Persian drink again, let me know and I'll dig the book out. It's nearly falling apart now from lots of use. My Iranian friend told me that the drink is sold by street vendors in the city and very welcome.