Recipes featured in

Grave at the Garage

“You should be careful, Philippa. If your cooking gets any more experimental, people around here will start thinking you a witch!”
Philippa laughed and waved away the joke as she knelt in front of the oven. “I’m sure there are many who already do, Reverend,” she murmured.

Miraculous English Madeleines

For the madeleines

1 stick (115g) butter, softened

½ cup (100g) sugar

2 eggs, beaten

½ cup (60g) flour

1½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp warm water

To finish

2 – 4 tbsp red fruit jam

4 tbsp shredded coconut

6 candied cherries, halved

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4. Grease 6-8 dariole (pudding) moulds with butter and dust with flour.

Cream together the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, using an electric or rotary beater or wooden spoon. Beat in the eggs.

Sieve the flour with the baking powder and salt. Stir in 1 tablespoon of flour into the butter mixture until well mixed. Gradually fold in the remaining flour. Add enough water to give the mixture a soft, dropping consistency.

Divide the mixture equally between dariole moulds. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until well-risen and golden.

Turn the madeleines carefully out of the moulds, upside down, and leave to cool. Trim the bases if they do not stand up well. When cool, brush with the sieved jelly, then roll in the coconut. Stand upright on a serving plate and decorate the top of each with a halved candied cherry. 

Makes 6 to 8.

Venerable Victoria Sandwich

For the sponge cake

1 cup sugar

1½ sticks butter

3 eggs, beaten

1½ cups flour

2¼ teaspoons baking powder

¼ + ⅛ teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons warm water

Strawberry jelly for spreading

For the glacé icing

1¼ cups powdered sugar

1-2 tablespoons warm water

Walnut halves for decoration

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas mark 5. Grease two 18cm/7-inch sandwich tins and dust with flour.

Cream together the sugar and butter in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, using an electric beater or wooden spoon. Gradually beat in the eggs.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir 1 tablespoon of flour into the butter mixture until well mixed. Gradually fold in the remaining flour. Add enough water to give the mixture a soft, dropping consistency. Pour into sandwich tins.

Bake just above the centre of the oven for about 20 minutes or until well-risen and golden, and the cakes have shrunk away from the sides of the baking tins.

Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool. Spread the jam evenly over one cake and place the remaining cake on top.

To prepare the icing, sift the icing sugar into a mixing bowl. Gradually mix in the water until a smooth paste is formed. It should coat the back of the spoon. Quickly beat out any lumps. Spread over the cake before the icing is set, and decorate around the edge with your decoration. 

Serves 8 – 10.

Marvellous Meringues

2 egg whites

4 oz (120g) fine sugar

A little fine sugar for dredging

1 cup (240g) of whipping cream, whisked to stiffness

Preheat the oven to 120°C/225°F/Gas mark 1. Put the egg whites in a large mixing bowl and beat until stiff with a balloon whisk, rotary, or electric beater. Fold in 1 tablespoon of the sugar, then beat again until smooth and satiny. It should stand in peaks. Fold in the remaining sugar with a large metal spoon.

Put the meringue mixture into an icing bag fitted with a 1.25cm/½-inch plain pipe. Pipe into small rounds on baking paper placed on a baking sheet. Dredge with a little sugar. 

Bake in the oven for 1 to 2 hours or until the meringues are crisp and firm to the touch. If the meringues begin to turn brown, open the oven door slightly.

Remove from the oven, and leave to cool on a wire rack. Peel off the paper when the meringues are completely cold, and sandwich together with the whipped cream just before serving. 

Makes approximately 6.

Notes

Meringues are easy to make if a few basic rules are followed. Make sure all your equipment is grease-free. Use 60g/2 ounces of fine sugar for every egg white. Refrigerate the egg whites for 24 hours before using. Do not over beat once the sugar is added. Bake at a very low temperature.

Flaming Florentine Slices

12 oz (340g) of semi-sweet baking chocolate, broken into pieces, or chips

½ stick (55g) of butter

½ cup (100G) brown sugar

1 egg, beaten

2 oz (60G) of mixed dried fruit

1 cup (80G) finely shredded coconut

2 oz (60G) of candied cherries, quartered

Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas mark 3. Put the chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl, and stand it over a pan of hot water until melted, stirring occasionally. Spoon the chocolate into a greased 20cm/8-inch square cake tin or silicone baking pan. Spread out over the bottom and leave to set.

Meanwhile, cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the egg thoroughly. Mix together the remaining ingredients and add to the creamed mixture. Spoon into the tin and spread over the set chocolate.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden-brown. Remove from the oven and leave for 5 minutes, then carefully mark into squares with a sharp knife. The mixture will be quite sticky at this stage.

Leave until cold, then loosen with a palette knife and lift carefully from the tin. Cut into squares. 

Makes 12 to 16.

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Book cover of Witches at the Wedding by Alison Golden
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