The forecast today was for wintry showers and grey skies so I decided to stay indoors and do a little baking. I opened the pantry door and almost fainted at the mess within. Some naughty little elves have been at work in there flinging things around for I'm sure I put things back in their correct place after my last baking session.
Spring is somewhere just beyond the horizon and I can feel that almost irresistible urge to spring-clean which jars with the equally strong desire to do some baking.
In the end I compromised by cleaning up my baking ingredients, sorting spices, consolidating half-used packets of caster sugar into one clean jar, and so on. I ignored the rest of the pantry.
I set to making a cottage loaf because I haven't made one for ages - it turned out looking like an enormous chariot wheel - so I must try harder and could do a lot better. I'll enjoy playing around with the recipe until I get it right.
The other thing I decided to bake was something which only my husband will enjoy - Coconut Cones. He has a very sweet tooth and coconut is a favourite with him. When I first met him he was addicted to Bounty Bars. We gradually got him weaned off those, but he still adores coconut.
I used a recipe which I found in an old recipe book without covers, so I can't credit it to anyone in particular. I get the feeling that it may have been produced by the WI, a long time ago, but I could be wrong. It has the feel of a 1950's book.
Four simple ingredients:
1 tablespoon ground rice
Simply beat the egg, stir in the sugar, coconut and ground rice and mix well.
Here comes the fun bit - fill an egg cup with the mixture and shake out on to a greased baking sheet. Bake in a moderately hot oven until golden brown on top.
Don't press your mixture too firmly or you may struggle to get it out of the egg cup. I also decided to push the boat out and decorate them with half a glace cherry, simply because he also likes them.
Spoilt, or what?
He loved them; ate two almost as soon as they were cool. They look a bit dry in the photograph, but I checked and the inside is moist and very delicious - if you like sweet coconut cakes!
This is where I note my efforts as I try to recreate some old recipes. Most are taken from my small collection of handwritten recipe books which date from the late 1700's to around 1922. I also have a collection of old tatty old recipe books, well thumbed and heavily splashed from years of use. I love them all!
The old-fashioned very stylised handwriting writing is sometimes difficult to decipher, measurements and cooking instructions are minimal, no tin sizes given. Luckily I enjoy a challenge. Just to complicate things I cook and bake on my wood-fired Rayburn, which can be... unpredictable.
I suspect this blog is less about the food and more about my passion for these lovely old books and the wonderful women who wrote them.