Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Making Bacon and Jaffa cakes

 Hello
As mentioned in my last post. .......
Here is the half pig I bought from a friend. She had it slaughtered and would usually have it butchered too, but as the abattoir was busy with Christmas they could only cut the pigs into six.
 Here is my half, cut into three.

There was quite a lot of fat on it, but we are okay with that as it adds to the flavour and makes it more succulent and it looks like pork used to look. It didn't take me too long to cut it into joints and chops, which I froze apart from a good size leg joint that I chilled to roast on Christmas day and a piece of belly pork that I determined I would home cure for bacon  in the manner that Cro a blogger in France does.
Below is a (not very good) picture of the belly joint in the salt  I left the rind on for the process, though Cro tells me it is likely to be tough when finished, so I will remove it when curing is finished.This is coarse sea salt mixed with brown sugar ( I used demerara) black pepper and herbs. The second day I poured off the liquid that had gathered and put more (reserved) salt mix over the joint. I turned this again over the next four days, when I washed off the salt, patted the joint dry and hung in an airy outbuilding wrapped in muslin. It will be ready on the 9th January. I believe at this stage you could smoke it if you had the facility, but I shall try it unsmoked first. 
Just had a peek and it is looking and smelling good so far. Can't wait!!!

                                                                                                                                                                      And so to Jaffa Cakes....
The Jelly -- A few hours before (or the day before) you are due to bake, make a jelly (from jelly cubes) with 150mls hot water instead of 400ml and pour into a shallow tray and refrigerate
The cake bases -- Make a fatless sponge with 1oz sugar, 1 oz flour and 1 egg (beat egg and sugar together until light and fluffy and carefully stir in the flour) Grease  shallow patty tin tray. Put a large spoonful of mix into each patty tin and cook until very lightly browned and firm. This mix made 4 dozen little cake bases.
The chocolate -- melt chocolate (we used a mix of dark and milk choc) in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. When melted, take off heat and allow to cool.
While the chocolate is cooling cut rounds of jelly to rest in top of the sponge. We used the top of a salt pot (this also serves well to cut holes in doughnut dough!)















When the chocolate has cooled sufficiently (you will need to test this on any rubbish sponges you might have) so that the jelly does not melt immediately, spoon over each cake and smooth over.. Voila!!!













Look pretty good don't they? They cost very little too.
Hope these work for you, they are certainly easier and more like the real thing than those made on the GBBO.
Back soon
Gillx

19 comments:

  1. thanks for the jaffa cake recipe will be giving that a try, your bacon is very similar to how I do mine.

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    1. We will be doing them again soon. Just tried the bacon and it is delicious. What joints did you process?

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  2. We will definitely have a go at the Jaffa cakes, they look great.

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    1. They certainly are! Going to make mmore. Good luck with yours.

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  3. Not sure what a Jaffa Cake is but they look so good. What kind of jelly is that ?
    I saw Cro's bacon idea and it looked so good. Be sure to tell us how it came out.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Hi Parsnip! The jelly cubes are to make what you might call Jello. We used the jelly cubes but jelly crystals would do as well so long as less water was used.
      Update on bacon in post to follow

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  4. We used to cure whole Hams too, by enveloping the who leg in 4 inches of salt, with plenty of crushed Pepper around the bone, and leaving it for a month. It was then hung up to dry for a further 2 or 3 months. Lovely.

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    1. Wow I would worry about spoiling a whole ham, while a bit of belly pork would not be too big a loss. If it was anything like the bacon we tried this morning, it would be scrumptious!

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  5. If I tried it.......the sponges would stick to the tins, the jelly would set too hard and the chocolate would run off all over the place!!
    But they do look very good and what a lot from such a little ingredients

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    1. I know you are good cook, so you don't fool me! tbh the spoiled ones tasted just as good anyway.x
      Hope Col is feeling better. My little(!) soldier is still struggling with his cough.

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  6. Very interesting post! Thank you for this. I shall refer back when we're ready to do our own pigs :)

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    1. I don't understand why I have been a smallholder for 35 years and have never done it before! It was SO easy.

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  7. Oh my, the Jaffa cakes look delicious! And the pork looks really good too. After seeing Clarissa Dickson Wright's video on pork, I'm all for leaving the skin on! She makes it look soooo good.

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    1. They are good little cake/cookie/biscuits and a real favourite here in England. Will look up Clarissa DWs video, I bet it is on utube somewhere.
      Been looking at your new year post, you really have a handle on things.

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  8. I do have a weakness for jaffa cakes and yours certainly look delicious. I might give them a go although I suspect the kids would devour them before the chocolate had even hardened!

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    1. I guarantee that you will too. "just a taste" you will say!

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  9. We tried for several years to do a dry cure but had problems with tough over salt meat, also dry airy places are not easy to come by if your climate is the least bit humid as the salt meat attracts moisture. We finished up using Mortons Tender Quick mixed as a brine, then lightly smoked and stored in the freezer.You may prefer to use just salt but we found Mortons Tender Quick much easier and more satisfactory their home meat curing book no longer seems to be available but there are instructions on the package. Frank G Ashbrook's Butchering Processing and Preservation of Meat is useful if you are cutting up your own meat. Hope this info may be of some interest.

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    1. Thanks very much for this advice I will look this product up. I have a book on curing and smoking, but have never tried meat until I saw Cos method/recipe though

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