Friday, September 24, 2010

Ring, ring!, ring, ring!

"Hello? Is that Landcroft House?"

"Yes caller, hello. How can we help you?"

"Well hi. It's Skream, aka Oliver Jones, dubstep legend and one third of the brilliant Magnetic Man here..."

"Oh hi, Skream. How are you?"

"I'm really good thank you, how are you?"

"Oh we're great, thanks. Actually, can you help us out a minute?"

"Sure, yeah, no problem. What's up?"

"Oh nothing major, we were just wondering what you thought was the greatest record ever made?"

"Oh wow. OK. That's a tough question..."

"Yeah - sorry about that."

"Well (pauses for a bit)... I think it's probably Prince, Controversy."

"Wow. Good answer. Why that one?"

"I suppose it's because I think that’s the greatest party record ever made and it has this series of the most amazing chord changes. It's just brilliant. And Erotic City too. I’m so into Prince, he made such great records and he just works whatever mood you’re in, which is pretty unusual. Will that do?"

"That'll do brilliantly. Thanks Skream."

"No problem. Bye, Landcroft House."

"Bye Skream, bye..."

Line clicks and goes dead...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Bellenden Bun Fight

Your local charity bake-off is back! You have exactly two weeks to get your jams, jellies, biscuits and scones up to scratch. This season's Classic Cake category is The Lemon Drizzle. We have brilliant prizes courtesy of our friends at delicious and yours truly is in charge of the judging panel! Hurrah!
More details here.

Hannah Jones' Prize-Winning Chocolate Ginger Biscuits

225g soft unsalted butter
110g caster sugar
275g plain flour
25g crystallised ginger
200g bar dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 170C. Cream the butter, then add in the sugar and beat until pale and soft. Chop the ginger into small pieces and mix it with the flour. Add the ginger and flour to the sugar and butter and mix until you have a dough.

Break off walnut-sized balls and roll in your hands until smooth. Place on a baking tray and press into them with the back of a fork to pattern 'n' flatten. Bake for around 15 minutes or until they are nice and golden brown. Near the end of the cooking time, watch them obsessively so you don't miss the optimum colour, as biscuits are sly and will burn on you in a second.

Take them out of the oven and immediately transfer them from the tray to a wire rack. When they're cold, melt the chocolate in a bowl. You will have far more chocolate than you need, but melting a large quantity makes it much easier to coat the biscuits smoothly. Dip the biscuits halfway into the chocolate, gently combing off any drips or runners with a teaspoon. Leave on greaseproof paper until the chocolate has set.