Scots Magazine in print November 2019
I love traditions, especially when they revolve around food. They can be historical like Christmas pudding or homemade like the lobster I cook for my husband Victor every year for his birthday.
As a child my family loved bonfire night. We always had a huge fire at the back of the rocks at Cockenzie in East Lothian.The back of the rocks if you don’t know is the small patch of rocky sand between the Cockenzie shoreline and the start of our house. The fire was huge. I was 5 foot, 7 inches tall at 10 years old, so it wasn’t in my imagination. To make the Guy for the bonfire, we would stuff old pyjamas with newspaper, use an old broomstick as the anchor and stick one of my mother’s hats on, plus a plastic scary mask bought for 50p at the Post Office along the High Street. It wasn’t until I was studying Higher History at 17 that I found out Guy Fawkes was a Catholic. As the only Catholics in the village it must have seemed very strange that we were burning one of our own.
Religion aside, this month we will know if we’ve left Europe or not.In 1605 Guido clearly wasn’t impressed with the shenanigans of our politicians and here we are over 400 years later and it doesn’t seem like we’ve any more improved.
Not only are we now far more politically correct about burning historical figures, I’m also the health and safety officer for the family and the closest we get to Bonfire Night are a few sparklers at the front door.
Who knows what we’ll be doing in the next 400 years. Brexit Baking maybe! Although that’s one dish that may put me off my tea!Good fun for a few seconds. And certainly safer.
Honeycomb, or my childhood name ‘hokeypockey’ is as much excitement that we can cope with. But our honeycomb is our new bonfire tradition. And the good news you don’t get wet, don’t smell of burnt toast and you get cake!Thank you Guy Fawkes.
150g carrot (grated)
150ml vegetable oil
150g light brown sugar
130g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
2 free range eggs
50g sultanas (soaked in juice of 1 orange)
Handful of pumpkin seeds for decoration
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
Preheat oven to 170°C. Line a loaf tin with baking paper.
Place all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, add the oil and eggs, mix together until wellcombined, then add the sultanas and pumpkin seeds.
Place in the loaf tin and bake for 45 to 50 minutes.
Cream cheese icing
60g Unsalted butter, softened
60g icing sugar
120g Full fat cream cheese
While cake is cooling beat together the butter and icing sugar until white and fluffy then fold inthe cream cheese until well combined. Do not over beat as it will become a runny mixture.
Decorate the cake using a pallet knife and finish with the orange zest and a light sprinkling ofpumpkin seeds.
2 tbsp of golden syrup
100g caster sugar
1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Choose a heavy bottomed pan and heat the caster sugar and syrup until melted. Simmer gently for 5 to 10 minutes until a syrup forms. Be careful not to let it brown but just as it starts to colour add the bicarbonate of soda and mix.
Quickly pour onto a sheet of baking paper and allow to cool.