Making biscotti

Biscotti make a wonderful home-made gift. We have made them for Christmas presents and the apprentice also made them for her teachers this year. They are incredibly simple to make and, with an adult there to supervise hot ovens and sharp knives, are definitely doable by a child.

Making biscotti

You will need:

8oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
6oz caster sugar
2 medium eggs beaten
3oz each whole hazlenuts, pistachios and chocolate chunks (or your own combination of flavourings)

Preheat oven to 180C Gas 4

Mix together flour, baking powder, sugar and eggs until they form a smooth dough

How to make biscotti

Add nuts and chocolate and mix thoroughly

Making biscotti

On a floured surface divide dough into 4 and roll out into sausages. Don’t be scared to use enough flour at this stage – the mix can get pretty sticky and you need enough flour to be able to handle it. Place on greaseproof paper on a baking tray

Homemade biscotti

Bake for 20 – 30 mins until lightly golden, then cool for 10 mins on a wire rack. The sausages “spread out” somewhat during cooking. If they have spread out enough to join up with each other, you can break them apart easily by folding the pieces away from each other whilst still on the sheet. Reduce oven to 140C Gas 1

How to make biscotti

Cut diagonally into 1/2 inch slices.

Making biscotti

Bake again for 15 mins until dry and golden. Sometimes 15 mins isn’t enough in which case, turn the biscotti over on the tray and return to the oven until done.

How to make biscotti

Cool on a wire rack and eat and enjoy. It will keep for up to a month in an airtight tin.


Being the summer holidays, the apprentice spends the mornings at my mum’s while I am at work.

Last week I came home to find the apprentice bursting at the seams with excitement as she had a surprise for me…………..they had used some of our surplus free range eggs to make me a pot of homemade lemon curd.

I LOVE lemon curd πŸ™‚

According to the apprentice, it is as easy as melt the butter and sugar, add the lemon parts, beat the eggs, and add them to the mix and keep stirring until it thickens.

On the down side – it only lasts a week so needs to be eaten fairly quickly.

On the plus side – it only lasts a week so REALLY Β needs to be eaten quickly πŸ™‚

Didn’t even take a photo of it for you I’m afraid as we ate it too soon.

But, we are going to make some more next week, so I’ll post the full recipe and some pictures when we get cooking

If you have found this page whilst looking for information about rabbits, try our Baby rabbit FAQ for everything you wanted to know about baby rabbits.

Our rhubarb is doing it’s usual early summer job of taking over its corner of the veg garden. I like rhubarb. I like the taste of it, and I love rhubarb crumble with ice cream. But, if I am honest, one of the best things about rhubarb is that it is a perennial. Each year I feed it well with muck, cover it over with some corn stalks to protect it in the autumn and, as if by magic, I am provided with stacks of lovely rhubarb in the spring. Add to that the fact that it is one of the earliest crops to come in the spring and you can’t lose really πŸ™‚

This year the rhubarb is producing especially well, so I set out to find a new recipe for jam to use up some of it. I have one jam recipe, with rhubarb and ginger, but this one had a little bit of extra “zap” to it which appealed to me. So here we go………

Recipe for jam – rhubarb and ginger.

String the rhubarb and cut into small pieces.

jam recipe rhubarb and ginger

Place rhubarb in a bowl, sandwiched between layers of sugar.

jam recipe

Leave overnight. In the morning, the sugar will have formed a syrup, and the rhubarb softened.

rhubarb jam

Tip into a saucepan, and add the bruised ginger tied up in a piece of muslin. Cook gently for 30 mins or until rhubab is softened. Add the candied peel and crystallized ginger and bring to a good boil.

jam recipe rhubarb and ginger

Boil until setting point is reached. Pour into jars using a ladle, or a jam funnel, and seal using wax discs or melted wax.

jam recipe rhubarb

The jam recipe in short

2 1/4lb rhubarb
2 1/4lb sugar
1 oz fresh root ginger bruised
4 oz crystalised ginger
2 oz candied peel

Peel the rhubarb and cut into small pieces
Layer in a bowl with the sugar
Leave overnight – next day scrape into a saucepan, put the bruised ginger into a piece of muslin, add it to the rhubarb and sugar mixture and cook gently for 30 mins.
Remove ginger, add crystalised ginger and candied peel, and bring to a good boil.
Boil until the jam reaches boiling point, leave to cool for a few minutes.
Pour into jars and seal.

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I love the winter spices. Cinnamon is a big family favourite, with nutmeg and mixed spice ranking high as well. So hot cross buns are a big Easter favourite – although, if I’m honest, we keep enjoying them for quite some time after Easter as well πŸ™‚ Like so many things, homemade just can’t be beaten.

1 tsp dried yeast
10 fl oz warm milk
1 oz butter
1lb bread flour
pinch of salt
2 oz demerara sugar
1 oz currants
1 oz raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1 oz castor sugar
2 fl oz water

Rub the butter into the flour and salt

Add 1 tsp of the demerara sugar and the yeast and then pour on the milk.

Knead to a supple dough. Leave to rise in a warm place for 1hr+ (till it has doubled in size).

Knead the dough again, adding the remaining demerara sugar, the fruit and the spices.

Divide into eight portions, roll into bun shapes and place on a greased baking sheet.

Mark them with crosses made with flour and water paste.

Allow to rise for another 30 mins – or until doubled in size again.

Preheat oven to gas 7.

Mix the castor sugar and water together, warming gently to make a glaze – brush over buns.

Bake in the oven for about 15 mins. Check – should be golden and risen but not burnt at all on top.

Allow to cool completely before eating πŸ™‚ Enjoy πŸ™‚