Thursday, 27 March 2014

Foula peat cake

Long time fae I made it, fairly simple though canna mind exact quantities. The normal (peerier size) o’ digestive biscuits brucket doon tae at least half da size o’ your fingernail in a bowel, sprinkle twartree teaspoons o’ cocoa (canna mind how many, try two or three, mix in an see what it looks laek, add more if need be), add a fist full o’ raisins, put a pan on a low heat, add a large tablespoon o’ margerine, a large tablespoon o’ syrup an a sloosh o’ milk, (add milk till it looks enough to bind biscuit mix together), keep stirring in pan to prevent burning, then pour ower mix an steer together well, put greaseproof paper in your baking tray or cake tin, add mixture to about three-quarters inch thick, roll and press doon wi a tumbler on its side, place in a cool place to set then enjoy! If you laek cherries, chop up an add to dry mixture first!
Mam put twartree cherries in da mixture unless she was makin it solely fur me, as I dinna laek dem. It wis her dat christened it peat cake, though it wis aunty Mary wha showed me how tae make it!
tea cakes
Sunday Tea cakes, including Foula Peat Cake (front, right)
For those of you who prefer more accurate measures, below is the recipe that Fiona Sinclair makes. I couldn’t find out where the original recipe came from, possibly a magazine somewhere, Bobby suggests, but it was Isobel who christened it Foula Peat Cake and I can see why. The chocolate squares are crumbly and do resemble peat with the texture of the coconut. Nonetheless, they’re easy to make, nice to eat and they are quite popular with children.
  • Foula Peat Cake
  • A no-bake chocolate pressed cake made with digestive biscuits, dried fruit and coconut.
Prep TimeCook TimePassive Time
15 minutes 5 minutes 120 minutes


  • 250 grams digestive biscuits, broken into small pieces
  • 10 oz mixture of raisins/sultanas/cherries
  • 3 oz dessicated coconut
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 5 oz margarine
  • 2 large tbsp golden syrup


  1. Grease a 9" x 13" tin and set aside.
  2. Mix crushed digestive biscuits, dried fruit, coconut and cocoa powder together in a large bowl.
  3. Melt margarine and golden syrup in a small saucepan over a low heat, being careful not to allow it to boil.
  4. Stir melted ingredients into the dry and mix well, ensuring all the crumbs are well coated.
  5. Turn the mixture out into the prepared tin and press down firmly all over with a hand inside a poly bag.
  6. Leave until set before cutting into squares.

Recipe notes

Optional: drizzle the cake with melted chocolate after pressing it down in the tray.
I am indebted to Bobby Gear, Mary Hill and Wendy Gear for all their helpful information in researching this post. Thank you to Fiona Sinclair for the recipe and Becky Johnson for inviting me along to the Bixter Teas!

From A taste of Shetland website

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Treacle scones

Very much a part of my growing up, these :)  Easy to make, and good for you too.

1lb self-raising flour
4oz butter
2 good tablespoons black treacle
milk to mix

Rub butter into flour, mix to a scone consistency with treacle and milk; turn out on to lightly floured board, knead lightly, pat down and cut out.  Bake in a hot oven for 10 or so minutes, cool on wire rack.  Eat with butter and a cup of tea.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Burns night

Got to be the traditional - haggis,  champit tatties and bashed neeps

I managed to find a MacSweens haggis - the only one worth buying in my view; I usually make my own, but wasn't able to get hold of the required bits this year, so had this instead. usual pissed-offness at English folk taking the mick with terms like happy Haggis Day and such crud, they need a slap with a wet haddie so they do.....................

Sunday, 19 January 2014

The Queen of muffindom

The travesty that has befallen the poor muffin!  Nowadays, often offered for sale as a huge lump of solid sponge cake with goodness knows what in it, hideously sweet  and tasting mainly of chemicals............ A true muffin (quite apart from the English muffin, a very different beast ) is a light affair, made of a batter, not too sweet, with fruit  and possibly other additions eg spice and nuts, and needs to be eaten on the day of baking, preferably warm. For me, though, there really is only one muffin worth making - the BLUEBERRY muffin - the veritable Queen of muffindom.  I remember I had my very first warm blueberry muffin in a posh coffee shop in Bath back in about 1989.  Quite a few years ago now, I found my wonderful recipe on the back of a pack of muffin cases and have never looked back. This is one fresh out of the oven this afternoon

You can often get blueberries at reduced prices - buy them up, they freeze very well, and make excellent pancakes too, by the by.

10 oz self-raising flour
3 oz granulated sugar
8 fl oz milk
2 eggs beaten
4 oz butter melted

Put the flour and sugar in a bowl, combine well, then stir in the blueberries.  Beat the eggs with the milk and melted butter, pour on to dry mixture and fold and stir gently until well mixed - do not stir vigorously or beat - you want a lumpyish batter for the best results.  Divide between 12 muffin cases and bake in a hottish oven until well risen and golden, cool on wire rack.

And that, ladies and gentleman is the only muffin recipe you will ever need.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Cornish pasties

Needless to say, I like my Cornish pasties proper and traditional, no mucking about, no cheese, no mackerel and beetroot (yes, really, saw this on a pasty company's site along with a 'breakfast pasty' with sausage and scrambled egg in it), just meat and vegetables and good pastry.

This is how I make mine. No specific quantities, depends how many you're feeding.  I use roughly 2oz of pastry per pasty, and make up the filling by eye.

Dice some turnip (swede in England) and potato quite small, and dice beef to the same size, so all cooks in the same time. Tonight I used a piece of leftover cooked beef, which was quite rare, as in cooked, not unusual lol. Most cuts of beef can be used, never minced though.

Mix the meat and vegetables in a bowl with salt to taste and a decent whack of black pepper. Set aside.

Make your pastry. I use 3/4 butter to flour for a decent, rich, buttery, crisp pastry, so had 8oz flour and 6 oz butter, rubbed in, brought together with cold water.

Divide pastry, roll out into as round a shape as possible, ad cut around a small dinner plate/large tea plate.  Pile the mixture in the middle, wash around the edge with cold water, then fold up and crimp.  Place carefully on a hot baking tray, prick with a fork and cook in a hot oven for 15 - 20 minutes. I tend not to use eggwash on mine.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Quaint and fruity

Excellent crop of medlars again this year, couldn't be without them now


So many truly awful things are done to some truly awful mince lol  The only way to serve it really is mince 'n' tatties.  Just fry a chopped onion and a couple of chopped carrots in a wee drizzle of oil, add in and brown mince when vegetables are softened, then add gravy thickener/stock etc of choice. Lid on, simmer over lowish heat for a couple of hours; serve with buttery mash and savoy cabbage. make sure you use mince with fat in it - this new lean fat-free mince is really bad.  Can't be beaten :)