The Biscuit Barrel

A collection of my favourite recipes

Lemon Flan

This lemon flan is very quick to make but needs a few hours in the fridge to set.


1 pkt (or slightly less) Marie biscuits

100 ml melted butter


1 can (397 g) sweetened condensed milk

250 ml whipping cream

juice of 3 large lemons (about 150 – 200 ml depending on how tart you like it)

Crush biscuits finely and mix with melted butter.  Press this mixture into the bottom and sides of a deep 20 x 20 cm pan or a round serving dish.

Whip cream to soft peaks, stir in condensed milk, mixing well.  Stir in lemon juice, mix well and pour into prepared crust.  Chill for at least 2 hours.

This flan keeps well – just cover and refrigerate.  It freezes well and is delicious served frozen.

April 7, 2010 Posted by | Desserts, Tarts | , | 3 Comments

Banana Loaf

This banana loaf is moist and full of flavour.  It can be frozen very successfully so I usually make two at a time and freeze one for later.

500 ml flour

125 g butter

2 eggs, beaten

4 bananas, mashed

250 ml sugar

7.5 ml baking powder

5 ml bicarbonate of soda

1 ml salt

60 ml water

Cream butter and sugar together.  Add mashed bananas and beat well.  Add beaten eggs.

Sift the flour and salt and add to the mixture with bicarb dissolved in the water.  Lastly add the baking powder.  Spoon batter into a greased and lined loaf pan.

Bake in a moderate oven (180 C) for about an hour.

April 1, 2010 Posted by | Loaf Cakes | , | 2 Comments

Beat and Bake Lemon Loaf

This cake is so quick and easy to make and is deliciousy light.  Everything gets thrown in a bowl and mixed together.  What could be more simple?  Even the icing on top takes the minimum of effort.  It freezes well too.  Double the recipe and make two if you wish and keep one in the freezer for when you need a cake in a hurry.

125 grams very soft butter

180 grams flour

180 grams sugar

10 ml baking powder

2 eggs

125 ml milk

5 ml vanilla essence

Put all ingredients in a bowl and beat well for 3 minutes.  Pour into a greased and lined loaf pan and bake at 180 C for approximately 55 minutes.

For the icing mix icing sugar and lemon juice together and spread over the cake once it has cooled.

January 20, 2010 Posted by | Loaf Cakes | , , | 2 Comments

Coconut Shortbread Biscuits

These are melt-in-the-mouth shortbread biscuits covered with coconut and using very few ingredients.  I make the dough in the food processor but it can be made by hand in the usual way.

450 ml flour, sifted

75 ml cornflour, sifted

125 ml castor sugar

250 g butter, slightly softened

250 ml coconut

cherries to decorate

Place the flour, cornflour and castor sugar in a food processor, blend in the butter until a soft dough is formed.  Divide the dough into two (for easier handling) and roll each half into a sausage or square it off as I have done.  Cover with cling-wrap and refrigerate for an hour until firm.

Cut into slices with a sharp knife and and cover each slice all over with coconut.  Place on lightly greased baking trays.  Place a piece of cherry in the centre of each, pushing down slightly.

Bake at 150 C for15 minutes or until they are lightly browned.

Makes about 40 biscuits

January 16, 2010 Posted by | Biscuits | , , , | 4 Comments

Sweetcorn Custard

When we barbeque (called a braai in South Africa) this is one dish that I make regularly and it is very popular with those who don’t like salad.  It is so popular that I usually now double the recipe so we can have extra with those leftovers the next day.  I must say it tastes better than it looks!  The recipe serves 4 or 5.

1 can (420 g) creamed sweetcorn

1 chopped onion sauteed in 30 ml oil

2 eggs, beaten

85 ml milk

75 g butter, melted

15 ml cornflour

10 ml sugar

salt and pepper to taste

grated cheddar cheese for sprinkling on top


Mix together all the ingredients except the cheese.

Pour into a well buttered dish, top with grated cheese and bake at 180 C for 40 – 45 minutes until custard sets.

January 12, 2010 Posted by | Vegetable dishes | , | Leave a comment

Fruity Trifle

This is a very good dessert on a hot summer’s day and it is my favourite dessert to make on New Year’s day after a barbeque.

l packet red jelly

1 packet green jelly

1 swiss roll or sponge cake

apricot jam


l large can fruit salad or fruit cocktail (or 2 smaller cans)

custard (I used ready-made custard but you can make your own)

250 ml cream

chocolate shavings for decoration

Make jelly using 365 ml water for each one.  Place in fridge until partly set.

Cut the swiss roll or sponge cake and spread apricot jam on each slice.  Pack the slices into a fairly large glass bowl.  Pour as much sherry as you like over the slices.  If you don’t want to use sherry you could use fruit juice.

Pour on the partly-set jellies, arranging different colours, opening up cake slices with a knife so that the jelly falls to the bottom.  Pour the custard over, also opening up the cake slices and make sure the mixture is covered with the custard.  Place in refrigerator until set.

Beat the cream and spoon or pipe over the top.  Decorate with chocolate shaving and cherries if desired.

If you wish you can sprinkle some chopped dates and chopped almonds on the cake slices before adding the fruit salad.

January 5, 2010 Posted by | Desserts | , , | 1 Comment

Marinade for Barbeque Chicken

This is a very good marinade for chicken cooked on a braai (barbeque).  Because the marinade will burn if left on the barbeque for too long I always par-cook the chicken first by boiling in water to which is added a few bay leaves, peppercorns and salt.  Leave it to boil for about half an hour and the chicken will not need so long over the coals.

50 ml oil

1 onion, finely chopped or minced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

25 ml Worcestershire sauce

50 ml tomato sauce (ketchup)

25 ml chutney

lemon juice

12.5 ml honey

Boil all the ingredients together for 5 minutes.  (Can be done in a microwave as well as on the stove)

Pour over chicken pieces and marinade for 6 hours or overnight.

Sufficient for 8 pieces of chicken

December 26, 2009 Posted by | Chicken | , , | Leave a comment

Spicy Pineapple-Zucchini Bread

This is a delicious loaf cake which I found in a book called “Sunset Cookbook of Breads”.  It is nice and moist and full of flavour and keeps well.  This recipe makes 2 loaves so you can keep one in the freezer for another time.  The recipe can be halved but I always like to make two and have one on standby in the freezer.

3 eggs

250 ml oil

500 ml sugar

10 ml vanilla essence

500 ml zucchini (baby marrow/courgettes) unpeeled and coarsely grated

1 can crushed pineapple, well drained

750 ml flour

10 ml bicarbonate of soda

5 ml salt

3 ml baking powder

7 ml ground cinnamon

4 ml ground nutmeg

250 ml currants

250 ml pecans or walnuts, chopped

In a large bowl beat the eggs until frothy, add oil, sugar and vanilla and continue beating until mixture is thick and foamy.  Stir in zucchini and pineapple.

In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, nuts and currants until thoroughly blended.  Stir gently into zucchini mixture just until blended.  Spoon batter equally into two greased and flour-dusted 9 x 5 inch (23 x 12,7 cm) loaf pans.

Bake at 180 C for 1 hour or until breads begin to pull away from sides of pans and a skewer comes out clean.

Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto racks to cool completely.

Makes 2 loaves

December 26, 2009 Posted by | Loaf Cakes | , , | Leave a comment

Onion Scones

This recipe is from a book I have which is called “Fit for Life II – Living Health – The Complete Health Programme” by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond.  They are as light as a feather and delicious and can be served with soup or a salad, or on their own.  I like them buttered with a sprinkling of cheese.

500 ml wholewheat flour (Nutty Wheat)

5 ml baking powder

5 ml bicarbonate of soda

2.5 ml salt

80 g butter

125 ml onion, minced or finely chopped

1 egg

5 ml honey

180 ml cream, plus a little for brushing

Sift the wholewheat flour.  Sift again with the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.  Rub in the butter until the mixture is like coarse breadcrumbs.  Stir in the onions.

In a separate bowl, beat together the egg and cream.  Add honey.  Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the cream and egg mixture.  Stir with a knife until the dough forms a sticky but workable dough.

On a floured surface, knead the dough for 30 seconds and pat gently into a rectangle about 3/4 inch thick.  Cut into 12 squares.  Place on a baking tray and brush the tops with a little cream.  Bake at 200 C for 12 -15 minutes until golden.

Makes 12

December 22, 2009 Posted by | Scones | , , | Leave a comment

Courgette (Zucchini/BabyMarrow) Tartlets

These little tarts make a good snack or even a light lunch or supper if served with a salad.  There is not much flour in these which makes them soft.  They don’t rise very much either.  I would best describe them as mini quiches.  Garnish them with a blob of sour cream and chopped crisp bacon.

5 ml olive oil

3 or 4 rashers of bacon, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 medium courgettes, grated

30 ml flour

3 extra-large eggs, whisked

500 ml grated cheddar cheese

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 180 C and spray a patty pan with non-stick spray.

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the bacon until done.  Remove the bacon and add the onions.  Fry until soft.  Put the bacon and onion in a bowl, add the grated courgettes, flour, eggs and cheese.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Spoon into the prepared patty pan hollows and bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown.

garnish with a little sour cream and crisp bacon and serve warm.

Makes 10 – 12

December 17, 2009 Posted by | Savoury Tarts, Simple Suppers | , , , , , , | 2 Comments


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