Monthly Archives: October 2011

The History of Halloween, Dairy Diary-Style

I’m often asked to find recipes from previous editions of the Dairy Diary, so I spend quite a lot of time flicking through old copies.

As the Dairy Diary is now in its 30th year, there are quite a few to peruse!

It’s always interesting to see how photography and crockery styles have changed over the years. Some of the styling in the eighties and early nineties makes me chuckle.

For a number of years, there was a fashion for including props which were supposed to relate to the recipe in some way. My favourite one is the recipe for Smoked Ham Cornets, which is pictured with a brass cornet!  Hee hee.

The 1993 edition is a fantastic book for these, though how Lancashire Fruit Braid relates to an embroidery hoop or Savoury Potato Skins relates to a Cluedo board I am not sure!

This week, I have been browsing Halloween recipes.

Here are some examples you may like to chuckle or reminisce at…

Halloween Dairy Diary-style

I love my job. The Dairy Diary is so fabulous. Though thank goodness fashions have moved on, or I would spend a fortune on props! Moving into the 21st century……this Pumpkin Gratin from the 2012 Dairy Diary is perfect for using leftover pumpkin.

Enjoy your lantern carving! I would love to see some pics.

Halloween Pumpkin Gratin from the 2012 Dairy DiaryHalloween Pumpkin Gratin
Perfect for a chilly Halloween celebration.

Recipe taken from 2012 Dairy Diary.

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Halloween Pumpkin Gratin

Perfect for a chilly Halloween celebration.

Halloween Pumpkin Gratin from the 2012 Dairy DiaryServes 4
Time 50 mins
Cals 334 per portion
Fat 24g of which 9.5g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing

Pumpkin 1.8kg (4lb), peeled and deseeded
Parmesan cheese 50g (2oz), grated
Fresh breadcrumbs 50g (2oz)
Pecan nuts 50g (2oz), roughly chopped
Chopped thyme leaves 2 tbsp
Butter 50g (2oz), melted

1 Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Cut pumpkin into 2.5cm (1in) thick wedges. Place in a lightly buttered ovenproof dish. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

2 Mix together Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, pecans, thyme and seasoning in a bowl.

3 Sprinkle evenly over pumpkin. Then drizzle over melted butter.

4 Bake in oven for 30–40 minutes, until pumpkin is tender and topping is golden. Serve immediately.

Tip Rather than Parmesan cheese, crumble over some strong blue cheese.

Recipe taken from 2012 Dairy Diary.

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Kindergarten Cook

The second I return from a sneaky week’s escape, I am ‘persuaded’ in front of the camera for a video-shoot to show off our fabulous products.

I am no Fearne Cotton and I am not sure how many of the viewers will understand the Stoke Smurf dialect, but the books look good. See these televisual masterpieces soon on the website.

Apart from cringing at my virtual self, I have been busy visiting schools before this year’s application process begins. I have to say how impressed I am by the involvement the children have with the food they eat there.

At one school, they grow their own herbs and veg, raise their own chickens and even create their own school lunch menus – not bad for 5-11 year-olds!

In fact, my son has been nurturing seedlings and poultry from a tiny tot at his nursery. I hear time and time again how the ‘younger generation’ don’t know anything about food or cooking but I beg to differ.

All the children I know are intrigued with ‘fork to fork’ and love both growing and cooking. They may be fussier with the eating but the interest is there – it’s not just all about fast food.

So, let’s give our children a break – whatever their age – and applaud their culinary creativity. My three-year-old loved making these Cherry Cupcakes with me, but if your children are closer to 33 they will enjoy them too!

 

Cherry Cupcakes

Recipe taken from 2012 Dairy Diary.

 

 

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Cherry Cupcakes

Children will love them – if you don’t eat them first!

Cherry Cakes from the Dairy Diary 2012Makes 12 cakes
Time 30 mins
Calories 265 per cake
Fat 14g of which 8.5g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians

Butter 175g (6oz)
Caster sugar 110g (4oz)
Eggs 2, beaten
Self-raising flour 110g (4oz)
Glacé cherries 50g (2oz), chopped
Icing sugar 110g (4oz)
White chocolate buttons and halved glacé cherries to decorate

1 Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5. Spread out 12 paper cases on baking sheets, or put them into patty tins.

2 Cream 110g (4oz) butter and all caster sugar together until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in eggs, beating well after each addition. Fold in flour, then chopped cherries.

3 Fill paper cases half full and bake for 15–20 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

4 Beat remaining butter with icing sugar for butter icing and spread over top of cooled cakes.

5 Decorate with white chocolate buttons and glacé cherries.

Recipe taken from 2012 Dairy Diary.

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National Baking Week

National Baking Week

National Baking Week

Baking is trendy once more thanks to BBC’s Great British Bake-Off.

Strangely compelling and featuring cookery legend Mary Berry, the program has reignited interest in this culinary delight (despite Mel and Sue popping up with ‘amusing’ comments throughout).

With most forms of cooking, you can get away with throwing a few ingredients together without propensity for disaster.

With baking, however, it really is a scientific art and without the right ratios of ingredients, it simply doesn’t work.

That’s why recipes are so crucial for us mere mortals for which this science is something of a mystery.

The Dairy Diary and Dairy Book of Home Cookery are packed with baking recipes; in fact the latter features a staggering 167 breads, pies, bakes and cakes!

So don your pinny….get….set…..bake! 

How about this amazing…

Chocolate Layer Cake from the Dairy Book of Home CookeryChocolate Layer Cake
Recipe taken from Dairy Book of Home Cookery

 

 

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Chocolate Layer Cake

Chocolate Layer Cake from the Dairy Book of Home Cookery

No wonder baking is back in fashion. Yummy!

Serves 8
Preparation 30 mins
Cooking 40 mins
Per portion 430 kcals
34g fat (19.1g saturated)

110g (4oz) self-raising flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
110g (4oz) butter
110g (4oz) caster sugar
25g (1oz) golden syrup
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs 4 tsp milk
200ml (7fl oz) double cream, whipped
Grated chocolate to decorate

1 Grease and line a two 18cm (7in) round sandwich tins.

Sift flour twice with cocoa.

3 Cream butter, sugar, syrup and vanilla together until very pale, light and fluffy.

4 Beat in eggs, one at a time, adding 1 tbsp of sifted dry ingredients with each one.

5 Fold in milk and remaining dry ingredients.

6 Transfer to prepared tins and smooth top.

7 Bake at 180°C (350°F) Mark 4 for 20 minutes, or until springy to touch.

8 Turn out on to a wire rack, strip off paper and leave until cool.

Cut cake into 2 layers. Fill and cover top with whipped cream. Sprinkle with chocolate.

 

Recipe taken from Dairy Book of Home Cookery

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