Coconut Ice

Now here is a sweet that is truly unjustly overlooked these days in favour of the gelatine and cheap sour-perfume scent of a conglomerate whose name I have been legally advised to remove. A marriage in pink and white; spring blossom and a wedding dress, powdered with confetti, a fine coconut ice is a joy for the eyes as well as the tongue. Even standard coconut refuseniks – and you know who you are –

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Peanut Brittle

Ingredients

TOOTHPICKS. Keep handy.
4 oz unsalted peanuts
4 oz golden caster sugar
2 oz butter
pinch salt
4 tsp water

Method

Spread the peanuts in a single layer on a buttered oven tray.
Put the other ingredients in a saucepan and start to heat very slowly, stirring all the while.

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Children’s Cooking Party Cupcakes

Ingredients

150g butter, softened
150g caster sugar
175g self-raising flour
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
icing, marshmallows, chocolate buttons, hundreds and thousands, edible stars, orange and lemon jelly slices, food colouring (all colours); edible gold and silver foil, candy footballs, Smarties, candy flowers, liquorice allsorts, ground almonds, toffee and chocolate sauce, jelly worms

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.

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Helena’s Secret Doughnuts

Buy real ginger. It looks like a knobby root thing. You can ask someone if you can’t figure it out. Not that fruiterer who always asks you if you want any melons. He’s disgusting. Right, now, nick one of those medicine-measuring thingies from work. I know they’re the only ones you can figure out as long as it’s in centilitres or whatever. So do it from that. OK, now grate it. Stop looking in the mirror on the extractor fan.

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Best Birthday Cake Ever

Ingredients

4 oz Breton soft butter, first churn
8 oz white caster sugar, sifted
4 large fresh free-range eggs, beaten
6 oz self-raising flour
6 oz plain flour
1 cup fresh milk
1 tsp vanilla essence

Ingredients for the icing
4 oz Breton soft butter, first churn
16 oz icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 oz milk
2 tsp essence of roses

Method

Grease three small cake pans.

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Brandy and Horlicks Get Well Cake

Ingredients

8 oz butter, softened
4 oz caster sugar
5 eggs
1 tin sweetened condensed milk
8 oz Horlicks
8 oz plain flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp cognac

Method

Grease the small square tin and line the base and sides with baking paper. Allow the baking paper to extend over the top by about an inch if using the shorter tin.

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Strawberry Meringue Cupcakes

For 24 cupcakes
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
250g caster sugar
4 eggs
250g self-raising flour
4 tbsp milk (whole or semi-skimmed, not skimmed)
6-8 tsp strawberry jam

For the Swiss meringue buttercream
8 egg whites
500g caster sugar
500g unsalted butter
4 tsp vanilla extract
8 tbsp seedless strawberry jam

Preheat the oven to 190C/fan oven 170C/gas mark 5.

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Pear Upside Down Cake

Ingredients

3 pears, peeled, halved and cored
7 oz butter
7 oz caster sugar
3 eggs
7 oz self-raising flour, sifted
3 tbsp milk
1 tbsp icing sugar

Method

Arrange the pear halves evenly over the bottom of a buttered pudding dish and set aside. Using a wooden spoon (not the mixer. I know you think the mixer, but I say to you,

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Peppermint Creams

Ingredients

1 egg white
1 lb icing sugar
peppermint essence

Method

Beat the egg white until frothy – do not overbeat. No, that is just enough. Perfect. Stop now.

Sieve in the icing sugar and now the mixture should be stiff. Yes, there is a lot of icing sugar on the floor. Don’t worry about that now. Don’t stand in it. Don’t … OK,

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Double Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients for the cake:

2500ml double cream
4500g good-quality dark chocolate
50 eggs
1650g caster sugar
1500g plain flour
10 tbsp good-quality cocoa powder
5 tsp baking powder
sugar flowers to decorate

Ingredients for the icing:

1000g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
800ml single cream

Makes one morning’s worth.

Method:

Stir double cream and chocolate in a pan over low heat until smooth.

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