Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Deal to Dover

Sunday saw me pull my walking boots on again for the first time in a while in order to meet up with some friends and walk from Deal to Dover. A lovely coastal walk over the famous "White Cliffs".

After an inauspicious start (it chucked it down as I arrived at Dover Station) we all met up and got the train to Deal. Whilst it wasn't exactly sunny it had at least stopped raining. It also soon warmed up as we got walking meaning that the waterproofs could be taken off and stowed in the bag. It stayed fairly overcast all the way with the occasional spot of drizzle, but, never enough to require the waterproofs again.

Photos below run in order from Deal. In essence though...a great walk over a historic landscape. The defenses in places date back to the 12th Century (Dover Castle). But, if you think that is old the White Cliffs themselves date back even further...These chalk cliffs rise to ~110m in places. That chalk is thought to form at the rate of 1cm every 100,000 years. Do the maths and that is 1,100,000,000 years to form the cliffs. They are also eroding at the rate of 1-2cm per year due to the waves (and occasionally a large chuck comes down!).

Enjoy the photos.

Deal Pier

Fishing boats in Deal

Deal Castle

Walmer Life Boat Station

Walmer Castle

Walmer Coast

Lonely beach hut

Looking back from the first ascent (near Kingsdown)

Clouds over the fields

Memorial to the Dover Patrol
Dover war memorial project - Obelisk

Looking down to St Margaret's Bay

St Margaret's Bay

The way ahead from St Margaret's Bay

View back from the South Foreland

South Foreland Lighthouse
National Trust - South Foreland Lighthouse

Ferry - anyone would think there was a port nearby...

Dover Port and it's finally sunny!

Hmmm, did I say sunny...

Dover Castle

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Bakewell Muffins

I'm putting this post up as a friend has asked for the recipe. Unfortunately, I haven't made these for a while (and a diet means I'm unlikely to in the near future) so no photos, but, hopefully the explanation will be clear enough.

The idea was for a muffin which played upon the idea of a Bakewell Tart or Pudding. i.e. an almond and raspberry muffin. The basic almond muffin was based upon a recipe off the WWW but I can't remember where I found it now to credit it. Sorry. Anyway, here is the recipe:

(for 12 muffins)

250g plain flour
120g granulated sugar
100g ground almonds
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
250mls milk
90 mls corn oil
2 tsp almond essence
1 egg
~3 tbsp raspberry jam
100g white chocolate


1) Mix together the flour, sugar, almonds, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
2) In a separate bowl beat the egg and stir in the milk, almond flavoring and corn oil. Mix well.
3) Combine the wet and dry ingredients until evenly mixed.
4) Line a muffin tray with paper cases. Use half the mix to cover the bottom of each muffin case.
5) Put a small blob of raspberry jam in the middle of each muffin case on top of the mix that is already there. About a ½ tsp per muffin.
6) Use the rest of the muffin mix to fill the cases ensuring the jam is covered.
7) Put in a preheated oven at 200C for 20-25 minutes.
8) Place on a rack to cool.
9) When cool they are read for the topping. Place the chocolate in a ban marie and gently melt. Once melted put a blob on each muffin and spread evenly over the top. Allow the chocolate to cool and set again.
10) Eat and enjoy!

Hopefully I've not offended any Bakewell Tart or Pudding purists. This isn't meant to be "authentic", merely a really good muffin that has been inspired by the real thing.

Friday, 8 June 2012

An Egg and Ham Pie?

A dish of bits left over in the fridge at the end of the week...

You all know the feeling - left over ingredients which need using but what to do with them? This happened to me (again) a couple of weeks ago when I was looking at some left over short crust pastry in the fridge and wondering if there was anything I could do with it. In the end I decided to try and make a "pie" (for want of a better word) with the last 2 eggs, a bit of cheddar and some sliced ham that was also in the fridge.
The pastry was thinly rolled out in order to line a stoneware bowl. To this was added some slices of ham and a bit of grated cheddar. 2 beaten eggs were then poured in before some more ham and grated cheddar were added. On top of this some mornay sauce was poured (Mornay is a béchamel with grated cheese added). Finally, a bit more grated cheese on top.
Simply put in the oven at 220C. I gave it 20 minutes but it probably could have done with a bit longer. It was only just cooked as it was still a bit liquid (though hot) in centre. I'd guess an extra 5-10 minutes (especially if you shouldn't be eating raw egg for any reason).

Given the left over nature of the ingredients I have decided to enter this for Frugal food Fridays being hosted this month by Caroline of Caroline Makes on behalf of Helen of Fuss Free Flavours.