Flake Meal Cookies

These are a traditional biscuits in Northern Ireland. Sometimes dipped in chocolate but equally delicious left plain.

I like these because they’re quick to make and are made from ingredients that you can usually find in the cupboard.

They can be a bit crumbly when you are trying to roll and cut them out, but they squish back into shape.

This recipe is from http://www.traybakesandmore.com

Ingredients

110 Grams Butter

55 Grams Sugar

30 Grams Plain flour

150 Grams Porridge oats

30 Grams Dessicated Coconut

1/4 Tsp Bicarbonate of soda

Chocolate for dipping (optional)

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 160 degrees (Celsius)
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
  • Combine all the other ingredients before adding to the butter and sugar, work together with your hands until the ingredients come together in a ball
  • I find it easier to roll out the mix between 2 sheets of baking paper but you can also roll it out on a floured surface
  • Roll out to about 0.5cm thick and cut out and place on a baking sheet, leave a little space between them as they will spread
  • Bake for 15 minutes before cooling on a wire wrack

Pina Colada Squares

Pineapple and coconut are a marriage made in heaven, and though there is no booze in these, they are still yummy.

These are amazing for a special teatime treat or for dessert with ice cream. You can make the sponge 2-3 days in advance and wrap in cling film, then just add the topping before you’re read to serve. You can even freeze the sponge if you’re super organised (just remember to make sure the sponge is fully defrosted before applying the cream cheese frosting).

I’ve added some toasted coconut as a topping and take a few minutes to toast it, this adds a whole extra element.

Toasting the coconut will make all the difference

I used margerine for the sponge, Mary Berry uses this in her sponge recipes. Since nobody probably knows more about cakes than her, so I’ll go with her advice, but feel free to use butter if you prefer.

Makes 18 squares

Ingredients

For the sponge

Large tin of pineapple junks (drained weight 340 Grams), roughly chopped

350 Grams Caster Sugar

350 Grams Margerine

275 Grams Self Raising flour

100 Grams Dessicated coconut

5 Eggs

For the frosting

25 Grams Icing sugar (if you prefer a sweeter frosting you can use more)

200 Grams Cream cheese

25 Grams Dessicated coconut (toasted)

Method

  1. If you have a stand mixer I would recommend using it, but an electric hand whisk is fine too.
  2. Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees (Celsius), and line a 9 in x 12 in baking tin with baking parchment
  3. In a bowl, add the margerine and sugar and whisk together until light and fluffy.
  4. Whisk in one egg at a time, along with a tablespoon of flour. Whisk the remaining flour when they eggs have been added along with coconut (don’t panic if it looks curdled)
  5. Fold in the roughly chopped pineapple, and transfer the mix to your prepared baking tin
  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes
  7. Allow to cool in the tin
  8. For the toasted coconut topping, you can spread the coconut on sheet pan and bake for 5-10 minutes while the sponge is baking. I prefer to do it in a pan, as its easier to check that it’s not going to burn. Once toasted set to one side and allow to cool
  9. Add the icing sugar to the cream cheese and mix well. When the sponge is completely cool spread with the cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with the toasted coconut
  10. Cut into squares

Sweet Potato and Spinach Curry

I love a good curry, and this is a really tasty and satisfying curry that can be enjoyed by vegans and meat lovers alike.

Coconut milk adds a lovely creaminess to this and I serve with rice or flat bread, to make it even better sweet potatoes and spinach are full of flavour and vitamins. I top this with some toasted cashew nuts for some extra crunch and protein, but it will still be delicious without them.

It’s also quick enough to be a great midweek meal and is packed full of lovely spices without being hot (unless you love chillies, in which case add as many as you like).

Ingredients

500 Grams Orange sweet potatoes (cut into 3-4 cm chucks, I leave the skins but peel if you prefer)

250 Grams Spinach (you can use frozen spinach if this is what you have)

2 Onions (roughly chopped)

1 Red chilli (cut in half, and seeds removed, add more if you like a hot curry)

3 Cloves of garlic (peeled)

Thumb sized piece of ginger (peeled and roughly chopped)

1 Tbsp Oil

1 Tsp Ground Cumin

1 Tsp Ground Tumeric

1 Tsp Ground Coriander

1 Tsp Salt

Juice of 1 lime, or half a lemon

400 ml Tin of coconut milk

400 ml water

2 Tbsp Fresh coriander (chopped, optional)

2-3 Tbsp Cashew nuts (toasted, optional)

Method

  1. In a food processor, add your onions, chilli, garlic and ginger, and blitz until it makes a smooth(ish) paste
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the paste you just blitzed in the food processor, and cook for 5-10 minutes
  3. Add the spices to the pot and cook for another 5 minutes before adding the sweet potatoes, coconut milk and water. Cook for another 10 minutes (or until the chunks of sweet potato are soft)
  4. Add the lime juice, and spinach and cover until the spinach has wilted. When the spinach has wilted check the seasoning, adding salt if needed, and sprinkle with copped coriander, cook uncovered for another 5-10 minutes if you prefer a thicker curry
  5. If you’re adding cashew nuts, toast them in a dry pan for 2 minutes (it will make them even more delicious)

ANZAC Biscuits

I love learning about new recipes from other people and hearing about their food traditions. One of my bosses Amanda, is Australian, and she mentioned these as being a real institution back in OZ. The recipe she shared was from BBC Good Food, and these are scrummy.

The name comes from Australian and New Zealand Army Corp, and legend has it people originally made these to send with care packages to soldiers during the first world war because the ingredients didn’t spoil easily. Other people claim they were never sent in care packages, but were sold at bake sales etc. to raise funds for returning veterans. They’re now baked to commemorate ANZAC day on 25 April each year.

How long you cook these for will depend on the type of biscuit you want (chewy or crisp). I’ve also seen recipes that include ground ginger, and I think this would make a cracking addition. One of my work mates tried drizzling chocolate over hers, which would also be scrummy (thanks for the suggestion Tina). Which ever version you try they will taste pretty amazing and are easy to make from ingredients you might already have. They will live quite happily in an airtight tin for 4-5 days.

Ingredients

100 Grams Plain Flour

100 Grams Butter

100 Grams Caster Sugar

85 Grams Porridge Oats

85 Grams Desiccated Coconut

1 Tbsp Golden Syrup

1 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

Method

  1. Heat your oven to 180 degrees, and line a cookie sheet with baking parchment
  2. Add the flour, sugar, oats and coconut to a bowl and mix well before making a well in the centre
  3. In a separate bowl, add the butter and golden syrup and melt in a microwave (I usually do 30 seconds at a time)
  4. In a cup add the bicarbonate of soda and stir in 2 tablespoons of boiling water, before stirring into the melted butter
  5. Stir the melted butter into the dry mix and stir until fully incorporated
  6. Scoop dessertspoonful’s of the mix onto the baking sheet, leaving gaps of 2-3 cm between each biscuit, as they will spread
  7. Cook in your preheated oven for 10 mins for a chewy biscuit, or 15 mins or longer if you want a more crispy biscuit

Coconut and Jam Sponge

This is a real reminder of school dinners for me.

If you aren’t confident with desserts this is really easy. All the ingredients for the sponge are dumped in a bowl and whisked together before being baked. The topping is simply ready made jam and coconut.

The sponge also freezes really well, so if you’re super organised make a double batch of the mix. Bake two sponges, and when completely cool, wrap one one of the sponges in cling film and freeze, top with jam and coconut once thawed.

I’ve used margarine in this (Mary Berry claims it’s better for sponge cakes, and who am I to argue), it’s also cheaper. Feel free to use butter if you prefer

Serve with custard for the perfect comforting dessert.

Ingredients

For the sponge

225 Grams Self raising flour

225 Grams Sugar

225 Grams Margarine

4 Eggs

For the topping

200 Grams Jam

25 Grams Dessicated coconut

Method

  1. Add all the ingredients for the sponge in a bowl. Mix with an electric whisk for 5 minutes until light and fluffy
  2. Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees
  3. Line a 30cm x 18cm square cake tin with baking parchment. Transfer the sponge mix into the tin and spread evenly with a spatula
  4. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, and allow to cool
  5. Stir the jam and if it’s too thick to spread add a table spoon of hot water and mix well
  6. Spread the jam evenly across the sponge and sprinkle with coconut