One of the perks of having a food blog is that on occasion you get sent something really nice to try out. Sometimes, it's food . . . other times some new piece of equipment to play with . . . and best of all, sometimes it's a new cookery book!!
Now my husband would argue somewhat with that being the best . . . as he
The people at FW Media recently sent me over a few to try out and I thought I would give the first one a go today. It's called Teashop Treats and is by the Reader's Digest.
I have a few Reader's Digest Cookery books that I've collected through the years. They've always been really good books, and I have to say that, despite it's lack of food photos, this has not disappointed me thus far. It's a small book, only about 8 by 6 inches in size, about the size of a pocket book novel, but don't let it's size fool you. It is chock full of lovely delights.
Tasty goodies such as Strawberry Shortcake or Bath Buns, Blueberry Muffins, Chocolate Cake, Scones . . . and little savouries such as Souffled Salmon Tartlettes. I really should be waiting a few weeks to let you know about this, but after baking this fabulous Ginger Loaf that I baked out of the book today, I just couldn't wait.
This may be the bestest and tastiest Gingerbread Loaf I have ever baked! It's rich, it's spicy . . . it's moist and best of all . . .it's absolutely delicious! I kid you not!! I have fallen in love with this recipe. That's why I couldn't wait to show you.
If this recipe is any indication of the quality of the other recipes in the book, I just know I won't be disappointed . . . because, food photos or not, I give this recipe a resounding 10+ stars with a few rosettes thrown in for good measure!
I do love the quaint little illustrations throughout, which are really very pretty, and I love the size. It has a wonderful combination of what look to be beautiful recipes covering just about anything you might want to serve at an afternoon tea . . . so break out the teapot and get baking . . . coz you are really going to enjoy this one!
I had mine warm . . . spread with cold butter a la Canadienne . . . with a hot cuppa. (Don't you just love that cup! I got it at Gordale Nurseries.)
*Treacle Gingerbread Loaf*
makes one large loaf
This has to be one of the tastiest gingerbread loaves I have ever made! Just be sure to use a large enough pan!
butter for greasing
185g plain flour (1 3/4 cup)
110g self raising flour (1 cup, plus 2 TBS)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 TBS ground ginger
3 tsp ground mixed spice (see my recipe in the
side bar on the right hand side of the page)
140g soft light brown sugar (scant 3/4 cup)
260g black treacle (3/4 cup) (In North America, use molasses)
185ml milk (12 1/2 TBS)
80ml olive oil (5 1/2 TBS)
2 large free range eggs
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Butter a 450g loaf tin with butter and line with baking parchment, ensuring that the paper extends 3 cm above the tin.
Sift the flours, soda, ginger and mixed spice into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar until well combines. Whisk together the treacle, milk, olive oil and eggs. Add the flour mixture and stir until combined.
Spoon into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to stand in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Store tightly wrapped and it will stay lovely and moist for days and days.
Oh and in the spirit of always keeping it real . . . do be sure to use the proper sized pan for this. My pan was a bit on the small side and I kinda thought so when I poured the batter into the pan . . . but I ignored the niggling doubt in my mind and went with it anyways . . . now I have a bit of a mess to clean up in my oven . . . but I do have to say, those crunchy bits that were hanging over the sides . . . just as delicious as the rest of it. Yep!! Scrummy deliciousness with the added joy of crunch!
Many thanks to Crystal and the people at FW Media . . . and the Reader's Digest of course!
As you can see from the recipe, it calls for Olive Oil, which is really unsual in a loaf recipe, but which I think gives this tasty loaf all of it's rich moist texture. I was recently sent an assortment of oils to try out from Cooks & Co.uk. I am no stranger to their line of products, having used their real quality olives, roasted peppers and sundried tomatoes in the past. (I just love their roasted Red Peppers Stuffed with Feta Cheese. Beautiful.)
Anyways, they sent me a lovely assortment of oils to try out, including this beautiful bottle of Grapeseed Oil. I thought it was just perfect to use in this recipe and I was not wrong. The flavour is delicate and not at all overpowering, which makes it an excellent choice for using in baked goods, salad dressings and stir fries. It also has a higher burning temperature than most oils, which is a bonus as well. (I also have bottles of a few of their other oils to try out, so look for my opinions on them soon.) In the meantime, this one gets two thumbs up! (RSP: £3.99, 500ml) Many thanks to Simon and the people at cooks&CO!
And now to tackle the mess of spill over in my oven . . . sigh. There is no rest for the wicked.
Cooking in The Cottage today, a delicious Chicken Enchilada Casserole!