Archive for the 'Recipes' Category

bit of hevva cake?

This post is killing 3 birds with one stone.

Its follows the coastal theme for the week, is a Cornish word of the week and also encompasses a recipe!

My mum has been making Heavy cake all my life and it’s not until you move away from Cornwall that you realise that heavy cake is a Cornish recipe of Cornish tradition.

Heavy cake or ‘Hevva’ cake comes from the Pilchard industry when, prior to the 20th century a ‘heur’ (person – generally fisherman’s wife, on a clifftop helping to locate shoals of pilchards) would shout ‘Hevva!’ to signal to the boats the location of the pilchards. It is also said the men would shout Hevva as they pulled the ‘heavy’ nets!

Cornish tradition states that it was the huers who would bake the Hevva cake on returning to their homes with the cake being ready for the crews on their return to land.

Heavy cake is made by rubbing the fat (lard and marg), flour and salt together, adding the sugar and currents and then mixing with milk and water. Then rolled to a thickness of 1/2″ and a criss-cross pattern scored on the top signifying the nets used by the fishermen.  Placed on a baking tray and cooked for 30 minutes at 325F.

Here is my mum’s recipe from her old recipe book


8oz plain flour


5oz lard and margarine mixed

2oz sugar

3oz currents /sultanas

milk and water to mix



1. Rub lard and marg, flour and salt to a crumbly mix

2. Add sugar and currents /sultanas

3. Mix with milk and water

4. Roll out to 1/2″, score a criss-cross pattern on top and bake for 25 mins at 220C (revised by mum on the phone!)

Wait to cool and have a slice with a cuppa tea. Ansome!

This slice didn't hang around for long...

Mum now also makes a wheat free version for Becky which she loves just substituting the flour for wheat free flour. We are also fortunate to bring one of each back to Oxfordshire which we really enjoy. The only problem is when it runs out we have to drive back to Cornwall for another! ha ha!

Oysters from the Fal to the palate

How can you go to an Oyster festival and not try an Oyster? Last week we bought a plate of Oysters (all 5 of them!) and devoured them by the sea.

Several years ago whilst living in Falmouth I was commissioned by the Falmouth chamber of commerce to photograph 5 local chefs oyster recipes for some recipe cards they were producing for the Oyster Festival. Naturally, I had to try every recipe the chefs cooked to make sure they were suitable for public consumption! Well that was at least 11 years ago now but I can still remember my favourite recipe of Oyster Gratin.  To support other bloggers visit Sara’s Kitchen blog here to see her Oyster gratin recipe – Delicious!

The oysters we had were just natural, eaten straight from the shell. They are either something you will love or hate, they look a lot worse than they taste. They taste of the sea so if the water is clean water then there is no reason for them to taste bad. Oysters filter over 50 gallons of water a day so they are very clean shellfish.

To find out more about oysters please check out the great website Cornish Native Oysters who be able to tell you a lot more than I can about Oysters!

In the meantime enjoy the pictures of our Oyster experience and don’t forget to come back tomorrow for a real Oyster fisherman treat!


How to make your own Clotted Cream…..Mmmmmm!

Thanks to one of my readers for asking how to make clotted cream. Well, I’ve had a look around and spoken to my parents who can both remember my grandmothers making it on the stove!

It sounds pretty simple although I have not tried it but here goes…

Take your milk with as high a fat content as possible, if you can get it straight from the cow and preferably a high butterfat milk producing cow such as a Guernsey or a Jersey. Alternatively use gold top milk which will have the highest fat content for milk from your milkman or supermarket.

Pour the milk into a pan and leave for at least 12 hours which should allow the cream to rise to the top. Heat slowly and simmer (not allowing the milk to boil) for about one hour. You will see a yellow crust start appearing on the top which is the start of your clotted cream.

Remove from heat and allow to cool in a cold place. Cover and leave for 12 hours.

If you have not been tempted to dip your finger in by now you will now have clotted cream. Remove the cream with a butter knife or spoon and store in fridge.


Rodda’s, one of the most famous companies from Cornwall renowned for their clotted cream. Why not visit their website here where you can find out their history of making clotted cream, try their recipes and why not treat your family this weekend with some  of their clotted cream from the Rodda’s shop! Happy days!


Recipe of the Week – Boiled Fruit Cake

Recently whilst in Cornwall I raided my mum’s old recipe book. It brought back some really happy memories, not only the recipes my mum has cooked and still cooks to this day but also those recipes from past relations that are sadly no longer with us. I will be showing these recipes in coming posts but for today lets look at one of my old favourites, Boiled Fruit Cake. This recipe is the one that must be used if entering section 78 (Boiled fruit Cake) of the Budock Water Garden Show. Enjoy with a cup of tea, ansome!

Boiled Fruit Cake Recipe

ingredients for an 8″ tin

12 oz mixed dried fruit

5 oz cherries roughly chopped

2 oz mixed peel

2 oz walnuts

6 oz brown sugar

4 oz butter

1 teaspoon mixed spice

1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

1/2 pint milk

12 oz self-raising flour (sifted)

2 size 3 eggs (med!)


1. Put fruit, cherries, peel, walnuts, sugar, butter, spice, bicarb soda and milk into a saucepan.

2. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Leave cool to blood heat – I presume 37 degrees Centigrade!

3. Stir in flour and eggs

4. Bake at Mark 3 – 160’C/ 325’F for 40 minutes, reduce temperature to Mark 2 – 150’C/300’F for 1.5 hours

5. Allow to cool in tin for 5 mins before turning out.

6. Make a cuppa!

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