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[quote user="memb"][quote user="Geordie girl"]

to grease or not to grease ..............SR or Plain flour, glaze or flour the tops.............extra baking powder ...........sweet 17 are you as confused as me?  [:'(][6]


Since arriving in France for scone baking I've used Gateaux flour, works perfectly for me!    Sure yours are nice Scooby, personally I only glaze my cheese scones with beaten egg.  Be nice to see a photo!    BTW my friend and I raised 264€ last summer selling my cakes and scones for an animal rescue centre, maybe Sweet 17 and GG will have such success they'll go into business together!    Hmmmmmm "Aunt Sweet's Geordie Scones"  .... sounds good to me![Www]



I, too, use gateaux flour, not for scones but for my sponges.  Being too idle to cream with an old-fashioned spoon, I chuck it all in the mixer together - the flour, eggs, sugar, butter.  I know Delia used to recommend Margarine for all-in-one sponges but I don't like margarine (not the taste and particularly not the hydrogenated fat in them).

I did find that the first couple I baked here using gateaux flour and all butter didn't rise as much as normal.  But, if I substituted half the butter for some stuff in a tub that says contains omega oils, the sponge is less fatty and rises very well.

Recently, I made gold crowns with paper doilies (brought over when we moved here) and put them round Victoria sponges for my best French friends.  I told them the cake was called after Queen Victoria and therefore was a gateau la reine instead of gateau le roi after the 3 kings.  I didn't put the "fevre" in them as I saw one of these so-called beans and it was not a bean at all but a tiny ceramic frog!  I'd have been afraid somebody would swallow the thing or, even worse, break a crown or dentures on it!!!

Anybody remember finding the silver sixpence in the Christmas pudding?

What fun it is talking cooking!

GG, I'll send you a scone in the post if you like but I can't post pictures at present as I don't know where the camera attachment that lets me load pictures is!


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Tip for making quick fab sponge cakes - use SR flour but add 1/2tsp of baking powder to every 2ozs of SR flour.  So a 6 | 6 | 6 | three egg recipe add 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder.  Then chuck everything in a food processor and whizz for a minute  stopping one or twice to scrape  sides of bowl back into the mixture.  Works perfectly everytime.  Works for any recipe that uses creaming method.

memb - we do the charity bake two or three times a year.  I usually do spomge cakes and various flavours of muffins - easy and quick and sell at a good price. Not sure how much we raised though.  (We also did a skydive from 12,000 feet and abseiled down one of the big (twenty storey) glass skyscrapers in the Docklands for cancer charities  - raised £30,000!)

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.......memb - we do the charity bake two or three times a year.  I usually do spomge cakes and various flavours of muffins - easy and quick and sell at a good price. Not sure how much we raised though.  (We also did a skydive from 12,000 feet and abseiled down one of the big (twenty storey) glass skyscrapers in the Docklands for cancer charities  - raised £30,000!)

Well done Scooby, nice to do your bit for charity, especially one close to our hearts - a cancer charity, not sure if I could equal you to the skydive from 12,000 feet though!   Well done.      Our next fundraising is end of April for the animals, its tiring as we're kept going all day making tea/coffee and serving our cakes / scones / flapjacks, but a French neighbour said her family can't wait to go, so its pleasing a cake and a cuppa can bring us closer.   How's the scone baking going GG and Sweet 17?    I hope successfully !    Glad you got the balance right with the omega/butter balance Sweet 17.    A friend of mine (normally a good cook) said she could'nt make a successful cake in France.   It was down to the sugar, she simply did'nt know she was using the wrong sugar.   Another problem can be an oven powered by gaz, its just not the same as gas as we knew it in England, which is why I have an electric oven.    

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Waited in anticipation GG!   Thanks for photo.....great stuff!      Bet I see you on Masterchef next series.    I'll listen out for the geordie accent and you telling Gregg & John to "had on a minute" when they say times up!   (only joking).......keep it up !![;-)]
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Made the scones this evening.  They tasted great, both warm and cold.  They weren't quite 3 inches but were at least 2 inches.  Alas, they looked nothing as nice as GG's.

Mine were the usual shape, wibbly-wobbly with the tops at a slant and not nice and level.  I don't think I roll the dough evenly.  Will improve because I will have to keep practising till I get them right won't I?

Next topic, I bought some buckwheat flour, thinking it was wholemeal (dumb creature).  Now I know sarasin is buckwheat since I looked it up in the dictionary.  So, I know I can make pancakes with this flour and Shrove Tuesday is coming up fast.

Anyone got a recipe for buckwheat pancakes?  Can they be eaten sweet and savoury?  Anything else I can make with this flour as I bought a 1-kilo bag?[:D]

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Glad you've both had successful scones....the shape will come...keep trying. Never done buckwheat pancakes but just googled it and come up with this...

275ml/9½fl oz skimmed milk
1 free-range egg
pinch salt
1 tsp vegetable oil
55g/2oz wholewheat flour
55g/2oz buckwheat flour
1 tsp vegetable oil, for cooking
1 lemon, juice only
1 orange, juice only


1. Place the milk, egg, salt and oil into a large bowl and mix well.
2. Sift the wholewheat and buckwheat flour into a separate bowl.
3. Add the mixed flour to the milk mixture gradually, stirring constantly until a smooth batter is formed. Allow the batter to rest for thirty minutes prior to cooking.
4. Add teaspoon of oil to a hot pan, pour in an eighth of the mixture and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until golden on each side. Remove from the pan and place between sheets of baking paper and keep warm while repeating the process with the remaining mixture to create eight pancakes.
5. To serve, place a pancake onto a warmed plate and add a squeeze of fresh lemon and orange juice.


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Haven't made those pancakes yet, memb.  Saving them for Shrove Tuesday next week.  Meanwhile, I have found a wholemeal scone recipe since scoffing all the scones that I made using your recipe.  Here goes and I hope you approve!

1 lb wholemeal flour (I used the wholemeal I normally use for making bread and it was fine)

1/2 tsp salt.

2 tsp baking powder

2 oz butter

1 oz soft brown sugar


First 3 ingredients in bowl and rub in.

Stir in sugar

Enough milk to make stiff dough

Knead lightly

Roll into 6-inch round and mark into 8 wedges.

As per your earlier instructions, memb, no greasing of the tray and no brushing the top with anything.

200 C or 400 F for 20 minutes.

Cool wrapped in a tea towel.

I really enjoyed them with butter and jam but I think they might go well with a creamed cheese.  Makes a change from bread or crackers.

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Cut the pintarde into six pieces (bone in);

Brown along with a sliced onion and a handful of ceps ( out of season I use frozen ones);

Put a tight fitting lid on the pan, lower the heat and cook until done shaking the pan from time to time;

Make a generous "hachis" of garlic and parsley, sprinkle onto the pintarde;

Replace the lid and leave in a warm place so that the flavours fuse.

This is my MIL's recipe and works just as well with rabbit.

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Hope it turns out ok Sweet 17. One of the reasons I like cooking this way - my MIL called it à l'étouffe - is because with the lid on the pan there is always a 'jus' and the meat is always juicy but you have to like garlic. I'd love to hear how it turns out!
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Jen, I ate too much pintade this evening.  It did taste quite rich but I wasn't in the mood to care, having had to go to the doctor's, then to the computer repair shop, then to the supermarche, then the immobilier's and it piddled down all day.
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We tried a fish stew recipe last night; printed it out from several weeks ago. Having problems with computer & can't find OP. Just had to say how good it was, & so easy! I put some garlic in it as we mainly had white fish. It would seem that an endless number of variations can be made! I've not been a great fan of fish, other than fairly plainly cooked, but loved this.

Thanks OP, Jo

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  • 3 weeks later...

Starter - easy: Chilled.

1) Sliced Smoked Salmon.

2) King Prawns.

3) Avacado.

4) Creme Fraische & Chopped Chives.

Simply arrange items 1 to 3 on plate to your own style, mix item 4 ingredients and place in ramekins to suit.Can garnish with salad/cherry toms if desired.

Num, num, num!



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That's what I call do-able!  Love it and will do it for my next dinner party for 10.

Memb, if you are out there and reading this, my scones are now superb and the taste and shape fantastic (even if I say so myself).  Now how about a recipe for something else that is sweet and indulgent and knock-them-dead scrumptious and very, very fattening?

Can't do up the zips, buttons, etc so I guess there is no turning back?

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Mains (quite easy but slightly faffy, though well worth the effort)


Monkfish with Saffron & Pernod Sauce (my version)


100g chopped shallots

Large tomato – peeled, deseeded and chopped

2t oil

1t fish sauce (Nam Pla)

10mls Pernod

350g (ish) monkfish – skinned & cut into thick discs

1t oil

10g butter

100g crème fraîche

Good pinch saffron – soaking in very small dish of boiling water


1.            Gently fry shallots in 2t oil until translucent and then add chopped tomato

2.            Add small amount of water, if necessary, to stop mixture from getting too dry

3.            Add fish sauce

4.            Add saffron water

5.            Add Pernod

6.            Cook for few minutes more to ‘cook out’ the alcohol then turn off the heat.

7.            Blitz the mixture, adding a little more water if necessary, to a thickish sauce

8.            Return the sauce to the original frying pan.

9.            In different pan quickly fry the monkfish in hot pan containing 1t oil and butter – until just cooked (3 – 4 mins)

10.       Water will run from the fish which can be used to deglaze the pan

11.       Towards the end of cooking the fish put the sauce back on low heat

12.       Remove fish and keep warm (this will help drain away any further water)

13.       Add crème fraîche to sauce and stir and then transfer the sauce to the fish frying pan, which should still be on a low heat.  Combine well.

14.       Add the fish, discarding any further water, which may have drained off, and quickly combine with the sauce.

15.       Serve straight away  (We usually have it with steamed basmati rice)




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I can just about make a croque monsieur so have avoided french deserts like the plague! But... I've been subscribing to a load of podcasts on iTunes and there's on on there just now called The Ratatouille Guide to French Cuisine and it's hosted by a French TV chef. It's got a load of french deserts on it. Delicieux! If you type out the name in the search bar you'll find it easily. Xx [:P]

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Sweet 17

How about my Mum's recipe called Cardinal's Cloak (so called because of the colours )

Put a thickish layer of raspberries (fresh, tinned or frozen) in the bottom of a glass dish, then top with mixture of greek yog and double cream, finally top with demarara sugar (about 1/4 inch thick)  You can do it it individual glasses or a large glass dish.  then leave at least 24 hours in the fridge until the sugar has melted.  It looks very pretty with it's layers, tastes divine and with all that cream and sugar is quite fattening I guess !

Enjoy !



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  • 2 weeks later...

Been back to the "old country" and looking in for the first time in a coupla weeks.  Thanks for further suggestions, folks.

Suzy, Cardinal's Cloak it is for the next meal for friends.  Yum, yum.  It's OK, just bought jeans, shorts, etc back in Blighty for the summer (in France) and, guess what, have bought everything one to two sizes BIGGER!


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