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Sue the Sugar Mama!

January 29, 2014 | By | No Comments

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Date and walnut loaf 

Ingredients

5 oz chopped dates
55g (2 oz) butter
250ml boiling water
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
225g (8 oz) self raising flour
3 oz chopped walnuts
170g (6 oz) brown sugar
1 egg, beaten

Method

Prep:10min › Cook:1hr 10min cooling › Ready in:1hr20min

Place dates and butter in a basin with boiling water and bicarbonate of soda. Gently mix
with wooden spoon to ensure all butter has melted and dates plump up. Allow to cool.

In mixing bowl, combine self raising flour, walnuts and sugar, then add to cooled basin of
dates, butter, water and bicarb. Mix well with wooden spoon and add beaten egg.

Spoon mixture into a parchment lined 1 lb loaf tin.

Bake for 60 to 75 minutes depending on oven at 170 C / Gas mark 3 / Fan assisted 150 C.
Leave to cool on a wire rack. Slice and spread with butter

This loaf freezes very well.

Pecan Bars 

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Yield: About 24 bars
Shortbread Crust
1 cup butter,softened (8 oz)
2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
Pecan Topping
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/3 cup golden syrup
4 Tbsp heavy cream
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups roughly chopped pecans or walnuts or half and half
Directions 
Preheat oven to 350f/170c degrees. Line a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with parchment,
leaving a two-inch overhang on all sides. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip 1 cup butter
with 2/3 cup brown sugar and 1/2 tsp salt until pale and fluffy. Mix in vanilla. With mixer set
on low speed, slowly add in flour and mix until dough crumbles. Press mixture in an even
layer in prepared baking dish and bake in preheated oven 18-20 minutes, or until edges
are golden.
Meanwhile prepare the topping by melting together 1/2 cup butter, brown sugar, syrup,
heavy cream and salt in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan set over medium heat.
Simmer mixture 1 minute, then stir in pecans.
Pour pecan mixture over hot shortbread and spread into an even layer. Return to oven and
bake until top is bubbling, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack (you
can cool in the fridge or freezer to speed up cooling) then, using parchment overhang lift
bars out and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container.

1. Where do you find your recipes? Always on the lookout for new recipes from family and friends, internet, magazines, cook books

2. Who’s been a major influence on your enjoyment of cooking? Major influences were a British cookbook Be-Ro Home Recipes, a Time Life series of cookbooks called “Foods of the World” that I bought years ago and still use and a Canadian cook called Margo Oliver who did a column in Canadian news papers years ago I also still use her cookbooks today.

3. What would you say are the most important tools in your kitchen? The most important tools: sharp knives, a quality set of pots and pans, 2 or more spatulas and tongs4.Any secret tips for baking?  Secret tip…..heat for dough…..cold for pastry

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