Salad after Fawlty Towers

Recently I have been watching my box set of Fawlty Towers DVDs, which is still so amusing after all these years.

Whilst watching the episode with the American guest and the Waldorf salad  – when famously Basil Fawlty says  “I think we’re just out of  waldorfs” – I thought must try that!

I needed a salad for dinner but realised I did not have all the ingredients so decided to make a similar salad with the ingredients I had.

I will get all the ingredients for a real Waldorf salad and make that soon.

Ingredients

  • Half a white or sweetheart cabbage
  • 2 eating apples – I used Braeburn*
  • 100g of walnuts – chopped
  • 2 -3 tablespoons of mayonnaise – full fat is best

Method

  • Shred and chop the cabbage into fine pieces.
  • Core the apples and chop into small pieces.
  • Mix the cabbage, apples and walnuts together.
  • Mix in the mayonnaise.

Braeburn apples originated in New Zealand in the 1950s.

They are named after Braeburn Orchard where they where first commercially grown.

 

 

 

Rye Scones

This recipe is a cross between an English scone and soda bread.

I used this recipe with spelt flour and it was a huge success.

I now tried it out with rye flour using equal amounts of rye to plain flour.

In Poland you might call these babeczki – little buns or bułeczki – little bread buns.

Ingredients

  • 125g rye flour
  • 125g plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 30g of demerara or granulated sugar  & 1/2 tablespoon
  • 80g of sultanas or raisins
  • 65g butter – chilled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons of yoghurt & milk to make 125ml
  • 1 egg

Method

  • Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
  • Preheat the oven to GM7 – 220°C.
  • Mix the flours, baking powder and salt together.
  • Add the butter and mix in with the flour to make breadcrumbs.
  • Add the 30g of sugar.
  • Add the sultanas or raisins.
  • Lightly mix the egg into the yoghurt/milk mixture.
  • Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the egg mixture.
  • With a knife work the mixture together to make a damp rough ball.
  • Turn the ball of dough on the the baking sheet.
  • Form into a flattened disc around 20cm in diameter.
  • Sprinkle with the 1/2 tablespoon of sugar.
  • Deeply score the disc into eight sections.
  • Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden and firm.

They tastes delicious freshly baked with butter & the next day slightly warmed or toasted.

Served on Elizabethan Carnaby from the 1960s.

Variations

These were so delicious I made them again but instead of sultanas used –

  • 80g chopped dried apricots

 

 

 

 

Or

  • 80g dried cranberries

 

 

 

 

 

All versions are super!

 

Rye Bread 2

Recently I found my local Polish shop sold fresh yeast in small blocks, so I have been trying out lots of yeast buns and bread recipes.

This is one for Polish Rye Bread based on a recipe in the following book, which is easy to make and the bread is super.

 

 

Ingredients

  • 225g rye flour
  • 225g strong flour
  • 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 20g of fresh yeast (or 10g of dried)
  • 140ml of lukewarm milk
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 140ml of lukewarm water

Method

  • In a jug mix the milk, yeast and honey.
  • In a large bowl mix the flour, caraway seeds and salt.
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour.
  • Pour the yeast mixture into the well.
  • Add the water and slowly mix the flour and liquid together until a dough forms.
  • Turn the dough into a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes (set a timer!).
  • Place the dough into a bowl and cover (a shower cap is good for this).
  • Leave until this has doubled in size (around 3 hours if warm).
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and lightly knock back.
  • Shape into an oval loaf.
  • Grease a baking tray.
  • Place the loaf onto the baking tray.
  • Dust with some rye flour.
  • Cover and leave to rise until doubled in size (around 90 minutes if warm).
  • *
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM7  – 220°C
  • *
  • Use a sharp knife to make 2 long cuts in the top of the loaf.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • Leave to cool before cutting.

 

Cinnamon Fruit Yeast Buns

These  bułeczki – little yeast buns – are based on an English recipe for hot cross buns, which are made for Good Friday.

I love the addition of a chopped eating apple and grated orange rind.

These take most of the day to make – best done on a day you are in with other things to do in between.

Ingredients

  • 330ml of milk (might need a little more)
  • 50g butter
  • 500g strong bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 7g sachet of dried yeast
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 75g sultanas
  • 50g mixed peel
  • Grated rind of an orange
  • 1 eating apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 1 + 1/2  teaspoons of cinnamon
  • *
  • For the glaze
  • 2 tablespoons of apricot jam

Method

  • Bring the milk to the boil.
  • Add the butter and leave till hand-warm.
  • Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a bowl.
  • Make a well in the centre, add the milk and butter and then the egg.
  • Mix with a wooden spoon.
  • Bring the mixture together with your hands to form a sticky dough.
  • Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for around 5 minutes.
  • Put the dough into an oiled bowl
  • Cover with a shower cap (very useful these!) or cloth.
  • Leave to rise until doubled in size.
  • *
  • In a bowl mix together the sultanas, mixed peel, orange rind, apple and cinnamon.
  • Add this mixture to the risen dough and knead until it is all well distributed.
  • Cover again and leave to rise until doubled in size.
  • *
  • Cover a large baking tray with greaseproof.
  • Divide the dough into 15 even pieces.
  • Roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured surface.
  • Arrange the balls on the baking tray with some room for expansion.
  • Cover loosely with a cloth and leave to prove – for around one hour.
  • *
  • Preheat the oven to GM7 – 220°C.
  • Bake for around 20 minutes until the buns are golden brown.
  • *
  • Gently heat the apricot jam in a small saucepan.
  • Brush the jam over the tops of the small buns.

Delicious on their own or buttered!

 

Grape Meringue Cake

This recipe is from Pani Stasia *,  she and my mother were at school together.  She baked wonderful cakes and everyone loved this soft cake with seedless green grapes on the top within a mound of lovely meringue.

Many years ago I jotted down the recipe and now I found it amongst  my many hand written recipes.

I obviously had not written it down very well and in my first attempt, although the topping part worked very well , the bottom cake part was not as I remembered it.  Part of the problem was some of the measurements were in spoons and I think my conversions did not work out that well.  Also I remember that seedless grapes used to be very small, now they seem to be much bigger.

My next attempt was a disaster!  I tried cutting the grapes in half  (bad idea) and I adjusted the base ingredients  – the base did not cook well at all this time – a big gloopy mess – straight to birds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of a pair of wood pigeons that come into the garden looking for cast off cake!

I decided to bake the cake base separately and add the topping later – I had a couple of goes and found that a Victoria sponge using two eggs was the best.

Note

This method means you have 4 egg yolks left over (you can use these in many other recipe). The original recipe used the yolks in the base and the whites in the topping – sadly I could not recreate this.

Cake Ingredients

  • 100g butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g self raising flour
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon

Method

  • Grease a 22cm loose bottomed tall sided tin.
  • Preheat the oven to GM4 – 180°C.
  • Cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy
  • Add the eggs and lemon rind and whisk again.
  • Fold in the plain flour.
  • Place the mixture in the tin and bake for around 25 minutes.
  • Leave to go cold before adding the topping.

Topping Ingredients

  • 225g seedless green grapes
  • *
  • 4 egg whites
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 2 sponge fingers – crushed

Method

  • Preheat the oven to GM2 – 150°C.
  • Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff.
  • Add the sugar and whisk again till stiff.
  • Mix in the crushed sponge fingers
  • Put half of the meringue mixture on top of the cake base.
  • Place the grapes in a layer on top of the meringue.
  • Put the rest of the meringue mixture on top of the grapes and smooth it down.
  • Bake for 1 hour – if not dry enough – lower oven to GM1- 140°C and leave for another 30 minutes.
  • Switch off the oven and leave cake in the oven.
  • Once oven is cold take out the cake and leave to cool in the tin.
  • Do not try to take it out of the tin until it is totally cold.

 

Queen Anne tea plates & Portmeirion – Crazy Daisy cake forks  – Sophie Conran’s design from 2009.

Coffee set and plates – Greenway by Hostess Tableware – design by John Russell, 1960 – 1979.

*

  • Pani  translates as Madam, Lady or Mrs and is a polite form of address – it is like donna in Italian or saying Miss Mary in the Southern States of America.
  • Stasia is the shortened form of the Polish name Stanisława. (The feminine form of Stanisław)
  • St Stanisław is the patron saint  of Kraków & Poland, he was a martyr, murdered by the Polish king Bolesław II the Bold in 1079 – a story which has much in common with St Thomas à Beckett and the English king Henry II  in 1170.

Carrot & Parsnip Soup

I had lots of carrots and parsnips needing to be used up so I decided to make a slightly different soup.

  • I cooked a chicken as for rosȯł – clear chicken bouillon, with instead of 1 or 2 carrots and parsnips, I used around 8 of each, peeled but whole.
  • Once cooked I removed the chicken for a different dish and strained the cooked vegetables from the liquid.
  • For the best results, leave the liquid in a cool place for a few hours or even overnight so that you can skim off some of the chicken fat.
  • Use a blender to purée the carrots, parsnips and the onion.
  • In a saucepan add the puréed vegetables and enough of the liquid stock to give the required consistency for a soup – not too thick.
  • This puréed style of soup is more English than Polish! 
  • Gently heat the soup for around 5 minutes, stirring it occasionally.
  • Check for seasoning and to serve, stir in around 100ml of soured cream or 150ml of Greek style yoghurt.

Ingredients – if not wanting to make the rosȯł from scratch

  • 2 litres of good chicken stock (or a from stock cubes if you do not have any)
  • 8 carrots
  • 8 parsnips
  • 1-2 onions
  • 2-3 grains allspice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 100ml soured cream or 150ml Greek style yoghurt

Method

  • Simmer the vegetables in the chicken stock with the allspice and bay leaf till they are all soft.
  • Purée the vegetables in the soup using a stick blender.
  • Season to taste.
  • Add soured cream or yoghurt to serve.

Spelt Scones

This recipe is a cross between an English scone and soda bread.

In Poland you might call these babeczki – little buns or bułeczki – little bread buns. Spelt flour gives this a lovely taste.

Ingredients

  • 250g spelt flour
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 30g of demerara or granulated sugar  & 1/2 tablespoon
  • 80g of sultanas or raisins
  • 65g butter – chilled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons of yoghurt & milk to make 125ml of liquid
  • 1 egg

Method

  • Line a baking sheet with grease-proof paper.
  • Preheat the oven to GM7 – 220°C.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together.
  • Add the butter and mix in with the flour to make breadcrumbs.
  • Add the 30g of sugar.
  • Add the sultanas or raisins.
  • Lightly mix the egg into the yoghurt/milk mixture.
  • Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the egg mixture.
  • With a knife work the mixture together to make a damp rough ball.
  • Turn the ball of dough on the the baking sheet.
  • Form into a flattened disc around 20cm in diameter.
  • Sprinkle with the 1/2 tablespoon of the demerara sugar.
  • Deeply score the disc into eight sections.
  • Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden and firm.

They tastes delicious freshly baked with butter & the next day slightly warmed or toasted.

Served here on  Ansley – Las Palmas tea plates from the 1960s and on Queen Anne tea plates.