Archive for the ‘Baking’ Category

The return of the Women’s Weekly Recipe Card Challenge

It’s been far too long since last posting about a recipe made from my box of Women’s Weekly Recipe Cards. This is not to say I haven’t been using these cards; there are some recipes I’ve made many many times. I’ve just not been very good at documenting it.

Today’s offering is Blackberry Swirls. They are like chelsea buns, but with berries. While they call for blackberries, being blackberry scrolls and all, I couldn’t find canned blackberries at my local supermarket. However, they did have cans of mixed berries, which seemed to work well. For a change, I’m going to include the recipe this time.

Blackberry swirls – the mixed berry variation (from Women’s Weekly Recipe Cards, circa 1970’s)

Scrolls Ingredients:

1.5 cups self-raising flour
400g can berries (drain, but retain the syrup)
0.5 cup milk
125 grams butter

Sauce Ingredients:

0.5 cups white sugar
1/3 cups sweet white wine
30 grams butter
0.5 cups berry syrup

Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.

Sift flour and rub in butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add milk, and mix to a soft dough. If you find the mixture is too wet at this point, add small amounts of flour until it’s at a consistency where it can be rolled out pretty easily.

Place dough on a lightly floured surface, knead gently and roll into a 25cm by 35cm rectangle. Spread berries over dough, leaving a small border around the edges. Roll the dough up lengthways (so the roll is the length of the shorter edge of the rectangle). Make sure the berries are being rolled up in the dough and not pushed along! Cut into 2.5cm slices and place into a greased, ovenproof dish.

Put sauce ingredients into a saucepan. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring constantly until the butter is melted. Boil for 3 minutes. Pour the sauce over the scrolls and bake for 30-35 minutes.

You’ll be excused for feeling sceptical of the recipe as you put the scrolls in the oven, as it sort resembles scroll islands in a berry sea. Well, it did for me anyway.


After coming out of the oven, the scrolls looked like this, making me instantly forget my scepticism. The sauce becomes a lovely syrup at the bottom of the scrolls, and gives a nice glaze on top.


The original recipe suggests serving it with cream or custard. I had it with a cup of tea and it was just fine!

My new favourite biscuit recipe


This recipe has been given a run twice in two weeks and as it’s super easy and delicious, I thought I should give it a plug. As there weren’t any ingredient substitutions, I don’t feel comfortable reproducing the recipe here — the Hokey Pokey Biscuit recipe can be found here on the Taste website.

The first batch was just as described in the recipe, sans fork marks. For some reason, I associate one set of fork marks with yo yos, and two sets of fork marks with peanut butter biscuits. As such, fork marks would have been an very much a baking faux par in this kitchen.

The most recent batch, shown in the photo above, also included chocolate on top. Originally, I was going to dip half of the biscuit in chocolate, but was a little too lazy. Instead, I put a chocolate melt on top before baking, which seemed to turn out all right. It’s worth noting that the dough was barely wider than the chocolate melt – these suckers really do spread out when in the oven.

Next time, I’d like to expand on the chocolate idea a little by splitting the mixture and putting cocoa power through to make Hokey Pokey marble biscuits. That’ll be at least a couple of weeks away, as they’re so delicious I can’t stop at one and end up feeling like a glutton!

Madness, part one

The last few days have been the hottest it’s been this summer, yet I feel compelled to bake. On Sunday it was bread, and yesterday it was molasses biscuits. I’ve had them on my mind a lot recently, due to the use of molasses in this soap I bought from Lush recently.

I used the Sparkling Chewy Molasses Cookies recipe from Not Martha. If you are even vaguely interested in molasses biscuits, I recommend giving them a try, for they are absolutely delicious. I was unsure what sanding sugar was, so I rolled the dough in raw sugar and it turned out fine. It’s also useful to know that 1.5 sticks of butter is equivalent to 170 grams.

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The biscuits develop surface cracks as they are baking. The recipe calls for tablespoon-sized balls of dough, which seemed to developed larger cracks than if the dough is shaped into discs. The biscuit on the left is one that started life as a ball, and the one on the right started as a dough disc. I think I prefer the deep crackly look.

Even though the days are getting hotter, I still can’t get the urge to cook and bake out of my system. It’s not made any easier when delicious morsels like this are being created.

Next up, the girl who made a very warm slouchy hat in the middle of summer!

French Cheese Stick

Being vegetarian, a lot of the savoury recipe cards aren’t really suitable, so savoury delights will be few and far between. I suspect that even if I didn’t mind eating meat, not many of the savoury offerings would really do it for me – tripe in parsley sauce anyone? I must get a scanner in the near future, and share some of these culinary delights.

This week’s offering is the french cheese stick. The french reference loses me a bit, as it contain curry and mustard powders, and the cheese is just good ol’ cheddar cheese. Perhaps it’s the mustard that gives its frenchness. As the title indicated that it was a french stick, I assumed it was bread, but it’s more of a scone dough with curry and mustard powders, and chunks of cheese.


I had never plaited dough before, so doing that was quite fun, and made the bread look really good. It was also nice to be able to put my many years of training as a professional my little pony tail plaiter to use. I had often wondered if it was time well spent as a kid. Let me assure you, it was.

I’m still in two minds on this one. The curry flavour and turmeric colour of the bread is kind of wrong, but kind of not. The cheese chunks are great, especially when it’s warm, because you get a nice surprise of melted cheese. I think it’s worth another chance, but next time I might ditch the curry powder.

Apple Gingerbread

There’s been a few things I’ve been wanting to blog about, but my blog got chewed up and spat out by my (now ex) hosting company. It seems a little out of date now, but I think I’ll still write about it anyway.

A couple of weekends ago, I was finally well enough to cook something else from the Women’s Weekly recipe cards. I opted for something a little different this time, apple gingerbread. The best way to describe it is a layer of stewed apples with a gingery cakey layer on top. On a slight tangent, I’ve noticed that the 70s (about when the recipe cards were printed) were very good to coconut and ginger, as a lot of the recipes contain at least one of those ingredients. Tis lucky I like both of them!


Getting back to the recipe at hand, besides nearly forgetting the brown sugar for the cake layer which no matter how hard I try, cannot really be blamed on the recipe, it was really easy. The hardest thing was peeling and chopping the apples, but if you were feeling really slack, you could use tinned apples.


It flew off the pie dish so quickly! I made it in the morning, and it was well gone by the evening, just between the two of us. We are piggies indeed. Next time, I think I might try stewing the apples with a cinnamon stick, to give the apple layer a bit more flavour.

Coconut rough

This is actually from last weekend, but unfortunately life got in the way.

When I was in primary school, we used to be sent home with catalogues of lollies, as a way of doing fundraising for our little school. It may just be residual childhood excitement, but I remember it being so much better than the current form of chocolate fundraising. Anyway, one type of lolly we used to get was coconut roughs. They were in the shape of a barrel, and as we all know, things taste better when they’re an unconventional shape. I was quite excited when I saw the recipe card for them, because I’d completely forgotten about coconut roughs until that point.

I don’t have a barrel chocolate mould, so I knew the taste would suffer somewhat, but I forged ahead with it nonetheless. They were extraordinarily easy to make, as it was a case of melting chocolate and copha together, then mixing the rest of the ingredients in. The results of forming the mounds were a bit mixed, however.

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The early batches were good, forming little mounds like the one on the left. As the mixture started to set, they didn’t look so good. I don’t want to have to say mouse poo, but I can’t think of any other way to describe the results on the right.

Next time – there will be one, because they were so easy and delish – I’ll probably use a bit more chocolate, so they form a bit of a base for the coconut rough. I might even try to find a barrel chocolate mould, to make it taste better.

No recipe card challenge this weekend though, as I spent the weekend in Sydney, and I’ve come down with a nasty cold – two issues not conducive to cooking at home.

Now with less knitting!

I came across a box of Woman’s Weekly recipe cards while op shopping a couple of weeks ago. I bought it not so much for the savoury recipes – chicken in beer really isn’t my thing – but for the sweets. After going through the cards, and sorting them into recipes to try and recipes to leave be, I decided that I should attempt to try one recipe each weekend. First cab off the rank was peanut and ginger toffee.


Donna Hay food styling it ain’t, but it still looked tasty, and pretty simple. Here’s my attempt:


Donna Hay food styling it ain’t, but I don’t mind a bit. It’s delicious. The most difficult parts were chopping up the crystallised ginger, as it kept sticking to the knife and being a general nuisance, and getting the temperature right when making the toffee. Once those two things were sorted out, it was very easy.

Even though the crystallised ginger was the only source of ginger in the brittle, and was in little clumps everywhere, the flavour spread through the toffee very nicely. It was most definitely the highlight in a very very dark, dreary day.

I’m trying very hard to ration it out, as even though it’s so easy to make, I really have to push on and make something different this coming weekend. At least I know what I will be up to every weekend til 2012!