Traditional Pancake Batter

For about 4 pancakes you will need :-
4 oz Sifted plain flour
1 egg
1/2 pint of milk
pinch of salt
1 oz of melted butter / marge

Put the flour in a bowl (sifting it - discard the lumps)
Add the egg, salt, butter and half the milk.
Whisk - the mixture will become thick.
Gradually add more of the milk while wisking until you get a smooth light batter.

Lightly oil a crepe / frying pan (omlette pans are normally too small).
Put the pan on a high heat.
Add a 'ladel' full of the mixture - do not use too much - in the centre of the pan and gently swirl the mixture in ever increasing circles until the base of the pan is covered, or the mixture is thin enough.

When the edge of the pancake starts to dry (the colour will become darker) take a slice (I use a fish slice) and lift up the edge of the pancake.
Move the slice around the edge while shaking the pan slightly.
The pancake will loosen and start to slide over the pan.
When the underside is well enough cooked (lift up the edge - if the underside is starting to go brown then it is time), remove the pan from the heat and toss the pancake (flick the pan in the air so the pancake is thrown up about 1 foot.
It will naturally turn once in the air - then catch it in the pan).
Continue cooking until the underside is done.

Before cooking another pancake wipe the pan with a little more oil and remove any remnants of the previous pancake as this will cause the new one to possibly stick.

Mascarpone Pancake Dessert

Mascarpone Cheese. (Philidelphia will do if you are cheap)
2 limes
caster sugar to taste
ingredients for pancake batter, with a few gratings of nutmeg thrown in.

In a bowl, stick in your mascarpone cheese.
Zest your limes & add the zest to the cheese.
Squeeze the limes, put the juice aside for a minute.
Add 2tblspns of caster sugar to the cheese & zest, and beat with an egg whisk.
Add half of the juice.
Beat a bit more, taste.
Add more sugar, juice if necessary.
I advise adding all of the juice (a bit at a time) and then adding a bit of sugar to sweeten it up with each juice addition, if you see what I mean.

Make your pancakes (don`t forget the nutmeg!).
Fill with above mixture.
Scoff whilst still warm.

Killer Chocolate Mousse Recipe

6oz plain chocolate (the darker the better)
2 large eggs
1oz butter (preferably unsalted)
1/4pt double cream


Break the chocolate and put it in a bowl.
Melt over some warm water and then stir in the butter.
Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Separate the eggs.
Beat the whites until light and fluffy.
Add the egg yolks to the chocolate and then the double cream (it's even better if you beat the cream until it's stiff first).
Fold in the egg whites, separate into dishes and leave to cool for about an hour.

Serves about 2-4, depending on how greedy you are. Use your judgment.

Spotted Dick
mega quick microwave version:

shredded suet
sultanas or other dried fruit

Mix about 6 tablespoons of flour (SR) with 3 of suet.
Add cold water a LITTLE bit at a time and mix until it all sticks together.
Mix in fruit.
Put in a bowl, cover as completely as possible while leaving small gaps for air to escape (big gaps mean it goes dry) and microwave on half power for about 1 or 2 mins.
Prod. If it's still squishy then cook another 30 seconds.
Serve with golden syrup (or custard, but syrup's best) to you and a friend (or just you if you're feeling very piggy).
It's gorgeous, fairly filling, and absolutely full of fat - yum!

Quick Chocolate Torte

Quantities are very non-critical, and please experiment with other forms of alcohol (Rum works well too, and I suspect brandy would also be good).

200g plain chocolate
150g digestive biscuits
350ml double cream, whipped until it forms soft peaks
100ml [approx] sherry (or alternative)
1tsp vanilla essense
chocolate for decoration.

Crush the biscuits then moisten with sherry.
Spread evenly in the bottom of an 8" removable-base cake tin, and press down.
Melt the chocolate and add half the cream, vanilla, and approx 30-40ml sherry.
Mix, and pour on top of the biscuit base.
Refrigerate for an hour, or until the chocolate truffle has set.

Spread the remainder of the cream on top, then swirl around 50g of melted chocolate over the top for decoration and a slight crunch.
Serve chilled.

[serves 6-8]

Chocolate Sauce

1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sugar (granulated or demerara work best - icing, castor and muscavdo also work)
milk to taste

Put three main ingredients in a saucepan, heat gently.
Add milk until it's as liquid as you like, eat on ice-cream.

Mango Sorbet

3 cups chopped mango flesh (keep the stones)
1.5 cups water
1 cup sugar (can substitute 1/2-3/4 cup fructose instead...)
juice and zest of a lime

Mix mango flesh, sugar and water together in pan, and heat until sugar has dissolved.
Add stones, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
Allow to cool.
Remove stones (& discard), and blend.
Add lime juice and zest.
Allow to cool further.
Freeze as you would icecream.
(ie either use a machine, or faff about with plastic boxes, forks etc.)

(NB: 3 cups is just under the yield of two large mangos...)

Rice Pudding

1L milk
3 tbsp rice (American long grain is fine)
4 eggs, separated, plus 2 egg yolks
100g sugar (you can use a little less if you don't like it so sweet)
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt
pinch cream of tartar (unless you're very posh and have copper mixing bowls)

Preheat oven to 325F.
Boil 2 cups of the milk with the rice.
Pour into 2-litre casserole dish and spread the rice around.

Beat the egg yolks (all 6) with the sugar till it's thick and light (nearly white).
Add the salt, vanilla, and the rest of the milk and beat well. Whip the egg whites till foamy.
Add the cream of tartar and beat till stiff.
Fold the whites into the yolk mixture.
Pour the custard into the casserole over the rice/milk mixture (DON"T MIX!).

Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg on top (according to preference).
Place the dish in a larger casserole or roasting pan, and fill the space with water, to about halfway up the sides of the smaller pan.
Bake for 45-50 mins, or till a toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool in the water bath for half an hour or so, then refrigerate till firm.

Dense chocolate cake with killer fudge sauce

Mixing bowl.
Measuring implements.
Wooden spoons.
Cake tin.
Someone willing to wash up.

6oz self-raising flour
6oz caster sugar
6oz butter
2oz cocoa
pinch baking powder
1 large egg.

Golden Syrup
Icing sugar

Sieve the flour, sugar and cocoa into bowl.
Melt butter.
Add baking powder

Add butter and egg to dry ingredients.
Mix until light but gloopy.

Grease&flour baking tin.

Transfer mixture to baking tin, place in preheated oven at 190 degrees, GM 4-5

Leave for an hour or so or until knife comes out clean when stuck into cake.
Don't worry if it collapses, this tends to make it denser and richer and also leaves a nice big well in the middle for moer fudge.

Melt butter into saucepan.
Add two woodenspoonsful of cocoa.
Add similar amount golden syrup.
Add icing sugar and keep stirring until mixture goes thick and sticks to your fingers/tongue kind of like edible pleasent napalm.
Pour over cooled cake and allow to solifdify.
If there's any left over, eat it on its own or wrap it and give it to your gran as it is regular chocolate fudge.

Chocolate Surprise Pudding

4oz. Self raising flour
1 level teaspoon salt
5 oz caster sugar (you may find it a bit too sweet -if so only use 4 oz)
1 level tablespoon cocoa
2 tablespoons corn oil (or nut/sunflower - but not olive oil)
8 tablespoons milk
few drops vanilla essence
2oz walnuts - chopped

4oz soft brown sugar
1 level tablespoon cocoa
1/2 pint boiling water (i.e.0.5 pints)

1) Sift together flour, salt, sugar & cocoa
2) combine oil, milk, essence
3) stir the liquid into the dry ingredients
4) stir in nuts
5) spread over the base of a 2 pint ovenproof dish
6) mix together brown sugar & cocoa for topping - sprinkle over mixture
7) pour boiling water over & bake at once - reg 4 for 50-60 minutes (after baking sponge will be on top & sauce underneath)


This is a useful recipe to have because it uses no flour, but cornstarch. They come out amazingly thin as well. Unlike traditional crepes no waiting time is required between mixing and cooking.

3 large eggs
1 cup (240 mL) milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp (45g) butter, melted
1 tbsp Grand Marnier (optional)
3/4 cup (90g) cornstarch (cornflour)
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsp (30g) sugar
Melted butter (preferably clarified) for frying

(You can use 1 cup/120g cornflour for a thicker crepe if you like.)

Place ingredients IN ORDER LISTED in blender.
Blend at high speed for 10 seconds.
The batter will be VERY thin -- don't worry as the heat thickens cornstarch.

Heat a 6" crepe pan on medium-high heat till hot enough for water to sizzle.
Wipe or brush with melted butter.
Pour approximately 2 tbsp batter onto pan and tilt to cover the pan in a thin layer of batter.
Cook till top is dulled, then pull crepe off pan (fingers are easiest) and cook other side for a few seconds.
Cook the other crepes the same way, greasing the pan before each crepe.

Crepes can be stacked if you're going to use them immediately; to prevent sticking when freezing or refrigerating, place between layers of waxed paper.

Makes 21-24 crepes.

Basic Butter Layer Cake

This is by far the easiest butter cake I've ever made from scratch, and the best to boot.

6 large egg yolks
240mL milk
2 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
10.5oz, 300g sifted plain flour
10.5oz, 300g caster sugar
1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
12 tbsp (6oz / 170g) softened unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350F/GM4/180C.

Grease the bottoms of 2 9"x1.5" cake pans.
Line with parchment or wax paper (tip: Place sheet of paper in, press, take out, and cut at the bend; easier than placing the pan on the sheet and trying to cut it).
Grease the pan again (solid veg shortening is easier than butter, incidentally) and flour.

In medium bowl, blend the egg yolks, 1/4 of the milk, and the vanilla. In a large mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients with an electric mixer on low speed for 30sec.
Add the butter and remaining milk.
Increase speed to medium (stand mixer) or high (hand mixer) and beat for 1 1/2 mins.
Scrape down the sides, Add the egg mixture in three batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition.
Scrape down sides.

Divide batter between prepared pans.
Smooth the batter down with a spatula.
Bake 25-35 mins, or until cake tester inserted at centre comes out clean.
Cake will shrink from sides of pans only after removal from oven.

Let cool in pans for 10 mins, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.

Royal Honey Buttercream (OPTIONAL--you can use any frosting)

Don't try this if you don't like butter....!

6 large egg yolks
120g honey (mild, such as clover)
450g unsalted butter, softened

Beat the egg yolks in a large bowl till light and thick.

Have a greased heatproof glass measure ready next to the stove.
In a small saucepan, bring the honey to a rolling boil (it mst come to a complete boil).
Immediately pour into the glass.

To beat the honey in: Pour the honey over the yolks in a steady stream, not letting it fall over the beaters.
If using a stand mixer, add a small amount, beat 5 seconds, add a larger amount, beat another 5 seconds, then add the remainder.
Use a rubber spatula to get the last of it out of the cup.
Beat until the mixture is completely cool.

Gradually add the butter, beating it in. (Don't worry if it looks really lumpy at first, especially about halfway through...)
Beat till smooth and shiny.
If not using immediately, refrigerate in an airtight bowl.
Before using, bring to room temperature, then rebeat to restore the consistency. (Don't beat while still cold, or it may curdle.)