Saturday 10 December 2022

Advent 2022 - Fast Tracking #14

Today's Challenge: Fast from... all imported foods.

I find the no-imported-food challenge one of the hardest to comply with - there are just so many imported everyday foods one takes for granted, especially flavourings. Doing without them certainly turns my cooking into much more of a plain-jane affair than usual but it's a useful lesson to be reminded that it's a privilege to have access to these things, as a general rule and good also to be challenged to find inventive ways around ingredients that are off limits. 

Honey has been today's star - as topping for my oatcakes at breakfast, sweetener in my London Fog, core ingredient in my cupcakes and flavouring and sweetener for my baked apples. I confess I have used rather a lot! Yes, this jar was full this morning!

black Tregothnan tea
grape juice pressed from grapes grown in the garden and frozen in September
blackberry and apple compôte made from home grown and foraged local fruit sweetened with a little Oxfordshire honey
oatcakes (as per Day #7) with Oxfordshire honeycomb

London Fog made with black Tregothnan tea, dried homegrown lavender, ½ a tsp local honey and frothed British semi-skimmed milk. London Fog should strictly be made with Earl Grey tea and should also have a dash of vanilla extract in it, I believe, but this version, tweaked to be compliant with no-imported-food, was not too far off and it was perfect on a very cold winter morning. And I just love the name which is perfectly evoked by the subtle, misty colours of the drink in a glass. 

homemade yoghurt cheese made from British whole milk and flavoured with a pinch of Maldon salt
micro greens grown on my windowsill over the last ten days. 
homemade sourdough crackers made from British wheat and rye flour, rapeseed oil, salt and milk as per Day #4 

black Tregothnan tea
sticky honey cupcakes with a honey glaze as per recipe below

jacket potatoes with Cornish cheddar cheese and for the sausage fanciers (of whom I am not one) locally produced pork sausages baked with dried herbs from the garden 
steamed British carrots and spinach

baked homegrown apples drizzled with local Oxfordshire honey, British cream and some of the British shortbread I made last weekend for Day #7. 

The sticky honey cupcakes are derived from a recipe from a local beekeeping association which I've tweaked slightly to comply with today's challenge. All the ingredients are British. 

For twelve cupcakes:
125g salted butter at room temperature
75g caster sugar
140g runny honey
2 eggs beaten
225g self-raising flour
1 tbsp apple juice

For the glaze:
100g salted butter
70g runny honey
c150g icing sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 180℃ /160℃ fan. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the honey and beat well again then add the beaten eggs and flour alternately. Finally fold in the apple juice. Spoon into a bun or muffin tin lined with paper cases and bake for 20 minutes until golden and springy.

For the glaze, melt the butter and honey in a pan and blend into the icing sugar with a balloon whisk. Use enough icing sugar to create the consistency of icing you want. Allow to cool slightly until thickened but still spreadable, then spoon over the cupcakes. 

E x

1 comment:

  1. I'd never heard of London Fog and now feel I should try it!

    When I read of your challenge, I suspected the No Imported Food might throw up some problems, not because it's difficult to eat only home produced but because the labelling on food is so bad. Few pre-packaged foods have a country of origin - vegetable oil, cornflour, baking powder ... while others, like Tate & Lyle sugar display a Union Flag and proclaim Made in Britain but omit With Imported Sugar Cane. I tried it for a week and gave up.


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